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Some Christians (including an individual named Christian Prince) cite a verse which say:

The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?

Surah Tawbah (9) : 30

They claim that

Quran is man-made fabricated book. If it were from God, then why would God say, "May Allah destroy them"?

Why didn't it say, "May Allah guide them"?

And they also say:

If this is Allah speaking then it is saying, "May Allah destroy them" to who?

If Allah is talking then he will not say, "May Allah destroy them"

Here Allah praying to who?

Why say, "May God curse you, May God.....whatever etc. That's mean I'm asking God. So obviously I'm not God. And this is exactly what's happening here.

So this is how they claim that Quran is not from God. "If it were from God, God is praying to who?"- This is the main point of their argument.

  • 1
    It is a feature of Arabic that Allah can refer to Himself in the third-person. Have a look here: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/900/…, and I hope that answers your question. – The Z Apr 13 at 13:33
  • Is "May Allah destroy them" the only possible translation? I am not a native arabic speaker, but I find no evidence that it is not "Allah may destroy them". – Jeschu Aug 2 at 22:38
  • @Jeschu It is the correct translation. It is structured as "May Allah bless you" or "May Allah reward you." "Allah may destroy them" would be completely different. The first is asking for something to happen, and the second is expressing doubt that something will happen. – The Z Aug 2 at 23:07
  • @The Z: thanks. – Jeschu Aug 3 at 16:45
  • Does this answer your question? Why some verses of Quran refer to God as a plural entity? – The Z Aug 3 at 20:09
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I had no calm with this question either, mak a second try. The context of this passage is:

The Jews said, “Ezra is the son of God,” and the Christians said, “The Messiah is the son of God.” These are their statements, out of their mouths. They emulate the statements of those who blasphemed before. May God destroy them! How deluded they are! They have taken their rabbis and their priests as lords instead of God, as well as the Messiah son of Mary. Although they were commanded to worship none but The One God. There is no god except He. Glory be to Him; High above what they associate with Him.

The confusion is about the wow at the end 9:30:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللّهِ وَقَالَتْ النَّصَارَى الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ اللّهِ ذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُم بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ يُضَاهِؤُونَ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَبْلُ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللّهُ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ

Grammatically, this sentence can be translated as «God has destroyed them» or «May God destroy them», perhaps also «God used to destroy them».

The same formulation

قَاتَلَهُمُ اللّهُ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ

is also found in Quran 63:4 (referring to hypocrites). I first had a look onto various translations (not only English). They vary a lot;

Saheeh International:

9:30, 63:4 May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?

Itani:

9:30 May God assail them! How deceived they are! 63:4 God condemns them; how deluded they are!

Wahidduddin Khan:

9:30 May God destroy them! How far astray they have been led! 63:4 The curse of God be upon them! How they turn away!

Rodwell:

9:30, 63:4 God do battle with them! How are they misguided!

Pickthall:

9:30 Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! 63:4 Allah confound them. How they are perverted!

Most translations follow Saheeh International, some put it into present positive (like Itani in 63:4, and Pickthall 9:30), once I found past tense (Pickthall 63:4).

«God fights against them» does not fit the grammar form.

«God has destroyed them» (I never found) does not fit well either because then they would not exist any more.

The translation of Pickthall would make sense in both criteria, but I think «confound» is quite an uncommon translation for قَاتَلَ.

Finally, I think, «May God destroy them» is correct. However, it should not be interpreted as a wish directed to God but rather like «Let God destroy them at the time. Give up to persuade them or to make them repent.»

It also fits well to the hypocrites in 63:4 as it is impossible to talk to someone about a problem that he denies. So let them see..

As to the context of 9:30, the Prophet was told that he cannot persuade the people had around him and to leave it to God to punish them.

(Remark: it needn't be impossible today; I already persuaded a Christian to pray to God, not to Jesus)

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