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This is intended to be a canonical dupe-target for this class of question, which I see come up way too often.


I've encountered an argument, either in person or from a website, which claims that something I believe about the prophet or the religion of Islam isn't true. This argument most likely comes from a non-Muslim, and I think he's trying to make me leave Islam.

They have backed up their claims with numerous references, including hadiths and verses from the Qur'an, as well as from a variety of scientific resources.

I have faith that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger, and I believe that Islam is the right path, but I don't know how to defend my faith against these arguments. How should I answer?

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Simple answer? Don't.

And it has already come down to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah [recited], they are denied [by them] and ridiculed; so do not sit with them until they enter into another conversation. Indeed, you would then be like them. Indeed Allah will gather the hypocrites and disbelievers in Hell all together

[An-Nisa' 140]


And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversion. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people.

[Al-'An'am 68]

Why are you letting disbelievers tell you what is or is not a good example, instead of putting your faith in Allah and His messenger? Why are you letting yourself be drawn into arguments on sociology or sexual health or cosmology or quantum mechanics or whatever when you are not knowledgeable in any of those fields?

Providing references in a variety of fields may make their arguments look more compelling, but without a firm understanding of the fields involved and/or the critical skills required to identify common fallacies, it's very easy to misinterpret them. In fact, many of these fields are so complex that even people with a firm understanding and critical skills know better than to take any evidence or opinion at face value, and especially not as the only valid interpretation.

If you're not knowledgeable in the fields involved, be they scientific or religious, you shouldn't be jumping to conclusions, and especially not when those conclusions are the ones that the disbelievers want you to jump to. In fact you shouldn't be letting disbelievers teach your own religion to you at all, when their goal is just to spread their own disbelief rather than to spread knowledge.

Instead of arguing without knowledge, you should just be leaving them to their disbelief. If you want to strengthen yourself in the face of such questions in the future, studying the relevant fields (be they religion or science) with the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher whose goal is spreading knowledge will fare you much better than just trusting whatever these disbelievers tell you. That way, the next time someone tries to engage you in such an argument you'll be able to defend yourself from a foundation of firm knowledge and understanding instead of ignorance while your opponent controls the discussion.

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Let’s look at this logically. In order to do that, ignore the specific topic of your question and look at the logical structure of it, which basically boils down to the following:

1) I believe X.

2) Somebody else has made an argument that X is not true. They have given reasonable references and based it at least partially on the very source that makes me believe X in the first place. (Note: The question explicitly presents the counter argument as reasonably thought out -- “backed by numerous references” etc.)

3) I wish to continue believing X. Therefore, please tell me how to dismiss the potentially valid arguments that X is false.

If you are being honest, you should probably consider the argument. If you simply dismiss any argument that disagrees with your beliefs, you are not seeking true understanding of the Universe around you, but maintaining faith for the sake of faith. In essence, you’re lying to yourself because you find your preexisting belief to be comforting.

To be clear, it’s entirely possible the argument presented to you is false. But you’ll never know if you don’t even consider the question. Don’t have faith for faith’s sake. Seek truth, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

(Side note: “I think he’s trying to make me leave Islam” is irrelevant to the logic. Why somebody is presenting an argument has no bearing on whether the argument is valid or not. If I tell you smoking cigarettes causes cancer, the fact that I’m trying to convince you to stop smoking is not evidence that it doesn’t cause cancer....)

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    Considering arguments from obviously biased sources who don't have your best interests at heart because they might be true isn't so much a path to true understanding as it is a path to wasting time and energy. It takes far less effort to present a convenient but unsustainable argument than it does to investigate and debunk it, which only favors those who have an agenda to push over those who are seeking actual truth. – goldPseudo Sep 10 at 5:35
  • Sure, but assuming anything that goes against your preexisting belief must be biased or trying to harm you is itself a bias – Stephen R Sep 10 at 5:57
  • The question explicitly presents the counter argument as reasonably thought out: “backed by numerous references” etc. This isn’t just some troll trying to throw you off. “Obviously biased” is entirely your own invention – Stephen R Sep 10 at 6:01

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