Posts tagged ‘fast’

August 18th, 2011

Jesus Christ and the flat Earth?

Abdul Seid writes:

The bible says in Gospel of Matthew Ch 4 V 8 “Again, the devil took him (Jesus) to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” and also in Gospel of Luke Ch 4 V 5 “The devil, leading him (Jesus) up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” Now these verses show that the Bible assumes that the earth is flat. Because even if you go to the tallest mountain on earth and supposedly you have a very good vision and can see thousands of miles yet you will not be able to see all the kingdom of the world because today we know the earth is spherical and it is impossible to to [sic] see the opposite side of the earth. The only way you will be able to see all the kingdoms of the earth is if the earth was flat. So Brother Hussien [sic] what do you think about this. i [sic] want to read what you have to say.

Thank you.

Abdul claims since Jesus Christ saw “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” in the Gospel, the “Bible assumes that the earth is flat.” He has been unable to debunk my assertions that fasting during Ramadhan is manmade because the rules are specific to Arabia and its environs. Had God All knowing invented this fast, He would have known these rules would not have applied in certain parts of the world Muslims now inhabit. (This same God in the Qur’an claims the sun “set in a spring of murky water” and Muhammad, his prophet, claimed when the sun sets “it prostrates Itself underneath the Throne” of Allah.)

The Qur’an gives uniform rules for fasting during Ramadhan—from dawn to dusk—totally disregarding Polar Regions. These rules are only fair for people who live in areas where length of days and nights are similar throughout the year. The Qur’an claims fasting should not be burdensome to Muslims so much so that Muslims who travel are exempt from observing it. If a mere travel is burdensome enough to warrant skipping to fast, how about Muslims in Polar Regions. It is more than a burden, for example, for a Muslim in Barrow, Alaska, to fast for a few months without breaking his or her fast because the sun does not set during certain summer months. Abdul couldn’t answer my questions. He now enlists the Bible in his attempts to make the Qur’an appear relevant.

First, Abdul needs to know that the verses in question do not implicate the Bible as claiming the earth is flat. Jesus Christ is the word, wisdom, and image of the Father and indeed was and is able to see “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” by the virtue of Him being a part of the Holy Trinity. The Almighty is all seeing, Jesus Christ, even while he was here on earth, was all seeing. He had two distinct natures. He was 100 percent God and 100 percent human. The fact that Abdul and his fellow Muslims object to it while relying on a doctrine that came at least 600 years after the fact does not change the fact.

Secondly, unlike in the Qur’an, Scripture interprets Scripture in the Bible. When the meaning of a verse appears obscure in the Bible, another verse or passage might make it clearer.

The two verses Abdul has quoted do not assume “that the earth is flat.” I am glad Abdul quoted Luke 4:5 which shows Jesus saw “all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” “A moment of time” is the same as instant. Some kingdoms were thousands of miles from Jerusalem. So here, it is possible the human part of Jesus saw “all the kingdoms” in a vision. Scripture does not give explicit details as to what form Satan took to tempt Jesus.  Also, reference to the “kingdoms of the earth” does not make any indication as to the height or flatness of what they saw…it simply states what they saw.

Further, from Luke’s perspective, “all the kingdoms of the earth” could be a reference to the then-known world of trade, which is much smaller than the entire world we know today. Scripture makes other similar contextual references, as in I Samuel 6:8, saying, “And David was displeased because the LORD had broken out upon Uzzah; and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah [that is, The breach of Uzzah] to this day.” In modern time, the place is not called Perezuzzah any more, but that doesn’t undermine biblical authority.  The biblical authors wrote in context of the knowledge they had of the world.

Abdul has been trying to distract from the subject at hand, bringing up unrelated topics to the discussion about whether fasting during the month of Ramadhan is manmade. He tried three times to change the subject. Please read his comments HERE and most importantly pray for him to see the Light.

August 1st, 2011

Did God Institute the Fast during Ramadhan?

Muslims have started their annual fast during the Islamic month of Ramadhan as of dawn this morning. One of them asked me yesterday, “Have you spotted the new moon yet?” I told him it was only 1:30 p.m. my time, perhaps by nightfall. Then I asked if he knew there are places in the United States where the sun doesn’t set. He laughed it off.

Muslims fast because the Qur’an commands it. As important as this fast is to Islam, it wasn’t even practiced the first decade after the advent of Islam.

The Qur’an strictly puts the fast as from dawn to dusk. Why would a supposedly all-knowing God give a command that depends on the sun when Muslims these days live in areas where the sun in some months doesn’t rise or set? For example in the United States, Barrow, Alaska, today the sun rose at 3:04 a.m. and will set 23 hours later at 1:59 a.m. There is twilight for the hour the sun appears set. How could a Muslim in Barrow break his or her fast?

Some Muslims argue in modern times clocks replace the sun, which doesn’t make any sense because the Qur’an clearly says “seek what Allah Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears.” The Qur’an envisaged the fast to be strictly according to the position of the sun.

Several reasons exist to show that the Muslim fast did not originate from God Almighty:

1.      The command to fast is specific to Arabia where lengths of nights and days don’t vary greatly throughout the year. The Qur’an says fasting wasn’t institute to be burdensome but Muslims in Alaska would fast for as little as zero hours to as long as a few months because the sun doesn’t rise or set during certain months. You think Moses and Jesus Christ going without food or water for 40 days hold the record? Alaskan Muslims would have to go longer.

2.      The Qur’an states that the sun sets “in a spring of murky water.” It tells a story of a man who traveled and “reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water.” “God” in the Qur’an was limited to seeing the sun “going down” into the horizon, hence instituted the fast according to that knowledge.

3.      Muslims fast during the month of Ramadhan because the Qur’an claims the Qur’an was revealed during this month. However, even non-Muslims know Prophet Muhammad started receiving the Qur’an in 610 A.D. If this month were so sacred, why was the fast to celebrate its sacredness invented 14 years after the fact?

4.      Prophet Muhammad did not have a problem with observing the Jewish fast even after the Islamic calendar was invented in 621 A.D. Here is what happened:

a.      When Prophet Muhammad migrated to Medina, he encountered Jews who were fasting and asked them why they were fasting. He learned from them they fasted due to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). And he observed their fast.

b.      Then he commanded Muslims to observe the Jewish fast. In the Qur’an “Fasting is prescribed to you as prescribed to those before” refers to the Jewish fast.

c.      Then Prophet Muhammad had a fallout with the Jews in Medina. He concocted fast during Ramadhan but he did not make it compulsory. Verse 184 of Suratul Al-Baqara (chapter 2 of the Qur’an) clearly shows Ramadhan was optional. The Hadith shows it as well.

d.      He made the Jewish fast optional.

e.      Then when he had further fallout with Jews, he banned Muslims from observing the Jewish fast and made Ramadhan compulsory

Fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadhan was not from God Almighty. It only came into existence when Muhammad did not get along with the Jews of Arabia. That explains why the fast doesn’t make any sense in Polar Regions.

July 15th, 2011

Ramadhan 2011: A Call to Prayer and Outreach

Muslim fast during the Islamic month of Ramadhan is projected to start at dawn on August 1 this year, after the sighting of the new crescent at dusk on July 31. It might end on August 29. Every able-bodied Muslim must fast from dawn to dusk during the entire month of Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, for 29 or 30 days because the Qur’an commands it. Muslims who are sick or traveling and Muslim women who are menstruating or expecting are exempt but are required to make up for the days missed. Children before the onset of puberty are also exempt.

Muslims seek God. Christian should pray for them to meet the True God! We should pray for those in our neighborhoods, city, and country. Here is one way to prepare for this task. It is not too late to join Christians who have been praying for Muslim during Ramadhan using a very informative booklet that has been in use for 20 years. 30 Days of Prayer for Muslim World gives overviews of Muslim populations in various countries, profiles of some unreached people groups and contains testimonies of Christians of Muslim background. It also points out prayer needs for each day of Ramadhan. You can buy copies for yourself and or your church from World Christian website here or here.

Don’t just prayer. Venture out. Make an effort to meet your Muslim neighbors. Go to a local mosque and interact with them. Look for opportunities to engage in conversations. I’ll post some questions to ask Muslims in regards to Ramadhan next week.

While Muslims are in festive mood during Ramadhan, this month is a very difficult challenge for Muslims who have embraced Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and still live in their communities. I speak from experience. It is not easy. In fact this is one single occasion that can blow cover for secret believers. Don’t get me wrong. The ensuing persecution is all worth it. Secret believers’ challenge is not “the not eating part” but other activities (communal prayers and meals) associated with the fast. Please, pray for them.

Non-Muslims who travel in Muslim majority countries during Ramadhan also face problems because eating in public is illegal. The police arrested those who violated this law in Egypt in 2009 and Algeria in 2010. Even Dubai, one of the most moderate Muslim cities, has fines or jail sentence for non-Muslims who violate the law for the second time. Please, be careful if you are traveling to these countries in August. Have a blessed weekend!

August 4th, 2010

Fast during Ramadhan and a Christian

Every Muslim must fast from dawn to dusk during the entire month of Ramadhan (Ramadan), the ninth month of the Hijr calendar (Islamic calendar, lunar), for 29 or 30 days because Allah commands it. This command was given because Allah said the Qur’an was revealed during this month and other prophets before Prophet Muhammad observed it. The sick, travelers and menstruating or expectant women are exempt but they are required to make up for the days missed. Children before the onset of puberty are also exempt.

What should Christians do during Ramadhan? We should pray for Muslims in our neighborhood, city, and country and around the world. We should also make an effort to meet those in our community.

Here is one way to prepare for this task. It is not too late to join your fellow Christians who pray for Muslim around the world during the month of Ramadhan. There is a booklet that has been in use for 19 years. 30 Days of Prayer for Muslim World gives overviews of Muslim populations in various countries, profiles of some unreached people groups and also contains testimonies of Christians of Muslim background. You can get copies for yourself or your church from Mission Network News here or World Christian here. These booklets are very helpful. May God use you mightily as you strive to live the Great Commission!

This year, Ramadhan is projected to start on Wednesday, August 11—at the sighting of the new crescent at dusk with fast beginning at dawn on the 12th—and the last day might be on Thursday, September 9.

I will be writing articles throughout the month, mostly utilizing the Qur’an and the Hadith, to show the CRACKS in the fast. Did God sanction it? Was he an all-knowing God? Stay tuned. May the Lord use you to open the eyes of your Muslim neighbor to the Truth!

March 15th, 2010

Questions you should ask your Muslim friends

Islam is in the news. Oftentimes the news isn’t good. We hear many atrocious stories about this supposedly peaceful religion. Mainstream Muslims decry what Muslims like Osama bin Laden say and do to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They argue that Islam does not teach Muslims to be violent. Muslims and non-Muslims are confused because of the conflicting teachings of Islam.

Do you know that mainstream Islam only focuses on the first twelve years of Islam, 610-622 A.D., when the teachings of Prophet Muhammad had not been defined? You should ask your Muslim friends why they selectively follow Muhammad. During this twelve-year period, only one out of the five pillars of Islam was practiced. Muhammad and his companions observed only the five daily prayers. The rest of the five pillars of Islam did not materialize until 631 A.D.

It took Muhammad that long to come up with the rest of the five pillars because he was very indecisive. The Hadith shows that Prophet Muhammad and his fellow Muslims first observed the Arab idol worshipers’ fast in Mecca. And when they migrated to Medina in 622 A.D., they adopted Jews’ fast up until there was fallout a few years later. Muhammad and his companions also performed pilgrimage to Mecca with Arab idolaters before the institution of Hajj in 631 A.D. The Hadith also shows that the present-day pilgrimage has similar rituals as that of Arab idol worshippers’.

Why do mainstream Muslims stick to the earlier teachings of Prophet Muhammad and selectively believe and practice Islam of post-622 A.D. where Islam was defined as a religion? Are they ashamed of practicing authentic Islam? We are left to speculate.