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Abu Hanifa debates an atheist

Published by Abdus-Samad under Evidence for Islam, Ramadan

Aug 22 2009

Assalam alaykum / Peace be upon you.

Ramadan mubarak! Happy Ramadan! The month of fasting has begun. More than 37 countries have begun fasting today. If you are a non-Muslim who does not know what Ramadan is, read the basics here. There is a full explanation and guide to Ramadan here.

An atheist meets up with Abu Hanifa

Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanifa madhab (school of jurisprudence), was asked by the ruler to meet with the Muslims and an atheist so Abu Hanifa could debate with the atheist. They set a time for them to all gather and meet up. It was sunset at the time and one hour had passed, but Abu Hanifah still hadn’t arrived. Another hour had passed, but still there was no sign of him. The Muslims started to become tense and worried about his late arrival. They did not want the atheist to think that they were too scared to debate him, yet they did not want to take up the challenge themselves as Abu Hanifah was a better than debater than themselves. Another hour passed, and suddenly the atheist started laughing and said, “Your best debater is too scared! He knows he’s wrong, he is too frightened to come and debate with me. I guarantee he will not turn up today.”

Many hours passed until Abu Hanifa finally came. Everyone questioned him about his being late and what happened. So he started explaining how there was river that he had to cross….and he was waiting for a boat to come and bring him on the other side of the river. While he was waiting, the branches and leaves of the tree fell and slowly formed themselves into a boat. And he jumped in that boat crossed the river.

The atheist laughed bust out laughing and remarked, “Oh Abu Hanifah, I heard that you were the best debater from amongst the Muslims, I heard that you were the wisest, the most knowledgeable from amongst your people. From seeing you today, I can say that you show none of these qualities. You speak of a boat appearing from nowhere, without someone having built it. Nails positioning themselves without someone having banged them, sealant being poured without someone having poured it, and the boat taking you to your destination without a navigator against the tide. You are taking childish, you are talking ridiculous, I swear I do not believe a word of it!”

Abu Hanifah turned to the atheist and replied, “You don’t believe a word of it?”

The atheist remarked defiantly, “Yes I don’t believe a word of it!”

Abu Hanifah replied, “If you cannot believe that a boat came into being without a boat maker, than this is only a boat so how can you believe that the whole world, the universe, the stars, the oceans, and the planets came into being without a creator?


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