Allah’s Guessing Games

One major attribute of God that distinguishes Him from the false gods of the earth is His infinite and perfect knowledge (omniscience). Does the deity of Islam also have this attribute? Is Allah all-knowing like God? Let’s assume that the Quran are his words and see:

Sura 3:142 “Do you think you will enter the garden while Allah has not yet known those who strive hard among you?”

Sura 3:166-167 “That which befell you on the day when the two armies met was by permission of Allah that he may know the true believers and that he may know the hypocrites…”

Sura 18:6 “Yet it may be that if they believe not in this statement that thou (Muhammad) will torment thy soul with grief over their footsteps.”

Sura 20:44 “And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah.”

If Allah is all knowing and is aware of all that is hidden as the Quran claims, why doesn’t he know his believers from the hypocrites? Why doesn’t he know the Muslims who are good fighters? Why the “perhaps”, “not yet known” or “it may be” cop out? Some Muslims would say “No you are wrong, the Arabic didn’t say that!” Really? That is funny. Have you ever met an acclaimed professor of African American history who says: “PERHAPS Oprah Winfrey was Abraham Lincoln’s wife…IT MAY BE THAT Martin Luther King was shot dead..I DO NOT YET KNOW who Harriet Tubman is…” Would you trust his credentials? Won’t you suggest he sees a psychiatrist? So why trust in an uncertain deity?

The True God is “perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16). He says “before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear” (Is. 65:24). He doesn’t have to speculate or guess. While the Allah of Islam displays ignorance and indecision, the God of the Bible says “and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Is. 42:9). This is why the Bible is filled with prophecies because only God can prophesy. Let’s take it from another angle.

Prophecies are inspired declaration of God’s will and purpose about past or current events (forthtelling) or of future events (foretelling). Allah failed both of these standards:

1. In Sura 18:9-23, Allah narrates a story of some youths and their dog who escaped persecution from pagans and were made to sleep in a cave by Allah for 309 years, after which he woke them up. This was supposedly an event that occurred before Muhammad was born, so we expect a historical validity of this story. But in v. 22, Allah is not too sure of the exact number of these youths:

(Some) will say: They were three, their dog the fourth, and (some) say: Five, their dog sixth, guessing at random and (some) say: Seven and their dog the eighth. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord is best aware of their number. None knoweth save a few…

This is an insult to human intelligence. Why would God be “guessing at random” if these youths were 3, 5 or 7? Why is Allah ignorant or forgetful? (Note: the words in brackets were supplied by the English translator). If the Quran is entirely Allah’s words, why did he say “My Lord is best aware?” Does Allah have a Lord too? You see, these were really the words of Muhammad forged as if it was Allah speaking.

This youths-in-a-cave story was actually an old Syriac fable (also found in Greek texts) about 7 Christian youths who fled Emperor Decius’ persecution and slept in a cave waking up after 200 years when the persecution were over. Why did an “all-knowing Allah” plagiarize an old fairy tale?

2. In Sura 30:2-4, Allah attempts to predict the future:
“The Roman Empire has been defeated in a land close by: But they (even) after (this) defeat of theirs will soon be victorious within a few years

This verse has made some Muslims get excited: “There’s prophecy in Al-Quran!” Er, no, this is not a prophecy. The verse doesn’t tell us who defeated the Romans, when this occurred and where they were defeated. Historically, this verse refers to the defeat of the Persians by the Romans, and contrary to Allah’s lucky guess, the Romans became victorious after 12 years (i.e. in 627 AD). Twelve years is not “within a few years.”

Two centuries before Babylon was destroyed, God revealed it to prophet Isaiah (Is. 13:19, 14:22, 23). God even gave him the name of the king who would conquer Babylon (Isa. 44:27-45:2).

God spoke through Prophets Ezekiel and Zechariah who lived in the 7th and 6th century BC that the city of Tyre would be destroyed (Ezk. 26:3-5, 12:27:32-36, Zech. 9:3-4). Centuries later in 332 BC, Tyre was destroyed by the troops of Alexander the Great. That is the God we believe in. We cannot trust in an Allah who resorts to guessing games. Such a deity is no more significant than Hanuman of Hinduism or the mountain gods of the Incas.

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Contrasting Biblical and Catholic Sainthood

On April 27 2014, the world watched in awe as 800,000 people, 6000 Priests, 700 Bishops, 150 Cardinals, 24 Heads of State and 2 live Popes gathered in the Vatican to make two dead popes into “saints”. A thunderous applause erupted with the declaration:

We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church.

According to Catholic belief, the saints are those who died and are now with Christ in heaven as intercessors, and have been given recognition by the Church for outstanding holiness and virtue. But according to the Bible, the word saints (Gr: Hagios) means “consecrated to God or holy” and it refers to all true Christians – even those who sadly lack spiritual maturity.

The epistles were addressed “to the saints which are at Ephesus” (Eph. 1:1), “to all the saints in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:1), “to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ” (Col. 1:2). These were all living people.

The Catholic process of making someone a saint usually takes decades and sometimes centuries, to certify their merit. There are exceptions, though, like in the case of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer (founder of Opus Dei), it took 27 years to make him a saint after his death. Some of the criteria used are:

1. There must be verification of two miracles experienced by persons who prayed to the dead candidate. John Paul II met with this criterion but John XXIII didn’t, so Pope Francis waived the requirement aside and accepted one miracle instead.

2. Incorruptibilty – If the body of the candidate is free from decay after it’s exhumed from the grave. St. Catherine of Siena (d. 1380) was said to have remained undecayed for 600 years!

3. Liquefaction – If the dried blood of the wannabe saint liquefies on a feast day. This is said to occur to the blood of St. Januarius (patron of Naples) every September 19, his feast day.

4. Odour of Sanctity – If the candidate’s body allegedly exudes a sweet aroma like roses, rather than putrid smell. Catholics claim the grave of St. Teresa of Avila exuded a sweet fragrance for 9 months after her death.

5. An inquiry into the person’s life, conduct and writings. Isn’t it curious that the same John Paul II who venerated the Quran; fellowshiped with snake charmers and occult animists; embraced evolution; rejected salvation through Christ alone and protected thousands of paedophile priests passed the Catholic “saint quality control” system? Very convenient.

In Scripture, the word “saints” was applied to believers on earth who were not outstanding people like Peter or Paul.

Acts 9:32 “Peter visited one place after another and eventually came to the saints living down in Lydda

Acts 9:41 “Peter helped her to her feet, then called in the saints and widows...”

1 Cor. 1:2 “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints

2 Cor. 13:12 “Greet one another … all the saints send you greetings”

Biblically, all one has to do to become a saint is to repent and believe the gospel. A person may be declared a “saint” on earth by some men in robes, but if he rejected the gospel that saves or died in his sins, he is in Hell. It matters not if his blood is liquefied or his corpse smells like Blue de Chanel.

Catholics pray to and revere their “saints”, but in the Bible, saints revere and pray to God. The very old tired Catholic excuse is: “Just as you ask your fellow Christians to pray for you, we are asking them to pray for us.” This is a faulty argument.

First of all, the dead have passed from this world and are dead to us. If we desire the prayers of the saints, we seek the living. God specifically condemns communion with the dead (Deut. 18:10-11). Any form of communication with the spirits of the dead is spiritism and an abomination before God.

We don’t light candles to our fellow Christians, or bow before their pictures or pray to them to protect and guide us as Catholics do to their saints, so the inter-Christian prayer parallelism falls flat. Even the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967, 11:670) admits: “Usually in the N[ew] T[estament]; all prayer, private as well as public liturgical prayer is addressed to God the Father through Christ.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia also says that the main objections against prayers to saints is “that these doctrines are opposed to the faith and trust we must have in God alone … and that they cannot be proved from the Scriptures” (Vol. 8, p. 70). We heartily agree with these objections.

The Lord Jesus taught us to pray as thus “Our Father in heaven” that is, our prayers are to be addressed to the Father in heaven. He also taught us that “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (Matt. 6:9, Jn. 14:14). Since only God can do and know all things, only He can answer prayer.

Saints in heaven are not omnipotent or omniscient, so how can they protect or hear the prayers of millions of Catholics from all around the world, in different languages at the same time? It’s simply impossible.

Catholicism also places much emphasis on saint relics. These could be body parts, items or clothing used by the saints. These are kept in ornate boxes (called reliquaries) and are displayed for veneration. No Catholic altar is complete without a relic. And relics too have their grades:
a) Bones/blood of saints are “first class relics”.
b) Items they used are “second class”
c) Objects they touched are “third class” (John Paul II’s bloody shirt worn when shot by an assassin and bits of John XXIII’s skin taken from his cadaver were kept).

Indeed, Catholicism’s sainthood is unbiblical, man-made, idolatrous and superstitious. True Christianity is based on a relationship with a Living Saviour, not with human skulls, rotten flesh or rags. The only man in Scripture who ever prayed to a dead “saint” was a man who was already in Hell, and his prayer wasn’t even answered! (see Luke 16). Yes, sometimes, such “prayers” do receive answers, but the entities answering prayers to dead “saints” are enemies of God.