Posts tagged ‘Muslims’

February 27th, 2012

The Gospel Coalition: Read ‘em and Weep: More on “Insider Movements” and Bible Translation

The Gospel Coalition has picked up the steam on the current controversy involving Bible translations geared toward Muslims. Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Grand Cayman Islands and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition, has it:

The word of God should alter people; people should never alter the word of God–especially those people who claim to love the God of the word.

For those who might be interested, here is a link to a petition to Wycliffe, Frontiers, and SIL along with some fact sheets.  If you’re not the petition signing type, I hope you’re the petition making type.  I hope you’ll petition the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit for the preservation of His word so that those who need the word of life will have it and those who sacrificed their lives for it will be honored.

Emphasis mine. Please read the rest of his  post HERE.

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.

June 2nd, 2011

Cracking the Five Daily Prayers (Salah): Did Allah Give the Command?

Have you ever encountered a Muslim who dismisses the authority of the Hadith, claiming to follow only the Qur’an? If so, you are not alone. I have met a lot of them. These Muslims are uncomfortable with the Hadith which contains information that are contradictory because they are based on the life of Prophet Muhammad who lived his life as he willed.
A Muslim I met online recently—a convert to Islam—particularly insisted all a Muslim ever needed to know was in the Qur’an. That prompted me to ask him if the command for Muslims to pray 5 times a day was in the Qur’an. He claimed it was. He pointed to some verses trying to prove his claim. Let us see if the Qur’an actually says Muslim must pray 5 times a day and if it doesn’t, where Muhammad got the idea.
The Qur’an mentions only two out of the five daily prayers by name namely, Fajr (dwan) and Isha (late evening) in Qur’an 24:58. The other three: Dhuhur (solar noon), Asr (mid afternoon) and Maghrib (right after sunset) are not mentioned in the entire Qur’an.
There are indirect references like “two ends of the day” and “approaches of the night” in Qur’an 11:114 which Muslims interpret to mean Fajr, Maghrib, and Isha prayers.
Qur’an 17:78 has “Establish regular prayers-at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer” which has Fajr directly and Isha indirectly mentioned.
Qur’an 30:18 “Yea, to Him be praise, in the heavens and on earth; and in the late afternoon and when the day begins to decline” has some Muslims commentaries trying to squeeze in Asr and Dhuhur as what this verse was alluding to even when the verse was not a command to pray. I thought Allah gave Muhammad the 5 daily prayers when he “ascended” to the heavens! What happened? Why does the Qur’an only mention two of these important daily prayers by name and does not command Muslim to pray at least 5 times a day?
My online Muslim friend continued to tell me in Qur’an 2:238 “middle prayer” apparently refers to Asr even when the verse does not say so. He just assumes since Muslims currently practice 5 daily prayers and Asr is the middle prayer, he sells out on the idea. Little does he know only at most three prayers are “mentioned” in the Qur’an at one time and even these three have a “middle prayer.” To make the matter even worse, this verse was revealed in Medina, years after the command for the 5 compulsory daily prayers were supposedly given in the Hadith. Qur’an chapter 17 contains Muhammad’s alleged ascension to the seven heavens and only mentions two daily prayers: Fajr (directly) and Isha (indirectly). The Hadith is the only source that has the number—five—and all the names of the compulsory daily prayers
If Allah really meant Muslims must observe the 5 daily prayers (Salat), shouldn’t he have made it clear in the Qur’an? He didn’t. Muhammad’s Hadith appear more lucid on the 5 daily prayers (Salah) than the Qur’an.
Prophet Muhammad must have borrowed the idea of the 3 daily prayers in the Qur’an from the Jews. Daniel 6:10:
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
Daniel prayed toward Jerusalem. Muhammad prayed toward Jerusalem for the first 14 years of Islam. Daniel, like others who practice Judaism, prayed three times a day.
I have no doubt Muhammad borrowed the idea of the 3 daily prayers which are in the Qur’an from the Jews and the 5 daily prayers from Zoroastrians. He did not ascend to the heavens to get the command to pray five times. Even the Qur’an claims the “ascension” was a mere dream (Qur’an 53:13-18).
The Hadith is the only source where Muslims can find information on the 5 daily prayers and how to observe them. Though it is a boom for critics of Islam like me, it has answers to key issues in Islam as mundane as the 5 daily prayers without which a Muslim would not be granted paradise. That is another Crack in the Crescent for you.

December 17th, 2010

Christian Outreach to Muslims this Christmas

It was the week before Christmas 1988. One of my former teachers, Mr. Buya, invited me to go to his home for Christmas. Even though I was a Muslim and did not celebrate Christmas, I traveled to his village. I still believe he had invited me with intent not to proselytize me.

Mr. Buya is a Christian from the Pokomo tribe—a “Christian” tribe, which has had dueling feuds with my Orma tribe for a few hundred years. (The Ormas were considered 100 percent Muslim.) They always fought over land and River Tana access. Though the Kenyan government has never admitted it, these clashes were due to these tribes’ religious differences. Even today Ormas and Pokomos share mutual fear and mistrust. Their feuds have claimed scores of lives. Read BBC reports here and here.

Mr. Buya was not teaching in a Muslim village by choice. The Kenyan government’s Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) posted him there. TSC posts and transfers teachers around the country without any input from them. You probably are wondering, considering the possible danger to Mr. Buya, why he was posted to teach at my village. The sad truth is there was no Orma who was qualified to be a primary school teacher at that time because early Muslim “missionaries” told my tribe it was wrong to get secular education. After all, they argued, secular education was for ilmu dunia, knowledge of the world. Instead, they insisted Orma children should attend madrassa where they gained ilmu akhirat, the knowledge of the hereafter.

Many other Kenyan Muslims also enrolled their children only in Islamic religious schools until the government mandated secular education. Even today most Kenyan Muslims in predominantly Muslim areas don’t take secular education seriously. The Kenya National Examination Council examination results don’t lie. I only was enrolled in a secular school because of the government mandate. I attended both madrassa and the secular school for five years until I graduated from the former.

Visiting Mr. Buya’s family for Christmas changed my perception of the Pokomos and Christians. They showed tremendous respect for my beliefs and even asked me to slaughter a goat they had bought for Christmas since as a Muslim I could not have eaten the meat had one of them slaughtered it. Their character was also different from Muslim leaders’ portrayal of Christians. All the negative stereotypes I had heard of the Pokomos and Christians were gone with one visit. I am grateful for that Christmas invite because it marked the beginning of a change in my life. If you would like to hear the rest of the story (my testimony), please listen to it here.

Hospitality: Christmas is almost here. There are many Muslims who wouldn’t decline our invitation to show hospitality. They might decline our invitation to attend a worship service but I doubt they would refuse to come for a meal. The Bible says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Millions of Muslims live in Christian majority countries now and do not even know who Christians actually are. Muslims are here to stay. They are our neighbors, doctors, classmates or even taxi drivers. Most of what they know about Jesus, Christianity and Christians is from the Qur’an and the Hadith and what their Muslim leaders tell them. Most of them view Christians as very evil people who believe in three gods—father, mother and son. Do you know this is the most heinous sin in Islam? What is wrong with us opening our homes to Muslims? They can benefit from a little hospitality, which might end up positively changing their lives for eternity.

Most colleges and universities in the United States have Christmas break starting this week. Campus residencies will be closed except to international students. This is can be an opportunity to show hospitality.

Reach out: Opportunities to serve Muslims are endless. A lady recently shared with me about her experience. She was always curious about her Muslim neighbors. The Muslim wife and her daughters rarely ventured out of their home. One day, this Christian woman decided to deliver some baked goods to the Muslim family. Within hours, the Muslim family reciprocated with some baked goods of its own. These two families have now become friends. Some Muslim women are not allowed to leave their homes without the company of their husbands or male relatives or their permission. Women are the least reached among Muslims. Christian women can do outreach to them with ease.

Host family: Many Muslim international students come from countries which are “closed” to Christian outreach. Why don’t we offer to show these students around town or take them out to eat or shopping for school supplies, invite them over for meals or even offer to be their host parents? Do you know colleges look for potential host parents for their international students?

Literature: Give copies of the Bible in native languages if they are available. Most Muslims have not seen the Bible, let alone read one in their own language. You can find the Bible in various languages online. Please tell them where to start reading. I remember very well when I received my first copy and no one told me where to start and I started with Genesis.

Respect: Mr. Buya and his family respected my beliefs. We don’t get very far in our outreach to Muslims if we don’t respect their beliefs. If they ask questions, answer them gently from the Bible. We should always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have and we should do it with “gentleness and respect.”

I am very grateful Mr. Buya invited me to his home for Christmas in 1988. Had the Ormas not fallen to the ruse of Muslim missionaries who secretly took their children to secular boarding schools, Mr. Buya probably would not have become a teacher in my village. God had a plan. He even used these missionaries’ egregious act for his good. Please, take a step this Christmas and show hospitality to a Muslim or any unbeliever. You never know! The Ormas were considered 100 percent Muslim, now they are only 99.98 percent Muslim. Praise God!

Hussein Wario is a former Kenyan Sunni Muslim. He is the author of Cracks in the Crescent. He blogs regularly. You can listen to his testimony here.

September 29th, 2010

Is the Islamic Deity the same as the Judeo-Christian God?

The idea of God in Islam is derived from the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah (sayings and deeds). Both these sources show how “God,” “Allah” in Arabic, differs from the Judeo-Christian God. There is plenty of evidence in the Qur’an and the Hadith that the idea of  “God” in Islam is of Muhammad’s invention. Here are a few.

Allah in Islam who Muslims consider omniscient confuses Mary the Mother of Jesus with Miriam the sister to Aaron and Moses in the Bible. This doesn’t make sense when even Muslims know Mary and Aaron cannot be siblings because they lived several centuries apart. Muhammad—Allah’s Apostle—confirmed in the Hadith that Mary, Aaron, and Moses shared the same father. Apparently he believed it because Allah told him so. The story even gained some traction among Muslims of Muhammad’s days. The Hadith shows it only took a Christian to correct Muhammad years later in Medina. Unfortunately the error is still in the Qur’an because Allah—the all knowing—has not issued a correction yet.

Muhammad invoked Allah’s name to get his desires and wishes. There are instances in the Qur’an, proven by narratives in the Hadith, where when he had a desire for something he got it with a “revelation.” He never failed to get his way, especially after he became a political and military leader. Here are a few cases:

1. In Surah (chapter) 33 of the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad admired Zainab, the wife of his adopted son Zayd bin Haritha. The Hadith shows he went to Zainab’s house and saw her scantly clad. He desired her as a wife. Then he got a “revelation” from Allah which forced Zayd to divorce Zainab. Then Muhammad—who had at least five wives at that time—married her.

2. Muslim women only began wearing veils in Islam because Prophet Muhammad was concerned men would seduce his new wife Zainab. The Hadith shows how they were milling around Zainab’s new home and even visiting her in Muhammad’s absence. He became quite concerned. One day, he pulled a curtain and a new verse was revealed. Mark you; the “revelation” came after he had already pulled the curtain. Shouldn’t it be the other way around had God been speaking to Muhammad? “Allah” also required that men should visit Muhammad’s home on invitation only. Poor Zayd. He did not enjoy the same privilege. From that time on, men had to talk to Muhammad’s wives behind a curtain. So much for Muslims telling the world veiling is for modesty.

3. A typical Muslim man can marry up to four wives. How about Muhammad? Allah “told” him via a “revelation” he could marry as many as he wished. Those who rivaled him, Muhammad forced them to divorce some of their wives to get to the “maximum” four.

4. A Muslim cannot interrupt another Muslim’s prayer. Muhammad broke that rule. Even a Muslim asked him why he did it, he said, “Didn’t Allah say “Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle when he calls you.”” He was above the rule. How convenient! Just another case of “Allah” in Islam is of Muhammad’s invention.

There are many other references in the Qur’an where a Muslim must obey Allah and Muhammad. Surprisingly, none of these verses was from the period when Islam was its nascent stage, Muhammad was powerless. The Hadith shows Muhammad concocted them to cater to his own desires. (Absolutes are rare in Islam. The only absolute with certainty is Islam’s opposition to the Trinity—a concept even “Allah” did not understand and falsely accused Christians of worshipping god the father, mother and son. Many Muslim still believe Christians worshipped these three gods even when it is patently false.)

It is obvious in the Qur’an and the Hadith “Allah” catered to Prophet Muhammad’s desires. Why can’t some Muslims discern it? Is it because Allah forbade them from asking questions? He said in the Qur’an, “O you who believe! Do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you, and if you question about them when the Quran is being revealed, they shall be declared to you; Allah pardons this, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.” This “revelation” was yet another convenient revelation for Muhammad. This time he declined to answer a question on pilgrimage to Mecca. Pagans observed annual Hajj to Mecca before Muhammad instituted and made it compulsory for Muslims just before death. Prior to that, Muslims observed various pilgrimages (umrah) throughout the year. A Muslim had asked how often Hajj in a year should be observed. Apparently, both Muhammad and “Allah” did not want to tackle that controversy.

There are many more examples that show the Qur’an was an invention of Muhammad to live a convenient life. He dubbed it a “revelation” from “Allah” to dupe his followers. The Islamic deity Muhammad preached couldn’t be the same as the Judeo-Christian God because the “Allah” Muhammad preached pandered to Muhammad. Even Muslims in Malaysia who abide by the Sharia agree the deity in Islam is not the same as the Judeo-Christian God. The New York Times reports they burned Catholic churches over Malay Christians’ use of “Allah” in publications. Muslims know better who their “God” is. He is not the same as the Judeo-Christian God!

July 13th, 2010

Dr. James White’s Damage to Christian Outreach to Muslims

The merit of the discussion about Dr. Ergun Caner has come to who screams the loudest. His vocal critic has declared victory because he claims that the defenders of Ergun Caner have “gone silent since his removal as Dean of LBTS.” What a sad assessment, considering most Christians in this veiled reference have let go this issue because they have decided to move on! Dr. James White calls for Dr. Caner’s public apology. How about he sets an example and takes ownership for the damage he has done to Christian outreach to Muslims? He publicly has insulted Muslims who have corrected his mistakes on Islam. He also has speculated on issues that have “confirmed” Muslims’ suspicion of Christian ministries’ motives and exacerbated “residual mistrust” that some Christians of Muslim background have of Christianity. Some Muslims, like the ones who have reacted negatively toward Acts 17 Apologetics missionaries in Dearborn, MI, suspect Christians use their pictures and videos for Christian missionaries’ fundraising efforts. (You can listen to Josh McDowell’s interview on Moody Radio about his experience at the Arab festival here.) Even some who convert to Christianity still remain suspicious. Their mistrust keeps them out of worship services, Bible study and fellowship with fellow Christians.

Most of Dr. White’s damages could have been avoided had Christianity Today met his expectation in its initial article on Dr. Ergun Caner. Since he wasn’t satisfied, he speculated that Liberty University is its main advertiser—even when it is false—thus exacerbating some Muslims’ mistrust of Christian organizations. CT is not “a profit-driven” media organization like he wants people to believe. He has yet to retract his comments. He has, without any doubt, tarnished CT and LU’s reputations among Muslims and confused some Christians of Muslim background’s of Christian organizations. Instead of continuing to demonize Dr. Caner, Norm Geisler, Emir Caner et al, it is about time that Dr. White takes ownership for the damage he has done and does what he has been “preaching” Dr. Caner to do all along. Anything short of it remains sheer hypocrisy.

March 26th, 2010

One thing Muslims would not tell you

The Jesus Muslims believe in, the one mentioned in the Qur’an and the Hadith, is not Jesus Christ. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in Jesus Christ. They do not believe in Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross while the “Jesus of Islam” never suffered or died because as a prophet of Allah, he could not suffer or die a horrible death. That is the teaching of Islam.

However, one thing that you should know, and Muslims do not tell anyone, Prophet Muhammad died a horrible death. He was a prophet of Allah, and you think he was spared from anguish, right? Not quite. He suffered for more than three years and died. A Jewish woman poisoned him; he suffered from complications for more than three years and died a terrible death. Now there is a prophet of Allah who the Hadith shows died a horrible death.

Muslims should quit denying that Jesus Christ died and resurrected because Jesus Christ is not the “Jesus of Islam” who, in spite of all the excellent attributes he had more than Prophet Muhammad, played a second fiddle to Muhammad. What a joke! Only Muhammad would claim to be getting revelations from God to refute something like the death of Jesus Christ, which happened 600 years before Muhammad was even born, and then set the conditions for how a prophet of his god should live and die (honorably) and then die in a miserable way. That is Islam for you.