Muslims in Lebaon

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Friday, 14 December 2007

Daughter of a priest find the truth.amazing story

arrow From the Churches to the Mosques!!!
من الكنائس الى المساجد Arrow

I was born in Denmark and was raised Christian in Jordan all my life (Learn More), my father was a pastor of 4 churches, my mother is one of the strongest Christian woman leaders in the Jordanian society. I was a youth leader in the church and I was a supervisor in the church community for the Christian theology and I know a lot about it but never narrowed my mind and put that dark sheet on my eyes, I was seeking because I never found my peace till I became a Muslim. And it took me a long process to be convinced in Islam.

It started since I was a kid, I hated Islam, when I was in the 10th grade, I saw one day a girl is praying, I kicked her and pushed her while she was kneeling down (sajedah), I have fought with girls in high school and I wanted to show them how educated I am, so I used to bring the Bible with me all the time and read in loud, or write a verse on the board as (today’s tip). When it’s Ramadan, I used to eat in front of the girls while fasting (I ask Allah to forgive me and give me Mercy), I was a serious trouble maker.

In the eleventh grade, I remember one day we had an Islamic class in Zarqa High School, and I wanted to stay and listen to the teacher, they said that the Bible is Muharraf (interpreted and altered) I started to become mad and I explained to them that the Bible has been written as 4 different books in the same time different places from 4 different people (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John), so one of the girls said: “So you’re saying that the evil spirit have written the books!” I got really angry and I left the class and I didn’t want to talk to any of the girls.

The girls in the class were wondering about me and they wanted to know what’s my deal, so they came and started asking me questions about my religion and I was answering them and showing them in the Bible and give them proofs to convince them about Christianity, until one day, the teacher called me and asked me to stop talking about my religion because it’s illegal, I told her that I have nothing to do with it, she said: “I have a recorded tape of your voice talking to the girls about it” that made me really mad, and I started to have not only hate but anger and I wanted to bring all the Muslims to Christianity, I even invited my Muslim friends to the church many times to convert them to Christianity.

After I graduated from the high school, I went to study in Mu’ta University, year 1999, but I haven’t finished the whole year and I went out – by Allah will – and I knew that the approval of the immigration to the Unites States of America is coming soon.

Yes, I immigrated to TX, USA year 2002, trying to start from the scratch, I was going to the Arabic Dallas Baptist Church, and my uncle is the pastor of this church. I didn’t like living there so my family contacted a certain Christian family for me to go to Arizona and try to build myself, but once I couldn’t find a financial support, the family asked me to go back to Texas and stay with my family. So I went back home and my parents with my little brothers went back to Jordan in order for my father to continue his ministry in the churches, but I stayed with my brother and my sister and I am the oldest. I found a job and I started to study in the college. I kept myself going to the church, doing some activities, even sending some programs to the church in Jordan and help them out with the Bible studies for the Sunday Schools.

In December 2003 my father died – diagnosed by the Cancer, but that didn’t stop me from keeping myself going in life.

I tell you that I came to USA to make some Christian ministries .. and my aim was to reach the Arab Muslim and bring them to Christianity since the USA is a free country and you have the right of thoughts and talk

So .. I met some friends in the college and we started to talk about Islam .. And I know the Bible from the beginning to the end, I was arguing hard trying to convince them about Christianity.

Until they brought me the guy Mostafa Belhour - who is my husband now - to debate .. And it started to be like a race with him since he has great knowledge about Quran and Sunnah .. And I didn't like him at all. Most of the time, we were adding gas to the fire and sometimes we reach to dead ends, he was a real good speaker .. And I am the stubborn. I finally got tired and exhausted.

Anyway .. My mom was coming on Sep 2005 and I thought it's a good excuse to get away from the debate because it started to make me so agitated ..

For me it would be really insulting if I loose the debate .. So I told my friends .. I need to go!! but that guy called me by my name and said: "I need a proof" I asked: what are you talking about? He said: "search the whole Bible .. You will never find one verse that Jesus says about himself that he's God .. He never said(I am God)" .. I found that it's my opportunity to tell him about Christianity and bring him to Jesus (who I believed that he's the savior and the son of God)

I asked with a sarcastic method: "what are you talking about.. Of course there is tens of verses say that Jesus is God" .. He said: "show me the proof" I went home and that question stuck in my mind.

I opened the Bible and started to search, then I went to some internet resources, then to some books.

Then I asked my mom and I went with her through a discussion .. she said: "well there is no specific verse laterally saying that Jesus said about himself he's God, but he said; (whoever saw me saw the father)" I said: "but the father and the son are not the same" she said: "but you know that they have the same level in power as they are a part of the Trinity (The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit)"

So the 1st one has no proof .. Now let's go to the second one: Jesus is the son!

I started to search more .. I found that it's written in the Gospel - in the Bible - called "John" this Equation: "in the beginning, the word was with God ..." ok?? So the word is Jesus who is created from the beginning and he was WITH God ..

Then the same verse says: "and the word was God" John 1:1 so hold on!!! God = (equals) Jesus and God WITH Jesus

ohuh .. Wrong mathematical statement .. How the heck would Jesus be God and with God at the same time? This is not something can make any kind of sense

So I left that verse for a minute and went to another one .. To the 1st letter of john chapter 5 and verse 7 says: " 7For there are three that bear record (witness) in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three ARE ONE. " I said yeay .. Here is the proof, The Father=The Son=The Holy Ghost (Spirit)

Then the next verse 8 says: " 8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree IN ONE." The Spirit (Holy Spirit), The Water (The Father) and the Blood (The Son). How would it be 3=1 and 3IN1 at the same time .. It’s just completely different meaning.

3=1 means they are all in the same level, the same power, the same content (i.e. The water has 3 different mentalities liquid, solid and gas) and 3in1 is like 3 relative people carry the same family name but they are completely different people with different mentalities and personalities.

In addition, if I believe that God is 3, then why would I have one creation? For example if I get 3 artists to draw a tree for me, each one will have his own style and way of drawing that tree according to his way of thinking, and if the 3 in one God are creating the creature, then each one of them will create it in a different way, even if they have the same aim, but they would create it in their own way!

Anywho! I said there are some conflicts in this Bible, where did I get this book from?? I know that Jesus called himself the son of God because he's Jewish and it's not something new that the Jewish call themselves the "children of God" and they are humans

Jesus was sitting by himself and pray! Who was he praying for? For himself? He was calling God, and the scripture of the Bible show that in different places, for example: “ 25At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent” Mathew 11:25 “39And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.” Mathew 26:39 “42Again a second time He went away and prayed, My Father, if this cannot pass by unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Mathew 26:42 “23And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone.” Mathew 14:23 “44So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words.” Mathew 26:44 “35And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed” Mark 1:35 “46And after He had taken leave of them, He went off into the hills to pray.” Mark 6:46 “21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized, and [while He was still] praying, the [visible] heaven was opened” Luke 3:21 “16But He Himself withdrew [in retirement] to the wilderness (desert) and prayed.” Luke 5:16 “12Now in those days it occurred that He went up into a mountain to pray, and spent the whole night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12

In additional I had that memory flashed in my mind when I was studying the Christian theology .. A British professor came to our college and he was teaching us the history of the Bible script .. And I remember he said exactly: "well ... I went to the museum in England to see the Bible manuscripts and all what I saw torn, burned lost papers spread allover the place" so what is that in my hand?

And where all those words came from????

If I am going to worship A PERFECT GOD who is the complete of everything how would I believe in imperfect book???

This is not right!!!

I started to think .. If one day lost all the holy books in the world .. and we asked people to get a new exact book. There is no body can get an exact book of the Bible because we have too many versions, and they are still discovering new different scripts till now .. But I can find may be a million Muslim can bring me an identical Quran who is kept from the beginning .. Isn’t that amazing!!

Then I went through the theory of crucifying Jesus on the cross .. Did he really die??

I started to think of the Gospels that we have between our hands is it the real Bible?? The ones who wrote the Bibles are Jewish people who followed Jesus Christ and wrote a biography about him .. They saw him dying on the cross .. Is it necessary to be the same person on the cross??

The verse in Quran says: "shobbeha behi" “157. That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.";- But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- 158. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise” Quran 4:157-158 so the people who saw Jesus is someone who looks exactly like Jesus ..

So what we have in our hands is only a biography of Jesus 75% or more of it is altered

And now I got the result in my hands: Jesus is not God, not even the Son of God .. I got scared and I started to panic,

All those years ... 24 years in my life that I was studying is only a theory

24 years worshipping the wrong God

24 years went as a lie!!!

I wanted to kill myself and I felt that the ground that I am standing on is just shaking and I felt so scared

I wanted to go back from the beginning and start my search all over again to prove the opposite .. I went so quiet .. Don’t know what next!! I am destroying my life ..

I started to think .. I believe in Jesus now that he's only a human and he's a prophet from God and I believe in all the prophets .. I have one problem with Mohammad (Peace be upon Him)

I never exposed about his life and all what I know is things that the Christian planted in my mind .. But how the people praise him all the time as the greatest prophet??

I said.. How could be a problem and the holy book Quran came from heaven through him (Peace Be Upon Him) .. He must be really special .. So it's not a problem to believe in one more prophet ..

In addition that I know there is an illegal Gospel called Barnaby that the churches don't believe in it because there is the verse were Jesus talk about the next prophet called Ahmad!!!

I left my room after great meditation and thinking about it and searching .. And called my old friends who didn't see me for 2 months ..

I went to see them at home and I was praying to Allah and crying: "if that's the right way, you change my life .. If it's not so let me die now in an accident before I reach my friends and take me to heaven .. I am looking for the truth and I am calling you to take me to heaven whatever happens"

So I reached to my friends and I have tears in my eye .. And they thought something happened .. And there were my husband (the debater) .. They were waiting a word from me to tell them what happened .. I said:

اشهد أن لا اله الاّ الله .. واشهد أن محمد رسول الله
Ash-hadu Anna La Elaha Illa Allah, Wa As-hadu Anna Mohammad Rasool Allah
I declare that there is no God but only One Allah, and I declare that Mohammad is the prophet of Allah (Peace be upon Him)

For 2 minutes they were quiet with no word

They looked at me and my husband started to laugh like crazy

He said: shut up .. Don’t lie

It was October 3rd I believe

I said I am not lying and I started to cry

He said.. You said the other day that if you say the shahdatein (the Islamic declaration statement) with no believes that won't let you be Muslim!!! Don’t be lying

I said: I am not lying .. Tomorrow is the first day of Ramadan .. You are going to teach me how to pray and make wodoo2 (The washing method) and everything

When he heard me saying that .. He hugged me and started to cry like a baby

And really I learned all that in one night .. And I bought a hijab (vail) and my other girl friend showed me how to put it on and everything

I hide my Islam for two weeks ..

During that time I went to imam and had the shaahdah (announced my Islam) and I was learning from the Quran and trying to make some comparison from both books and it was hard for me at the beginning to leave the Bible .. But il hamdullelah (Thanks Allah) I am over it now

I hid my Islam from my family and I was praying at night 2am or 3 so no body can see me doing anything suspicious ..

One day I was going to school and I had my backpack with me and have my Quran and hijab .. Suddenly my hijab fell down from the bag on the stairs at home and my sis was behind me, she saw it but didn't know what is it till night when she woke up and saw me praying, so she told my family members .. And here comes the trouble

They yelled at me, insulted me, called me words and used the fraud language. They hit me to death and threatened me and I was calm, but leaved the house praying that Allah lead them to Islam.

I lived about 2 months with my girl friend .. Until my husband Mostafa and I got married il hamdulellah (Thanks to Allah) .. I lost my family but I gained a new Muslim family at the mosque who took care of me and really helped me ..

I went through a lot of depression aftermath because of that beating .. Till now I still receive at least 25 phone calls and emails – daily - from all over the world insulting me and threatening me and all that

Other than the phone calls that I receive .. I even have debates with the biggest Christian Professors (in the Christian Theology) from Jordan and the USA on the phone .. debating about religions and trying to bring me back to Christianity.

subhan Allah (The praises are for Allah) ... I used to hold the Bible in my hand and they have the Quran .. now the table has been turned around!

However I learned a lot from this very short time .. I learned something called patience and humbling .. and I meditate now and think of the stories of the prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) who was insulted and how did he take all that .. my story is nothing to him and wow .. I learn a lot..

I probably lost my sharaf (The Noble honor of the family) and honor in front of some people but I am so proud and I have the sharaf coming from Allah .. and amazing! You can’t imagine what kind of happiness and peace that I am living in even all that insulting ..

I really changed than before .. I am a completely different person .. even my husband noticed that. I learned how to be quiet and patient with people even to the ones who insult me all the time .. I learned how to smile in the worst and hardest times .. even if lost my jobs .. but Allah is compensating me with everything

it's all about to have the intern peace inside you .. you really can't find peace from people around you, not even by your environment .. it has to be by your convention and by your mind .. by loving Allah and giving him your heart. If you worship Allah and follow his orders, you are certainly going to be happy because the sins make you feel guilty and they take your peace away

I look at the people faces and see their tears, sadness; because they are away from the Creator.. sometimes I see their hearts are dark and they can't let that candle burn in them because they are so much caught with their problems and busyness in life.

All what I know now, my aim in this life is to worship and pray for Allah and follow his orders and rules, and make good works for His Sake.

I hope you enjoyed my story and be strength for your soul

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Friday, 7 December 2007

X priest and a new muslim enter islam

This sheikh was an X priest .. and Praise To Allah hundreds are entering islam becasue of him !

22 australians revert to islam after a lecture!

Islam is the true religion and it is the solution for everything
Just read about it

2 guys enter islam in America

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Quran prizes

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Why I became Muslim-Danial

Why I became Muslim

Allah prescribes Islam

By Daniel Ellermeier

Bismilliah (In Allah's name). My reasons for writing these articles are three fold. First, I have learned so much so rapidly that it is important to me to process this transformation, or more accurately metamorphosis, in writing. Second, as a way to explain to my friends and family what is happening with me. And lastly, as a possible means to help others who may be struggling with some of the same issues that I was. I pray that Allah will find this humble paper worthy of those intentions.

I was raised to enjoy a strong love as well as fear of Almighty God. My parents and about half of my ten siblings remain Mormon. At my home there was a great deal of both love and support, but what was lacking was discipline. As a result I was mostly free to do as I wished. I was raised in the Mormon church and have a great understanding of their culture and beliefs. When I became a teenager I found myself becoming very curious of the ways and experiences of what Mormons call "worldly things". This basically amounted to me drinking and partying by the early age of fourteen. As a result I stopped going to church in fear of hypocrisy before God. I understood that it was better for me to leave the church and then later repent and rejoin, then to stay and practice the "priesthood" in a lie. So I left the church with the full intention of coming back later.

To say the least I experienced some very wild teenage years. All my friends were partiers and we were living under the young American creed, "If it feels good, do it". As my father would frequently tell me, I was sacrificing long term joy at the price of short term happiness. I was living in such a way that only the most devastating of consequences would make me think twice about my actions, and I always had to learn lessons the hard way. Only the birth of my son would be enough to help me slow down.

He was born to my old high school sweetheart. At one point she was changing her life plans to be with me. But I, fearing abandoning my lifestyle for real commitment, had already sabotaged our relationship. Now that she was pregnant with my child I was ready to do whatever it took to make things work. But it was a day late and a dollar short. She had left me for a nice and stable guy. It was at this point in my life I had to sit back and take inventory on what my life had become. My eyes began opening up to the fact that I was on the fast track to becoming a looser.

This point marked a big shift in the motivation for my partying, it wasn't just for fun anymore. I was now finding it useful to help me forget about my problems. What’s wrong with this behavior is that not only do your problems not get solved, but you are more likely to create new ones when drunk. However, I was slowing down and getting my bad habits somewhat under control. Less then a year after my first big blessing from Almighty God, which is the birth of my son, I received what I consider to be my second. I got a job as a counselor to children and teens at a youth psychiatric hospital.

As stated, I come from a huge family and am an uncle a couple dozen times over, so working with kids came naturally. I have taken this opportunity of working with doctors and mental health professionals to get a ton of free education on psychology. Since it is my job (which I have had for over 5 years now) to teach these children and adolescents about how to help themselves, I understand the principals well. When I first got my job I was really hurting inside. The tools and techniques I learned have helped me reach solid ground. Once there I did not want to stop growing and improving. I eventually came to the realization that this can only be done with the help of Almighty God.

I had already become disenchanted with Mormonism after spending time learning and thinking about the dangers of a belief that "As man is God once was, and as God is man may become." At this time I also gained a deep respect for the science of history which is practiced by carefully researching authentic sources. Now that I that I had freed my soul from this belief, I went through a time of great searching. Since it was my Christian friends and family who had helped me gain understanding of the problems of polytheism in Mormonism, it was their religion I embraced next. I found issue with the fact that Christianity has no logical explanation for the holy trinity, where God is one and also three at the same time. Also most people that consider themselves “Christians” are not very God fearing people at all. Then I realized that authentic history paints Jesus (peace be upon him) as a man in a very logical and understandable way (Muslims do believe that Jesus [pbuh] is a very special Prophet and that Allah is not done with him yet). Again I was lost.

I began thinking very openly about Almighty God. I began to study different religions and cultures around the world. As I did I noticed that almost all spiritual people have some sort of belief in one great power or God that is above and beyond who created everything. I also began taking notice of the fact that it is natural human nature to do good and search out a higher power. This I started explaining as a "moral compass" that guides us by making us feel good when we do and think good things. At this time I felt closer to Almighty God in nature then any church, and so I found myself worshiping and praying in my own way.

It was at this point in my life that a Muslim co-worker of mine loaned me a book called "The Idiot's Guide to Islam" by Yahia Emerick (I know, I dislike the book's title as well). This book gives a very simplified explanation of the beauty of Islam and so changed my life forever. I read more books about Islam and then about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and everything I read I agreed with and understood, so I developed a great thirst for the knowledge and wisdom found in Islam. At this point I knew that Almighty God or Allah is found in this religion. As I continued learning and researching I kept encountering two things. The absolute truth in the religion of Islam and great misunderstanding of Islam in America. Most of the things pinned by the West as Islamic are either cultural or political in root, and not really found anywhere in Islam itself. If you only learn one thing from this paper please remember this - Just because a “Muslim” does something it does not make that act or belief a part of Islam, even if that person claims it to be as such. Muslims have flaws, Islam does not.

As this pattern of learning and dispelling myth continued to play itself out, it became really only a matter of time that I took my Shahada. Which is declaring a testimony of the truth in Islam before Muslim witnesses to become a Muslim, which I did on August 28, 2007. I am here to tell you now that I have never been happier.

I would now like to back up and explain some things that I learned from psychology and relate them to Islam. The first thing to understand when helping others is that since everyone is so different there is very little that could help anyone and everyone. My favorite concepts have always been those few that can and these are what I base my teaching style on at work. I will explain what those ideas are and then expand on them using the teachings of Allah through his prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This is to show how Islam actually goes hand in hand with mental health. It is also important to point out that the issues I discuss are only a small fraction of the ways that practicing Islam will enhance one’s life. Islam is really more a verb then a noun because it is a way of life. And I am here to testify that every true Islamic principle I have encountered includes reasons and a means to help one become a well rounded healthy and joyful person.

The first thing that someone needs to understand when they have a problem, is simply what the problem is and how are they adding to it. An example is someone who is overweight may be overeating. When this gets a little complicated is when emotions are involved such as anger, stress, or sadness. This is when the second part of the equation becomes more important, which is are they adding to the negative emotion in some way? I teach that as long as someone is making a heartfelt effort to improve their life they will tend to feel better. Now it does makes one feel better to even try, but if they keep at it they can eventually overcome the issue. When people take the other approach and move through life just doing whatever comes naturally they become victims of their own emotions. This can develop into a tendency to blame life or other people for their problems.

Where Islam has something to say on this is that it teaches every action a Muslim performs should start with declaring intention (to yourself). The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, "Every person will be judged according to his intentions." When one’s intentions are good they will be blessed with good deeds. When negative, the opposite. When people take responsibility for their actions they gain understanding of how they can effect the outcome.

To delve further into human psychology one will understand that there are some events that we do not have any control over. When such events occur that are extremely negative; such as death of a loved one, being victim of crime, or serious injury, it can be life shattering to some individuals. In the mental health field we teach such survivors that is not actually the event that is causing those negative feelings, but it is actually their thinking about the event that continues to effects them. A classic example is when two people were hypothetically struck by lightning and one feels terrible because they are hurting and the other feels great to be alive. The only difference between these two people is their thinking about what happened.

The belief that guides Muslims though such tough times is the belief in Qadar, or Divine Preordainment. This is the understanding that all though we are free to choose as we will, only Allah has full understanding of all things; past, present, and future. Muhammad (pbuh) said, "The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah then the weak believer, though both are good; work hard for that which is beneficial for you and seek Allah's help, and do not give up. If you are stricken by misfortune do not say, "If only I had done differently..." rather say "That is what Allah decreed, He does as he wills." "If only" opens the door to Satan's work."

There was a time in my life when I was stuck dwelling on how I could have lived my childhood years differently and how my life would have been better if I had. This caused me much pain and anguish that could have easily been avoided by understanding that everything happens as Allah wills. Now that I work with troubled teenagers I realize that I would not be as effective as a counselor had I not gone through what I did. As Allah himself stated in the Quran V2:216,"...and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows what you do not know." It is important to understand that we can't even dream to comprehend the great wealth of knowledge that Almighty Allah enjoys, so it is best to be happy and thankful for the wonderful things he has given us.

The last universal skill that can be taught to anyone as an effective coping strategy is in my opinion the most effective one. This is the simple act of calming ones mind of the constant chatter that fills it and, to use a well defined term, meditate. If I were allowed to talk about God and religion at work I would use the word "pray". But meditation is as close as we can get, using pure psychology, to achieving the same purpose. If done correctly it slows one down enough so they can refocus on what is important for them in their life right then. It also has many positive physiological effects for the body as well; it slows ones breathing and heart-rate conserving resources in your body, it naturally and calmly dispels anxious energy or stress, and most importantly clears the mind of negative thoughts. To me, the act of meditation done correctly is nothing short of a tiny glimpse of Allah's graces. It is the act of briefly forsaking all the temptations and impulses that constantly nag at us to feel our natural true self. As Allah created us.

As a Muslim, I understand that we were created for the sole purpose of worshiping Almighty Allah with every thought, word, and action. This rationally makes a great deal of sense because the act of worship brings one a great inner peace that is satisfying to our very souls. This is why five daily prayers are prescribed only second to testimony of the truth. These mandatory prayers allow faithful Muslims to enjoy a strong connection with our creator that I never could have fathomed without Islam. When I first read about this responsibility I thought it would be a chore, but in practice it feels more like a gift.

Because the only way to find true inner peace is through serving the divine will of Almighty God or Allah, I believe we were all born for this purpose. This should be important to us because our inner self or conscience will not find rest until we surrender to Allah's will as best as we humanly can. No other religion so completely understands what humans need to maintain a happy and healthy life. Islam is a way of life that originated (was delivered to us) from one man around 1400 years ago. Psychology’s counterpart ideas are only now being developed to help people in the present day (And these ideas were created by thousands of great minds working together exchanging ideas and theories over the centuries). Muhammad (pbuh) could not have figured out this all encompassing way of life by himself so long ago. To me this alone is enough to prove that there is no other viable alternative then that he is a genuine Prophet and Messenger of Almighty Allah. Not even one word has been changed in the Quran (there are two original Qurans left to prove this fact) in all this time. This, to me, is undisputable evidence that his mission was a complete success in sharing Allah's message with the world. The truth is there for anyone to see, you just have to take the time out yourself to look with an open mind and heart. Alhamdullilah (Praise Allah).

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Who is Allah ?

Who is Allah ?

By Abu Iman Abd ar-Rahman Robert Squires. © Muslim Answers

Some of the biggest misconceptions that many non-Muslims have about Islam have to do with the word "Allah". For various reasons, many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews. This is totally false, since "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for "God" - and there is only One God. Let there be no doubt - Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus - peace be upon them all. However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God. For example, Muslims - like Jews - reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation. This, however, doesn't mean that each of these three religions worships a different God - because, as we have already said, there is only One True God. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be "Abrahamic Faiths", and all of them are also classified as "monotheistic". However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas.

First of all, it is important to note that "Allah" is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God. If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word "Allah" being used where "God" is used in English. (Click here to see some examples of the word "Allah" in the Arabic Bible.) This is because "Allah" is the only word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word "God" with a capital "G". Additionally, the word "Allah" cannot be made plural or given gender (i.e. masculine or feminine), which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God. Because of this, and also because the Qur'an, which is the holy scripture of Muslims, was revealed in the Arabic language, some Muslims use the word "Allah" for "God", even when they are speaking other languages. This is not unique to the word "Allah", since many Muslims tend to use Arabic words when discussing Islamic issues, regardless of the language which they speak. This is because the universal teachings of Islam - even though they have been translated in every major language - have been preserved in the Arabic language.

It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word "El", which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word "Allah" than the English word "God". This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are "El" and "Elah", and the plural form "Elohim". The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins. It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word "El" is translated variously as "God", "god" and "angel"! This imprecise language allows different translators, based on their preconceived notions, to translate the word to fit their own views. The Arabic word "Allah" presents no such difficulty or ambiguity, since it is only used for Almighty God alone. Additionally, in English, the only difference between "god", meaning a false god, and "God", meaning the One True God, is the capital "G". In the Arabic alphabet, since it does not have capital letters, the word for God (i.e. Allah) is formed by adding the equivalent to the English word "the" (Al-) to the Arabic word for "god/God" (ilah). So the Arabic word "Allah" literally it means "The God" - the "Al-" in Arabic basically serving the same function as the capital "G" in English. Due to the above mentioned facts, a more accurate translation of the word "Allah" into English might be "The One -and-Only God" or "The One True God".

More importantly, it should also be noted that the Arabic word "Allah" contains a deep religious message due to its root meaning and origin. This is because it stems from the Arabic verb ta'allaha (or alaha), which means "to be worshipped". Thus in Arabic, the word "Allah" means "The One who deserves all worship". This, in a nutshell, is the Pure Monotheistic message of Islam. You see, according to Islam, "monotheism" is much more than simply believing in the existence of "only One God" - as seemingly opposed to two, three or more. If one understands the root meaning of the word "Allah", this point should become clear. One should understand that Islam's criticism of the other religions that claim to be "monotheistic" is not because they are "polytheistic" in the classic sense, but because they direct various forms of worship to other than Almighty God. We will discuss the meaning of worship in Islam below, however, before moving on it should be noted that many non-Muslims are unaware of the distinction between simply believing in the existence of only One God and reserving all worship for Him alone. Many Christians are painfully unaware of this point, and thus you often find them asking how Muslims can accuse the followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, of being "polytheists" when they were all "monotheistic Jews". First of all, it should be clarified that the word "polytheist" doesn't really sound right in this context, since to many it implies simply believing in the existence of more than one God. So in an Islamic context, "associators", "man-worshippers" or "creature worshippers" might be more accurate and appropriate terms - especially since Christians believe Jesus to be both "100% God and 100% man", while still paying lip-service to God's "Oneness". However, as we're previously touched upon, what is really at the root of this problem is the fact that Christians - as well as the members of other religions - don't really know what "monotheism" means - especially in the Islamic sense. All of the books, articles and papers that I've read which were written by Christians invariably limit "monotheism" to believing in the existence of "One Sovereign and Creator God". Islam, however, teaches much more than this.

Suffice it to say that just because someone claims to be a "monotheistic" Jew, Christian or Muslim, that doesn't keep them from falling into corrupt beliefs and idolatrous practices. Many people, including some Muslims, claim belief in "One God" even though they've fallen into acts of idolatry. Certainly, many Protestants accuse Roman Catholics of idolatrous practices in regards to the saints and the Virgin Mary. Likewise, the Greek Orthodox Church is considered "idolatrous" by many other Christians because in much of their worship they use icons. However, if you ask a Roman Catholic or a Greek Orthodox person if God is "One", they will invariably answer: "Yes!". This lip-service, however, does not stop them from being "creature worshipping" idolaters. The same goes for Hindus, who just consider their gods to be "manifestations" or "incarnations" of the One Supreme God.

Everyone should be aware of the fact that throughout the long history of the "Abrahamic Faiths", there have people who, while believing in "One God", have adopted beliefs and practices that completely nullify their claim to "monotheism". This is the Muslim view of Christians. We're well aware of the fact that they claim belief in "One God" with their lips, but this doesn't mean that they don't nullify their claim in other ways. This is because many people simply haven't been taught everything that Pure Monotheism entails. From an Islamic point of view, "monotheism" can be nullified in many ways. For example, simply believing that it is permissible to rule by Western "liberal" and "democratic" laws in lieu of the Divinely Revealed Law of Almighty God makes one a "polytheist". Certainly, a person who does such a thing, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, doesn't ever believe that there is another Almighty Creator and Sovereign Lord. However, for all practical purposes, such a person has take another "god", whether they choose to admit it or not. In this way they are associating partners with Almighty God (Arabic: shirk), and thus become a "polytheist" in a practical sense, regardless of their lip-service to "monotheism". This holds true even if the person doesn't believe what they are doing is "worship". For example, Roman Catholics who pray to the Virgin Mary will staunchly deny that they are "worshipping" her. They instead call it "adoration" or some other watered-down term. However, from an Islamic point of view, what is worship if not this? Islam teaches that prayer and supplication are the marrow of worship, so if one directs their prayers to an intermediary (even if the pray is "ultimately" meant for God), then what is left of worship? Additionally, how can someone who believes in Almighty God follow man-made laws instead of God's Law, without admitting that they've begun worshipping other than God? Do they know better than God?

Additionally, the Old Testament makes it perfectly clear that making a "graven image" of any created thing (not to mention ones which are supposed to "represent" Almighty God) is prohibited. Please see Exodus 20:4-6, Leviticus 26:1 and Deuteronomy 4:16, 23, 25, 5:8 and Nehemiah 9:6 for some statements in regards to this point. Without addressing the issue that Christians commonly violate the unambiguous commandment not to even "make" representations of anything that is in the "heavens above or on the earth beneath", these verses not only teach that worshipping idols is prohibited, but also that Almighty God is eternally distinct from His creation and thus nothing in His creation can represent Him. To believe otherwise is to be a de facto idol worshipper - even if one claims belief in one, and only one, "True God". In Exodus 20:4-6 and Deuteronomy 4:16, Almighty God - who is a "Jealous God" - makes it perfectly clear that He is distinct from His creation.

By giving such clear and merciful guidance to human beings, God is establishing a universal and eternal Truth for the benefit of mankind. This eternal Truth is the bedrock of religious guidance, since once people begin to believe that Almighty God mixes with or can be represented by His creation, they can be duped into believing almost anything. Once someone accepts that God has become "incarnate" in His creation, or that someone or something is a "manifestation" - and thus representation - of Him, the floodgates are open and "Truth" becomes a matter of subjective guesswork. Once the first and most basic concept is violated - regardless of how complicated and sophisticated the rationale for it might be - it is very easy to fall further and further away from the Eternal Truth of Pure Monotheism. In the final analysis, it is not a question of whether God is capable of becoming a man, but rather a question of whether one bases their beliefs about God on clear, unambiguous and authentic guidance. Once it is left up to the human mind to decide what Almighty God can and cannot do, the stage is set for misguidance to take root. Human speculation about God only ends up leading to misguidance and despair, since no clear conclusions can ever be reached. For example, is God capable of creating an object so heavy that He is incapable of moving it? If not, does that mean that He is incapable? It is because of misguided questions like this that Islam clearly teaches that mankind should only say about God what He has said about Himself. This means all of our ideas about God must be based on Revelation - not human speculation. In short, the final prophet of Islam - Muhammad - was sent by Almighty God to preach the same Pure Monotheism that was practiced by Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus - peace be upon them all. This Pure Monotheism means not only believing that there is only One God in existence, but realizing that He is transcedent above His creation and that all worship is due to Him alone.

Before concluding, we should probably address the practice of those Muslims who insist on using the Arabic word "Allah" even when speaking English. Even though this practice certainly is not to be condemned when it is done around those who understand the meaning of the Arabic word "Allah", it is my experience - both during my years as a non-Muslim and my years as a Muslim - that such a practice can (and usually does) breed misunderstanding. It seems that often times, many of the Muslims who use the word "Allah" in lieu of the word "God", even when trying to attract people to Islam, are unaware of the severe misunderstandings that many non-Muslims have about Islam (and the distorted way which Islam has been portrayed in the West). Insisting on using the word "Allah" only fuels the flames of misunderstanding - so there's no good reason to do it. I've often wondered what value some Muslims think that using the word "Allah" adds to the Pure Message that they are trying to convey. ( . . . and I'm still waiting for an answer!) Unfortunately, those Muslims who insist on using the word "Allah" even when addressing non-Muslims who are unfamiliar with Islam and the Arabic language, do both a disservice to themselves and their religion. Unfortunately, this practice is usually based on the false assumption - by a non-native speaker of English - that the word "God" in English is incapable of expressing a pure and proper belief in Almighty God. This is certainly false. If someone says that the English word "God" cannot be used to express the Pure Islamic Belief in Tawhid, they are wrong not because they don't understand Tawhid, but simply because they don't understand the English language. Many people who insist on using the Arabic word "Allah" usually don't realize this, because in reality, they are not so much affirming the word "Allah" as they are rejecting the word "God" as unsuitable - based on incorrect assumptions. For someone to assume that the word "God" presupposes a certain theological point-of-view (such as the Trinity) is simply Wrong - and that's Wrong with a capital "W". To say the word "God" should be rejected because it can be changed into "god", "gods" or "goddess" is illogical because each of these words has a distinctive meaning and a distinctive spelling - at least to someone who knows how to speak English correctly. Using the same logic, I can demonstrate that the root letters "ktb" can be used to form the Arabic words "kitab" (book), "maktabah" (library), "maktab" (office) and "kaatib" (writer), but does that mean that these words have the same meaning? Do Arabic-speaking people go through life confusing libraries with writers and offices with books (both in conversation and in reality)? I think not! This is not to mention the fact that if the Arabic "Al-" was put in front of these words in order to make them definite, confusion would be even less likely! So the logic in both cases is the same, and this is because even though the same letters are used in "God" and "god", these two words have two different meanings in the English language. The capital "G" implies something different than the small "g" - and anyone who denies this simply doesn't know how to speak the English language.

In concluding this point, it should be mentioned that Arabic-speaking Muslims who believe in Pure Tawhid, Arabic-speaking Christians, the idol worshippers of Mecca and (so-called) Muslims who believe in "Wahdat al-Wujud" all use the word "Allah". However, does this guarantee all of them proper belief in "Allah"? Certainly not, because if they have a corrupt concept of "Allah" it doesn't matter what word they use!

This brings us to a more important point: It should be clearly understood that what Islam is primarily concerned with is correcting mankind's concept of Almighty God. What we are ultimately going to be held accountable at the end of our life is not whether we prefer the word "Allah" over the word "God", but what our concept of God is. Language is only a side issue. A person can have an incorrect concept of God while using the word "Allah", and likewise a person can have a correct concept of God while using the word "God". This is because both of these words are equally capable of being misused and being improperly defined. As we've already mentioned, using the word "Allah" no more insinuates belief in the Unity of God than the use of the word "God" insinuates belief in the Trinity - or any other theological opinion. Naturally, when God sends a revelation to mankind through a prophet, He is going to send it in a language that the people who receive it can understand and relate to. Almighty God makes this clear in the Qur'an, when He states:

"Never did We send a Messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people in order to make (things) clear to them."
(Qur'an, Chapter 14 - "Abraham", Verse 4)

As Muslims, we think that it is unfortunate that we have to go into details on such seemingly minor issues, but so many falsehoods have been heaped upon our religion, that we feel that it is our duty to try to break down the barriers of falsehood. This isn't always easy, since there is a lot of anti-Islamic literature in existence which tries to make Islam look like something strange and foreign to Westerners. There are some people out there, who are obviously not on the side of truth, that want to get people to believe that "Allah" is just some Arabian "god", and that Islam is completely "other" - meaning that it has no common roots with the other Abrahamic religions (i.e. Christianity and Judaism). To say that Muslims worship a different "God" because they say "Allah" is just as illogical as saying that French people worship another God because they use the word "Dieu", that Spanish-speaking people worship a different God because they say "Dios" or that the Hebrews worshipped a different God because they sometimes call Him "Yahweh". Certainly, reasoning like this is quite ridiculous! It should also be mentioned, that claiming that any one language uses the only the correct word for God is tantamount to denying the universality of God's message to mankind, which was to all nations, tribes and people through various prophets who spoke different languages.

Before closing, we would like everyone to be aware of the fact that some Christian missionary organizations print English literature intended to teach Christians about Islam which say such things as: "Allah is the god of the Muslims" and that "Muhammad came to get people to believe in the god Allah" - implying that "Allah" is some sort of false "god". However, when these same organizations print literature in the Arabic language, hoping to lead Arabic-speaking Muslims "to Christ", they use the word "Allah" for God. It seems that if they were on the side of truth, they would not have to resort to such inconsistencies. And on an even more ridiculous note . . . there are also missionary organizations that exceed this in ignorance (or deceit) by writing books that call on Muslims to give up their belief in "Allah", and instead worship the "Lord" Jesus, "the Son of God". Besides making it abundantly clear that they are outside the community of Pure Monotheism, the people who write such material don't even realize that if they wrote such a pamphlet in Arabic, it would be self-contradictory. This is because in an Arabic Bible Jesus is the "Son of Allah"! If an Arabic-speaking person gave up the worship of "Allah", they would have no God to worship, since "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for God!

Before we conclude, however, we would like to ask our readers to ask themselves what they think the reasons are behind all of these lies? If Islam was just some false religion that didn't make any sense, would so many people, from Western scholars to Christian missionaries, have to tell so many lies about it? The reason is that the Ultimate Truth of Islam stands on solid ground and its unshakable belief in the Unity of God is above reproach. Due to this, Christians can't criticize its doctrines directly, but instead make up things about Islam that aren't true so that people lose the desire to learn more. If Muslims were able to present Islam in the proper way to people in the West, it surely might make many people reconsider and re-evaluate their own beliefs. It is quite likely that Christians, when they find out that there is a universal religion in the world that teaches people to worship and love God, while also practicing Pure Monotheism, would at least feel that they should re-examine the basis for their own beliefs and doctrines.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Christ in Islam

Christ in Islam

by Ahmed Deedat

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Chapter One : Christian Muslim Responses

Debate on TV

At the end of the debate - "Christianity and Islam" - which appeared on the SABC-TV program "Cross Questions" on Sunday 5th June 1983, the Chairman, Mr. Bill Chalmers commented: "I think it can be said from this discussion that there is, at present, somewhat more accommodation on the Islamic side for the founder of Christianity than there is on the Christian side for the founder of Islam. What the significance of that is, we leave it to you, the viewer, to determine, but I do think you will agree that it is a good thing that we are talking together."

"Bill" as he is popularly addressed, without any formalities, on all his programs, by all his panelists, is extremely charming and stupendous in his humility. He is a picture of what the Holy Quran portrays of a good Christian:

"...And nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say: 'We are Christians': because among these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world. And they are not arrogant." (The Holy Quran 5:82)

Jesus - His Status

Were the Muslims on the panel trying to placate the viewers out policy, deceit or diplomacy? Nothing of the kind! They were only articulating what God Almighty had commanded them to say in the Holy Quran. As Muslims, they had no choice. They had said in so many words: "We Muslims believe, that Jesus was one of the mightiest messengers of God that he was the Christ, that he was born miraculously without any male intervention (which many modern-day Christians do not believe today), that he gave life to the dead by God's permission and that he healed those born blind and the lepers by god's permission. In fact, no Muslim is a Muslim if he or she does not believe in Jesus!"

Pleasant Surprise

Over 90% of the people who witnessed this debate must have been pleasantly, but skeptically, surprised. They might have not believed their ears. They must have surmised that the Muslims were playing to the gallery - that they were trying to curry favor with their fellow Christian countrymen; that if the Muslims would say a few good words about Jesus, then in reciprocation the Christians might say a few good words about Muhammed (may the peace and the blessings of God be upon all His righteous servants, Moses, Jesus, Muhammed...etc.); that I scratch your back and you scratch my back - which would be a sham or hypocrisy.

Hate Cultivated

We cannot blame the Christians for their skepticism. They have been so learned for centuries. They were trained to think the worst of the man Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, and his religion. How aptly did Thomas Carlyle say about his Christian brethren over a hundred and fifty years ago: "The lies which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammed) are disgraceful to ourselves only." We Muslims are partly responsible for this. We have not done anything substantial to remove the cobwebs.

Ocean of Christianity

South Africa is an ocean of Christianity. If Libya boasts the highest percentage of Muslims on the continent of Africa, then the Republic of South Africa would also be entitled to boast the highest percentage of Christians. In this ocean of Christianity the R.S.A. - the Muslims are barely 2% of the total population. We are a voteless minority - numerically, we count for nothing; politically, we count for nothing; and economically, one white man, as Oppenheimer, could buy out the whole lot of us, lock, stock and barrel.

So if we had feigned to appease, we might be excused. But no! We must proclaim our Master's Will; we must declare the Truth, whether we liked it or not. In the words of Jesus: "Seek ye the truth, and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32).

Chapter Two : Jesus in the Quran

Christians Unaware

The Christian does not know that the true spirit of charity which the Muslim displays, always, towards Jesus and his mother Mary spring from the fountainhead of his faith - the Holy Quran. He does not know that the Muslim does not take the holy name of Jesus, in his own language, without saying Eesa, alaihi assalam ("Jesus, peace be upon him")

The Christian does not know that in the Holy Quran Jesus is mentioned twenty five times. For example:

"We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit" (The Holy Quran 2:87)

"O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary..." (3:45)

"...Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of god..." (4:171)

"...And in their foot steps we sent Jesus the son of Mary..." (5:46)

"And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous." (6:85)

Jesus - His Titles

Though Jesus is mentioned by name in twenty-five places in the Holy Quran, he is also addressed with respect as: Ibn Maryam, meaning "The son of Mary"; and as the Maseeh (in Hebrew it is the Messiah), which is translated as "Christ". He is also known as Abdullah, "The servant of Allah"; and as Rasul u Allah, the messenger of Allah.

He is spoken of as "The Word of God", as "The Spirit of God", as a "Sign of God", and numerous other epithets of honor spread over fifteen different chapters. The Holy Quran honors this mighty messenger of God, and the Muslims have not fallen short over the past fourteen hundred years in doing the same. There is not a single disparaging remark in the entire Quran to which even the most jaundiced among the Christians can take exception.

Eesa Latinised to "Jesus"

The Holy Quran refers to Jesus as Eesa, and this name is used more times than any other title, because this was his "Christian" name. Actually, his proper name was Eesa (Arabic), or Esau (Hebrew); classical Yeheshua, which the Christian nations of the West latinised as Jesus. Neither the "J" nor the second "s" in the name Jesus is to be found in the original tongue - they are not found in the Semitic languages.

The word is very simply "E S A U" a very common Jewish name, used more than sixty times in the very first booklet alone of the Bible, in the part called "Genesis". There was at least one "Jesus" sitting on the "bench" at the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. Josephus the Jewish historian mentions some twenty five Jesus' in his "Book of Antiquities". The New Testament speaks of "Bar-Jesus" a magician and a sorcerer, a false prophet (Acts 13:6); and also "Jesus-Justus" a Christian missionary, a contemporary of Paul (Colossians 4:11). These are distinct from Jesus the son of Mary. Transforming "Esau" to (J)esu(s) - Jesus - makes it unique. This unique (?) name has gone out of currency among the Jews and the Christians from the 2nd century after Christ. Among the Jews, because it came to be a name of ill - repute, the name of one who blasphemed in Jewry; and among the Christians because it came to be the proper name of their God. The Muslim will not hesitate to name his son Eesa because it is an honored name, the name of a righteous servant of the Lord.

Chapter Three : Mother And Son

Mary Honored

The birth of Jesus Christ is described in two places of the Quran - chapter 3 and chapter 19. Reading from the beginning of his birth, we come across the story of Mary, and the esteemed position which she occupies in the House of Islam, before the actual annunciation of the birth of Jesus is given:

"'Behold'! the angels said: 'O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of all nations" (3:42)

"Chosen thee above the women of all nations." Such an honor is not to be found given to Mary even in the Christian Bible! The verse continues:

"O Mary! Worship thy Lord devoutly: prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down." (3:43)

Divine Revelation

What is the source of this beautiful and sublime recitation which, in its original Arabic, moves men to ecstasy and tears? verse 44 below explains:

"This is part of the tidings, of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Muhammad!) by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point)." (3:44)

Mary's Birth

The story is that the maternal grandmother of Jesus, Hannah, had hitherto been barren. She poured out her heart to God: If only God will grant her a child, she would surely dedicate such a child for the service of God in the temple.

God granted her prayer and Mary was born. Hannah was disappointed. She was yearning for a son, but instead she delivered a daughter; and in no way is the female like the male, for what she had in mind. What was she to do? She had made a vow to God. She waited for Mary to be big enough to fend for herself.

When the time came, Hannah took her darling daughter to the temple, to hand over for temple services. Every priest wanted to be the god-father of this child. They cast lots with arrows for her - like the tossing of the coin - head or tail?
eventually she fell to the lot of Zakariya, but not without a dispute.

The Source of His Message

This was the story. But where did Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, get this knowledge from? He was an Ummi, Arabic for "unlettered". He did not low how to read or write. He is made by God Almighty to answer this very question in the verse above, by saying that it was all by divine inspiration. "No!", says the controversialist. "This is Muhammed's own concoction. He copied his revelations from the Jews and Christians. He plagiarized it. He forged it."

Knowing full-well, and believing as we do, that the whole Quran is the veritable Word of God, we will nevertheless agree, for the sake of argument, with the enemies of Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, for a moment, that he wrote it. We can now expect some cooperation from the unbelievers.

Ask him: "Have you any qualms in agreeing that Muhammed was an Arab?" Only an ignorant will hesitate to agree. In that case there is no sense in pursuing any discussion. Cut short the talk. Close the book!

With the man of reason, we proceed. "That this Arab, in the first instance, was addressing other Arabs. He was not talking to Indian Muslims, Chinese Muslims, or Nigerian Muslims. He was addressing his own people, the Arabs. Whether they agreed with him or not, he told them in the most sublime form, words that were seared into the hearts and minds of his listeners that Mary the mother of Jesus, a Jewess, was chosen above the women of all nations. Not his own mother, nor his wife nor his daughter, nor any other Arab woman, but a Jewess! Can one explain this? Because to everyone his own mother or wife, or daughters would come before other women.

Why would the prophet of Islam honor a woman from his opposition! and a Jewess at that! belonging to a race which had been looking down upon his people for three thousand years? Just as they still look down upon their Arab brethren today."

Sarah and Hagar

The Jews learn, from the Bible, that their father, Abraham, had two wives Sarah and Hagar. They say that they are the children of Abraham through Sarah his legitimate wife; that their Arab brethren have descended through Hagar, a "bondwoman", and that as such, the Arabs are an inferior breed.

Will anyone please explain the anomaly as to why Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, if he is the author, chose this Jewess for such high honor? The answer is simple, he had no choice he had no right to speak of his own desire. "It is no less than an inspiration sent down to him." (53:4)

The Chapter of Maryam

There is a Chapter in the Holy Quran, named Surat u Maryam "Chapter Mary", named in honor of Mary the mother of Jesus Christ, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him; again, such an honor is not to be found given to Mary in the Christian Bible. Out of the 66 books of the Protestants and 73 of the Roman Catholics, not one is named after Mary or her son. You will find books named after Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul and two score more obscure names, but not a single one is that of Mary!

If Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, was the author of the Holy Quran, then he would not have failed to include in it with Mary, the mother of Jesus, his own mother Aamina, his dear wife Khadija, or his beloved daughter Fatima. But No! No! This can never be. The Quran is not his handiwork!.

Chapter Four : The Good News

" 'Behold!' the angels said: 'O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him: his name will be Jesus, the son of Mary; held in honor in this world and the hereafter; and (of the company of) those nearest to Allah." (3:45)

"Nearest to God," not physically nor geographically, but spiritually. Compare this with "And (Jesus) sat on the right hand of God." (Mark 16:19). The bulk of Christendom has misunderstood this verse as well as many others in the Bible. They imagine the Father (God) sitting on a throne, a glorified chair, and His Son, Jesus, sitting on His right hand side. Can you conjure up the picture? If you do, you have strayed from the true knowledge of God. He is no old Father Christmas. He is beyond the imagination of the mind of man. He exists. He is real, but He is not like anything we can think of, or imagine.

In eastern languages "right hand" meant a place of honor, which the Holy Quran more fittingly describes as "In the company of those nearest to Allah." The above verse confirms that Jesus is the Christ. and that he is the Word which God bestowed upon Mary. Again, the Christian reads into these words, a meaning which they do not carry. They equate the word "Christ" with the idea of a god-incarnate; and the "Word" of God to be God.

"Christ" Not a Name

The word "Christ" is derived from the Hebrew word Messiah, Arabic Maseeh. Root word masaha, meaning "to rub", "to massage", "to anoint". Priests and kings were anointed when being consecrated to their offices. But in its translated Grecian form, "Christ" seems unique: befitting Jesus only.

Christians like to translate names into their own language; like Cephas to "Peter" , Messiah to "Christ". How do they do that? Very easily. Messiah in Hebrew means "Anointed". The Greek word for anointed is Christos. Just lop off the 'os' from Christos, and you are left with "Christ"; a unique name!

Christos means "Anointed", and anointed means appointed in its religious connotation. Jesus, peace and blessing be upon him, was appointed (anointed) at his baptism by John the Baptist, as God's Messenger. Every prophet of God is so anointed or appointed. The Holy Bible is replete with the "anointed" ones. In the original Hebrew, he was made a Messiah. Let us keep to the English translation "anointed."

Not only were prophets and priests and kings anointed (Christos-ed), but horns, and cherubs and lamp-posts also.

"I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar ..." (Genesis 31:13)

"If the priest that is anointed do sin ..." (Leviticus 4:3)

"And Moses... anointed the tabernacle and all things that was therein..." (Leviticus 8:100)

"..the Lord shall...exalt the horn of his anointed" (I Samuel 2:10)

"Thus saith the Lord to his anointed to Cyrus..." (Isaiah 45:1)

"Thou art the anointed cherub..." (Ezekiel 28:14)

There are an hundred more such references in the Holy Bible. Every time you come across the word "anointed" in your Bible, you can take it that that word would be christos in the Greek translations, and if you take the same liberty with the word that the Christians have done, you will have Christ Cherub, Christ Cyrus, Christ Priest and Christ Pillar, ...etc.

Some Titles Exclusive

Although, every prophet of God is an anointed one of God, a Messiah, the title Maseeh or Messiah, or its translation "Christ" is exclusively reserved for Jesus, the son of Mary, in both Islam and in Christianity. This is not unusual in religion. There are certain other honorific titles which may be applied to more than one prophet, yet being made exclusive to one by usage: like "Rasulullah", meaning "Messenger of God", which title is applied to both Moses (19:51) and Jesus (61:6) in the Holy Quran. Yet "Rasullullah" has become synonymous only with Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, among Muslims.

Every prophet is indeed a "Friend of God", but its Arabic equivalent "Khalillullah" is exclusively associated with Father Abraham. This does not mean that the others are not God's friends. "Kaleemullah", meaning "One who spoke with Allah" is never used for anyone other than Moses, yet we believe that God spoke with many of His messengers, including Jesus and Muhammed, may the peace and blessings of God be upon all His servants. Associating certain titles with certain personages only, does not make them exclusive or unique in any way. We honor all in varying terms.

Whilst the good news was being announced (verse 45 above) Mary was told that her unborn child will be called Jesus, that he would be the Christ, a "Word" from God, and that...

"He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous." (3:46)

"At length she brought the (babe) to her people carrying him. They said: 'O Mary! truly a strange thing has thou brought!'. 'O sister of Aaron!, thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!' " (The Holy Quran 19:27-28)

Jews Amazed

There is no Joseph the carpenter here. The circumstances being peculiar, Mary the mother of Jesus had retired herself to some remote place in the East (19:16). After the birth of the child she returns.

A. Yusuf Ali, comments in his popular English translation of the Quran:

"The amazement of the people knew no bounds. In any case they were prepared to think the worst of her, as she had disappeared from her kin for some time. But now she comes, shamelessly parading a babe in her arms! How she had disgraced house of Aaron, the fountain of priesthood!

"Sister of Aaron": Mary is reminded of her high lineage and the unexceptionable morals of her father and mother. How, they said, she had fallen, and disgraced the name of her progenitors!

What could Mary do? How could she explain? Would they, in their censorious mood accept her explanation? All she could do was to point to the child, who, she knew, was no ordinary child. And the child came to her rescue. By a miracle he spoke, defended his mother, and preached to an unbelieving audience."

Allah azza wa jall says in the Quran:

"But she pointed to the babe. They said: 'How can we talk one who is a child in the cradle?' He (Jesus) said: 'I am indeed a servant of Allah (God) : He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet: 'and He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. '(He hath made me) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or unblest; 'So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life again)'!" (19:29-33)

His First Miracle(s)

Thus Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, defended his mother from the grave calumny and innuendoes of her enemies. This is the very first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Holy Quran that, he spoke as an infant from his mother's arms. Contrast this with his first miracle in the Christian Bible which occurred when he was over thirty years of age:

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, 'Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.' His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now." (John 2:110)

Since this miracle, wine has flowed like water in Christendom. Many reason that what was good for the Master is good enough for them. Jesus was no "kill-joy" they say. Didn't he make good potent wine, that even those "well drunk", those whose senses had been dulled could make out the difference ? "That the best was kept for the last.". This was no pure grape juice. It was the same wine that, according to the Christian Bible, enabled the daughters of Lot to seduce their father (Genesis 19:32-33).It was the same wine which the Christian is advised to eschew in Ephesians 5:18 - "And be not drunk with wine..."

It is that innocent (?) 1% potency that eventually leads millions down into the gutter. America has 10 million drunkards in the midst of 70 million "born-again" Christians! The Americans call their drunkards "Problem Drinkers". In South Africa, they are called "Alcoholics"; drunkard is too strong a word for people to stomach.

But the Prime Minister of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, does not hesitate to call a spade a spade. He says, "I am not prepared to lead nation of drunkards", referring to his own people who drink intoxicants.

Whether the water "blushed" or not "seeing" Jesus, we cannot blame him or his disciples for the drinking habits of his contemporaries. For he had truly opined, "have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (John 16:12). Mankind had not reached the stage of receiving the whole Truth of Islam. Did he not also say "You cannot put new wine into old bottles"? (Matthew 9:17).

"Mother" or "Woman"?

According to St. John, in the fourth verse above, describing the marriage feast at Cana, we are told that Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, behaved insolently towards his mother. He calls her "woman," and to rub more salt into the wound he is made to say "what have I to do with thee?" What connection is there between you and me, or what have I got to do with you? Could he have forgotten that this very "woman" had carried him for nine months, and perhaps suckled him for 2 years, and had borne endless insults and injuries on account of him? Is she not his mother? Is there no word in his language for "mother"?

Strange as it may seem, that while the missionaries boast about their master's humility, meekness and long-suffering, they call him the "Prince of Peace" and they sing that "he was led to the slaughter like a lamb, and like a sheep who before his shearer is dumb, he opened not his mouth", yet they proudly record in the same breath, that he was ever ready with invectives for the elders of his race, and was always itching for a showdown i.e. if their records are true:

"Ye hypocrites!"

"Ye wicked and adulterous generation!"

"Ye whited sephulcres!"

"Ye generation of vipers!"

and now to his mother: "Woman..."

Jesus Defended

Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, the Messenger of God, is made to absolve Jesus from the false charges and calumnies of his enemies.

"And He (God Almighty) hath made me (Jesus) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or unblest" (19:31).

On receiving the good news of the birth of a righteous son Mary responds:

"She said: 'O My Lord! how shall I have a son, when no man hath touched me?"

The angel says in reply:

"He said: 'Even so: Allah (God) createth what He willeth: when He hath decreed a matter He but sayth o it 'Be,' and it is! And Allah (God) will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Torah (Law) and the Gospel," (3:47-48).

Chapter Five : Quranic and Biblical Versions

Meeting the Reverend

I was visiting the "Bible House" in Johannesburg. Whilst browsing through the stacks of Bibles and religious books, I picked up an Indonesian Bible and had just taken in hand a Greek - English New Testament, a large, expensive volume. I had not realized that I was being observed by the supervisor of the Bible House. Casually, he walked up to me. Perhaps my beard and my Muslim headgear were an attraction and a challenge? He inquired about my interest in that costly volume. I explained that as a student of comparative religion, I had need for such a book. He invited me to have tea with him in his office. It was very kind of him and I accepted.

Over the cup of tea, I explained to him the Muslim belief in Jesus, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. I explained to him the high position that Jesus occupied in the House of Islam. He seemed skeptical about what I said. I was amazed at his seeming ignorance, because only retired Reverend gentlemen can become Supervisors of Bible Houses in South Africa. I began reciting from verse 42 of chapters 3 of the Holy Quran:

"'Behold!' The angels said: 'O Mary, Allah hath chosen thee...'"

I wanted the Reverend to listen, not only to the meaning of the Quran, but also to the music of its cadences when the original Arabic was recited. Rev. Dunkers (for that was his name) sat back and listened with rapt attention to "Allah's Words".

When I reached the end of verse 49, the Reverend commented that the Quranic message was like that of his own Bible. He said, he saw no difference between what he behaved as a Christian, and what I had read to him. I said: "that was true". If he had come across these verses in the English language alone without their Arabic equivalent, side by side, he would not have been able to guess in a hundred years that he was reading the Holy Quran. If he were a Protestant, he would have thought that he was reading the Roman Catholic Version, if he had not seen one, or the Jehovah's Witness Version or the Greek Orthodox Version, or the hundred and one other versions that he might not have seen; but he would never have guessed that he was reading the Quranic version.

The Christian would be reading here, in the Quran, everything he wanted to hear about Jesus, but in a most noble, elevated and sublime language. He could not help being moved by it.

In these eight terse verses from 42 to 49 we are told:
(a) That Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virtuous woman, and honored above the women of all nations.
(b) That all that was being said was God's own Revelation to mankind.
(c) That Jesus was the "Word" of God.
(d) That he was the Christ that the Jews were waiting for.
(e) That God will empower this Jesus to perform miracles even in infancy.
(f) That Jesus was born miraculously, without any male intervention.
(g) That God will vouchsafe him Revelation.
(h) That he will give life to the dead by God's permission, and that he will heal those born blind and the lepers by God's permission, ... etc.

"Chalk and Cheese"

The most fervent Christian cannot take exception to a single statement or word here. But the difference between the Biblical and the Quranic narratives is that between "chalk and cheese". "To me they are identical, what is the difference?" the Reverend asked. I know that in their essentials both the stories agree in their details, but when we scrutinize them closely we will discover that the difference between them is staggering.

Now compare the miraculous conception as announced in verse 47 of the Holy Quran with what the Holy Bible says:

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, (as husband and wife) she was found with child of the holy ghost."(Matthew 1:18)

Master Dramatizer

The eminent Billy Graham from the United States of America dramatized this verse in front of 40,000 people in King Park, Durban, with his index finger sticking out and swinging his outstretched arm from right to left, he said: "And the Holy Ghost came and impregnated Mary!" On the other hand St. Luke tells us the very same thing but less crudely. He says, that when the annunciation was made, Mary was perturbed. Her natural reaction was :

"How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34) meaning sexually.

The Quranic narrative is:

"She said: O my Lord! how shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" (3:47) meaning sexually.

In essence there is no difference between these two statements "seeing I know not a man" and "when no man hath touched me". Both the quotations have an identical meaning. It is simply a choice of different words meaning the same thing. But the respective replies to Mary's plea in the two Books (the Quran and the Bible) are revealing.

The Biblical Version

Says the Bible:

"And the angle answered and said into her : 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee" (Luke 1:35)

Can't you see that you are giving the atheist, the skeptic, the agnostic a stick to beat you with? They may well ask "How did the Holy Ghost come upon Mary?" "How did the Highest overshadow her?" We know that literally it does not mean that: that it was an immaculate conception, but the language used here, is distasteful. Now contrast this with the language of the Quran:

The Quranic Version

"He said (the angel says in reply): 'Even so: Allah (God) createth what He willeth: when He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!' " (3:47)

This is the Muslim concept of the birth of Jesus. For God to create a Jesus, without a human father, He merely has to will it. If He wants to create a million Jesus' without fathers or mothers, He merely wills them into existence. He does not have to take seeds and transfer them, like men or animals by contact or artificial insemination . He wills everything into being by His word of command "Be" and "It is".

There is nothing new in what I am telling you, I reminded the Reverend. It is in the very first Book of your Holy Bible, Genesis 1:3 "And God said..." What did He say? He said "Be" and "It was". He did not have to articulate the words. This is our way of understanding the word "Be", that He willed everything into being.

Choice for His Daughter

"Between these two versions of the birth of Jesus, the Quranic version and the Biblical version, which would you prefer to give your daughter ?" I asked the supervisor of the Bible House. He bowed his head down in humility and admitted "The Quranic Version."

How can "a forgery" or "an imitation", as it is alleged of the Quran, be better than the genuine, the original, as it is claimed for the Bible? It can never be, unless this Revelation to Muhammed is what it, itself, claims to be viz. The pure and holy Word of God! There are a hundred different tests that the unprejudiced seeker after truth can apply to the Holy Quran and it will qualify with flying colors to being a Message from on High.

Like Adam

Does the miraculous birth of Jesus make him a God or a "begotten" son of God? No! says the Holy Quran:

"The similitude of Jesus before Allah (God) is that of Adam; He created him from dust then said to him: 'Be', and he was." (3:59)

Yusuf Ali, comments in his notes in the Quran translation:

"After a description of the high position which Jesus occupies as a prophet in the preceding verses we have a repudiation of the dogma that he was God, or the son of God, or any thing more than man. If it is said that he was born without a human father, Adam was also so born. Indeed Adam was born without either a human father or mother. As far as our physical bodies are concerned they are mere dust.

In God's sight Jesus was as dust just as Adam was or humanity is. The greatness of Jesus arose from the divine command 'Be': for after that he was more than dust a great spiritual leader and teacher"

The logic of it is that, if being born without a male parent entitles Jesus to being equated with God, then, Adam would have a greater right to such honor, and this no Christian would readily concede. Thus, the Muslim is made to repudiate the Christian blasphemy.

Further, if the Christian splits hairs by arguing that Adam was "created" from the dust of the ground, whereas Jesus was immaculately "begotten" in the womb of Mary, then let us remind him that, even according to his own false standards, there is yet another person greater than Jesus, in his own Bible . Who is this superman?

Paul's Innovation

"For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God... Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life..." (Hebrews 7:1,3)

Here is a candidate for Divinity itself, for only God Almighty could possess these qualities. Adam had a beginning (in the garden), Jesus had a beginning (in the stable); Adam had an end and, claim the Christians, so had Jesus "and he gave up the ghost". But where is Melchisedec? Perhaps he is hibernating somewhere like Rip Van Winkel (a fairy tale character who slept for many ages.)

And what is this "Hebrews"? It is the name of one of the Books of the Holy Bible, authored by the gallant St. Paul, the self appointed thirteenth apostle of Christ. Jesus had twelve apostles, but one of them (Judas) had the Devil in him. So the vacancy had to be filled, because of the "twelve" thrones in heaven which had to be occupied by his disciples to judge the children of Israel (Luke 22:30).

Saul was a renegade Jew, and the Christians changed his name to "Paul", probably because "Saul" sounds Jewish. This St. Paul made such a fine mess of the teachings of Jesus, peace blessings be upon him, that he earned for himself the second most coveted position of "The Most Influential Men of History" in the monumental work of Michael H. Hart: The 100 or The Top Hundred or the Greatest Hundred in History. Paul outclasses even Jesus because, according to Michael Hart, Paul was the real founder of present day Christianity. The honor of creating Christianity had to be shared between Paul and Jesus, and Paul won because he wrote more Books of the Bible than any other single author, whereas Jesus did not write a single word.

Paul needed no inspiration to write his hyperboles here and in the rest of his Epistles. Did not Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Goebbels say: "The bigger the lie the more likely it is to be believed'? But the amazing thing about this exaggeration is that no Christian seems to have read it. Every learned man to whom I have shown this verse to, seemed to be seeing it for the first time. They appear dumbfounded, as described by the fitting words of Jesus:

"...seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matthew 13:13)

The Holy Quran also contains a verse which fittingly describes this well cultivated sickness:

"Deaf, dumb and blind, will they not return (to the path)." (2:18)

The Sons of God

The Muslim takes strong exception to the Christian dogma that "Jesus is the only begotten son, begotten not made". This is what the Christian is made to repeat from childhood in his catechism. I have asked learned Christians, again and again as to what they are really trying to emphasize, when they say: "Begotten not made".

They know that according to their own God given (?) records, God has sons by the tons:

"...Adam, which was the son of God."(Luke 3:38)

"That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair... And when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them..." (Genesis 6: 2,4)

"...Israel is My son, even My firstborn:" (Exodus 4:22)

"...for I (God) am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn." (Jeremiah 31:9)

"...the Lord hath said unto me (David): 'Thou art My son: this day have I begotten thee." (Psalms 2:7)

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 18:14)

Can't you see that in the language of the Jew, every righteous person, every Tom, Dick and Harry who followed the Will and Plan of God, was a "Son of God". It was a metaphorical descriptive term commonly used among the Jews. The Christian agrees with this reasoning, but goes on to say: "but Jesus was not like that". Adam was made by God. Every living thing was made by God, He is the Lord, Cherisher and Sustainer of all. Metaphorically speaking therefore God is the Father of all. But Jesus was the "begotten" son of God, not a created son of God ?

Begotten Means "Sired"!

In my forty years of practical experience in talking to learned Christians, not a single one has opened his mouth to hazard an explanation of the phrase "begotten not made". It had to be an American who dared to explain. He said : "It means, sired by God." "What!?" I exploded : "Sired by God?" "No, no!" he said, "I am only trying to explain the meaning, I do not believe that God really sired a son."

The sensible Christian says that the words do not literally mean what they say. Then why do you say it? Why are you creating unnecessary conflict between the 1,200,000,000 Christians and a thousand million Muslims of the world in making senseless statements?

Reason for Objection

The Muslim takes exception to the word "begotten", because begetting is an animal act, belonging to the lower animal functions of sex. How can we attribute such a lowly capacity to God? Metaphorically we are all the children of God, the good and the bad, and Jesus would be closer to being the son of God than any one of us, because he would be more faithful to God then any one of us can ever be. From that point of view he is preeminently the son of God.

Although this pernicious word "begotten" has now unceremoniously been thrown out of the "Most Accurate" version of the Bible, the Revised Standard Version (R.S.V.), its ghost still lingers on in the Christian mind, both black and white. Through its insidious brainwashing the white man is made to feel superior to his black Christian brother of the same Church and Denomination. And in turn, the black man is given a permanent inferiority complex through this dogma.

Brain-washed Inferiority

The human mind can't help reasoning that since the "begotten son" of an African will look like an African, and that of a Chinaman as a Chinese, and that of an Indian like an Indian: so the begotten son of God aught naturally to look like God. Billions of beautiful pictures and replicas of this "only begotten son of God" are put in peoples hands. He looks like a European with blonde hair, blue eyes and handsome features like e one I saw in the "King of Kings" or "The Day of Triumph" or "Jesus of Nazareth". Remember Jeffrey Hunter? The "Savior" of the Christian is more like a German than a Jew with his polly nose. So naturally, if the son is a white man, the father would also be a white man (God?). Hence the darker skinned races of the earth subconsciously have the feeling of inferiory ingrained in their souls as God's "step children". No amount of face creams, skin lighteners and hair straighteners will erase the inferiority.

God is neither black nor white. He is beyond the imagination of the mind of man. Break the mental shackles of a Caucasian (white) man-god, and you have broken the shackles of a permanent inferiority. But intellectual bondages are harder to shatter: the slave himself fights to retain them.

Chapter Six : Answer to Christian Dilemmas

"Christ in Islam" is really Christ in the Quran: and the Holy Quran has something definite to say about every aberration of Christianity. The Quran absolves Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, from all the false charges of his enemies as well as the misplaced infatuation of his followers. His enemies allege that he blasphemed against God by claiming Divinity. His misguided followers claim that he did avow Divinity, but that was not blasphemy because he was God. What does the Quran say ?

Addressing both the Jews and the Christians, Allah says:

"O People of the Book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah (God) aught but the truth. Christ Jesus son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah (God), and His Word, which he bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah (God) and His messengers..." (4:171)

Going to Extremes

"O People of the Book" is a very respectful title with which the Jews and the Christians are addressed in the Holy Quran. In other words, Allah is saying "O Learned People!", "O People with a Scripture!" According to their own boast, the Jews and the Christians prided themselves over the Arabs, who had no Scripture before the Quran. As a learned people, Allah pulls up both the contending religionists for going to either extremes as regards the personality of Christ.

The Jews made certain insinuations about the legitimacy of Jesus and charged him of blasphemy by twisting his words. The Christians read other meanings into his words; wrench words out of their context to make him God.

The modern day Christian, the hot - gospeller, the Bible thumper, uses harsher words and cruder approaches to win over a convert to his blasphemies.

He says:
(a) "Either Jesus is God or a liar"
(b) "Either Jesus is God or a lunatic"
(c) "Either Jesus is God or an impostor"

These are his words, words culled from Christian literature. Since no man of charity, Muslim or otherwise, can condemn Christ so harshly as the Christian challenges him to do, perforce he must keep non-committal. He thinks he must make a choice between one or the other of these silly extremes. It does not occur to him that there is an alternative to this Christian conundrum.

Sensible Alternative

Is it not possible that Jesus is simply what he claimed to be, a prophet, like so many other prophets that passed away before him? Even that he is one of the greatest of them, a mighty miracle worker, a great spiritual teacher and guide - the Messiah!. Why only God or Lunatic? Is "lunacy" the opposite of "Divinity" in Christianity? What is the antonym of God? Will some clever Christian answer?

The Quran lays bare the true position of Christ in a single verse, followed by a note by Yusuf Ali's:

  1. "That he was the son of a woman, Mary, and therefore a man;"
  2. "But a messenger, a man with a mission from Allah (God), and therefore entitled to honor."
  3. "A Word bestowed on Mary, for he was created by Allah's word 'Be', and he was;"(3:59).
  4. A spirit proceeding from Allah (God), but not Allah: his life and mission were more limited than in the case of some other messengers, though we must pay equal honor to him as a prophet of Allah. The doctrines of Trinity, equality with God, and sons, are repudiated as blasphemies. Allah (God) is independent of all needs and has no need of a son to manage His affairs. The Gospel of John (whoever wrote it) has put a great deal of Alexandrian Gnostic mysticism round the doctrine of the Word (Greek, Logos), but it is simply explained here."

Jesus Questioned

Reproduced below are verses 119 to 121 from the Chapter of Maeda (chapter 5 of the Quran) depicting the scene of Judgment Day, when Allah will question Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, regarding the misdirected zeal of his supposed followers in worshipping him and his mother: and his response,

"And behold! Allah will say: 'O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah?' He will say: 'Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.

'Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say, to wit, 'Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord'; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up Thou wast the Watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things.

'If Thou dost punish them, they are Thy servant: If Thou dost forgive them, Thou art the Exalted in power, the Wise.'"

Claimed No Divinity

If this is the statement of truth from the All-Knowing, that "Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say, to wit, 'Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord'", then how do the Christians justify worshipping Jesus?

There is not a single unequivocal statement throughout the Bible, in all its 66 volumes of the Protestant versions, or in the 73 volumes of the Roman Catholic versions, where Jesus claims to be God or where he says "worship me". Nowhere does he say that he and God Almighty "are one" and "the same person."

The last phrase above "one and the same person" tickles many a "hot-gospeller" and "Bible-thumper," not excluding the Doctor of Divinity and the Professor of Theology. Even the new converts to Christianity have memorized these verses. They are programmed to rattle off verses out of context, upon which they can hang their faith. The words "are one" activates the mind by association of memories. "Yes", say the Trinitarians, the worshippers of three gods in one God, and one God in three gods, "Jesus did claim to be God!" Where?

Reverend at the Table

I had taken Rev. Morris D.D. and his wife, to lunch at the "Golden Peacock." While at the table, during the course of our mutual sharing of knowledge, the opportunity arose to ask, "Where?" And without a murmur he quoted, "I and my father are one" to imply that God and Jesus were one and the same person. That Jesus here claims to be God. The verse quoted was well known to me, but it was being quoted out of context. It did not carry the meaning that the Doctor was imagining, so I asked him, "What is the context?"

Choked on "Context"

The Reverend stopped eating and began staring at me. I said, "Why? Don't you know the context?", "You see, what you have quoted is the text, I want to know the context, the text that goes with it, before or after." Here was an Englishman (Canadian), a paid servant of the Presbyterian Church, a Doctor of Divinity, and it appeared that I was trying to teach him English. Of course he knew what "context" meant. But like the rest of his compatriots, he had not studied the sense in which Jesus had uttered the words.

In my forty years of experience, this text had been thrown at me hundreds of times, but not a single learned Christian had ever attempted to hazard a guess as to its real meaning. They always start fumbling for their Bibles. The Doctor did not have one with him. When they do start going for their Bibles, I stop them in their stride: "Surely, you know what you are quoting?", "Surely, you know your Bible?" After reading this, I hope some "born-again" Christians will rectify this deficiency. But I doubt that my Muslim readers will ever come across one in their lifetime who could give them the context.

What is the Context?

It is unfair on the part of the Reverend, having failed to provide the context, then to ask me, "Do you know the context?" "Of course," I said. "Then, what is it?" asked my learned friend. I said, "That which you have quoted is the text of John chapter 10, verse 30. To get at the context, we have to begin from verse 23 which reads:

23. "and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade." (John 10:23).

John, or whoever he was, who wrote this story, does not tell us the reason for Jesus tempting the Devil by walking alone in the lion's den. For we do not expect the Jews to miss a golden opportunity to get even with Jesus. Perhaps, he was emboldened by the manner in which he had literally whipped the Jews single-handed in the Temple, and upset the tables of the money changers at the beginning of his ministry (John 2:15).

24. "The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." (John 10:24).

They surrounded him. Brandishing their fingers in his face, they began accusing him and provoking him; saying that he had not put forth his claim plainly enough, clearly enough. That he was talking ambiguously. They were trying to work themselves into a frenzy to assault him. In fact, their real complaint was that they did not like his method of preaching, his invectives, the manner in which he condemned them for their formalism, their ceremonialism, their going for the letter of the law and forgetting the spirit. But Jesus could not afford to provoke them any further there were too many and they were itching for a fight.

Discretion is the better part of valor. In a conciliatory spirit, befitting the occasion:

25. "Jesus answered, I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,"
26. "but you do not believe because you are not my sheep." (John 10:25-26).

Jesus rebuts the false charge of his enemies that he was ambiguous in his claims to being the Messiah that they were waiting for. He says that he did tell them clearly enough, yet they would not listen to him, but:

27. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
28. "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."
29. "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.." (John 10:29).

How can anyone be so blind as not to see the exactness of the ending of the last two verses. But spiritual blinkers are more impervious than physical defects. He is telling the Jews and recording for posterity, the real unity or relationship between the Father and the son. The most crucial verse:

30. "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30).

One in what? In their Omniscience? In their Nature? In their Omnipotence? No! One in purpose! That once a believer has accepted faith, the Messenger sees to it that he remains in faith, and God Almighty also sees to it that he remains in faith. This is the purpose of the "Father" and the "son" and the "Holy Ghost" and of every man and every woman of faith. Let the same John explain his Gnostic mystic verbiage.

"That they all may be one as thou. Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us..."

"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one..."(John 17:20-22)

If Jesus is "one" with God, and if that "oneness" makes him God, then the traitor Judas, and the doubting Thomas, and the satanic Peter, plus the other nine who deserted him when he was most in need are God(s), because the same "oneness" which he claimed with God in John 10:30, now he claims for all "who forsook him and fled" (Mark 14:50). All "ye of little faith" (Matthew 8:26). All "O faithless and perverse generation" (Luke 9:41). Where and when will the Christian blasphemy end? The expression "I and my Father are one," was very innocent, meaning nothing more than a common purpose with God. But the Jews were looking for trouble and any excuse will not do, therefore,

31. "Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him,"
32. "but Jesus said to them, I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"
33. "The Jews answered him, saying : 'For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself a God.'" (John 10:31-33).

In verse 24 above the Jews falsely alleged that Jesus was talking ambiguously. When that charge was ably refuted, they then accused him of blasphemy which is like treason in the spiritual realm. So they say that Jesus is claiming to be God "I and the Father are one". The Christians agree with the Jews in this that Jesus did make such a claim; but differ in that it was not blasphemy because the Christians say that he was God and was entitled to own up to his Divinity.

The Christians and the Jews are both agreed that the utterance is serious. To one as an excuse for good "redemption", and to the other as an excuse for good "riddance". Between the two, let the poor Jesus die. But Jesus refuses to co-operate in this game, so:

34. "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods'?"
35. "If he called them `gods,' to whom the word of God came --and the Scripture cannot be broken--,"
36. "what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God's Son'?" (John 10:34-36).

Why "Your Law"?

He is a bit sarcastic in verse 34, but in any event, why does he say: "Your Law"? Is it not also his Law? Didn't he say: "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law of the prophets: I am come not to destroy, but to fulfill (the Law). For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, one Jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled." (Matthew 5:1718).

"You are Gods"

"You are gods:" He is obviously quoting from the 82nd Psalm , verse 6, "I have said, ye are gods: and all of you are the children of the most High."

Jesus, continues: "If he (i.e. God Almighty) called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (meaning that the prophets of God were called 'gods') and the scripture cannot be broken..." (John 10:35), in other words he is saying: "you can't contradict me!" Jesus knows his Scripture; he speaks with authority; and he reasons with his enemies that: "If good men, holy men, prophets of God are being addressed as 'gods' in our Books of Authority, with which you find no fault, then why do you take exception to me? When the only claim I make for myself is far inferior in our language, viz. 'A son of God' as against others being called 'gods' by God Himself. Even if I (Jesus) described myself as 'god' in our language, according to Hebrew usage, you could find no fault with me." This is the plain reading of Christian Scripture. I am giving no interpretations of my own or some esoteric meaning to words!

Chapter Seven : "In The Beginning"

"Where does Jesus say: 'I am God,' or 'I am equal to God,' or 'Worship me'?" I asked the Rev. Morris again.

He took a deep breath and took another try. He quoted the most oft-repeated verse of the Christian Bible - John 1:1.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Please note, these are not the words of Jesus. They are the words of John (or whoever wrote them). Acknowledged by every erudite Christian scholar of the Bible as being the words of another Jew, Philo of Alexandria, who had written them even before John and Jesus were born. And Philo claimed no divine inspiration for them. No matter what mystical meaning that Philo had woven around these words (which our John has plagiarized), we will accept them for what they are worth.

Greek not Hebrew

Since the manuscripts of the 27 Books of the New Testament are in Greek, a Christian sect has produced its own version and has even changed the name of this selection of 27 Books to Christian Greek Scriptures ! I asked the Reverend whether he knew Greek? "Yes," he said, He had studied Greek for 5 years before qualification. I asked him what was the Greek word for "God" the first time it occurs in the quotation "and the Word was With God"? He kept staring, but didn't answer. So I said, the word was Hotheos, which literally means "The God".

Since the European (including the North American) has evolved a system of using capital letters to start a proper noun and small letters for common nouns, we would accept his giving a capital "G" for God; in other words Hotheos is rendered "the god" which in turn is rendered "God".

"Now tell me, what is the Greek word for "God" in the second occurrence in your quotation - "and the Word was God"? The Reverend still kept silent. Not that he did not know Greek, or that he had lied, but he knew more than that; the game was up. I said : "the word was Tontheos, which means "a god".

According to your own system of translating you aught to have spelt this word 'God' a second time with a small 'g' i.e. 'god', and not 'God' with a capital 'G'; in other words Tontheos is rendered "a god". Both of these, "god" or "a god" are correct.

I told the Reverend: "But in 2 Corinthians 4:4 you have dishonestly reversed your system by using a small 'g' when spelling 'God' "(and the devil is) the god of this world." The Greek word for "the god" is Hotheos the same as in John 1:1. "Why have you not been consistent in your translations ?" "If Paul was inspired to write hotheos the God for the Devil, why don't you use that capital 'G'?"

And in the Old Testament, the Lord said unto Moses: "See, I have made thee a god to Pharoah" (Exodus 7:1). "Why do you use a small 'g' for 'God' when referring to Moses instead of a capital 'G' as you do for a mere word 'Word' - "and the Word was God."?

"Why do you do this? Why do you play fast and loose with the Word of God?" I asked the reverend. He said, "I didn't do it." I said, "I know, but I am talking about the vested interests of Christianity, who are hell-bent to deify Christ, by using capital letters here and small letters there, to deceive the unwary masses who think that every letter, every comma and full stop and the capital and small letters were dictated by God (Capital 'G' here!)."

Chapter Eight : What is Left

Three Topics

It can hardly be expected in a small publication of this nature that one can deal with all the references about Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, interspersed throughout the fifteen different chapters of the Holy Quran. What we can do is to give a quick glance to the index page reproduced from the Quran earlier in this letter.

Here we find three significant topics, not dealt with yet in our discussion:

  1. Not crucified, (4:157).
  2. Message and miracles,(5:113, 19:30-33).
  3. Prophesied Ahmed, (61:6).

Regarding the first topic, "not crucified", I had written a booklet under the heading "Was Christ Crucified?" some twenty years ago. The book is presently out of print, and further, it needs updating, for much water has passed under the bridge since it first saw the light of day.

As regards the third topic mentioned above, "Prophesied Ahmed", I propose to write a booklet under the title "Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, the Natural Successor to Christ" after I have completed "Was Christ Crucified?", I hope to complete both these projects soon, Insha Allah! (Arabic: "By the will of Allah").

The Way to Salvation

We are now left with Topic No. 2, "Message and miracles". The message of Jesus was as simple and straight forward as that of all his predecessors as well as that of his successor Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, namely "Believe in God and keep His Commandments". For the God who inspired His Messengers, is an unvarying God and He is consistent: He is not the "author of confusion" (1 Corinthian14:33).

A law abiding Jew comes to Jesus seeking eternal life or salvation. In the words of Matthew:

"And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:16-17)

You will agree, that if you or I were that Jew, we would infer from these words that, according to Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, salvation was guaranteed, provided we kept the commandments without the shedding of any innocent blood. Unless, of course Jesus was speaking with tongue in cheek; knowing full well that his own "forthcoming redemptive sacrifice", his "vicarious atonement" (?) for the sins of mankind, was not many days hence.

Why would Jesus give him the impossible solution of keeping the Law (as the Christian alleges) when an easier way was in the offing? Or did he not know what was going to happen, that he was to be crucified ? Was there not a contract between Father and Son, before the worlds began, for his redeeming blood to be shed? Had he lost his memory? No! There was no such fairy tale agreement as far as Jesus was concerned. He knew that there is only one way to God, and that is, as Jesus said, "keep the Commandments"!

Miracles, What They Prove

Regarding his miracles: the Holy Quran does not go into any detail about blind Bartimus or about Lazarus or any other miracle, except that he (Jesus) defended his mother as an infant in his mother's arms. The Muslim has no hesitation about accepting the most wondrous of his miracles - even that of reviving the dead. But that does not make Jesus a "God" or the begotten "Son of God" as understood by the Christian.

Miracles do not prove even prophethood, or whether a man is true or false. Jesus himself said:

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."(Matthew 24:24)

If false prophets and false Christs can perform miraculous feats, then these wonders or miracles do not prove even the geniuses or otherwise, of a prophet.

John the Baptist, according to Jesus, was the greatest of the Israelite prophets. Greater than Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah and all, not excluding himself: in his own words:

"Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist..." (Matthew 11:11)

  1. Not excluding Jesus: because, was he not born of a woman - Mary?
  2. The Baptist, greater than "all", yet he performed not a single miracle! Miracles are no standards of judging truth and falsehood.

But in his childishness, the might Christian insists that Jesus is God because he gave life back to the dead. Will reviving the dead make others God too? This perplexes him, because he has mentally blocked himself from the miracles of others who outshine Jesus in his own Bible. For example, according to his false standard:

  • Moses is greater than Jesus because he put life back into a dead stick and transmuted it from the plant kingdom to the animal kingdom by making it into a serpent (Exodus 7:10).
  • Elisha is greater than Jesus because the bones of Elisha brought a man back to life merely by coming into contact with the corpse (2 Kings 13:21).

Need I illustrate to you a catalogue of miracles? But the sickness persists - "it was God working miracles through His prophets but Jesus performed them of his own power." Where did Jesus get all his power from? Ask Jesus, and he will tell us:

Power not His Own

"...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18)

"...I cast out devils by the Spirit of God then the kingdom of God is come unto you." (Matthew 12:28)

"I can of mine own self do nothing " (John 5:30)

"I with the finger of God cast out devils" (Luke 1 1:20)

Borrowed Power

The "power" as he says is not his, "it is given unto me". Given by whom? By God, of course! Every action, every word he attributes to God.


But since so much is made of Jesus' mightiest miracle of reviving Lazarus from the dead, we will analyze the episode as recorded in John's Gospel. It is astonishing that none of the other Gospel writers mention Lazarus in any context. However, the story is that Lazarus was very sick, his sisters Mary and Martha had made frantic calls for Jesus to come and cure his sickness but he arrived too late, actually four days after his demise.

He Groaned

Mary wails to Jesus that had he arrived in time, perhaps her brother would not have died; meaning that if he could heal other peoples' sicknesses, why would he not have healed her brother, a dear friend of his. Jesus says that "even now if ye have faith, ye shall see the glory of god." The condition was that they should have faith. Didn't he say that faith could move mountains?

He asks to be taken to the tomb. On the way, "he groaned in the spirit". He was not mumbling; he was pouring out his heart and praying to God. But while he sobbed so bitterly his words were not audible enough for people around him to understand. Hence the words "he groaned". On reaching the grave, Jesus "groaned" again; perhaps, even more earnestly and God heard his groaning (his prayer), and Jesus received the assurance that God will fulfill his request. Now, Jesus could rest assured and command that the stone which was barring the tomb, be removed so that Lazarus could come back from the dead. Without that assurance from God, Jesus would have made a fool of himself.

Avoiding Misunderstanding

Mary thinks of the stink because her brother had been dead for four days! But Jesus was confident and the stone was removed. Then he looked up towards heaven and said:

"Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 11:41-42)

What is all this, play - acting? Why all the drama? Because he know that these superstitious and credulous people will misunderstand the source of the miracle. They might take him for "God". Giving life to the dead is the prerogative of God alone. To make doubly sure, that his people do not misunderstand, he speaks out loudly that the "groaning" was actually his crying to God Almighty for help. The prayer was incoherent as far as the bystanders could discern, but the Father in heaven had accepted his prayer, viz. "thou hast heard me".

Furthermore, he says, "thou hearest me always"; in other words, every miracle wrought by him was an answer by God Almighty to his prayer. The Jews of his day understood the position well, and they "glorified God", as Matthew tells us of another occasion when the Jews exclaimed "for giving such power unto men" (Matt. 9:8).

In fact, Jesus gives his reason for speaking loudly. He says, "that they may believe that thou has sent me." One who is sent is a messenger, and if he be sent by God, then he is a Messenger of God i.e. Rasulullah. Jesus is referred to in the Quran asRasulullah ("Messenger of Allah").

Alas, this attempt by Jesus to prevent any misunderstanding, as to who really performed the miracle, and that he was in fact only a messenger of God, failed. Christians will not even accept the unambiguous disavowal of Jesus, nor the testimony of Peter, the "Rock" upon which Jesus was supposed to build his Church. Peter truly testified:

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, A man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. " (Acts 2:22)

Case Not Hopeless

This very same message is repeated by God Almighty in the Holy Quran, following the annunciation. In verse 49 of chapter 3, Allah makes it clear that every sign or wonder that Jesus performed was "By Allah's leave," by God's permission. Jesus says so, Peter says so and God says so; but the stubborn controversialist will not listen: prejudice, superstition and credulity die hard. Our duty is simply to deliver the Message, loud and clear, the rest we leave to God. The case is not altogether hopeless for Allah tells us in His Holy Book:

"And among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors." (3:110)

"Among them", meaning among the Jews and the Christians, there are two types of people; the one group described as people of faith to whom this book is addressed, and the other as rebellious transgressors. We must also find ways and means of getting at them. Our literature is eminently suited to cater for all. Pass them on to your non - Muslim friends after reading.

Open the Holy Quran and make your Christian friends and acquaintances to read the verses discussed in this book. Then we can truly conclude:

"Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary:
(it is) a statement of truth, about which
they (vainly) dispute.

"It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah
(God) that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him!
when He determines a matter, He only says to it,
'Be', and it is.

"Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord:
Him therefore serve ye: this is a Way that is straight."

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