JazakAllahuKheiran, Yasir Qadhi -or- Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

For nearly a year ago, delivering a lecture in Dubai where he posed three questions commonly asked by atheists to argue against the existence of God, one of which was:

If God is all-powerful, can God make a rock so heavy that he can’t lift it?

I was actually asked this question by a co-worker over dinner the night before, and instead of replying with the ‘wha-?’ that went through my head the first time I heard it, I was able to smile and give the answer. See, the questions is a logical fallacy. It is constructed in a way that guarantees there is no answer that confirms God’s omnipotence. It’s like asking a man “So, have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

If you say no, it means you’re still beating her. If you say yes, you’re admitting that you used to beat her.

To the God question, if you say no, then you’re saying that God is unable to create something of that size. If you say yes, then you’re saying that God is unable to lift a rock that he himself created.

So what’s the correct answer? The correct answer is this: God can create infinitely large objects and lift infinitely large objects, rocks or otherwise. And just because he CAN do something doesn’t mean He will. He’s not illogical, even though that question is.

There were two other questions, but I can only remember one of them, which was: Can God create a triangle with more than three sides?

God could create a shape with more than three sides and He could call it whatever He wanted and you could call it a square or a pentagon or a hexagon or if it made you happy, a dodecahedron. A triangle is, by your definition, a shape with three sides. If you still want to call something with more than three sides a triangle, then that’s your problem, not God’s.

So, does anyone remember the third question?


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on Muslimmatters.org.

  1. rukhparmor

    A lot of scholars have tackled the first question. I remember SHeikh Estes answering that one too in one of his lectures. JazakAllah for sharing.

  2. crayon

    “So, have you stopped beating your wife yet?” *lmbo… sigh* beautiful analogy.
    so nice to be reading you again… x

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