Study to answer– The Quran
Islam is growing across the world. Among Christians in the west, many African-Americans will say that they became Muslims because of what they saw as the evils of Christianity: atrocities such as the Crusades, and in the western history of slavery. Still, others like the external trappings of holiness: clothing that supposedly shows one’s holiness, fastings, prayer postures, etc. Others have chosen Islam because they have problems with the idea of the Trinity, or they believe that humans can attain holiness on their own. Others have chosen Islam because they are, sadly, anti-Jewish.
How can we answer some of these objections? YES, WE MUST answer them. We must study to give a good answer.
First and foremost, we can use the Bible. The Quran says of the Bible:
"This is the scripture wherein there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off evil: who believe in the unseen, and establish worship and spend of that we have bestowed upon them; And we believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which is revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter... Say (O Muslims): WE believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the Prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.”
The Quran commands those who believe in the Quran and what was revealed in it to make no distinction between their Quran and the Biblical books which were before it if the books had been corrupted and changed.
The Quran definitely repeats some things spoken in the Bible. In dealing with an American Muslim, one must get them to accept that their own Scripture says that the Bible and the Jewish Scripture are God’s holy words. How many Muslims actually read the Bible? Invite them to. And invite them to compare all the works.
For instance, in Surat al-Tahrim 66:12 it speaks of Jesus' virgin birth. In Maryam 19_19-21, the sinlessness of Jesus, the Surat a-Nisa 4:171 that Jesus is the word of God, Surat al-Imram 3:39, 3:45, 3:59 that Jesus's birth and coming as the word was prophesied, the the Word is Allah's mediator and Messiah, that Jesus is like Adam a new man, Surat al-Ma'idah 5:110 that Jesus creates, Surat al-Imram 3:59 that Jesus heals andraises the dead, that Jesus literally died, Surat al-Nisa 4:157, 158; Surat Maryam 19:33, Surat al-Mai'idah 5:116, 117; Surat al;-Baqarah 2:87, Surat al-Imram 3:55, Surat Maryam 19:15, that Jesus knows the day of judgement Surat Zukruf 43:61 In other places, the Quran says Jesus didn't die. But the old testament prophesied that He would die. I know Muslims resolve some internal contradictions in the Quran by stating tht certain passages of the Quran are mansukh, or annulled by verses revealed chronologically later than themselves, which are called nasikh. This is taught by Muhammad in Surat al-Baqarah 2:106 For instance, what is called "the sword verse" in Surat al-Taubah 9:5 annuls 124 verses which originally encourage tolerance. But a man makes mistakes and needs to correct them, but that's not the case with God --or with Jesus. God has wisdom and cannot contradict Himself. Surat al-An-am 6:34 says there is none that can alter the Words of Allah. And Paul says that God doesn't change, yet the Koran contradicts itself.
Archeology has proven --through many found parchments including the dead sea scrolls that the words of the Jewish Bible and the words of the Christian writers are unchanged and uncorrupted from the beginning of time.
In the Gospels, Jesus allowed his followers to worship him and allowed Thomas to call him "My Lord and my God." The main hurdle one has to cimb is that Moslems believe that Jesus did not die on the cross. The believe that God replaced Jesus, probably with Judas, and Judas died in Jesus' place. This means that Jesus' words in the Passover --the last supper-- was not said. (Moslems believe that the Bible is corrupted.)
Mohammed claimed that Allah switched Jesus with someone else and it wasn’t Jesus who died but someone else. The real Jesus, Mohammed states, was sneakily taken up into Heaven by God. Thus in making God too good to kill an honest man, Mohammed makes God a liar and deceiver. Another problem with this theory is this: even if the real Jesus did not die on the cross, where is the body? The Jewish Sanhedrin through their lie attest that the tomb was empty. The priests knew that Jesus died. They had seen His dead body hanging on the cross for three hours. And didn’t the disciples notice that the body was not their leader? Mohammed believed in Jesus’ Virgin Birth. But he did not understand that Jesus was born of a Virgin, because sin comes through the male line. The Quran treats women in an inferior manner and tedemption of sinful man came through the female line is something that cannot be understood.
But if Judas replaced Jesus on the cross, the question is when. Surely it couldn't have been before Jesus shouted, "Father forgive them." I can't imagine Judas saying that. Nor could it be before Jesus said, "It is finished!" One can hardly imagine Judas saying, "The work is accomplished." Was it before or after the triumphant words, "IT is finished! (Debt Cancelled!)"So if the switch was made, Was it after Jesus asked John to take care of my mother? So did Judas slip on the cross in just that second before Jesus gave up the ghost?I repeat: When exactly was the switch made? (please see my article The Bitter Cup about what happens in a crucifixion.)Can you imagine Judas saying any of that?
Remember all the prophesies in the Old Testament that spoke about the suffering messiah. The Moslems would have us believe that "suffering without actually dying on the cross" is an example of God's "mercy."
So then, God would have whisked Judas into Jesus' place to die just before Jesus said His work was accomplished. Surely such suffering was the greater evil; This would mean that God only saved Jesus from death. Considering the prophesied sacrificial woundings Jesus received, an escape from death doesn't seem like much. It seems to me that saving Jesus from death is a small thing compared to saving him from the scrouging and the resurrection.
In addition, the Jewish authorities at the time did not dispute the fact that Jesus had died. Either they saw the body and it looked like Jesus or the body looked like Judas. If the body of Jesus was made to look like Jesus, then God who never lies committed a great deception and is not worthy of our worship. If the body looked like Jesus but had contained Judas' soul, then we still have the problem of the resurrection and the "lost" body of Jesus. Either God is a liar who made Jesus walk around after Judas died ih his place or Jesus came down and deceived his disciples. IS God a liar?
The Old Testament prophecies speak more of Jesus than they do of Mohammed. They speak more of a dying suffering savior who joins God the merciful and God the just together without losing the integrity of either. If a Moslem reads and accepts the Bible, they cannot help but see that the Bible speaks of Jesus's death, resurrection and saving work.
We Christians know that the day of Pentecost did away with much of the external shows of holiness. On that day, Christians learned to worship God in spirit and in truth: sitting, standing, together, alone, clothed, unclothed, rich or poor. Christians also have been told not to judge by appearances.
The interesting thing is that the Koran is about 75% from the Bible. Mohammed's great legacy is that he got rid of the polytheistic view common in the world during his lifetime.
The rest of the Koran consists of passages influenced by
A) certain Christian heresies (such as the Nestorians, the Gospel of Barnabas and the Sabeans)
B) folklore that existed around Mohammed's time, and
C) Mohammed's need to justify certain politcal and moral actions. For instance, although the Bible and the gospel made men and women equal, after Mohammed began to get more wives --fifteen in all-- he changed certain aspects of his spirituality to accomodate violence, (Surat al-Baqarah 2:256. Surat al-Nisa 4:74, 84, Surat al-Maidah 5:33) take property in his attacks against Jews, and , polygamy and his belief in the idea that women can be beaten because they are inferior. (Surat al-Nisa 4:11, 24, 176)
But the fact that so much of the Koran consists of the Bible, and because the Koran commands its readers to listen to the readers of the Gospel to interpret the Koran itself, it is quite possible to lead a Muslim to Christianity through the Koran.
Consider such verses:
Surat Maryam 19-19-21
Mary asks the angel Gabril how she will have a child sionce she has not known a man. The verse goes, "He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy for Us, and it is a thing ordained."
The above verse not only has a plural God referring to Himself as "we", but it declares that Jesus, Mary's son is God's mercy, and that Jesus is ordained from the beginning fo time.
In Surat Maryam 19:33, the verse says
Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!
This is a clear statement that Jesus actually died and that he actually was raised from the dead. Because Muslim theologians do not believe that Jesus died on the cross, they find many ways to speak around it and to deny the obviousness of the verse's implication. But if one takes the verse at face value, one can have no other interpretation.
Jesus is called the Word of God in Surat al-Imran 3:45
O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near unto Allah.
Many Muslims claim that the Bible was changed before Muhammad and God sent Muhammad to slean matters up. Yet, the Koran states in some of the most striking statements of the Koran: Surat Yonus 10:94, Surat al-Ankabut 29:46, Surat al-Hijr 15:9, Surat al-Kahf 18:27, Surat al-Baqarah 2:2-4.
And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto you, then question those who read the Scripture that was before thee. Verily the truth from the Lord hath come unto thee.
And again, in another place:
"And argue not with the people of the Scripture unless it be in a way that is better save with such as them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you: our God and your God is one, and unto Him we surrender."
"It is the law of Allah which hath taken course aforetime. Thou wilt not find for the law of Allah aught of power to change...
And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scriptures of they Lord. There is none who can change His words, and thou wilt find no refuge before Him."
And, I repeat the verse above:
"This is the Scripture wherein there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off evil:
Who believe in the unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which is revealed befoer thee, and are certain of the Hereafter...
Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the Prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered."
According to the Koran, The Torah, the Prophets and the Gospel are unchanged and are to be trusted by every good Muslim as the word of God. In addition, the Quran verifies that Adam sinned, Abraham sinned, Moses sinned, David sinned, Jonah sinned and Mohammed sinned. (Surat 47:19, 48:1-2; 33:36-38) But the only sin it charges Jesus with is making people believe that He was God. Other than this, it says that Jesus was sinless.
The Bible is full of prophecies of Jesus: from the wounded healer in Genesis, through the symbol of the lifted up brazen serpent, through the prophets. But Moslems say that the "Scepter of Judah" is a prophecy of Mohammed. If Mohammed is God's last prophet, why does he have only one prophecy?
These verses will make a Muslim see that his own holy book shows many things that point them towards Jesus and that affirms that the land of Palestine was promised to the Jews.
Some Christians are pushy and don't mind if they offend people. We don't want to offend Arabs, we want to lead them to Christ.
But if you use their own book to point them towards all the laws and the prophets and towards the gospels, they will not be offended. And you might just, with the help of the Holy Spirit, open their eyes.
It should be noted that both Mormonism and Islam "accept" the Scriptures, but say that the Bible that Christians and Jews use has been corrupted. They both accept polygamy, are both wrok-centered religions, both seek to create a perfect country or land, both proclaim Jesus as a "prophet," both add a "new" book which corrects the Bible's errors, both have new chosen people.
In contrast, Christianity says there is no difference in holiness between men and women, between Jews and Gentiles, that Jesus is Lord, that the only perfect land is heaven, that all is won by grace, that a man should have only one wife. In addition, the Bible as we know it has not been changed. Throughout history, there have been more copies made of Bible chapters than of any other book. Only twelve copies of Ceasar's "Gallic Wars" for instance, have ever been found. Hundreds -- in some cases, thousands, depending on the Bible book-- of copies of Scripture have been found by archeaologists and historians. These found copies --such as the Dead Sea Scrolls-- match the Bible we now have. The chages if any are mere misspelling and minor grammatical errors. No error has been so great as to change theology.
As a Christian, this is what I know: Islam has no redeemer, no advocate, no urgings that we should call to God for prayer. It is very fatalistic. In fact the word "islam" means "submission", submitting to the will and rule of God. But In Christ, we are offered the challenge of working with God on our destiny by prayer. In Christianity God is our Father. Jesus took great pains to tell us that we should call God our Father. No self-respecting Muslim really thinks about having a relationship with the Powerful Allah. Allah is not "user-friendly."
We know that Jesus is God. Not only do the Winds and the Waves obey Him, but he forgave sins, accepted worship and can call the dead forth. The Prophecies of both old and New Testaments have proven the godhood of Jesus by coming true. Jesus continues to heal and do miracles. Where are the miracles of Mohammed?
As for Slavery and the many Christians who practice it, a religion cannot be blamed for the faults of its adherents. Are all Muslims terrorists? No. Were all white Christians racist?
It is also a sad fact that many African-American Muslims who consider Christian whites to be racist have never visited Arab countries to see if this is true. Nor have they read works by black men and women who have endured racism in the Arab world. The white Christian world has given up slavery. But some Arab countries still practice slavery.
Islamic slavery rate and its concurrent slavery death rate were vastly worse than American slavery and lasted much longer, beginning around the time of Mohammed and continuing up to the present. American slvery was based on economics, Islamic slavery was based on sex and war. Many caliphs had thousands of slave concubines. Citieis such as Zanzibar and Borno were built primarily for the Islamic slave trade which ended in Saudi Arabia in 1965 and in the Sudan in 1991 and which still persists.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT, like many "new gospels" such as Mormonism or even Seventh Day Adventism, the words of another gospel, or another prophet, or an angel of God, have been substituted and added to the Bible. These new gospels, or new messages often say that the Old and New Testaments are right in so far as they are properly interpreted and translated by the "new" message. The Christian must then try to get the believer of the "new" message to look at the Bible in a respectful say and to see where the new message might actually contradict the old. (The Book of Mormon is interesting in that it seeks not to contradict the Bible and ends up --because of its mimicking of the Bible-- making some interesting mistakes such as having 18th century Americans speak Elizabethan 16th century, King James English...or putting oxen (castrated bulls) and other large animals in the New World when no large animals existed in this hemisphere.) The Muslim, like the Mormon, must deal with the idea of a God who seemingly contradicts Himself, saying one thing to one group of people, then saying something else later by an angel or another prophet. Since God does not contradict Himself, and both the Old and New Testaments speak of a Suffering Messiah who dies for the sins of the world because man's righteousness is as filthy rags, the honest seeker must ask why suddenly, the need for a Messiah who came to save the lost has suddenly been done away with by the "new" gospel.
Study to answer.
Please see my other articles at:
Sacraments, Traditions and Rituals in Christianity
or cut and paste the following
The Book of Jude
Beware of what enchants you
The healing of the paralyzed man
Let's Compare Hagar and Joseph, two slaves
The Angels who left their first estate
God and the accuser of the brethren
The world before the flood
Are you sure you understand the Bible?
The Ten commandments, trespasses and iniquities ?
Understanding The old testament Prophets
Rituals, traditions, sacraments of the Bible
An overview of the gospel
The works of Solomon: Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Solomon
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