Does Islam Teach "Substitutionary Atonement"? – A Response to a Christian Apologist

Blogging Theology’s resident missionary Ken Temple gets a timely roasting..

The Quran and Bible Blog

Does Islam Teach “Substitutionary Atonement”?  A Response to a Christian Apologist

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“Say: ‘O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped.’”

          – The Holy Quran, Surah Az-Zumar, 39:53-54 (Yusuf Ali)

            With the proliferation of the Internet, it has become common to see a myriad number of websites and blogs dedicated to the propagation of many different ideologies.  Among these millions of websites, there are many dedicated to the propagation of religious ideas (such as this blog), ranging from the well-known religions such as Christianity and Islam, as well as the lesser known ones, such as Shintoism and Voodoo.  Of course, with the…

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Categories: Islam

26 replies

  1. My argument, if you read all three of my articles on this issue, was not that Islam totally agrees with substitutionary atonement, but that it unwittingly and unknowingly, ignorantly does, by the verse in Surah 37:107, and some Hadith in another article.

    I should have made that more clear:

    Even the Qur’an, unknowingly and unwittingly and ignorantly agrees with the concept of substitutionary atonement:
    Surah 37:107

    “and We ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice”

    وفديناه بذبح عظيم

    The substitution of the ram in the place of Abraham’s son proves that it (the ransom) means “substitutionary atonement”.

    Yes, I agree that I should have added some comments about this verse, Surah 22:37:

    “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.”

    This is an attempt at denying the truth of substitutionary ransom atonement – that the actual sacrifice and bloody death “reach God”, but the Piety of the act of the Muslim – so, this is also another confirmation of trusting in your good works (Piety, Taqwa, تقوی )

    The point of the blood and flesh is about the violent death of the victim. The violence is a symbol of God’s answer at sin. The blood means that the life was drained out of the victim – that it died in the place of the sinful humans. (the sacrificial system in the OT)

    Islam seeks to deny the truth of substitutionary atonement, but it cannot totally, since it affirms it unknowingly by appealing to the truth of the test of Abraham in Genesis 22, and calling the substitution of a ram in the place of Abraham’s son, a “ransom”. from these roots and related words, Fada, Fedieh, فدا، فدیه

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    • “The substitution of the ram in the place of Abraham’s son proves that it (the ransom) means “substitutionary atonement”.”

      This is called a non-sequitur, you idiot. The “ransom” was simply that Abraham could kill the ram instead of his son. His son was “ransomed” from being sacrificed. There is no mention of “atonement” you moron, just like there is no mention of atonement with the Passover sacrifice. 😉

      “The point of the blood and flesh is about the violent death of the victim. The violence is a symbol of God’s answer at sin. The blood means that the life was drained out of the victim – that it died in the place of the sinful humans. (the sacrificial system in the OT)”

      And this is why your religion is false. Your god thinks that as long as “someone” or “something” pays the price, then all is forgiven. It doesn’t have to be the sinner himself. As long as “someone/thing” died, your god is sated. LOL!! What kind of a god is that? How is that justice?

      “Islam seeks to deny the truth of substitutionary atonement, but it cannot totally, since it affirms it unknowingly by appealing to the truth of the test of Abraham in Genesis 22,”

      Another silly argument, using astounding leaps of logic! First of all, Genesis 22 is part of a garbled account of Abraham’s family life. Second, Genesis 22 repeatedly refers to the sacrifice of Isaac as a “burnt offering” not a “sin offering”. While a burnt offering was sometimes offered along with a sin offering, when it was offered alone, it was not necessarily for sins. This can be seen in Jethro’s burnt offering in Exodus 18:

      “Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 He said, “Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” 12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.” (Exodus 18:9-12)

      Here, Jethro cleared offered burnt offering as a thanksgiving offering. The same can be seen from Noah’s offerings:

      “So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

      20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:18-21)

      The context from both passages shows that the offerings were for thanksgiving, not for sin. Sin is never mentioned. The same applies to Genesis 22. The ram that was sacrificed as a “burnt offering” was done to give thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The violence (bloody death, flesh, blood, meat) is a symbol of God’s wrath at sin.

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  3. @ Ken

    “This is an attempt at denying the truth of substitutionary ransom atonement – that the actual sacrifice and bloody death “reach God”, but the Piety of the act of the Muslim – so, this is also another confirmation of trusting in your good works (Piety, Taqwa, تقوی )”

    Just like how you failed to read 7:157, 22:37 has nothing to do with your religion this is God commenting on our sacrifices at Hajj:

    22:36. I made camels and livestock part of God’s sacred ritual for you. There is much good in them for you, so recite God’s name over them as they’re lined up for sacrifice. Then, when they have fallen down on their sides lifeless, feed yourselves and the needy who do not ask, along with those who do. I’ve subjected them to you in this way so that you can be godfearing.
    22:37. It’s neither their flesh nor their blood that reaches God, what reaches Him is your piety. He has subjected them to you in this way so that you can glorify God for having guided you, so give congratulations to those who do good.

    Because you are retarded let me help you. God doesn’t need anything from us (gasp!) The purpose of the verse is God is denying He needs sacrificing for sustenance what matters was your intent in trying to please Him. To show the stupidity of what you just said let me rephrase using a different act of worship:

    “It is not your money that reaches God when you give charity, what reaches Him is your piety. And that you glorify God for having guided you, so give congratulations to those who do good.”

    Now imagine some cult later came and said:
    “Elron Hubbard is the true money!!!! The exchange of money from one hand to another is representative of God exchanging sin onto Himself!!!!!”

    You would look at them like their stupid. That is the hilariousness of your religion.

    (PS the million-dollar question you always run away from. What happen to those millions of humans (especially children) outside of Israel in the OT sacrifice system? As an add-on, what happens to those millions of humans (especially children) before Christianity reached them even after Jesus(as) came onto the scene?

    Also, if you didn’t have borderline dyslexia let me pull out the phrase for you: ” so that you can glorify God for having guided you” notice God takes the credit for Himself, not the person’s actions going back to what I said earlier about the cycle of having faith and doing good increases it.

    (PSS Taqwa تقوی does not mean “good deeds” dumb@$$)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Since both Genesis 22:13 and the Quran 37:107 seem to express that a ransom or at least a substitution took place, we might ask what the underlying idea behind this might be.

    Interestingly, the Hebrew has simply has simply “taḥat” i.e., “in the place of” whereas the Arabic has wafadaynahu, i.e., “and We ransomed him”, from the root f-d-y. The cognate root for ransom, p-d-h in Hebrew, (also found in a few other Semitic languages) is often used for ransom e.g., Lev. 27:27;29, but here in Gen. 22:13 it is not employed.

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  5. Hello, how comes you have deleted your Youtube channel? I was really enjoying watching them…especially because I’m stuck at home all day.

    Ash.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “We ransomed him with a Feat sacrifice”

    Thanksgiving is a freewill offering. To ransom something one is forced to pay whatever price is demanded as a substitute for the thing ransomed. So the two are mutually exclusive.

    The bible does link burnt offering and sin offering:

    And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

    Leviticus 4:25

    And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering.

    Leviticus 5:7

    And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.

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    • Dumbass, I already said that a burnt offering could also be offered with a sin offering, but when it’s mentioned alone, it’s not necessarily for sin. The context of Noah, Abraham and Jethro’s sacrifices shows that it was not for sin but for Thanksgiving. The verses you showed specifically mention “sins” but with Noah, Abraham, and Jethro, there is no mention of sin at all.

      For Abraham and Isaac, the ram was provided by God, so there was no forced ransom.

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      • There was only one offering before the law of Moses and that was the burnt offering. The examples you provide all occur before the law of Moses and the word thanksgiving is nowhere in any of these texts. The example of Job shows that the burnt offering was used a sin offering as it is explicitly stated in the text itself and that is stronger evidence than you are offering, if any, to show that the element of thanksgiving is always the primary element in the burnt offering. Thus you can offer no proof from the text itself in your examples that the burnt offering is solely an expression of thanksgiving excluding the element of atonement.

        If the ransom was provided by God and the writer of the Koran expressly states this then it cannot have been a thanksgiving offering unless God was thanking himself. As I already said, and you have no response to this, the idea of substitution is inherent to ransom. The value of one thing being substituted in payment for another.

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      • Dummy, the context shows that it was a Thanksgiving offering. What sin was Jethro atoning for, stupid? Think about it for one second, instead of Googling for answers from your like-minded, deluded brethren.

        The example of Job specifically states that it was for sin atonement. The examples of Noah, Abraham and Jethro do not. The proof is from the context. You are just too deluded to accept that.

        Regarding the Quran, the ram was sacrificed as a prelude to the Hajj sacrifices. The sacrifices are eaten, not burned.

        As I already said, you morons are stuck on one word. Ishmael was “ransomed” in that he did not need to be sacrificed. It’s quite simple, at least for those of us with functioning brains. God had no intention of requiring Ishmael’s death. It was just a test of faith. Once Abraham and Ishmael passed the test, God provided a ram to sacrifice. As with the Hajj sacrifices, the ram would have been eaten and distributed among Abraham’s people. Nothing there about substitutionary atonement. You sick Christians with a blood fetish are trying to twist the texts of both the Quran and Bible to confirm your deluded views.

        I have no problem with words like substitution or ransom. But tacking on “atonement” is just pathetic Christian eisegesis. There is no indication of any atonement for sin. Get over it.

        Did you find the fossils of Brutus the Brontosaurus yet? 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • @ Erasmus

        Its a thanksgiving for not having to kill my son and guiding me in faith.

        Unlike you guys, this isn’t just some theoretical thing for us. Muslims still do sacrifices like an Aqeeqah which is both required and a thanksgiving. So that argument doesn’t even make sense.

        Furthermore, you have sacrifices like in Hajj which is again thanksgiving and required:

        22:37. It’s neither their flesh nor their blood that reaches God, what reaches Him is your piety. He has subjected them to you in this way so that you can glorify God for having guided you…

        Liked by 3 people

      • Giulio

        The only thing desperate is you trying to get laughs with your corny comments.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Faiz has problems turning Job in to a thanksgiving only forerunner of hajj. The bible always seems to have some flies handy for Islam’s soup.

    Another problem is that humans were vegetarians up to the flood so they didn’t actually eat and distribute the burnt offering. So where is the islamic piety in that case coming from?

    Why does Allah insist on a sacrifice involving the killing of an animal to forgive sins at Hajj if the blood has no effect? Why doesn’t he forgive sins using say bread rolls or chocolate bars for example? That is also nutrition which can be eaten and given to the poor? Is there something magic in the blood?

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    • @ Erasmus

      Why does God have us do anything? Why have us pray and not hop up and down on one foot in the corner? You can play that game to eternity. The purpose is obeying the action.

      Liked by 2 people

    • @Erasmus

      “So where is the islamic piety in that case coming from?”

      “Returning to the modern description of rituals as irrational, we now recognize that this short-sighted perception stems, predominantly, from an inability to see beyond the physical movements and motor behavior involved in a ritual, while remaining oblivious to the metaphysical significance of the acts being performed. The Qur’an addresses this head-on when discussing the ritual sacrifice of an animal: “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you” (Qur’an 22:37). The physical action is but the external shell of what is a spiritual exercise aimed at achieving nearness to God through the symbolic language of sacrifice: giving up what is dear to oneself (wealth/property/time/effort) to express one’s love for the Divine and one’s submission to His will. The outward actions are actually symbols for what is on the inside. In fact, Allah describes rituals as symbols of our spirituality in the Qur’an: “And whoever honors the symbols of Allah—indeed, it is from the piety of hearts” (Qur’an 22:32).”

      “Why does Allah insist on a sacrifice involving the killing of an animal to forgive sins at Hajj if the blood has no effect? Why doesn’t he forgive sins using say bread rolls or chocolate bars for example? That is also nutrition which can be eaten and given to the poor? Is there something magic in the blood?”

      “As we have previously discussed, Islamic rituals are not aimless in purpose but rather seek to evoke emotions in the hearts of believers. The rites and rituals of Hajj are no exception. In fact, the Qur’an specifies the goal of ‘inclining hearts’ (i.e., emotions and passions) through the mechanism of Hajj. This is mentioned in the prayer of Abraham, which is then fulfilled by God through the commandment of Hajj:

      Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. (Qur’an 14:37)”

      “Thus, we find the humanitarian spirit of Islam emphasized on the day of Eid al-Adha. As Muslims celebrate this day with their families, they share their blessings with others, as God states in the Qur’an that the Hajj rituals were prescribed “so they may experience several forms of benefit, and exalt God’s name during the appointed days over the cattle which God has provided for them. So eat of them and feed the destitute and poor.”[40] The emphasis on the humanitarian benefit is repeated only a few verses later, “When the animals have been sacrificed, then eat from them and feed the needy and the beggar. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful.”[41] In the spirit of serving all humanity, the meat is donated to the poor, regardless of religious background.[42] The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught, “Donate in charity to people of all faiths.”[43]”

      in depth version: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/ibrahim-hindy/living-abrahams-legacy-relevance-of-rites-and-rituals-in-the-modern-age/

      tldr version: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/nazir-khan/hajj-abrahams-legacy-infographic/

      Liked by 2 people

    • Iggy the dummy keeps trying to justify his blood fetish.

      “Faiz has problems turning Job in to a thanksgiving only forerunner of hajj. The bible always seems to have some flies handy for Islam’s soup.”

      LOL, and Iggy keeps ignoring Noah, Abraham and Jethro who offered thanksgiving sacrifices. The Bible always seems to have some flies handy for Christianity’s blood soup. 😉

      “Another problem is that humans were vegetarians up to the flood so they didn’t actually eat and distribute the burnt offering. So where is the islamic piety in that case coming from?”

      ROFTL!! This is why Iggy is such a joke! Thank you for refuting Christianity and the Bible!

      The reality is that humans have been around for much longer than your scientifically-disabled book would tell us. And vegetarianism would not have applied. We know this from fossils that are much older than just 6000 years. Humans have always been omnivores (eating both meat and vegetables). For you to use your silly Bible myth against Islam is laughable, but it does prove that your religion is clueless about the actual history of life on earth. Iggy needs to go back to 5th-grade science class.

      “Why does Allah insist on a sacrifice involving the killing of an animal to forgive sins at Hajj if the blood has no effect? Why doesn’t he forgive sins using say bread rolls or chocolate bars for example? That is also nutrition which can be eaten and given to the poor? Is there something magic in the blood?”

      These questions were already answered moron. Try to keep up. Animals have been provided to us as food and for other uses. It’s the pious act of obedience to God and charity to our neighbors and the poor that reaches God, not the blood. You see Iggy, unlike your pagan god, our God does not have a blood fetish and doesn’t get turned on by blood. Your pagan god does. He even seems to really enjoy the “aroma” of the burnt offerings. This is just borrowed pagan mythology that your Bible has blashemously applied to the True God. Grow up, you silly pagan, and repent to God.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “Iggy the dummy keeps trying to justify his blood fetish.”

        lol, its your religion that perpetuates blood sacrifice, not mine you hypocrite.

        We’ll see how much blood flows for Allah’s blood fetish when Ramadan gets going.

        Why doesn’t non bloody food sharing piety take away Muslim sins? Only the bloody kind makes Allah merciful to the point that he is willing to forgives sin when he gets the smell of it. Why is the piety only meritorious for Allah when its in the form of killing an animal and not meritorious when it isn’t? Looks like Allah likes the smell of blood to me. There is something in blood that is not in bread for example.

        If there was only one sacrifice of thanksgiving before Moses it could not have morphed in to the various forms of sacrifice that are found in the law of Moses. This proves that the burnt offering before Moses combined thanksgiving and propitiation, not just thanksgiving.

        If only the piety goes up then it is not the mercy of Allah that forgives sins as a result of the sacrifice it is the piety of men. This is just another pilgrimage ponzie scheme which is typical of false religions. Do a good deed to buy the forgiveness of a bad deed.

        Why do Muslims show up at the at the Hajj with sins to their debit? Didn’t all the ritual recital at Friday prayers get rid of them all? Seems that Allah is not so merciful as he is cracked out to be.

        “Grow up, you silly pagan, and repent to God.”

        Who’s calling who a pagan? lol I don’t need stones to worship God.

        You should take your own advice!!

        I’m certainly not the only one who thinks that Mohammed just reduced the number of gods that the meccan pagans worshipped but he allowed them to continue practising all their pagan rituals. It was a big money spinning venture then and it still is now. Reminds me of Luther and the church of Rome.

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      • @ Erasmus

        “lol, its your religion that perpetuates blood sacrifice, not mine you hypocrite.”

        Well as long as you’re admitting that you don’t follow Abraham’s(as) religion I think that’s all that matters.

        “We’ll see how much blood flows for Allah’s blood fetish when Ramadan gets going.”

        We don’t sacrifice anything in Ramadan?

        “Why doesn’t non bloody food sharing piety take away Muslim sins?”

        It does? Please see Zakat al Fitr. We use grain, Canned goods, Vegetables etc.

        “This is just another pilgrimage ponzie scheme which is typical of false religions. Do a good deed to buy the forgiveness of a bad deed.”

        So I guess that whole “Temple” thing was a ponzie scheme as well. You do not “buy forgiveness” again if someone has a bad/incorrect intentions they get nothing…nothing…nothing… If someone can’t afford it they are exempt etc.

        “Why do Muslims show up at the at the Hajj with sins to their debit? Didn’t all the ritual recital at Friday prayers get rid of them all?”

        First off I’m sorry you don’t feel the need to pray to God. Next, humans sin all the time.

        “Who’s calling who a pagan? lol I don’t need stones to worship God.”

        Neither do we?

        “I’m certainly not the only one who thinks that Mohammed just reduced the number of gods that the meccan pagans worshipped but he allowed them to continue practising all their pagan rituals.”

        Who said he didn’t? The issue was not them worshipping Allah (you know just like Jesus(as) did):
        https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=h426

        The issue is the number of partners and children they worshipped alongside God like Christians do or the kingdom of Israel did.

        ” It was a big money spinning venture then and it still is now. Reminds me of Luther and the church of Rome.”

        Multiple things we’re reformed in the ritual and by the conquest of Mecca Muslims, we were no longer hurting for money. Also, Muhammad(saw) didn’t take any cuts from Hajj so that’s a weird accusation. This is a way God had blessed something He sanctioned. I fail to see the problem.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ahh, here we go again. The moron Iggy asking for some more humiliation! Did you find Brutus the Brontosaurus, yet? That’s the first question.

        “lol, its your religion that perpetuates blood sacrifice, not mine you hypocrite.”

        LOL!! Except that our religion doesn’t say that forgiveness is in the spilling of blood. Unlike your pagan god, my God does not get turned on by blood and burning animal flesh.

        Furthermore, read Ezekiel, you ignorant crosstian! According to the prophecies in Ezekiel, the temple sacrifices are supposed to be reinstated.

        “We’ll see how much blood flows for Allah’s blood fetish when Ramadan gets going.”

        ROTFL!! You see? Two sentences in and Iggy the moron has already committed his first blunder! We don’t sacrifice animals during Ramadan or even Eid ul-Fitr. You’re thinking of Eid ul-Adha, you dunce. I think you have been watching too many of christian prince’s videos. 😉

        “Why doesn’t non bloody food sharing piety take away Muslim sins? Only the bloody kind makes Allah merciful to the point that he is willing to forgives sin when he gets the smell of it. Why is the piety only meritorious for Allah when its in the form of killing an animal and not meritorious when it isn’t? Looks like Allah likes the smell of blood to me. There is something in blood that is not in bread for example.”

        They do, you idiot. Giving any kind of food serves to take away sins. Any act of charity serves that purpose. But people also eat meat. We are omnivores, unlike your mythical Biblical figures who sustained themselves by eating only vegetables, LOL!! A balanced diet includes eating meat. So, there is no reason why animal meat cannot be distributed as well.

        “If there was only one sacrifice of thanksgiving before Moses it could not have morphed in to the various forms of sacrifice that are found in the law of Moses. This proves that the burnt offering before Moses combined thanksgiving and propitiation, not just thanksgiving.”

        Dummy, your eisegesis is pathetic. Again, what sin was Jethro atoning for? Come on now. Answer this question. I asked it before and you didn’t answer.

        “If only the piety goes up then it is not the mercy of Allah that forgives sins as a result of the sacrifice it is the piety of men. This is just another pilgrimage ponzie scheme which is typical of false religions. Do a good deed to buy the forgiveness of a bad deed.”

        LOL! As Stew pointed out, your god had a pretty large ponzi scheme going for thousands of years. And if Ezekiel is right, then that ponzie scheme will be restarted in the future. Oh Iggy, just keep your mouth shut. You are embarrassing your religion.

        “Why do Muslims show up at the at the Hajj with sins to their debit? Didn’t all the ritual recital at Friday prayers get rid of them all? Seems that Allah is not so merciful as he is cracked out to be.”

        All people sin, you idiot. Allah is merciful but also just. Unlike your pagan god, who accepts a human sacrifice to forgive everyone else in one shot, Allah is just. We must atone for our sins by seeking His forgiveness, and also doing good deeds. Of course, no matter how many good deeds we do, we can never make up for all the blessings Allah has given us. In the end, it is His mercy that saves us. Alhamdulillah!

        “Who’s calling who a pagan? lol I don’t need stones to worship God.”

        LOL, neither do we. But your god is like the pagan gods of ancient times, requiring blood to be spilled as the only way to atone and please him. But your Bible puts great emphasis on stones:

        “Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.” (Genesis 28:18)

        LOL!! Hey everyone! Let’s pour oil on a stone to honor our god!

        Sounds like Hindus pouring milk on their “Shiva lingam” to worship their false god. Yuck!

        “I’m certainly not the only one who thinks that Mohammed just reduced the number of gods that the meccan pagans worshipped but he allowed them to continue practising all their pagan rituals. It was a big money spinning venture then and it still is now. Reminds me of Luther and the church of Rome”

        LOL, tell that to your god and his money-making scheme. I mean, even humans were used as commodities by your god:

        “32 The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep, 33 72,000 cattle, 34 61,000 donkeys 35 and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.

        36 The half share of those who fought in the battle was:

        337,500 sheep, 37 of which the tribute for the Lord was 675;

        38 36,000 cattle, of which the tribute for the Lord was 72;

        39 30,500 donkeys, of which the tribute for the Lord was 61;

        40 16,000 people, of whom the tribute for the Lord was 32.” (Numbers 31:32-40)

        Hmmm, it’s big business taking slaves and animals, huh? Business was good in those days! Bwhahahaha!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. As far as I understand it: God’s commandments exist for various reasons such as to avoid harmful results, to encourage good things (good character, good health, etc…) as well as to benefit humanity but there can also be some that exist purely to distinguish communities (such as when the qibla was originally in Jerusalem).

    Sometimes even some commandments in the Qur’an are given without a reason such as regards food laws (although those prohibitions are by no means bad for anyone).

    To dismiss a commandment on the basis of them seeming arbitrary betrays a misunderstanding of what they ultimately seek to achieve which is to be “mindful of God” and to “surrender wholly to God”.

    I could just as easily ask why does God need people to sacrifice in the temple at Jerusalem rather than in their back garden or why to celebrate the Passover and not their neighbor’s flyover.

    Liked by 3 people

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