Jordanian Christian Men Who Convert To Islam Gain Custody And Inheritance Advantages In Divorce Cases

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Jordan flagAs an example of the perils brought forth in countries having two legal systems, Christian men who intend to divorce their Christian spouse in Jordan receive significant leverage over their wives who remain within their faith.

Under Article 172 of Jordan’s personal status law, a Muslim man automatically receives custody of children aged seven and above when divorcing a Christian woman. This statutory provision provides a husband an attractive advantage in conversion to gain custody where he otherwise could receive an unfavorable determination based upon mitigating factors, such as showing the interests of the children might be better served if they remained within the custody of their mother.


According to investigative reporter Nadine Nimri who penned several publications relating to discrepancies in the legal statuses between Muslim and Christian parents before the law. Jordanian courts by statute assume that it is within the best interests of the child to remain under the custody of their Muslim fathers. While there are some limited benefits between the various interfaith marriages with regard to children under seven-years of age, Muslim mothers under the law have the option of guardianship for these younger children during divorce proceedings.

There are an estimated 180,000 Christians living in the Kingdom of Jordan, which is otherwise ninety-five percent Muslim.

This discrepancy provides the father in a Christian family to wield significant leverage over his wife when the probability of divorce arrives. By converting to Islam, the husband is able to place the weight of the law into his favor simply for the professed conversion despite its legitimacy.

The problem is not limited to child custody. Under Article 281 of Jordan’s personal status law [Arabic], Muslims can only receive inheritance from other Muslims. Should the husband then die after conversion or if the marriage was between the two religions, the Christian spouse and other Christian heirs would receive no inheritance.

For some women, much of these legal handicaps or barriers might be removed upon her subsequent conversion but since their Christian identity is integral to her society and personal beliefs it can be a tall order to  choose between one’s faith and one’s family. Of course, the matter is at least in a de facto sense a one way street where a return to Christianity will follow accusations of apostasy and in some cases worse.

Jordan in many ways maintains recognition and protection of her minority communities but this merit remains incomplete in legal aspects such as family or probate law.

One method could be to remove such legal constraints or sanctuaries relating to religion and to focus instead on applying the civil law to “citizens” rather than “religions”.

By Darren Smith


Al Monitor

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

74 thoughts on “Jordanian Christian Men Who Convert To Islam Gain Custody And Inheritance Advantages In Divorce Cases”

  1. Karen I certainly agree with a lot of what you say. Islam is tied up with a lot of ancient cultural carryovers. It’s a huge problem. At the same time I know a lot of very modern very peaceful muslims who are wonderful people. Same with christians actually. But the violent extremists are a big problem, and with bombs, viruses, nuclear waste, etc. available in addition to the millions and millions of lethal weapons sold every year, it is something that needs to get solved quickly.

    We are in many ways more advanced and “civilized” if you will, but if you peel back the veneer just a little, it exposes our history of slavery, overthrow of other governments, colonialism, and rampant misbehavior overseas in the name of the dollar. Combine that with the history of European colonialists and it makes understanding current world problems more complex. This mess didn’t just arrive here, we played a big part in creating it, supporting it, and allowing horrible regimes to flourish because it furthered our needs and goals. Now the chickens are coming home to roost and it’s not pretty.

    I won’t argue modern christianity in America with you–all one needs to do is look around and it’s obvious that folks pick and choose what they want to believe. From Kim Davis to David Duke. Ken Hamm to Rafael Cruz
    to Jim Inhofe. I’ve always liked Jesus, liked his teachings. But his followers, not so much. The history of things they do in his name is shameful at best.

    I hope we can remain a secular nation. A theocracy by any name and under any flag is bound to be a disaster.

    1. phillyT,
      you said it all!
      A rational mind can link issues, address the proximate causes and the dismal causes, and to speak of Muslim issues without the role others have played in those issues is so hypocritical as to be concussive.
      Shia and Sunnis lived harmoniously before we invaded Iraq.
      All groups lived harmoniously in Syria before we tried to take out Assad.
      There was no extremist groups in Libya before we took out khaddafi…
      Then to turn around and blame Muslims for immigrating out of their countries that we destroyed…priceless!

  2. PhillyT:

    “Sorry Karen, but your version of your religion might say that the new testament replaces the old one, but there are plenty of modern day christians who would disagree, and who “quote” Jesus as saying that he did not come to do away with the OT but to fulfill it, and in their mind that means that Leviticus is still in force, you know, for the rules they want to enforce.”

    Right. OK. So please point out to me the plenty of Christians who are burning a bull on the Sabbath, and otherwise literally following the Old Testament. “Doing away with” or “fulfilling it”, either way the OT is no longer followed, in regards to laws and customs.

    The only scenario I can come up with are those cults that pop up from time to time, where everyone gets arrested for abuses.

    “But give them the 700 year head start that the christians have and maybe they’ll have a reformation.” That is a common argument, and I can see the logic. However, anyone can start a new religion in the US. And yet, you will not be excused for 700 years if your new religion murders gay people or otherwise abuses human rights. If you declare your new God to be named Bob, and worship an idol made out of a purple cotton ball, you cannot engage in human sacrifice with the explanation that, hey, shouldn’t I get 700 years to live up to modern standards?

    It’s not because it’s a comparatively new religion. It’s because it operates within the framework of a region that never moved beyond tribal warfare and fighting, or recognized human rights. I suspect that the region could somehow turn Buddhism into an extremist warrior religion. Without respect for life, equality, and what Olly would refer to as natural rights, there can be no peace, whether it’s a religious or secular government. Respect for liberty and equality and tolerance for other faiths would go far to reform the extremism. But how to achieve it?

    The sad truth is that entire regions are lightyears behind the US in terms of freedoms and equality. I hope we don’t screw up our own country, because many do not appreciate how lucky we are. Take Germany, for example. They’re moving in the wrong direction in terms of free speech, attacks of roving gangs on women that you can get arrested for criticizing, apparently, and economically.

  3. Po states: ‘For someone who seems to know so much what is in the Quran and about Islam, shouldn’t he know with certainty that none of such is in the Quran?’

    Dr. Craig was being rhetorical. He agrees to this.

    Po states: ‘RWL, prof Lang’s conclusion i based on a false premise, that Muhamad’s attitude towards Jews and Christians changed when he started gaining power. In that, he quotes the verse out of context, which is incredibly deceptive for someone with such knowledge of the Quran. But I understand that he had no choice but to, for to otherwise quote the verse in context would make his whole argument fall to pieces.’

    You challenged Dr. Craig on his statement for the reason why he believed Mohammad and his followers began his political and/or military conquest , but you ignore the historical facts right afterwards:

    ‘He began to have the Jews in Medina, where his base of operations was, either killed or dispossessed. In the year 627, after an unsuccessful attack on Medina by the Arab army from Mecca, Mohammad rounded up hundreds of Jewish families in Medina. 700 Jewish men were put to the sword, and Mohammad had their wives and children sold into slavery.’

    Now, do you deny that this historical event transpired? Nowhere in middle eastern historical records does it state that 700 Jewish men tried to kill Mohammad because he tried to convert them to Islam. Nowhere does it state that Mohammad and his followers were defending themselves. If you have a different piece of historical evidence that contradicts what Dr. Craig has posited about the Jews in Medina & Mohammad’s encounter in 627 AD, then please feel free to share it.

    Let’s also look at other historical info about Mohammad and his military conquest that you did not mention:

    After taking control of Jerusalem (from the Byzantines) in 638 AD, Mohammad’s followers did allow the Jews and Christians to practice their (Judaism and Christianity) religion. However, 50 years later, Mohammad’s followers built a Mosque on top of the Jewish Temple (which was destroyed earlier by the Persians); the Jews and Christians (of the time) thought that the Muslims were rebuilding the Jewish Temple. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit too well with the Jews and Christians. Why is Jerusalem so important to Muslims? Shouldn’t it be Mecca? Please read the following excerpt from an article ( for a few answers:

    Islam’s late mystical claim on Jerusalem

    It is a fact that Muhammad never entered Jerusalem in a down-to-earth way, with boots on the ground, as it were. It is also a fact that the Quran never mentions Jerusalem once.

    However, according to the prolific Muslim scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, Muhammad transforms Jerusalem into a holy site for Muslims primarily in three ways (“The Spiritual Significance of Jerusalem: The Islamic Vision. The Islamic Quarterly. 4 (1998): pp.233-242).

    First, while in Mecca the prophet used Syria (i.e. Jerusalem) as his first qiblah (prayer direction); then, after Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina, Allah permitted his prophet to turn towards Mecca in prayer sixteen months after he arrived (Sura 2:144, 149-150). For Nasr, this permission therefore provides a “mystical” link between Mecca and Jerusalem.

    Second, while Muhammad was still living in Mecca, he reports that he took a Night Journey to a farther location in a vision, even though Jerusalem is never mentioned by name. According to MAS Abdel Haleem’s translation for Oxford University Press (2004), the two passages in the sura (or chapter), itself entitled Night Journey, read:

    17:1 Glory to Him who made His servant travel by night from the sacred place of worship [Mecca] to the furthest place of worship [Jerusalem], whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him some of Our signs . . . .

    17:59 . . . We send signs only to give warning. 60 Prophet, We have told you that your Lord knows all human beings. The vision We showed you was only a test for people . . . .

    This non-empirical revelation contains two basic ideas: First, as the context around verses 59 and 60 show, Muhammad was undergoing some persecution in Mecca; the polytheists were asking for a sign of Muhammad’s prophethood. He replies that he is only an ordinary man, so he cannot perform them. The only sign Allah gives him is a vision. Second, this revelation parallels the one in 2:144, which permits Muhammad to take over the Kabah shrine before he actually does. The two passages are mutually supportive. Sura 17:1 reads: . . . “whose surroundings We have blessed” . . . . Allah blesses the location (Jerusalem, though the Quran never says this), as He will bless Mecca a few years later. It should be noted that later tradition says that while in Jerusalem Muhammad was taken up to the seventh heaven from the Temple Mount, giving the vision extra significance for Muslims today.

    This is why the al-Aqsa or “farthest” Mosque has been built on top of the Jewish Temple—not near the Temple. But is a non-historical revelation that does not mention Jerusalem by name sufficient justification for building the prime symbol of Islamic imperialism on the historically Jewish holy site? So it seems that in the first and second reasons Allah grants a spiritual link to Mecca and (unnamed) Jerusalem—how much better can religious revelations become for Allah’s favorite prophet?

    The third factor, says Nasr, is the Muslim belief in the Second Coming of Christ to Jerusalem. Therefore the city is sacred to Muslims and to Christians—according to Nasr. But this is misleading, for Muslim theology erroneously says that Jesus will return as a leader of Muslims and break the cross to show how wrong Christians have been, in following their Lord (Bukhari; and Muslim no. 289). Also, these hadiths say nothing about Jerusalem. Rather, traditional belief says that he is supposed to return to Damascus, as this Islamic website asserts. But let us assume, only for the sake of argument, that Nasr is correct about Jerusalem. Then his assertion still fails, for the reasons explained now.

    The empirical and political implications of these three non-empirical factors (the qiblah, the Night Vision, and the Second Coming) are enormous: Muslim ownership over Jerusalem. With these three factors combined, Jerusalem is now the third holiest site for Muslims and therefore a place of pilgrimage and alleged ownership.

    According to this dubious epistemology (a term that means the study of how we acquire our knowledge), revelation takes priority over historical facts; indeed, revelation makes or creates history. Even Nasr accepts this disembodied, ephemeral epistemology:

    Not all the Palestinians nor all the Arabs nor even all the over one billion two hundred million Muslims now living in the world could give Jerusalem away for no matter what amount of wealth, power, land, or any other worldly compensation. The attachment to Jerusalem is permanent and will last as long as human history itself. (p. 234)


    You also mentioned one statement/sentence from Dr. Craig’s article that has nothing to do with how he arrived at his conclusion(s) about the religion of Islam on the subject matter of the concept of God as compared to the Christian Doctrine (Bible) and Islamic Doctrine (Qur’an) and the Trinity Doctrine:

    The Muslim Concept of God is rationally objectionable because the God of Islam is morally deficient, and therefore not the greatest conceivable being.

    Mohammad (and therefore, millions of Muslims) misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Did you read his entire article?

    1. Yes, RWL, I read the article.
      Though you say that Dr Craig’s was being rhetorical (metaphorical?), he used the quranic verse as his primary source in order to build his whole argument. If it is found that the verse was quoted out of context and is therefore inadmissible (which it is found), quoting a historical “”fact”” as secondary source does not do the trick.
      The whole quran, actually, in context, opposes Dr Craig’s claims. The permission to fight was given only under very strict guidelines, summarized as:
      Fight only those who fight you
      Fight only to the measure of how much their fight you, and stop when they stop
      Respect your treaties unless they break it first.

      Now regarding the Banu Qurayza, if the Prophet decried the death of the men in the tribe, it would go against not only the aim of the quran, but it would also go against the historical precedent of how were treated the previous tribes guilty of treason.
      The historical record states that the Banu qurayza asked for arbitration from their own allies, according to social rules in effect at that time, who chose the arbitrator, who, himself decided of the sentence according to Jewish rules in effect.
      And that is if this event was documented as it happened.
      But here is a good breakdown of the topic.
      “”Banu Qurayza – Massacre or Myth
      Who Were Banu Qurayza?

      Before the Prophet of Islam arrived in Medina there were primarily two groups in Medina, the Jews and Pagans. The Jews were subdivided into three clans, the Banu Qainuqa, Banu Nazir and Banu Quraiza. The other inhabitants of the town were the Aws and Khazraj. Of the two chief clans of the Jews, the Quraiza were the allies of the Aws, while Banu Nazir joined the Khazraj. Fighting frequently broke out between the Aws and the Khazraj , and their Jewish allies however once the Muhammad (SAW) arrived in Medina the Aws and Kharzaj both converted to Islam.

      In an effort to unite the city in peace, the Prophet Muhammad drafted the Covenant of Medina (mithaq-i-Medina) in 622 CE, whose general terms were – Muslims and Jews shall live as one people, each one of the parties shall keep to its own faith, and neither shall interfere with that of the other. In the event of a war with a third party, each was bound to come to the assistance of the other, provided the latter were the aggrieved and not the aggressors. In the event of an attack on Medina, both shall join hands to defend it and peace, when desirable, shall be made after consultation with each other.

      Battle of the Trench (Ghazwah al-Khandaq)

      In 627, the Quraish (the chief aggressors towards Muhammad) decided to go against the Prophet Muhammad once again, after failing at the battles of Badr and Uhud. The level of duplicity in which Banu Qurayza dealt with these circumstances varies with reports, but whether or not it was responsible for instigating the confrontation between the Quraish and Muhammad or merely betrayed the Prophet they did openly align themselves with the Quraishi campaign . This act of treason was designed to encompass the Muslims in battles on all sides, one that would eventually fail them.

      After the siege ended, the Quraish defeated again, Banu Qurayza submitted to the Prophets judgement for betraying the Muslims and going against virtually every principle outlined within the Covenant of Medina. The tribe of al Aus (al-Aws) stepped forward on behalf of their former allies (The Battle of Buath) and asked for the same favor the Prophet had shown Banu Qaynuqa when Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul. An ally of Banu Qaynuqa and member of Banu Khazraj as well as being an prominent and influential leader in Medina, Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul
      pleaded for leniency for Banu Qaynuqa. The leader of al-Aus was asked “Will you be satisfied, o Aus, if one of your own number pronounces judgement on them? When they agreed he said that Sa’d b. Mu’adh was the man…Sa’d said, Then I give judgement that the men should be killed, the property divide, and the women and children taken as captives”

      This incident if often recounted as the mass slaughter of between 800-1000 ‘innocent’ Jews, and is given credence as being documented by a Muslim historian. The events are often twisted and manipulated, however, when one looks deeper it becomes clear that there were extenuating circumstances.

      Documentation – Questionable Methodology

      This incident is primarily noted, or cited as recorded in Sirah Rasul Allah (Sīrat Nabawiyya) by Ibn Isḥaq (Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār, 704-767 CE). While this work has been lost it has been recounted, at least in recensions, by that of Ibn Isḥaq’s student Ziyad al-Bakka’i (which has also been lost) and that of Ibn Hisham (Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Malik bin Hisham) whose work had been based upon the work of Ziyad al-Bakka’i; Ibn Hisham’s recounting is the only version to have survived and subsequently has become the basis for any editions of Sīrat Nabawiyya by Ibn Ishaq.

      Before we enter into discussion regarding the events surrounding Banu Qurayza we must approach this from the view of Islamic sciences. In the Islamic sciences (such as Hadith collection) there are very clearly defined and stringent rules regarding authenticity, and the validity of the isnad (chain of narration) was based upon these rules. While these rules were meticulously followed by some (most famously by the likes of Al-Bukhari and Muslim) it was not followed by all, which is why there are varying classifications of hadith based on their isnad.

      “A Sahih hadith is the one which has a continuous isnad, made up of reporters of trustworthy memory from similar authorities, and which is found to be free from any irregularities (i.e. in the text) or defects (i.e. in the isnad).” As defined by Ibn al-Salah

      Since the writing of Sirah (history) did not have to meet the same standards that hadith or fiq (jurisprudence), the collection of its sources did not require the same standards of verification and consequently the Sirah itself could not be classified as sahih as hadith are. While the intentions of Ibn Ishaq may have been good, the veracity of his work can be called into question, in particular his use of questionable sources. This use of questionable sources was openly condemned by one of the most well known mujtahid (authoritive Jurist), and author of al-Muwatta, Imam Malik ibn Anas who called him unequivocally a liar and an impostor . Later scholars such as Ibn Hajar and Ibn Taymiyyah also spoke out against the work of Ibn Ishaq due to his use of questionable or spurious narrators. The validity of many of the hadith and stories relayed by Ibn Ishaq have been called into question due to lack of source material or chain of narration. Further complicating the issue is that Ibn Hisham’s work is based upon that of al-Bakka’i who had been viewed as an unreliable or weak narrator by Abu-Hatim, Al-Nasa’i, and even Ibn-Madini (the teacher of al-Bukhari).

      There are other issues which arise upon closer inspection of ibn Ishaq’s sira and the subsequent retelling of it, most notably “There never existed a unified text for the traditions of ibn Ishaq to which the transmitters and later authors could have referred” because ibn Ishaq often delivered them orally according to Sadun Mahmud al-Samuk. This led to different people taking different aspects of his work and creating their own; notably, besides al-Bakka’i’s recension used by ibn Hisham, there was that of Salama al-Fadl al-Razi used by Tabari. Having noted the potential for errors, we cannot however overlook the fact that Ibn Ishaq was known to have relied primarily on the descendants of Banu Qurayza for details of the prophets campaign against them as handed down by their forefathers, causing Ibn Hajar to then reject the stories in question in the strongest terms: “such odd tales as the story of Qurayza and al-Nadir”

      In a more generally historical perspective one can look at the allegations made regarding this incident and wonder why an incident of this caliber was not preserved. The significance of such an act, and its implications would be indelibly inscribed in the works of Muslim and Jewish historians alike; instead it was preserved primarily in the questionable integrity of one persons work. Having firmly established the qualifications of the very foundation of which the story of Banu Qurayza has been built, let us now turn our attention to the actual events in terms of Islamic precedence.

      The Islamic Perspective of Banu Qurayza

      From the Islamic point of view, the issue of Banu Qurayza was addressed only 3 times, which we will examine now:

      Noble Quran Surah Al-Ahzab (33:25-26)

      And Allah turned back the unbelievers for all their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of strength, able to enforce his will. And those of the people of Al-Kitab who aided them Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts, so that some you slew, and some you made prisoners.

      Sahih Al-Bukhari (Volume 5, Book 59, Number 443)

      Narrated ‘Aisha: When the Prophet returned from Al-Khandaq (i.e. Trench) and laid down his arms and took a bath, Gabriel came and said (to the Prophet ), You have laid down your arms? By Allah, we angels have not laid them down yet. So set out for them.” The Prophet said, “Where to go?” Gabriel said, “Towards this side,” pointing towards Banu Quraiza. So the Prophet went out towards them.

      Sahih Muslim (Book 019, Number 4370)

      It has been narrated on the authority of A’isha who said: Sa’d was wounded on the day of the Battle of the Ditch. A man from the Quraish called Ibn al-Ariqah shot at him an arrow which pierced the artery in the middle of his forearm. The Messenger of Allah (may peacce be upon him) pitched a tent for him in the mosque and would inquire after him being in close proximity. When he returned from the Ditch and laid down his arms and took a bath, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and he was removing dust from his hair (as if he had just returned from the battle). The latter said: You have laid down arms. By God, we haven’t (yet) laid them down. So march against them. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) asked: Where? He pointed to Banu Quraiza. So the Messenger of Allah (may peace he upon him) fought against them. They surrendered at the command of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), but he referred the decision about them to Sa’d who said: I decide about them that those of them who can fight be killed, their women and children taken prisoners and their properties distributed (among the Muslims).

      From the Quran we have only a very brief mentioning of the subject, and in it we learn nothing of slaughtering the masses, on the contrary, we actually see the word of Allah stipulate only “so that some you slew, and some you made prisoners.” which can in no way be seen as an endorsement for mass slaughter.

      Once the view is shifted towards the hadith one will notice that of the only two hadith available referencing of Banu Qurayza incident, one mentions nothing of killing leaving just one reference towards the punishment faced by the tribe. This hadith as related in Sahih Muslim refers to the punishment as “that those of them who can fight be killed, their women and children taken prisoners and their properties distributed (among the Muslims)”

      The punishment at first glance seems brutal, and would tend to lead credence to the stories of a wholesale slaughter, however there is more to this below the surface. When the enemy had surrendered, the Prophet of Alah did not immediately saly them all. Instead it was asked of the Jewish leader, “Will you be satisfied, o Aus, if one of your own number pronounces judgement on them? When they agreed he said that Sa’d b. Mu’adh was the man” The significance behind this was simple, Sa’ad b. Mu’adh was a Jewish convert to Islam. As a former Jew, Sa’ad knew the Jewish law and according to al mithaq-i-Medina Jewish law dictated the Jewish community, which meant handing down a sentence in accordance with Jewish law:

      Deuteronomy 20: 12-14

      “And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword but the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee”

      If in fact this event happened as described, perhaps the fact that this was a application of Jewish law on a Jewish community for the crimes of treason, may well explain why this incident was not recorded or preserved by other contemporary scholars, nor does it offer precedence in Islamic jurisprudence. An incident of this magnitude, had it been truly the deaths of nearly a thousand people, surely would have either had precedence or set it however the contrary is actually presented by Islam:

      Noble Quran Surah Al’An’am (6:164)

      “Say: “Shall I seek a lord other than Allâh, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing.”

      Amongst the reasons that this account of Banu Qurayza can clearly be refuted are:

      1.) As stated above, the authority of Islam, al Quran clearly states the rule in Islam is to punish only those who were responsible for the sedition.
      2.) Qur’anic refence to this event is minimal. An event of magnitude would have surely been expounded upon for matter of jurisprudence.
      3.) Had this slaughter actually happened, jurists would have adopted it as a precedent. In fact exactly the opposite has been the case. The attitude of jurists, and their rulings, have been more according to the Qur’anic rule in the verse, “No soul shall bear another’s burden.”
      4.) In the story of Qurayza specific people were named as having been put to death, thus it is a reasonable conclusion that those were the ones who led the sedition and who were consequently punished – not the whole tribe.
      5.) The veracity of the work must come under scrutiny after the authenticity of such events, and the integrity of the authors or their work has so clearly been shown to have substandard quality.

      While there are numerous other reasons to refute this account of the Banu Qurayza, I will simply leave off with the fact that nowhere before, or after has such an event happened. The very idea of such an event is diametrically opposed to the principles of Islamic justice. In the end there will be those who continue to perpetuate a story of hate and violence, to further their own virulent ideologies and promote hate and fear, and there will be those who fight such malicious intent. I hope this information will rest in the latter category.””

      1. Po,

        Really? You are avoiding/side stepping Dr. Craig’s conclusion(s) about Islam (concept of God & the trinity doctrine), and you know it. Everyone knows what you are doing.

        Then, you believe that since it is not in the Qur’an, then the reliability of how the events transpired (even from a Muslim source outside of the Qur’an) must be questioned???

        Next, you use a source, favorable to the Qur’anic traditions & beliefs (which Dr. Craig and the Arlandson’s article delineated as being rationally objectionable when it comes to the Concept of God and the Trinity Doctrine) that you believe due to ‘extenuating circumstaces’, Mohammad had to do what he had to do (for lack of better words), and therefore, punished the Jews for sedition???

        We can back and forth over the credibility of an event (Mr. Arlandson has a very interesting article entitled ‘Muhammad’s atrocity against the Qurayza Jews: How Sad made him glad’. Everyone should google it, because Mr. Arlandson even consents-not whole heartedly though but only to make a point-to Po’s point that the Jews ‘instigated the attack’, but then completely shred Po’s line are reasoning on this ‘now questionable historical fact’. But I am sure Po is going to find other Qur’anic supporting sources to refute Mr. Arlandson’s article as well).

        However, this ‘questionable historical event’ has nothing to do with Dr. Craig’s points about the Islamic Concept of God is rationable objectionable (a fancy term for flawed) and Mohammad’s misunderstanding of the Trinty Doctrine.

        Po cannot refute Dr. Craig’s line of reasoning on the Islamic Concept of God and/or Mohmmad’s misunderstanding of the Trinity Doctrine. So, instead he uses a debate tactic of Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them.

        Karen et all;

        Read the sources that I mentioned above, including a source from a famous Muslilm scholar named Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University (Prof JT’s college) who wrote the article entitled

        ‘The Spiritual Significance of Jerusalem: The Islamic Vision. The Islamic Quarterly. 4 (1998): pp.233-242).

        You will see how the religion of Islam is based upon Mohammed’s misunderstanding (or demonic distortion of) of the Bible, including Mohammed’s and his followers belief in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! (this info comes from a Muslim Scholar who teaches at Pof. JT’s school!?!?!). Therefore, Mohammed and his followers had to capture Jerusalem for Jesus.

        ‘Muslim theology erroneously says that Jesus will return as a leader of Muslims and break the cross to show how wrong Christians have been, in following their Lord’ (Bukhari; and Muslim no. 289).

        We have been deceptively inform (or grossly misinformed) that Mohammed was God’s greatest prophet/spiritual leader, but Mohammed and his followers were capturing or recusing Jerusalem for Jesus’ Return (not Mohammed’s return, since it would make no sense due to the fact he was currently leading the charge against Jews and Christians and deceptively built a Mosque on top of the demolished Jewish Temple site for Jesus).

        Now, I am sure Po is going to say that Dr. Nasr (prominent, well known Muslim scholar) is liar, distorts the Qur’an, etc…..

        Make sure you google Mr. Arlandson article entitled ‘Muhammad’s atrocity against the Qurayza Jews: How Sad made him glad’ and visit Mr. Arlandson’s website.

        Make sure you google Muslim no. 289 and the Bukhari (to see for yourself if Muslims believe in Jesus Christ’ return). Now, I am sure Po is going to say that not all Muslims believe what a few Muslims believe/make-up or it was written by a group that Mohammed and his followers rejected or killed due to ‘extenuating circumstances.’ etc…..

        Also read (but I recommend you purchase) Dr. Craig’s book entitled ‘Reasonable Faith’, 2008 ed. It is very informative.

        I am done. I will let Po have the last word.The floor is yours Po.

        1. RWL
          I am not avoiding anything… you parroted Dr Craig’s main claim, which I dismissed logically, factually. Then you replied with another issue different from the original one but linking the latter with the former. Sure, could have answered it specifically, but having been gone all day, came home late, needing to eat dinner, do my ablutions and prayers, reply to my emails then get some sleep, I addressed solely the more salient point made, and the one you were still arguing.
          If you think I avoid issues, you have not been reading me much here.
          If we want to have a serious debate, let us not conflate different issues, and let us not battle through proxies. Am I debating you or debating Dr Craig? Make your case using his argument if you must, but be the one to make them.
          We also must have some clear framework for this discussion. What are the allowed sources? Do we go with Dr Craig’s attempts to use the quranic words themselves to make his point or is he using the historical record? You went from stressing the former to using the latter, in that, you are undermining Dr Craig’s own aim to use the quranic words themselves as the proof that We in the West with our democratic, liberal values tend to think that every religion surely shares our values. American officials have repeatedly said that we should not refer to the terrorists as “Islamic fundamentalists” because they are murderers, and no major religion advocates murder. I wonder if these officlas have ever read the ninth chapter of the Qur’an. The truth of the matter is Islam is a religion which enjoins violence and which, historically, has been propagated by violence.

          Now what was the aim of Dr Craig in establishing Islam as a violent religion per the Quranic verse? To support his subsequent and prime argument that the god of Islam is not the god of Christianity. Why? Because to acknowledge that there is one sole god would fatally undermine his attempt to otherize Muslims.
          AS for the concept of God and the trinity, ain’t it ironic that Dr Craig relies on the islamic concept of kalam cosmologic argument in order to even be able to build the groundwork for his argument?

          Additionally, you are asking me to take a historically accepted event as factual, and unless I accept that Muhamad was responsible for the death of almost a thousand Jews, I am deceptive.
          That event was first narrated by who? A Muslim.
          In that, it is no different from the hadiths attributed to Muhamad, just without the structure around it that is meant to insure those statements are indeed attributable to Muhamad. The necessary conclusion of you demanding we accept that narration as factual is that you are demanding we accept all narrations as factual, considering that this one is less vetted than other ones.
          But, that is a secondary point, because the main point is that the Quran is the ultimate source, not the hadith and not a third hand narration by a scholar (which is why Dr Craig quotes teh quran to make his argument). There is no Muslim that accepts all narrations, why should I accept this narration when:
          -It counters the Mercy of God
          -Counters the mercy of the Prophet
          -Goes against precedents
          -Is not stated in the quran

          Now, let’s assume that the event happened as stated.
          If so, would we not consider any historical fact in the light of its times? What was the standard of that time? That treaties between the tribes were the only real social tool between parties. That a treaty between tribes, akin to NATO today, was what insured tribes remained allies and did not betray one another.
          The “”historical record”” states that :
          1-the BAnu qurayza already betrayed the muslims once and got a pass
          2- The banu qurayza were working on betraying the muslims anew, and the prophet sent 4 different men there to insure they didn’t
          3- The Banu qurayza gave themselves up after a siege
          4- When taken prisoners, the Prophet gave the banu qurayza a choice for arbitration, based on Jewish laws (which has a precedent as the Prophet judged the Jews based on Jewish laws)
          5- The banu qurayza chose their own arbiter…they made the choice of their own arbiter based on their alliances with that tribe
          6- That arbiter chose the sentence to kill the men of the tribe, which bears noting again, was according to Jewish laws.
          7- Worth noting again that when the previous treasonous Jewish tribes appealed directly to the Prophet for leniency after their betrayal, he was lenient to them.

          Regarding the trinity, Dr Craig’s stance is that Muhamad himself wrote the Quran, not God, which is why he stresses that Muhamad misunderstood the concept of trinity. In order to even debate that I would have to accept that premise. I don’t. I believe that God himself revealed the quran to Muhammad, who has no role in writing it, just in passing along the message. Hence, unless Dr Craig is making the claim that God Himself did not understand the concept of trinity, what is there to debate?
          Additionally, it is fallacious to state that because the God of the Quran seems less loving that the God of the Bible, therefore, the two Gods are not one and the same. Muslims believe that all three books, Torah, Bible and Quran are from the same Revelation, and as I like to say, Judaism is of atonement, Christianity is of goodwill, and Islam is of balance between the two. Judaism offered an eye for an eye, Christianity offered turn the other cheek, and Islam offered an eye for a eye BUT to forgive is better.
          Are you suggesting that the God of the old testament is not the god of the new testament because the god of the old testament is not as loving as the new one?

          Some views on Dr Craig’s points:
          Dr. Craig went to pains to illustrate himself as an honest exegete of the Qur’an, but I think his Christian and philosophical biases may be affecting his ability to remain honest. I shall now look to more of his statements in the lecture that I believe any honest person would find problematic.

          I found it interesting that Dr. Craig feels that ‘the Church’ has failed to speak clearly about Islam. It is difficult for me to respond to this accurately, as I am not sure what ‘church’ Dr. Craig belongs to (is there a Reformed Molinism Philosophical Church?). But, regardless, he must have a very narrow view of what ‘the Church’ is, because he has ignored the many statements the Catholic Church has made about Islam in the last 60 years (we’re ignoring the bulk of the last 1400 for now), as well as the statements made by the Anglican Church and the plethora churches that have and continue to make statements about Islam, such as the ministries that host Dr. James White (including his own). From all of these statements I could glean a very clear and unified comment from ‘the Church’ if I needed to. What exactly does he mean here?

          Dr. Craig suggested that Islam is false because it must rely upon ‘metaphysical explanations’ to refute the ‘fact of the crucifixion’. A ‘fact’ he supports with a statement from a Jesus Seminar affiliated scholar. Surprisingly for a philosopher, there are two key errors with this assertion. Firstly, Dr. Craig has committed the fallacy of appealing to authority. Beliefs held by scholars affiliated with the Jesus Seminar are not by virtue ‘facts’. Facts are established by evidence. Moreover, Dr. Craig has suggested that metaphysical explanations are inferior to natural ones. I wonder how he establishes the ‘truth’ of the resurrection without a metaphysical argument? Indeed, if he can establish the resurrection with independent and objective ‘natural’ evidence, then wouldn’t he be better served using that as a proof of God, as opposed to his borrowed Kalam Cosmological Argument (yes, borrowed from Muslims). I was very confused by these comments, given these inconsistencies.

          And the views of Dr James White on Dr Craig’s view, which you espouse.
          William Lane Craig Comments

          Packing up to head back to Phoenix (via Frankfurt and Chicago) and ran across some recent William Lane Craig comments that truly amazed me. Right before identifying Jimmy Dunn as one of his favorite NT historians (that alone says a lot—Dunn’s work is simply acidic to believing Christianity, and is based upon a thoroughly non-Christian mindset when it comes to matters of inspiration and Scripture), Craig said this, “I don’t really have any favorite theologians, at least systematic theologians, for I find most of them to lack the philosophical training to do really good systematics.” This kind of “philosopher’s arrogance” is common for Craig. He was once heard telling a group of young men at a conference, “If you want to do good apologetics, you have to stop reading so much theology and start reading more philosophy.” This kind of inversion of the biblical norm (it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom, not the fear of Plato, and before Adam did philosophy, Adam heard from God—revelation precedes, conditions, and grounds, man’s thought, not the other way around) is standard fare for Craig and his disciples. As one who just recently had a Muslim apologist here in South Africa use Craig’s many mis-steps in theology against me (citing both his Cerberus and Avatar examples—both mind-numbing errors of theology propounded by Craig), I have been reminded once again of how important the saying is, “Theology matters.” But for Craig to deride the tremendous works that have been provided for not being “philosophical” enough is just beyond the bounds, as if theology is determined by philosophical training! Amazing.

          Then more recently Craig seemed to promote a view of God’s love that is “unconditional.” What does that mean? Since his material is so thin on biblical argumentation, we can’t tell, but not once in his discussion did he address the rather obvious biblical fact that God’s love, like man’s love, is capable of differing objects, differing purposes, and differing results. Can God have redemptive love in Craig’s view? We can’t tell, though, I must confess, when you really think through the implications and results of Molinism, you are left with a deity that is far more computer and “possible universe considering prowess” than you are with a God about whom discussions of love are even relevant. So maybe that doesn’t come into the philosophical thought process. But in any case, his comments again were marked by the massive imbalance created by starting with philosophy and only then considering theology.

          About James White

          James White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of more than twenty four books, a professor, an accomplished debater, and an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.
          View all posts by James White →

  4. Then again, aren’t we a theocracy anyway?
    Isn’t the bible our constitution…?
    Activist judge anyone :
    METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday the idea of religious neutrality is not grounded in the country’s constitutional traditions and that God has been good to the U.S. exactly because Americans honor him.

    Scalia was speaking at a Catholic high school in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Louisiana. Scalia, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 is the court’s longest serving justice. He has consistently been one of the court’s more conservative members.

    He told the audience at Archbishop Rummel High School that there is “no place” in the country’s constitutional traditions for the idea that the state must be neutral between religion and its absence.

    “To tell you the truth there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition. Where did that come from?” he said. “To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another but can’t favor religion over non-religion?”

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    He also said there is “nothing wrong” with the idea of presidents and others invoking God in speeches. He said God has been good to America because Americans have honored him.

  5. Sorry Karen, but your version of your religion might say that the new testament replaces the old one, but there are plenty of modern day christians who would disagree, and who “quote” Jesus as saying that he did not come to do away with the OT but to fulfill it, and in their mind that means that Leviticus is still in force, you know, for the rules they want to enforce.

    For what it’s worth, I think that extremist muslims have the upper hand in terms of modern day terrorism and overall violence in the name of their god. But give them the 700 year head start that the christians have and maybe they’ll have a reformation. Of course, the problem is we don’t have time to wait. It’s not just horses and swords, bows and arrows any more. So yes, something needs to happen.

    But I’m not letting christians off the hook. They still shoot clinic doctors, print bible verses on their rifles before they go shoot “towel heads”. They still shoot black men for no reason. They still occupy and blow up federal buildings. They randomly beat up sikhs and hindus thinking they are muslims. Oh, and you did forget to mention the Inquisition. And they are constantly trying to infiltrate our schools and governments, trying to subjugate and undermine the Constitution and laws of our nation, and are largely responsible for our backwards-ass attitude on science and global climate change. So, yeah, they have a lot to answer for.

  6. RWL, prof Lang’s conclusion i based on a false premise, that Muhamad’s attitude towards Jews and Christians changed when he started gaining power. In that, he quotes the verse out of context, which is incredibly deceptive for someone with such knowledge of the Quran. But I understand that he had no choice but to, for to otherwise quote the verse in context would make his whole argument fall to pieces.

    Qasim Rashid Become a fan
    Prophet Muhammad’s Rules of War

    Prophet Muhammad is history’s first major figure to condemn collateral damage in word and deed. His advanced rules of war established 1,400 years ago a yet unmatched humanitarian standard. And herein lies the solution to modern conflict. The Quran first describes when fighting is permitted:

    Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged… Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is God’ — And if God did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down temples and churches and synagogues and mosques… (22:40-41).

    Thus, the permission — not commandment — to fight is defensive. And that fighting protects temples, churches, synagogues, and mosques — which is to say, universal religious freedom.

    While critics and extremist groups both love to cite Quranic excerpts like “kill them where ye find them,” they ignore that such verses clearly refer to treatment of those who would violently persecute Christians, Jews, or any person because of his faith. Indeed, Muhammad commanded the following uncompromising rules of war:

    O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well… for your guidance in the battlefield! Do not commit treachery, or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.

    Thus, Muhammad’s rules of war permit defensive fighting against active combatants while forbidding harm to anyone or anything else — human, animal, or property. Contrast this with Hamas rocket attacks and PIJ terrorist attacks — the distinction is clear. Likewise, as Gaza’s death count rises, Israel also has blood on its hands. According to Muhammad’s rules of war, no justification exists for either side to attack civilians, property, animals, or anyone who is not an active combatant.

    And even against combatants, Muhammad put Muslims on notice. Once, Usama bin Zaid overcame an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. The soldier implored Usama for amnesty just as Usama prepared to deliver the deathblow. Usama heard but ignored the plea and killed him anyway. Learning of this, Muhammad vociferously condemned Usama’s act as repulsive to Islamic rules of war.

    Mind you, this combatant persecuted Muslims, helped exile them from Mecca, pursued them to murder them, and even then Muhammad required Usama to accept his amnesty plea — knowing full well the plea could be a lie.

    Muhammad assumed this risk because he refused to forsake any opportunity for peace. After Muhammad, the Khalifa Umar, and centuries later, the legendary Muslim General Salahuddin, again demonstrated these principles. Both insisted Jews return to Jerusalem — as equals — whereas they suffered immense persecution under Christian rule.

    Even ardent critics of Islam such as Sir William Muir admit that Muslims treated POWs with immense dignity. Captives were well fed and ransoms were according to their means. Indigent captives, meanwhile, “were allotted ten boys to be taught the art of writing” as a ransom.

    A ransom of education — an example Hamas and PIJ have forgotten, and one Israel doesn’t know.

    History demonstrates that Muhammad’s rules of war — when applied with justice — lead to peace. If applied today, Muhammad’s rules can end not only collateral damage, but war itself.


  7. RWL
    “”I am not aware of anything in the Qur’an or in Sharia law that would sanction the rape of women or the execution of children in the name of Allah. Nor am I saying that Muslims are violent people””
    For someone who seems to know so much what is in the quran and about Islam, shouldn’t he know with certainty that none of such is in the Quran?

    Anyone wants to compare holy books?
    Ask yourself, which holy book, 1400 years ago:
    – made it clear that men and women are equal
    -made it clear that human beings are all equal no matter their means and ethnicity
    – offered divorce rules that protected woman through and after the divorce
    – Offered marital rights to women
    – Offered societal protection to women and children
    – Made it part of faith to care for widows and orphans, and to manumits slaves.
    – Established rights for slaves.
    – Offered the original Geneva convention, that protected prisoners from abuse
    -Offered the original magna carta that gave rights to everyone
    – Gave rights to nature, and to animals
    -Established rules of war that protected non-combatants, civilians and property.
    -That prevented preemptive strikes…
    – That prevented torture or abuses of any kind
    -That made it part of faith to revere previous prophets, all of them?
    -That allowed retribution to no more than the hurt caused…and even then, urges forgiveness?

    Which book?
    I challenge you to bring any holy book, any constitution anywhere, any convention anywhere that is as comprehensive in its aim to protect the natural rights of creation, man, woman, child, animals, trees, nature as the Blessed Quran!

  8. A duck is a duck. A guinea is a guinea. Kinfolks arse is good as any.
    — Church of the Modern Day Saints

  9. Yet another tragic example of the persecution of other faiths under Islamic rule, and the quality of women.

    Philly T:

    “pound for pound the bible is more violent than the quran”. This is the same quagmire many people get into.
    1. How often does anyone follow the Old Testament in the West, a predominantly Christian region. Burned a bull on Sunday? Stoned anyone? We occasionally see cultists like fundamentalist Mormons from Yearning for Zion who practice polygamy and forced child marriages, and they get arrested.
    2. The New Testament replaced the Old Testament

    Why do people inevitably proclaim that Christianity is just as bad each and every solitary time a Muslim theocracy murders gay people, take children away from Christian women, lash women for meeting with an uncle without her father’s permission, stone people, etc, etc, etc or engage in terrorism in the name of extremist Islam.

    In order for it to be considered just as bad, Christianity would have to have people following the Old Testament, stoning people, everywhere that it is a majority faith.

    What we actually have are the Crusades, which were fought according to the customs of the times to combat the Muslim Expansion which was conquering Europe, without which this news story would be happening here in America and all us women would be wearing niqabs. And we have the Puritans of hundreds of years ago. And we have occasional cultist nuts who do insane things and get arrested. Other than that, nothing.

    Instead of pretending that extremist Islam is not a threat, we should stop being afraid of the facts. If a moderate, Westernized Muslim tells me theirs is their true version of Islam, I believe him. If an extremist with some journalists severed head in his hands tells us his is the true version of Islam, I believe him. Because we each get to choose what, if any, faith, to follow and how to do so. Uncomfortable, or not, the fact remains that extremist Islam is the norm, not the exception, in every Middle Eastern Muslim theocracy. Extremist, by most definitions, includes the murder of apostates, giving a husband the power and the right to beat his wife, not permitting women to travel without the permission of their husband, the murder of gays, the murder of anyone who criticizes a religious figure or holy book, and forcing people through the threat of jail time, beatings, or executions to follow religious law. That sounds pretty extreme to most people. Yes, of course, Islam can and is followed in peace by many Muslims living here in America. For them, it is a source of peace, and the sword verses and other extreme passages are considered either anachronistic or metaphors. Just like Christians ignore the dictates in the Old Testament to burn a bull in sacrifice, etc, as it was replaced by the New Testament.

    These modern, Westernized Muslims living happily in peace with others are reformers.

    What apologists do not realize is that in their rush to proclaim that Christianity is just as bad, they appear to be defending the very people who kill gays, take children away from Christian women, beat women for seeing their uncle without permission, etc. What in the world are you defending? Why soften criticism that is justly earned?

    The Catholic Church justly earned global condemnation for its pedophilia scandal. It would have been absurd to interjet, but (insert other groups of pedophiles) are just as bad. It is immaterial to the criticism and need for reform for the Catholic Church.

  10. Justice Holmes

    “Let’s face it Islam is a relgion like many others, made by man. As a result, it contains all the faults of man…it is not perfect and should not be treated as such. A relgion can only be judged by the conduct of its adherents and at the moment that makes Islam look none too perfect.”

    Exactly, that is why a society must evolve away from religious laws and towards secular laws based on the fabric of the society. Most Western countries are inhabited by adherents of many religions. It has proved impossible to rule all from one church. The most evolved and humanistic societies on earth are those that rule from secular laws. Those frozen in time such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, etc seem to be where the problems originate.

    The communist countries could be included in the religious group as they are fixed in time as well, adhering to quasi religious doctrines and slow to evolve. However, societal evolution does take place as in the case of the USSR.

    The glue that holds the world together is commerce, as it has always been. Otherwise why would Western nations have anything to do with those countries frozen in time. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose.

  11. PO wrote: “all laws are interpretative”

    Hence the impotency of any religion as an objective system of truth or government.

  12. On migration. One never calls it “immigration”. The end result of the Muslim refugees flooding into Europe might be Christian and agnostic Europeans coming to America. We could use them up on the Great Lakes. The current generation of slugs is not interested in sailboating. They play with smartphones all day. Give us your tired of Muslims, not so poor and not huddled masses. Those who avoid Mass. By that I mean Catholic Mass not Massachusetts.

  13. Wow. Just six weeks until Spring training. Don’t those guys get a rest? I remember when the WS was over around a month earlier. I guess I will have to get the dates of my first WS game in 1944.

  14. RWL
    Your interpretation of what Jesus taught and/or what he meant is simply that: your interpretation. Wars, murders, slavery, subjugation of women, child rape, bombings, invading other countries and so much more, have all been committed in his name.

    When I read the bible, I came up with a very different interpretation that you, and god never told me otherwise. See, I always thought that the essence of Jesus’ teaching, and what REALLY got him into trouble, was that he said the kingdom of heaven is within you, and the path is available to everyone—that he was god, but that so was everyone if they would just wake up.

    Strange, isn’t it? That god always turns out to have the same thoughts, wishes and hatreds that we do? Could it just be something else at work?

    1. Jesus in you loving people is heaven in you. God got rid of people who wanted to kill people who had heaven in them. God was protecting them. God did not dash anything aginst anything. God saw what would happen to the children of people who did not trust in him trusting in the devil through their body in what it could do.

  15. Divorcing your partner without partner having any rights is not limited to Islam.

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