Allan Ruhl and the Song of Songs: A Case Study in Mental Gymnastics
The Catholic apologist Allan Ruhl has responded to my recent publication “Is Muhammad in the Song of Songs? Responding to a Christian’s Objections”, but has offered a rather poor rebuttal. In this follow-up article, I will discuss his failure to refute the main points that have been raised.
Ruhl’s Objections – Part II
Ruhl made the following opening statement in his article:
“[Faiz] didn’t even try to refute my points in my post but tried to make Muhammad into a type of Solomon.”
This is a rather strange comment. First, had Ruhl read my article carefully, he would have realized that I was not arguing for the Muslim appeal to the Song of Songs as a prophecy about Muhammad (peace be upon him). Here is what I said in a footnote:
“…this article is not attempting to defend the Muslim argument, or even to respond to the typical Christian responses, but to offer a rebuttal to Ruhl’s specific objections to the Song of Songs controversy.”
So, Ruhl should not be surprised or disappointed that I did not respond to his “post”, because that was not why I was responding to him in the first place! Instead, the purpose of my response was to showcase the double standards that Christian apologists are guilty of. And thus far, Ruhl has failed to refute the telltale evidence of his double standards. He has, in fact, magnificently demonstrated these double standards!
Second, lest Ruhl forgets, the “parallels” between Solomon and Muhammad (peace be upon them) were only provided in response to his own challenge! This is what Ruhl said in one of his posts:
“…where in Classical Islamic literature is this rich parallel that you find with Jesus and Israel in the NT, especially Revelation. I don’t see it in the Quran, Hadith, Sira, early Tafsir, etc. However, if you provide me evidence to the contrary, I will concede the point.”
Interestingly, when I responded to this challenge and provided the evidence Ruhl was seeking, in a fashion typical of Christian apologists, he refused to “concede the point” as he had originally promised. This showcases the subjective and often dishonest mental gymnastics that Christians often engage in.
Next, Ruhl attempted to respond to the “parallel” between Solomon and Muhammad (peace be upon them), but didn’t seem to realize that his objection was already dealt with in my article. It seems Ruhl did not even read the article! He made the following claim:
“[i]n fact, this article by Faiz shows that Muhammad thought the Temple was still standing when he was alive. Muhammad didn’t know that the Temple had been destroyed over a Millennium before his arrival. This is from a Hadith and Faiz even quoted it to establish an alleged typology between Solomon and Muhammad.”
Yet this silly point has already been refuted. Ruhl is simply repeating his own inaccurate opinion instead of acknowledging that he is mistaken. It is rare indeed to find an honest Christian apologist who is not afraid to admit when he is mistaken.
In contrast to Ruhl’s inaccurate claim, I showed that the word “masjid” can refer to any “place of prostration”. A physical building is not necessary. Ruhl simply assumes that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was referring to the actual building, even though the linguistic analysis simply does not allow for such an assumption. Not only that, but I showed that the Holy Quran specifically refers to the destruction of the temple, and still referred to it as a “masjid”! To this, Ruhl had no response.
The rest of Ruhl’s article further showcases his double standards. He goes to great lengths at disproving that the Song of Songs is a prophecy about Muhammad (peace be upon him), this time by analyzing the Hebrew word that is at the center of the controversy regarding Song of Songs 5:16, but still does not seem to realize the delightful irony of such herculean efforts. The question is why does a Christian apologist move heaven and earth in showing the context and linguistic analysis of the verse, but fails to do the same when dealing with alleged prophecies about Jesus (peace be upon him)? I have already mentioned the example of Hosea 11:1, which led to the concept of “typology” and Ruhl’s request for “parallels” between Solomon and Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Islamic literature. There are many more examples, such as Isaiah 7:14. Would Ruhl be willing to discuss the context of that alleged prophecy? Would he be willing to provide a detailed linguistic analysis of the name “Immanuel”, which he and his brethren mistakenly believe refers to Jesus? Would he be willing to provide a detailed linguistic analysis of the Hebrew word “almah”, which he and his brethren mistakenly believe means “virgin”? The answer, it seems, is a resounding “no”, because to look at the context would completely demolish the Christian appeal to the Tanakh and the so-called “prophecies” about Jesus! Will Ruhl acknowledge these double standards?
Thus far, Ruhl has utterly failed to offer any explanation for his double standards as well as a reasoned response to the parallels between Solomon and Muhammad (peace be upon them). The latter issue was raised by Ruhl himself, and now that it has been discussed, Ruhl seems unable to offer a satisfactory response. Instead of “conceding the point”, as he originally promised, he seems intent on saving face and avoid making an honest admission. Such is, unfortunately, typical of most Christian apologists.
And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!
 The reason is because “Immanuel” is not Jesus (peace be upon him) but some other figure who lived in the time when the Assyrian empire was the dominant power in the region.