The Religion of Islam

What is Islam?

"Islam" is an Arabic word which means "deliverance," "surrender," "submission," [1] or "subjugation." This word comes from the same root as the Arabic word "salam", which means "peace." The word "Muslim," on the other hand, means "one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background." [2] Hence to the Muslims, "Islam" means "submission to the will of God".

These definitions, in my opinion, are misleading for even in a Christian's point of view, his faith in God can be called Islam, furthermore, he can also be called a Muslim for he also submits to God. So we are compelled to redefine the meaning of Muslim (or Moslem) as,

A person

who is a believer or a follower of Islam as

relating to or derived from

Muhammad and his teachings in the Qur'an and its traditions.

Muslims don't like to be called "Muhammedans" or "Muhammadans" for to them it means you think that they worship Muhammad.

Founder

The founder is Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (AD 570-AD 632) who was "unlettered" and was orphaned at the age of six. [3] His mother's name was Amina. He died at 632 AD at the age of 63 with 12 wives which includes Aisha, his wife of 9 years of age and the wife of his adopted son Zaid. [1]

Brief History

The Kalima. One night around AD 610 while Muhammad (at the age of 40 [4]) was on the Mt. Hira [5] he claimed to have heard a voice of the angel Gabriel commanding him to "read" or to "recite" (96:1-6). He alleged that he received a divine commanded to proclaim the "Kalima," [5] that is, "there is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

But for many years starting at beginning of his "prophetic" mission, he was met by a heavy business boycott and religious persecutions from polytheists whose income was coming from the visiting pilgrims who worship at the many idols in the Ka'aba in Makkah. [5]

The Hijrah. When the people of the City of Madina (which is north of Makkah, also known as the "City of the Prophet" or formerly City of Yathrib) invited Muhammad to live in their city, the Quraysh tribe in Makkah planned to kill him. [5]

Informed of the scheme, Muhammad and some of his followers hid in the cave of Mt. Thaur. They hid there for 3 nights before proceeding to Madina (or Medina). [5] They proceeded only after having been guaranteed of housing, food and tribal protection as refugees. [1] Muhammad alleged that Allah gave them the command to emigrate, that was in AD 622. [4]

At AD 630, Muhammad with 10,000 men took Makkah unopposed and destroyed the idols there. [5]

Muhammad died in Madina at AD 632 "at the age of 63" [4]. His parents were Abdallah and Amina of then poor Hashimite clan belonging to the tribe of Koreish. or ("Quraish" or "Quraysh") Like all men, he understood himself to be under sin and asked Allah for forgiveness (2:268; 3:133; 4:106; 5:95; 33:38; 40:56; 47:21).

Source of Authority

The Qur'an. Also called Al-Qur'an which literally means, “the reading," or "the recitation". It is believed to be the "final and complete divine revelation superseding all the rest." It is allegedly the pure words of Allah, "pure" in the sense that it is "without admixture of human thought or content." [6] It is not written in prose but in a memorable poetic form. [1] According to Muhammad the angel Gabriel (also known to them as the Holy Spirit) dictated all the words to him and consequently being the Word of Allah it is Divine and without contradiction (4:82). However, as we find out in history, it was only after the death of Muhammad, when the third caliph Uthman ibn Affan [there were seccessions of calips they were: (a)Abu Bakr as Siddiq, (b) 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab, (c) 'Uthman Ibn Affan (c) 'All Ibn Abi Talib] [7] put up a final draft of the different transmissions among Muhammad's followers.

The Qur'an is supposed to be memorized by every Muslim in the Arabic tongue regardless of nationality. This is despite the Majority of Muslims are non-Arabic speaking; for example, the Indonesian Muslims compose 90% of the total Muslim Population. Interpretation is not allowed on the early stages of memorization, criticism is also prohibited among the Muslims. [1] The Qur'an was allegedly revealed in Arabic to Muhammad, over a period of twenty-three years. [4] But despite the Muslim claims of association with the previous Judeo-Christian revelations, the Qur'an contradicts the revelations which preceded it. For example, it speaks of animal sacrifices among Christians (22:34, Yusuf Ali); it also speaks of Jews calling Ezra as the Son of God (9:30); it also

speaks of Jesus teaching even up to his old age (5:110, Shakir's). There are also silly stories as well, like the talking ants (27:18-19), the talking Hoopoe bird (27:20-28). There are historical inconsistencies as well, for example, the existence of Samaritan ("Samiri") (BC 870) in the time of Moses (20:85-88, 95); the foretelling of the Gospel to Moses (7:155-157); Mary as the sister of Aaron (19:27-28, 66:12); Pharaoh in the time of Babel (28:8, 38; 40:36-37).

The Sunna and the Hadith. Belief in the Sunna (or Sunnah) and the Hadith is undeniably part of the Islamic faith. It is the second authority for Muslims. The Sunna is the practice and example of Muhammad; it is the way Muhammad lived his life. The Hadith is either the narration about the life of Muhammad or of things that he did, said, approved (even tacit or silent approvals), his physical appearance or traits, which is in contrast the Sunna which is about his life. [8] The Hadith encompasses approximately 20,000 sayings of Muhammad that were passed on by word of mouth [1] (although some conservatively estimated at 10,000 [4]). The Arabic word Hadith literally means "Tradition." The plural of Hadith is called Ahadith, in Arabic [9].

The Hadith contains incredible stories about Muhammad, stories like the time when he spat into a dry well and then it watered 1,400 men (Al-Bara). Or the water which flowed from the finger nails of Muhammad (Abdullah). Or the time when the moon was cut in halves (Ibn Masud and Abdullah). It also contains stories about the bewitching of Muhammad (Aisha). His teaching about the mortgaging of sons and wives (Jabir bin 'Abdullah); his order to beat a man who drunk wine (Abu Huraira). His command to kill those who leaves Islam (Ali); the assurance of Paradise for those who dies fighting for Islam (Abu Huraira). These examples can be found in Sahih Bukhari.

There are six generally accepted Sunnite Ahadith and these are called "Al-Kutubu's-Sitta" in English, "The Six Books." [9]

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Al-Bukhari (AD 870) [10] Muslim (AD 875) [11] Abu Dawud (AD 888) [12] Al-Tirmidhi (AD 892) Al-Nasa'i (AD 915) Ibn Madja (AD 886)

The most important Hadith collection for Shi'ites, on the other hand, is called "Al-Kafi fi usuli'd-din." [9]

The Hadith can be classified four fold according to authority, these are: (1) "Qudsi" - Divine; a revelation from Allah; relayed with the words of the Muhammad; (2) "Marfu" - elevated; a narration from Muhammad, e.g. I heard the prophet saying ...; (3) "Mauquf"- stopped: a narration from a companion only, e.g., we were commanded to ...; (4) "Maqtu" - severed: a narration from a successor. [8]

It can also be classified four fold according to reliability: (1) "Sahih" which is sound or acceptable; (2) Hasan which is good and the source is known; (3) "Da'if" which is "weak," and; (4) "Maudu" which is fabricated or forged. [8]

The previous revelations. They also believe in the Psalms of David (17:55; 21:105 "Zabur") and the Torah (2:53; 3:3, 93; 5:44, 46, 48, 68; 6:154; 21:48; 10:94; 11:110; 12:111; 21:105; 28:49; 32:23; 41:45; "Taurat") which is among Israel's greatest books and the Gospel (5:46, 68; 10:94; 12:111; 21:105 "Injeel"). Which is altogether called the Scripture (2:85, 113, 136, 213; 3:3, 84, 187; 4:47, 136; 4:164; 5:48, 68, 77; 12:111; 16:43; 21:105; 23:49; 29:46; 37:117-118; 40:5354; 42:13; 46:12; "Al-Kitab"). However the Muslims in general believe that the Bible the Christians have now has been tampered reasoning that previous Scriptures were meant only for a limited period of time appealing to 2:79; 3:79; 4:46; 6:91; and 5:15-16. [7]

Major Beliefs In Orthodox Islam

Allah, Literally, "the God," or "the one and only true God." The Muslims, like the Jews and the Christians, believe that there is absolutely only one sovereign God (35:8). Through the course of time Allah has been regarded as the name of this deity (5:75-76) but in contrast to Christianity, Muslims believe that Allah is the author of both good and evil. [5] Allah can also be deceptive (14:4).

Why are the Arab Christians call God as "Allah?" The answer is simple, "it just so happened that it is the closest equivalent for "God" in Arabic. [13]

To the Muslims the sole governor of the universe is incomprehensible, he is everything and he is nothing. Many Muslims believe that there are genuine Christians (2:146; 3:23, 113, 119; 4:199; 5:82) but they also believe that many Christians are "infidels" (4:171; 5:73; 116) who worship 3 gods which is a "shirk" or an unforgivable sin (4:48, 116) in Islam. Another important contrast is how Christians regard God as their Father in Heaven and how the Muslims regard Allah as their Master, making them mere slaves of the "great" Allah and lastly, the Muslims believe that Allah does not beget and hence he has no son (5:18; 9:29,30). [1]

The Holy Spirit, the Angels, the Jinns and Satan. The Muslims believe in the angels (good creatures) and the "jinns" (evil creatures that lure men away from submission to Allah) that can propagate their kinds. [5] They also believe in the existence of Shaytan or Iblis (Satan) [5]. They also deny the Deity of the Holy Spirit ("Ruhul-qudus") believing Him to be a created spirit at the level of angels and demons that were created out of nothing. They regard the Holy Spirit (16:102) as the angel Gabriel (19:17).

To them Gabriel is entrusted with divine revelations; Michael in charge of rain and the growth of the plants; Israfil who blows the horn at the time of thunder-bolting and the resurrection; and the Angel of Death, the Keeper of the mountains and Malik the keeper of Hell. And many more others. [7]

The Biblical Messengers. They also believe in the biblical prophets ("rasul") or messengers (4: 165) which includes "Isa" (or "Eesa," coming from the Syriac "Yeshu") [5] or Jesus, the son of Mary. (4:171; 9:30; 33:40), Noah, Abraham, Moses and David.

To them the first rasul was Noah (4: 163) and the last was Muhammad (33:40). To them the best (33:7) of the messengers is Muhammad then Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus, son of Mary [7] Most of them though, on the basis of the accounts found in the Qur'an, believe that Jesus is the Word of God, the Spirit from God, the Messiah, a sinless living person who is now in heaven (43:61) who will return to judge those who are in the earth (3:45, 49; 4:158)

Isa is called the "Word of God" (3:45, "Kalimatullah") and the "spirit from Him" (4:171, "Ruhunminhu," cf. 58:22). They also believe Isa performed miracles only by Allah's leave (2:87, 253; 5:110). But they deny the incarnation of Isa (1 John 2:22-23; 4:2-3), they also deny the crucifixion and death of the Christ ("al-Maseeh") on the cross (4:157-159) believing that Allah never leaves his prophets to perish, they also deny that Jesus (the son of Mary) is the Son of God ("ibn Allah"). They also believe in many unbiblical miracles as well including his speech during infancy, the making of a bird out of clay. There are biblical miracles as well as healing the sick, and curing the blind and reviving the dead. (3:49) [3] They believe in the virgin birth of Isa (3:59) and thus regard Mary (Maryam) as one of the purest women in the women of all creation (3:42-47). [4]

The Afterlife and Fate. They believe also in the life after death (14:27; 55:56-57; 52:20), in the resurrection and in the Judgment Day. They believe in the existence of hell and the punishment in it (18:29; 33: 64-6). They believe in the reward to be found the Garden or Paradise (65-11; 16:32) for Muslim based on his good works. To them a Savior is not required. In this religion, salvation is a matter of doing good works, or about the "record and the scales" (6:160; 17:13-14; 23: 102-4; 84:7-12; 99:7-8) [7] of good and bad deeds. Most of them believe that even non-Muslims who have

done good will be rewarded (4:199; 11:115; 99:7-8) though the decision belongs solely to Allah (2:62). [3]

Christians along with the Jews are called "the People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab), since the original Torah and Gospel were also divinely revealed and they shared in the prophetic tradition" [4] (5:69).

Muslims also believe that they have the free will yet they also believe in fate whether good or bad calling it a Divine Decree. [7]

They have a different picture of Paradise which they also called the Garden. It is claimed that "huris" or "houris" or beautiful or exquisite virgins (36:56; 37:40-49; 44:51-55; 52:17-20; 55:56-58, 70; 55:72; 78:33) and rivers of wine (37:45-48;

47:15) and vineyards (78:31) and wealth (56:7-40;

76:13-21) and young and handsome servant boys (52:24; 56:17; 76:19) await the pious Muslims.

Dietary Regulations. They are not allowed to eat pork or pork products or meat of animals who died before being slaughtered or meat of carnivorous animals. Muslims are allowed only to eat clean food which they call "Halal" in comparison with the "Kosher" of the Jews. They are also not allowed to drink blood or wine or any illegal drugs. [3]

Polygamy. Muslims are allowed to have at most four wives on the condition that he can equally provide for them (4:3-34), though Muhammad himself had 12 wives (after the age of 50?) which includes the 9 year-old Aesha. [14]

The Five Pillars of Islam

The first pillar is the belief ("Iman") and the declaration ("Shahadah" i.e., "witness") of faith (called the "Kalima"): "There is no god except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." ("La ilaha ila Allah; Muhammadur-rasul Allah.").

The second pillar is a religious five times a day prayer ("Salat" or "Salah") facing Makkah: These five times are during the dawn (Fajr), immediately after noon (Dhuhr), mid-afternoon ('Asr), sunset (Maghrib), and early night (Isha'). Friday is the day of public worship for Muslims. Prayers are led by any learned person who knows the Qur'an and is chosen by the congregation. He (or she, if the congregation is all women) is called the imam. Ritual cleanliness and ablution are required before prayer, as are clean clothes and location, and the removal of shoes. Special is the Friday noon prayer, called Jum'ah. It, too, is obligatory and is to be done in a mosque, in congregation. It is accompanied by a sermon (Khutbah), and it replaces the normal Dhuhr prayer. They are said in

Arabic, the language of the revelation, though personal supplications (Du'ah) can be offered in one's own language. Worshippers face the Qiblah, the direction of the Ka'bah in the city of Makkah. [4]

The third pillar is the daily dawn-to-sunset fasting ("Sawm" or "Saum") during the entire month of Ramadan. (Except the very old and the insane.) Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but must make up an equal number of days later in the year. For the physically unable, they must feed a needy person for each day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayers) from puberty, although many is said to start earlier. [4]

The fourth pillar is the giving of "Zakat" (9:103) or alms-tax which is 2.5% of a Muslim's total savings [5] peovided that this capital reaches a certain minimum amount that which is not consumed by its owner [4]. This is also said to be given to the poor or to the Islamic Movement. [5]

The fifth pillar is the pilgrimage (called "Hajj") to Makkah, Saudi Arabia at least once in their lifetime, that is, if they can afford it financially and physically [3]. To them this is the ultimate form of worship. [4]

Islamic Sects

The Sunnites. They make up the majority of all Muslims (85-90%). They are traditionalists deriving their name in the word "Sunnah" that is, "the deeds and the words of the prophets." (Major doctrinal distinction:) To them the "imams" are mere leaders of the Friday prayer service. [6]

The Shi’ites. They are most populous in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and parts of Africa. They are also called the "sect of Ali" (the son-in-law-nephew of Muhammad). The breakaway happened when Muhammad died and an election was made to replace him as caliph. (Major doctrinal distinction:) To them "imams" are "divinely appointed and divinely guided leaders." They believe in charismatic leaders like the "ayatollah's" than the "book". [6] They are called "Shia", and they follow the sayings and the views of Muhammad's son-in-law Ali, as the rightful successor of Muhammad. [3]

Other Islamic School of Thoughts:

Kharijites. "The earliest faction to split away from mainstream Islam was that of the Kharijites. Their name derives from an Arabic verb meaning "to throw out," and denotes their revolutionary commitment to ridding Islam of apostate elements, such as the Umayyads. While they do not fully emerge until after Uthman's death, it is clear from early Kharijite sermons that their movement

began to crystalize during the rule of Uthman whom they accused of introducing "innovation" into Islam." [20]

The Suffis. They are called "tasawwuf" in Arabic. They are the mystical Muslims which started in the 8th or the 9th century. The movement is esoteric and monistic. They are the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam. [15] It is an "Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. It consists of a variety of mystical paths that are designed to ascertain the nature of man and God and to facilitate the experience of the presence of divine love and wisdom in the world." [16]

The Dervishes. They are those who belong to a division of the Sufi Sect. "Dervish" is an Arabic word "door sill," as in standing at or having crossed the threshold of enlightenment. It means "someone seriously dedicated to their spiritual unfoldment [sic] through the way of the Sufi." [19] They have a ritual dance characterized by the right hand facing the heaven while the left hand is facing the earth while spinning which represents the planets revolving around God.

The Muatazilites. Infuenced by the Greek-Byzantine thoughts and philosophy, [1] Mutazilla "is a rational school of theology in Islam. It was first connected with the names of Wasil ibn Ata (d. 748) and Amr ibn Ubayd (d. 761), who taught in the city of Basra, Iraq." [18]

The Ahmadiyyat. They are the messianic sect of Islam. The Ahmadiyya Movement was established in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in a small and remote village, Qadian, in the Punjab, India. He claimed to be the expected reformer of the latter days, the Awaited One of the world community of religions (The Mahdi and Messiah). [17]

Other sects or schools as follows: the Aisawijins who extoll Isa and his miracles in the Qur'an [1] The Indonesian Islam (The most populated, 90% of all Muslim in the World) which are mixed with Animism. [1] And the Wahhabis, the Islamilis, the Zaidis, the Fatimids, the Nizari, the Alawis, the Druze and the Bahai and the Qur'an-Only Movement initiated by Dr. Rashad Khalifa, among many others.

Manner of Polemics

The Bible has been tampered with but not the Qur'an. They often allege the lack of extant manuscripts supporting the Bible, they will also allege contradictions therein by quoting sometimes atheistic sources or by misinterpreting passages, they will also misrepresent Christian doctrines or confuse Christian doctrines with heretic ones, particularly the Trinity and the Atonement. Most of

them are really sincerely convinced that they are pointing the weaknesses of the Bible but sadly some of them are aware that there are already refutations to what they would like allege for Islam is a religion that permits its followers to bend the truth to achieve its goals.

Qur'an is the Last and Final Testament. They will point to how the Qur'an was perfectly preserved, its eloquence and beauty, its prophecy about the vast Muslim expansion they now enjoy. They will also allege that it has scientifically tested statements.

Paul was a Messenger of Satan who greatly influenced Christianity. They will allege that Paul infiltrated Christianity and transformed it to what it is now--having a teaching that is contrary to the "Islamic" teachings of Christ.

Muhammad was prophesied in the Bible. They will point Ahmed-sound-a-likes or to ancient Biblical words that have similar meaning to the name of Muhammad, no matter how absurd it is. They will point you to Isaiah 42:10-11, Solomon 5:16, Deuteronomy 18:15-18; 33:2, and John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, among others.

Jesus, the son of Mary was not crucified. The detail of their allegation here varies, some of them appeal to Substitution Theory, some of them believes in the Swoon Theory. But one thing is for sure, to them Christ did not suffer in the hands of the Jews by believing that Allah does not allow his prophets to suffer, much less die in the hands of unbelievers.

Refuting the Muslims Polemics

by abuGian

Before we begin, first secure a copy of the translation of the Qur'an, preferably from Yusuf Ali, Shakir or Pickthal, but if you have the means and if it is possible, compare different translations of the references given here so you will have a complete grasp of the points that will have to be raised. Translation of the Qur'an is freely available and downloadable from the internet. Unless otherwise specified all Qur'an quotes are based on Yusuf Ali's translation.

The typical Muslim polemics in this page: The Bible Has Been Tampered With But Not The Qur'an. Qur'an Is The Last and Final Testament. Paul Was A Messenger of Satan Who Greatly Influenced Christianity.

Muhammad Was Prophesied In The Bible. Jesus, The Son of Mary Was Not crucified.

The Bible Has Been Tampered With But Not The Qur'an.

They often allege the lack of extant manuscripts supporting the Bible, they will also allege contradictions therein by quoting sometimes atheistic sources or by misinterpreting passages, they will also misrepresent Christian doctrines or confuse Christian doctrines with heretic ones, particularly the Trinity and the Atonement. Most of them are really sincerely convinced that they are pointing the weaknesses of the Bible but sadly some of them are aware that there are already refutations to what they would like allege for Islam is a religion that permits its followers to bend the truth to achieve its goals.

This is the easiest allegation to counter. Simply ask the polemicists where can they find such a claim in the Qur'an because according to their own sacred book or according to Muhammad in the Seventh Century, God gave the Scriptures as a clear guide (Surah 2:213; 2:53; 5:44; 6:154; 23:49; 28:49; 32:23; 37:117-118; 40:53-54; 46:12). Also ask them how they understand 5:46 which says,

"And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil)." (Surah 5:46. Emphasis added, Pickthal's Quran Translation)

Because the Qur'an is also said to be,

"It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book {referring to the Qur'an}, confirming what went before it {referring to the Scriptures}; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong)." (Surah 3:3. Emphasis added. See also Surah 5:48; 46:12)

Then show them the unity of the Old Testament (which includes the Torah or the "Taurat" and the Psalms or the "Zabur") and the New Testament (which includes the Gospel or the "Injeel") regarding its main theme (Jesus Christ and the Way of Salvation) and then ask them, if the New Testament confirms the Old Testament while maintaining the unity in doctrines and of records, how does the Qur'an confirm the Old and the New Testaments? By contradicting it?

Ask them how the Scripture was corrupted, when did the corruption occur, and up to what extent did the corruption of the Scriptures occur. Ask them if they have considered that Christians still have more than 24,000 complete and partial manuscripts dated as far as the Second Century from different places in Europe and Asia. That is to say that if some manuscripts were corrupted in Asia, we still have other copies to compare it with from Europe. True enough we have all of this testable and observable evidences to prove that the Scripture is supernaturally preserved by God.

Furthermore, we find that contrary to what the Muslim polemicists claim, the Qur'an or Muhammad approved of the copy of the Scriptures during his time (in the Seventh Century); admonishing people to believe it (Surah 2:136; 3:184; 4:47, 136; 29:46; 42:13); to consult it (Surah 4:26; 5:77; 10:94; 16:43; 21:7) and not to hide it (Surah 3:187) because it is the foundation of faith (Surah 2:113; 3:93; 5:68). That, it is to be followed (Surah 6:155) because it is from God (Surah 6:89; 41:45; 11:110) by inspiration (Surah 16:43) and it is settled in heaven (Surah 21:105 cf. 85:21-22; 4:163). That God is its protector (Surah 17:2) from the corruption of its message (Surah 15:9) therefore none can alter it (Surah 6:34, 115; 10:64; 48:23).

"The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all." (Surah 6:115. Emphasis added. See also Surah 15:9; 6:34; 10:64; 18:27; 48:23)

Make them realize that every criticism they hurl against the preservation, inspiration and authority of the Scripture is a criticism against the preservation, inspiration and authority of the Qur'an, after all, if man can alter the Scriptures which is the Word of God, man can also alter the Qur'an.

If you have to go through Surah 2:78-79,

"And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: 'This is from Allah,' to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby." (Emphasis added.)

Please understand that the context reveals that it does not speak of global corruption of the Scriptures, for it speaks of "illiterates who do not understand but rather misinterpret the meaning of the Scriptures." After all not all Christians are alike (Surah 2:146; 3:23; 3:113; 3:119).

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Qur'an Is The Last and Final Testament.

They will point to how the Qur'an was perfectly preserved, its eloquence and beauty, its prophecy about the vast Muslim expansion they now enjoy. They will also allege that it has scientifically tested statements and that it is without contradictions.

Christians must be made aware that even after the death of Muhammad, there was no such book as a Qur'an, it was only collated during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (Pickthall, quoted by J. P. Gudel) then it was during the Caliphate of Uthman all the variant manuscripts were burned. Having these in mind we can ask the question: How can Muslims prove that the words of "given" to Muhammad was actually preserved? Sure it can be memorized but even the "Qurra" (those who memorized the entire Qur'an) and the Shi'ites opposed the Uthmanic Recension?

Are eloquence and beauty sufficient evidence to prove that the Qur'an is the Last and Final Testament of God? Even the English playwright and poet Shakespeare (1564-1616) can match the beauty and eloquence of the Qur'an.

Can we consider Muhammad's victory speech a prophecy? I mean, almost all world conquerors, like Hitler, made such statements which came to pass. If you are a potential recruit to an army which is to go for a battle would you hear something short of a promise of victory? Now top that with a promise of paradise with beautiful women and young servant boys. (Surah 5:36).

And what scientific statements? Are stars supposed to be thrown at the devils (See also Surah 15:16-18; 37:6-10; 72:8-9; 86:2-3)?

"And we have, (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with Lamps, and We have made such (Lamps) (as) missiles to drive away the Evil Ones, and have prepared for them the Penalty of the Blazing Fire." (Surah 67: 5.)

What unity? For brevity sake we shall consider two of Qur'an's numerous internal contradictions: (a) The angel or angels who talked to Mary Surah 3:42, 45 vs. Surah 19:17-21. (b) Conflict in the number of creation days Surah 7:54; 10:3; 11:7 25:59 (6 days) vs. Surah 41:9-12 (8 days). You can see for yourself the historical inconsistencies therein, for example, the Mary mother of Jesus as the sister of Aaron (Surah 19:27-28, 66:12); and the "coexistence" of Abraham (2000 BC) and Solomon (950 BC).

How many angels talked to Mary?

Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations. (Surah 3:42. Emphasis added. )

But in another Surah the account says only one angel:

She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. (Surah 19:17.)

It seems that the popular negation to this contradiction is to say that there were two separate occasion when the angels appeared. However, when you study the context we are compelled to ask how come Mary's surprised expression remains the same? Is it a lack of faith on her part? Compare,

She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" (Surah 19:20.)

And, Surah 3:47,

She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!

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Paul Was A Messenger of Satan Who Greatly Influenced Christianity.

They will allege that Paul infiltrated Christianity and transformed it to what it is now--having a teaching that is contrary to the "Islamic" teachings of Christ.

First of all we need a little background on the life of the Apostle Paul. We also need to look at the dates of his important letters and his martyrdom. We also need some background checks on his conversion experience and how the other Apostles treated his writings and his ministry. And lastly we will have to compare the important doctrines explained by Paul, compare it with Jesus and/or the other Apostles.

It is very important for Christians to understand this kind of polemic because it seeks to discredit 13 epistles of Paul and consequently discrediting the 2 Gospel accounts of his traveling companion Dr. Luke. We must emphasize here that although Paul, having written 13 epistles, was the greatest expounder of Christianity he was not its founder.

Paul and His Works. Paul's letters to the Thessalonians were dated between AD 50 and 51; his letters to the Corinthians were dated AD 56-57; Galatians, AD 55-57; Romans, between AD 58; Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, either AD 60 or 61; Philemon, AD 61; Titus, 64-66; and his letters to Timothy were between, AD 64-66. In summary his letters started as early as AD 50 and was cut short at AD 66. We ask, "For what reason? Since he said,

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

We also know from history that it was Nero who ordered the beheading of Paul (Eusebius, Book2 Chapter 25) and that Nero died on AD 68, therefore Paul could have written his last letter somewhere in the spring of AD 68 or in AD 67. And evident in that letter, Paul said,

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:6,7

A Little Background Check. We read from Acts 5:34-39 and 22:3 that Paul (formerly called Saul of Tarsus) was taught by the famous Rabbi named Gamaliel and was a Roman Jew (Acts 9:11; 21:39; 22:3; 16:37; 22:25-26). We read from Acts 9:7 while in Jewish zeal, Paul's went his way to persecute Christians (Acts 7:58; 22:4, 20; 26:9; Galatians 1:13) a along the way he encountered the resurrected Christ where he was blinded this was not a mere claim from Paul, there were eye witnesses (Acts 9:1-18; 26:14-18).

How can a former persecutor of Christianity become its founder? Don't you think that the question assumes that Christianity (Acts 11:26) was founded first? Besides, Paul was not even one of the Twelve (Romans 16:7; 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 11:5; 12:11), so how could he have successfully imposed his "perversions" on the entire scattered Church (Acts 8:1)? Not to mentioned he was first mentioned only in Acts 7.

The Approval of the Other Apostles. John was the last of the Apostles, his was the last of the Divinely inspired writings of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures (1,2,3 Epistles, Gospel Account and Revelations, c. 90-95 AD). He said (tacitly approving the writings and ministry of Paul),

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." (John 21:25)

Last of Apostle Peter's letter (the Second Epistle) was written AD 64 and we read him explicitly approving the writings and the ministry of Paul,

"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you." (Emphasis added. 2 Peter 3:15)

We read in Galatians 1:11-12 is the source of Paul's teachings:

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (See also 1 Corinthians 11:23; 15:3-4)

Let us now compare the teachings of Paul with Jesus and the other Apostles:

Did Paul admonish the abolishment of the Mosaic Law? Paul was referring to the ceremonial components of the Law which was ritualistic in nature and was given exclusively to the Jews (Colossians 2:13-15). If we compare it with what Jesus said starting from Matthew 5:21, we realize that Jesus is also upholding the moral component or the spirit of the Law. Furthermore we read him saying that he is the fulfillment of the moral and ceremonial component of the Law.

Was the Atonement a Pauline innovation? On the contrary! Jesus said the bread was His body and the wine was His blood (John 6:51). He also said,

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28)

And,

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

Which was earlier prophesied in the Old Testament,

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Emphasis added, Isaiah 53:6)

See also Matthew 26 and Mark 14 regarding the last supper also in Exodus and Leviticus, where the Lord commanded many different sacrifices for atonement.

Even the Muslims perform a sacrifice ("Qurbaani") of a permissible ("halal") animal (like a sheep, a goat, a ram or a cow or a camel, per family) after Salaat-Al-Eid and before the Maghrib of 13th ZulHijjah during Eid-ul-Azha or the Bakr-Eid this is in commemoration of Surah 37:100-109; 108:2 cf. 3:183; 22:37. Having this in mind ask them, therefore, to consider this,

"And We {Allah} ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times." (Surah 37:107, 108.)

Salvation by Grace through faith was invented by Paul? On the contrary! Jesus said, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:13-14). Jesus taught that salvation is free and it comes by faith in Him by which we can have His Spirit who cause us to do good works.

The Ministry of Jesus was limited only to the Jews? (Matthew 7:6; 10:6 and 15:24.) Matthew 7:6 which says "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you," does not really refer to the Gentiles per se rather it refers to the narrow-minded or close-minded religious zealots. It is so

(28:19,20) Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”
because in the same book The command in Matthew 10:6 which says "go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." and the statement of Jesus in Matthew 15:24 which says "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." were both taken out of context. First of all Matthew 10:6 was limited only at the beginning of the Ministry of Jesus whereby his "time [was] not yet come" (John 7:6). Secondly, what was said in Matthew 15:24 was only to disclose the great faith of the Canaanite woman. Observe that in v.28 Jesus said, "O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee

even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." Jesus, none the less, granted her request. Also Jesus said that the lost sheep of Israel and the non-Israelites must be brought together in one fold,

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)

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Muhammad Was Prophesied In The Bible.

They will point Ahmed-sound-a-likes or to ancient Biblical words that have similar meaning to the name of Muhammad, no matter how absurd it is. They will point you to Deuteronomy 18:15-18; 33:2; Isaiah 42:10-11; Songs 5:16; and, John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, among others.

They have a problem with Songs and Isaiah because the claim of the Qur'an extends only from the Law and the Gospel,

"Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the [L]aw and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper." (Surah 7:157. Emphasis added, See also Surah 61:6)

According to the Qur'an, Muhammad was prophesied in the Law and in the Gospel. Remember that the Heb. "Tanaakh" (Old Testament) is divided into three parts (1) the Torah (the Law or the "Pentateuch," lit., Five-Books); (2) the Prophets; and, (3) The Kethubim or the Writings or the Psalms. And that the Song of Songs or Songs of Solomon belongs to Kethubim or the Writings which includes the Wisdom writings (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes), the Poetry (Psalms, Lamentations, Song of Songs), and some Stories/History (Ruth, Esther, Daniel, Esra, Nehemiah, Chronicles). And that Isaiah belongs to the Second Division of the Tanaakh which is the writings of the Prophets. This is how it was divided even in the time of Jesus' ministry,

"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24:44)

Anyway let us answer their contentions.

Deuteronomy 18:15-18; 33:2. They will contend that Muhammad is referred to as the Prophet from among the brethren, after all he was from the line of Ishmael the first born son of Abraham, and then they will show a table of comparison between Muhammad and Moses while showing a table of contrast between Jesus and Moses. But you must be keen in your observation of these tables because with the criteria they post is also applicable to you--not only to Muhammad. Let's have our own table of comparison and contrast:

1.

Moses (Exodus 1:17; Exodus 2:2-10) and Jesus (Matthew 2:16) was saved as a baby. Not Muhammad.

2.

Moses (Exodus 16:15; 33:13-14; Numbers 9:8-9) and Jesus (Matthew 17:2-8) had intimate relationship with God. Muhammad did not communicate directly to God (there was an mediating angel named Gabriel)

3. 4.

God has given Moses and Jesus many miracles. Muhammad had none. (Surah 29:50) Moses and Jesus made specific prophecies that were fulfilled. Aside from the usual pre-war speeches he had none.

5.

Moses (Exodus 32:30-32) and Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 26:28) "atoned" for the sins of the people. Muhammad did not.

6.

Moses (Leviticus 4:2; 6:24-25; 14:13; Exodus 12:5; 13) and Jesus (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:19-20; John 6:53-58) taught Atonement by means of "bloody sacrifice." Muhammad taught exactly the opposite. (Surah 6:164; 53:38)

7.

Moses (Exodus 2:1; 3:150 and Jesus (Matthew 1:2, 16; Luke 3:23, 34) both belong to the lineage of Jacob. Muhammad and his followers claim he belongs to the lineage of Ishmael.

Jesus is the Prophet like Moses?

Isaiah 42:10:11. They will allege that Isaiah 42:10-11 is about a Gentile (a non-Israelite) Prophet appealing to the word "Kedar" in verse 11 which means, "A son of Ishmael" (Strong's 6938) and since according to them Muhammad is a descendant of Ishmael and that Jesus is not a prophet for the Gentiles (appealing to Matthew 7:6; 10:6 and 15:24), Isaiah 42 to them therefore, is the prophecy about Muhammad. What does Matthew had do say about this. We read Apostle Matthew's commentary in 12:17-21,

"That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. 19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust."

Take note that the Prophet is not said to be a Gentile but will show judgment to the Gentiles and that his name shall be trusted by the Gentiles. Now let's check the context of the passage (Isaiah 42) starting from verse 6:

"I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. 9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. 10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains."

Take note that even the Qur'an affirms that this is a prophecy about Jesus,

"And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I {Jesus} have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I {Jesus}make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: And I {Jesus} heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I {Jesus}quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I {Jesus}declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe. (Surah 3:49. Emphasis added. )

Solomon 5:16. Again they found an Ahmed sound-alike in this passage so we can expect them to be selective of this particular verse. Referring to the Hebrew "machamadim" the root ("makhmawd") of which means: delightful; hence, a delight, i.e. object of affection or desire:--beloved, desire, goodly, lovely, pleasant (thing) (Strong's Hebrew 4261). In one of their desperate attempts to prove that Muhammad was prophesied in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, the Muslims claim that Muhammad is being referred to in Songs 5:16. But the Hebrew word is not a proper noun and it is in plural in numbers ("im") which is can either be an abstract noun or an adjective but in this case,

it was used as an adjective. This is a word game that is played but one word can have many usage in different languages, but was it really Muhammad who was in the mind of the writer? Let's check the context. of this chapter. In verse one we read,

"I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." Song of Songs 5:1

Isn't wine forbidden in Islam?

John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7. Now we turn to Gospel, expect them to refer to the Greek "parakletos," which means, an intercessor, consoler:--advocate, comforter. (Strong's Greek 3875) but this time it is with a twist, they will misspell it as Aramaic "paraklytos" which means, "glorious one," or "praised one," which has the same meaning to the name of Ahmad (a form of Muhammad). Did you notice the word play here? Unfortunately for them we will not find even a variant manuscript of John that spells "paraklytos"--it is not even in the Scriptures. Paracletos means a counselor or an advocate while "paraklytos" means glorious one or praised one or Ahmad, so how would a Muslim resolve this? The second dilemma that they will have to face is the context of the passage which reads,

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14:16,17)

Did Muhammad abide with the disciples of Christ and their succeeding disciples until he was born in the Seventh Century and until now? Certainly not! So how can Muhammad be this "paraklytos" (if there was ever a word in this passage)?

Did Muhammad dwell WITH the apostles and the disciples of Christ? Did he dwell IN the apostles and the disciples or their succeeding disciples? Muhammad was seen says in verse 7, the Parakletos can't be received by the world, much less be seen. Is Muhammad the Spirit?

We all know that after the promised Parakletos in John, Jesus ascended 40 days later. And ten days after Jesus' ascension the promised Parakletos came (Acts 2:1ff). The Holy Spirit is the Parakletos not Muhammad who came 570 years later.

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Jesus, The Son of Mary Was Not crucified.

The detail of their allegation here varies, some of them appeal to Substitution Theory, some of them believes in the Swoon Theory. But one thing is for sure, to them Christ did not suffer in the hands of the Jews by believing that Allah does not allow his prophets to suffer, much less die in the hands of unbelievers.

Even in the Qur'an we read God allows His prophets to suffer consider the following passages in the Qur'an: Surah 2:253; 3:112, 181, 183; 4:147-159; 5:70, 75.

"We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them messengers, every time, there came to them a messenger with what they themselves desired not - some (of these) they called impostors, and some they (go so far as to) slay." (Surah 5:70. Emphasis added.)

Not only that. We also notice that in the following suras we find evidences that Jesus died and was brought to life again--

Regarding John the Baptist, it is said,

"So Peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life (again)!" (Surah 19:15.)

Which is amazingly interesting because it is parallel to the words of Isa in the Qur'an:

"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)"! (Surah 19:33. Emphasis added.)

That could be representing the (a) incarnation (b) death and (c) resurrection of Christ which is symbolized by Christian's water baptism. And take note that in this inaccurate translation of Ali,

"Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee {Arabic, "mutawafeeka"}and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute." (Surah 3:55. Emphasis added.)

The literal translation of the Arabic word "mutawafeeka" is "to cause you to die." Also,

"I spake unto them only that which Thou commandedst me, (saying): Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me {Arabic, "tawafaittani"} Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things." (Surah 5:117. Emphasis added, Pickthal's Quran Translation)

The literal translation of the Arabic word "tawafaittani" is "cause me to die."

Then proceed with the classical defense of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,

(a) There were eye witnesses and their accounts were found in biblical and extra-biblical accounts; (b) the execution was held in public by highly disciplined Roman soldiers--so too was the burial site guarded by these men; (c) the Apostles and many eye witnesses were dramatically changed and died preaching it; (d) and it was prophesied by Christ and by the incredibly too numerous passages in the Old Testament Scriptures.

Josh McDowell's book Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Historical Evidences for the Christian Faith and the Resurrection Factor compiled many extra-biblical documentary evidences that are very useful.

Amazingly, to the Muslims there is only one authoritative quote against the suffering and the death of Christ, that is from a vague passage in the Seventh Century Qur'an,

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: (Surah 4:157.)

I said vague ("mutashaabih") because it can be interpreted in a manner that is in harmony with Surah 3:55; 5:117; 19:15; and 19:33 and with the Scriptures. Observe,

"But they killed him not, nor crucified him but so it was made to appear to them."

Isn't it obvious that the Jews nor the Romans were not really successful in putting Jesus to death for good? Surely, they did not successfully killed Jesus for good because he was resurrected on the third day!

Isn't obvious that since it was prophesied that the Pure Sacrificial Lamb will be the ransom for many it is only fitting that the crucifixion was not really from the Jews or the Romans but that it was "only made to appear to them" because it was the plan of God all along--God's way of salvation?

If it is true that the correct interpretation to this vague passage is that God only made to appear that Jesus was the one who died at the crucifixion, then God is accused of deceiving the many souls who witnessed Jesus died on Calvary.

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