The Instigator
Yassine
Pro (for)
The Contender
Fly
Con (against)

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Is Infallible

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 10 hours ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 262 times Debate No: 104814
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Yassine

Pro

I thank Con for willing to participate in this debate.



Full Resolution:

{ Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Is Infallible As Per The Islamic Doctrine Of Ismah }

* Ismah: the doctrine that all prophets of God are infallible in conveying the message of God & acting upon it.



Rules:

- No forfeit, no disrespect, no bare assertions & no shotgun argumentation.

- The burden of proof is on Pro.

- Scripture must be authentic (unsound hadiths are inadmissible).

- All sources on the Islamic Tradition must be authentic & authoritative. Thus, non-Islamic sources shall be wholly inadmissible, as they evidently don't speak for the Islamic Tradition.

- Sources on other than the Islamic Tradition should be reliable as well.



Structure:

- 8,000 characters, 4 rounds, 72h of argumentation time.

- 1st round: acceptance.

- 2nd & 3rd round: arguments/rebuttals for Pro & Con.

- 4th round: arguments/rebuttals for Pro, only rebuttals for Con.


Good luck.

Fly

Con

I accept and would like to thank Pro for this debate challenge-- longtime DDO forumite; first time DDO debater!
Debate Round No. 1
Yassine

Pro

I thank Con for accepting the debate.



Resolution:


- As per the rules of the announced in R1:

1. The BOP is on Pro to establish that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is infallible as per the Islamic doctrine of Ismah, namely, infallible in conveying the message of God & infallible in acting upon it. Once established, Pro wins the debate. To win, Con must thus negate Pro’s affirmative case, by proving the non-infallibility of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in his conveying of the message of God or in his acting upon it.

2. The validity of Pro’s or Con’s arguments/rebuttals also hinges on the reliability & supportiveness of their sources, Particularly, scriptural sources must be sound & scriptural interpretations doctrinal citations must be scholarly.



Case:


- To establish Pro’s case, I shall demonstrate, using reliable sources, the affirmative case for the infallibility of the Prophet (pbuh) as per the resolution, & the negative case against the contrary belief. Thus, as per the definition & requirements of the doctrine of Ismah in Islamic Theology [1], my argument shall be exposed in the following points to conclude that the Prophet (pbuh) is, in fact, infallible:

1. To be elected for the charge to receive revelation from God & be accountable for conveying it, the prophet should possess the quality of infallibility of being, that is purity & free will.

2. To perfectly communicate the supreme word of God to inspire Mankind the prophet should be infallible in conveying God’s word. That is faithfulness in transmission, inerrancy in execution & inviolability of person.

3. To profoundly inspire his people & invite them to God, the prophet should be infallible in adhering to the word of God first. That is devotion to God, divine guidance from & by God & exemplification as a role model.

4. To properly lead his people in matters outside the scope of what has been revealed, the prophet should still be infallible from falling into immorality. That is virtuousness, high moral character.

5. To prevent his people from deifying his person & be thankful to his Lord deservedly, the prophet, though infallible by the grace of God, may not be perfect as is God, & that is humility with guidance.



1. To be elected for the charge to receive revelation from God & be accountable for conveying it, the Prophet (pbuh) possesses the quality of infallibility of being, that is purity & free will.

- To that effect, the Qur’an states that Allah had purified the Prophet (pbuh) & members of his household: “Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.” (33:33)

- It also states that the Prophet (pbuh) has the choice to abide by Allah’s commands or disobey even though in won’t, as elucidated in this verse: “O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message.” (5:67)


2. To perfectly communicate the supreme word of God to inspire Mankind the Prophet (pbuh) is infallible in conveying God’s word. That is faithfulness, inerrancy & inviolability.

- The Prophet’s (pbuh) complete faithfulness in conveying the word of God without fail is confirmed by the Qur’an in that, One: his words were indeed those revealed to him, “[That] indeed, the Qur'an is the word of a noble Messenger. And it is not the word of a poet; little do you believe. Nor the word of a soothsayer; little do you remember. [It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.” (69:38-43). Two: he has not concealed any of what he received, “He [Muhammad] does not withhold what is revealed to him from beyond.” (81:24). Three: he has completed his mission in revealing the word of God before his death, “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (5:67)

- The Qur’an also clearly & unequivocally confirms the inerrancy of the Prophet (pbuh): “Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed” (53:2-4), & his inviolability: “Allah will certainly protect you from the evil of men.” (5:67).


3. To profoundly inspire his people & invite them to God, the Prophet (pbuh) is infallible in adhering to the word of God first. That is devotion, divine guidance & exemplification.

- There are no shortage of verses in the Qur’an about the devotion of the Prophet (pbuh), as example, verses (33:56) & (48:8-9) declare the blessings & honours that Allah bestowed on his prophet: ”Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.” “Indeed, L1;O Prophet,L2; We have sent you as a witness, a deliverer of good news, and a warner, That you [people] may believe in Allah and His Messenger and honor him and respect the Prophet and exalt Allah morning and afternoon.”

- Moreoever, verses (7:158) & (3:31-32) illustrate how divine guidance & love is contingent on following the Prophet (pbuh), “So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered prophet, who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him that you may be guided”. “Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”. Thus, following the Prophet (pbuh) means being guided, from which follows, the Prophet (pbuh) can not be misguided.

- Further, verse (33:21) “Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.” states how the Prophet (pbuh) is a exemplar, an infallible role model to be followed.


4. To properly lead his people in matters outside the scope of what has been revealed, the Prophet (pbuh) is aslo infallible from falling into immorality, that is virtuousness.

- Here again the Qur’an discernibly certifies the supreme moral character & virtuousness of the Prophet (pbuh) “And indeed, [O Muhammad], for you is a reward uninterrupted. And indeed, you are of a great moral character”. “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (68:3-4) (21:107). Thereby, negating the Prophet's (pbuh) possible approach to immorality at all.


5. To prevent his people from deifying his person & be thankful to his Lord deservedly, the Prophet (pbuh), though infallible by the grace of God, is not be perfect as is God, & that is humility with guidance.

- For all intents & purposes, the Qur’an makes clear that the Prophet (pbuh) is but a man who Allah blessed, “Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” (18:110), & purified & guided accordingly, “That Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin and what will follow and complete His favor upon you and guide you to a straight path” (48:2), & humbled further: “So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women.” (47:19), so that the Prophet (pbuh) may realise these blessing & show gratitude & humility towards God.



Conclusion
:


- Drawing from all the points made above & closing on the inescapable inference therefrom, it thus has been thoroughly established that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is, decidedly, infallible as per the Islamic doctrine of Ismah, in conveying the message of God & acting upon it, in perfect accordance with the Qur’an, which I have brought ample evidence for.



Sources:


Qur'anic verses: quran.com

[1] http://shamela.ws...

Fly

Con

First, my rebuttal to Pro's 5 points:

1. "... the Qur'an states that Allah had purified the Prophet (pbuh) & members of his household: "Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification." (33:33)"

This does not support Muhammad's infallibility as a prophet because not only does it extend to non-prophets (members of his household), but Muhammad must first have the impurity of sin for it to removed/purified.

2. "The Qur'an also clearly & unequivocally confirms the inerrancy of the Prophet (pbuh): "Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed" (53:2-4)"

This is probably the most explicit description of Muhammad as being infallible in Pro's list of points. Just a bit later, I will detail how these types of claims are fundamentally fallacious in nature.

3. These Scriptures basically state that Muhammad is worthy of Allah's blessings, that he should be respected, honored, and is worthy of being followed. None of these claims mean he is necessarily infallible.

4. This verse basically states that Muhammad is a man of "great moral character." Again, this does not necessarily denote infallibility.

5. This last point attempts a very minuscule distinction via word play: allegedly, Muhammad was indeed infallible, yet not perfect as Allah is. I would call this making a distinction without a difference, as well as trying to have it both ways. The admission that Muhammad is not perfect actually helps to support my counterpoint. In fact, I was originally planning to use this same verse to support my position!

These sorts of arguments for Muhammad's alleged infallibility fundamentally resort to bare assertions and circular reasoning.

As a syllogistic argument:

P1: A prophet of God must be infallible for various reasons.
P2: Muhammad was a prophet of God.
C: Therefor, Muhammad was infallible.

Premise 1 is not necessarily true, and Premise 2 is merely a bare assertion.

Here is a self-reinforcing argument for Muhammad's infallibility, which is the sort of reasoning relied upon to support Pro's Point 2:

The message contained in the Quran is completely correct because Muhammad said so, and Muhammad was completely correct ("nor has he erred") about this because the Quran says so.

The circular reasoning invoked in that summation should be obvious to even the least skilled thinker.

Now, while my rebuttal above should be enough to cast the veracity of Pro's argument into reasonable doubt, I will also posit a counter argument. I will accomplish this by positing four questions regarding the alleged infallibility of Muhammad:

A. Would a reasonable, non-Muslim person consider Muhammad to have been infallible?
B. Do Muslims universally consider Muhammad to be infallible?
C. Was Muhammad infallible according to the very standards of Islam itself?
D. Was Muhammad infallible according to himself?

I will proceed to show how the most likely answer to all these questions is "No."

A. Would a reasonable, non-Muslim person consider Muhammad to have been infallible?

-He was married to a barely pubescent girl, Aisha, at the age of 53. (1)
-He had many wives, the exact number of whom is disputed, but at least 15. (2)
-He took female captives in wartime as personal slaves. (3)
-He authorized the execution of hundreds of prisoners after the Battle of the Trench. (4)

While this is not even an exhaustive list, it is plenty to lead a reasonable, non-Muslim person to conclude that Muhammad was not infallible. He was a flawed individual, just as we all are, really.

B. Do Muslims universally consider Muhammad to be infallible?

"Some Muslim scholars recognise that Muhammad was not sinless:
Commenting on Q.40:55, where Muhammad is told by Allah to ask forgiveness for his sin, Yusuf Ali states that "every mortal according to his nature and degree of spiritual enlightenment falls short of the perfect standard of Allah ... and should therefore ask Allah for forgiveness."
The former head of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Dr Ameer Ali admitted that Muhammad was not the "perfect model" as most Muslims believed. Asked if the prophet had character flaws, he replied: "Of course - you must look at him as a human being also."" (5)

C. Was he infallible in a way consistent with Islam's own standards?

-Islam limits its male followers to four wives, but Muhammad had at least 15. (2)
-He failed to designate a successor, the chief cause of the Sunni/Shiite rift which continues to this day. (6)

D. Was he infallible according to himself?

Muhammad described how Allah commanded him to pray for forgiveness of his faults:

"Know, therefore, that there is no god but God, and ask forgiveness for thy fault, and for the men and women who believe." Surah 47.19

"Verily We have granted thee a manifest victory: that God may forgive thee thy faults of the past and those to follow; fulfil His favour to thee; and guide thee on the Straight Way." Surah 48.1-2

Muhammad prayed: "O Allah! Forgive me my sins that I did in the past or will do in the future, and also the sins I did in secret or in public." (Sahih Al-Bukhari 9:482) (5)

Conclusion:

Clearly, Muhammad was not infallible by any standard other than the dogmatic assertion supported by circular reasoning, which is no support at all.

Sources:

(1) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
(2) https://www.quora.com...
(3) http://www.independent.co.uk...
(4) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
(5) http://mecoglobal.com...
(6) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
(7) https://www.clearquran.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Yassine

Pro

Resolution


- I shall remind everyone that the resolution of this debate reads: ‘Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Is Infallible As Per The Islamic Doctrine Of Ismah’, as in, infallible in conveying the message of God & infallible in acting upon it. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, infallible means: ‘unerring, not liable to mislead, deceive or disappoint’, & ‘incapable of error in defining doctrines touching faith’[*].

- The object of this debate is not a mathematical statement to be deductively demonstrated, or a scientific hypnosis to be checked in accuracy against observable facts. It is rather an Islamic religious doctrine, that of Infallibility. Knowing that the foremost source of authority over any Islamic doctrine is the Qur’an -& I doubt even Con would contest that!- the validity & truth value of the doctrine of Ismah (infallibility), thus, rests primarily on its conformity to Qur’anic teachings.



Preface


- Con has committed a number of fatal fallacies which should outright invalidates his entire case -arguments & rebuttals. Particularly:

1. Straw-man: Con’s rebuttal is essentially a straw-man of my case & the resolution itself, refuting a different proposition other than mine, by invoking some vague notion of ‘infallibility’ quite beside the one argued for & the specified definition (Ismah).

2. Red-herring: Con’s negative case is mainly a red-herring, most contentions therein are extraneous to wether the Prophet (pbuh) was infallible in conveying revelation & acting upon it.

3. Circular logic: which Con, ironically, falls into by resorting to arguments which begin with what he’s trying to end with. Like, ‘according to non-Islamic morality the Prophet (pbuh) was not infallible, therefore the Prophet (pbuh) is not infallible -as per non-islamic morality’. Which is also entirely irrelevant to the resolution -on Islamic doctrine.

- Con’s notion of infallibility, other than being unrelated to our resolution, is loosely defined & profoundly incoherent. He assumes an objectively universal notion of infallibility, such that infallible means correct in everything according to all possible references, correct or incorrect alike. Which is a self-contradictory concept, as per the law on non-contradiction. In particular, he argues against an idea of infallibility - the Prophet (pbuh) being correct according to himself as reference that is (“self-reinforcing argument"), by appealing to references different from his own. This obscure understanding of infallibility renders it completely senseless. In this sense, everyone is at the same time infallible -himself as reference & infallible -others as reference. Absurd!

=> By straw-manning the notion of infallibility specified in the resolution with an unintelligible one, Con might as well have argued Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is not @#%$ & he would’ve made exactly the same impression.



Counter-rebuttals


1. Purity

- Illicit affirmative fallacy (1. All members are purified, 2. Muhammad (pbuh) is a member, C. Muhammad is not purified). Plus, purity need only be the case once receiving revelation, “the expression being in present tense signifies a constant will of God [to purify]” [2]. That is, if there was sin, then there was no intended purification, which contradicts the verse.


3. Exemplification

- The verse states that following the Prophet (pbuh) is equal to guidance. That is, all Prophet’s acts to follow are guided. Thus, necessarily, none are erring or liable to mislead or deceive or disappoint. Hence, the Prophet (pbuh) is infallible in act, as per the definition (*).


4. Morality

- Having great moral character necessarily negates having immorality, as per the law of non-contradiction. Thus, negates not being infallible against immorality.


5. Imperfection

- The distinction is quite relevant & necessary. Having free will yet not having omniscient knowledge on Good & Bad is paradoxical to having all-encompassing infallibility, for there is a chance for the free agent to chose Bad over Good from lack of knowing which is which, thus a chance of fallibility from ignorance.

- Throughout the span of revelation (23 years [3]), the Prophet (pbuh) had yet to gain full knowledge of divine morality. Thus, he is left with the choice to act, by his own free will & judgement, on matters which have yet to be known/revealed. The Prophet (pbuh) need not be infallible in other than conveying & acting upon revelation, for lack of it. According to Muslim theologians, this necessary human imperfection mandates humility to God in asking for His forgiveness for one’s human shortcomings, & those are the sins mentioned in the verse [4].



Rebuttals


Syllogism

- Con’s syllogism is simply a straw-man of my argument, which would be correctly formulated as:

P1. An Islamic doctrine is valid, if & only if it is consistent with the Qur’an. [true, by design]

P2. Ismah is an Islamic doctrine. [fact]

P3. Ismah is valid, if & only if it is consistent with the Qur’an. [true, from P1. & P2.]

P4. God’s messenger is infallible (as per Ismah), if & only if he’s infallible in conveying God’s message & acting upon it. [true, by definition, cf. R1]

P5. God’s message is infallibly conveyed, if it is conveyed with faithfulness in transmission, inerrancy in execution & inviolability of person. [true, as per the definition of infallibility, cf. (*)]

P6. God’s message is infallibly acted upon, if it is followed sincerely with humility & divine guidance, & exemplified with high moral character. [true, cf. 3. above]

P7. According to the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) conveyed God’s message with faithfulness in transmission, inerrancy in execution & inviolability of person. [fact, cf. R2]

P8. According to the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) followed God’s message sincerely & with humility, under divine guidance, & exemplified it with high moral character. [fact, cf. R2]

P9. According to the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) infallibly conveyed God’s message & infallibly acted upon it. [true, from P5. & P6. & P7. & P8.]

C. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is infallible (as per Ismah). [true, from P3. & P4. & P9.]


A. Non-Muslims

- As shown before, the list could have 4 elements or 4000, it is completely irrelevant to the validity of the doctrine in question, as a non-Muslim (or Muslim) person is never an authority on Islamic doctrine, for that is the property of Scripture. Further, it also assumes an incoherent & unintelligible notion of infallibility other than the one concerted.


B. Muslims

- All that Con has mentioned here is perfectly in line with my case, & simply does not negate the Prophet (pbuh) being infallible in conveying revelation & acting upon it.


C. Islam

- Marriages sanctioned in the Qur’an when needed to allow for political unions & for female leadership… “O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation” (33:50) & prohibited once the need was relieved “Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this]” (33:52). Thus, all was done according to God’s command, infallibly. & there was no divine command to appoint successors for the Prophet (pbuh) to have failed acting upon it either.


D. Prophet sins

- Con negated this point himself in B: ”... and should therefore ask Allah for forgiveness”, as established earlier in (5.), that is, there was no actual sin but the “sin” of imperfection of being or shortcomings in acts for lack of knowledge yet to be revealed.



Conclusion


- Con has utterly failed to rebut the thoroughly established doctrine of Ismah (infallibility in conveying & acting upon the message of God), resorting instead to straw-man & red-herring fallacies, unintelligible notions of infallibility, irrelevant authorities on Islamic doctrine!



Sources


[*] goo.gl/yNn2vA

[2] goo.gl/eJB13T

[3] goo.gl/rc3qgp

[4] goo.gl/xxyms2

Fly

Con

I must point out that I found Pro's Round 3 to be much harder to read, parse, and comprehend than Round 2. That said, I have not found any of the counter rebuttals given to be cause for any concessions on my part. Instead, I can only offer further clarification, re-emphasis, and rebuttal.

Pro seems to think that the resolution itself needs to be clarified. This is curious to me because the resolution is mostly of my own making from forum interactions with Pro. I personally submitted "Muhammad (pbuh) was sinless" as the resolution. Pro paraphrased this to the current resolution of "Muhammad (pbuh) is infallible." Then, Pro added "as per the doctrine of Ismah" in his Round 1. This, it seems, is where confusion might arise.

In my understanding, "as per the doctrine of Ismah" means "as detailed/described in the Islamic doctrine of Ismah." So, just as a debate demands, I am taking issue with the veracity of the claim being made. I am doing so head-on, honestly, with supporting arguments, from every angle I can conceive, and with sources which do NOT have a clear anti-Islam agenda (such as wikiIslam or various blogs of Islam to Christianity converts or Christian apologists).

To be clear, I have no interest in debating against what might amount to a tautological claim, akin to "My father is biologically male." The futility in that is obvious. To further clarify, I will give examples of resolutions which I am definitely not disputing here:

"According to Islamic doctrine, Muhammad (pbuh) is infallible."
"According to the doctrine of Ismah, Muhammad (pbuh) is infallible."
"According to the vast majority interpretation of Islamic scholars, the Quran supports the infallibility of Muhammad (pbuh)."
"That Muhammad (pbuh) is infallible is a central Islamic doctrine."

I would not argue against any of these. What is important is what I am currently disputing. I am debating the veracity of the claim in the current resolution, not what the claim is or means. As it stands, Pro has outlined the various elements of the Doctrine of Ismah, and I have been rebutting them. After reading Pro's Round 3 rebuttal, I encourage anyone to reread my Round 2 arguments to emphasize this.

Pro seems to take great issue with what is allegedly my personal, obscure, and meaningless definition of "infallible." I assure you, I am working with the same definition as stated by Pro from the Miriam Webster Dictionary, and my Round 2 arguments proceed accordingly. Pro seems to be shocked that I am going outside of the Islamic tradition in order to dispute a facet of the Islamic tradition! Apparently to me, Pro would prefer the definition of infallible to be "the inerrant nature of the collective body of words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)." Again, this amounts to a tautological claim, which would render this entire debate absurd on its face.

To clarify and emphasize, these are the sorts of arguments which are essentially the foundation for the resolution:

P1: As a prophet, Muhammad did not sin-- per the correct and authoritative Islamic doctrine of Ismah.
P2: Muhammad did things a reasonable person might consider immoral.
C: None of these things could truly have been sinful because of P1.

The above syllogism involves a bare assertion revolving around P1, the alleged authority of which is based upon this reasoning:

P1: The Quran is infallible and authoritative.
P2: The doctrine of Ismah is based solidly upon the Quran.
C: The doctrine of Ismah is correct and authoritative.

Finally, that P1 is based only upon this clearly circular reasoning:

P1: The Quran is infallible and authoritative.
P2: The Quran claims itself to be infallible and authoritative.
C: The Quran is infallible and authoritative.

Pro's Counter Rebuttals:

1. "- Illicit affirmative fallacy (1. All members are purified, 2. Muhammad (pbuh) is a member, C. Muhammad is not purified). Plus, purity need only be the case once receiving revelation, "the expression being in present tense signifies a constant will of God [to purify]" [2]. That is, if there was sin, then there was no intended purification, which contradicts the verse."

Nowhere did I claim that Muhammad is not purified, so no fallacy was committed. What I did say was that no purification is needed where no sin exists. Purification implies that Muhammad possessed impurities, which contradicts his alleged infallibility.

3. Again, "worthy of following" does not necessitate infallibility. Many people in history have been good leaders; that has never led anyone to conclude infallibility.

4. "Having great moral character necessarily negates having immorality, as per the law of non-contradiction."

No, many fallible humans can be described as having great moral character. This description of character does not necessitate infallibility.

5. That Muhammad was "infallible yet not perfect" is still word play; it is still a distinction without a difference. Scholars claiming that Muhammad lacking omniscience was his "sin" which he asked forgiveness for is a great stretch of the meaning of the word. That certainly is not the reason why all other Muslims need to ask for forgiveness!

Regarding Pro's "syllogistic argument," what can I say? It is convoluted, lacks cogency, and has 9 (!) premises. Hence, it does not really qualify as a syllogism. As I have already pointed out and explained, some of the premises rely upon bare assertions and circular reasoning.

As to Pro's rebuttals to my points A through D:

A. Apparently, Pro's rebuttal to this is that the opinions of non-Muslims does not count in matters of Islamic doctrine. That is as dismissive towards the opinions of fellow humans as it is convenient for Pro's argument. I am not a Muslim, nor is much of the world. This very website is not an Islamic one. It should come as no surprise that much of the disagreement with Islamic doctrine comes from outside Islam. In essence, this is why this very debate is even possible. Again, this line of thought relies on bare assertions:

P1: Only Islamic scholars can criticize Islamic doctrine.
P2: Islamic scholars have no criticisms against Islamic doctrine.
C: Islamic doctrine is completely without criticism and flaws.

It is worth noting that Pro does not dispute the claims made in Round 2, Point A against the infallibility of Muhammad.

B. I'm not sure how Pro thinks this quote from a scholar does not contradict his argument. I will submit yet another quote, the concluding one, from the same source (5):

"The Muslim scholar Ali Dashti said: "The Prophet Mohammad, far from claiming the infallibility and superhuman rank later attributed to him by others, knew himself to be prone to sin."

It is clear from these passages in the Hadith that Muhammad never was and never claimed to be sinless. He needed God"s forgiveness for his sins, just like you and I do."

C. Regarding Muhammad having more then the prescribed maximum of 4 wives, Pro's rebuttal amounts to "the Quran says this is permissible when the Prophet does it." Clearly, this is Special Pleading.

Pro's rebuttal regarding the failure of Muhammad to appoint a successor is even less compelling-- that there was "no divine directive to appoint a successor." How could Pro possibly know this? How could an infallible leader not know that such an appointment would be pivotal to the unity of the faith for centuries?

I consider this to be the most compelling counter argument I have put forth; this is "the jewel in the crown" of my case. If anything should be singled out from my counter arguments, it should be this undisputed fact.

D. I don't see how I "negated myself" on this point, but I have already addressed this in my response to Point 5 already.

CONCLUSION:

To reiterate my conclusion in Round 2, Pro's argument fundamentally rests upon bare assertions and circular reasoning. Among my many valid arguments against the resolution, the failure of Muhammad to appoint a successor and the resulting Sunni/Shiite rift still stands as the one which is the most compelling and indisputable.
Debate Round No. 3
Yassine

Pro

No further arguments from Con may be presented in R4, at risk of default loss.

PM = Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)



Foundation


I.
By accepting this debate, Con thereby concedes all stipulations made in R1. It thus follows, to have any chance of wining this debate Con must necessarily disprove the affirmative resolution within said stipulations. Specifically, Con must disprove the statement ‘PM is infallible as per the doctrine of Ismah’ -already established in R1-R2, more precisely, the statement ‘PM is unerring & not liable to mislead or deceive in conveying the message of God & acting upon it’, which he has yet to negate, entailing then a decisive loss. All attempts to argue against or for anything else other than this from Con are, by definition, straw-man & red-herring -the bulk of Con’s case, & thus must all be dismissed.


II.
Con yet assumes an unintelligible notion of Infallibility. An analogy to elaborate: to establish that X is a law abiding American citizen one is required to verify that all X’s acts conform to American Law. Con inevitably understands ‘law abiding’ here to mean something else so he would argue instead, X’s acts are not conform to non-American Law. This essentially renders the whole notion of ‘law abiding’ utterly senseless & self-contradictory! Similarly, to establish that PM is an infallible messenger of Allah, one is simply required to verify that PM’s acts conform infallibly to Allah’s Law. Instead, Con concedes this under the pretext of “tautological claim” & instead argues that PM’s acts are not conform to other than Allah’s Law. Absurd! Con’s use of the definition of ‘Infallibility’ is simply an equivocation of its meaning, analogous to the use of ‘law abiding’ for an American citizen under non-American Law. This is crucial to Con’s entire case & rebuttals, hence should wholly invalidate it.


III.
Con essentially ignores my formulation claiming it’s circular in nature by “disproving” his own made up bogus versions of it! That’s straw-man by definition. In particular, the statement “an Islamic doctrine is valid, if & only if it is consistent with the Qur’an” straw-manned into a jumble of unrelated syllogisms, which thus must wholly be ignored. If Con wishes to contest the statement, he must necessarily show that an Islamic doctrine is valid when it isn’t consistent with the Qur’an, or invalid in case it is. Which is an impossible task to accomplish, for the statement is true by design. Akin to saying, an American code of law is valid, if & only if it is consistent with the American Constitution ; which I’m sure Con wouldn’t designate as circular reasoning. To elucidate the absurdity, if we take the Labor code for example, Con’s argument is to say that “the Labor code (/Islamic doctrine) is valid, if & only if it is consistent with the Constitution (/Qur’an)” is a circular statement! On a similar note, Con resorts to Ad populum fallacy [9], “If many believe so, it is so”. In truth, opinions of non-Muslims or Muslims alike regarding the infallibility of PM would simply be utterly inconsequent, as they inform it as much as they would inform the validity of the Labor code. That is, the ultimate authority on the validity of the Infallibility doctrine or the Labor code is the Qur’an & the Constitution, respectively, not opinions!



Final Rebuttals


1. Purity

- Adrressed.


2. Inerrancy

- Uncontested.


3. Exemplification

- Straw-man. “worthy to be followed” is entirely beside my argument here, about inerrant divine guidance!


4. Morality

- Straw-man & fallacy of composition [6]. I argued that having great moral character necessarily negates having immorality, entailing being infallible to fall into immorality. It says nothing about being infallible in everything else as Con implies, which is irrelevant here. PM was illiterate!


5. Imperfection

- Bare assertion fallacy. Contrary to what Con pretends, the Qur’an unequivocally asserts the infallibility of PM, in inerrant divine guidance, high moral character & inerrancy in relaying revelation, all of which contradict him falling into actual sin. This however does not entail PM to be perfect as God is, for as a human he can not worship God as He deserves, especially in matters which have yet to be revealed to him, thus must ever pray to God & asks for His forgiveness. To avoid contradicting the explicit statement of the Qur’an Muslim theologians are thus forced to opt for this only explanation. As we see in the Bible, Jesus asking the Father for forgiveness, Matthew 6:12 “forgive us our sins/debts”. According to Ellicott’s Commentary “It is, of course, opposed to the whole teaching of Scripture to believe that there dwelt on His human spirit the memory of a single transgression” asserting "in reference to the limitations of the true, yet absolutely sinless, humanity which [Jesus] vouchsafed to assume, it is just conceivable that He too Himself may have used this prayer” [5]. It is hence absolutely unjustifiable to discard the divinely asserted inerrancy of PM in the Qur’an or that of Jesus in the Bible, just because they asked for forgiveness for 'sin', then only warranted by their human limitations.


Polysyllogism

- Con dismisses my entire argument because it doesn’t qualify as a categorical syllogism without actually disproving it! We should invent a new fallacy for this! The argument conclusively establishes the exact resolution of this debate “PM Is Infallible”, which completely fulfils the BOP required on Pro, thus unless logically disproved without resorting to straw-mans & red-herring & other fallacies, it shall stand for Con’s loss & Pro’s decisive win.


A.

- Addressed. Ad populum.


B.

- Con’s source here is a Christian missionary article, violating the rules of the debate, thus dismissed. If Ali Dashti means ‘sin’ as immoral act then he is speaking against the clear statement of the Qur’an & the consensus of Muslim theologians of all sects of Islam regarding the infallibility of PM.


C.

- False. Special pleading is to cite something as an exception to a generally accepted rule without justification [11]. The Qur’an makes rules & makes exceptions for these rules, themselves rules -like any legislation or constitution does, which is all that matters here.

- There are simply no verses stating it’s the duty of PM to appoint a successor! The Sunni/Shi’a split is a modern political designation. Historically, there were a great number of sects or groups rising against the orthodox Sunni tradition:Khawarij, Mu’tazila, Jahmyyah, Shi’a, among many others [10], each with their own ideas on legitimacy & succession. Today, Imamyyah & Zaydyah (Shi’a sects) survive. Con’s “jewel of the crown” is merely an argument from ignorance. According to Sunnis & Zaydyyah (oldest Shi’a sect), PM is not required to appoint a successor nor should he, for they believe legitimacy in Leadership stems from the community & not divine ordinance [7], the latter pertaining to Imamyyah beliefs based on their own sources deemed forged [8].


D.

- Addressed.



Conclusion


- It has been throughly established in R2 through R4 that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), though remains imperfect as a human, is infallible (defined as unerring & not liable to mislead..) in conveying & acting upon God’s message as per the doctrine of Ismah -in perfect accordance with the resolution, shown to be unequivocally & necessarily implied by the Qur’an in R2, conclusively through the polysyllogism laid in R3. Uncontestedly Fulfiling the BOP. While Con resorts to exposed series of straw-mans & many other fallacies, arguing from equivocations & proven senseless notions of infallibility, all irrelevant to the resolution, such he has yet to prove that Muhammad (pbuh) was not infallible in conveying or acting upon God's message.

=> Vote Pro.


Sources


[5] goo.gl/1fy4nE

[6] goo.gl/S8QVJ8

[7] goo.gl/bRXN7a / goo.gl/7RYtKy

[8] goo.gl/SPfNTS

[9] goo.gl/CekA4E

[10] goo.gl/HinHYL

[11] goo.gl/aekc3A

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Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Fly 2 weeks ago
Fly
Pro has just now made the necessary addition to the rules for me to accept this debate. Now, the problem is one of timing-- I was prepared to accept this debate a few days ago, but now with the delays over the rules I need to wait a few more days for the 72 hour window of debate time to coincide with my available time.
Posted by Fly 2 weeks ago
Fly
I cannot accept this debate with all of the rules prescribed by PRO.

I do not have clear access to, nor am I trained to discern what is valid and authoritative Islamic scholarship. PRO would simply dismiss as inadmissible any sources which support counterarguments to the resolution. Not even the judges would be able to discern whether either one of us is abiding by this arbitrary and completely one-sided rule. I need not mention that the rule itself is guilty of begging the question" no doubt that "authoritative sources" are only those which support the resolution.

This resolution would more accurately read: "Authoritative Islamic Scholars believe Muhammad (pbuh) was infallible."
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