ISLAM Part 1 So, why should we care about Islam? Why should we study about it? Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. • Allah- “The God”, this description encompasses all of God’s Supreme Attributes. • Islam- “Submission to Allah”, created as a religion of peace and unity in the beginning. • Muslim- “One who submits to Allah” • Jihad - A holy war waged by Muslims against infidels –WordWeb. • Ka’bah- “cube” the central shrine of worship in Mecca where Muslims must go on a pilgrimage to at least once in their life. At the age of 25, he married the widow, who was 40 at the time, and they had a good marriage until she died some 26 years later. “If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice” (Surah 4:3). O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her -- specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Surah 33:50 The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234) “Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old.”(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236) "Surely in the Messenger of God you have a good example." Surah 33:21 At the age of 40 in 610 A.D., he was in the cave meditating when he supposedly had his first revelation from the angel Gabriel, and these revelations would continue over the next 23 years. The Quran contains the words Muhammad was given while he was in these trances, which basically teaches that Jews & Christians distorted the pure monotheistic religion of God. Thus, Muhammad was sent to restore and supplement the prophets and apostles' teachings. The Hadith is a collection of words he spoke not in these trances and reflect the everyday life of this man. The Quran was NOT written while Muhammad was alive. After his death, people wrote down what was given by word of mouth and passed from person to person. The same with the Hadith. The Quran is not in any kind of order. It is arranged according to SIZE, not date. Without the Hadith, there is no way to really understand the Quran, but only the Quran is considered inspired. The Hadith is highly regarded above everything else except the Quran. The Hadith gives the historical backgrounds to the parts of the Quran. The Quran cannot be translated, so they think. They accept that there are translations, but the Arabic is too complex, so when you talk with them, they often have the upper hand because they simply say, “You just can't understand the original idea.” There is also a unique feature to the Quran known as abrogation. What this means is if there are passages that contradict each other, the newer one is the correct one and it cancels out the older one. Muhammad’s wife’s cousin, who was a proclaimed Christian that still held on to some of his Islamic views believed that Muhammad was the prophet to come and get the Arabs to stop practicing idolatry according to John 16:13. At the end of these 3 years, he received another revelation telling him to “arise and warn” (Surah 74:2). Ka’ bah Black Stone Then in 619 a.d. Muhammad’s wife dies and shortly thereafter his uncle dies. Muhammad went to the Ka’bah at night and fell asleep. Gabriel wakes him up and gives him a white steed with wings, which transports him to Jerusalem the temple platform where he meets a number of prophets like Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. After Muhammad prays and drinks some milk, the steed takes him through the seven heavens to heaven itself described as “the Lote Tree of the Uttermost End” (Surah 53:14). He is told that Muslims are to pray 50 times a day. When he descends from heaven, Moses asked him how many times Allah said the people were to pray, he told him to go back and ask Allah to reduce the number because the of the weakness of the people. So, he did and it was reduced to 40, but Moses told him to go again. This happened until it got down to 5 and he would not go to heaven again, so 5 became the number of times that Muslims are to pray each day to Allah. This story sounds very similar to when Abraham asked God if He would spare Sodom if 50 righteous people were found and then finally worked it down to 10 righteous people. In the year following his first wife’s death, he claimed to have two dreams in which an angel tells him to marry his best friend Abu Bakr’s daughter who was only six years old. The year 622 becomes an important date to Islam because this is the year when Muhammed was invited to go Medina and escape the persecution he and the other Muslims were receiving at Mecca. So, around 70 families move to Medina. The Muslim era is calculated from the year in which this event took place. The hijra (migration) is a central part of the Muslim reenactment. In 630 Muhammad returned to Mecca. The Ka’bah was purged of idols and Mecca became the center of Muslim worship. Also during this time Muhammad had the Arabs to stop praying toward Jerusalem and had the start praying toward Mecca, which would distinguish them from the Jews. In the year 632 Muhammad died. Before and during the time of his death Muhammad made one fatal mistake that has haunted Islam to this very day. He forgot to appoint or dictate how the new spiritual and political leader of Islam was to be appointed. Because of this fatal error, Muslims have been divided ever since. The two main factions in Islam are the Sunnis and the Shi’ites. After Muhammad’s death, his steadfast friend Abu Bakr was elected as the first caliph (successor to the prophet). The only problem with the elected caliph is there was another legitimate option. The courageous and trustworthy cousin of Muhammad, Ali, who was married to the Muhammad’s favorite daughter, Fatima, could have been chosen. Tradition has it that Muhammad transferred his “spiritual light” to Fatima before his death. Yet, in the midst of funeral arrangements, Fatima and Ali did not participate in the election of the first caliph. Thus, the Sunni’s claim the elected caliphs as their leaders, while the Shi’ites claim the descendants of Muhammad’s family as theirs. Sunni Characteristics: • They follow the elected caliphs and believe the matter of successors is left to the ummah (Muslim community). • They consider themselves traditionalists and emphasize the authority of the Qur’an, Hadith & Sunnah (sayings and practices of the prophet as collected under the Sunni caliphs). Shi’ite Characteristics: • Ardently devoted to the memory of Muhammad’s family: Ali, Fatima, Hasan &Husan. • The Martyrdom of Husan, enacted yearly by Shi’ite’s as Ashura, is what unified the Shi’ites. • Rather than recognize the caliphs, Shi’ites pay allegiance to a succession of Imams (leaders/guides). • Most Shi’ites believe there were twelve Imam’s. These are known as twelver Shi’ites. • The Shi’ites place their authority for this belief upon a statement made by Muhammad: “I leave two great and precious things among you: the Book of Allah and my Household. If you keep hold of both of them, you will never go astray after me.” Twelver Shi’ites believe the Twelfth Imam was commanded by God to go into hiding and to return publicly at the Day of Resurrection. They believe this twelfth descendant of Muhammad is miraculously still alive today. In fact, 1/5 of a Shi’ite Muslims yearly profits are given to the hidden Imam. ISLAM Part 2 An Imam is the leader of the mosque and preaches lessons. Jihad in Islam is defending the Islamic nation and Islam against the attacks of the enemies. Islam is a religion of peace and only will fight against one who fights against one who fights it. These infidels, heathens, perverts, Christians and Allah’s grievers, the Jews, out of envy of peaceful Islam and its prophet – they spread the myth that Islam is promulgated by the sword and violence. These infidels, the accusers of Islam, do not acknowledge Allah’s words. And do not kill anyone whose killing Allah had forbidden, except for a just cause. His first choice was to either continue to embrace the Christianized version of Islam, which focused on peace, love, forgiveness and compassion. This would allow him to keep his job. Or, he could embrace true Islam according to the Quran as Muhammad taught. In one place alcohol was forbidden and in another place it was allowed (Compare Surah 5:90-91 with Surah 47:15). In another place the Quran says that Christians are very good people who love and worship one God, so you may be friends with them (Surah 2:62; 3:113-114). Then you find other verses that Christians must convert, pay tax or be killed by the sword (Surah 9:29). His thoughts were that Allah was making many contradictions or could not make up his mind. Surah 6:39 …Allah sends astray whom He wills and He guides on the Straight Path whom He wills. 1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Surah 30:29 Then who will guide him whom Allah has sent astray? And for such there will be no helpers. Islam is full of discrimination- against women, against non-Muslims, against Christians and most especially against Jews. Hatred is built into the religion. The history of Islam… could only be characterized as a river of blood. They put a cigarette out on the back of his hand and on his lip. They also took a hot poker from a fire and poked it into his left arm. They strapped him to a metal bed and wiped his feet and made him run around, they made him get into a tub of ice water and he passed out. 15 days later he was released and the official report was that they could find any evidence that he had left Islam. I took the book home and opened it at random. My eyes fell on: Matthew 5:38 " You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. My whole body began trembling. I had studied the Quran my whole life – not once did I find words as inspiring as this. I had come face to face with the Lord Jesus. I lost all track of time. It felt as if I were sitting on a cloud above a hill, and in front of me was the greatest teacher in the universe telling me about the secrets of heaven and the heart of God. I could easily compare the Bible to what I had learned from my years of studying the Quran, and there was no doubt in my mind that I was finally encountering the true God (15,16). If you leave Islam for any reason, you will face great persecution and possibly death depending on what part of the country you are in and if the Muslims are truly following the Quran. What happens to a person when he decides to leave Christianity or question it? Do they have secret police come take them by gunpoint and interrogate them using torture? Will your family be ready to kill you because you left Christianity? 2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person. There are six fundamental points of Islamic belief: 1. There Is One God And His Name Is Allah. The name Allah literally means "The God." Islam is highly monotheistic. A Muslim writes, "We must believe in the existence and oneness of Allah...that He has no partner, that there is no comparable being..." (Shaltout, p. 91). Therefore, as we shall see in detail later, Muslims do not believe in the Deity of Christ, and they label Christians as "polytheists" or idolaters (El Dareer, p. 10). 2. Allah has revealed himself through his prophet Muhammad, who is the "seal of the prophets", the last and greatest of them all. Islam claims to accept Moses, Christ, and many other Biblical prophets as true spokesmen for God. However, Muhammad had the last word even though many of his words contradict the words of the Bible. 3. "The holy book of the Quran is the completion of this revelation." (Sabini, p. 8). The Quran is of slightly shorter than the New Testament. It is divided into 114 chapters called "Surahs". Individual verses are called "Ayahs". Muslims believe that the Quran is Allah's perfect and complete revelation as it exists in the Arabic language. They claim that it "cannot be fully translated into any other language" and that "It is impossible, therefore, to reproduce the meaning, beauty, and fascination of the Qu'ran in any other form" (Abdalati, p. 3). An English translation of the Quran is therefore considered "a human interpretation in a different language and falls far short of the forcefulness of the original book." (Abdalati, p. 4). 4. An oral tradition of the things Muhammad taught, exemplified, and approved of is called the "Hadith." Often the Hadith establishes new obligations and prohibitions for which no clear reference can be found in the Qu'ran." (Draz, p. 39). " Muslims will keep the teaching of Haddith that do not contradict the Quran ...because no genuine Tradition of Muhammad can ever disagree with the Qu'ran or be opposed to it." (Abdalati. p. 21). It should be noted here that the two major factions within Islam (Sunnites and Shi'ites) disagree sharply over which traditions recorded in the Haddith are genuine and authoritative (Sabini, p. 15). Basically the Sunnis accept them all, but Shi’ites reject the traditions written by the second wife of Muhammad. 5. Based on the Quran, Islam holds that there are at least three classes of spirit beings other than man; these are angels, jinns, and devils. The angels are ruled by four Archangels, the most visible of whom is Gabriel. Jinns are the desert spirits created of fire, which Arabs believed in long before Muhammad. The Quran's view of Satan and devils is similar to that presented in the Bible. (Sabini, p. 10). 6. In the afterlife, the soul remains in the grave where it receives a foretaste of its fate until the judgment on the last day, at which time Allah will send whom he wills to heaven or to hell according to their conduct on earth. (Sabini, p. 8). The 5 Pillars of Islam. 1. Statement of belief. A person must say that “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” This simple statement that all faithful Muslims say is known as Shahadah. This statement means that a Muslim will serve and obey God by keeping the teachings and practicing of Muhammad. There are four more things you must do as a Muslim, but saying the Shahadah with sincerity will make you a Muslim. These words are spoken by Muslims all the time. They say it in the streets, in their mosques, at times of war, and at funerals. The chanting of these words “gives strength” to the Muslim. This is certainly different than what the Bible teaches about becoming a Christian. 2. Prayer. Muslims must pray 5 times a day while facing Mecca. Prayers are at dawn, afternoon, later afternoon, after sunset and night. Special prayers are on Friday. They must wash in a prescribed manner before prayer, and they have ritual body positions they follow as they pray. They gather at the mosque at noon on Friday, and they recite prescribed prayers. Each prayer begins with a recitation of the opening chapter from the Qur’an. In contrast, the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing but we are not to use vain repetition (1 Thess. 5:17; Mt. 6:7). 3. Giving alms. This is similar to a tax. It is paid at the end of the year and given to those in need. They are to give 2.5%, but if they want to, they can give more. Again, this is different than what the Bible teaches about giving: 2 Corinthians 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 4. Fasting. Fasting takes place during the Islamic month of Ramadan, which starts at the first visual sighting of the ninth crescent moon according to the Islamic Calendar. Muslims cannot eat or drink during the daylight hours, but they can eat and drink something light before daylight and have a larger meal and a large amount of water in the evening. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing, are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year if they are healthy and able. Children begin to fast (and to observe prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier. While there is nothing wrong with fasting and it even assumed that one will fast in the N.T., it is not commanded to fast in the N.T. especially not for a month during daylight hours. 5 Pilgrimage. Muslims are supposed to make a pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime to Mecca and be part of a 5 day ritual. Though only required to go once, over two million people go to Mecca each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. The annual pilgrimage begins in the 12th month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, sometimes this event happens in the summer or in the winter. Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments that strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before Allah. John 4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. John 14:15 " If you love Me, keep My commandments. Surah 101: 6. Then as for him whose balance (of good deeds) will be heavy,7. He will live a pleasant life (in Paradise) .8. But as for him whose balance (of good deeds) will be light, 9. He will have his home in Hawiyah (pit, i.e. Hell). There this is one way that a Muslim can be guaranteed to go to Paradise and that is by dying in jihad – which means you die while fighting the enemies of Islam. Legal definition of jihad by Islamic law: Jihad is fighting anybody who stands in the way of spreading Islam. Of fighting anyone who refuses to enter into Islam (based on Surah 8:39). Surah 4: 74. Let those (believers) who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter fight in the Cause of Allah, and whoso fights in the Cause of Allah, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward. Surah 9: 89. For them Allah has got ready Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success. While we may think they are just lunatics, suicidal, or have no regard to human life, the truth of the matter is that they are obeying what they believe to be the words of Allah: Surah 9:5 … fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.