A Reaction to a Reaction to Dr. Zakir Naik’s Scientific Miracles (#1)
26 Oct 2017
Cosmology, Miracles / I'jaz
Stop Spamming here deconstructs a video from October 2017 by Mohammed Hijab and Abu Safiyyah. The evaluation of the original video on the Portal may be found here.
This is not a reaction video, as the genre is currently evolving, but a critique of Hijab and Abu Safiyyah’s presentation. Stop Spamming includes multiple clips from the original video, and uses these to frame his own presentation.
The primary criticism Stop Spamming makes of the presentation is based on (failures of) logic and “linguistic contortions”. He suggests that Hijab and Abu Safiyyah could have rebutted digging into the Quran for science narratives generally. But instead they use Zakir Naik’s name as “click bait” and wander around in a “swamp of random words and expressions”.
Stop Spamming identifies two central ideas in Hijab and Abu Safiyyah’s video:
If something is true, then the sentence in the Qurʾān may be may be maybe interpreted accordingly
Don’t follow what science says, but you can follow scientific evidence if it matches what the Qurʾān says, within limits
As he steps through clips, he points out what is correct and wrong. Although Stop Spamming is generally disdainful of religion, he acknowledges what is correct and incorrect, providing additional references to support his presentation. (References for his material can be found in the video’s description on YouTube.) In some instances, he assumes his viewers are familiar with the recent history of the discussion of scientific miracles in the Quran, naming individuals like al-Zindani, who seems to have enabled if not sponsored the use of Western scholars to “prove” these narratives are miraculous. (For more information on this, see this page.)
Stop Spamming briefly glosses the history of the separation narrative that Zakir Naik presents from verse 21.30 of the Quran, noting that it’s “just an old fairy tale” based on Egyptian and other Near Eastern mythologies that have also, Stop Spamming suggests, found their way into the Bible.
Stop Spamming does a better job than the original video in presenting a variety of translations on the screen for viewers to see for themselves how the translations vary. (Stop Spamming uses the site QuranX.com as his source, which also allows for searching ḥadīth and tafsīr.)
Stop Spamming has long been making videos poking fun at errors in presentations that lump religion and science together. The description for the channel curating this video, one of several Stop Spamming oversees, indicates that it is not anti-Islamic per se, but may point out things about the Qurʾān which are uncomfortable to Muslims. Some care must be taken, with this in mind, not to extrapolate to all Muslims his laugher and sarcasm against the problematic statements in the analyzed video.
Islam: Although it’s clear that Stop Spamming is not a follower of Islam, he does make an effort to present Qurʾānic material accessibly. However, he repeatedly suggests that somehow the English translation of the Qurʾān holds some religious value, which most Muslims reject, holding the Arabic version, with all of the various ways of understanding it, to be the only version that holds religious significance.
Science: There is little science presented by Stop Spamming, and because the original video also has relatively little, all one may say is that science, and in particular the scientific method, is presented by Stop Spamming in ways that contemporary scientists would agree with.
History: Stop Spamming corrects historical errors that the original video presents on Maurice Bucaille, for instance. He also accurately presents material on how translations of the Qurʾān shifted after the expansion of the universe became known, although it is not exhaustively discussed here.