Debate of Imam Sadiq with “Abu Shakir”

debate part

During the lifetime of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (AS), theological debates and discussions involving the Imam himself were carried out quite often. One of the most serious topics around which discussions and debates took place was the existence of God. Due, mainly, to the free atmosphere prevailing in Arabia, the discussions would often take place among members of the opposite groups. There is no doubt that these discussions ultimately ended up in the victory of the theists and monotheists and the defeat of the disbelievers. One of those who had lengthy debates with Imam Ja’far Sadiq, peace be upon him, was Abu Shakir Daysani.[i] What follows is a report on two dialogues between him and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (AS) regarding the existence of God, the Exalted:

[dropcap]1[/dropcap] Hesham bin Hakam narrates:
Abu Shakir told me that he had a question and he asked me to arrange a meeting with my teacher, Imam Ja’far Sadiq (AS) because he had a question which he had asked many scholars but he had not got a convincing answer.
Hesham asked Abu Shakir if he did not want him to know about his question. He said that might perhaps have an answer to his question which he might probably like but Abu Shakir insisted that he wanted to meet Imam Sadiq (AS) and ask him his question as well.
Hesham says that he arranged a meeting for him and he asked his question:
Abu Shakir said to the Imam (AS): “Would you allow me to say something and ask some questions?”
Imam Sadiq (AS) said: “What is your question?”
Abu Shakir al-Daysani asked Imam al-Sadiq (AS): “How can you prove that you have a Creator?”
Consequently, he (AS) responded: “I found myself not free from one of the two possibilities: either I have created myself, or someone else has created me. If I have created myself, then I am not free from one of two meanings: either I created myself while I was already existent, or I created myself while I was nonexistent. Hence, if I created myself, and I already existed, then I was self-sufficient of giving existence to myself. And if I was nonexistent, then you know that the nonexistent cannot bring about a thing. Therefore, the third meaning is proven that I have a Creator and that is Allah, the Lord of the Universe.”[ii]

[dropcap]2[/dropcap] One day Abu Shakir came to the Imam and said, “Prove to me the existence of God.” Imam (a.s) told him to be seated. At that time a boy passed by holding a hen’s egg. Imam (a.s) called him, and taking the egg from him kept it on his palm. Then he told Abu Shakir, “See, it is such a strong fort that has no doors. On its outside is a hard skin and below it is a thin membrane, inside which flow two seas of gold and silver. But neither can the yellow mix with the white nor the white can merge with the yellow. Neither can a repairer enter it nor a destroyer comes out of it. No one can even know whether the newborn would be a male or a female. Then all of a sudden it cracks and a beautiful chick emerges from it. Can your reason agree that all this happened without a designer or a maker?” Hearing this Abu Shakir bowed down his head and said, “I repent for my beliefs today and accept the religion of Islam.”[iii]
Although these two reports do not have so strong chain of narration, their contents are coherent and consistent with the fundamentals of Islamic beliefs and theology. Thus, they can be used to argue with. Indeed, the argument in the second narration somehow signifies the kind of knowledge which Daysani had no knowledge before it.

[su_expand height=”20″ link_style=”dotted” more_icon=”icon: arrow-down” less_icon=”icon: arrow-up”][i] Vide: Kulayni, Muhammad bin Ya’qub, Al-Kafi, researched and corrected by Ghaffari, Ali Akbar, Akhundi, Muhammad, vol.1, p. 128, Dar al-Kotob al-Islamiyah, fourth edition, 1407 A.H; Ibn Shahr Ashub Mazandarani, Muhammad bin Ali, Mutashabeh al-Qur’an wa Mukhtalifehi, vol.1, p. 48, Qom, Beidar, first edition, 1410 A.H. [ii] Sheiky Saduq, Al-Tawhid, researched and corrected by Husseini, Hashem, p. 290, Qom, Islamic Publications Office, first edition, 1398 A.H. [iii] Al-Kafi, vol.1, p, 80; Tabarsi, Ahmad bin Ali, Al-Ehtijaj ‘Alaa al-Lejaj, researched and corrected by Khursan, Muhammad Baqir, vol.2, p. 333, Mashad, Murteza Publication, first edition, 1403 A.H.[/su_expand]

Debate of Imam Sadiq on Truthfulness

debate part [dropcap]W[/dropcap]ithout doubt people become ignorant and astray when they depend on their own viewpoints and do not consult the people of true knowledge. So, the ignorant person goes astray in the methods of ignorance. However, he thinks that he is knowledgeable in the true religious law.

There was a debate between al- Sadiq, peace be on him, and an ignorant person who affected knowledge in truthfulness. Al- Sadiq himself has told us about this debate. He has said:

“Indeed, whoever follows his desire and admires his idea becomes like that person whom ignorant people regarded as great. I saw a group of people surrounding him. So, I wanted to meet him. He deceived that group of people, then he left them. I followed him. Soon, he passed by a baker. He made the baker heedless and took two loaves of bread from his bakery.

I was astonished at him, then I talked to myself: Perhaps, he is his customer. Then, I said: Why has he stolen the two loaves of bread? Then, I went on following him. Soon, he passed by pomegranate seller. He made him heedless and took two pomegranates.

I was astonished at him, and then I said to myself: Perhaps, he is his customer. Then I said: Why has he stolen them? Then I went on following him till he passed by a sick person. He put the two loaves of bread and the two pomegranates before a sick person.

Then I (al- Sadiq) asked him about his act. He said: ‘perhaps, you are Ja’far b. Mohammed?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. He said to me: ‘What does your noble origin avail you while you are ignorant?’ ‘Which verse of the Koran am I ignorant at?’ I asked. He said these Words of Allah, the Great and Almighty.’ Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings and evil deed he shall be recompensed only with the like of it.'(6:160)

‘When I stole the two loaves of bread, they were two evil deeds. And When I stole the two pomegranates, they were two evil deeds, too. So, these are four evil deeds. When I gave each one of them as alms, Allah has subtracted 4 evil deeds from 40 good deeds. So, I have 36 good deeds.’ I (al- Sadiq) said: ‘May your mother lose you! It is you who are ignorant at the Book of Allah. Have you not heard that Allah said:

“(Allah) accepts (deeds) from the pious only.’ When you stole the two loaves of bread, they were two evil deeds. And when you stole the two pomegranates, they were two evil deeds, too. And when you gave them to other than their owner without the permission of their owner, you have added four evil deeds to four evil deeds, and you have not added four evil deeds to forty good deeds. So, he began looking at me. Then I left him and went away.”‘

Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said: “They (the ignorant) mislead (people) and go astray with this ugly, hateful explanation.”(Wasa’il al- Shi’a, v.2, p.57)

Debate of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq) with an Arab unbeliever

debate part [dropcap]A[/dropcap]bu Shakir al- Daysany, an Arab unbeliever, sometimes debated with al-Sadiq, peace be on him, and sometimes with Hisham b. al- Hakam. However, Hisham went to al- Sadiq, peace be on him, when al- Daysany asked him a certain question. One day, al- Daysany said to Hisham: “There is a verse in the Koran, which is our saying, (that there are two gods).”

Hisham said: “What is it (the verse)?” Al- Daysany answered: “And it is He Who in heaven is God and in earth is God.”(43:84) Hisham said: “I did not know how to answer him. So, I went to perform the hajj and I told Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him, about the question.” Al- Sadiq said: “These are the words of an unbeliever.

When you come back, ask him: What is your name in Kufa? Surely, he will say by such and such name. Then ask him: ‘What is your name in Basrah?’ Surely he will reply by such and such name. Then you tell him: ‘Such is our Lord, Allah, Who in heavens is God, in earth is God, in seas is God, and in deserts is God. Thus, He is God at every place.'” Hisham said: “I came back to Kufa and went to Abu Shakir and gave him the reply.” So, he said: “These words have been brought from Hijaz.”(Al- Kafi, Chapter on Movement and Mobility)

Debate of Imam Musa Kadhim with a Christian monk

debate part [dropcap]A[/dropcap] Christian monk came to Imam Musa Kadhim (a.s) claiming to have very deep knowledge about Torah and Gospel. Imam (a.s) asked him the name of Maryam’s (s.a.) mother and also the date, time and place of the birth of Prophet Jesus (a.s). The monk said that he didn’t know.

Imam said, “I will inform you about it. The name of Maryam’s mother in Greek language was “Martha” which is equivalent to the Arabic “Wahba”. The conception of Prophet Isa (a.s) took place at the time of noon on a Friday. Gabriel (a.s) descended for Maryam (a.s) at that very moment. The Holy Prophet (S) has ordained it to be a day of Eid (Festive) and Muslims are commanded to congregate at a place and perform worship. The day Prophet Jesus (a.s) was born was Tuesday. The day has risen four and a half hours. He was born on the banks of Euphrates.

The Almighty Allah bestowed such bounty to his birth that farmers said that it was very beneficial for the cultivation of dates and grapes. On that day Maryam (s.a.) did not speak to anyone. When King Qaidoos heard about it, he summoned the people of her tribe and ordered them: All of you go and ask Maryam about the truth behind this birth.

The people came to Maryam (s.a.) and said, “O Maryam! You have done a strange thing! O sister of Harun! Neither was your father an evil-doer nor your mother.” O Monk! Tell me what day was it?” The monk replied, “In our Gospel it is mentioned as a “New day.” Imam (a.s) said, “It is not a particular day. Thus it shows that people have made distortions in the book of God.” The monk said, “In order to confirm that you have the knowledge of the unseen. I challenge you to tell me the name of my mother.” Imam said, “In the Syrian language it is Utgaliya and in Arabic Maliha.

The name of your grandfather was Unfoor and that of your father is Abdul Masih. This name is incorrect; it should be Abdullah because no one can be the servant of the Masih (Christ). The name of your maternal grandfather was Gabriel. It is also incorrect. It should have been Abdur Rahman. Because it is not allowed to name people with the names of angels. Now you also listen to the account of the killing of your grandfather. The Syrians surrounded his residence and then killed him.” The monk said, “Now tell me, what my name is?” Imam said, “Your name is Abdul Saleeb but it should be Abdullah.” When the monk heard all these things, by the Grace of the Almighty he became a Muslim.

Objection Of Abu Hanifah
Abu Hanifah, an Imam of Ahle Sunnat told Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s), “Your son, Musa Ibn Ja’far (a.s) was performing prayers in such a way that people were passing across him in the front. Does this not make a difference in concentration and humility?” Imam said, “I will call him, you may ask him directly.” When this objection was mentioned to him he said, “One to Whom I was praying was more near to me than those people. He himself says: We are closer than the jugular vein.”

As soon as he heard this the face of Abu Hanifah paled and he could not say anything. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) embraced his son and said, “Bravo! O protector of the divine secrets!”

(Usūl al-Kāfī, v.1, p. 478-481)

Debate of Imam Hasan Askari wih Christian scholar

debate part [dropcap]D[/dropcap]uring the time Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) was in imprisonment at Baghdad, for three years at a stretch there was a severe famine. A Christian scholar arrived there and showing a miracle of causing rain he created a great turmoil in the beliefs of Muslims. Everyone began to extol his spiritual feats and the truth of Christian faith. The news reached Motamid.

He summoned him and requested him to cause rain. Immediately he raised his hands to the sky and uttered a few words. Within no time a black cloud spread on the sky and it began to rain. Motamid also began to have faith in his miracle and the beliefs of all his courtiers became shaky. Motamid realized that the best course of action was to somehow send this Christian away from his court.

When he departed a debate began on this matter. No one could explain it away. A courtier said that except for Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) no one could solve this puzzle. It was ordered to bring him to the court at once.

It is mentioned in Sawaiqul Mohreqa that when Imam (a.s) arrived, Motamid related to him the whole incident. He said, “What is so great about it? People should accompany me outside the town and if Allah wills, I will clarify the whole matter. But the condition is that all prisoners must be released.” Thus it happened in this way. The Christian monk was also summoned. Imam said, “Now you invoke and show your miracle.

” He raised his hands and began to recite something inaudibly. At once, a cloud appeared. Imam (a.s) told a man next to him, “Catch hold both the hands of the monk and snatch whatever he is holding.” The man did as commanded and came to the Imam holding a bone. The Imam buried this bone in the soil and told the Christian, “Now let’s see if it rains or not.” Again he raised his hands, but leave alone rain, the cloud that had appeared also dispersed.

Imam (a.s) told Motamid, “There was no miracle in this man; it is in the bone that he was holding. It is a bone of some prophet that he somehow got. It is the specialty of this bone that when it is shown to the open sky, at once a cloud will appear and rain.” Hearing this, the doubts of the people were dispelled and the misplaced faiths again returned to their original position.

(Managhib, by IbnShahr‘ashub, v.4, p.425)


Debate of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq) with an unbeliever

debate partHisham b. al- Hakam said: “There was an unbeliever in Egypt. The unbeliever heard something of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. He went to Medina to debate with Abu Abd Allah, but he did not find him there. It was said to him: `He (Abu Abd Allah) has been in Mecca.` So, he went to Mecca.

We (Hisham b. al- Hakam) were with Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. While we were performing the procession around the Kaaba, he (the unbeliever) met us by chance. His name was Abd al- Malik. His kunya was Abu Abd Allah.

His shoulder hit the shoulder of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. So, he (al- Sadiq) said to him: `What is your name? “Abd al- Malik`, answered the unbeliever.” `What is you kunya?` asked al- Sadiq. `Abu Abd Allah,` answered the unbeliever. So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: ` who is this king (Malik) whose servant is you? Is he among the kings of the earth or among the kings of the heavens? Then tell me about your son, is he the servant of the God of the heavens or the servant of the god of the earth? Say whatever you like.`
Then al- Sadiq said to the unbeliever: `When I have finished the procession around the Kaaba, come to me.` When Abu Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, finished that, the unbeliever came and sat before Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. We (Hisham and His companions) were sitting in the presence of al- Sadiq. Then, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq) said to the unbeliever” Do you know that the earth has upper part and lower part? ` `Yes, ` said the unbeliever. ` `Have you come in its lower part? ` Asked al- Sadiq. `No, ` answered the unbeliever.

`Do you know that there is something in its lower part? ` Asked al- Sadiq. The unbeliever answered: `I do not know. However, I think that there is nothing in its lower part. ` Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: `Mere thinking is feebleness. Why aren`t you certain? ` Then, Abu Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, said: `Have you ascended to the sky? ` `No, ` answered the unbeliever.

Al- Sadiq ask: `Do you know that it has something or not? ` `No, ` answered the unbeliever. So, al- Sadiq said: `How wonderful! You have not reached the east nor the west, you have not descended to the lower part of the earth nor have you ascended into the sky, nor have you gone any further to know what is beyond them. However, you have denied what they have, then does the wise man deny what he does not know? `

The unbeliever said to al- Sadiq: `No one has told me about that except you.`
Then, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said to the unbeliever: `Then you have doubt about that (the Creator). Perhaps, He is existent, and perhaps He is nonexistent.` The unbeliever person said: `Maybe.` So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said:

`The person who does not know has no proof over him who knows. The ignorant person has no proof Brother of the people of Egypt, understand my words: We never doubt Allah. Do you not know that the sun and moon, day and night come successively, while they do no mistake, nor do they come back? They have been forced to do that. They have no place except their palaces. If they were able to leave their places, then why do they come back? Besides the one who has forced them to do that is wiser and greater than them. ` So, the unbeliever said: `You are right.`

Then Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: `Brother of the people of Egypt, you think that the time forces them (the sun and the moon, day and night) to come successively, then why does the time not force them to come back? And if the time was able to force them to come back, why does it not take them away?
Brother of the people of Egypt, if they are forced (to do that), why is the sky raised? Why is the earth set? Why does the sky do not slope down the earth? Why does the earth do not slope down its layers? Why do the sky and the earth do not stick together? Why does what`s on the earth not stick together? ` The unbeliever person said: `Their Lord and Master has prevented them (the sky and the earth) from sticking together. `

He (Hisham b. al- Hakam) said: `So, the unbeliever believed in Allah with the help of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. ` Then, Hamran b. A`yun said:

“May I be ransom for you, the unbelievers believed in Allah with the help of your father, too.” Then the unbeliever who believed in Allah with the help of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said to al- Sadiq: “Make me among your students.” So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: “Hisham, the teacher of the people of Sham (Syria) and Egypt, teach him belief.” So, the inner self of the unbeliever became good. Then Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, was satisfied with him.

(EhtejajeTabrisi, v.2, p.75)

Debate of Imam Ali Naqi (a.s) whit Ibn Sikkit

debate part[dropcap]O[/dropcap]nce Mutawakkil said to Ibn Sikkit, “In my presence, ask Imam Ali Naqi (a.s) such a difficult question that he cannot reply.” Thus he posed the following questions:

Ibn Sikkit: Allah gave to Musa the miracle of the staff, to Isa the miracle of curing the lepers and the blind and the enlivening of the dead. To the Holy Prophet (S), He gave the miracles of the Holy Quran and the sword. Why were these miracles different? Why didn’t He give the same sort of miracles to all the prophets?

Imam: Miracle was awarded depending upon the demands of that particular period. How could the same miracle have been effective in every age? During the time of Musa, magic was prevalent; therefore he was given the staff and the shining hand. During the period of Isa the science of medicine was dominating. Thus he was bestowed cure and the power to enliven the dead. In the time of the Messenger of Allah (S) the prevalent arts were of eloquence, literature and warfare. Therefore, in order to overcome them, he was given the Quran and the sword.

Ibn Sikkit: What is the proof for the people of today when no miracle is seen?
Imam: Intellect.

Ibn Sikkit: Intellect was present before also.
Imam: However, the methods of its utility were not known. The prophets opened up these channels.

Ibn Sikkit: Who does the Quranic words: “One with whom was the knowledge from the book” denote?
Imam: Asif bin Barkhiya.

Ibn Sikkit: When Solomon (a.s) asked his courtiers which of them could bring the throne of Bilquis along with her there, did he not know that Asif bin Barkhiya could accomplish it? If he was aware, why did he put up such a question?
Imam: He knew it, but he wanted to prove the superiority of Asif bin Barkhiya to the jinn and men of his community, that after him, he would be his vicegerent.

Ibn Sikkit: Why did Yaqub (a.s) prostrate before his son? Is it permitted for a father to prostrate before his son?

Imam: The prostration was by way of obedience to Allah and a mark of respect for Yusuf. It was like the prostration of the angels before Adam. Actually the prostration of Prophet Yaqub and sons was a prostration of thanks, because the Almighty Allah had again brought them together after separation.

Ibn Sikkit: The Almighty Allah says: “Then if you are in doubt regarding what is revealed to you then ask those who recite the book.” In this verse the doubt is related to the Prophet, was he really having any doubts?
Imam: Definitely not! The ignorant people used to say why Allah did not send a prophet from the angels. So that they neither would have the need to eat nor drink and neither to frequent the markets (to earn the livelihood). Such needlessness would have been more effective on the people.

Thus the Almighty Allah revealed to His Prophet that: If due to ignorance the readers of the book are in doubt, do they not know that the prophets before you also ate and drank (were humans).

If it had been so, what is the meaning of doubts regarding you? The doubt is ascribed to the Prophet is this verse only because that it should not offend those people. Have you not read in the verse of imprecation: “Then invoke the curse of Allah on the liars?” (Surah Aale Imran 3:61) Allah knew that His Messenger was on the truth and the others were lying, but by way of etiquette it was not considered proper to call them liars. Therefore the Prophet was also included with them.

The Imam Musa Kadhim’s debate with Harun Rashid

debate part

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]uch was the knowledge and superiority of Imam Musa Kadhim (a.s) that no scholar of his time could dare compete with him. He had many debates and discussions with the inimical scholars whereby they had to face humiliation and defeat.

Once, Harun Rashid came to Mecca for the Hajj. At the time of Tawaf (Circumambulation of the Ka’ba) he ordered that none should accompany him. But soon a youth arrived and also began to perform the Tawaf. A soldier told him to move away from the caliph.

“Why should I move away? This is the House of Allah”, said the youth. “Here, the dwellers of the cities and the villagers, all are equal.”

Hearing this Harun refrained his soldier and continued his Tawaf. The youth was walking ahead of him. When Harun wanted to kiss the Black stone, the youth preceded him and kissed it before him. In the same way, when he wanted to pray at the place of Ibrahim, the youth moved forward and performed the prayer before Harun could.

After completing his prayer Harun sent his soldier to summon that youth. The youth said, “Why should I go to him? If he wants to speak to me he should come here.” The royal servant reported this statement to the caliph. Harun himself arrived and began the following conversation:

Harun: I will ask you some questions, if you do not give proper replies, I will punish you severely.

Youth: Do you ask by way of testing me or to gain knowledge thereby?
Harun: For gaining knowledge.

Youth: Then sit in the way a student sits before a teacher.

Harun: Tell me, how many obligatory things are there in religious law?
Youth: One, five, seventeen, thirty-four, ninety-four, then one in twelve, one in forty, forty in two hundred, once in the lifetime and on in place of one.

Harun: (Laughing) Glory be to Allah! I am asking you about religions obligations but you mention mathematical figures to me.
Youth: The basis of religion and the world is on mathematics. If it had not been so why Allah would have taken account of the people on the Day of Judgment?

Harun: All right! But explain to me what you have mentioned. Otherwise I would slay you between Safa and Marwah.
(One of his officers said: O chief! This is the sanctuary of God. Do not make an intention of killing the youth here. Hearing this, the youth laughed all of a sudden).

Harun: Why do you laugh?
Youth: I don’t know who is more foolish. One who wants to deflect death that is decreed for one or that who wants to summon death for someone not yet to die?

Harun: Anyway what is the use of such talks? Now you explain your statement.
Youth: When I said that there is one obligation; it is the religion of Islam. Because apart from this no other religion is acceptable to Allah. When I said: Five, it denotes the five obligatory prayers and “seventeen” is the number of their rakats (units).

“Thirty-four” is the sum total of the prostrations; two in each rakat. Ninety-four obligations, denotes the ninety-four Takbirs (Allaho Akbar), that are recited in every rakat with every bowing (ruku) and prostration (Sajdah). And “one in forty” means the Zakat. As one in forty Dinar is liable to be given in Zakat.

“One in twelve” denotes one month of fasting of the twelve months of the year. And “forty out of 200” means Khums. That is if one saves 200 Dirhams after taking out his expenses for the year he has to pay forty Dirhams as Khums and none but the Prophet is eligible for this. “Once in the lifetime” means the Hajj, which is made obligatory once in a lifetime. “One in the place of one” is the retaliation of one killed unjustly. That is, the murderer becomes liable to capital punishment.

Upon hearing this reply, Harun was astounded and holding forth a bag of gold coins he said it was the recompense of the reply.

Youth: Is it for solving the problem or for gaining benefit?
Harun: For gaining benefit.
Youth: All right! Now I am asking you a question. If you reply correctly we will distribute these coins here otherwise you have to give me one more bag and I will distribute both among the poor people of my tribe and community.

Harun: Very Good!
Youth: Tell me, when the young one of the “Khanshaw Mushkill” (a type of worm) is born, is it fed by its parents with grains or nursed by its mother?

Harun: Surprising that I am asked such a question.
Youth: The Holy Prophet (S) has said: When a person is the chief of a community, he is given the same type of intellect. Since you are the chief of this nation at present you should have the most knowledge regarding it.

Harun: Tell me what is the correct reply, as I am ignorant about it. And take this bag of gold coins also.
Youth: When the Almighty Allah created the earth, He created many crawling creatures in it, which were created from the soil itself. When a young one is born to them, neither its mother nurses it nor is it fed any grain. Rather its life is from the soil. Same is the condition of this worm.

After this, the youth picked up both the bags of gold coins and distributed them among the needy at that very place. Harun inquired about the name of this young man from some people. Someone said: Imam Musa Kadhim (a.s)
Harun said: Why shouldn’t it be? Such are the fruits of a great tree!


Debates of Prophet Muhammad (S) with scholars of five different religions/ part 1


In the city of Medina, twenty five scholars and representatives of Christianity, Judaism, Atheism, Dualism and Polytheism [five from each religion] came to see Prophet Muhammad (S) and challenged him for debate… One by one they proclaimed their faith to Prophet Muhammad (S)…

The Jews described their belief as: “We believe that Prophet Uzair [Ezra] (as) is a son of God and we have come to you O’ Muhammad to see what you say about it. If you accept our belief then surely our religion is better than yours. And if you disagree, then we will have debate and discussion with you…”

The Christian Scholars made claim for the support of their belief as: ‘We believe that God united with Messiah [Prophet Isa (as), Jesus] and so Messiah is the son of God and we have come to you O’ Muhammad to see what you say about it. If you accept our belief then surely our religion is better than yours. And if you disagree, then we will have debate and discussion with you…’

The Atheists had made claim for the support of their belief as: ‘We say that there is no time limit of this Universe, it is qadeem1 (eternally pre-existent) and will remain eternal. We have come to you to see what you say about our belief. If you accept our belief then surely our religion is better than yours. And if you disagree, then in that case we will have debate and discussion with you …’

Dualists said: ‘Our belief is that Light and Darkness are the organizers of this Universe. We have come to you to see what you say about it. If you accept our belief then surely our religion is better than yours. And if you disagree then in that case we will have debate and discussion with you …’

The polytheists of Arab made claim for the support of their belief as: ‘Our belief is that our idols are our Gods. We have come to you to see what you say about our belief. If you accept our belief then surely our religion is better than yours. And if you disagree, then in that case we will have debate and discussion with you.’

When Prophet Muhammad (S) heard the beliefs of all the five groups, he said: “I believe in one God Who is without any partner and I reject any other god. God has sent me as a Warner and Bearer of glad tidings for all human beings. And I am His final proof over all Universes.”

Part 1: Debate with Jews
Then, the Prophet (S) turned towards the Jews and said: “Oh Jews! Have you come to me so that I would accept your claim without any proofs?”
The Jews replied: ‘No.’

The Prophet (S) said: “Then what is the reason behind your claim that Prophet Uzair [Ezra] (S) is the son of God?”

The Jews replied: ‘We say this because Uzair [Ezra] (as) vivified Torah for Jews [Bani Israel, the nation of Prophet Musa (as)] after its destruction and he was able to do this because he was the son of God.’
The Prophet (S) replied: “Now tell me why you consider Ezra [Prophet Uzair (as)] as the son of God, why not Moses (as) [Prophet Musa (as)] who brought Torah for Jews [Bani Israel] and displayed many miracles, which you are aware of. And if the only reason for you to consider Uzair (as) as the son of God is his miracles of vivifying Torah then Musa (as) is more worthy of being called the son of God. And if this minor miracle [vivifying of Torah] can make Uzair (as) the son of God, then the one who possesses much greater miracles should have a higher status than prophethood because if by being a son you mean that man and woman copulate and give birth to a son, then you are infidels because you have compared God to His creatures and attributed to Him the characteristics of a haadith2 (that which comes into existence) and you do believe that what is haadith is a creature and a creature needs a Creator for its creation.”

The Jews said: ‘Yes, we do not think of Uzair (as) as the son of God in this meaning because that would mean infidelity, just like you mentioned. But we call him the son of God to show respect towards him in the same way as some of our scholars call a person ‘my son’ to respect him and appreciate his high status and that person is not related to the scholar by blood because quite often, a stranger who does not have any blood relationship is also called a son. Similarly, when God did what He did to Uzair (as), He made Uzair (as) His son for his respect and not by birth.’

The Prophet (S) said: “What you just said goes against you because if Uzair (as) is the son of God because of this reason then Musa (as) deserves a greater status near God. Undoubtedly, God humiliates those who deny Him instead of accepting Him and returns their argument over them. What you just said about Uzair (as) being the son of God goes against you because just now, you said that a high-ranking person can call a stranger with whom he has no blood relationship his son and it is clear that he did not give birth to this person. So, you may also have seen people with high status calling a stranger their brother, or leader, or father, or master and all of these phrases are said out of respect and honour.

So, the more respect a person has for another, he may call him with a higher title of praise and respect. Now that this is proven and clear to you, it will be alright for you to call Musa (as) the brother of God, or His leader or father or master because it is proven that Musa (as) has a greater status than Uzair (as). So, if God made Uzair (as) His son out of honour, then Musa (as) who possesses a higher status should be given a higher position, like His leader or uncle or lord. So will it be correct in your opinion if Musa (as) is called as the brother of God or His leader or uncle or boss or master?”

Upon hearing this question from Prophet Muhammad (S), all the Jewish scholars were baffled and worried and said: ‘Oh Muhammad, give us time to think over what you said.’

The Prophet (S) replied: “Yes, do think it over but think with an unbiased heart. May Allah show you the right path.”