Hello! Hello! And welcome once again to my blog as we finalize the series: ‘Critiquing Islam’. If you have not gotten an opportunity to read the first two posts, please follow the links: Critiquing Islam (I): Is Islam a Religion of Peace? and, Critiquing Islam (II): The Place of Women according to the Qur’an and the Hadiths.
This last post seeks to deal with the subject of God as revealed in the Qur’an, and the eternal security of man.
So again, we begin.
It would surprise many Christians if not astonish them all together that Muslims believe in Jesus Christ. Devout Muslims have an especially high regard for Jesus, and, if a well-meaning evangelical Christian was to walk up to a Muslim and ask, “Do you know about Jesus?” He/she will respond with something like “Yes, I know about Jesus and I believe in Jesus.” This, to the amazement of the Christian.
Christianity, in its orthodox doctrine demands and insists on a belief in Christ for the salvation of any soul.
Yet, such a response meets many of us well-meaning Christians with a puzzling paradox and great perplexity when we discover that Muslims believe in Jesus Christ. For which concurrently, we are unable to proceed with evangelism since we do not understand how to move forward from that kind of a response, that is, believing in Jesus Christ and yet not saved.
However, to understand what Muslims believe about Jesus Christ, and why they believe in what they believe, we must understand what the Qur’an teaches about Him.
✓ Oneness of God
Primarily, Muslims believe that God is One, and so do Christians. However, Islam shuns completely any doctrine that would seek to divide God, or associate God with any other object worth of worship, which as we learnt from the first post is the sin commonly known as shirk – the only unpardonable sin in Islam. And as a Christian, I believe that that is a sensible and wise judgement; for God cannot be divided or confounded.
Oftentimes, I see some Christians use the expression ‘Alhamdulillah’ which is an Arabic phrase meaning: “thanks be to Allah” or “praise be to Allah.”
Admittedly, it does sound like a delightful word to the tongue, however, what these Christians fail to realize is that Allah, and the true and living God are two totally different beings (so to speak) and have completely contrasting attributes.
Christianity presents God as One Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Trinity in Unity: neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance. This is how God has revealed Himself in scripture: from Genesis to Revelation; and not as three gods (polytheism).
The Qur’an on the other hand, rejects such a concept and has made certain to dedicate a whole chapter desisting any such claim that would bring about such a thought of God to any person claiming to be a Muslim.
“Say: He is Allah, the One and Only, Allah, the Eternal and Absolute; He begotteth not, nor is He begotten, And there is none like unto Him.” Surah 112: 1-4
The commentary of this particular surah states: “This is to negate the Christian idea of the godhead, the Father, the Only begotten son, etc.”
The conclusion of the matter thus, is that, God and Allah are not similar; neither in word, nor in attributes— but are two completely different beings as revealed in the scriptures and in the Qur’an respectively.
On the matter: the Godhead and the Sonship of Jesus to God, Islam strongly refutes and negates. It refers to it as shirk, as well as blasphemous.
“They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of the three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. Why turn they not to Allah and seek his forgiveness? For Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful. Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them. Yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!” Surah 5:73-76
Muslims regard Jesus as no more than a prophet sent by God to bring the Injeel. And they reject His deity and claim of equality with God.
Injeel: In Islamic tradition, is understood to be a book which the Messiah received from heaven, that contained a message to Israel similar to the Law of Moses.
“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which he bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity”: desist. It will be better for you: For Allah is One God: Glory to Him: (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah a disposer of affairs.” Surah 4:171
The understanding of the Trinity by Muslims, arose from the impressions of the idolatrous scenes that were depicted through Mary worship and veneration at the beginning of the fifth and sixth centuries. These were false doctrines which were, and still are, perpetuated by the Roman Catholic Church to date.
Which led to an erroneous view of the Trinity by Muslims consisting of God the Father, God the Mother (the virgin Mary), and God the Son (Jesus Christ); hence the context of the below surah in the Qur’an.
“And behold! Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of 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, though I know not what is in Thine. For thou knowest in full all that is hidden.” Surah 5:116
These teachings of Mary worship and veneration are erroneous and not scriptural, and I insist, not scriptural! These teachings were invented by the church padres of the Roman Catholic Church for monetary gain at a time in history when there existed a widespread ignorance of the Word of God and at a time when the Word of God was scarce in print.
The scriptures declare of these matters:
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, appeared at a time in history when the church, instead of upholding the teachings of Jesus Christ, was encouraging the worship of Mary, graven images, relics and the “saints.”
Muhammad rejected these teachings and urged his followers to desist from such kinds of idolatry. The church, to our disrepute, had deviated so far from scripture so as to even repel the unbelievers. Indeed, a dark period of Christianity in history and perhaps, that could be one of the reasons why Islam has a strong hold on its followers even to date; because these practices are still upheld by many churches up to the present time.
Most scholars attribute the birth and spread of Islam to the pagan church practices that emerged in the fifth to seventh centuries.
✓ The Death of Jesus on the Cross
Islam teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross but was taken up by Allah (physically), though for the unbelievers it was made to appear that Jesus died on the cross.
(The people of the Book) “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 a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up to Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” Surah 4:157-158
To begin with, I found it quite disturbing that Allah here reveals his nature as deceptive. This owing to the fact that it seems he has managed to deceive the largest population of people in the world today: the Christians – and he also asserts that he shall judge them for falling for this deception. To my surprise, I found that the Qur’an affirmed this fact.
“Our Lord! We believe in what thou hast revealed, and we follow the messenger; then write us down among those who bear witness.” And the (unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.” Other translations say: “the best of deceivers is Allah.” Surah 3:53-54
In later years, came a man by the name Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who claimed to be the Messiah of the Muslims and the Christians, and the Krishna of the Hindus. He introduced a new perspective to the death of Jesus Christ and claimed that Jesus did indeed die of a natural death, contradicting the traditional view of physical ascension of Jesus to heaven as narrated in the Qur’an.
He supplanted the traditional believe with a “swoon theory” that is, that Jesus did not die on the cross but only fainted and was later revived by an application of ointments to his wounds. Thereafter his recovery, he travelled to India and died at the age of 120 years. These teachings birthed a sect of Muslims known as the Ahmadiyya who to date, are among the most radical propagators of Islam, famously known for pulling down crosses.
✓ The Relationship of ‘Fatherhood and Sonship’ between God and Man
Jesus, according to the Bible revealed the nature of God as a loving Father. Multiple times in the Bible Jesus refers to God as “Father” signifying relationship. He revealed God’s nature to man as: loving and personal, that is, that it was possible for man to have an intimate relationship and friendship with God ensuing from a repentance of sins and turning our lives over to Jesus in faith.
12 But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
1 John 3
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.
Islam in contrast, does not recognize a relationship of a loving Father with God. Islam rejects the concept of being children of God and teaches that human beings are only but creations of God. Thus, Allah appears in the Qur’an as a distant, detached and impersonal god.
“(Both) the Jews and Christians say: “We are sons of Allah, and His beloved.” Say: why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, we are but men – of the men He hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth all dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all).” Surah 5:18
✓ The Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Godhead
Lastly, Islam does not recognize the working of the Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead. As we have clearly seen, the Trinity is firmly rejected in Islam. The Holy Spirit according to Islam is viewed as a part of God’s creation, chiefly being revealed as the angel Gabriel who is said to have carried the message of the Qur’an to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
“Say the Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from thy Lord in truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a guide and glad tidings to Muslims.” (The Holy Spirit – being the title of the Angel Gabriel, through whom the revelation came down— commentary of the Qur’an) Surah 16:102
To conclude these matters, we have clearly seen that God and Allah are two entirely different beings. And Islam and Christianity have totally divergent claims and beliefs of faith. In one of my posts, I presented a defence and evidence for faith in Christianity and why Jesus Christ, out of all those who claim/claimed to be speaking for God, stands out.
The Bible says that no man can say that Jesus Christ is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. And as we have seen and learnt, Islam does not recognize the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Godhead, and therefore cannot accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Thus, the paradox now becomes clarified. Muslims believe in Jesus Christ, but only as a messenger of God.
Islam boldly rejects the revelation of God according to biblical scriptures, subsequently rejecting the most fundamental doctrine held by Christianity being:
✶ Confessing Jesus Christ as Lord with one’s mouth,
✶ And the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ— for the sins of man.
For which no man can be saved.
Many people today are known to say that, “it does not matter what one believes since all men are heading towards the same direction; in addition to the syncretic statement – “God loves us all.”
Indeed God loves us all, that, He sent His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God loves us all so deeply and to demonstrate His love for us, Jesus died for the ungodly. God has only one remedy for the race of Adam and that is: the cross.
The scriptures further state that rejection of Christ means rejection of God, leading to only one destination: separation, death, and hell. These are not my words but the words of God.
30 He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
1 John 2
22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
Islam offers no real hope for eternity since fate decides every man’s outcome according to the Qur’an. And Allah, as we have learnt, leads and misleads as he pleases. Jihad, is the only guarantee for a Muslim to obtain heaven.
“Every man’s fate we have fastened on his own neck: On the day of judgement we shall bring out for him a scroll. Which we will see spread open.” Surah 17:13
(Commentary on the surah – Our real fate does not depend upon birds, or omens, or stars. It depends on our deeds, good or evil, and they hang round our necks.)
There is no clarity on life after death according to Islam, therefore all Muslims await till the last day for their fate to be determined.
Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, too, died. And his grave lies in Medina, Saudi Arabia to date. And the cause of his death is recorded in the hadiths— death by assassination (poisoning) by a Jewish woman.
Original Video: “Who Killed Muhammad?”
This is the truth: Jesus Christ was crucified, died, buried and rose again from the dead on the third day. And was seen by over 500 people at the same time after His resurrection.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, shall yet live.” John 11:25
It is not too late to accept the Lord. The Bible says that now is the acceptable time, not today, or tomorrow— but now.
The Bible also says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God and further states that—
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Dear Muslim, would to God, that you would allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you to the truth. That you would not be afraid to wrestle with these issues; seeking God, and asking Him to guide you to the Truth.
And that Dear Christian, we would pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world— for God to bring them to the knowledge of the Truth and save them from sin and the judgement to come.
God loves you (whoever is reading this message and is not born again), and He has demonstrated His love for you by laying down His own life on the cross. There is no other demonstration of love that will ever surpass this kind of love. It does not matter what you have done in life; Jesus said that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven man, except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (rejecting the Holy Spirit’s offer to accept Jesus Christ). The Holy Spirit offers Jesus Christ each and every day to this world, pleading with men to repent and to turn away from their sins and place their faith in Jesus. God has declared that rejecting the Holy Spirit’s offer is the only sin He will never forgive, and the God of the Bible is a God of His word.
Again, it is not too late — now is the acceptable time.
To be noted that all quotations cited on this post have been obtained only from trusted Islamic sources mainly: the Qur’an (The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, translation- Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Okay… Let’s just be honest, whenever most people hear anything about religion, their first reaction and instinct is probably to cringe or brush off the whole matter entirely.
Why? Most likely because it is a subject that is associated with extreme cases of fanaticism, it brings about a lot of conflicts and controversies, and even offends easily.
Religion is famously known for: manipulation, stagnation, repression, ignorance, bigotry and is too often a threat to liberty. And rightly so. I do agree. With that said, I recommend you to read two of my posts as well as encourage you to do a personal, extensive, and honest research on your own regarding this matter. Why?
As intellectuals (critical thinkers), I believe we owe it to ourselves to interrogate, examine, and ask hard questions regarding matters touching on faith rather than choosing to ignore them or even worse— follow blind faith. Click here for the first post.
Who speaks the truth with regards to a genuine, sincere and true relationship with God? Is it Buddha? Muhammad? Jesus? Zoroaster? Confucius? Joseph Smith? Guru Nanak? Krishna? Among others? Find out on this second post:
My heart overflows with a goodly matter; I speak the things which I have made touching the king: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalms 45:1
Thank you for reading this blog. Feel free to share it with others whenever and wherever.🙂