Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, a Hoaxer or a Murderer?

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The following is an excerpt from Edip Yüksel’s recent book Running Like Zebras, Brainbow Press

Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips is:

a)      A Salafi scholar
b)     An accomplice for murder
c)     A hoaxer
d)     A geocentric antique
e)     A slanderer enemy of the Prophet Muhammed
f)      A number-phobic innumerate
g)     A father of 20 children from four concubines
h)     Some of the above
i)      All of the above

A hoxer, a fraud or a murderer?

Who is Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips? For sure, he puts a Dr. before his name. In fact, he loves that title and uses it as a prefix for his name everywhere. So what? What is wrong with someone with a doctorate degree to put the word Dr. before his name? I have no problem with that, but here there is more to that title than meets the eye. Before you are impressed by his academic credentials, you should first know about where he got most of his education from and his role in the assassination of my friend, Dr. Rashad Khalifa. According to his website, Abu Ameenah:

“Shortly after his reversion to Islam, he embarked on a spiritual academic journey to the other side of the world seeking Islamic knowledge. This journey took him to Saudi Arabia where he completed a BA in Islamic studies in Madeenah, and an MA in Islamic Theology in Riyadh, then to the University of Wales, UK, where he completed a PhD in Islamic Theology in the early nineties.”

In other words, he was the student at a university when the notorious Bin Baz was the top cleric in Saudi Arabia and the most revered and influential professor at the universities there. Now, let’s learn a bit about the deeds of the top cleric who approved Abu Ameenah’s BA and MA diplomas and trained him as a model Salafi. I will be quoting from the introduction of the 2nd edition of Abu Ameenah’s Hoax book:

 ”Doubts about the correctness of his initial premise of 19 being the mathematical key to the Qur’aan were then raised and a number of emotional articles were written against both him and his theory. In fact, one of the leading scholars of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Baz, wrote a fatwaa (religious ruling) concerning Khalifa’s heretical claims in which he declared him an apostate.[1]

Note the words HERETICAL and APOSTATE above, which are justified by Abu Ameenah, a Sunni scholar, a student of ibn Baz. So what? He has the freedom to consider Rashad Heretical and Apostate as Rashad considered him and his sheikh mushriks and ignorant gang. But there is a great difference between the labels because of their implications in their context.

“Heretic” and “Apostate” are code words for DEATH penalty according to the Sunni jurisprudence. Ameenah’s father has the audacity to refer the reader to his book for the translation of his guru’s death fatwa. Ironically, in a book titled In Defense of the Qur‘an and Sunnah, he brags about “defending the Qur’an” by justifying and encouraging the murdering of people who dare to disagree with his ignorance and idolworship! His relation with ibn Baz was not mere formality. Here is some information about his personal life (emphasis is mine):

“Son of Jamaican parents born on 7th, July, 1947 in Jamaica, he grew up in Canada and lived and studied in Malaysia. He is the father of 20 Muslim children and has a black belt in Tai Kwon Do and currently studies Tai Chi. Among the more notable aspects of his academic life is that he sat in the circles of famous Hadith scholar, Shaikh Naaseer udeen Albani for 4 years in Madinah (1976-1980), as well as the circles of the famous Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Ibn Baz in both Madinah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He also translated for both Shaikh Ibn Baz and Shaikh Ibn Jibreen on numerous occasions.”

It is important to understand the real reason why Abu Ameenah is full of bigoted hatred against the number 19 and its discoverer. He has studied too much hadith, the volumes of contradictory and silly stories fabricated by ignorant people and he sat too long in the circles of the world’s most ignorant and bigoted shaikhs.[2]

It is now evident that he was an accomplice in inciting and perhaps planning the killing of Rashad Khalifa, like the monotheist mentioned in 40:23-35. So, before refuting their criticism of 19, it is important to understand the backwardness, the bigotry and the venomous religious views of Abu Ameenah and his late guru Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz.

Abu Ameenah’s Shaikh: “Earth is Fixed; or You are Dead”

Abd al-Aziz bin Baz was the chief cleric of Saudi Arabia, the head of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars for three decades. He had great impact in regressive and oppressive laws in Saudi Arabia, including the ban on women’s driving. A book authored by Bin Baz was published in 1975 carried the following title: Scientific and Narrative Evidence for that the Earth is Fixed, the Sun is Moving and it is Possible to Go to the Planets.

The book was not published by any publishing house; it was published by no other than the Islamic University of Medina. In that book, Bin Baz complains about a new heresy; he is saddened to see, well more accurately, hear, people talking about motion of the earth and he wants to put a stop to that heresy. In page 23, after listing some hadiths issues a fatwa, Bin Baz asserts that those who believe that the earth is rotating are kafirs (disbelievers), and if they were Muslims before they become apostate.

The Saudi Sunni leader does not stop there and explains the ramification of fatwa: any Muslim believing in the rotation of earth loses his or her right to life and property; they should be killed! This top cleric, İbn Baz, was the head of an international conference of Sunni scholars representing 38 countries discussing the Salman Rushdi affair. Then, Saudi Arabia was competing with Iran regarding leadership in the Islamic world and this was the hot issue then. The conference issued a unanimous fatwa in 19 March 1989, condemning Rushdi and Rashad, as apostates. The Western world by then knew Rushdi, but not many westerners were familiar with the second name in the fatwa. Dr. Rashad Khalifa, the late leader of modern reformist movement and the discoverer of the mathematical code of the Quran, in less than a year after this fatwa would be assassinated by a Sunni group affiliated with the Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden in 31 January 1990, in his Masjid in Tucson, Arizona.

In his book, Bin Baz quoted some verses and many hadith to support his position that the earth is fixed. After expressing his religious verdict of death penalty for the apostates who believe in a moving earth, he included the following reasoning as his scientific evidence:

“If the world was rotating as they assert, countries, mountains, trees, rivers, seas, nothing would be stable; humans would see the countries in the west in the east, the ones in the east in the west. The position of the qibla would change continuously. In sum, as you see, this claim is false in many respects. But, I do not wish to prolong my words.”

Towards the end of the 20th century, a “university” of a Sunni country publishes such a nonsense authored by the highest ranking religious leader of that country! Considering that the Ottoman chief clerics banned the import and use of printing machine for about 300 years, it becomes clear the reason why the so-called Muslim countries are so lagging behind civilization, socially, politically, and in science and technology.

Ibn Kathir is a popular commentary of the Quran, which is respected because of its reliance on hadith to “explain” verses of the Quran. Ibn Kathir (d. 1372), in the classic commentary carrying his name, makes the following remarks on verses 2:29 and 68:1. For this commentary, he relies mainly on a hadith from Abud Dawud, one of the so-called authentic Sunni holy hadith books:

“Ibn Abbas told all of you by Wasil b. Abd al-Ala al-Asadi- Muhammad b. Fudayl- al-Amash- abu Zabyan- ibn Abbas: the first thing god created is the pen. God then said to it: write!, Whereupon the pen asked: what shall I write, my lord! God replied: write what is predestined! He continued: and the pen proceeded to (write) whatever is predestined and going to be to the coming of the hour. God then lifted up the water vapor and split the heavens off from it. Then god created the fish (nun), and the earth was spread out upon its back. The fish became agitated, with the result that the earth was shaken up. It was steadied by means of the mountains, for they indeed proudly (tower) over the earth.”

After learning the intellectual level of the believers, collectors, narrators, and commentators of the above hadith, such as Abu Dawud (d. 888), al-Tabari (d. 1516), and Ibn al-Baz (1995), it becomes clear why Muhammed would utter the words in 25:30.

As a Sunni scholar, as the student of the geocentric death-fatwa issuer Ibn Baz, Abu Ameenah is not a regular academician as you expect. Besides his connection with the assassination, he promotes pedophilia and polygamy. You can find his articles on the Internet and his speeches at YouTube defending marriage with girls at age 9, stating that it was “the norm of the time”. Like other enemies of the Prophet Muhammed, he follows the fabricated hadith that falsely accuses the Prophet Muhammed marrying Aisha at age 9 while he was 55![3] Salafis, like all other followers of fabricated hadith and Sunna, take the ethical role-modeling of the Prophet Muhammed outside the Quranic context and reduce it to trivial local cultural aspects such as growing beards and entering the bathroom with left feet, etc.

No wonder Abu also promotes the distorted practice of polygamy with virgins. Now, does it take a rocket scientist to guess about how many wives he has and their ages? He brags about the number of his children (20 so far), but he leaves his audience in darkness regarding the mothers of his children. They are invisible ghosts in his haram; they are women with no identities, with no voice of their own. In fact, they have no faces either. When they are allowed to go out they have to walk in black sacks their faces veiled according to the teaching of his mazhab!

Are these ad hominem attacks? No! They are all connected. They explain why Abu hates code 19; because he hates the truth, and mathematics is the ultimate truth! Without learning the horrible mindset and backward religious dogmas of this guy you will not be able to understand his modus operandi. Only after you learn his religious views, connections and environment, then you will understand why he and his ilk hate the truth so much. Only after that you will be able to comprehend the reason behind their contempt against the greatest miracles and their contempt to its discoverer.

“According to Holy Hearsay Reports the Quran is indeed a Miracle!”

  • “Since the Quran claims that it is a miracle, then it is a miracle”
  • “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and the book delivered by him must be a miracle”
  • “I believe in the Quran; therefore, it must be a miracle”
  • “I find the information in the Quran perfectly conforming to my culture, knowledge and expectations. Therefore, the Quran must be a miracle.”
  • “I am not an expert on every scientific issue, history or archeology, and I am not a logician; but since I cannot find any contradiction in the Holy Book that I was raised with its beautiful recitation, therefore it must be a miracle.”
  • “I do not really know how to prove it; but I believe that the Quran is a literary miracle!”
  • “Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who first landed on the Moon, and Captain Custo, the renowned French explorer and many other scientists became Muslims. Therefore, the Quran must be a miracle.”
  • “Our great scholars and saints all have asserted the miraculous nature of the Quran. How could all be wrong! Thus, it is a miracle.”
  • “If more than a billion people believe in it, then it must be a miracle!”
  • “I do not need a miracle to believe that a book is from God. Faith needs no justification. If I believe then it becomes a miracle!”

No wonder, millions who resort to silly and fallacious “reasons” like the ones I listed above have no problem in following silly, backward, harmful and contradictory teachings of Hadith and Sunna; no wonder they act blind, deaf and dumb when they are informed about the verses of the Quran or invited to engage in critical thinking.

Those who have no clue about the meaning of miracle are wrong even if the object of their claim is indeed a miracle. Compare these two: the assertion “67 is a prime number” to the assertion “My glorious ancestors believed that 67is a prime number and I am following their verdict without questioning”. While both of these agree on the numerical nature of 67, the difference between the two is akin to the difference between graphite and diamond. Though both are made of pure carbon, the diamond is one of the hardest matters in the world, while graphite is one of the softest.

You should not be a surprised if a person declaring that “According to reliable reports, 2 + 2 = 4″, also declares “According to reliable sources 1 + 1 + 1 = 1″. Why? Because such a person is not using his or her own mind; they have put their brains in the blind basket of religious adherence. Has become sheep in a herd… Has placed her eggs in in a nest that no bird has hatched! The blind bandwagoners do not witness miracles through critical and analytical thinking. All they do is copying, memorizing, parroting, imitating the religions, sects and cultures of their ancestors whom they have idolized!

Those who believe in the Quran blindly betray the Quran blindly, and unfortunately, they also lack the awareness and capacity to notice their contradictions, their ignorance and arrogance!

Signs/miracles (aya): As a divine response to the epistemological interrogation and objection to messengers, they are endowed in accordance to God’s law (Sunnatullah) with divine signs/evidences consisting of extraordinary and superhuman special events/phenomena that cannot be explained by our collective experience and knowledge yet can be witnessed by our senses and/or by our reasoning faculties.

Back to Abu Ameenah

I concede that Abu Ameenah is not as stupid as his late sheikh and he is clever to hide his backward and bloody religious views. It is now evident that he was the one who informed his blind sheikh about Rashad Khalifa and used him to issue the death fatwa against Rashad after he wrote his book against him (1987) and his historical discovery. You may expect such a scenario from Hollywood movies, but it is real.

Though, unlike his sheikh he was raised in the Western world and studied in secular schools, he got his share of backwardness from the same “university” where Sunni students are trained in ignorance. In his Hoax book, Abu Ameenah briefly mentions my name:

“Since his death in 1990, no new leader has emerged to take his place in the cult. However, Edip Yuksel, a well-educated Turk provided religious leadership during the 1990s (His father is a Muslim scholar who has condemned his son’s writings.) Followers of Rashad Khalifa are currently located in such places as Phoenix, Arizona; Riverside and the Bay area in California; Vancouver, British Columbia; and other parts of the world. (Mission to America, pp. 137-165)”[4]

Apparently, Abu Ameenah, that is, Ameenah’s Father, knows about me a little more than I expected him to. However, he is again sneaky and ill-intentioned. His description of my father as “Muslim scholar” and referring to his “condemnation” of me is another insidious message to his Sunni followers. A short but well-understood message:

“Remember, how some brave Sunni brothers followed the fatwa of my teacher, the Muslims Scholar ibn Baz, and assassinated Rashad Khalifa, the chief heretic! This guy named Edip too is a heretic and has received death fatwa from his Sunni father. Thus, if any idiots among you wish to do some jihad, you may as well plan to put that fatwa into action.”

No, I am not reading too much into Abu’s statements about me and Rashad Khalifa. I know these enemies of freedom very well. The meaning of his statements is obvious to anyone who is familiar with their diabolic teaching. According to all Sunni sects, an apostate deserves death. As you will notice, this so-called Doctor of theology does not use a single word condemning the barbaric assassination of Rashad Khalifa. To the contrary, he presents it as well-deserved job! Here how he introduces his book:

“However, there still remains the question of whether the basis on which Rashad Khalifa’s theory is built is valid or not, as it continues to attract the unsuspecting and the ignorant. Hence, it is not sufficient to merely discredit Rashad Khalifa based on his many heretical statements, any one of which is sufficient to remove him from the fold of Islam. This controversy has to be laid to rest by a factual dismantling of its foundations.”[5]

“The following chapters of this book systematically and methodically challenge and disprove the vast majority of the so-called fundamental ‘facts’ of Rashad Khalifa’s theory. Furthermore, they clearly expose his deliberate falsification of data and alteration of the Qur’aanic text in order to bolster his theory of 19 as the miraculous numerical code of the Qur’aan. This work will demonstrate, without a shadow of a doubt – God willing, that the Theory of 19 is a shoddily concocted hoax unable to withstand serious scientific scrutiny. However, before proceeding with the refutation of Dr. Rashad Khalifa’s claims, the following summary of his theory has been prepared for readers unfamiliar with its core issues.”[6]

I will not spend much space here responding Abu Ameenah Philip’s book, since his criticism was fully utilized by two critics: Lomax and then by Ayman. To avoid too much redundancy, I will here briefly respond to the “conclusion” of his criticism, which he published in the end of his Hoax Book in pages 99-101. He introduces the summary or the conclusion as: “The following is a brief summary of the main points by which Dr. Khalifa’s theory has been proven false in the preceding chapters of this book.”

1. Misinterpretation of Quranic Texts: One of the foundations of Dr. Khalifa’s argument is that verse 30 (over it are nineteen) or Surah al-Muddaththir refers to the miracle of 19 being over anyone who claims that the Qur’an is false. However, it has been clearly shown that the number 19 refers to the guardian angels over the Hellfire as understood by the classical commentators of the Qur’an.

As you will read the section titled “Which One do You See: Hell or Miracle” and the rest of this book, Running Like Zebras, you will learn that Abu Ameenah is among those who are exposed by the prophetic verses of the Quran in 74:31-37, as an ingrate and one of those who regress. Here, I will quote a few paragraphs.

The punishment issued for the opponent is very interesting: nineteen. Almost all numbers mentioned in the Quran is an adjective for a noun. Forty nights, seven heavens, four months, twelve leaders… But here the numerical function of nineteen is emphasized. Nineteen does not define or describe anything. The disbeliever will be subjected to the number nineteen itself. Then, what is the mission or function of this nineteen? Those who tended to understand the meaning of Saqar as “hell” naturally understood it as the number of guardians of hell. However, the punishment that is described with phrases such as, difficult task, precise, and universal manifestations, was an intellectual punishment; a mathematical challenge. Indeed, the following verse isolates the number nineteen from the number of controllers and lists five goals for it.

74:31     We have made the guardians of the fire to be angels/controllers; and We did not make their number except as a test for those who have rejected, to convince those who were given the book, to strengthen the acknowledgment of those who have acknowledged, so that those who have been given the book and those who acknowledge do not have doubt, and so that those who have a sickness in their hearts and the ingrates would say, “What did God mean by this example?” Thus God misguides whoever/whomever He wishes, and He guides whoever/whomever He wishes. None knows your Lord’s soldiers except Him. It is but a reminder for people.

Traditional commentators of the Quran had justifiably grappled with understanding this verse. They thought that disbelievers would be punished by 19 guardians of hell. That was fine. But they could not explain how the number of guardians of hell would increase the appreciation of believers and convince the skeptical Christians and Jews regarding the divine nature of the Quran. Finding no answer to this question, they tried some explanations: the Christians and Jews would believe in the Quran since they would see that the number of guardians of hell is also nineteen in their scripture. Witnessing the conversion of Christians and Jews, the appreciation of Muslims would increase.

This orthodox commentary has three major problems. First, neither the Old, nor the New Testament mentions number nineteen as the guardians of hell.  Second, even if there was such a similar statement, this would not remove their doubts but to the contrary; it would increase their doubts since they would consider it one of the many evidences supporting their claim that the Quran plagiarized many stories from the Bible. Indeed, there are many Biblical events are told by the Quran, though occasionally with some differences. Third, none so far converted to Islam because of guardians of hell.

Some scholars noticed this flaw in traditional commentaries. For instance, Fahraddin el-Razi, in his classic commentary, Tafsyr al-Kabyr, offered many speculations, including that the number nineteen indicates the nineteen intellectual faculty of human being. Tough it is a clever interpretation, it fails to explain the emphasis on the number nineteen itself, and it also fails to substantiate the speculation….

On the other hand, those who have deprived themselves from witnessing the miracle 19 because of their ill intentions or their dogmatic rejection try hard to render these key words incompatible with the semantic context of the Quran. They conceive God of the Quran as an angry and despotic God who is not able to provide any reasonable argument against those who question the Quran’s authenticity, but only resorts to intimidation: “I will burn you in hell!!!” The God they depict has double standard: He asks the disbelievers to bring their evidence for their argument (2:111; 11:17; 21:24; 27:64; 28:75; 35:40) but for His argument He only wants to scare them! The opponents of 19-based miracle, by distorting the meaning of the words in these verses, manage to blind themselves to one of the most profound philosophical and theological arguments and evidences in history. Not only they divert themselves from the right path they try to divert others too (6:25-26; 22:3).

Thus is the level of the understanding (more accurately, the misunderstanding) of those who cannot appreciate God as He should be (6:90-91). The argument of the god of their imagination for Quran’s authenticity is no more than scorching, burning, dark, hellish, misfortune, disastrous, and scary punishment! Thus, in the minds of opponents of miracle 19, the rhetorical value of these verses is simply a threat to burn and torture.[7]

2. Incorrect Letter Count Totals: Another foundation principle of Dr. Khalifa’s theory is that the Basmalah (i.e.Bismillahi-Rahmaanir-Raheem), some verses and some chapters consist of 19 or a multiple of 19 letters.  Since the Qur’an was not revealed in the written form, this argument becomes meaningless.  In fact, strictly speaking, the actual total of the letters composing the Basmalah is 22 and not 19.

This very criticism is another miracle of the Quran, since in order to blind themselves to its numerical structure, ingrates and bigots have denied the most obvious and simple fact: the numbers of letters in Bismillah or Basmalah. Lomax, who was inspired by bin Baz and his student Abu Ameenah, parroted the same claim.

I knew that some well-known Sunni critics of the code 19 counted the letters in Basmalah ending up with 18, 20, and even 21. For instance, according to Dr. Süleyman Ateş, an Al-Azhar educated scholar, Basmalah has 21 letters. After losing a live TV debate with me on a popular Turkish TV program, he wrote the following:

“The number 19 is the number of Bahai cult and has nothing to do with the Quran. It is modern cabbalism and nonsense. Quran’s first verse, Bismillah, does not have 19 letters as they claim, but it has 21 letters. I have written a book on this deviation… Recently numerous engineers and doctors started following this path. One of those who follow his imaginations is the guy who was once imprisoned for participating in terror activities in Turkey and now living in America. I met that guy first time during the Ceviz Kabuğu TV program and then I immediately understood that he had idolized his ego. He was rude and did not recognize any rules of etiquette.”[8]

But Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips is the only Sunni scholar who came up with 22! A whopping addition of 3 letters to the actual 19, which is 16% inflation! If Abu Ameenah counts the number of his children the same way he is counting the Arabic letters then he must have 17.27 children rather than 20. Of course, the number of the fingers in his two hands, according to the “invisible fingers” theory, which is an adaptation of his “invisible letter” theory, would be 11.58 fingers! Joke aside, this very claim of “22 letters in Basmalah” alone is sufficient to expose their delusional state of mind, their desperate attempt to turn their followers blind like themselves.

This example is enough to demonstrate how Muhammedans are twisting the simplest facts in order to cast doubt on the mathematical miracle of the Quran. It is noteworthy that not a single Muslim scholar had a different count for the letters of Basmalah before the discovery of the code. Whoever mentioned the numbers of its letters acknowledged the simple fact: Basmalah consists of 19 letters. For instance, Molla Jami starts his Persian Divan by referring to the 19 letters of Basmalah. Fakhraddin Al-Razi, in his 30 volume commentary, et-Tafsir al-Kabir, links the 19 letters of Basmalah with 19 guardians of Hell. Furthermore, the Abjad (Gematrical) value of Basmalah is well known as 786 for centuries, which is the numerical value of its 19 letters. Many a Muslim still use this number on top of their letters, instead of Bismillah

What about this? Copy and paste a Bismillah (not its picture, but typed in Arabic characters) in MS Word. Then select it and ask the program to count the number of letters in it and check the “characters (with no spaces)”!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

ب س م ا ل ل ه ا ل ر ح م ن ا ل ر ح ي م

You should be careful against the Hoaxers who use this very word to cover up their own character. Our Sunni “alims” who are well-trained in promoting ignorance, might try to add “invisible” letters or try to confuse Arabic letters with sounds. Don’t fall for their deceits! You should remember that there are 28 letters in Arabic alphabet and that all Arabic dictionaries follow this simple fact. You should also remember that no letter can be connected after Alif, since it would be confused with another letter, that is, Lam. So, if they tell you that there is an invisible Alif after B of Bismillah or a “short Alif” after Mim of RaHMaN, you should refuse to be tricked by reminding the following three facts: There is no dwarf or dumpy Alif in Arabic alphabet. If there were an Alif after B or Mim, there would be a space before the letter S or letter Nun. Besides, we are not counting invisible or ghost characters; we are counting written, visible letters of the Quran!

3. Letter Count Inconsistencies: A major pillar of Dr. Khalifa’s claim depends on his statement that “All Quranic initials, without exceptions, exist in their surahs in multiples of 19.”  However, this is only the case in three of the 29 Surahs having prefixed Arabic letters, namely Surah Qaf, Surah YaSin and Surah Maryam.

This criticism is partially true and mostly false. Indeed, Dr. Khalifa made some errors in the count of Alif and there are a few issues with other letters; but MOST of the initial letters are multiple of 19 and the initials that do not fit the system needs a comparative study on the oldest available manuscripts. I have extensive debate on this issue with Lomax and Ayman in this book.

4. Manipulated Letter Counts: Dr. Khalifa achieved multiples of 19 in the letter counts for 13 chapters having Alif in the beginning of their “Quranic Initials” by counting the Hamzah as an Alif in some instances and not in others.

This is exactly the same allegation as in number 3, above. The example of the allegation in number 3 is perhaps listed as a different category in order to inflate the numbers.

5. Falsified Letter Count Data: In order to artificially create multiples of 19 in some of his letter count totals, Dr. Khalifa has doctored his date in the following ways: (a) Some non-existing letters have been counted; (b) Some existing letters have not been counted; (c) The text of the Qur’an has been changed in order to either add letters to the text, or delete letters from the text.

Again, this is exactly the same allegation as in number 3 and I have dealt with it extensively in NINETEEN: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture. Besides, I responded to them in my debate with Lomax who used Abu Ameenah’s book.

6. Word Count Inconsistencies: A number of proofs used by Dr. Khalifa are based on the total number of words in verses and chapters being 19 or one of its multiples.  This has been achieved by following an inconsistent system of letter counting whereby three or four words are sometimes counted as one word.

This is another highly exaggerated allegation, which we discussed extensively in this book.

7. Falsified Word Count Data: Dr. Khalifa’s claim that every word of the Basmalah occurs in the Qur’an either 19 times or one of its multiples is only true in the case of one of the main four words (i.e. ar-Rahman) and even in this case it is only achieved by excluding the 112 occurences of the word found in the 112 Basmalahs preceding the Surahs, yet he includes all the Basmalahs in his letter counts.

I have extensively discussed this issue with Lomax as my response to his “Claim number 13″. Let me briefly summarize it here.

The mathematical system puts an end to the chronic arguments among various sects whether Basmalah is the first verse of Chapter Al-Fatiha or not. Now, it is clear that the Basmalah in the beginning of Chapter Al-Fatiha (The Opener) is the first verse while other 112 Bismillahs crowning the other chapters are un-numbered verses.

Our counting excludes the 112 unnumbered Basmalahs. Had we include them, Abu Ameenah would object again by labeling it as an “arbitrary inclusion of 112 unnumbered initial invocations which are merely repetition.” Our exclusion is not arbitrary, since the other 112 Basmalahs are not numbered. Abu can see this fact in his own version of the Quran. Our method follows and justifies the well-known difference between the other two Basmalahs (1:1 and 27:30) and the 112 Basmalahs repeating in the beginning of chapters. It is a discovery which brings an explanation for this curious distinction. Though in the early manuscripts the verses were not numbered, they were ordered and separated from each other by dots which I believe justifies our numbering them. In fact, if there is a beginning and order of items of the same category, there is an implicit numbering in the structure. Therefore, early scholars were not wrong when they decided to number the verses as we know and use today.

8. False Claims for Surah Qaf: According to Dr. Khalifa, the term “Qawm قوم” is used to refer to Prophet Lot’s people everywhere in the Qur’an except in Surah Qaf in order to keep the total number of Qafs in Surah Qaf a multiple of 19.  However, this claim is totally false because there are not one but four other places in the Qur’an wherein the term “Qawm” is not used in references to Prophet Lot’s people.

First, Rashad’s point about the usage of the Qawmu Lot (Lot’s People) had no substantial connection with the code; it was merely an observation regarding the usage of a word. Even if his comment was wrong, still the number of letter Qaf in Chapters starting with the letter Qaf would be 114 (19×6). Second, it is not Rashad but it is Abu Ameenah who is making false claim. Abu Ameenah is practicing his hoaxing skills as he did in the number of letters in Basmalah: He deliberately confuses the People of Lot, who are condemned, with the Family of Lot, who were saved.

Let me list all the verses where the People and Family of Prophet Lot are referred to:

Qawm (People):                    11:70; 11:74; 11:89; 11:78; 22:43; 26:160; 27:56; 38:13; 54:33; 7:80; 27:54; 29:28.

Aal (Family):                        15:59; 15:61; 27:56; 54:34

Ikhwan (Bretherns):            50:13

Contrary to what Abu Ameenah wants us to believe, verse 27:56 makes clear distinction between Qawm Lot (Lot’s People) and Aal-i Lot (Lot’s Family); they are not the same but opposing groups. The word Ikwan (Brethren) in verse 50:13 is referring to the People of the Lot not his Family.

In sum, to describe the people of Lot, the Quran uses the word Qawm (group, people, nation) 12 times. However, the 13th verse of the chapter that starts with the letter Q is an exception. Why then instead of the word Qawm, the word Ikhwan (brethrens) is used? For the answer, check the beginning of the chapter that contains that verse. As you see, the chapter starts with the letter Q.

Thus, Rashad Khalifa was right in his observation and Abu Ameenah is again proven to be confused.

9. False Claims for 19: The doctor claims that 19 was divinely chosen as the numerical code of the Qur’an because it translates into Arabic letters as “Waahidواحد(lit.one) and as such means “God is One”, which he proposes is the message of the Qur’an.  This claim is also incorrect as it is based on a system of numerology which has absolutely no place in Islam and is clearly rejected by Islamic law.

This is another evidence of blatant ignorance of Quran and the history of the number system used during the revelation of the Quran. Before and during the life of the Prophet Muhammed Arabs were using their alphabet as numerals. When Arabs decided to adopt the Hindu numerical system two centuries after the revelation of the Quran, they abandoned ABJAD and they changed the order of their alphabet to the current one about. I have presented conclusive archeological and Quranic evidence for the ABJAD system in the following chapters.

Abu Ameenah concludes his book with the following assertions:

“From the preceding thorough refutation of the “facts” of Dr. Rashad Khalifa’s Theory, it may be concluded that the theory of 19 as a miraculous numerical code for the Qur’an has no basis in the Qur’an itself and the few instances where 19 and its multiples do occur are merely coincidences which have been blown out of proportion by Dr. Khalifa.  It may be further concluded that the Doctor’s record of data falsification, textual changes and figure manipulation clearly indicate his dishonesty as a researcher and expose the low levels to which he stooped to invent support for his hoax.”

“Hence, 19 and its multiples may not be used to interpret anything of the Qur’an or Islam and all those sincere Muslims who have publicly propagated this theory in ignorance are Islamically obliged to publicly disown and discredit it, and immediately cease the publication, distribution and sale of books and tapes which support it.”

“With that I hope that all the doubts and queries surrounding the authenticity of Dr.Rashad Khalifa’s “findings” have been finally laid to rest.”

The rest of this book exposes the deception and ignorance of Abu Ameenah and his ilk. They are described by the numerous verses of the Quran as ingrates, those who have disease in their hearts, arrogant, ignorant and backward people. After reading the following verses you will learn the real source of Abu Ameenah’s inspiration:

  • 1:1       In the name of God, the Gracious, the Compassionate
  • 2:17    Their example is like one who lights a fire, so when it illuminates what is around him, God takes away his light and leaves him in the darkness not seeing.
  • 2:18    Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not revert.
  • 2:118  Those who do not know said, “If only God would speak to us, or a sign would come to us!” The people before them have said similar things; their hearts are so similar! We have clarified the signs for a people who have conviction.*
  • 3:7       He is the One who sent down to you the book, from which there are definite signs; they are the essence of the book; and others, which are multiple-meaning. As for those who have disease in their hearts, eager to cause confusion and eager to derive their interpretation, they will follow what is multiple-meaning from it. But none knows their meaning except God and those who are well founded in knowledge; they say, “We acknowledge it, all is from our Lord.” None will remember except the people of intellect.
  • 6:4       Whenever a sign came to them from their Lord, they turned away from it.
  • 6:5       They have denied the truth when it came to them. The news will ultimately come to them of what they were mocking.
  • 6:25    Among them are those who listen to you; and We have made covers over their hearts to prevent them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears; and if they see every sign they will not acknowledge; even when they come to you they argue, those who reject say, “This is nothing but the tales from the past!”
  • 6:26    They are deterring others from it, and keeping away themselves; but they will only destroy themselves, yet they do not notice.
  • 6:104  “Visible proofs have come to you from your Lord; so whoever can see does so for himself, and whoever is blinded, does the same. I am not a guardian over you.”
  • 6:158  Do they wait until the controllers will come to them, or your Lord comes, or some signs from your Lord? The day some signs come from your Lord, it will do no good for any person to acknowledge if s/he did not acknowledge before, or s/he gained good through his/her acknowledgement. Say, “Wait, for we too are waiting.”
  • 7:132  They said, “No matter what you bring us of a sign to bewitch us with, we will never acknowledge you.”
  • 7:146  I will divert from My signs those who are arrogant on earth unjustly, and if they see every sign they do not acknowledge it, and if they see the path of guidance they do not take it as a path; and if they see the path of straying, they take it as a path. That is because they have denied Our signs and were heedless of them.
  • 14:25  It bears its fruit every so often by its Lord’s leave. God cites the examples for the people, perhaps they will remember.
  • 14:26  The example of a bad word is like a tree which has been uprooted from the surface of the earth, it has nowhere to settle.
  • 20:133   They said, “If only he would bring us a sign from his Lord!” Did not proof come to them from what is in the previous book?*
  • 20:134   If We had destroyed them with retribution before this, they would have said, “Our Lord, if only You had sent us a messenger so we could follow Your signs before we are humiliated and shamed!”
  • 20:135   Say, “All are waiting, so wait, and you will come to know who the people upon the balanced path are and who are guided.”
  • 25:4    Those who rejected said, “This is but a falsehood that he invented and other people have helped him with it; for they have come with what is wrong and fabricated.”
  • 25:5    They said, “Mythologies of the ancient people; he wrote them down while they were being dictated to him morning and evening.”*
  • 25:73  Those who when they are reminded of their Lord’s signs, they do not fall on them deaf and blind.
  • 27:82  When the punishment has been deserved by them, We will bring out for them a creature made of earthly material, it will speak to them that the people have been unaware regarding Our signs.*
  • 27:83  The day We gather from every nation a party that denied Our signs, then they will be driven.
  • 27:84  Until they have come, He will say, “Have you denied My signs while you had no explicit knowledge of them? What were you doing?”*
  • 27:85  The punishment was deserved by them for what they transgressed, for they did not speak.
  • 27:92  “That I recite the Quran.” He who is guided is guided for himself, and to he who is misguided, say, “I am but one of the warners.”
  • 27:93  Say, “Praise be to God, He will show you His signs and you will know them. Your Lord is not unaware of what you do.”*
  • 29:1    A1L30M40
  • 29:2    Did the people think that they will be left to say, “We acknowledge” without being put to the test?
  • 29:3    While We had tested those before them, so that God would know those who are truthful and so that He would know the liars.
  • 29:4    Or did those who sinned think that they would be ahead of Us? Miserable indeed is their judgment!
  • 29:54  They hasten you for the retribution; while hell surrounds the ingrates. (Please read from 29:48)
  • 38:1    S90, and the Quran that contains the Reminder.*
  • 38:2    Indeed, those who have rejected are in false pride and defiance.
  • 38:3    How many a generation have We destroyed before them. They called out when it was far too late.
  • 38:4    They were surprised that a warner has come to them from among themselves. The ingrates said, “This is a magician, a liar.”
  • 38:5    “Has he made the gods into One god? This is indeed a strange thing!”
  • 38:6    The leaders among them went out: “Walk away, and remain patient to your gods. This thing can be turned back.”
  • 38:7    “We never heard of this from the people before us. This is but an innovation.”
  • 38:8    “Has the remembrance been sent down to him, from between all of us!” Indeed, they are doubtful of My reminder. They have not yet tasted My retribution.*
  • 38:29  A book that We have sent down to you, that is blessed, so that they may reflect upon its signs, and so that those with intelligence will take heed.
  • 41:53  We will show them Our signs in the horizons, and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the truth. Is it not enough that your Lord is witness over all things?*
  • 46:10  Say, “Do you see that if it were from God, and you rejected it, and a witness from the Children of Israel testified to its similarity, and he has acknowledged, while you have turned arrogant? Surely, God does not guide the wicked people.”*
  • 54:1    The moment drew near, and the moon was split.*
  • 54:2    If they see a sign, they turn away and say, “Continuous magic!”
  • 74:25  “This is nothing but the words of a human.”
  • 74:26  I will cast him in the Saqar.
  • 74:27  Do you know what Saqar is?
  • 74:28  It does not spare nor leave anything.*
  • 74:29  Manifest to all the people.*
  • 74:30  On it is nineteen.*
  • 74:31  We have made the guardians of the fire to be angels/controllers; and We did not make their number except as a test for those who have rejected, to convince those who were given the book, to strengthen the acknowledgment of those who have acknowledged, so that those who have been given the book and those who acknowledge do not have doubt, and so that those who have a sickness in their hearts and the ingrates would say, “What did God mean by this example?” Thus God misguides whoever/whomever He wishes, and He guides whoever/whomever He wishes. None knows your Lord’s soldiers except Him. It is but a reminder for people.
  • 74:32  No, by the moon.*
  • 74:33  By the night when it passes.
  • 74:34  By the morning when it shines.
  • 74:35  It is one of the great ones.
  • 74:36  A warning to people.
  • 74:37  For any among you who wishes to progress or regress.
  • 74:38  Every person is held by what it earned;
  • 74:39  Except for the people of the right.
  • 74:40  In paradises, they will be asking
  • 74:41  About the criminals.
  • 74:42  “What has caused you to be in Saqar?”
  • 74:43  They said, “We were not of those who offered support (or observed contact prayer).”*
  • 74:44  “We did not feed the poor.”
  • 74:45  “We used to participate with those who spoke falsehood.”
  • 74:46  “We used to deny the day of Judgment.”*
  • 74:47  “Until the certainty came to us.”
  • 74:48  Thus, no intercession of intercessors could help them.
  • 74:49  Why did they turn away from this reminder?*
  • 74:50  Like fleeing zebras,
  • 74:51  Running from the lion?
  • 74:52  Alas, every one of them wants to be given separate manuscripts.
  • 74:53  No, they do not fear the Hereafter.
  • 74:54  No, it is a reminder.
  • 74:55  Whosoever wishes will take heed.
  • 74:56  None will take heed except if God wills. He is the source of righteousness and the source of forgiveness.
  • 78:27  They did not expect a reckoning/computation.*
  • 78:28  They denied Our signs greatly.
  • 78:29  Everything We have counted in a record.
  • 78:30  So taste it, for no increase will come to you from Us except in retribution.
  • 83:18  No, the record of the pious is in Elliyeen.
  • 83:19  Do you know what Elliyeen is?
  • 83:20  A numerical book.
  • 83:21  To be witnessed by those brought near.


[1] An English translation of the Fatwaa can be found in In Defence of the Qur‘an and Sunnah.

[2]     For those readers who are not familiar with our resons for rejecting hadith and sunna, I recommend them to read one of the two booklets: 19 Questions for Muslim Scholars, or Manifesto for Islamic Reform. Bot hare available as boks or freely available on Internet, such as www.19.org or www.islamicreform.org

[3]     I recommend an excellent article written by TO Shanavas on this subject. “Was Aisha a Six-Year-Old Bride?” has been published in the first volume of anthology after our first conference: Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform, editors Edip Yuksel, et al, Brainbow Press, p. 39-46, 2009.

[4]     Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, THE QUR’AN’S NUMERICAL MIRACLE: Hoax and Heresy, 2nd Edition, 2002, p. 9

[5] Ibid, p. 16

[6] Ibid, p. 17

[7]     For a comprehensive refutation of Abu Ameenah and other Sunni or Shiite 19-phobic critics, see the chapter titled, Which one Do you See: Hell or Miracle?

[8]     Süleyman Ateş (76), former head of the Department of Religious Affairs in Turkey (1976-1978), theology professor and author, Turkey. At his personal website: http://www.suleyman-ates.com/