The Bible is a collection of writings by many different authors. The Quran is a dictation. The speaker in the Quran - in the first person - is God talking directly to man. In the Bible you have many men writing about God and you have in some places the word of God speaking to men and still in other places you have some men simply writing about history. The Bible consists of 66 small books. About 18 of them begin by saying: This is the revelation God gave to so and so… The rest make no claim as to their origin. You have for example the beginning of the book of Jonah which begins by saying: The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Elmitaeh saying… quote and then it continues for two or three pages.
If you compare that to one of the four accounts of the life of Jesus, Luke begins by saying: “many people have written about this man, it seems fitting for me to do so too”. That is all… no claim of saying “ these words were given to me by God here they are for you it is a revelation”, there is no mention of this.
The Bible does not contain self-reference, that is, the word 'Bible' is not in the Bible. Nowhere does the Bible talk about itself. Some scriptures are sometimes pointed to in the Bible, say: Here where it talks about itself, but we have to look closely. 2nd Timothy 3:16 is the favourite which reads: “All scripture is inspired of God” and there are those who would say, here is where the Bible it talks about itself, it says it is inspired of God, all of it. But if you read the whole sentence, you read that this was a letter wrote by Paul to Timothy and the entire sentence says to Timothy: “Since you were a young man you have studied the holy scriptures, all scriptures inspired by God” and so on… When Timothy was a young man the New Testament did not exist, the only thing that stems he was talking about are scriptures – which are only a portion of the Bible - from before that time. It could not have meant the whole Bible.
There is at the end of the Bible a verse which says: “Let anyone who takes away from this book or adds to this book be cursed”. This to is sometimes pointed to me saying: Here is where it sums itself as a whole. But look again and you will see that when it says: Let no one change this book, it is talking about that last book, number 66, the Book of Revelation. It has too, because any reference will tell you that the Book of Revelation was written before certain other parts of the Bible were written. It happens today to be stacked at the end, but there are other parts that came after, so it can not be referring to the entire book.
It is an extreme position held only by some Christian groups that the Bible – in its entirety - cover to cover is the revealed word of God in every word, but they do a clever thing when they mention this, or make this claim. They will say that the Bible in its entirety is the word of God; inerrant (no mistakes) in the original writings. So if you go to the Bible and point out some mistakes that are in it you are going to be told: Those mistakes were not there in the original manuscript, they have crept in so that we see them there today. They are going on problem in that position. There is a verse in the Bible Isaiah 40:8 which in fact is so well known that some Bibles printed it on the inside front cover as an introduction and it says : “ The grass weathers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever”. Here is a claim in the Bible that the word of God will stand forever, it will not be corrupted, it won't be lost. So if today you find a mistake in the Bible you have two choices. Either that promise was false that when God said my word wont fade away, he was mistaken, or the portion which has the mistake in it was not a part of the word of God in the first place, because the promise was that it would be safeguarded, it would not be corrupted.
I have suggested many times that there are mistakes in the Bible and the accusation comes back very quickly: Show me one. Well there are hundreds. If you want to be specific I can mention few. You have for example at 2nd Samuel 10:18 a description of a war fought by David saying that he killed 7000 men and that he also killed 40000 men on horsebacks. In 1st Chronicles 19 it mentions the same episode saying that he killed 70000 men and the 40000 men were not on horsebacks, they were on foot. The point be what is the difference between the pedestrian and not is very fundamental.
Matthew 27:5 says that Judas Iscariot when he died he hung himself. Acts 1 says that no he jumped off a cliff head first. If you study Logic very soon you will come in your course to what they call an “undecidable propositions” or “meaningless sentences” or statements that can not be decided because there is no contextual false. One of the classic examples sited is something called the Effeminites paradox. This man was Cretan and he said “Cretans always lie”, now was that statement true or false? If he was a Cretan and he says that they always lie is he lying? If he is not lying then he is telling the truth then the Cretans don’t always lie ! You see it can not be true and it can not be false, the statement turns back on itself. It is like saying “What I am telling you right now is a lie” would you believe that or not? You see the statement has no true content. It can not be true and it can not be false. If it is true it is always false. If it is false it is also true.
Well in the Bible at Titus 1:12 the writer is Paul and he is talking about the Cretans. He says that one of their own men – a prophet - said “Cretans always lie” and he says that what this man says is true. It is a small mistake, but the point is that it is a human mistake, you don’t find that if you carefully examine the true content of that statement. It can not be a true statement.
Now I come back to the Quran, and as I mentioned the speaker in the Quran is - in the first person - is God. The book claims throughout that it is the word of God. It names itself 70 times as the Quran. It talks about its own contents. It has self-reference. The Quran states in the first Sura after Fatiha that “This is the book, there is no doubt in it, it is a guidance for those who are conscious of God” and so on and so on… It begins that way and continues that way stressing that. And there is one very amazing statement in the Quran when you come to the fourth Sura 82nd Ayah which says to those who say Quran is something else than the word of God. It challenges them saying: “Have they not considered the Quran, if it came from someone other than God they will find in it many mistakes”. Some of you are students, would you dare to hand in a paper after you completed a research work or something at the bottom you put down there “You wont find mistakes in this”. Would you dare to challenge your professor that way?. Well the Quran does that. It is telling: If you really think you know where this came from then starts looking for mistakes because you wont find any. Another interesting thing the Quran does is that it quotes all its critics. There has never - in hundreds of years - ever been some suggestion as to where that book came from but that the Quran does not already mention that objection and reply to it. Many times you will find the Ayah saying something like: Do they say such and such and so, say to them such and such and so. In every case there is a reply. More than that the Quran claims that the evidence of its origin is in itself, and that if you look at this book you will be convinced.
So the difference in Christianity and Islam comes down to a difference of authority and appeal to authority. The Christian wants to appeal to the Bible and the Muslim wants to appeal to the Quran. You can not stop by saying: This is true because me book say it is, and somebody else would say something else is true because my book says differently, you can not stop at that point, and the Quran does not. The Christians may point to some words that it is recorded Jesus said and say this proves my point. But the Muslim does not simply open his book and say: No, no the Quran says this, because the Quran does not simply deny something the Bible says and say something else instead. The Quran takes the form of a rebuttal, it is a guidance as the opening says (Huda lil mutakeen). So that for every suggestion that the Christian may say: My Bible say such and such, the Quran will not simply say: No that is not true, it will say: Do they say such and such then ask them such and such. You have for example the Ayah that compares Jesus and Adam. There are those who may say that Jesus must have been God (Son of God) because he had no father. He had a woman who was his mother, but there was no human father. It was God that gave him life, so he must have been God’s son. The Quran reminds the Christian in one short sentence to remember Adam - who was his father ? - and in fact, who was his mother ? He did not have a father either and in fact he did not have a mother, but what does that make him? So that the likeness of Adam is the likeness of Jesus, they were nothing and then they became something; that they worship God.
So that the Quran does not demand belief - the Quran invites belief, and here is the fundamental difference. It is not simply delivered as: Here is what you are to believe, but throughout the Quran the statements are always: Have you O man thought of such and such, have you considered so and so. It is always an invitation for you to look at the evidence; now what do you believe ?
The citation of the Bible very often takes the form of what is called in Argumentation: Special Pleading. Special Pleading is when implications are not consistent. When you take something and you say: Well that must mean this, but you don’t use the same argument to apply it to something else. To give an example, I have seen it in publications many times, stating that Jesus must have been God because he worked miracles. In other hand we know very well that there is no miracle ever worked by Jesus that is not also recorded in the Old Testament as worked by one of the prophets. You had amongst others, Elijah, who is reported to have cured the leper, raise the dead boy to life and to have multiplied bread for the people to eat - three of the most favourite miracles cited by Jesus. If the miracles worked by Jesus proved he was God, why don’t they prove Elijah was God ? This is Special Pleading, if you see what I mean. The implications are not consistent. If this implies that then in that case it must also imply the same thing. We have those who would say Jesus was God because he was taken up in the heaven. But the Bible also says the a certain Einah did not die he was taken up into the heaven by God. Whether it is true or not, who knows, but the point is if Jesus being taken up proves he is God, why does not it prove Einah was God? The same thing happened to him.
I wrote to a man one time, who wrote a book about Christianity and I had some of the objections I mentioned to you now. And his reply to me was that I am making matters difficult to myself, that there are portions in the Bible that are crystal clear and that there are portions that are difficult, and that my problem was that I am looking at the difficult part instead of the clear parts. The problem is that this is an exercise in self deception - why are some parts clear and some parts difficult? It is because somebody decided what this clearly means, now that makes this very difficult. To give you an example, John Chapter 14 a certain man said to Jesus: Show us God, and Jesus said: If you have seen me you have seen God. Now without reading on the Christian will say: See Jesus claimed to be God, he said if you have seen me you have seen God. If that is crystal clear then you have a difficult portion when you go back just a few pages to Chapter 5 when another man came to Jesus and said show us God and he said you have never seen God you have never heard his voice. Now what did he mean there if on the other occasion he meant that he was God? Obviously you have made matters difficult by deciding what the first one meant. If you read on in Chapter 14 you will see what he went on to say. He was saying the closest you are going to seeing God are the works you see me doing.
It is a fact that the words “son of God” are not found on the lips of Jesus anywhere in the first three Gospel accounts, he was always calling himself the Son of Man. And it is a curious form of reasoning that I have seen so often that it is established from Bible that he claimed to be God because - look how the Jews reacted. They will say for example he said such and such and the Jews said he is blaspheming, he claimed to be God and they tried to stone him. So they argue that he must have been claiming to be God because look ! - the Jews tried to kill him. They said that’s what he was claiming. But the interesting thing is that all the evidence is then built on the fact that a person is saying: I believed that Jesus was the son of God because the Jews who killed him said that’s what he used to say ! His enemies used to say that, so he must have said it, this is what it amounts to. In other hand we have the words of Jesus saying he would keep the law, the law of Moses and we have the statement in the Bible, why did the Jews kill him ? Because he broke the law of Moses. Obviously the Jews misunderstood him, if he promised he would keep the law, but they killed him because he broke the law, they must have misunderstood him, or lied about him.
When I talk about the Bible and quote various verses here and there I am often accused of putting things out of context, to say you have lifted something out of what it was talking about and given it a meaning. I don’t want to respond to the accusation as such, but it doesn’t seem to occur to many people that perhaps those who wrote portions of the Bible in the first place were guilty of the same thing. Maybe they – some of those writers - believed a certain thing and in order to prove it quoted from their scriptures – the Old Testament, the Hebrew writings - quoted out of context to prove their point. There are examples of that kind of thing. In Matthew 2 it said that a king wanted to kill the young child Jesus so he with his family went to Egypt, and they stayed there until that king died, and then they came back. When the writer of Matthew, whoever he was, because the name Matthew wont be found in the book of Matthew; when he described this event saying that he came back out of Egypt, he said: “ This was to fulfil a prophecy which is written” and then he quotes Hosea Chapter 11 “Out of Egypt I called my Son”. So he said because Jesus went to Egypt and then came back out of Egypt and we have this passage in the Hebrew scriptures “out of Egypt I called my son” Jesus must have been the son of God. If you look and see what he was quoting, Hosea 11:1 he quotes the second half of a complete sentence, the complete sentence reads: “When Israel was young I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son”. Israel the nation was considered as the son of God. Moses was told to go to Pharaoh and say to him: If you touch that nation of people, you touch my son; warning him, warning Pharaoh: don’t touch that nation, calling the nation “the son of God”. So that this is the only thing talked about in Hosea 11:1. “Out of Egypt I called my son” can only refer to the nation of Israel. I mentioned this point some months ago here in another talk, to which a young lady with us objected that Israel is a symbolic name for Jesus. You will have a hard time finding that anywhere in the Bible because it isn’t there. You can take an index of the Bible and lookup the word “Israel” everywhere the word occurs and you will find no where in any place that you can connect the word Israel with Jesus. But never mind - suppose it is true, read on, the second verse says “and after that he kept on worshipping Bal”, because this is what the Israelites were guilty of, very often they kept falling back into Idol worshipping. So if that “Israel” really meant Jesus and it means that Jesus is the son of God that came out of Egypt they must also mean that Jesus from time to time used to bow down to that idol Bal. You have to be consistent, and follow through on what it says. So the point is whoever wrote Matthew and Chapter 2 was trying to prove a point by quoting something out of context, and he undid himself, because if you follow through on it, it can not be so.
Now I can come back to the claim the Quran makes that it has internal evidence of its origin. There are many many ways that you can look at this. As one example, if I single out somebody here and say: You know, I know your father - he is going to doubt that, he has never seen me with his father. He would say, how does he look like, is he tall short does he wear glasses? and so on, and if I give him the right answers pretty soon he will get convinced, “Oh yes, you did meet him”. If you apply the same kind of thinking when you look at the Quran, here is a book that says it came from the one who was there when the universe began. So you should be asking that one: So tell me something that proves it. Tell me something that shows me you must have been there when the universe was beginning. You will find in two different Ayahs the statement that all the creation began from a single point, and from this point it is expanding. In 1978 they gave the Noble prize to two people who proved that thats the case. It is the big bang origin of the universe. It was determined by the large radio receivers that they have for the telephone companies which were sensitive enough to pick up the transmissions from satellites and it kept finding background noise that they could not account for. Until the only explanation came to be, it is the left over energy from that original explosion which fits in exactly as would be predicted by the mathematical calculation of what would be this thing if the universe began from a single point and exploded outwards. So they confirmed that, but in 1978. Centuries before that here is the Quran saying the heavens and the earth in the beginning they were one piece and split and says in another Ayah : “of the heavens we are expanding it”.
Let me tell you about a personal investigation, it occurred to me that there are a number of things you can find in the Quran that give evidence to its origin – internal evidence. If the Quran is dictated from a perfect individual; it originates with God, then there should not be any wasted space, it should be very meaningful. There should be nothing that we don’t need that you can cut off, and it should not be missing anything. And so that everything in there should really be there for a specific purpose. And I got to thinking about the Ayah which I mentioned before, it says, the likeness of Jesus is the likeness of Adam. It an equation, it uses the Arabic word (mithel), it says Jesus, Adam, equal. You go to the index of the Quran, you look up the name ISA it is in the Quran 25 times, you lookup the name Adam it is there 25 times. They are equal, through scattered references but 25 of each. Follow that through and you will find that in the Quran there are 8 places were an Ayah says something is like something else, using this (Mithel), you will find in every case and take both sides of it whatever that word is look it up in the index and it will be lets say 110 times and lookup the other word and it will be said to be equal to the same 110. That is quite a project of co-ordination if you try to write a book that way yourself. So that everywhere you happened to mention that such and such is like such and such that then you check your index, filing system, or your IBM punch cards or whatever, to make sure that in this whole book you mentioned them both the same number of times. But that’s what you will find in the Quran.
What I am talking about is built on a thing that is called in Logic: Use and Mention of a Word. When you use a word, you are using its meaning. When you mention a word, you are talking about the symbol without the meaning. For example, if I say Toronto is a big city - I used the word Toronto as I meant this place Toronto is a big city. But if I say to you Toronto has 7 letters, I am not talking about this place Toronto, I am talking about this word - Toronto. So, the revelation is above reasoning, but it is not above reason. That is to say we are more up not to find in the Quran something that is unreasonable, but we may find something that we would have never figured out for ourselves.
The author of this sentence said if this book came from someone besides God then you will find in it many Ikhtalafan (inconsistencies). The word Ikhtilaf is found many times in the Quran. But the word Ikhtalafan is only found once in the Quran. So there are not many Ikhtilafan in the Quran, there is only one - where the sentence is mentioned. So you see how things are put together perfectly. It has been suggested to mankind: Find a mistake. Man could not get hold of a mistake, and he is very clever, because this sentence could also mean: Find many Iktilafan and so he quickly goes to the index to see if he can find many of them and there is only one... Sorry clever person ! [/align][/ALIGN] Based on a transcript of a lecture by Dr. Gary Miller [/FONT][/FONT]
You may be a Christian Protestant, Catholic, Jew, an atheist or an agnostic; or you may belong to any of many different religious denominations existing in today's world. You might even be a coummunist or believe in man's democracy as the rule on earth. Whoever you are and .......
JESUS (Peace be upon him) IN THE QUR’AN AND THE BIBLE by Dr. Jamal Badawi
1. Jesus: COMMON LINK between Muslims and Christians (Love and Respect).
2. Jesus’ nature: main area of DIFFERENCE.
3. Approaches to COMPARATIVE Christology: a) Examination of Authority and Authenticity of respective holy books. b) Examination of HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS of dogmas. c) Examination of both holy books AS THEY ARE.
4. Focus on the approach. Two main Questions: a) What does the QUR’AN say about him? b) What does the BIBLE say about him?
JESUS IN THE QUR’AN
1. PRAISE FOR MARY (3:36-37,42 and 5:78) Called sister of Aaron (19:28). In the Qur’an "sister of or brother of" means the descendant of or clan of. Aaron, Moses’ brother, was the first in line of Israelite Priesthood. Luke 1:5 calls Elizabeth, John’s mother, as a daughter of Aaron. She was a relative (cousin) of Mary (Luke 1:36). For other passages in the Qur’an where “brother of” is used in non-literal meaning see (7:65,73,85; 11:50,61,84; 27:45; 29:36).
2. VIRGIN BIRTH (3:45-47) Compared with Adam (3:59), John the Baptist (19:1-9).
3. A WORD FROM ALLAH (3:39,45; 4:170). Word is not the “Logos” or the second person in Godhead. It is the creative command of Allah "KON" or "be" ( 2:117, 3:47,59, 6:73, 16:40, 19:35, 36:82, 40:68). "Words" of Allah is used in (18:109, 8:7, 31:27) and others.
4. A SPIRIT FROM ALLAH (4:171) : same applies to other humans (15:29, 32:9, 38:72).
5. HONORED in this life and in the hereafter and among those nearest to Allah (3:45) : used also for others (33:69, 56:11, 83:21,28).
6. A PURE CHILD (19:19) : similarly used for John the Baptist (19:13). According to Islam, all children are born Pure.
7. STRENGTHENED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (2:87,253, 5:113) : Holy Spirit means Gabriel the Angel of Revelation (16:102).
8. PERFORMED MIRACLES by the permission of Allah (3:49, 5:113,115-118) .
9. TAUGHT what all prophets taught ; worship of Allah alone (2:135-136, 5:119-120, 43:63-64).
10. MISSION specifically TO THE ISRAELITES (3:49, 5:75, 61:6).
11. REJECTION of all forms of deification of Jesus, including worship of Mary (5:119-120) , claiming that Jesus is God (5:75) and Trinity (5:76, 4:171).
12. REJECTED BY THE ISRAELITES (5:81,113, 3:52).
13. Conspiracy to CRUCIFY him FAILED and Allah raised him up (4:157). a) it was made to “appear to them” as such. b) No relevance to “respect for prophets” ,other Prophets were killed (2:61, 3:21,112, 5:73). c) “Mutawaffika” in (3:55) and “Tawaffaytani” in (5:120) refer to “completing” your term or mission on earth. “Tawaffi” is used also in the Qur’an for other than death (6:60, 39:42). d) Reference to the “death” and “resurrection” of Jesus (19:33) must be understood in the light of (4:157). It refers to death after the second coming and resurrection on the Day of Judgment. Similar terms used to refer to John the Baptist (19:15) . Many Ahadith confirm that.
14. PROPHECIED the advent of the last Prophet Muhammad (61:6, 7:157).
JESUS IN THE BIBLE
No basis in the Old Testament for Trinity or “God -incarnate”.
No conclusive uncontradicted statement by Jesus in the New Testament claiming to be God.
5 major grounds for claimed divinity :
I. WHAT WAS SAID ABOUT HIM
Many were deified without claim on their part. Insufficient ground for such a serious matter. Other early witnesses did not share the notion of deification. Many statements are allegorical.
II. HE CLAIMED DIVINITY
FIRST RESPONSE :spiritual , language and Allegory. Examples:
1. THE WAY , THE TRUTH (John 14:6): applies to every prophet in his time.
2. I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE (John 10:30): oneness in purpose , not in essence (John 17:11, 20-23).
3. SEEING HIM IS LIKE SEEING THE FATHER (Jn 14:9): seeing means knowing , as God can not be seen (Exod. 33:20, Jn. 1:18, 5:37, 14:7).
4. BEFORE ABRAHAM I AM (John 8:58): All existed in the foreknowledge of Allah.
5. ACCEPTED WORSHIP (Matt. 14:33): worship means also intense love ( worship of money,.......). Jesus himself did worship God (Luke 5:16).
6. WAS CALLED SON OF GOD: so was Adam (Luke 3:38), E’phraim (Jer. 31:9), Jacob (Exod. 4:22), David (II Sam. 7:14), Solomon (I Chron. 22:10). More than one prophet was called “ first born “ ( eg. Abraham, Jacob, David ). See for Example Ps. 2:7. “ Only Son “ is not used literally in the Bible (Gen. 22:2). “Sons of God “ was also used (Gen. 6:2, Deut. 14:1, Hos. 1:10).
7. CALLED GOD “FATHER” AND “ABBA”: Said also my father and your father (John 20:17). Others may call God “ABBA” (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6).
8. CALLED MESSIAH: Means annointed. So was David (Ps. 2:2), Cyrus (Isa. 45:1).
9. CALLED SAVIOR: So was Jeho’ahaz (II Kings 13:5). Used in plural (Obad. Verse 21 and Nehem. 9:27).
10. WAS CALLED LORD: Term does not mean necessarily God. Used in the N.T. to mean “teacher” or “master”.
11. WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: So was John the Baptist (Lk. 1:15), also Barnabbas (Acts 11:24).
12. SAID THAT HIS WORDS WILL NOT PASS AWAY: He also said that whatever he said was not his, but the father’s (Jn. 14:24).
13. SAID THAT ALL AUTHORITY WAS GIVEN TO HIM: He who gave authority is Greater ( ie. His God ).
14. WAS CALLED “MY LORD AND MY GOD” (Jn. 20:28): Could have been an expression of excitement or “ you are God - like “ Distinction between “ Lord “ and “ God “ is made in Icor. 8:6.
15. JEWS TRIED TO STONE HIM FOR BLASPHEMY (Jn. 10:29-33): Jews were to indict him “ by hook or by crook “, regardless of what he said. They may have considered him a false “ Messiah “. Jesus’ answer was revealing (Jn. 10:34). In Ps. 82:6, humans are called gods, allegorically, Moses was sent as “ God “ to the Pharoah (Exod. 7:1).
Jesus always expressed his subordination to his God and Creator.
1. DID NOTHING ON HIS OWN AUTHORITY (Jn. 5:30, 14:31, Matt. 20:23).
2. SPOKE NOT ON HIS OWN AUTHORITY (Jn. 14:10, 8:28-29).
3. SAID THAT THE FATHER IS GREATER THAN HIM (Jn. 14:28).
4. WAS TEMPTED (Matt. 4:1-11):But God can not be tempted (James 1:13).
5. HE DENIED KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNSEEN (Mk. 13:32, Matt. 24:36).
6. WAS SUBJECT TO CHANGE (Lk. 2:21, 52): But God is Immutable.
7. DID NOT ACCEPT TO BE CALLED GOOD AND DEFERED TO GOD (Mk. 10:18).
8. PRAYED TO GOD (Mk. 14:32, Lk. 5:16).
9. REFERRED TO HIMSELF AS A PROPHET (Lk. 13:33-34). Others also called him a prophet. (Lk. 7:16, 24:19, Jn. 6:14, Heb. 3:1). Referred to as a servant of God (Acts 3:13, 4:27, 30, Matt. 12:18).
10. MADE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN HIMSELF AND THE FATHER (Matt. 23:8-10).
11. Referred to himself frequently as SON OF MAN (eg. Matt. 8:20). In the book of Acts (2:22), he is described as “a man approved of God”. While he is called Son of God nearly 68 times, not once was he called GOD THE SON. The difference between the Two expressions is like the difference between the Prophet Jesus of history and the CHRIST created in the image of the Church.
III. HIS MIRACLES PROVIDED DIVINITY
FIRST RESPONSE: He admitted that they were not by his own power (Jn. 5:30, 14:31).
SECOND RESPONSE: All had parallels in the O.T. For example:
1. BORN WITHOUT A FATHER (Heb. 7:3).
2. FED THE MULTITUDES (II Kings 4:42-44).
3. WALKED ON WATER: Similar to Moses (Exod. 14:22).
4. HEALED THE LEPERS AND BLIND: So did others (II Kings 5:14, 6:17, 20, Acts 3:7, 5:15-16).
5. BROUGHT THE DEAD TO LIFE: So did others (I Kings 17:22, II Kings 4:34, 13:21, Ezek. 37:1-14).
6. CAST THE DEVILS: Said others can too (Matt. 7:22, 12:27, Lk. 11:19).
7. ROSE FROM THE DEAD: So did others (eg. Ezek. 37:1-14).
8. ASCENDED TO HEAVENS: So did other prophets (Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5, II Kings 2:11-12). This seems to be inconsistent with Jn. 3:13.
IV. MESSAGE OF SALVATION
1. ASSUMES INITIAL PERFECTION OF ADAM AND INHERITANCE OF SIN, which is inconsistent with Deut. 24:16, Ezek. 18:20 and Matt. 7:2.
2. ASSUMES NECESSITY OF BLOODSHED FOR FORGIVENESS. This is inconsistent with Hos. 6:6, Ps. 30:5, 51:15-23, Matt. 9:13.
3. SACRIFICES BY ISRAELITES OR BY ABRAHAM are irrelevant to the concept of the “Crucified God”.
4. WHO DIED ON THE CROSS? God never dies and the death of one man can not atone for all mankind.
5. God’s mercy and justice can be reconciled without bloodshed. He is Most Merciful and Forgiving.
V. MYSTERY AND EXPERIENCE
1. HOW DIFFERENT from other religions or even cults? Experience alone is not an indicator of ultimate truth.
2. Difference between plausible but not fully understood religious truth (eg. eternity of God) and man made, self contradictory and untenable dogmas in the of mystery. The infinite and finite can’t be one and the same.
3. WHY ACCEPT MEN’S INTERPRETATIONS if evidence is overwhelming that Jesus was a great yet finite human? Why change the RELIGION OF JESUS into a RELIGION ABOUT JESUS?
1. O.T. Warns against associating others with God in his divine attributes.
2. Jesus confirmed the same and called the “Father” “MY GOD” (Jn. 20:17).
3. Only through the last divine revelation (the Qur’an) can confusion be removed and pure monotheism be restored.
The linguistic and legislative meaning of the word "Islam" is our guide to define the meaning of the Muslim, because when we talk about the Muslim, we don't talk about disposition or attribute but we talk about acquired virtue, which is the Islamic virtue, that leads us consequently to talk about Islam. And hence the Islamic character is completely found in Allah's Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), so it is logical to take him as the suggested model of the Muslim character. So, if you know Muhammad (PBUH), you will find out how the real Muslim must be and how he behaves in various situations and this is one of the aims of this book; "to know Muhammad "PBUH" , and so you'll know the real Muslim."
The linguistic meaning of the word "Muslim" is:" the one who is devoted to Allah in his worship. So "Islam" means the complete devotion to Allah and his creed. So, according to the definition of the word (Islam), Islam doesn't refer to: 1- One specific person, like the way how Buddhism refers to Buddha. 2- Or a definite nation as how Judaism refers to a specific group of people. 3- Or to specific regions or countries as Christianity does. 4- Or to a special period. This word makes us live in a completely global atmosphere , not restricted to the mission.of prophet Muhammad (PBUH), since , from the previous definition all the prophets are Muslims and this is a fact stated by the Quran more than once; Moses is a Muslim prophet for the Jewish and so on are all other prophets and Apostles.
Do Muslims Now Represent the Thoughts of Muhammad (PBUH)? To answer this question you should compare between two periods in history; the period when the followers of Muhammad (PBUH) spread all over the world possessing most of it, and there is no question about this fact, and the present period in which the Muslims are a lot yet they are the most humiliated people on earth .But we have to admit that the people of this period are completely away from the morals of Muhammad (PBUH) and his teachings. The Prophet, for example, forbad lying, bribery, adultery and robbery, and ordered applying justice, without oppressing others, being merciful, supporting orphans and being generous. All you have to do is to skim this brochure carefully and read the sayings of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his deed to be sure that most Muslims today follow Muhammad (PBUH)only nominally.
What is the Concept of the "Prophet" for Muslims ? The word "prophet" in the Arabic language is an adjective from the word (Alnaba')which means news about something important , or it is derived from the Arabic word (Alnuboa) that means honor and reverence .So Muhammad, for Muslims, is a prophet (Nabi) and messenger(Rasoul) from Allah Who charged him to declare the message of Islam to be the last heavenly messages to the earth .He is the mercy that Allah saved for His worshippers till the end of life.
Are Muslims Bad People? Muhammad (PBUH) says: "Smiling to your fellow Muslims is charity", and he told us about a man that will enter paradise because he moved a tree that was blocking a road…Do such behaviors come from a bad man who wants to harm people?! Muhammad was the mercy sent for all Muslims and all mankind, as it is stated in the holy Quran "And We have sent you: but as a mercy for all creatures ". This explanation is enough for now as you yourself will be able to answer this question later by reading the rest of the subjects..
Do Muslims Accept Others (non-Muslims)? Allah's Messenger (PBUH) concluded some conventions with the Jewish and hold talk with the Christians, this fact is mentioned in the Holy Quran as Allah says: "Invite (all mankind) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better." So how is it possible to argue others without meeting them and hold discussions with them in a way that is clearly mentioned by Allah: "in a way that is better", i.e.: with no aggression.
Trade has been held with the Jewish, the evidence for this is that the prophet(PBUH)died while his shield was pledged to a Jewish man , but all this is depending on not being a warrior against Muslims . But, If the non-Muslim fights Muslims or drives them away from their homes or helps in fighting and expelling them from their homes, it is obligatory for Muslims to fight him with all lawful means .The astonishing thing is that fighting for Muslims has an exotic law that prevents them from killing old man , a child or a woman nor to burn a house or cut down any tree, even Muhammad (PBUH)punished some of his companions (Allah bless them) because they didn't apply these rights . Even more than that, Muhammad (PBUH )says: [Who slander (one of the people of the heavenly books)will be revenged on the Day of resurrection with whips from fire ] ????!!!!! Consequently, If Muslims understand the thought of Muhammad (PBUH), they will deal with the non-Muslims in the same way the prophet (PBUH) did.[/ALIGN]
Who is Muhammad that is followed by more than one billion Muslims?
Is he a venerable scientist?
Is he a popular prince?
Is he a sophisticated Prime Minister ?
Is he a fair king?
The answer is
He is greater than all of those
He is the Messenger of Allah
Muhammad received the message from Allah 1400 years ago to call all mankind to follow the true path, no matter where or when; no matter if white or black, his message is for all.
His message is the last and the lasting one, no messenger will come after him, he is the last Messenger.
Who is Muhammad?
Is he a terrorist, as said by the Western media, or is he the brave warrior who won most of his battles against the enemies of Islam, or is he the genius who resolved all cases and troubles between the tribes.
He is the one who protected our Rights.
He protected men's, women's and children rights
He protected the relations between neighbors
He established the relationship between Muslims and Non-Muslims .
He organized the relationship between the members of the family showing the duties towards the parents
He prevented injustice and called for justice, love, togetherness and cooperation for the best.
He called for helping the needy, visiting the patients, love and exchanging advises between people.
He prohibited bad manners such as steeling, lying, and murdering .
He is the one who changed our lives and manners to the best .
A Muslim doesn't steal
A Muslim doesn't lie
A Muslim doesn't drink alcohol.
A Muslim doesn't commit adultery
A Muslim doesn't cheat
A Muslim doesn't kill innocent people
A Muslim doesn't harm his neighbors
A Muslim obeys his parents and helps them
A Muslim is kind to young and elderly people, to women and to weak people.
A Muslim doesn't torture humans or even animals
A Muslim loves his wife and takes care of his children and show mercy towards them until the last day of his life.
A Muslim's relationship towards his children never stops even when they become adults
He is Muhammad (PBUH)
Did you know why all Muslims love Muhammad (PBUH)?
Did you know what does Muhammad mean for Muslims?
Every Muslim loves Muhammad (peace be upon him) more than himself and more than everything in his life.
Before judging a person be neutral and:
1-Listen to this person, and follow his doings.
2-Compare his ideas and teachings with what is acceptable to the mind and heart.
3-If you think that his thoughts are right, compare them with his doings; is he applying his teachings?
4-If he is applying his teachings and sayings, so he is for sure right and one must believe him.
At the end you will get a clear answer for all confusing questions and you will know for sure :
Discover Islam - The Fastest Growing Religion in the world
Did you read about Islam from it,s original sources? Is the information about Islam that published at International Media is correct ?
Excuse me!! Would you stop for a moment?! O...man...Haven't you thought-one day- about yourself ? Who has made it? Have you seen a design which hasn't a designer ?! Have you seen a wonderful,delicate work without a worker ?! It's you and the whole universe!.. Who has made them all ?!! You know who ?.. It's "ALLAH",prise be to him. Just think for a moment. How are you going to be after death ?! Can you believe that this exact system of the universe and all of these great creation will end in in nothing...just after death! Have you thought, for a second, How to save your soul from Allah's punishment?! Haven't you thought about what is the right religion?! Read ... and think deeply before you answer.. It is religion of Islam. It is the religion that Mohammad-peace upon him- the last prophet, had been sent by. It is the religion that the right Bible- which is not distorted-has preached. Just have a look at The Bible of (Bernaba). Don't be emstional. Be rational and judge.. Just look..listen...compare..and then judge and say your word. We advise you visiting :
How I came to Islam By Yusuf Islam (pre. Cat Stevens) Originally posted on Beconvinced.com
All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet, may Allâh send prayers and blessings on him, as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'ân Majîd that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O Lord, send us back and give us another chance." The Lord will say, "If I send you back you will do the same."
MY EARLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING
I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all.
I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents.
Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a lot of money." The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God.
I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'ân, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.)
So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).
After a year of financial success and 'high' living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allâh, a chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital.
One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, 'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go.
Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path.
I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out." I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society.
I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islâm, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity prevailed.
When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur'ân, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also.
And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me - who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim.
I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as al-Islâm. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur'ân, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'ân; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'ân asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other.
Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the Signs of Allâh. When I read the Qur'ân further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'ân, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur'ân also speaks on different levels. I began to understand it on another level, where the Qur'ân says, "Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers." Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers.
Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens." He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islâm and she directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur'ân. Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblîs, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jumma' I went to the Imâm and declared my faith (the Kalimah) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur'ân. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islâm removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salât. This is the process of purification.
Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allâh and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islâm. I read the Qur'ân first and realized that no person is perfect. Islâm is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet may Allâh send prayers and blessings on him we will be successful. May Allâh give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad may Allâh send prayers and blessings on him. Amîn! -- Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)[/COLOR]