Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Does He Forget Or Doesn’t He?

Sam Shamoun

In the spirit of keeping Muslim polemicists consistent and honest we bring up another Quranic error for them to ponder over (cf. Q. 4:82).

In several places the Quran makes the assertion that Allah never forgets,

And we (angels) descend not except by the Command of your Lord (O Muhammad). To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between those two, and your Lord is never forgetful, S. 19:64 Hilali-Khan

Said Moses, 'The knowledge of them is with my Lord, in a Book; my Lord goes not astray, nor forgets – S. 20:52 Arberry

A claim that is contradicted by the following texts, all of which plainly state that Allah does indeed forget if and when he so wishes:

Who took their religion for a sport and pastime, and whom the life of the world beguiled. So this day We have forgotten them even as they forgot the meeting of this their Day and as they used to deny Our tokens. 7:51 Pickthall

The hypocrites, both men and women, proceed one from another. They enjoin the wrong, and they forbid the right, and they withhold their hands (from spending for the cause of Allah). They forget Allah, so He hath forgotten them. Lo! the hypocrites, they are the transgressors. 9:67 Pickthall

Then taste you (the torment of the Fire) because of your forgetting the Meeting of this Day of yours, (and) surely! We too will forget you, so taste you the abiding torment for what you used to do. S. 32:14 Hilali-Khan

And it will be said: This day We forget you, even as ye forgot the meeting of this your day; and your habitation is the Fire, and there is none to help you. S. 45:34 Pickthall

The foregoing demonstrates what happens when we adopt the same critical and unsympathetic approach to the Quran that Muslim apologists often employ against the Holy Bible – an approach that does not allow for the possibility of harmonization. This critical method of interpreting the Holy Bible leaves Muslim apologists with no other choice but to accept the fact that their own respective scripture fails the test of logical consistency (which it certainly does, unlike the Holy Bible).