Posts tagged ‘Qur’an’

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 8th, 2011

Fasting during Ramadan, Muslims and a Skyscraper

Muslims’ month long fast enters the second week. I wrote last week to show how God Almighty did not institute it. You can read my article, which utilizes the Qur’an to arrive at its conclusion, HERE. I discussed how the Qur’an envisaged the Muslim fast to go strictly according to the position of the sun.

Some Muslims have protested. One of them claims in places like Barrow, Alaska, where the sun rarely sets or rises during certain summer or winter months, a Muslim in “Alaska follows Vancouver or Seattle.” He totally dismissed the Qur’an, which clearly shows the position of the sun should determine fasting in Islam. Then came this bombshell out of Dubai where a prominent Muslim cleric issues a fatwa requiring certain residents of Burj Khalifa—the tallest skyscraper in the world—to wait longer to break their fast than the rest of Muslims in Dubai.

Gulf News reports:

Dubai: Muslims residing above the 80th floor in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa must delay their iftar meal during Ramadan by two to three minutes as they see the sunset later, according to the Dubai Islamic Affairs Department.

Those residents should also start their daily fasting two minutes earlier on the grounds that dawn descends on them before those living on lower levels, the Department said in a Fatwa (edict).

“Residents in Burj Khalifa should observe varied timings for iftar, sunset and dawn prayers depending on the level where live,” the paper said, quoting Ahmad Abdul Aziz Al Haddad, head of the Fatwa division at the department.

He said Muslims living on the 80-150 floors in the tower, the world’s tallest structure, should delay their iftar meal by two minutes while those on the 151-160 floors should break their fasting three minutes late.

“Residents on 80-150 floors should also perform evening and night prayers two minutes late and dawn prayers two minutes earlier while those above the 150th level should delay their evening and night prayers by three minutes and bring forward dawn prayers by three minutes,” he said.

“This difference in timing on the 160-storey building is because sun sets later for residents on top floors while these residents are the first to see the sun at dawn.”

I wrote last week about the Qur’an stating that the sun sets “in a spring of murky water.” It tells a story of a man who traveled on a road and “reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water.” Prophet Muhammad invented the fast during the month of Ramadhan. If Muhammad didn’t invent it, then the “God” in the Qur’an—contrary to all his attributes in the Qur’an—was limited to seeing the sun “going down” into the horizon, hence instituted the fast according to his limited knowledge.

The fatwa in Dubai is another proof the Muslim fast is according to the sun; further proving someone fallible instituted it.

Please pray for Muslims. May the Lord show them His Light so that they break free!

July 29th, 2011

Can a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, be a Terrorist?

A Salafi—a Muslim who adheres to the version of Islam of Prophet Muhammad’s time—wrote to me, “Speak out against the Oslo attacks, you terrorist!” I have had discussions with this gentleman on a wide range of topics. Since I haven’t been writing a lot lately, he was probably trying to get me into the discussion about terrorism.

I responded to the Salafi Muslim, “Do you consider Oslo mass murderer a Christian?” He wrote back, “I’m being facetious! Just kidding! And no, I don’t…so long as you don’t think the 9/11 terrorists were Muslims. ; )” While everyone who carried out 9/11 was a Muslim, Anders Behring Breivik wasn’t a Christian. (Unless he has now accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and repented.) He wrote in his manifesto that his posted online just hours before the killing spree, “If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.”

This mass murderer professes to have no “personal relation with Jesus Christ” and yet he has been called a Christian. A Christian is someone who professes and then adheres to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Breivik was not one of them.

If Breivik were following the teachings of Jesus Christ, he would not have hated anyone, let alone kill them. Jesus said, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” On the contrary, what the mass murderer in Oslo did was exactly what the Qur’an teaches. Whereas Jesus taught about doing good to those who persecute or oppress his followers, the Qur’an has the opposite message with, “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah” and continues, “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter.”

Muslims are called to fight and even kill those who persecute them while a Christian is called to “Love and pray” for his or her enemies. What a contrast! There is no such thing as a Christian terrorist because those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ would not do harm even to their oppressors. On the other hand, the Qur’an shows how Muslims are justified to harbor hatred and anger toward people who cause them hardships (deliberate or implied) and when Muslims muster the resources, fight and even kill them. After all, the Qur’an justifies the slayings of these oppressors, which is better than the persecution of Muslims.

The bottom line, there is no such thing as a Christian terrorist because Jesus teachings prohibit terrorism. My initial thought was a Muslim had carried out these attacks, of which I apologize.

June 17th, 2011

Interfaith Dialogue: Faith Shared’s Read this Qur’an Verse but Don’t Read that?

Sunday, June 26, 2011 is a day Muslims, Christians and Jews will gather together in worship services to read passages from the Qur’an, Torah and the Gospel. Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First are jointly offering this event dubbed Faith Shared. The main purpose of Faith Shared is to combat Islamophobia.

I strongly believe Faith Shared is an exercise in futility because its organizers do not acknowledge there is a problem in Islam. They think taking verses of the Qur’an out of their contexts for photo-ops would combat Islamophobia. We can only combat Islamophobia candidly if we distinguish it from Muslimophobia. Photo-ops wouldn’t do it. Only open and honest discussions away from places of worship would do it.

Here are verses (in red) of the Qur’an Faith Shared has suggested for congregants to read next Sunday:

  1. O humankind, We (God) have created you male and female, and made you into communities and tribes, so that you may know one another. (49:13) This verse only applies to Muslims. “O humankind” in the Qur’an is not always inclusive of all mankind. Faith Shared would like the world to believe so. This verse was revealed because a Muslim had insulted a fellow Muslim. More details HERE.
  2. Let there be no hostility except against those who practice Zulm (oppression). (2:193) This verse which organizers of this can only quote partially clearly shows Muslims are not supposed to turn the other cheek. So much for Faith Shared gathering with Christians and Muslims discussing nonviolence. The most prominent Sunni Tafsir says: (And fight them) if they initiate fighting against you whether you are in the Sacred Precinct or not (until persecution is no more) until there is not association of partners with Allah in the Sacred Precinct, (and religion is for Allah) and Islam and worship of Allah reign in the Sacred Precinct. (If they desist) from fighting you in the Sacred Precinct, (then let there be no hostility) you are not allowed to kill them (except against wrong-doers) except those who start the fight against you.

The Qur’an and the Hadith consider Christians who didn’t acknowledge Muhammad’s prophethood as enemies. In fact Christians are considered the worst of sinners because they associate “partners with Allah.” Sadly, this verse does not support the goal of Faith Shared.

3. There shall be no compulsion in matters of faith. (2:256)

This is one of the most misunderstood verses of the Qur’an. Do you know that it was revealed when Muhammad had very few followers? He cursed the first two Muslims who had apostatized and when he gained more power prescribed death for apostasy. You can find more details HERE.

4. Verily! Those who have attained faith as well as those who follow the Jewish Faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians—all who believe in God and the last Day and do righteous deeds—shall have their reward with their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. (2:62)

This verse is about “Christians” and Jews who had acknowledged Muhammad as a prophet. Here is what the commentary says:

The verse (Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews…) was revealed about the monks with whom Salman al-Farisi kept company. When Salman went to see the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, he informed him about their worship and striving. He said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! They used to pray and fast; they believed in you and bore witness that you will be sent as a prophet’. When Salman finished his praise of them, Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘O Salman! They are of the dwellers of hell fire’. Allah then revealed (Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews) up to His saying (neither shall they grieve).

5. Correct and courteous words accompanied by forgiveness are better than a charitable deed followed by insulting words. (2:263)

Now that you have read Faith Shared suggested readings from the Qur’an that supposedly foster interfaith dialogues, please consider these Qur’an verses in three widely available and most notable translations:

3.85

YUSUFALI: If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).

PICKTHAL: And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.

SHAKIR: And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.

4.101

YUSUFALI: When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers May attack you: For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies.

PICKTHAL: And when ye go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if ye fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you.

SHAKIR: And when you journey in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will cause you distress, surely the unbelievers are your open enemy.

5.33

YUSUFALI: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;

PICKTHAL: The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom;

SHAKIR: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,Surah 8:12: “God revealed His will to the angels, saying…I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers”

5.51

YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.

SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.

5.59

YUSUFALI: Say: “O people of the Book! Do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us), and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?”

PICKTHAL: Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed aforetime, and because most of you are evil-livers?

SHAKIR: Say: O followers of the Book! do you find fault with us (for aught) except that we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed before, and that most of you are transgressors?

5.60

YUSUFALI: Say: “Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!”

PICKTHAL: Shall I tell thee of a worse (case) than theirs for retribution with Allah? (Worse is the case of him) whom Allah hath cursed, him on whom His wrath hath fallen and of whose sort Allah hath turned some to apes and swine, and who serveth idols. Such are in worse plight and further astray from the plain road.

SHAKIR: Say: Shall I inform you of (him who is) worse than this in retribution from Allah? (Worse is he) whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and of whom He made apes and swine, and he who served the Shaitan; these are worse in place and more erring from the straight path.

8.60

YUSUFALI: Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.

PICKTHAL: Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. Whatsoever ye spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.

SHAKIR: And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allah’s way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.

8.61

YUSUFALI: But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).

PICKTHAL: And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He, even He, is the Hearer, the Knower.

SHAKIR: And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

Muslims who are involved in interfaith dialogues need to explain the meanings behind these verses. I have deliberately left out the so-called “verse of sword” and a few others because the post is getting too long. I am not opposed to Christians having dialogues with Muslims as long as the discussions are open and candid.

June 16th, 2011

The Qur’an, a Donkey, Peace and Interfaith Dialogue

Muslims know what is at stake in interfaith dialogues. They participate in them knowing Islam has a battered image around the world that desperately needs improvement. Sadly, some Christians who participate in these dialogues have no clue about Muslims’ intentions. They are involved in promoting “peace” but fail to realize their efforts inadvertently improve Islam’s global image.

Muslims and even some Christians who engage in interfaith dialogues misquote the Qur’an in order to bolster Islam’s image, promoting its nonexistent image of inclusiveness. They often selectively quote chapters of the Qur’an while leaving out verses that would obliterate their arguments. There are many examples but today I will deal with the most abused verse of the Qur’an in interfaith dialogues, which is found in Suratul Al-Hujraat (chapter 49 of the Qur’an). Verse 13 states:

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

Every article I have read on interfaith dialogue involving Muslims uses this Qur’an verse. Unfortunately, this verse has nothing to do with non-Muslims. Many non-Muslims sell out on the “O mankind” portion of the verse but mankind does not always include non-Muslims in the Qur’an. Islam is not as inclusive as Muslims and non-Muslim interfaith interlocutors would like people to believe.

This verse was revealed to address a case of racism, which involved Bilal, a Black Muslim during Muhammad’s time who used to call Muslims to pray. One day when Bilal sounded the call to pray, an Arab Muslim said, “Did Allah and His Messenger not find anyone to call to prayer except this raven.” That was when verse 13 was revealed. It clearly has nothing to do with non-Muslims but everything to do with Muslims. Mankind here referred to Muslims.

Muslims and Christians who quote verse 13 and mislabel it as a verse that promotes interfaith dialogue also totally ignore verse 9 of the same chapter, which called on Muslims to fight each other over a trivial issue. Verse 9 commands:

If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).

This verse was revealed when a donkey urinated and one Muslim quipped “the smell of the donkey’s urine is sweeter-smelling than” another Muslim’s fragrances. This trivial insult escalated into a fight then this verse was revealed.

The Qur’an calls on Muslims to fight each other over a minor issue like a donkey’s urine, what are the chances for ardent Muslims to live at peace with Christians who are the worst of the sinners! The same book accuses Christians of ascribing partners to Allah, calling their worship the most heinous sin.

It is mind-boggling Muslims and non-Muslims take the Qur’an out of context or change intended meanings of its verses in order to come up with a palatable message on interfaith dialogue. I am not opposed to interfaith dialogues as long as they candidly tackle issues at hand. Jesus Christ has called us to be peacemakers but let us not use our calling as an occasion to spread a fake image of Islam.

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.

October 19th, 2010

Muslim Followers of Jesus? A Response to Joseph Cumming

I wrote this in response to Joseph Cumming’s advance paper, Muslim Followers of Jesus? He has written it for Lausanne World Congress which is taking place in Capetown, South Africa. The discussion is on Islam and Christian outreach to Muslims. You can read his entire article here. He wrote:

Ibrahim was a well-respected scholar of the Qur’an, a Hafiz. When he decided to follow Jesus, he closely examined the Qur’anic verses commonly understood as denying the Trinity, denying Jesus’ divine Sonship, denying Jesus’ atoning death, and denying the textual integrity of the Bible. He concluded that each of these verses was open to alternate interpretations, and that he could therefore follow Jesus as a Muslim. Soon members of his family and community came to share his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Ibrahim was also imprisoned for his faith, but unlike Nabil, Ibrahim still wanted to follow Jesus as a Muslim. Nonetheless some whom he led to Jesus no longer see themselves as Muslims. Ibrahim and Nabil are friends and respect each other as brothers, though they disagree about their identity.

Ibrahim seems to suffer from identity crisis. A Christian, possibly from Muslim background, should sit down with him and talk with him about how his identity should be in Jesus Christ. Ibrahim doesn’t have to leave his culture but to continue living in obedience to Prophet Muhammad’s teachings, observing some of the five pillars of Islam is syncretism. I don’t know what else to call it when even the Hadith shows Muhammad invented these practices. How could Ibrahim come up with “alternate interpretations” of the Qur’an when for 1400 years these verses have had zero alternate meaning?

Here is my personal story. I came to know the Lord in August 1989. Then in April 1990 I met a Kenyan national missionary who had a great idea. [We are still friends :) .] He wanted me to go back home to my own people so that I could live with them and be a Christian witness. Sad to say at that time the Kenyan government representative in my home area had already severed my ties to my family due to persecution. My missionary friend was oblivious to danger I had faced. He was a big believer in C4 contextualization. (His library contained books from leading advocates for C scale.) Had I followed through with his idea, I would have either been hurt or dead. Even sadder, this missionary’s idea came to fruition in 1995. He had about 20 C5 believers. To date, none of them has come forward to publicly profess his or her faith in Christ. One of them had a wife of Christian background who died a few years ago. He refused to have a “Christian” funeral for her. She had a Muslim funeral. Do you see the problem here? She was dead as a “Christian” yet she couldn’t be buried as one! Not that it mattered but there is a serious flaw in a Muslim background believer’s (MBB) thinking if he or she still practices some core Islamic teachings. Proper discipleship is the only antidote to this morass that has befuddled Christian outreach to Muslims. I hope and pray Lausanne Congress charts the way forward.

Another severe problem facing Christian outreach to Muslim is scriptural integrity in Bible translation. Christians already struggle explaining to a Muslim how the Bible has not been corrupted yet some organizations don’t get the idea. An organization that does Bible translation for a Muslim audience has a hard time translating the New Testament because of the term “Son of God” in the Gospel and other epistles. There is a bizarre case in Ethiopia where major errors have been made, thus compromising the meaning of certain verses. You can read that story here.

I believe some western Christian scholars are behind this confusion in Christian outreach to Muslims. They have no idea what problems they have created for MBBs and Christian workers among Muslims. Muslims are already mocking Christian scholars who advocate for C4, C5 and C6. Can’t we get the clue? It is time for us to put our egos aside and preach the Gospel without diluting its message. After all, it is “the power of God unto salvation.” A big thank you to Brother Joseph Cumming for keeping this discussion alive.

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.

February 9th, 2010

Darajat

Who is a true Muslim?

إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ ثُمَّ لَمۡ يَرۡتَابُواْ وَجَـٰهَدُواْ بِأَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِهِمۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلصَّـٰدِقُونَ

“The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere.” (Al-Hujraat, 49:15, Pickthall).

Muslims are ranked in three categories called darajat. Muhsin is the highest rank. The verse from the Qur’an mentioned above talks about the Muhsin who fought alongside Prophet Muhammad. They did not doubt the message of the Qur’an or what he said in the Hadith. Though the message was equivocal, they did not doubt but strove to understand it by employing the rule of abrogation. Today’s mainstream Muslims who doubt the message of the Qur’an, especially the one pertaining to the killing of infidels and apostates, are not true Muslims according to the Qur’an and the Hadith. What happens if every Muslim becomes a Muhsin?

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