Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Islam for Jesus

WHAT IS ISLAM
Islam (1.2 billion adherents) is one of the major world religions that, along with Christianity (1.9 billion adherents) and Judaism (14 million adherents), teaches monotheism which is the doctrine that there is only one God in all existence. Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam traces its roots back to the patriarch Abraham (Gen. 12). The word "Islam" means "surrender" or "submission"1 and it comes from the root word "salem" which means "surrender." A Muslim (or Moslem - which means one who surrenders to God) is an adherent of Islam, a religion with precise theological doctrines about God, judgment, heaven, hell, angels, prophets, salvation, etc. The Arabic word for god is "allah" which has become a kind of name of God in Islam. Islam teaches that Allah is the one and only deity in all existence (Qur'an 5:73; 112:1-4). He is supreme, all knowing (40:20), ever-present, different from all of creation (3:191), and in complete control of all things. According to Islam, Allah created the universe in six days (2:29; 25:61-62) and all that is in it continues to exist by his permission and will. Allah is non-Trinitarian (5:73), absolute, and eternal.
The Koran (or Qur’an, which means "the reading" in Arabic) is the sacred book of Islam and is broken up into 114 chapters called Suras which cover the subjects of ethics, history, law, and theology. It is highly revered by Muslims as the direct, literal word of God. The Qur'an (also spelled Quran and Koran) was delivered by the angel Gabriel (also known as the Holy Spirit) to Muhammad over a 23 year period after Muhammad's initial encounter with Gabriel in a cave when he was 40 years old. Muslims consider Muhammad (full name of Muhammad Ibn Abdullah) to be the final prophet of God to the world. Muhammad was born in 570? AD in Mecca and died in 632 AD.
Second only to the Islamic belief in the unity/oneness of God is the supremacy of Muhammad as Allah's prophet. But, Islam acknowledges that several prophets preceded Muhammad. The major ones are Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. These prophets gave revelations from God which were written as scriptures; mainly, the Old and New Testaments. These predecessors to Muhammad are considered great prophets who spoke for God to specific people and whose message was meant for that time. Jesus, then, was simply one of many prophets according to Islam. Therefore, they deny the Christian doctrine of the deity of Jesus, the need for His atoning sacrifice (4:157-158), the Trinity (5:73), and much more. According to Islam, no sacrifice is needed to be forgiven, only faith in Allah, sincere repentance, and obedience to Islamic law (3:135; 7:8-9; 21:47; 49:14; 66:8-9). In fact, in Islam, the greatest of sins, called shirk, is to attribute "partners" to God. In other words, to say that God is a Trinity of persons is an unforgivable sin to a Muslim.
In addition to the Qur'an is the Hadith. It is another source of authority in Islam, though it is secondary to the Qur'an. The Hadith are the sayings and deeds of Muhammad as recorded by his companions. They are oral traditions and are considered authoritative and instructive as commentaries and applications of Qur'anic principles. The Hadith has additional principles not found in the Qur'an. The Hadith are the inspired truths of God transmitted to us in the style and words of Muhammad where the Koran is the exact words of God which is supposed to be protected from corruption by Allah.
In Islam, all Muslims are united by the common faith irrespective of class, location, race, or gender. Therefore, they have a special bond of unity and equality. The primary "truth" of Islam is found in the the first pillar of Islam known as the shahda: "There is no true God except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."
Islamic theology also teaches that angels were created from light, that jinn are another race of beings, created from fire, who are invisible yet all around us, that there is an eternal judgment to Paradise for the good and hell for the bad, that Jesus was never crucified, that drinking alcohol is forbidden as is gambling, etc.
Within the first two centuries after its inception in Arabia, Islam spread very quickly, often aided by sword (jihad2), into North Africa, up through Europe to Spain, and east to India. Presently, about 1 billion people are Muslim world wide with adherents on every continent and nation. It is the world's fastest growing religion and second in size only to Christianity.
Like most ancient religions, there are sects. Islam is no different. The major sects in Islam are the Sunnites and the Shiites. The Sunnites are the largest group and comprise about 90% of all Muslims. The Shiites, though smaller in number, are significant in Islamic history and presently occupy the lands of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi-Arabia, Yemen, and Persian Gulf states.
The most important place of worship for the Muslim is the Mosque which is always pointed towards Mecca, the birthplace of Muhammad which is located in Saudi Arabia. All Muslims must face Mecca during their times of prayer because in Mecca is the Ka'aba, a cube structure allegedly built by Abraham which contains a sacred stone. When a Muslim is in Mecca, he or she faces the Ka'aba.
Many Muslims hope for shari'ah the complete rule of Islamic law in the world. To this end, Muslims are seeking more converts, attacking other religious systems both by the sword and by word, moving into every nation, and seeking political power wherever they can achieve it. Islam is a growing reality.
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1. ". . . The One (True) God; To Him do we submit" (Qur'an 2:133).
2. Jihad means "striving." Fighting against one's own sinful self. Also, a physical fight for the truth of Islam, not allowing anyone to steal the ability to worship. It also means "holy war."

Doctrines of Islam

God
1. There is only one God (5:73; 112:1-4).
2. God is called Allah by Muslims (5:73)
3. Allah sees all things (40:20), is present everywhere (2:115; 7:7).
4. Allah is the sole creator and sustainer of the universe (3:191).
5. Allah is not a Trinity, but is one (5:73).
6. Allah is all-knowing (2:268; 10:61) and all powerful (6:61-62).
7. Allah created the heaven and earth (2:29; 6:1, 73; 25:61-62; 36:81; 46:33).

Salvation and Judgment
1. Allah will judge all people on the day of judgment (3:30; 35:33-37; 99:6-8).
2. If your good deeds exceed your bad deeds, and you believe in Allah, and sincerely repent of sins, you may go to heaven (3:135; 7:8-9; 21:47; 49:14; 66:8-9).
3. There is an eternal hell for those who are not Muslims, not practicing and of the truth faith (3:77).
4. Hell is a place of unlimited capacity (50:30) eternal torment (2:39; 14:17; 25:65; 39:26), fire (9:63; 11:16; 25:11-12; 104:6-7), with boiling water (38:55-58; 55:43-44), where skin is burned and renewed (4:56), for unbelievers (3:13; 19:49) and Jinn (11:119), with faces covered with fire (14:49-50).
5. There is a tree in hell, named Tree of Zaqqum, from which bad fruit is given and the damned are forced to eat (37:62-67; 44:43-48; 56:52-55).
6. Heaven (Paradise), a Garden (79:41) of bliss and fruit (69:21-24), has rivers (3:198), with maidens pure and holy (4:57), and carpets and cushions, (88:8-16).
7. There will be a physical resurrection of all people (19:93-95) on the day of judgment (3:77; 15:25; 16:38; 42:29).
8. Judgment is based on a person's sincere repentance (66:8-9) and righteous deeds (5:9; 24:26; 45:21-22; 64:7).

Other
1. There is an afterlife (2:154;75:12).
2. There are such things as angels, created by Allah, that are created from light. Angels are obedient slaves incapable of refusing to do Allah’s will. The angel Gabriel brought the revelation of the Koran to Muhammad (2:97).
3. The Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel (2:97; 16:102).
A. There is no actual verse where the Holy Spirit is said to be Gabriel or is identified as Gabriel. These verses show that both the Holy Spirit and Gabriel brought down the revelation.
4. Jinn are unseen beings, created (51:56) from fire (15:27; 55:15), but are not angels. They have communities. There are good and bad Jinn.
5. The Devil, called Iblis, (2:34) is a bad Jinn.
6. Jesus was a great prophet but not the son of God (9:30), is not divine (5:17, 75), was not crucified (4:157).
7. Muhammad is Allah’s greatest and last prophet and his message supercedes all other past prophets including Jesus.
8. The Koran is Allah’s word. He literally spoke it to Gabriel who gave it to Muhammad.
9. There are other holy writings but they are superceded by the Koran.

The other works are

i. Torah - the First Five books of Moses
ii. Injeel - the message that Jesus gave, written down, but no longer exists. The writings have been altered by scholars. Whatever agrees with the Koran is true.
iii. Zaboor - the Psalms
10. Pre-ordainment (Qadar) is the teaching that all things, good and bad, are preordained to occur.
11. Fasting is to be observed during the month of Ramadan (2:185).
12. Drinking alcohol is forbidden (2:219; 4;43; 5:93-94; 16:67)
13. Gambling is forbidden (2:219; 5:90-94).
14. Man is made from the dust of the earth (23:12).
15. There is no last minute repentance (4:18).


The Five Pillars of Islam


The Five Pillars of Islam are core beliefs that shape Muslim thought, deed, and society. A Muslim who fulfills the Five Pillars of Islam, remains in the faith of Islam, and sincerely repents of his sins, will make it to Jannah (paradise). If he performs the Five Pillars but does not remain in the faith, he will not be saved.

1. Shahada

The Shahada is the Islamic proclamation that "There is no true God except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."
This is the confession that Allah is the one and only true God, that Allah alone is worthy of worship, that Allah alone is the sovereign lord who does what he wills with whoever he wills. It means that all his rules and laws found in the Koran are to be followed. It means that the Christian doctrine of God as a Trinity is false as are all other belief systems including pantheism.
Muhammad is the true and greatest prophet of Allah and recognition of Muhammad as the Prophet of God is required. It was through Muhammad that Allah conveyed the last and final revelation.

2. Prayer (Salat)

Prayer involves confession of sins which begins with the purification of the body and ends with the purification of the soul. Prayer is performed five times a day. The first prayer is at dawn and the last at sunset.
The names of the prayers are Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha. The Maghrib prayer is the sunset prayer. Isha is the prayer that is said after sunset. There is also a prayer that is said right after Fajr known as Shurooq.

3. Fasting (Saum)

The month of Ramadan is the month of fasting in Islam. It is an act of worship where the faithful follower denies his own needs and seeks Allah. Usually, this fasting entails no drinking, eating during, or sexual relations during the daylight hours for the entire month of Ramadan.


4. Alms-giving or charity (Zakat)


Charity given to the poor. It benefits the poor and it helps the giver by moving him towards more holiness and submission to Allah. Alms-giving is considered a form of worship to God.


5. Pilgrimage (Hajj)


This is the pilgrimage to Mecca. All Muslims, if they are able, are to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. It involves financial sacrifice and is an act of worship. Muslims must make the pilgrimage the first half of the last month of the lunar year


True faith in Islam

The pillars of the faith of Islam can be compared to the concept of a Statement of Faith, or Articles of faith. These are Islamic concepts of essentials of the faith.

1. Allah

Allah is the supreme being of all. He is uncreated, the creator of all, without beginning or end. He is completely sufficient to himself and needs no other. He does not have offspring nor a spouse. He knows all things, is everywhere, and is all powerful. He hears all prayers. Everything that occurs does so by his permission.

2. His Angels

Angels reside in the unseen world and carry out the commands of Allah. They cannot sin. Muhammad stated that it was the angel Gabriel that brought the message of the Koran to him.

3. His Messengers

People who have been sent from Allah to a particular group of people for the purpose of giving to them the message revealed by Allah. Some of them are Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and, of course, Muhammad. Islam teaches that all messengers previous to Muhammad were sent to limited people groups where Muhammad was sent to all people.

4. His Books

Islam recognizes many sacred scriptures that have been given by Allah throughout history. However, Muslims claim that only the Quran is trustworthy and that the other scriptures have been compromised because we do not posses their original manuscripts. They assert that the accounts of the Bible were written down hundreds of years later and cannot be considered inerrant, and they were written in ancient languages which have been lost. Therefore, exact translations are not possible. Nevertheless, the scriptures recognized in Islam are:
The Koran - The Koran (Qur'an) is the inspired word of Allah given to people through the Prophet Muhammad and it supercedes all other scriptures before it including. It alone is inerrant and trustworthy as a revelation for today. It is unchanged from the beginning.
The Torah -the first five books of Moses.
The Injil - the gospel message of Jesus in the New Testament
The Psalms - the sacred writings given to David.
• The Last Day
There is a future day in which this world and its governments and systems will come to an end and all people will face judgment based upon their deeds. Muslims go to paradise and non-Muslims go to hell.
• Divine Preordainments good or bad
In Islam, Allah is completely in control of all things and ordains all things that occur.

Islamic terms

• Adhan - The call to prayer.
• Ahmad - Another name for Muhammad.
• Allah - The Arabic word for "god." It is often used as a name for God in Islam.
• Badr - The place of the first significant battle between and the pagans of the Quraish. It is located in Saudi Arabia.
• Caliph - A Muslim ruler.
• Dajjal - Antichrist.
• Dawah - The proliferation of Islamic teachings through word and deed.
• Din - Obedience to the revelation of Allah's Qur'an (Koran). It involves total submission.
• Fatwa - Legal verdict given based on the Qur'an (Koran) and the Sunnah which are the recorded sayings and deeds of Muhammad.
• Fiqh - Religious law.
• Hadith - The sayings and deeds of the prophet Muhammad recorded by his followers. Considered authoritative and perfect. A saying is called a Sunnah.
• Hajar - The Black Stone set into the corner of the Ka'aba in Mecca. Tradition states it fell from heaven.
• Hajj - The pilgrimage to Mecca which takes place in the last month of the Islamic calendar. One of the five pillars of Islam.
• Hawijah - The sixth level of hell which is the place for Christians.
• Hegirah - Muhammad's immigration to Medina. It begins the Muslim calendar.
• Hijrah - Moving from a land where a Muslim cannot practice his faith to a land where he can.
• Ibadah - All the words and deeds with which Allah is pleased. These deeds could be prayer and charity.
• Iblis - Satan, a fallen Jinn.
• Imam - The political head of an Islamic state.
• Injil - The inspired sayings of Jesus. The message of Jesus.
• Islam - Submission, the religion of all the prophets of Allah culminating in Muhammad.
• Jannah - The heavenly garden, Paradise. The place of the faithful in the afterlife.
• Jihad - Striving. Fighting against one's own sinful self. Also, a physical fight for the truth of Islam, not allowing anyone to steal the ability to worship. It also can mean "holy war."
• Jinn - Supernatural, invisible beings race of beings, below angels. They were made from fire and are capable of looking like humans or animals. Some may dwell in rocks, trees, etc, and may possess black dogs, and black cats. There are good and bad Jinn and all will be judged on Judgment Day.
• Ka'aba - A cube shaped building in Mecca containing a stone laid there by Abraham and Ishmael. All Muslims face this cube when praying.
• Koran - Also spelled Qur'an. The holy book of Islam given to Muhammad by Allah through the Archangel Gabriel. Koran literally means "the recital." It is the final revelation of Allah given to the prophet Muhammad. It has 114 surahs, or chapters.
• Kufr - Disbelief
• Khutbah - A sermon given in a Mosque, usually on Friday.
• Maksiat - Sinful act
• Masjid - A center for Muslim activity. It is like a local mosque.
• Mecca - The Holy City of Islam. It is the birthplace of Muhammad.
• Medina - The city, then called Yathrib, that Muhammad fled to after announcing Islam.
• Mosque - A Muslim house of worship.
• Muhajir - Immigrant, one who leaves his home town to join a Muslim community.
• Muhammad - the final messenger/prophet of God whose message abrogated all previous revelations. He received the Koran through the angel Gabriel over a 23 year period.
• Muhammad ibn Abd Allah - the full name of Muhammad.
• Muslim - Someone who holds to the religion of Islam.
• Nas - The multitude of people who are not dedicated to Allah and sway to and fro to various teachings.
• Nasara - A word used in the Koran to designate those who are Christians.
• P.B.U.H. - A shortened designation for "Peace be upon him" which is placed in writing or said after the word "Muhammad" is used.
• Paradise - Another word for heaven. A garden (79:41) of bliss and fruit (69:21-24), has rivers (3:198), with maidens pure and holy (4:57), and carpets and cushions, (88:8-16). It is the hope of all Muslims.
• Qadar - Preordainment is the teaching that all things, good and bad, are preordained to occur.
• Qatl - Murder
• Qibla - The direction which Muslims turn for daily prayers, towards Mecca.
• Quraish - An ancient Arab tribe to which Muhammad once belonged.
• Rakat (rak'ah) - One complete cycle of sacred words and gestures during the ritual prayer.
• Ramadhan - The ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is the month of the fast.
• Salat - Prayers
• Sawm - Fasting
• Shi'ites - A sect of Islam that teaches that leaders should be political rulers.
• Shirk - Associating another god with Allah. Associating anything with Allah that is not true and revealed in the Koran.
• Sirq - Theft
• Sufi - A sect of Islam. It is very mystical and teaches strong self denial with the hope of union with God.
• Sunnah - The life, practices, and sayings of Muhammad recorded as examples of perfect conduct in society, religion, action, etc. They contain the Hadith.
• Sunnis - One of the sects of Islam
• Surah - A chapter of the Koran.
• Taghut - Everything that is worshipped or followed other than Allah.
• Taiyib - Pure, clean, wholesome.
• Taqwah - Proper fear and veneration of Allah. A divine spark that enables the person to understand God.
• Tauhid - Monotheism in Islam is the teaching that there is only one God who alone is worthy of worship.
• Tauhid-ar-Rububiyah - Declaring that God is one, the sovereign who performs all his will.
• Tauhid-al-Uluhiyah - Declaring that God is the only one worthy of worship.
• Ummah - A religious community, usually referring to an Islamic one.
• Umrah - A Minor form of pilgrimage to Mecca.
• Wa Alaikum Assalam - The Arabic way of saying "peace be upon him."
• Zaboor - The Psalms
• Zakat - The third pillar of Islam. Alms giving, charity that is given to the poor.
• Zinah - Fornication and adultery.

Regarding Islam

Muhammad

Few people in all of history ever have an influence so far reaching that the course of nations are changed. Muhammad is just such a person. For most of the world, Muhammad was an Arab who lived in the middle east in the 7th century and is the founder of Islam. For Muslims, Muhammad is the final prophet of Allah who supersedes all other prophets and who alone delivered the final and perfect word of God. Whichever your position, Muhammad is an important figure in human history.
Muhammad (full name is Muhammad Ibne Abdullah) was born in 570(?) in Mecca which is now located in Saudi Arabia. Mecca was then the cultural and religious center of Arabia. The area had no central government and was full semi-warring tribes with numerous, competing, polytheistic religions. At the heart of Mecca was the Ka'aba (cube in Arabic), a shrine about 60 feet, by 60 feet, by 60 feet, containing hundreds of idols, and known as the House of Allah. Allah was recognized as the supreme deity, but was worshipped along with other deities. The Ka'aba was believed to have been built by Abraham and his son Ishmael on the same spot as the first shrine to God built by Adam. On the eastern corner of the Ka'aba is the Black stone called in Arabic, Hajar al Aswad. The Black Stone is probably a meteorite.

Muhammad is born

Muhammad was born to his mother Amina, into the Quraish, the then ruling tribe of Mecca. Up to the age of eight, he was raised by his grandfather Abdul Muttalib because Abdallah, his father, died in Yathrib a few weeks before Muhammad was born. Amina, his mother, died when he was six. After the death of his grandfather, his uncle Abu Talib then assumed responsibility for raising Muhammad. Abu Talib was a businessman involved in trade so it is likely that Muhammad went with him on business trips and encountered both Jews, 280 miles to the north in Madina, and Christians also to the north and to the south in Nejran. History tells us that when he was 12 he accompanied his uncle on a trading caravan to Syria. His encounters with Jews and Christians seems to be reflected in the Qur'an in passages that refer to "The People of the Book" (3:64, 71, 187; 5:59). The term "People of the Book" is a reference to Jews and Christians who had received God's word through the prophets before Muhammad.
At 25 years old, Muhammad was hired to manage the business of a wealthy widow named Khadija who was 15 years older than he. He went to Syria and traded there successfully. Apparently this impressed Khadija. She ended up proposing to Muhammad later and in 595 they were married. They had two sons, who died in infancy, and four daughters: Zaynab, Ruqaiyah, Fatima and Umm Kulthum. Muhammad and Khakija were married for 25 years until Khadija died at the age of 65 during the month of Ramadan, well after the start of Islam.
Around 35 Muhammad assumed the habit of going outside of Mecca to Mt. Hira for meditation and contemplation. There was a cave there and he often went there for solitude. It was during one of these times of meditation that Muhammad said an angelic being appeared to him, calling him. This disturbed Muhammad (Qur'an 81:19-29) and he told his wife Khadija that he thought he had been visited by an evil Jinn. Jinn are supposed to be living beings like people, but not angels, who were created from fire and are invisible, yet dwell on the earth. A short time later, in the year 610 (believed to be the 26th of Ramadan), while in a cave on Mt. Hirah, Muhammad said that the angel Gabriel appeared to him and commanded him to recite (96:1-19). This recitation became the Qur'an. In these encounters with the angel Gabriel, sometimes he would see the angel, other times he would only hear him, and at others he only heard the sound of a bell through which the words of the angel came.
Muhammad could neither read nor write so he was instructed to memorize the words given to him by Gabriel. This complete recitation which Muhammad received over a 23 year period, ending in 632, the year of his death, is known as the Qur'an. Initially, Muhammad doubted that he was being called by Allah to be a prophet. Others, including his wife and a cousin, counseled him by saying that Allah would only be truthful to him and would not allow him to be deceived. Muhammad became convinced and even wrote in the Qur'an, "Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel-for he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by Allah's will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe," (2:97).

Islam takes root

It became the mission of Muhammad to proclaim the truth of Islam, given to him by Allah, through the angel Gabriel. Muhammad called the people of his area to repent from their idol worship, to do good, and to serve the one and true God, Allah. He taught that man is God's slave and it is his duty to submit to God and obey him. He said that the Day of Judgment was coming and that a man's works will be weighed on that day. Those whose good deeds out weigh their bad may, by Allah's grace, be saved and enter Paradise which is full of sensual pleasures. The unsaved go to hell. His first converts were his wife, Khadija, his cousin Ali, and his adopted son Zaid ibn Haritha. Soon afterwards, Abu Bakr also believed. In his first three years of proclaiming Islam, he had 40 converts.
Though his continued preaching brought only a few converts, it did bring much opposition. The ruling tribe, the Quraish, tried to get Muhammad to stop his preaching by appealing to his uncle, Abu Talib. But, Muhammad adamantly refused to stop proclaiming the message he had received. Because Abu Talib was very influential in the Quraish, Muhammad's life was protected and he was able to continue his preaching which angered many people. The Quraish began to persecute the Muslims by beating them and boycotting their businesses. During public prayers, Muhammad was accosted and mocked. His followers were likewise treated poorly. But, Muhammad remained steadfast.
Because of the persecution, the Muslims moved to Abyssinia, Ethiopia today, and were protected by the Christian ruler there. After a time, he returned to Madina and continued his preaching. More converts joined his ranks and more idolaters sought to defeat him. This is because the message of Islam was socio-political. Islam covers belief, society, behavior, ethics, etc. This monotheistic belief system threatened the lucrative business that grew around the pilgrimages to the Ka'aba that so many Arabs enjoyed. The ruling tribe, the Quraish, soon found that within their reign a small band of believers, a small "country" unto themselves, was rising up. The ruling party became more and more concerned and threatened by the Muslims and their pressure increased against Muhammad.
In the year 620 Muhammad lost his beloved uncle Abu Talib (who never became a Muslim) and his wife Khadija. "After a few months Muhammad sought comfort by marrying the widow of one of the believers named Sawdah. He also later married Ayisha, the seven-year old daughter of his friend Abu Bakr, who he took into his home three years later."1 According to Muslim historians, Muhammad has 12 wives when he died.

Hegira

622 is a significant date for Muslims. It is known as the year of the Hijra, or Migration from Mecca to Yathrib (which later became Medina) where they established their first real Islamic community. The Muslim calendar begins its history from July 16, 622 the first day of the lunar year in which the Hegira took place.
In Medina, he preached about Allah and monotheism and urged all people to return to the true faith of Abraham. At that time in Medina, he would pray facing Jerusalem, as did the Jews who were very populous in that city. He preached about repentance, one God, and forgiveness of sins. His first sermon in Medina was on a Friday. Therefore, Islamic congregational worship occurs on Fridays.
Gradually, however, the Jews began to disapprove of him and his movement. He confronted them and told them they had misread the Scriptures. This estranged the Jews in the region and finally one day while praying, he suddenly changed direction and faced Mecca. He said the Ka'aba, in Mecca, was the true place of worship since it was built by Abraham. To this day, all Muslims are to face Mecca when praying.
After two years in Medina, the Muslims were not fairing too well financially and that, combined with mild persecution, prompted a revelation to come to Muhammad permitting him to raid passing caravans. This he did and the Muslim financial problems were solved. Soon afterward, there was then a significant battle at Badr where Muhammad, with 350 men, defeated an army of 1,000 men. This boost gave confidence to the Muslims, encouraged more converts, and made the Quraish even more uneasy.
In the fifth year of the Hegira, the Quraish tried to destroy the Muslims but failed. By now the Muslims were too strong so the Quraish never again tried to defeat them. Muhammad then set his sights on Mecca. At one point in 628, Muhammad took 10,000 men and entered Mecca unchallenged. The leader of the Quraish converted to Islam.
From there, Muhammad's movement gained further momentum. In 631 two tribes joined Muhammad. They were the Hijaz and Najd. From this time on, many battles ensured. In 625 there was the Battle of Uhud. In 627, the Battle of the Trench. In 628 Muhammad signs a treaty with Quraish. There is the Battle of Hunsin. In 630 Muhammad had conquered Mecca and he destroys all the idols in Mecca.
In 632, Muhammad delivers his last sermon, later falls ill, and dies in the presence of his favorite wife, Aisha, and her father, Abu-Bakr. He was buried in Medina in his own house. His father in law, Abu-Bakr, becomes Caliph, the religious leader of Islam.

The Qur'an

The Qur'an (Koran, Quran) is the Holy Book of Islam and the religion's most sacred writing. Muslims consider it the actual word of Allah and not the word of Muhammad to whom it was given. Muslim tradition states that the angel Gabriel visited Muhammad and gave him the words directly from Allah. These words were Allah's words of wisdom, truth, and commandments to His creation. The Qur'an (which means recitation) was revealed in the Arabic dialect used by the Quraish tribe of Mecca of that time. This dialect became the formal Arabic of the Islamic nations due to the distribution of Qur'anic scriptures throughout the Islamic empire. In the Arabic the Qur'an is poetic in style with rhymes, meter, and shifts in line lengths. Those who speak the language say it is a beautiful work.
The Qur'an deals mainly with what and how Allah wants mankind to believe and do in Man's moral struggle. Its primary theme is that of complete submission to the will of Allah. However, it also teaches . . .
• there is only one sovereign God (3:191; 5:73; 112:1-4).
• there will be an end of the world and judgment day (:30; 35:33-37).
• those who are not Muslims will go to hell (2:24; 3:12).
• that those whose good deeds exceed their bad will obtain paradise (3:135; 7:8-9; 21:47).
• social and ethical behavior for Islamic society.
In the year 610 (believed to be the 26th of Ramadan), while in a cave on Mt. Hirah, which is now called Mount Jabal Nur, Muhammad said that the angel Gabriel appeared to him and commanded him to recite (96:1-19). From that point on, Muhammad claimed to have received revelations up to the time of his death, 23 years later in 632. In these encounters with the angel Gabriel, sometimes Muhammad would see the angel, other times he would only hear him, and at others he only heard the sound of a bell through which the words of the angel came.
Since Muhammad could not read or write, his companions wrote down what he said. These recitations were copied onto a variety of materials: papyrus, flat stones, palm leaves, shoulder blades and ribs of animals, pieces of leather and wooden boards.1 Additionally, these sayings were also being memorized by Mohammad's followers. In fact, to this day, great emphasis is placed upon memorizing the entire Qur'an and there are many thousands of Muslims who have committed it to memory. The work is roughly the same size as the New Testament.
Apparently, there was no attempt made to collect all of the sayings given by Muhammad during his lifetime. After all, Mohammad was continuing to give ' recitations' on a somewhat regular basis. But, after he died in 632, Abu-Bakr, Muhammad's father in law, became the caliph (religious leader of the Muslims) and there was a small effort to collect the fragments of Qur'anic sayings into a common place. But, it wasn't until the fourth leader of Islam, Caliph Uthman, that the whole Qur'an was finally assembled, approved, and disseminated throughout the Muslim world.
The Quran also contains many biblical figures (Abraham, David, Moses, and Jesus) as well as non-biblical figures. However, some of the accounts of biblical characters are different than the Bible.
The Quran is divided into 114 chapters, called Surahs. The word surah means "row". Today the Koran is arranged with the longer surahs first and the shorter ones after, with the whole thing divided into 30 approximately equal lengths.
"Islamic law prohibits the touching of the physical Arabic Qur'an (and formal, but not casual, recitation) unless the person is in a state of purity which corresponds to the greater of Ablution...every Moslem must commit at least 12 vs. or lines of the Qur'an to memory."2
The revelations are identified as having been revealed either in Mecca or Medina. Generally, those revealed in Mecca are the earlier ones and are more poetic and deal with apocalyptic themes. The Medina revelations deal more with the law of Allah. Many have noted that the arrangement of the Qur'an is not chronological or thematic. The subjects tend to be disjointed and shifting. This is due in part to the directions of Mohammad to put certain savings in different places in the Surahs. Muslims are aware of this and considered as to be the divine order in the Koran.
____________________
1. Watt, W. Montgomery, Islamic Surveys: Bell's Introduction to the Qur'an, Aldine Publishing Company, Chicago, 1970, page 40.
2. (Glasse, Cyril, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. San Francisco, 1989. p. 220)

Notes from dialogues with Muslims

The following research notes are some of the ones I gathered while interviewing different Muslims. They serve as a confirmation of many of the things I've read in Islamic literature. I'll continue to add to this list.
My questions are in bold and the responses from Muslims follow. Each paragraph is a response from a different Muslim. I cut the list down to a few representative answers.
Of course, I do not believe that the answers from Muslims here are authoritative and official doctrine of Islam. Rather, I consider them to be reflective only of what a few Muslims believe concerning the issues raised.
I would like to add that I told each Muslim I was doing research on Islam in preparation for writing about it on my website and let them know that I was typing up their responses. Each person knew I was a Christian apologist. Each Muslim was very polite and courteous.
1. Is it true that Abraham sacrificed Ishmael, not Isaac.
A. Yes, because Ishmael was the firstborn of God. Ishmael is the firstborn, Isaac was not born, when this even happened. The location of this was in the Mecca. Mecca is a city... Ka'aba is the first house built to God...contains a meteorite in it.
2. What is the Hadith?
A. The sayings of Muhammad. Not the direct word of God. It is the revelation of God to Muhammad, almost as good as the Koran, but not quite. We are to follow it. They are inspired sayings by God. Everything Muhammad did and said was infallible and inspired...but the Koran is on a higher level... because the koran is the direct revelation from God.
3. How can you have a lesser inspired word of God in the Hadith?
A. I don't know how to explain it to you.
4. How is sin removed in Islam
A. God accepts sincere repentance and on the day of Judgment if our good deeds are more than our bad deeds, we may go to Paradise .
B. If on the day of judgment, our good deeds out way our bad deeds, then if Allah so wills it, we can go to Paradise.
5. If a person is forgiven through sincere repentance, then what does it matter if a person has good or bad deeds since he has no sin held to him?
A. I'll have to think about that one.
6. Have you done enough good deeds?
A. A Muslim never knows.... but they get to heaven because of the mercy of Allah.
B. I don't know because it is dependent on the will of God. I do what I can according to the Quran.
C. We don't know if we are going to go to heaven or hell. That is God's decision. Islam says in the Quran that he is very merciful....ask for forgiveness and you will be forgiven.
D. Everyone will be judged on the day of judgment. It is up to Allah whether the person receives mercy or not. God will hand you a book about every deed, good or bad...unbeliever's sin will be public.. believer's sins are private.
7. Is God's mercy based upon the balance of good works or bad?
A. It is up to God...he knows all things, etc. We can't know what he will do or how merciful he is. We will be judged for our deeds.
B. It can lead either way. Those who believe in the true god and will receive more mercy.
C. People are born in a state of fitra, a state of not having sin. We deny original sin.
8. What are some other conditions necessary for forgiveness of sins.
A. Believe in the true God (Allah). Be willing to submit to the true God (Allah). Sincerely repent of your sins. If anyone worships anyone other than Allah (Like Jesus being God), then that is an unforgivable sin.
9. What is Heaven and hell in Islam?
A. Heaven is the same as Paradise. People have eternal happiness there. You have whatever you want... before you think about it, you can have it.
B. Heaven is a place of pleasure. There are women there. There is sexual activity between the men and women. You can have sex with more than one woman, not a system of marriage, but they will be husband and wife. A husband and wife here are still husband and wife there, will live in a house(s) in heaven. In each room is a woman with whom you can have sex with, but no pregnancy.
i. Muslim men can marry Muslim women, Jewish women, and Christian women in this life...
ii. Angels question you about your belief in Muhammad when you die.
C. Heaven was created for mankind 50,000 years before man was created. Mankind and jinn were created to worship, to speak according to what the creator said. Paradise...for those who worship God properly according to the revelation of God. It is a place of happiness.
D. Hell is fire, torture, eternal....for those who worship any other god than the true God.
E. There are trees in the hell fire... people eat from the tree and the contents will cut up their insides... People are forced to eat from it. Or, I think, because people will eventually become hungry and need to eat. You will hurt, feel pain... It is said they will be forced to drink molten copper, and drink boiling water. People cannot get out of hell. Their skin is burned to the bone and then they grow another skin...horrible place...beyond our comprehension...Muhammad also saw hell. A tree in hell with very bitter fruit...it could make the whole ocean bitter with one leaf... eat boiling puss, boiling oil... rotten and disgusting...
F. It is fire, hot. It is a physical aspect, and it is kind of both temporary and permanent. There are two opinions:
i. Hell is permanent for disbelievers, and temporary for sinful disbelievers
ii. Hell is temporary for all who enter it, meaning that eventually it will be empty (no one in it),
G. Muhammad saw heaven and reported it. I don't know if Jesus saw heaven. It isn't recorded in the Qu'ran. Don't think the Bible is the word of God.
10. Who is Jesus to you?
A. Jesus is a prophet, a creation. God has no partner. Jesus raised people from the dead. He healed people, a very great prophet. Jesus had supernatural powers.
B. Jesus did not die on the cross... God made Judas look like Jesus and then he was crucified in the one who died on the cross.
11. If God made Judas look like Jesus, then didn't God deceive people and bear false witness by purposely allowing others to believe a lie?
A. God didn't deceive people, he protected his prophet Jesus. He allowed the person who was betrayed to take the place... It is how you look at it. It isn't a deception...it is protecting Jesus. God took Jesus into heaven.
12. Then what we have in the Bible about Jesus' resurrection is nothing more than a corrupted account?
A. Correct. No one has ever risen from the dead.
13. Did Jesus every marry?
A. I don't think so... not sure.
14. Can you tell me about Angels and Jinn?
A. There are such things as angels, created by Allah, created from light. Angels are obedient slaves incapable of refusing to do Allah’s will.
B. Jinn are not humans or angels. Created from fire, but are not angels. They nurse, have kids, but are unseen. They can be embodied in people. They have male and female, families, they have sex, produce offspring, they live in this world but you can't see them, have more powers than humans, different levels of jinn, the more powerful ones can influence humans, Similar to humans in that they have communities and have a free will. They will be judged also. They are unseen, have communities. There are good and bad Jin. They can sin. A jinny or shatan (jinn who are followers of the devil, iblis - not all jinn are shatans, there are some good jinn. some Jinn can go into a pure black dog or pure black cat or a pure black snake and take its form. Muslims are warned to beware of pure black dogs and pure black cats and pure black snakes. I've heard that they can put a spell on you... Muslims believe that anyplace where there is any dog inside the house, the angels will leave the house...because it is an unclean animal. Angles will leave if there are any unclean animal...they will not go with you into a restroom because it is unclean....it is their nature...a matter of cleanness.

Divisions within Islam

Because of Islam's great growth geographically in the first two centuries of its inception, there needed to be a larger set of Islamic laws capable of handling the different needs of Muslims throughout the Empire. The Qur'an and the Hadith were not detailed enough to provide all the answers. Therefore, in the 8th century A.D., there arose a school of legal experts who interpreted and applied Islamic principles to different situations throughout the Empire. However, different scholars disagreed with these experts in various areas. This led to a variety of legal schools of thought within Islam.
These different schools became different sects within Islam. The largest of the sects is the Sunni which comprises about 90% of all Muslims. The next two largest are the Shi'i and Sufi. After these, there are numerous splinter groups which are often named after the individual scholars who began them: Hanifa, after Abu Hanifa; Maliki, after Malik ibn Anas; Shafi'i, after Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi'i; Zaydi, after Zayd ibn Ali; the Nusayri, Ismaili, Murji'ah, etc.

Sunni Muslims

Sunni Muslims These are followers of the Hanifa, Shafi, Hanibal and Malik schools. They constitute a 90% majority of the believers, and are considered to be main stream traditionalists. Because they are comfortable pursuing their faith within secular societies, they have been able to adapt to a variety of national cultures, while following their three sources of law: the Qur'an, Hadith and consensus of Muslims.
The Sunni emphasize the power and sovereignty of Allah and his right to do whatever he wants with his creation. Strict determinism is taught. Its rulership is through the Caliphate, the office of Muslim ruler who is considered the successor to Muhammad. This successor is not through hereditary lineage.

Shi'ite Muslims

The Shi'ites (also known as the Ja'firi school) split with the Sunni over the issue of the successor to Muhammad. This split occured after the assassination of the fourth caliph in 661. Shi'ites believe that the successor to Muhammad should have been Ali, his son in law, and that subsequent successors should have been through his lineage through his wife Fatima.
Shi'ism is broken into three main sects: the Twelve-Imam; Persia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Syria), the Zaydis (Yemen), and the Ismailis (India, Iran, Syria, and East Africa). Each group, of course, has differences of doctrine.
"Shi'ite theology includes a doctrine known as the five supports: these are Divine Unity (tawhid), prophecy (nubuwwah), resurrection of the soul and body at the Judgment (ma'ad), the Imamate1 (imamah), and justice ('adl). The first three are found in Sunni Islam, albeit with some differences of emphasis; the Imamate, however , is the essence of Shi'ism, and the last, justice, is an inheritance from the Mu'tazilites, or rationalists, whose system is in many ways perpetuated in Shi'ite theology..."1 The Imamate, fom the word "Imam", in the Shi'ite traditions is the political and religious leader of the Shi'ite sect. This person possess great power and influence. According to Shi'ite doctrine, the Imam must be a biological successor of Ali. The Imam is also sinless and infallible on all matters of Islamic doctrine and will intercede for Muslims in the afterlife. The Shi'i and the Sunni differ in some interpretations of the Qur'an and Hadith and even have a different canon of Hadith and the Sunni.

Sufi Muslims

The Sufi are a mystical tradition where the followers seek inner mystical knowledge of God. This sect "officially" developed around the 10th century and has since fragmented into different orders: Ahmadiyya, Qadariyya, Tijaniyya, etc. Of course, the Sufi believe their roots can be traced back to the inception of Islam in the early 7th century.
The Sufi mystic must follow a path of deprivation and meditation. There are various forms of abstinence and poverty. Worldly things are renounced and a complete trust in God's will is taught. The goal is to attain to a higher knowledge and experience of Allah. The mystical focus meant that the Qur'an could be interpreted in different ways and so Sufism taught that the Qur'an had mystical meanings hidden within its pages. Out of this mysticism a type of pantheism developed among some Sufi believers. Pantheism is the teaching that God and the universe are one. Of course, the orthodox Muslims, called the Sunni, reject this idea since they claim that Allah is the creator of the universe and distinct from it.
In part, Sufism arose as a reaction to the growing Islamic materialism that had developed in the Empire at that time. Islam had achieved great power and geographical scope and with it, the material gain was great.

Conclusion

As you can see, Islam is not the united religious system it claims to be. There are divisions among its ranks and even those divisions have divisions. But what is interesting is that the Qur'an tells the Muslims to have no such divisions.
"The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the [sic] which we have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which we enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them..." (42:13)
If this is the case, then the Muslim must admit that the divisions within Islam are sinful. But, such is the nature of humanity, to divide and set ourselves against one another.

WITNESSING TO MUSLIMS

Introduction

Have you ever had the opportunity to talk with a Muslim and try to explain the Gospel to him? If so, you've probably discovered that simply sharing the essential points of the Gospel is not enough to win a Muslim to Christ.
Booklets such as the "Four Spiritual Laws" and "Knowing God Personally" are very often effective tools in explaining the Gospel to Muslims. You must be prepared, however, because once you've finished sharing such a booklet you will find that your discussion has only just begun. In my 25 years of full0time ministry, rarely have I seen a Muslim pray to receive Christ immediately after the Four Laws were shared with him. Recently a brother and I saw two Muslims come to the Lord, but only after a period of four months. Both of these men had seen the JESUS film, and there is a prayer at the end of the film that is the same in the Four Laws. One of them, a businessmen, prayed with tears in his eyes! Still, it took months to explain the Gospel to them.
The reason for this is that there are five major issues concerning the very nature of God, Christ, and the Bible which must be worked through and which a Muslim must understand before he will be prepared to accept the Gospel and make a commitment to Christ. The following material is designed to give you a basic understanding of these issues. Now one might say, "Why not simply add these to the Four Laws and then distribute it?" Although this may seem like a good idea, it leads to one important consideration: everything in Muslim culture is based on relationships. You cannot hand a Gospel presentation to a Muslim and say, "Here's how to become a Christian" and then leave. On the contrary, you must be prepared to spend time with him - to discuss, argue, debate and even to laugh and to cry with him. Only then is it possible to see someone become a true believer.

Witnessing to Muslims

three Prequisites

When you endeavor to share Christ with a Muslim, you are stepping into a true spiritual battle. The average Muslim has great cultural and religious biases against many of the foundational truths of Christianity. For him, the cross is a stumbling block. No other religion hates the cross like Islam, and it is for this reason that you must be prepared not only intellectually, but also in spirit and in attitude befroe taking up this challenge.
There are three simple, yet vitally important prerequisites we need to examine before moving on to the theological issues involved in sharing Christ with a Muslim.

1. You must be filled with the Holy Spirit?

One of the most critical elements in witnessing to a Muslim is that one must be Spirit-filled. Jesus said in John 15:26, "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is teh Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of me."Success in witnessing is simply sharing the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving th eresults to God.
I'm sure we could all recount experiences where we've share the Gospel and felt that we were perhaps not fille dwith the SPirit, but were then amazed to see the person accept Christ. God in His sovereignty works, at times, in spite of us to bring people to Himself. Again, when you are sharing with a Muslim you are engaged in an intense spiritual battle. IF you are not filled with the SPirit of the Lord, you will find yourself quickly exhauseted both spiritually and emotionally. I have been in sessions with Muslims where I felt as if I was going to have a heart attack. To give you an example from my own life, I once sat with a Muslim man from Lebanon in a smoke-filled cafe late on evening, trying to explain the Gospel. As we talked, our discussion began to get really heated. The conversaqtion kept goin gin circles, back and forth, up and down until I thought I was going to explode. At one point, I was so frustrated I thought to myself, "Why can't he understand?" and I literally felt like punching him in the face! I had to remind myself, "You must continue in the power of the Holy Spirit."
Satan would like to let you think that people you are sharing with are just too far from the Kingdom oto become Christians, but you must continue. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom to answer even the most difficult questions asked by Muslims. I was once sharing with a Muslim when he asked me a question that I had not heard before: "Doesn't the Old Testament prophesy about the coming of the Prophet Mohammed?" He quoted a verse from Deuteronomy which I had always known to be about Christ. I immediately asked the Lord to give me wisdom to answer him and started by asking him a question; Does the Koran say that Moses was referring to Mohammed, or are you the one saying that?" He immediately replied that Mohammed did not sayin the Koran, "Moses spoke about me". At that moment, the Lord impressed upon me the verse from Luke that says Moses spoke about Jesus:
"He said to them, 'This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.' " Luke 24:44 Also John 5:46

2. You must be in prayer at all times.

You will have to pray the Muslim into the Kingdom of God, otherwise you shouldn't even begin to share wtih him. Islam is based on one presupposition: that Christianity is false. The Muslim claims that Islam exists because Christianity was courrupted, and if ever they accepted Christianity to be true, then Islam would have no reason to exist.
When you go witnessing, you must not go straight onto the field with the purpose of sharing. When I go on campus, I always spend time in prayer first. The few times that I am extremely pressed for time, or am unable to spend extended time in prayer I still go forward in an attitude of prayer. There is no other way. Muslims are prehaps the most diffiuclt people in the world to evangelize, and ther will come moments when you're so discouraged you'll want to quit. It is that precise moment that you must start again in prayer, and continue always in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Ephesians 6:18, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests."
You cannot enter into an evangelistic appointment of this nature unless you are filed with the Spirit and bathed

3. You must have love.

The mass media in the West has done an excellent job of ensuring hatred toward the Muslim people through their portrayal of Islam. When the average Westerner or American thinks of the religion of Islam or of Muslims in general, what does he think of if not the Ayatollah Khomeini, the oil embargo, or terrorism? There seems to be little compassion, little concern for their need for Christ, and a lack fo understanding that they are lost without the message of th eGospel. At times, there seems only to be the pervasive stereotype of the "fanatic Muslim terrorist." Are we to say that over a billion of the world's people are terrorists? And even if they were, would this be reason enough to hate them? We need Christian loove to combat these misconceptions and to restore our burden for those who are lost without Christ.
Secondly, we need love because only love will keep us from losing heart when a Muslim rejects Christ. Without love, it is so easy to stop praying for him, or to lose interest in spending time with him. I have experienced several situations like this where I jusd did not want to see a certain person's face again. I remember a man from Tunisia named Mahmood. He grew up thinking, "Christianity is false," and while all his arguments were suincere, it was because of his rejection of Christ that I found myself rejecting him. But guess what! Two years later, Mahmood prayed to receive Chris! Muslims actually feel sorry for Christians; they consider us to be misguided blasphemers. They believe that we are preaching God, and want to bring us to the truth. However, it is through the love of CHrist working through us that they can come to know Him personally.
The third reason we need love is because it is the only thing against which a Muslim cannot argue. You can talk about Iran and Iraq, two Muslim nations having fought a war against one another, and they wil say, "What about Ireland, the Catholics and the Protestants?" You bring up the Bible, they bring up the Koran. You argue for Christ, they argue for Mohammed. Take any issue you like, and the Muslim will have an answer for it. However, reach out to them with uncoditional love and acceptance, and there will nothing they can do except to love you back.
Mathew 22:37-40: "Jesus replied, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it Love your nieghbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.' "
None fo these prerequisites may be new to you, but they must be emphasized before getting into details of explaining the Gospel to a Muslim. These three things - being Spirit-filled, being in prayer, and loving - are far more important than knowing all about Islam or the Koran. I know Americans who have led Muslims to the Lord with no knowledge of Islam and, while the more one knows the better, I doubt if there is anyone who can bring a Muslim to the Lord if he is not Spirit0filled, not praying, and not loving. It is by these three things that the Gospel will be proven true.


Five areas you need to explain to a Muslim


There are five major issues which must first be explained and worked through with a Muslim before you will be able to go back and say, "Here is how you can become a Christian":

1. The Authenticity of the Bible

2. The consistency of God's revelation

3. Why Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God

4. Did Jesus really die on the cross?

5. The Trinity

Again, you need to take necessary time to explain each of these issues. Once, I worked with a Muslim for a period of over two years. On many occasions we would have all-day meetings, from morning until evening, discussing these things. There will be times when you think you're not getting across to your contact; however, this is not true. As someone once said, "It's not strange for a Muslim to hear the Gospel more than fifty times before it starts to make sense to him."

1. The authenticity of the Bible

The Muslims claim that both the Old and New Testaments have been changed, and that the Bible is, therefore, not trustworthy. For this reason they believe it was necessary for God to give another book, the Koran, to replace it. They believe that the Koran contains the essence of all the heavenly books, including the Old and New Testaments.

a. Can the Word of God really be changed?

In addressing this issue, it is important to direct the Muslim's attention to the fact that the Bible is God's Word. The following are a few good questions you might consider when asking your Muslim friend:

b. If th Bible is God's Word, how could man change it?

Isn't God able to protect His Word from being changed?

Since the Bible is God's Word, whom are we accusing when we say it's been changed? Aren't we accusing God Himself by saying that He was not able to protect it from being changed?

Who changed the Bible? When was it changed?

Which parts were changed? And for what reason?

By asking him such questions, you will find out that he does not have answers to any of them. The Muslim simply says, "It was changed," and that just shows that he has absolutely no proof or evidence to support his allegations.
What does the Bible say regarding itself?
Because the Muslim agrees that the Bible is God's Word, you may also want to direct his attention to what it says about itself:
Mathew 5:1 "...until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
Mathew 24:35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my Word will not pass away."
1 Peter 1:24,25 "...the grass withers and the flowers fall off, but the Word of the Lord abides forever."(Also Isaiah 40:8)
1 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof , for correction, and for training in righteousness."
2 Peter 1:21 "For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

C. What does the Koran say about the Bible?

The Koran itself does not say the Bible has been changed. In fact, it says that unless one obeys the Torah and the Bible, they are nothing. It mentions the Torah and the "Zabur" (the Old Testament with the Psalms) and the "Injil" (which is th eNew Testament) many times. When the Koran was written, no mention was made of the Bible having been changed. Thus, when Islam began in the 6th century, 600 years after Jesus Christ, the Bible was accepted as true.

D.What about the issue of translation

The Bible we have in our hands today was translated form the original languages of Hebrew and Greek. Whether it was printed in 1999, 1970 or 1950 it was translated form the original language. We have a complete Bible that dates back to the Third century A.D 300 years after Christ and 400 years before Islam. It is a complete, orginial Bible and we have several of these in existence: one in a museum in London and another in the Vatican in Rome.
However, somoene may say, "Well, maybe it was changed before the year 300." We have thousands of original copies of various sections of th Bible that date back to before the year 300. If these pieces were put to gether, the result would be hundreds, if not thousands of complete Bibles dating back to before the year 300. The oldes of these manuscripts dates back to around the year 100 AD. We also know that the first books of the New Testament were written in 40 or 50 AD. Evidence of this may be found in the writing s of the Church Fathers, by whom many books and articles were written prior to 100 AD. The entire New Testament, with exception of five sentences that have nothing to do with theology or doctrine, cna be reconstructed from the quotes of the church fathers found in these writtings. In essence, we have the original copies from the same times as the writings of the Apostles who wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
What is interesting is that in the days of Christ, the region of the Middle East where Christ was born and brought up was under the unfluence of Greek civilization. The Greek judiciary system required two witnesses to appear before a judge to bring evidence in a trial. God in His sovereignty, however, has provided us with four witnesses, all of whom are in agreement concerning the events of the life of Christ. II Corinthians 13:1 says, "... every fact is to be confirmed by teh testimony of two or three witnesses."
Finally, the Bible is not a scientific book, but where it mentions science it is accurate. It is not a history book, but where it mentions anything historic it is again accuate. It is not a geography book, but where it mentions geography it has proven to be true and accurate. The Bible, as it is in our hands to day, is the true Word of God and is able to stand up to any type of test, research, or criticism.
The consistency of God's relevation
In the Muslim mind, God has established three religions over the course of history: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Muslims believe that He first sent MOses to establish Judaism, but because the Jews were a stiff-necked, disobedient peopl eHe scattered them all over the world and sent Jesus, the Son of Mary, to establish Christianity. By the fith centruy, however, Christianity had become so corrupt that BGod sent Mohammed to establish Islam, His last and final revelation. Muslims believe that Islam includes both Judaism and Christianity and they say that even Abraham was a Muslim. IN their mind, Islam is everything and everything is Islam. What we need to explain to the Muslims - and it is not an easy task - is that God was consitent in His relevation and will continue to be so until the end.
God's primary purpose was not to establish a religion; religions are man-made. Rather, he desired to establish a personal relationship between Himself and man. This is the message of the entire Gospel. The first two chapters in the Bible speak about creation, including that of man and woman. In the third, we read abou the fall of man into sin. From the fourth chapter of Genesis through the end of the book fo Revelation the primary message of God's Word is that of Salvation.
There is a very important passage in Genesis chapter 3, verses 14 and 15 is which God confronts Adam and Eve regaurding their sin:
And the Lord God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life; 'And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruse him on the heel.'
Take time to explain this passage. * Muslims already believe in the story of Adam and Eve, the creation and the fall. They also believe that Satan appeared in the shape of a serpent and tried to seduce the woman to eat from the fruit, that she succumbed to temptation and ate, and then gave some of the fruit to her husband to eat. The key point here, however, is God's promise: "... the seed of the woman shall bruise the head of Satan." If you ask a Muslim, "Who form the time of Adam and Eve until today was indeed only born from a woman and not the union of a man and a woman?", they will say "Jesus". They know this and believe it. Explain who the seed of the woman is, and also God's promise - that from the seed of the woman He would destroy Satan and redem man. Explain that this promise, given the moment man fell into sin, was fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
You can also show how the prophets pointed their prophecies toward the coming of Christ. His coming was, from the beginning, part of God's plan:
Isaiah 7:14 "Behold, the virgin shall be found with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Emmanuel."
Isaiah 9:6 "For a child wil be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
Mathew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which translated means, 'God with us'."
Why We believe Jesus is the Son of God
Is Jesus really the Son of God? The moment you begin speaking to a Muslim, typically the first and most offensive objection they have is that we say that Jesus is th Son of God. This is because when we say "Son of God", they think we are talking about a physical son (God having sexual relations with Mary), and this is blasphemy. We, too, believe this is blasphemy. You must clarify to th Muslim that when we say "Son of God", we do not believe that God ever had a physical relationship with a woman to have His son.
In explaining the Sonship of Christ to the Muslim, we need to tell them that Jesus is the Son of God from a spiritual point of view, not a physical one. Jesus is not the physical offspring of God. Refer to Luke chapter 1 and read together verses 26 through 35, about how the angel brough the news to Mary that she would concive and give birth to a son. Pinpoint these important words to him: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you... So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." He is not the physical son of God, but we call him the Son of God because he came from the Spirit of God. Therefore, he is not the physical son, but "He shall be called the Son of God." Underline these words for him.
The second concept you need to understand and explain to the Muslim is that, especially in the Arabic version of th Bible, there is a big difference between the words "son" of God, and "child" of God. In Arabic, there are the words "ibn" and "walad". "Ibn" means "son" and "walad" means "child". "Ibn" refers to the child you adopt; "walad" means it was born to you. This is why we never call Jesus in Arabic "Walad Allah." We call him "Ibn Allah", meaning he came from God. If the person you are sharing with is an Arab, ask him, "What is the difference between 'ibn' and 'walad'?" LEt him think - see what he comes up with, and then explain the difference.
There is one other logical illustration you might give to a Muslim. In Arabic, the phrase "son of..." is used to signify where one is from. For instance, I am from Lebanon, and am often called a "Son of Lebanon." A man from MOrocco would be called a "Son of Morocco." And because the Nile is the most famous part of Egypt, an Egyptian will often becalled "Son of the Nile." One could also be called "Son of Education", meaning that he is a very well educated person. The phrase may also be used to express one's main interest. In the same way, Christ is called "Son of God" because HE came from the Spirit of God.

2.Did Jesus really die on the cross?

Does the Koran refute Christ's crucifixion?
Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. There is a verse in th Koran which says, "THey killed Him not, they crucified Him not, but it was likened unto them. They killed Him not knowingly, but God raised Him and God is the most merciful of merciful. " 90% of the time, the Muslim will tell me immediately, "But they killed Him not, they crucified Him not!" In the Muslim's mind, this verse is saying that God was so merciful that He could never allow a wonderful prophet such as Jesus to be crucified by His enemies. They believe God saved Him, and lifted Him up to heaven. God then punished Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed Him the night before, by changing him into the likeness of Christ. Muslims believe it was Judas, not Christ, who was crucified and they say this in defense of a prophet whom they consider to be great and wonderful. They say this out of zeal and respect for Jesus.
In explaining the second part of the Koranic verse, which says, "They killed Him ot knowingly", you can remind the person you're sharing with of the attitude the Jews held toward Christ. When JEsus was taken to the Roman govenor, they did not believe He was the Messiah. They wanted to get rid of Him. So by saying, "They killed Him not knowingly", the Koranic verse is simply saying they killed Him without knowing He was the Messiah.

B. The Bibical prophecy and necessity of Christ's crucifixtion.

The issue of Christ's death on th cross also brings us back to the verses in Genesis 4, we see how God accepted Abel's sacrifice, the lamb, but rejected Cain's sacrifice, which was the fruit of his labor. Explain to the person with whom you are sharing that the lamb is a substitue for man and represents the coming of Christ. The fruit of Cain's labor was reresentative simply of good works, and was not sufficient to meet God's requirement.
In Genesis 22, Abraham takes his son as a sacrifice in obedience to God's command: "And He said, 'Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Issac, and go to th land of MOriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of th mountains of which I will tell you" (Genesis 22:2). What does this mean? Why would God have asked such a thing? Discuss the passage together, focusing especially on the picture of God providing a ram miraculously as a substitue for Abraham's son. Abraham had lifted his knife and was ready to kill his son, but what happend instead? He heard a voice saying, "Abraham! ... Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me" (Genesis 22:12). What would have happend had Abraham not listened? His son would have been killed. But Abraham believed and took instead the ram, which he sacrificed in the place of his son. You can explain that the ram represents Jesus Christ, and we can look back 20000 years ago and see Him on th cross for you and me. Turn to John 1:29, where John the Baptist proclaims, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes the sins of the world!" Jesus is th Lamb of God.
In addressing the issue of Christ's death further, I strongly suggest you read through ISaiah 53, which very clearly speaks about teh coming of Christ and the redemption fo mankind - Jesus Himself bearing our sins on th ecross, Himself being the sacrafice. The entire chapter talks about Jesus, but you should focus especially on verses 4 through 12. Take time to underline all the prophecies regarding Him. If possible, let the person you're sharing with read the passage for himself, out loud. I have ahd dozens and dozens of Muslims read that chapter aloud and every time I ask them, "Who do you think th eprophet Isaiah is talking about here?" No one has ever given a wrong answer. THey say, "It is Jesus, son of Mary. Christians Arabs call him "Yassoua," which is taken from "Yashoua," the Hewbrew name for Jesus, while Muslims call Him "Issa," taken from "Yssus," the Greek name for Jesus. Take this opportunity to show him that what was prophesied in Isaiah was fulfilled in the person of Christ nearly 600 years later.
Another important thing to point out here is that "the Lord was pleased" (verse 10) to offer Christ as a sacrafice for man's sin. God is just; He said in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death," which is eternal seperation from God. However, God is also merciful. He would not allow the whole world to go to hell. From the moment man fell, the death of Christ was planned as the solution for sin.
Now there are those who would question the necessity of Christ's death on the cross, citing good works as a means of atonement for one's sin. But suppose I stole your watch, and you caught me, brought me to th epolice and turned me in. Suppose further that because of this, the police sentenced me to five days in jail. Could I get out by saying "Wait a minute. I bought him lunch yesterday, paid for his subway and everything!" Would the police accept it? Of course not! It's not logical. Good works alone are not sufficent payment for one's crimes.
I will often use the illustration of the just judge: A judge is sitting in the courtroom, wearing his judicial robe, and a young girl stand before him. She has been charged with driving without a license and speeding down the highway, for which th epenalty is ten thousand francs. HE points his finger at her and asks, "Are you guilty or not?" To which she answers," Yes, Your Honor: But I cannot afford to pay the penalty." The judge, however, tells her, "You must pay!" An with that dismisses the court. He then steps down from the bench, takes off his robe and gives the girl ten thousand francs. Why? Because he is her father, and while he could not dishonor his name by letting her go free, he is also meriful and loving and could not bear to see her piut in jail because of her inability to pay. The only solution, therefore, is for him to pay the penalty himself.
In the same way, we can see how Christ has paid the penalty for OUR sin in Philippians 2, verses 5 through 11: Christ, being equal with God, nevertheless emptied Himself, taking off the robe of heavenly glory and coming down as a man to bear the cross. At the cross, hte justice and the mercy of God met together, and both were satisfied. Ask the person with whom you are sharing, "What would you think of God if for thousands of years He promised that Jesus would come and die for the sins of th world, and at the last moment, when Jesus was abnout to be put on the cross, He took him alive and changed Judas into the image of Christ? Does this description fit the God we know?" Not only would this make God out to be a liar, but also there would have been no provision for man's sin! Jesus was the only sacrifice sufficent for man's salvation.

C. If Jesus died on the cross, and if Jesus is God, does that mean that God died on the cross also?

In the Gospel of John, chapter 4, we are told that God is Spirit. In the originial Hebrew language, Spirit is "roh." from this word, the word "rihe" is taken, which is also the air in th eatmosphere. Air is everywhere. Though you cannot see it, you know it is present: you can feel it, you breathe it, even though it has no color or shape. The same thing is true with th Spirit of God - He is present everywhere.
If you take an empty bottle, you know that it is empty of any liquid, yet it is filled with air. The air that's inside the bottle, furthermore, has taken the shape of the bottle, even though the air has no shape. THe characteristics of the air inside the bottle are identical to the air outside the bottle. The fact that there is air inside the bottle does not mean there is none outside the bottle, because air exists weverywhere in the atmosphere. Now, if you were to take the bottle today, and smash it against the wall, it would break into hundreds of little pieces. It would be shattered. Can we say that the air inside the bottle would also be shattered? No. Only the vessel that contained the air has been shattered.
The same thing took place when God, who is Spirit, dwelt among us in th body of Jesus Christ. God took the likeness of man. That does not mean that HE no longer existed. Rather, like the air when it filled the bottle, God still exists everwhere. Furthermroe, Jesus' crucifixion on the cross does not mean that God was killed, but rather that the body, which contained the Spirit of God, was killed. God has always existed, even during th thre day sin which Jesus was dead in the tomb. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul has written in his espistle to the Philippians, chapter 2, verses 5-11:
"Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearence as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knew should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord,

3.The Trinity

The final major issue which must be addressed with the Muslim is that of the Trinity. Muslims often say, "You Christians believe in three different gods - God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. That is blasphemy! ONe cannot believe in three different gods."
The task of helping a Muslim unerstand teh Trinity is not an easy one- there are even many Christians who have a hard time explaining it. Take a molecule of h2O for example: It manifests itself in three different forms, liquid water, solid ice and vaporous steam; but it is the same substance. Others use the sun illustration: the glowing ball of gasses itself, the source, as representing God the Father; the radiating light represents Christ, th elight of the world; and the heat that we feel representing the work of the Holy Spirit.
Regaurdless of which illustration you use, it's important to use the Word of God itself. BEgin by establishing our belief in only one God - 1 Corinthians 8:4 says, "there is no God but one," - and then follow up with sharing as many verses as possible which illustrate the Trinity.


In conclusion


Please remember that this is not an argument we are trying to win, nor are we out to prove the other person wrong. Rather, it is th eGospel we wish to arguments share and explain to th eMuslim. Avoid all forms of and debates and seek to explain the Gospel and answer any questions a Muslim may have, especially pertaining to the five basic issues discussed here. As Peter said in his epistle:
1 Peter 3:15 "...but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."
As we give an answer, let us trust that the Word of God, which is living and active, will minister to our friends through the power of th Holy Spirit and lead them to know the Way, the Truth, and the life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
________________________________________
This book was written in Lebanon. The author is unknown. If you have any further questions, feel free to post it on our mesageboard by clicking on the link to the right. I hope you learned a lot durring our time together, it was an honor to be able to make this availible to you

QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED BY AOUR BROTHER MUSLIMS

1.Were did Jesus say I am God
Answer,
N O W H E R E does Jesus say "I am God, worship me."


Suppose a man does indeed come up to you and does says,

"I am God, worship me."

Would you believe him?
Would you worship him?

The immediate reaction of any decent monotheistic believer
would be to call the person making such a claim an impostor
and a blasphemer. If that is your reaction too, then why
would you demand something from Jesus which you aren't going to
accept anyway? Most would declare insane anybody who would make
such a statement. Jesus knows about this natural reaction as
well as anybody else and saw no reason to make his claims in
such a foolish way. But he did make the claim in indirect ways
and those are just as clear.

Maybe you are cautious and open and don't want to completely
dismiss such a claim ... after all, saying that God is not
able to come and appear in the form of a man does restrict his
power, and you believe in an all powerful God, ... but you would
at least demand conclusive proof for such a claim, wouldn't you?
After all, if you do worship somebody who is not God you are
guilty of idolatory. But refusing to worship God when he demands
so is just as great a sin.

What matters in the end is not the existence of this literal
statement, but whether there is clear evidence that he is indeed
God, no matter in which form he issued the claim. If there is
clear proof for his divine identity, then you have to worship Him
even if the wording of his commands is not precisely the way you
may think they should be. We cannot prescribe for God how
he has to reveal himself before we accept it.

For example, in the Gospel according to John, (speaking of
eternal life) Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies."
(John 11:25). He makes the offer of eternal life conditional on
faith in his own person. This would be blasphemous for anybody
other than God. This is an incredible claim. Does he give any
evidence for his authority to make such claims? The record
gives many details of what happened at this particular day, but
at the end we read, "When he had said this, Jesus called in a
loud voice, `Lazarus, come out!' The dead mean came out, his
hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around
his face. Jesus said to them, `Take off the grave clothes and
let him go.'" (John 11:43-44).

When you read the Gospels carefully you will find that
consistently

* Jesus talks like he is God,
* Jesus acts like he is God,
* Jesus gives evidence for claiming this authority rightfully
by performing miraculous signs.

After 3 years with his disciples we read how one of them
asks Jesus and wants to be "shown the Father (God)".

Jesus answered, "Don't you know me, Philip, even after
I have been among you such a long time?
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. ...
Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the
Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the
miracles themselves." (John 14:10-11).

Jesus expected the disciples and the people around him to
recognise his true nature and identity from his words which
are only appropriate for God to speak and from his deeds.
Jesus does give enough proof and then lets you draw your own
conclusions. Everybody could make the claim to be God. And
many have made claims to be (a) god throughout history. Only
the true God can give true evidence for it and if you have
the evidence there is no need for the explicit command to
worship anymore. The statement "I am God" adds nothing of
substance to the question regarding his identity. His real
identity is established by the proof he gives, not by claims
each and everybody can make. After he has given the evidence,
there is no more need for the statement. Those who are open
for the truth will recognise the evidence, those who ignore
the evidence won't be convinced either if he adds this
specific statement you seem to demand from him. And if you
have recognized his true identity, worshiping him is only
proper and will nearly be an "automatic" response.

I know this is an incredible thought, it is unbelievable.
That is why it took even the disciples themselves such a
long time to really understand it. They have really only
started to comprehended the meaning of it all after Jesus'
own death and resurrection, after they meet the risen Lord.

In the Gospel according to John, end of chapter 20, and
the Gospel according to Matthew, end of chapter 28, we read
how Jesus receives worship and affims this. Even though he
never demands the worship, he accepts it and confirms it as
proper.

You claim:

N O W H E R E Jesus says "I am God, worship me."

and understand this as

NOwhere Jesus says "I am God, worship me."

and you are right when taking it the literalistic way. He never
says these very words. But he makes his claims very clear in
many other ways. Open your eyes and you will see that the right
way to read this statement is

2.the errors that are in the bible
Answer,
Let me use the very spelling error you make in your question to explain this matter. It is not "scribble errors" it is "scribal errors". It comes from the word "scribe" which is the name of the persons who were copying the texts and teaching them. Among the Jews the scribes usually were also the teachers of the Law, in the NT period scribes often were professional copyist and might not have understood all they copied and this fact accounts for a number of the errors they made. [But it also shows that there was no deliberate distortion. In order to distort deliberately you have to know what you are writing.]
We have thousands of manuscripts and the errors can be detected by comparing the manuscripts because not everybody makes the same error at the same place.
Let us suppose we have 5 manuscripts and they read in a particular sentence:
Several of the copyist of the text make some scribal errors.
Several of the copist of the text made some scribal errors.
Several of the copyist of the text made some scribal errors.
Several of the copyist of the text made some scribble errors.
Several of the copyist of the text made some scrible errors.
What would you conclude is the true text?
Well, to any reasonable person it would be clear that the copyist is original and "copist" is a copy-error / misspelling. Furthermore, the their activity was not "scribbling" but copying and the adjective to 'scribe' (the name of their profession) is 'scribal', so 'scribal' was original and the one who wrote "scribble" was only seeing the 'scrible', recognized it was wrong and thought it was a copy error of the word 'scribble' instead of 'scribal'. Because he misunderstood where the mistake came from he made an wrong 'correction'. The context will make clear that we are talking about a past action, so it is 'made' instead of 'make'.
And even though only the third line [of five versions] is error free, we can with absolute confidence conclude what the original correct text was.
And because we usually do have several hundred handwritten old copies we have many with the correct version and also many with errors but the textual critics can trace the errors pretty well and with very high confidence establish the original text. And the above example also shows, that even with the lines containing the error, the message was clear and the same in all of them.
BECAUSE the Christians didn't burn their books therefore we can restore the original text even from "corrupted" manuscripts. That is an important difference between Bible and Qur'an.
I venture to say: There is NO handwritten copy of the Qur'an which doesn't have such errors too.
BUT: For Muslims it is impossible to establish the original text because all the variants were burned under Uthman and Muslim scholars are stuck with the scribal errors made by Zaid. Muslims don't have anything to compare this version of the text with to find what might have been a scribal error. It is virtually impossible to write several hundred pages by hand and NOT make any copy errors.
Out of over 15,000 lines in the New Testament only 40 are in some doubt. All others are established above all reasonable doubt. And no Christian doctrine depends on any of the doubtful lines. Christian scholars honestly admit that there are some doubts about the text of the New Testament. That is then seized by the Muslims in order to doubt the whole text and message. But taking a fair view at the data we have, it is clear that the massive information from the many manuscripts of the New Testament is a far more reliable witness to the faithful transmission of our scripture than anything Muslims can show for their book. And especially since the Qur'anic variants were burned you will have to live with the nagging question that the others might have been indeed quite a bit different. And many of the variants can actually be found still today in the commentaries of the early Muslim scholars who still knew the other codices before they were burned.
3.Why did Jesus had to die?
Answer,
Let me try a very short answer which I am sure will only produce more questions, but anyway. There are other parts of this web page which talk about the cross extensively, please have a look at the Cross of Christ page.
Each of my statements would need the backup of references in the Bible, (given in the reference above) but you wanted an explanation in my own words.
1) The Bible is full of strong statements about the holiness of God.
2) God made it very clear, before the first sin, that the consequence of sin is death, and that is reiterated throughout the Bible.
3) Sin is rebellion against the highest authority. It is an offense against God's holiness and right to institute all laws. It is basically saying that we know better what is right and wrong and we disregard God's authority.
4) When God doesn't want to dilute the seriousness of his commands by "just forgiving it without penalty" which would compromise his own holiness, then transgression has to find its punishment.
5) But God is not only holy and just, he is full of love and does not want that any should perish.
6) Even in our court system, if a person is fined 500,000 dollars and unable to pay [we are fined (spiritual and physical) death - but if we have to pay that is the end of us] then it is acceptable if some other person comes in and pays the fine for the person. [we don't have the allowance for for substitution in the case of a life sentence for murder, but in case of a monetary fine it is usually not asked where the money is coming from.
7) God's holiness and justice demands punishment of sin according to its seriousness of offense. God's love and mercy moved him to pay himself for it, since he doesn't want to destroy us although we would have deserved it.
8) Jesus death on the cross is the substitutionary payment of all of sins death penalty of mankind. If I accept the substitution, then I am free. If I insist to face God on my own terms, then I will have to bear the just condemnation of my sin myself.
9) Why the cross? God could have done it different ways. Why crucifixion and not stoning? This question is not answered. The why of the death of Jesus and its meaning and effect is clearly answered in the Bible. This shameful and horrible death is appropriate for the shamefulness and horridness of the sin punished. And the earlier prophets have predicted much of the cross in their writings. You might want to check out my article at the above mentioned web page.
The same holds for questions on the Biblical evidence for all these claims.
There you will also see that the Gospel = the "message of Christ crucified and raised"
(2) Could a mere human have served the purpose?
"No", because there was no human who has not his own sin to bear. Only one without sin could be the substitute for others. Only if I am not already in debt myself and bankrupt, can I pay the penalty for any other. So, "theoretically" if there had been a sinless human being who was nothing but a human being, then yes. [at least that is how I see it]. But there was none, because all have sinned and have defiled themselves with their rebellion against God in many small and big disobediences. It is very much like the story of Abraham, who is called to sacrifice his son, but then God himself provides the substitute in the place of the one who was to die. In the same manner, Jesus is the substitutionary lamb who died in our place so that we may live.
So: "Yes", a mere human would have been enough, but there was none. The problem is not in being human or not, the problem is in purity or rather the lack of it in any human.
(3) What portion (molecule, percentage, etc.) of God died on the cross? If only the human aspect of Jesus "died," what is the big deal?
God is spirit, and not matter. God has created molecules, but he does not consist of molecules. And it does not make sense to talk about percentages of the infinite.
Well, God can not die by definition. But the problem is that you can not "neatly" separate God and man in Jesus. Jesus is (God who became) man, real man, not just a fake appearance of a human being. And this MAN Jesus died. I don't say that is an easy concept. I have not "invented" it. That is what is revealed in God's Word. But I can try to understand it better and better by thinking about that which is revealed.
The big deal is, that he died for me so that I might have forgiveness of my sins and be reconciled with the Holy God.
(4) If a mere human could not serve the purpose, and no portion of God died on the cross, how could the goal be accomplished?
I think the question has been answered in the above. The perfect and pure human being Jesus [who happens to be God incarnate] was serving the purpose and served it perfectly.
I hope that these explanations do help at least a bit
4.Why did Jesus call himself son of man
Answer,
Jesus says (in the Gospel according to John chapter 5):

21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the
Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to
the Son,
23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does
not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

...

26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to
have life in himself.
27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The final judgement [i.e. the judgment of Judgment Day] is in the hand
of Jesus according to his own words. Is that claim enough to his status
as Deity?

"Son of Man" seems to be a pretty important title. A more detailed look
at the meaning of this title you can find under the articles on the
Trinity, part 1 on the deity of Christ.
A vision and prophecy of Prophet Daniel is the source of this title.
And observe how many attributes are given in the same way to God and to
the one like a son of man. There seems to be some intimate relationship.
5.How did God die
Answer,
Nowhere in the Bible does it say, "God died" as far as I can remember. I agree that would be paradoxical. God is the source of all life, he is life itself.
Do you believe when Muhammad died, his soul and spirit died? Or do you believe his body died and his soul is alive and in paradise?
God did not die, but the body, which he had taken on when he became human, this body died a real human death and a very cruel one indeed.
And Jesus was a real man, not like an angel who can take on "bodily form" for a while and then disappear again. Jesus incarnated into is body, he was conceived, he was born, he was real man. And as man, he was in anguish and suffered and was in pain on the cross. And the load of all the sin of the world on him, all "eternity of hell" on him, that did for sure give him the taste of forsakenness by God [the Father]. That Jesus was not really forsaken is proven by the resurrection. But since he took up our sin, he had the penalty of "God forsakenness" and he cried out under it. I don't think any human being can imagine what it must mean to be judged by God for the sin of the whole world. And no human being would have to if he will accept the substitutionary sacrifice and offer of God to go free because of it.
6.How did God became human?
Answer,
The classical argument is:
1. God views sin seriously, and a price must be paid to atone for sin.
2. Only a human may pay it, because it is humanity which has sinned.
3. Only God is able to pay it, because humans are imperfect.
4. Therefore the only way that humans' sin may be paid for, is by God becoming a person, and paying the price as a person.
We might also add that by becoming a man, God
(a) showed us how to live and
(b) partook in human suffering.
Therefore God is not a "do as I say, not as I do" God.
7.Daity of Christ
Questions and answers
QUESTION #1: "WHY DO CHRISTIANS COVER UP THEIR ABSURD TEACHINGS ABOUT GOD BY CALLING THEM ‘A MYSTERY’? ISLAM IS CLEAR IN SAYING GOD IS ONE!" (Western converts to Islam often express their relief to find that, "Islam's teaching about God is straight forward, and void of the ‘mysteries’ of Christianity, such as the trinity and the deity of Christ, which never made sense to me.")
ANSWER: If, after so many years of scientific research, the physical universe, in which we live, is still beyond our complete understanding, why should we think it strange that we cannot fully understand the invisible Creator of this universe? In fact if we could completely understand God, then we would be equal to Him! The Bible tells us:
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8,9)
How unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond tracing out. (Romans 11:33)

QUESTION #2: "DO YOU BELIEVE IN THREE GODS?"
ANSWER #1: "Jesus Himself said that God is One": Someone asked him about the commandments of God : "‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."’" (Mark 12:29)
ANSWER #2: "The Bible categorically states 28 times that God is One!":
• In the Torah (Taurat): Deut. 6:4,5 - "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (see also Deut. 4:35; Deut. 4:39; I Kings 8:60; 2 Kings 19:19);
• In the Psalms (Zabur): Ps. 86:10 - "For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God."
• In the books of the prophets: Isaiah 44:6,8 - "This is what the Lord says ... I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God." "You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." (see also Is. 37:16; Is. 37:20; Is. 43:10,11; Is. 44:24; Is. 45:5; Is. 45:6; Is. 45:18; Is. 45:21; Is. 46:9; Is. 48:12; Hosea 13:4)
• In the New Testament (Injil): 1 Tim. 2:5,6a - "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men." (see also Mark 12:29; John 5:44; Rom. 3:30; I Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:6; I Tim. 1:17; James 2:19; Jude 25)
ANSWER #3: God created all things by Himself: I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself. (Isaiah 44:24). He uses several metaphors to describe how He did it:
• by His Wisdom: I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence ... The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth ... I was there when he set the heaven in place ... Then I was the craftsman as his side... (Proverbs 8:1-31) Did God ever exist without wisdom? No! Did God create his own wisdom? No! God's wisdom is "from eternity, from the beginning." God's wisdom was "brought forth" at the time of creation, and by His wisdom God created everything. But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. (Jeremiah 10:12)
• by His Right Hand: My own hand laid the foundations of the earth and my right hand spread out the heavens. (Isaiah 48:13) Does this mean that God's right hand created instead of God Himself? Of course not! God created everything by His right hand - by His power.
• by The Breath of His Mouth: By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth ... For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. (Psalm 33:6,9) These verses clearly show that the breath of God's mouth and God's word are the same.
• by His Word: In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3) The Word of God is the communication or manifestation of God. God's Word is God Himself; not a second God. The Word was "with" God (two?) and yet the Word "was" God (one)! Now notice verse 14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Somehow, by the power of God, God's eternal word ‘became’ a human being like us named Jesus! (God can do anything!) Jesus is God's word, the breath of His mouth, His right hand and His wisdom, through whom all things were created.

QUESTION #3: "HOW CAN JESUS BE GOD? WHY DO YOU BLASPHEME BY CALLING JESUS ‘GOD’?"
GENERAL ANSWER: Explanation from John 1:1-3,14: "The eternal Word of God, which was with God (seems like two) in the beginning, also was God (one; not two). Everything Allah created, He created by saying, ‘Be!’ - He created everything by His Word. Allah's Word is not another God; Allah's Word is Allah's communication of Himself. Can Allah exist without His Word? Was there ever a time when Allah's Word did not exist? It is like my word or communication, which is in one sense a part of me, but is not a second being, separate from me. So Allah is One, and He has Word, which comes out from Him and communicates Him. Jesus is ‘Kalamat Ullah,’ the Word of Allah, who came out from Allah and came into the world as a human being. God in His sovereignty chose to reveal Himself to us - by His Word, Who became a human being and lived among us, having become one of us."
THERE ARE REALLY THREE PARTS TO THIS QUESTION:
QUESTION #3a: "HOW CAN JESUS BE GOD WHEN HE DID THINGS GOD DOESN'T/WON'T DO? After all:
• Jesus talked about God as His God, but God has no God.
• Jesus prayed to God instead of to himself.
• Jesus got hungry and thirsty (Matt. 4:2; John 19:28), but God never gets hungry or thirsty (Psalm 50:9-13; Acts 17:25).
• Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matt.4:1 & Heb.4:15), but God cannot be tempted (James 1:13).
• Jesus got tired (John 4:6; Matthew 8:24), but God doesn't get tired (Psalm 121:4; Isaiah 40:28).
• Jesus learned obedience and grew up into a mature and perfect man (Hebrews 5:9), but God never changes (James 1:17).
• Jesus was born and also died, but God is everlasting."
ANSWER: #1: "The description of Jesus we read in the Injil is the description of One Who ‘became’ a human being. Notice it does not say that a man somehow become God; it says Allah's eternal Word became a man. In Hebrews 2:17 it says Jesus became like us ‘in every way’ - bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh! Therefore, because He became a real human being just like us, He did things we do. If he didn't do those things he wouldn't really be one of us.
"Jesus is Almighty God, but for our sake when He became a man He chose to no longer function as God. He is still God and could use His powers as God, but chose instead to only function as a man.
"As a human being, He was born, grew in knowledge and maturity, got hungry & thirsty, got tired and sleepy, prayed to His ‘Father’ in heaven, was tempted in every way that we are (but he never sinned), and died (but God raised Him up victorious over death). All these things prove He became a real human being. Jesus is not an apparition nor was he just pretending to be a man. As a human being, he had all of our needs and limitations, except for our sinful, fallen nature. One reason He is called the ‘last Adam’ (1 Cor.15:45) is because he became just like Adam was before he sinned."
QUESTION #3b: "HOW CAN JESUS BE GOD AND MAN AT THE SAME TIME? How can he be on earth praying to God in heaven, talking about God as ‘my Father’ and He and the Father still be one God?"
ANSWER #2: "God can do anything! Just as in the act of creation, God's eternal Word came out of Him when He spoke to create all things (but He did not become two gods), so when he spoke His eternal Word into the virgin Mary, God's Word remained God and at the same time became a man like us. Jesus never stopped being almighty Allah's Eternal Word. It says, ‘The Word became flesh ...’ (John 1:14); not ‘The Word changed to flesh.’ He is not sometimes God and sometimes man, nor is He half God and half man. He is both fully God and fully human at the same time!"
QUESTION #3c: "BUT WHAT NEED WOULD GOD HAVE TO DO SUCH A THING? He doesn't need Jesus or anyone else to die for us. God can forgive whomever He wants to forgive!"
ANSWER #3:
1. God's Love: One of God's greatest attributes is love. True love is self giving (not taking) for the sake of another. God gave Himself to us in order to forgive us and save us from eternal judgement/death.
... he too shared in their humanity (flesh and blood) so that by his death he might destroy ... the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death ... (Hebrews 2:14,15)
He learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation ... (Hebrews 5:8,9)
2. God's Justice: God's justice requires Him to do this. The Bible teaches that although God has the power to do anything ("For nothing is impossible with God". - Luke 1:37), He cannot do things like lie ("...it is impossible for God to lie..." - Heb. 6:18) or be unfaithful to His promises ("If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself." - 2 Tim. 2:13) because He would be violating his own character and would no longer be God! He would self-destruct! To illustrate this, suppose I were to steal a very valuable item from your home and sell it to buy drugs or to gamble, and by the time you found me I had already wasted all the money. If I were then to confess my sin and beg your forgiveness, you would have a choice of either forgiving me and absorbing the loss or gaining some satisfaction by having me arrested and prosecuted. If you chose to forgive me, the cost of your forgiveness would be the value of the item I stole from you plus the shame of being burglarized. You would have to be willing to accept all that loss by choosing to give it to me. Suppose the judge took pity on me and decided to forgive me. You would certainly feel that judge was unjust! My family and friends could not forgive me no matter how much they might love me. No one but you could forgive me unless someone was willing to pay you the full value of the item I stole from you and you were willing to accept payment as compensation. Forgiveness is never just a matter of words because it is never free! Forgiveness can only be given by the person who is willing to absorb the injury, loss or cost involved. God is certainly not an unjust judge who would simply declare us forgiven because He wants to.
We seem to be faced with a dilemma. If God forgave our sins without giving us the full punishment according to His own law, He would be unjust and would be violating himself. But if we are not forgiven we could never endure the eternal punishment in hell that we deserve. Therefore, the eternal Word of God became a man (Jesus) so he could take our punishment upon himself (God cannot die, but a man can die). He did this so that he could forgive us and be just in doing so. "... God presented him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement...He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as TO BE JUST and THE ONE WHO JUSTIFIES those who have faith in Jesus ..." (see Rom. 3:22-26).

OTHER BIBLE ANSWERS REGARDING THE DEITY OF CHRIST:
ANSWER #4: The greetings and salutations in the New Testament epistles seem to imply His deity in a unique way. All of these letters were written after Jesus had ascended to heaven and was no longer physically present with his people. Still the apostles presented him as:
1. the co-author (with God the Father) of grace, peace, mercy and faith. Can these things come from a man?
2. the co-sender of His apostles. Who else but God can send from heaven?
3. our Savior in the same sentence where God is presented as our Savior.
4. the one who is given glory for ever and ever. Who else but God can receive glory for ever and ever?
5. one with whom we have fellowship just like we have fellowship with the Father, even though he is in heaven.
6. the one who keeps us and brings us to eternal life. Can anyone but God do these things?
HERE ARE THE VERSES:
• "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. 1:7)
• "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (I Cor. 1:3)
• "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you." (I Cor. 16:23)
• "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (II Cor. 1:2)
• "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (II Cor. 13:14)
• "Paul, an apostle - sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father...Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Gal. 1:1-3)
• "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers." (Gal. 6:18)
• "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 1:2)
• "Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 6:23)
• "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:2)
• "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit." (Phil. 4:23)
• "To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (I Thess. 1:1)
• "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." (I Thess. 5:28)
• "To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess. 1:1,2)
• "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you...The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all." (2 Thess. 3:16,18)
• "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope...Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." (I Tim. 1:1,2)
• "Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." (2 Tim. 1:2)
• "...by the command of God our Savior...Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior." (Titus 1:3,4)
• "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philemon 3)
• "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit." (Philemon 25)
• "...through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Heb. 13:21)
• "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." (James 1:1)
• "who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ..." (I Pet. 1:2)
• "to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." (2 Pet. 1:1,2)
• "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." (2 Pet. 3:18)
• "...And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." (I John 1:3)
• "Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love." (2 John 3)
• "To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ..." (Jude 1)
• "Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life." (Jude 21)
• "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with God's people. Amen." (Rev. 22:21)
ANSWER #5: Study of Philippians 2:6-8: We read that Jesus, ‘being in very nature (morphae) God ... made himself nothing, taking the very nature (morphae) of a servant, being made in human likeness.’" Notice how the eternal God took upon Himself the very nature of a servant in becoming a man.
ANSWER #6: When did Jesus begin to exist?:
• He was before John the Baptist (the prophet Yahyah) even though he was born 3 months after him. "This is the one I meant when I said, A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me" (John 1:29,30). He is both before and after John; both God and man!
• He was before David who lived about 1000 BC. Jesus was born in the lineage of King David, but he is called, "I am the root and the offspring of David" (Revelation 22:16) because he existed before Him. He is both before and after David; both God and man!
• He was before Abraham who lived about 2000 BC. Jesus said, "before Abraham was born I AM." (John 8:58). "I AM" = "Jahwah." He is both before and after Abraham; both God and man!
• He was before the world began. Jesus said,"And now Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (John 17:5). He is both God and man!

QUESTION #4: "WHY WAS IT NECESSARY FOR JESUS TO BE BORN WITHOUT A HUMAN FATHER?"
ANSWER: Jesus was born of Mary so that he could be truly human, "bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh." It was necessary for him to be born without a human father in order to reveal his divine origin - to show he is from heaven; the eternal Word of God made flesh (John 1:13-14).
• "The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven." (I Cor. 15:47)
• "... the one who came from heaven ... The one who comes from above ..." (John 3:13,31)
• "...He who comes down from heaven ... For I have come down from heaven ..." (John 6:33,38)
• "I am the living bread that came down from heaven." (John 6:51)
• "... I am from above ... for I came from God." (John 8:23,42)
[also many times Jesus said his heavenly "Father" had sent him]

QUESTION #5: "ISN'T ALLAH FAR ABOVE ALL HUMAN EMOTIONS? Isn't it wrong for us to sing or laugh in our worship of Allah? Isn't Allah above such human emotions as laughter, joy, grief, or love?"
ANSWER: More and more I am impressed with the truth of God's emotional make up. I have started collecting verses that talk about His grief, envy, jealousy, wrath, hate, rejoicing, singing, laughing, pleasure, delight, compassion and love. God has all these emotions, and we have them because we were created in His image. God is not like a human being; rather humans are like God! We sing, laugh, cry, get angry, grieve and rejoice because God does!
grief - Eph. 4:30 & Gen. 6:6
envy - James 4:5
jealousy - Ex. 20:5
wrath - Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6
hatred - Isaiah 61:8; Malachi 2:16
rejoicing - Zeph. 3:17 & Is. 62:5
singing - Zeph. 3:17
laughter - Psalm 2:4
pleasure - Isaiah 42:21; Matt. 3:17; Psalm 51:18
delight - Psalm 35:27; 147:11; Zeph. 3:17
compassion - Hosea 11:8; 2 Corinthians 1:3
love - 1 John 4:7,8

QUESTION #6: "HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO HAVE AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ALMIGHTY GOD?"
ANSWER: God is so great (Allah-u-Akbar) and His love is so complete, that He enables us to have a relationship with him more intimate than any human relationship! Just look at what God's Word says:
• "This is what the high and lofty One says, He who lives forever, ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit.’" (Isaiah 57:15)
• "We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his son, Jesus Christ." (I John 1:3)
• "this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." (John 17:3)
• "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Rom. 8:15,16)
• "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the Spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us." (I Cor. 2:11,12)
8. Question:
Christians believe that God inspired the entire Bible, and yet Paul admitted that not everything he wrote was inspired. For instance, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:25 that he hadn’t received any command from the Lord to write the specific instructions mentioned in that chapter, but was merely giving his own opinion. Doesn’t this passage itself disprove the Christian claim that the entire Bible is inspired?
Answer:
The Revised Standard Version (RSV) reads:
"Now concerning the unmarried, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion (gnomen) as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy."
Paul clearly states what he writes in this passage is solely his opinion, which Muslims see as a denial of inspiration. A couple of comments are in order.
First, the Greek word translated as "opinion" comes from the Greek word gnome. The online Thayer's Greek Dictionary defines it as:
Strong's #1106: gnome
AV - judgment 3, mind 2, purpose + 1096 1, advice 1, will 1,
agree + 4160 + 3391 1; 9

1) the faculty of knowledge, mind, reason
2) that which is thought or known, one's mind
2a) view, judgment, opinion
2b) mind concerning what ought to be done
2b1) by one's self: resolve purpose, intention
2b2) by others: judgment, advice
2b3) decree
(Source)
As the lexicon demonstrates, the word may mean to give a judgment, decree, view or even an opinion. In this particular context, the word is best rendered as judgment since Paul wanted to avoid giving the believers a command that had to be carried out. Paul wanted to give advice that persons could follow if they wished but did not have to.
With this in mind, it is helpful to mention that Paul was addressing the question of whether a person should get married or not in light of the crisis that the Corinthians were undergoing:
"Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this." 1 Corinthians 7:26-28
Christ, while on earth, never addressed the issue of whether persons were better off staying single if there were a crisis or tribulation. But as Christ’s spokesperson Paul could address such issues since he was given Divine authority to speak on matters not addressed by the earthly Christ. After all, the Lord Jesus personally gave the disciples, specifically the apostles and prophets, the right to pass on instructions that they had either received from him while he was with them or from the Holy Spirit:
"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me." Matthew 10:40
"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:18-19
"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:15-20
"Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’" Matthew 28:18-20
"I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." John 13:20
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26
"Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also… When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning." John 15:20, 26-27
"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." John 16:12-13
"Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’" John 20:21-23
"In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’" Acts 1:1-5
In other words, Christ’s followers were given authority to address issues and make commands that would then become binding upon all true believers.
An example of this can be found in Acts 15 and the Jerusalem council. There, the Apostles and elders convened to decide whether the Gentiles needed to observe the Mosaic commands, an issue never addressed by Christ while he was physically with them.
Their decision was that, apart from a certain few restrictions, the Gentiles were not obligated to follow the Law of Moses:
"When they finished, James spoke up: Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: ‘After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages.’ It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath. Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul-men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell." Acts 15:13-29
This meant that all true believers had to now accept and follow the decisions of the Jerusalem Council. To reject their authority was to reject Christ.
With the foregoing in mind, we can see why Paul could make commands or give suggestions to the Churches seeing that Christ had commissioned him to be his Apostle to the Gentiles.
In fact, had the questioner read Paul’s statement in context s/he would have found the Apostle claiming to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak God’s revelations:
"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words." 1 Corinthians 2:13
"In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is – and I think that I too have the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 7:40
"If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I AM WRITING to you is the Lord's command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored." 1 Corinthians 14:37-38
"since you are demanding proof THAT CHRIST IS SPEAKING THROUGH ME. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you". This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority - the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down." 2 Corinthians 13:3, 10
"Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 3:2-6
Noted Evangelical Scholar and NT Commentator Craig L. Blomberg best sums up the meaning of Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians 7:25 and 40:
… Verse 25b parallels the parenthesis in verse 12. In each case, Paul cannot cite a word from the earthly Jesus but believes God is inspiring him to offer reliable counsel… ‘I think that I too have the Spirit of God’ (v. 40b) does not reflect any doubt on Paul’s part but represents a slightly sarcastic aside to the Corinthians, who felt that only they had attained spiritual insight. (Blomberg, The NIV Application Commentary - 1 Corinthians [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI], pp. 151, 153-4; bold emphasis ours)
JESUS EXULTED IN QURAN
Muslims, and certain Islamic narrations, claim that Muhammad is the most exalted of all of Allah’s creatures. They believe that Allah has preferred Muhammad to the rest of the prophets and messengers. However, the Quran does not substantiate this assertion since there is someone else who is presented as being more exalted than Muhammad. In fact, this someone else is presented as superior to all other prophets according to the Quran.
For instance, when the Quran mentions that Allah has preferred some apostles above certain others it specifically mentions Jesus and David:
Those apostles We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them God spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit. If God had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (Signs) had come to them, but they (chose) to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. If God had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but God Fulfilleth His plan. S. 2:253 Y. Ali
And it is your Lord that knoweth best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms. S. 17:55 Y. Ali
Notice that Muhammad is not mentioned by name in either one of the citations. We shall see that it is not a coincidence that Jesus and David are mentioned instead.
This next text supposedly quotes David and Solomon as saying:
And We gave David and Solomon knowledge and they said, 'Praise belongs to God who has preferred us over many of His believing servants.' S. 27:15 Arberry
Thus, Allah has preferred David and Solomon above many of his servants. As anyone reading the NT already knows, Jesus is a descendant of David:
"the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh" Romans 1:3
"Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel," 2 Timothy 2:8
By stating that Allah exalted David, the Quran is basically agreeing that God chose Jesus’ ancestors above all the rest, a point confirmed by this next text:
Lo! Allah preferred Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of 'Imran above (all His) creatures. They were descendants one of another. Allah is Hearer, Knower. (Remember) when the wife of 'Imran said: My Lord! I have vowed unto Thee that which is in my belly as a consecrated (offering). Accept it from me. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower! And when she was delivered she said: My Lord! Lo! I am delivered of a female - Allah knew best of what she was delivered - the male is not as the female; and lo! I have named her Mary, and lo! I crave Thy protection for her and for her offspring from Satan the outcast. S. 3:33-36 Pickthall
The family of Imran whom Allah chose above all creatures is supposed to be the family of Jesus, specifically his mother’s parents. The Quran even identifies Mary as Imran’s daughter:
And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants). S. 66:12 Y. Ali
Moreover, Islamic traditions state that Allah answered the prayer of Jesus’ grandmother by making him and his mother the only ones whom Satan was unable to touch upon their births:
Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab:
Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, EXCEPT MARY AND HER CHILD." Then Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (3.36) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 641; see also Volume 4, Book 54, Number 506)
But the Quran doesn’t stop there since it goes on to say that Jesus’ blessed mother is the most exalted of all women:
And when the angels said, 'Mary, God has chosen thee, and purified thee; He has chosen thee above all women. S. 3:42 Arberry
In the same Sura, Jesus is shown to have qualities and titles that no one else has such as being the only person called God’s Word and honoured in the next life:
Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God; He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous." She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: God createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is! And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel, And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with this message): ‘I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe; (I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me. It is God Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.’" 3:45-51 Y. Ali
Here is what we have thus far gathered from the teaching of the Quran:
• Allah has preferred some messengers above others.
• David and Solomon are some of those messengers that Allah has chosen above the rest.
• David is Jesus’ ancestor.
• Allah has chosen Imran’s family above all creatures.
• Imran is said to be Mary’s father, Jesus’ grandfather.
• Allah has chosen Jesus’ mother Mary above all women.
• Jesus is the only person explicitly said to be honored in the next world.
• Jesus is given specific attributes and titles that are not given to any other messenger.
What this all means is that it is not Muhammad that is the most exalted creature of all according to the Quran. Rather, Jesus is the one messenger, the one person, whom Allah has preferred and exalted above all the others. Allah has conferred upon Christ and his family an honor that has not been given to anyone else.
We aren’t the only ones seeing it this way since there is one moderate Muslim writer who candidly admits that, according to the Quran, Jesus is the greatest of all prophets. Dr. Nader Pourhassan, after citing surahs 2:253, 3:42-46, and 59, says that:
Moslem religious leaders try to isolate Muhammad from all other prophets by saying, "God kept the best for last." Again, this directly contradicts the Koran's teachings. The Koran says that some prophets have been given more than others - that some even talk to God. The example it gives is that of Jesus Christ, not Muhammad…
These passages clearly show that God considered Jesus to be His best prophet, not Muhammad. After all, Jesus revealed himself to be a prophet from childhood, while Muhammad was not inspired until he was forty years old. The Koran relates a number of miracles from Jesus' childhood, but says nothing of this phase of Muhammad's life. The name "Christ" is also used. Unlike Jesus, Muhammad was not a special messenger of God, but a mere helper, who brought justice to the world, and glorified the name of Jesus by setting the record straight about his deeds on earth. His mission was also to eliminate the corruption of the message of those prophets who had gone before him. On the other hand, of Jesus it is said that he was created in a similar way to Adam…
Bear in mind that when God announced His creation of Adam to the angels He commanded them to bow to him. (Pourhassan, The Corruption of Moslem Minds [Barbed Wire Publishing, Las Cruces, New Mexico 2002], pp. 34-35)
Christian readers especially will be interested to learn that the Koran teaches that Jesus was God's best prophet, and that Christians will be placed above non-believers until the Day of Judgment... (Ibid., p. 61)
Moslem religious leaders claim that Muhammad was the greatest prophet ever sent. If this was true, then God would have stated so in the Koran. Instead, when God talks of a prophet being greater than others, the name He mentions is that of Jesus. (Ibid., p. 101)
We couldn’t have put it any better!
Prostration as evidence of Quranic corruption
Sam Shamoun
Bassam Zawadi has produced a rather lengthy paper (*) attempting to disprove the claim that the Quran and the so-called authentic Islamic narratives confirm the authority and textual reliability of the Holy Bible.
{Side note: It is rather amusing to see that the title that Zawadi chose for his paper, Evidence That Islam Endorses Textual Corruption of The Christian and Jewish Scriptures, actually says the opposite of what the author intended to say. The verb "to endorse" does not mean "to teach" or "to claim", but means "to give approval of or support to, especially by public statement; sanction" (source), "to approve openly; to express support or approval of publicly and definitely" (source). Zawadi's title states that Islam, instead of exposing or correcting the alleged corruptions, actually approves of and sanctions them. In other words, his title is implying that the primary sources of Islam accept that these so-called Biblical "corruptions" are actually from God, that these are inspired scribal corruptions!}
In this recent "rebuttal" Zawadi has provided more evidence to support our assertion that not only is he incapable of understanding and accurately handling the Biblical text but he also grossly distorts and misunderstands his own Islamic sources.
What makes this particular article rather ironic is that much of Zawadi’s post actually confirms and reinforces the conclusions reached in our own materials on this very issue, providing attestation for our exegesis of specific Quranic passages and narratives that deal specifically with the topic of Biblical authority, e.g. the meaning and exegesis of Q. 2:75-79. For details please consult the materials found here.
In fact, we will even be using Zawadi’s citations from certain Muslim scholars in our future rebuttals and articles to support our exegesis of particular Quranic texts and Islamic reports. For that we want to thank him since he has done us all a great service by citing from a Muslim source which provides rough translations of specific Islamic quotes which otherwise would have remained unknown to the vast majority of Christians as well as English-speaking Muslims.
Zawadi also provided a few narratives which, if true, actually backfire against his own beliefs in the authenticity and integrity of the Muslim scripture. The reasoning employed by these particular sources to discredit the Holy Bible can be used more forcefully against the textual veracity of the Quran.
All of these points and assertions will become more evident in our current response as well in forthcoming rebuttals.
In order to get the ball rolling, we provide here an example of a narration which can be used to disprove the textual purity and preservation of the Quran:
Al-Hakim related in Al-Mustadrak the following Hadith...
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah As-Saffar told us: Ahmad Ibn Mahdi Ibn Rustum Al-Asfahani told us: Mu'azh Ibn Hisham Ad-Distwani told us: my father told me: Al-Qasim Ibn ‘Awf Ash-Shaybani told me: Mu'azh Ibn Jabal - radiya Allahu’anhu - told us that he went to Sham and saw the Christians prostrate to their Bishops and priests and saw the Jews prostrate to their Rabbis and scholars. He said, "Why do you do this?" they answered, "This is the greeting of Prophets (peace be upon him)". I said, "We better do this to our Prophet". Allah's Prophet - salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam - said, "They lied about their Prophets just as they distorted their Book. If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone, I would command woman to prostrate to her husband for his great right upon her. No woman will taste the sweetness of Faith till she does her husband's rights even if he asks herself while she is on a Qutub" (Al-Hakim commented, "This hadith is authentic according to standards of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, but they did not relate it" This hadith was also related by At-Tabarani in "Al-Mu'jam Al-Kabir" vol. 8, p.31 but it includes An-Nahhas Ibn Fahm who is a weak narrator. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal related it with a sound chain of transmission in his Musnad vol. 4, p. 381 (online source) with the following chain: ‘Abdullah told us: my father (Ibn Hanbal) told me: Mu'azh Ibn Hisham told us: my father told me: Al-Qasim Ibn ‘Awf - a man from Al-Kufa, one of Bani Murra Ibn Hammam - told me: Mu'azh Ibn Jabal - radiya Allahu’anhu - told us that .. and mentioned the hadith. This hadith has been authenticated by Ibn Hajar Al Haytami in his Majma' Al Zawaaid, Volume 4, page 312. He said of the narrators in the chain 'their men are men of authenticity')
Notice that the Prophet peace be upon him is saying that the Christians and Jews distorted their books JUST AS they lied about their Prophets. The context of the situation is that the Christians and Jews said that bowing down to their priests and rabbis was the greeting of the Prophets. This is a forgery and a lie. Thus if they were to corrupt their books in the same way they would have made up lies in the Torah and Gospel by introducing false statements into it.
Mu'azh Ibn Jabal … told us that he went to Sham and saw the Christians prostrate to their Bishops and priests and saw the Jews prostrate to their Rabbis and scholars. He said, "Why do you do this?" they answered, "This is the greeting of Prophets (peace be upon him)".
Seeing that Zawadi has joined Jalal Abualrub here is a similar quote from a work which the latter has translated into English:
There is no dispute between the Imams that bowing before Shaikhs [or leaders] and kissing the ground before them, are impermissible acts. Even bending the back slightly for other than Allah is impermissible. In, al-Musnad (4038), and other books of ‘Hadith, there is a Hadith that states, "When Mu’adh ibn Jabal returned from as-Sham Area, he bowed down before the Prophet ... who said, ‘What is this, O, Mu’adh?’ He said, ‘O, Messenger of Allah! I saw the people in ash-Sham bowing down before their bishops and patriarchs, and they attributed this practice to their prophets.’ He said …
‘If I were to command any person to bow down before anyone, I will command the wife to bow down before her husband, because of his great right on her. O, Mu’adh! If you pass by my grave, would you bow down?’ Mu’adh said, ‘No.’ The Prophet said, ‘True, do not do it.’"
Also, Allah’s Apostle refused to allow the companions to stand up while he was sitting down, even though they were standing for prayer, so that it did not appear as though they were imitating those who stand up for their leaders. He also stated that those who like people to stand up for them will be among the people of the Fire…
Consequently, what about those who like people to bend the back from the head before them, and like to have their hands kissed? ‘Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was Allah’s Caliph [the supreme leader o the Islamic State] on earth. Yet, he appointed aids who would prevent those who sought his audience from kissing the ground in front of him. He used to discipline those who indulged in such practices before him.
Therefore, standing up or sitting down, Ruku (bowing) and Sujud (prostrating) are, and should only be directed, at the only One Who deserves to be worshipped, the Creator of the heavens and earth. An exclusive right for Allah, such as vowing, for example, should not be given to anyone or thing, except Allah alone. The Messenger of Allah said …
"He who intends to swear, let him swear by Allah or keep silent." He also said…
"He who swears by other than Allah, will have committed Shirk.
Certainly, ALL acts of worship can only be directed at Allah, Alone without partners…
{And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat: and that is the right religion Allah}…
Hence, the Prophet forbade praying during these times, because praying then imitates the practice of the Mushriks, who perform Sujud to the sun. He also stated Satan attends the sunset, so that in reality, Sujud is performed for him. Consequently, what about an even more clear Shirk and imitation of the Mushriks than this [such as bowing in front of religious or political leaders]? Allah commanded His Messenger to say…
{Say (O, Muhammad): "O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is right between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims"}. Allah prohibited practices of the People of the Book, such as their taking each other as gods besides Allah… He who prefers the guidance of the likes of the Christians to the guidance of Allah’s Prophet his companions and those who followed their lead with excellence, has abandoned what Allah and His Messenger commanded and ordained. (Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, Zad-ul Ma'ad fi Hadyi Khairi-l 'Ibad [Provisions for the Hereafter Taken From the Guidance of Allah's Best Worshipper], translated by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke & Shaheed M. Ali [Madinah Publishers & Distributors, Orlando Florida; First edition, October 2001], Volume 4, pp. 318-320, 324-25; bold emphasis ours)
To summarize the key arguments set forth by Zawadi’s source regarding the Holy Bible, note that his narration claims that:
• The Jews and Christians lied about adopting their practice of prostrating before their religious scholars and authorities from the example of the prophets.
• The Jews and Christians distorted their Book in order to reflect and justify this corrupt practice.
• Acts such as prostration must be given only to Allah.
There are a few problems with the assertion made by these particular Islamic references, the first of which is that the Jews and Christians were correct in what they said (provided that they did say what the narrative ascribes to them). The Holy Bible is replete with examples of both prophets and believers bowing before their elders, or before men or women whom God had honored and exalted. For the sake of space we will quote just a few examples:
"Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Praise the LORD your God.’ So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king." 1 Chronicles 29:20
"Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, ‘Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.’ His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?’ And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.’ When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?’ His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind." Genesis 37:5-11
"When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. He asked them how they were, and then he said, ‘How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?’ They replied, ‘Your servant our father is still alive and well.’ And they bowed low to pay him honor." Genesis 43:26-28; cf. 44:14
Amazingly, the Quran confirms the biblical story of Joseph’s brothers bowing down before him!
(Remember) when Yusuf (Joseph) said to his father: "O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves TO ME." He (the father) said: "O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they arrange a plot against you. Verily! Shaitan (Satan) is to man an open enemy! S. 12:4-5
Then, when they entered unto Yusuf (Joseph), he betook his parents to himself and said: "Enter Egypt, if Allah wills, in security." And he raised his parents to the throne and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said: "O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream aforetime! My Lord has made it come true! He was indeed good to me, when He took me out of the prison, and brought you (all here) out of the bedouin-life, after Shaitan (Satan) had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He will. Truly He! Only He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. S. 12:99-100
Here is Ibn Abbas’ explanation of Q. 12:100:
(And he placed his parents on the dais) on an elevated platform (and they fell down before him prostrate) i.e. his parents and brothers fell prostrate before him. This prostration was a sign of greeting between them: the person of humble standing prostrated to the person of high standing, the youth to the elderly and the young to the old; it is a slight bowing as is known among non-Arabs, … (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; source)
This next commentary is rather interesting since it contradicts Muhammad and confirms what the Jews and Christians supposedly told Muadh:
And he raised his parents, he seated them next to him, upon the throne, and they fell down, that is, his parents and brothers, prostrating before him - a prostration that was [actually] a bowing down, not placing their foreheads down [on the ground]; this was their standard [form of] greeting at that time… (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
{Side note: the two Jalals’ assertion that prostration in this context didn’t entail placing the foreheads to the ground is nothing more than eisegesis since the Arabic word here, sajda, is used in reference to the Muslim worship of prostrating to the ground before Allah. It is apparent from their comments that the Jalals were troubled by the Quran stating that believers prostrated before another human being.}
Zawadi now has a major problem. The hadith he quoted has Muhammad claiming that such bowing was a proof that Jews and Christians distorted their Books and yet in his own Quran we find prophets of God such as Jacob bowing down before a human being! If such a practice is proof of textual tampering then this means that the Quran has been corrupted as well and suggests that such verses were only added later to the Quran by corrupt Muslim scribes.

One Muslim who saw the problem with the Quran teaching that certain prophets received prostration is Sher Ali. He translates Q. 12:100 in a way where it is not Joseph who receives prostration but Allah!
And he raised his parents upon the throne and they all fell down prostrate BEFORE ALLAH for him …
Sher Ali is joined by the late Maulana Muhammad Ali who translates the same passage in the following manner:
And he raised his parents on the throne, and they fall prostrate FOR HIS SAKE ... (Source; capital emphasis ours)
Ali's footnote states:
100b Seeing the highly dignified position to which Joseph had been raised in Egypt, they all fell prostrate BEFORE GOD as a mark of thanksgiving ... (underline and capital emphasis ours)
Both Alis evidently realized the problem with Joseph receiving prostration since it violates the worship which Muslims claim that only Allah receives.
The late Muhammad Asad mentions Ibn Abbas as another Muslim who was troubled with Joseph receiving prostration:
According to `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas (as quoted by Razi), the personal pronoun in "before Him" relates to God, since it is inconceivable that Joseph would have allowed his parents to prostrate themselves before himself. (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an [Dar Al-Andalus Limited 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar rpt. 1993], p. 353, fn. 98; source)
But it gets worse for Muhammad and his followers such as Zawadi. The Quran says that Allah even commanded his angelic hosts to prostrate before Adam:
And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves before Adam." And they prostrated except Iblis (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allah). S. 2:34
And (remember) when We said to the angels; "Prostrate to Adam." So they prostrated except Iblis (Satan). He was one of the jinns; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord. Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you? What an evil is the exchange for the Zalimun (polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc). S. 18:50
Notice what Muhammad Ali did with Q. 2:34 in his translation:
And when We said to the angels, Be SUBMISSIVE to Adam, they SUBMITTED, but Iblis (did not) … S. 2:34 (Source; capital emphasis ours)
He notes:
34a Sajada is really synonymous with khad'a, i.e. he was lowly or submissive (LL). In the Holy Qur'an, the word is frequently used to signify simple submission. And you will also say, sajadu la-hu meaning he saluted him or he paid respect or honour to him (LL).
This again demonstrates that Ali had a real difficult time with these Quranic passages that portray creatures receiving worship. His comments show that he clearly was aware that these acts were express violations of the pure worship which Muslim polemicists such as Zawadi and Abualrub claim must be given to none but Allah.
To see the reasons why these particular translations are wrong due to the way the Quran uses this word sajda we recommend this article.
Thus, the foregoing examples conclusively prove that Muhammad contradicted his own Quran and impugned the prophets by accusing them of failing to uphold the exclusive worship given to Allah by permitting individuals to worship or prostrate before them.

Now since this was the main argument set forth in al-Mustadrak to prove that the Jews and Christians tampered with their Book does this therefore mean that Muslims corrupted the Quran as well? Or does this suggest that Muhammad didn’t know what he was talking about or that this hadith is a fabrication?
More importantly, will Zawadi apply his argumentation consistently and admit that:
a) The Muslims have corrupted the Quran since it contains references to prophets and men being worshiped or receiving prostration?
b) Muhammad was ignorant about the facts of the matter and/or contradicted his own Quran?
c) Or the hadith in question is a forgery, despite it having a sound chain, since it impugns Muhammad’s credibility and knowledge of the historical facts and about the contents of his own scripture?

As if this weren’t bad enough there are specific narrations stating that Muhammad allowed people to kiss his hands and feet, to drink his blood, and smear his saliva upon them!
For instance, here are a few reports compiled by the late renowned Muslim jurist Qadi ‘Iyad and cited in his monumental work ‘Ash-Shifa which mention Muslims drinking Muhammad’s blood, his leftover water and even his urine!
Muhammad ibn Sa’d, al-Waqidi’s scribe, related that ‘A’isha said to the Prophet, "When you come from relieving yourself, we do not see anything noxious from you." He said, "‘A’isha, don’t you know that the earth swallows up what comes out of the prophets so that none of it is seen?"
Although this tradition is not famous, the people of knowledge still mention the purity of his faeces and urine…
There was also a time when Malik ibn Sinan DRANK HIS BLOOD on the Day of Uhud and licked it up. The Prophet allowed him to do that and then said, "The Fire will not touch you."
Something similar occurred when ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr drank cupped blood. The Prophet said, "Woe to you from the people and woe to the people from you," but he did not object to what he had done.
Something similar is related about when a woman DRANK SOME OF HIS URINE. He told her, "You will never complain of a stomach-ache."
He did not order any of them to wash their mouths out nor did he forbid them to do it again.
The hadith of the woman drinking the urine is sound. Ad-Daraqutni follows Muslim and al-Bukhari who relate it in the Sahih. The name of this woman was Baraka, but they disagree about her lineage. Some say that it was Umm Ayman, a wooden cup he placed under his bed in which he would urinate during the night. One night he urinated in it and when he examined it in the morning there was nothing in it. He asked Baraka about that. She said, "I got up and felt thirsty, so I drank it without knowing." The hadith is related by Ibn Jurayj and others. (Qadi 'Iyad Ibn Musa al-Yahsubi, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], pp. 35-37; capital and underline emphasis ours)
The Qadi further noted that:
When Quraysh sent 'Urwa ibn Mas'ud to the Messenger of Allah in the year of al-Hudaybiyya, he saw the unparalleled respect which his Companions displayed towards him. Whenever he did 'wudu they ran to get his leftover 'wudu water and nearly fought over it. If he spat they took it with their hands and wiped it on their faces and bodies. If a hair of his fell they ran to get it. If he commanded them to do something, they ran to do his command. If he spoke, they lowered their voices in his presence. They did not stare at him due to their respect for him. When he returned to Quraysh, he said, "People of Quraysh! I have been to Chosroes in his kingdom, and Caesar in his kingdom and the Negus in his kingdom, but by Allah, I have not seen any king among his people treated anything like the way Muhammad is treated by his Companions."…
Anas said, "I saw the Messenger when his hair was being shaved. His companions were around him and whenever a lock fell, a man picked it up." (Pp. 236-237; underline emphasis ours)
The sahih ahadith narrate something similar:
… Before embracing Islam Al-Mughira was in the company of some people. He killed them and took their property and came (to Medina) to embrace Islam. The Prophet said (to him, "As regards your Islam, I accept it, but as for the property I do not take anything of it. (As it was taken through treason). Urwa then started looking at the Companions of the Prophet. By Allah, whenever Allah's Apostle spat, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them (i.e. the Prophet's companions) WHO WOULD RUB IT ON HIS FACE AND SKIN; if he ordered them they would carry his orders immediately; if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water; and when they spoke to him, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect. Urwa returned to his people and said, "O people! By Allah, I have been to the kings and to Caesar, Khosrau and An-Najashi, yet I have never seen any of them respected by his courtiers as much as Muhammad is respected by his companions. By Allah, if he spat, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them (i.e. the Prophet's companions) who would rub it on his face and skin; if he ordered them, they would carry out his order immediately; if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water; and when they spoke, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 50, Number 891)
The following Muslim writer provides some examples in an article he wrote where certain people, including Jews and Christians, kissed Muhammad's hands and feet:
The Companions knew well the baraka in the hand of the Prophet; they also knew about its being the symbol of Divine generosity and power. They loved to touch and kiss it, they competed for the water he had dipped it in, and, after his death, those who never saw him were eager to touch and kiss those hands that had touched him.
Both the Jews and the Christians who recognized the Prophet as a Divine envoy also showed their love and respect for him by kissing both his hands and his feet.
Once, after the Prophet's emigration to Madina, a Jew said to a friend of his, "Let us go to this Prophet!" his friend said, "Say not Prophet! Were he to hear you he would have four eyes!" They came to the Prophet and asked him about nine things which he answered. They kissed his hands and feet, saying, "We testify that you are a Prophet!" "What prevents you from following me?" he asked. "David prayed that there should always be a Prophet from his progeny. We fear, were we to follow you, that the Jews would kill us!" [79- Tirmidhi 5/72 Nisa'i 7:111] …
When the delegation of 'Abdal Qays reached Madina, [they had such longing for the Prophet that] they jumped off their camels and rushed to him, kissing his hands and feet. [92- Majma'al- Zawa'id 9:389] …
The famous Follower, Thabit al-Bunani, Anas ibn Malik's student, said, "Whenever I visited Anas, they told him I was there, he came to me, and I took both his hands and kissed them saying, "My father be the ransom of these hands that have touched the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him!" and I kissed his eyes saying, "My father be the ransom of these eyes which have seen the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him!" [96- Majma'al-Zawa'id 9:325] …
Burayda said, "A Bedouin came to the Prophet, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, saying, 'O Messenger of Allah, I have accepted Islam, so show me something that will increase me in certitude!' He asked him, 'What do you want?' He replied, 'Call this tree, let it come to you!' 'Go to her and call her!' He told him. The Bedouin went to the tree saying, 'Answer the Messenger of Allah!' The tree leaned to one side, pulling her roots out, then to the other, pulling her roots out then she went to the Prophet, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, saying, 'Peace be upon you O Messenger of Allah!' The Bedouin exclaimed, 'This is sufficient for me! This is sufficient for me!' The Prophet, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, said, 'Go back!' so it returned to its place and struck its roots again. The Bedouin said, 'Permit me, O Messenger of Allah, to kiss your hands and feet!' He did [kiss his hands and feet], then said, 'Permit me to prostate myself before you!' 'No man should prostate himself before another man!' he replied." [98- Suyuti, al-Khasa'is al-Kubra, 2:200, Bazzar, and Abu Nu'aym] (Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, The Hand of the Prophet; source; underline emphasis ours)
It is truly strange that Muhammad refused to allow a man to prostrate before him even though he allowed him to kiss his very hands and feet! Isn't kissing the feet of a mere man just as much an act of worship as bowing before him? In fact, to bow down before someone isn't always considered an act of worship as far as the Holy Bible is concerned.
And what do we say about Muhammad permitting people to drink his blood and smear his saliva on them? Aren’t these practices extreme acts of devotion and worship, bordering on the fanatical? Didn’t Muhammad know that the drinking of blood violated the biblical commands of God?
"If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood. Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off." Leviticus 17:10-14
"but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood… For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell." Acts 15:28-29
It also violated the commands of his own scripture!
He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. S. 2:173 Shakir
Say: I do not find in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden for an eater to eat of except that it be what has died of itself, or blood poured forth, or flesh of swine -- for that surely is unclean -- or that which is a transgression, other than (the name of) Allah having been invoked on it; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring nor exceeding the limit, then surely your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful. S. 6:145 Shakir; cf. 5:3; 16:115
More importantly, isn’t this the height of hypocrisy on Muhammad’s part, to complain and assault Jews and Christians for bowing to their religious leaders as a sign of respect, when he had the audacity to permit individuals to kiss his hands and feet, to smear his saliva upon them and to drink his blood?
We will let Zawadi clear up all of this mess.
Continue with Part 2: Muhammad's Duplicity

Further Reading
http://christianmissiontrips.org/forum
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/stoning.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Abualrub/twoadams_ss2.htm
http://answer-islam.org/MoDeification4.html






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2 comments:

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Most of the Western Muslim establishment is comprised of Islamist groups claiming to be moderates. True moderate Muslims reject Islamic supremacy and Sharia; embrace religious equality and democracy.

What is a moderate Muslim? According to a dictionary, a moderate is a person who is opposed to radical or extreme views or measures, especially in politics or religion. Yet, majority of the public seem to be struggling with the definition of a moderate Muslim. Perhaps we can make this task easier by defining a radical Muslim and then defining the moderate as an opposite of the radical.

Muslims Against Sharia compiled a list of issues that differentiate moderate Muslims from Islamic radicals. Hopefully you can help us grow this list.
http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/ 2008/01/what-is-moderate-muslim.html

Poll: Who is a moderate Muslim?
http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/ 2008/01/poll-who-is-moderate-muslim.html

Alex said...

What do you think, please, of Obadiah Shoher's interpretation of the story? (here: samsonblinded.org/blog/genesis-37.htm ) He takes the text literally to prove that the brothers played a practical joke on Yosef rather than intended to murder him or sell him into slavery. His argument seems fairly strong to me, but I'd like to hear other opinions.