Dawah Man

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Party Like It's 632
Islam
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Turning towards Mecca
Go drink your dad's sperm now; what are you waiting for!?!
—Dawah Man[1]

Imran Ibn Mansur, better known as Dawah Man, is a popular Muslim apologist in the UK and prominent figurehead for the Saudi/Wahhabi affiliated[2][3][4] London Dawah Movement and Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA). He is ostensibly focused on proselytizing Islam, a practice known as da'wah, but mainly preaches to the choir. Dawah Man is best known for a video he made presenting an...unorthodox version of the argument from morality focusing on whether atheists can drink their father's sperm.[1] He tends to get excited easily, using excessive hand gestures, yelling at the camera, and occasionally jumping up and down in his videos.

Hilariously, many Muslim apologists and scholars have criticized Dawah Man and his affiliate organizations, on the basis that their arguments and debating styles are so poor they make Islam look bad and dissuade potential converts.[5][6][7][8][9] This has done little to dent his popularity, however.

Career[edit]

Imagine that we are a people who are [walking on a path at night.] And what adds to our situation is the fact that this path, not only is it dark and we can't see which way we are going and what the right path is, there's...pitholes and holes and cracks in the floor, there's lions and all sorts of animals and creatures... But then suddenly, we see a man, holding up a light. And with this light he's able to...navigate a path towards his survival. And we look as this man from afar and we think, he can aid us in our survival, so we we follow him. We walk right behind him because he has the light, and he's guiding us to the right path. He can see where the harm is and where the path to safety is. Brothers and sisters, that light is knowledge. And that man, is a man of knowledge.
—Dawah Man, declaring himself to be the Mahdi advertising his Muslim Survival Guide[10]

Dawah Man originally tried to be a rapper, but turned to Islamic apologetics when that didn't work out.[11] He was the star student of fellow apologist Hamza Tzortzis,[7] which isn't saying much, and started his da'wah career by uploading street debates and apologetics videos onto his Youtube channel, which has managed to rack up tens of thousands of subscribers.[12] His da'wah method is apparently to approach random people on the street — most of whom know little about Islam or any other religion — and "debate" them. On top of that, he only uploads the debates he wins, leading to him proudly displaying "victories" against opponents who are clearly intoxicated or just plain idiots.[13] Dawah Man has occasionally made the mistake of approaching someone well versed in religion and apologetics, with predictable results.[11]

Dawah Man has since launched an online "Muslim Survival Guide," which allows the gullible devout to pay a monthly subscription fee to listen to ramblings on day-to-day Islamic morality that they could find anywhere else for free.[14]

As a "scholar"[edit]

Now we are witnessing the asaghir (little one's) taking on the Akabir as if they know better. Such are the times which are surely an indication of the closeness to akhira when people will look upto the unscholarly rabble as being some sort of authority on such delicate matters.
—Forumite Darul Tahqiq, on Dawah Man & friends[15]

Dawah Man's latest career move has been to act as an ulama (a scholar of Islam), much to the chagrin of his more educated coreligionists. Him and his friends have made several assertions about Islamic theology which have been thoroughly debunked by those actually knowledgeable in the matter.[16][17]

Most notably, Dawah Man started 2016 by challenging Imam Muhammed Asim Hussain, a Muslim scholar, on the obscure issue of whether Muslims are allowed to celebrate Mawlid, the Prophet Muhammad's birthday. Dawah Man (predictably) took the hardcore Salafi viewpoint that it's ABSOLUTELY HARAM (unacceptable), that everyone should live as a 7th century Bedouin, and made a video claiming that Mawlid was unacceptable. Imam Hussain uploaded a video defending the Mawlid, and also invited Dawah Man to meet him at one of Hussain's lectures.[18] Dawah Man instead fired back with another video defending his position; Hussain responded in kind, but also stated that Dawah Man was "still invited to attend the lecture, he will be given VIP treatment and again his safety [will be] guaranteed." Dawah Man reacted by rejecting the invitation and saying Imam Hussain was "either a lair or […] ignorant."[19] Finally, Imam Hussain responded with a two hour and forty minute long(!?!) video completely refuting Dawah Man,[20] whose only response was to upload an insulting cartoon of Hussain to Instagram.[21]

None of this embarrassment seems to deter him.

Arguments[edit]

We're smart now, we're not gonna behave stupid [sic] anymore!
—Dawah Man[1]

Dawah Man and his teacher Hamza Tzortzis are strident fans of Christian William Lane Craig's arguments, which they shamelessly plagiarized until they were called out on it.[5] They have nonetheless managed to piece together their own arguments for Islam, which are debunked as follows.

YA DADDY'S SPERM[edit]

Dawah Man's most famous video revolves around a simple argument from morality — without Allah, there's nothing wrong with drinking your father's semen, therefore, Allah must exist. Dawah Man backs this up by debunking brief strawman forms of the evolutionary explanation for morality, the role of social pressure, and Sam Harris' formulation of consequentialism. He uses all this to posit a false dichotomy — these systems don't work, therefore, Allah. Hilariously, he also tries to condemn non-religious moral systems by claiming they allow pedophilia, apparently oblivious to certain things.[1]

In addition to the other problems with the argument from morality, the most obvious problem with Dawah Man's variant is that it assumes a moral system, and uses this to determine what is and isn't moral. Dawah Man dismisses moral possibilities which don't agree with Islamic morality as inherently immoral — a circular argument. He also relies heavily on appeals to emotion to get his point — atheists can have no morals — across.

Rhetorical Devices in the Qur'an[edit]

There could have been much better, insightful questions, than to evaluate such powerful texts on basis of linguistic features. It's like talking about the fine quality and texture of the threads of a cap of a water bottle to someone who is thirsty.
—Redditor bogas04[22]

Dawah Man and the London Dawah Movement have often made the claim that the 108th and shortest surah (chapter) in the Qur'an, Al-Kawthar (The Abundance: Qur'an 108), is a "literary miracle" and "inimitable" because it contains numerous 'rhetorical devices' in the first three words and/or in the entire chapter.[11][23][24] However, their criteria for counting 'rhetorical devices', as well as the significance they attach to them, is somewhat lacking.

The chapter itself is as follows:

إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ

فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ

Which roughly translates to

Surely We have given you Kausar (Abundance),

Therefore pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice.

Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.[25]

Dawah Man and Hamza Tzortis reach their inflated numbers by counting things like syntax, tense, and even using the correct word as 'rhetorical devices.' Although they and their affiliates have presented this argument many times, a particularly detailed variant which incorporates all of their claims is presented on Tzortis' webshite; this is examined here.

None of these loosely defined 'rhetorical devices' would require a divine author, as they are basic elements of language. Nor does using descriptive language or correct grammar make al-Kawthar in any way "inimitable"; by this metric, most pieces of writing in any language could meet or surpass the number of arbitrary 'rhetorical devices'.

In addition, the assumption behind this argument is that the linguistic merits of the Qur'an would prove its claims of divine authorship. Even if we assumed the Qur'an was somehow agreed upon to be the most well written book in history, such would not "prove" anything — the world's fastest swimmer is faster than all others, but this does not mean they are miraculously fast.

References[edit]