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Turning the Tables: Can Any Muhammadan Explain How Can Allah Die and the Quran be Destroyed?

Since Muslims always bring up the issue of God dying as a way of showing Christians the absurdity of their believing that Christ is God who died, I have decided to turn the tables on them in order to give them a taste of their own medicine.

According to the Quran, every soul (nafs) shall necessarily taste death and shall be judged for what it has done:

But how will it be, when We gather them for a day whereon is no doubt, and EVERY SOUL (kullu nafsin) shall be paid in full what it has earned, and they shall not be wronged? S. 3:25 Arberry

The day EVERY SOUL (kullu nafsin) shall find what it has done of good brought forward, and what it has done of evil; it will wish if there were only a far space between it and that day. God warns you that you beware of Him; and God is gentle with His servants. S. 3:30 Arberry

EVERY SOUL (kullu nafsin) shall taste of death; you she surely be paid in full your wages on the Day of Resurrection. Whosoever is removed from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, shall win the triumph. The present life is but the joy of delusion. S. 3:185 Arberry

The day that EVERY SOUL (kullu nafsin) shall come disputing in its own behalf; and EVERY SOUL (kullu nafsin) shall be paid in full for what it wrought, and they shall not be wronged. S. 16:111 Arberry

EVERY SOUL (kullu nafsin) shall taste of death; then unto Us you shall be returned. S. 29:57 Arberry

The Quran also testifies that Allah himself is/possesses a soul (nafs):

And mention when God said: O Jesus son of Mary! Hadst thou said to humanity: Take me and my mother to yourselves other than God? He would say: Glory be to Thee! It is not for me that I say what there is no right for me to say. If I had been saying it, then, surely, Thou wouldst have known it. Thou hast known what is in my soul (fee nafsi) and I know not what is in THY SOUL (fee nafsika). Truly, Thou, Thou alone art Knower of the unseen. S. 5:116 Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar

Say: To whom belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth? Say: To Allah. He has prescribed for HIS SOUL (ala nafsihi) mercy, that He may bring you all together to the Day of Resurrection whereof there is no doubt. Those who ruin their souls (anfusahum) will not believe. S. 6:12

For I have chosen you for MY SOUL (linafsi). S. 20:41

This, therefore, means that Allah himself shall taste death and be judged for what he has earned. Note how this works out logically:

Every soul must necessarily taste death and be judged for all it has done.

Allah is/possesses a soul.

Therefore, Allah must necessarily taste death and be judged for all he has done.

Now the question arises how can Allah die when he is supposed to be God, and therefore a self-subsisting and ever living being? And after he is dead who is going to give him life again? It cannot be Allah who will resurrect himself since he will be dead and therefore will no longer be alive. And if he is no longer alive then he will no longer possess the consciousness or cognizance to realize that he needs to raise himself back to life.

Moreover, how can Allah give an account for what he has done when he is supposed to be the judge of all creation? Will Allah judge himself, or will someone else be his judge?

That’s not all. Orthodox Muslim theology teaches that the Quran is the eternal, uncreated speech of Allah, being one of his essential attributes:

The Qur’an is the Word of God that emanated from Him without modality in its expression. He sent it down to His messenger as a revelation. The believers accept it as such literally. They are certain it is, in reality, the Word of God, the Sublime and Exalted.

Unlike human speech, it is eternal and uncreated. (The Creed of Imam Al-Tahawi (Al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah), translated, annotated and introduced by Hamza Yusuf [Zaytuna Institute, 2007], p. 54; bold emphasis ours)

We do not argue about the Qur’an. Rather, we testify that it is the Word of the Lord of the universe as revealed through the Trustworthy Spirit, who taught it to the paragon of messengers, Muhammad. It is the Word of God, the Sublime and Exalted. No mortal speech compares to it, and we do not say it is created. (Ibid., p. 64; bold emphasis ours)

And yet we know that many have destroyed the Quran, either by ripping it apart (tearing it to shreds),

It is as though what We have sent down is on those who make divisions therein. Those that tear the Quran into shreds. S. 15:90-91 Mohammad Shafi

Or by burning it, which is what the third Muslim caliph ordered to be done to all the Qurans which did not agree with his own version of it:

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to ‘Uthman, “O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before.” So ‘Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, “Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we may compile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you.” Hafsa sent it to ‘Uthman. ‘Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, ‘Abdullah bin AzZubair, Said bin Al-As and ‘AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. ‘Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, “In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur’an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue.” They did so, and when they had written many copies, ‘Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. ‘Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, BE BURNT. Said bin Thabit added, “A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur’an and I used to hear Allah’s Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): ‘Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.’ (33.23) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book, Book 61, Number 510

This means that human beings can and have burned, and therefore destroyed, one of the core, essential attributes of Allah himself! Again, note the logic of this:

The Quran is the uncreated speech of Allah, and therefore one of his necessary attributes.

The Quran can and has been destroyed by men, such as we find in the case of the third caliph Uthman who burnt the Qurans that were circulating at that time.

Therefore, men have the capacity to destroy, to burn, one of the eternal attributes of Allah.

Once again, how can a necessary characteristic of Allah be destroyed without this impacting a profound change in his essential being? And since it can be destroyed doesn’t this nullify Allah’s omnipotence and immutability? After all, for finite creatures to be able to burn or destroy a core attribute of Allah means that Allah was powerless to stop them, and further shows that Allah’s nature can and did experience a profound change since he went from having a specific attribute to no longer having it for a period of time.

With that said, can any Muhammadan answer these questions without arguing in a circle or denying the plain reading of their primary sources?

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