Dr. Anis A. Shorrosh
The True Sources of Islam
And they say: Fables of the men of old which he hath had written down so that they are dictated to him morn and evening.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
E. Stanley Jones, the famed
Christian apostle to India for sixty years, explained the types of religion in
the world. Dr. Jones declared that the first type of religion is the word
made word—God revealing himself primarily through a written revelation in a
holy book. The second type is the word made law, in which God is view as
revealing Himself primarily in a set of rules to follow. The third is the
word made flesh. If humans were libraries, the best way to communicate
with them would be through a book. If humans were constitutions and
by-laws, they would respond best to a set of laws. Because we are human,
God chose to make the word flesh.
The Muslims seem to believe that in the beginning was the "Word" and the "Word" became a "Book"! Muslims assert that Allah has revealed himself most clearly in a book, not in Muhammad the person. Indeed, according to my count, the word book occurs 259 times in the Qur'an. In contradistinction, Christians believe that in the beginning was the "Word" and the "Word" became a human being! Here ware some verses worth our consideration:
That (this) is indeed a noble Qur’an in a Book kept hidden which none toucheth save the purified, a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. It is this Statement that ye scorn. …
And they say: If only he would bring us a miracle from his Lord! Hath there not come unto hem the proof of what is in the former Scriptures?…
…And thou (O Muhammad) was no a reader of any Scripture before it, nor didst thou write it with thy right hand, for then might those have doubted who follow falsehood.
In contrast, we must study John 1:1-15, especially verse 14 which is among the most unique statements to be found in all of literature: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
The Old Testament
Any reader of the Qur'an
familiar with the Old Testament discovers that the names and events of Old
Testament books and prophets are very definitely copied in the Qur'an.
However, often the stories in the Qur'an are garbled and confused.
Muhammad must have heard these stories from his Jewish friends in Medina, where
he lived during the time he said he received most of the revelations which
became the Qur'an. His seventh wife, Raihana, and ninth, Safiyya, were
Jewesses. His first wife, Khadija, had a Christian background. The
eighth wife, Maryam, was part of a Christian sect. They undoubtedly
shared with him much of the Old and New Testament literature, drama, and
The Qur'an singles out the following Old Testament names from among the twenty-eight authentic prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, and Jonah.
Compare Genesis 4:1-16 and Surat al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread) 5:27-32.
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore
Cain, and said, "I have gotten a man from the LORD." Then she
bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep,
but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you did not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
Now Cain talked with Abel his brot her; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him.
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?"
And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?"
And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground."
Surat al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread) 5:27-32
But recite unto them with truth the tale of the two sons of Adam, how they offered each a sacrifice, and it was accepted from the one of them and it was not accepted from the other. (The one) said: I will surely kill thee. (The other) answered: Allah accepteth only from those who ward off (evil). Even if thou stretch out thy hand against me to kill me, I shall not stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee, lo! I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Lo! I would rather thou shouldst bear the punishment of the sin against me and thine own sin and become one of the owners of the Fire. That is the reward of evil-doers. But (the other’s) mind imposed on him the killing of his brother, so he slew him and became one of the losers. Then Allah sent a raven scratching up the ground, to show him how to hide his brother’s naked corpse. He said: Woe unto me! Am I not able to be as this raven and so hide my brother’s naked corpse? And he became repentant. For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah’s sovereignty), but afterwards, lo! Many of them became prodigals in the earth.
The passage above echoes an ancient Jewish tradition (c. AD 150-200), preserved by Pirke Rabbi Eleazer:
Adam and Eve, sitting by the corpse (of Abel) wept not knowing what to do, for they had as yet no knowledge of burial. A Raven coming up, took the dead body of its fellow (mate), and having scratched up the earth, buried it thus before their eyes. Adam said, "Let us follow the example of the Raven," and so taking up Abel’s body buried it at once.
The Qur'anic text also reflects its source in the second-century Jewish Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5:
We find in the case of Cain who murdered his brother, the voice of thy brother’s blood cries (Genesis 4:10). It is not said here blood in the singular, but bloods in the plural. That is, his own blood and the blood of his seed. Man was created single in order to show that to him who kills a single individual (a human being) it shall be reckoned (counted) that he has slain the whole race; but to him who preserves the life of a single individual, it is counted that he has preserved the whole race.
If Islam could trace its
origin and prophecy to Abraham, then we would expect to find Old Testament
references to Allah, Muhammad, Mecca, the black stone
of the Ka’bah, and the many ceremonies and practices of Islam. We have
already seen that the Holy Bible is devoid of references to Muhammad, and there
are no biblical references to any thing else Islamic.
It is much more reasonable to conclude that Islam grew from the polytheistic and animistic culture of Muhammad’s tribe. In fact, the people o f Mecca worshipped 360 idols, one of whom was named Al-ilah!
That being the case, however, there are numerous passages in the so-called inspired Qur'an which originally appeared in the Old Testament more that one thousand years before the prophet of Arabia was even born. Though the Qur'anic and biblical passages are not identical, they are similar enough to show Muhammad’s dependence on some of the Holy Bible’s teaching for his "revelations." Here are a select few of the many texts that could be cited:
· The Night of Power is better than a thousand month. (Surat al-Qadr [The Power] 97:3) For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. (Ps. 84:10)
· Show us the straight path. (Surat al-Fatihah [The Opening] 1:6) Teach Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a straight path. (Ps. 27:11)
· We have written in the Scripture, after the Reminder My righteous slaves will inherit the earth. (Surat al-Anbiya’ [The Prophets] 21:105) The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever. (Ps. 37:29)
· He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, whence ye have drink, and whence are trees . . . and the date-palm and grapes and all kind of fruit. Lo! Herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect. And he hath constrained the night and the day and the sun and the moon to be of service unto you, and the stars are made subservient by His command . . . And He hath cast into the earth firm hills that it quake not with you, and streams and roads that ye may find a way. And landmarks (to), and by the star they find a way. And landmarks (too), and by the star they find a way. (Surat al-Nahl [The Bee] 16:10-12, 15, 16) He sends the springs into the valleys, Which flow among the hills . . . He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth . . . He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down. You make darkness, and it is night, In which all the beasts of the forest creep about. (Ps. 104:10, 14, 19, 20)
· . . . having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. (Surat al-A’raf [The Heights] 7:179) Hear this now, O foolish people, Without understanding, Who have eyes and see not, And who have ears and hear not. (Jer. 5:21)
· He is the First and the Last, and the Outward and the Inward; and He is the Knower of all things. (Surat al-Hadid [The Iron] 57:3) I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (Isa. 44:6)
Other passages worthy of comparison are: Surat Hud 11 and Psalm 14; Surat Yusuf 12 and Psalm 16; Suyrat Ibrahim 14 and Psalm 35; Surat al-Hijr 15 and Psalm 5; Surat al-Kahf 18 and Psalm 34.
The II Targum of Esther, dating back to the second century AD, is consistently found to be the source of Surat al-Naml (The Ant) 27:17-44. First, we will look at the Qur'anic record:
And there were gathered together unto Solomon his
armies of the jinn and humankind, and of the birds, and they were set in battle
order; . . .
And he sought among the birds and said: How is it that I see not the hoopoe, or is he among the absent? I verily will punish him with hard punishment or I verily will slay him, or he verily shall bring me a plain excuse. But he was not long in coming, and he said: I have found out (a thing) that thou apprehendest not, and I come unto thee from Sheba with sure tidings. Lo! I found a woman ruling over them, and she hath been given (abundance) of all things, and hers is a mighty throne.
I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah; and Satan maketh their works fair-seeming unto them, and debarreth them from the way (of Truth), so that they go not aright . . .
(Solomon) said: We shall see whether thou speakest truth or whether thou art of the liars. Go with this my letter and throw it down unto them; then turn away and see what (answer) they return. (The Queen of Sheba) said (when she received the letter): O chieftains! Lo! There hath been thrown unto me a noble letter. . . .
They said: we are lord of might and lords of great prowess, but it is for thee to command; so consider what thou wilt command. She said: Lo! Kings, when they enter a township, ruin it a and make the honour of its people shame. Thus will they do. But lo! I am going to send a present unto them, and to see with what (answer) the messengers return. So when (the envoy) came unto Solomon, (the King) said: What! Would ye help me with wealth? But that which Allah hath given me is better than that which He hath given you. Nay it is ye (and not I) who exult in your gift. . . .
It was said unto her: Enter the hall. And when she saw it she deemed it a pool and bared her legs. (Solomon) said: Lo! It is a hall, made smooth, of glass.
She said: My Lord! Lo! I have wronged myself, and I surrender with Solomon unto Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
From the II Targum of Esther, we read:
Solomon . . . gave orders . . . I will send King and
armies against thee . . . (of) Genii beasts of the land the birds of the
air. Just then the Red-cock (a bird), enjoying itself, could not be
found; King Solomon said that they should seize it and bring it by force, and
indeed he sought to kill it.
But just then the cock appeared in the presence of the King and said, "I had seen the whole (and) know the city and kingdom (of Sheba) which is not subject to thee, My Lord King. They are ruled by a fortified city in the Eastlands (Sheba) and around it are stones of gold and silver in the streets. By chance the Queen of Sheba was out in the morning worshipping the sea, the scribes prepared a letter; which was placed under the bird’s wing and away it flew and (it) reached the Fort of Sheba. Seeing the letter under its wing (Sheba) opened it and read it.
"King Solomon sends to you his Salaams. Now if it please thee to come and ask after my welfare, I will set thee high above all. But if it please thee not, I will send kings and armies against thee."
The Queen of Sheba heard it, she tore her garments, and sending for her Nobles asked their advice. They knew no Solomon, but advised her to send vessels by the sea, full of beautiful ornaments and gems . . . also to send a letter to him.
When at last she came, Solomon sent a messenger . . . to meet her. . . . Solomon, hearing she had come, arose and sat down in the palace of glass. When the Queen of Sheba saw it, she thought the glass floor was water, and so in crossing over lifted up her garments. When Solomon seeing the hair about her legs, (He) cried out to her. . .
The New Testament
Surat al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread)
5, Surat Maryam (Mary) 19, Surat al-Imran (The Family of ‘Imran) 3, and several
other Surats are full of New Testament references. The Qur'an mentions
Jesus ninety-seven times, plus Zachariah and his son, John, along with the
disciples of Jesus. This indicates that Muhammad knew much more than the
average Arab of his time about the New Testament Scriptures. After all,
his uncle, Waraqa, translated portions of the Gospels into Arabic, and
Burhaira, a Nestorian mon, was his secret
teacher. There are 131 passages in the Qur'an in which the Bible is
referred to as the Law, Psalms, and the Gospel.
Furthermore, numerous passages in the Qur'an so closely parallel passages in the New Testament, which is six hundred years older that the Qur'an, that one can safely conclude that Muhammad borrowed some of the content of his "revelations" from the truly inspired text of the New Testament Scriptrues. Here are a few choice examples:
· Ah, woe unto worshippers who are heedless of their prayer; who would be seen (at worship). (Surat al-Ma’un [Small Kindnesses] 107) Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory form men. (Matt. 6:2)
· They taste not death therin, save the first death. . . . (Surat al-Dukhan [the Smoke] 44:56) He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death. (Rev. 2:11)
· Lo! They who deny Our revelations and scorn them, for them the gates of Heaven will not be opened nor will they enter the Garden until the camel goeth through the needle’s eye. (Surat al-A’raf [The Heights] 7:40) And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Matt. 19:24)
· And the dwellers of the Fire cry out unto the dwellers of the Garden; Pour on us some water or some of that wherewith Allah hath provided you. (Surat al-A’raf [The Heights] 7:50) Then he cried and said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." (Matt. 16:24)
· And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is the Praised One. (Surat al-Saff [The Ranks] 61:6) . . . The word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me . . . But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:24, 26)
· But Lo! A Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon. (Surat al-Hajj [The Pilgrimage] 22:47) But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Pet. 3:8)
Surat al-Imran (The Family of ‘Imran) 3:35-37 closely follows a spurious gospel account, The Protevangelion’s James the Lesser. This second century A.D. apocryphal Christian fable tells the story of Zachariah, his wife, and John the Baptist. The Qur'anic passage reads:
(Remember) when the wife of ‘Imran said: My Lord! I have vowed unto Thee that which is in my belly as a consecrated (offering). Accept it from me, Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower And when she was delivered she said: My Lord! Lo! I am delivered of a female—Allah knew best of what she was delivered—the male is not as the female; and lo! I have named her Mary, and lo! I crave Thy protection for her and for her offspring from Satan the outcast. And her Lord accepted her with full acceptance and vouchsafed to her a goodly growth: and made Zachariah her guardian. Whenever Zachariah went into the sanctuary where she was, he found that she had food. He said: O Mary! Whence cometh unto thee this (food)? She answered: It is from Allah, Allah giveth without stint to whom He will.
The Protevangelion’s James the Lesser 4:2, 5:9, and 7:4 states:
And Anna (wife of Joachim) answered, ‘As the Lord my God liveth, whatever I bring forth, whether it be male or female, I will devote it to the Lord my God, and it shall minister to him in holy things, during its whole life’ . . .and called her name Mary . . .And the high-priest received her, and blessed her, and said, ‘Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy name to all generations, and to the very end of time by thee will the Lord shew his redemption to the children of Israel.’
It is intriguing and
instructive to discover why Muhammad did not believe in the Trinity and the
divinity or resurrection of Jesus Christ. To understand this, we must
examine the prevalent deviant doctrines of Nestorius and his followers,
sectarian Christians who migrated to Arabia 140 years before Muhammad’s
birth. Muhammad apparently drew his denials from their heresy.
Nestorius was patriarch of Constantinople from AD 428 to 431. Orthodox Christians believed, as per scriptural teaching, that Jesus had two natures, one divine and one human. Although the two were distinct, they were joined together in one person. Nestorius, however, insisted that in Christ Jesus both a divine and a human person acted in unity, but were not the one divine person with both a divine nature and a human nature.
In AD 431 the Council of Ephesus judged the Nestorian beliefs to be heretical. Nestorius was deposed as patriarch. He and his followers were driven out of the Roman Empire and took refuge in Persia, Arabia, India, China, and Mongolia. Their followers are identified as Nestorians or Monophysites (the Greek word monos means single, and physis means nature.)
Waraqa ibn Nofal, considered to be Muhammad’s uncle, was also a Nestorian and is alleged to have translated portions of the Gospels into Arabic. He was very influential to Muhammad. Khadija, Muhammad’s first wife, is rumored to have been a Nestorian Christian.
At least one branch of the Nestorians still exists in the Middle East. Called the East Syrian Church, its number as of 1980 was estimated at 300,000.
Most Christian scholars believe that Muhammad came in contact with Nestorians during his business travels Do Damascus and Egypt with his uncle’s caravans, then later with Khadija’s caravans. The Nestorians established monasteries on the caravan routes and entertained travelers like Muhammad frequently. Buhaira, a Nestrorian monk, is recognized as one of the most influential men in Muhammad’s knowledge of the Scriptures. The descriptions of hell in the homilies of Ephraim, a Nestorian preacher of the sixth century, resemble Muhammad’s descriptions of hell. What was Muhammad doing between the time he married Khadija and his prophetic call, a period of fifteen years? Could he have been learning from Buhaira and Waraqa and reading some available biblical scrolls?
The ancient Arabs reportedly
had seven celebrated temples dedicated to the seven planets. The temple
at Sana was built in honor of Venus, and the one at Mecca was consecrated to
Saturn. Could the Islamic idea of seven heavens have come from these
Stone worship prevailed at an early period among the Arabs, as among many other nations. Stones, shaped like the famed Egyptian obelisks and ten feet high, are on top of Mt. Seir in Petra, South Jordan. The ancient Nabatean Arabs worshipped these stone-carved pillars.
Muslim writers say that Adam, the first man, built the Ka’bah on earth, exactly below the spot its perfect model occupies in heaven. Ka’bah refers to the building in which the stone is housed. Supposedly, one thousand angels have been appointed to guard the structure. Apparently, they were careless in their duties because Abraham and his son Ishmael are said to have rebuilt it after a flood destroyed it! Several centuries later, the Meccans had to reconstruct again after another flood.
The stone within the Ka’bah structure is shaped somewhat like an egg and is about seven inches long. Muslims believe that at first it was whiter than milk, but it has become black from the sin of those who touched it.
Ka’bah is an Arabic word which means a cube. The structure is also called Baitu’llah, the "house fo God." At first, the Ka’bah, was open at the top and exposed to torrents of rain, which eventually destroyed it. However, when Kussai ibn Kilab reconstructed the Ka’bah, he added a roof.
Some idols of the ancient Arabs are mentioned by name in the Qur'an. Al-Lat, the chief idol at Ta’if, is supposed to mean "the goddess." Al’Uzza probably symbolized the planet Venus, although it was worshipped as the form of a babul tree. Manat was a large sacrificial stone. Suwa was a female deity, Yaghus was in the form of a lion, Ya’uk in the shape of a horse, and nasr had the image of an eagle. In front of the Ka’bah was the great image of Hobal, the guardian deity of Mecca.
The Secrets of Enoch and the Testament of Abraham
We must further compare The Secrets of Enoch, a second-century AD Egyptian work in Arabic, 1:4-10 and 2:1, and the Qur'anic record of Muhammad’s Mi’faj, which is recognized as the night in which he went to heaven by way of Jerusalem. A’isha, surprisingly enough, declared emphatically, "the body of the prophet of Allah did not disappear but Allah took away his spirit by night." 19 Here is the passage in Surat Bani Isra’il (The Children of Israel) 17:1:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful. Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.
The elaborate story of this
vision is expounded in Mishkat al Masabih, composed in AD 620. Muhammad
told how the angel Gabriel took him on the winged animal, Al-Buraq, and showed
him all the seven levels of heaven in one night. Muhammad announced that
he had seen Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others.
However, the night journey was not really so marvelous. The tale and its details appear originally in The Secrets of Enoch, which predates Muhammad by four centuries. Here is an excerptfrom Enoch 1:4-10 and 2:1:
On the first day of the month I was in my house and was resting on my couch and slept and when I was asleep great distress came up into my heart and there appeared two men. They were standing at my couch and called me by name and I arose from my sleep. Have courage, Enoch, do not fear; The Eternal God sent us to thee. Thou shalt today ascend with us into heaven. The Angels took him on their wings and bore him up to the first heaven.
As to the description of what
Muhammad saw in the various levels of heaven, one can find an earlier record of
the very same details in The Testament of Abraham.
Although Muhammad claimed he went to Jerusalem and worshipped at the temple in his spirit, the temple had been destroyed by Titus 570 years before the vision! The "far distant place of worship" mentioned in Surat Bani Isra’il (The Children of Israel) 17:1 refers to the Aqsa Mosque, which was built as a church in Jerusalem by the Crusaders during the twelfth century. In 1187 Saladin made it a mosque after he conquered the Holy Land. In other words, no such place existed at the time of the so-called heavenly journey. Even the Dome of the Rock mosque was not built until AD 691.
In the Hindu version of the story, the Prophet is Arta, the angel is Azar, and Adam is Ormazd. The original Hindu source is arta Viraf Namak.
Ancient historians like Abi Isa the Moroccan tell that Sabeans were the first religious people whose language was Syriac. Even Adam spoke that language. Seba was said to be the same Seba, son of Cush, son of Ham, son of Noah, mentioned in Genesis 10:6,7. Their worship was monotheistic; they offered sacrifices and prayed seven times a day. Muhammad apparently borrowed their idea but reduced the number of prayer times to five a day. The Sabeans fasted thirty days a year, breaking the fast at sunset—two more practices Muhammad "Islamized" during Ramadan. Dr. Ahmad Shah (Theology—Muslim and Christian), and elderly scholar and dear friend, told me when I visited him in India in 1978 that some writers mistook the Sabeans for followers of John the Baptist because they baptized new members into their group. He adds that along with God, they also worshipped stars and hierarchy of angels.
"The great merit of Muhammad," says Osborn, "is that among a people given up to idolatry, he rose to vivid perception of the unity of God and preached this great doctrine with firmness and constancy amid ridicule and persecution." "Being also a master in eloquence," says Sir William Muir, "his language was cast in the purest and most persuasive style of Arabian oratory."
The sinfulness of man, the necessity of faith, the duty of prayer, and the judgment of all men at the last day, are other truths which Muhammad forcefully taught. The Fatiha is a prayer which can be adopted by all much like the Lord’s Prayer or the Twenty-third Psalm.
Exaggeration in the Qur'an
The simple narratives of the Bible are distorted and magnified to an incredible degree in the Muslim Qur'an. In the Surat al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:259, for example, the Qur'an says Ezra, or ‘Uzair, and his all died "for a hundred years" and were then raised to life.
Or (bethink the of) the like of him who, passing by a township which had fallen into utter ruin, exclaimed: How shall Allah give this township life after its death? And Allah made him die a hundred years, then brought him back to life. He said: How long hast thou tarried? (The man) said: I have tarried a day or part of a day. (He) said: Nay, but thou hast tarried for a hundred years. Just look at thy food and drink which have rotted! Look at thine ass! And, that We may make thee a token unto mankind, look at the bones, how We adjust them and then cover them with flesh! And when (the matter) became clear unto him, he said: I know now that Allah is able to do all things.
The Bible says that God gave the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Abodah Sarah, a second century A.D. Jewish fable, states,
I was raised (by shaking it from its roots) the Mountain (Sinai) to be a covering over you as it were, a lid.
In the Qur'an we read in Surat al-A’raf (The Heights) 7:171 and in Surat al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread) 5:60:
And when We shook the Mount above them as it were a covering, and they supposed that it was going to fall upon them (and We said): Hold fast that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein, that ye may ward off (evil). Shall I tell thee of a worse (case) than theirs for retribution with Allah? Worse (is the case of him) whom Allah hath cursed, him on whom His wrath hath fallen! Worse is he of whose sort Allah hath turned some to apes and swine, and who serveth idols. Such are in worse plight and further astray from the plain road.
Contradiction of Science
In Surat al-Kahf (The Cave) 18:86, it is said:
Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout: We said: ODhu’Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness.
Only the superstitious in the age of Muhammad believed that the sun would ever set in a muddy spring!
Muslims believe that whatever has or
shall come to pass in this world, whether it be good or bad, proceeds entirely
from the divine will and has been irrevocable fixed and recorded on a preserved
It is true, as already stated, that some passages of the Qur'an seem to attribute freedom to man, while others teach a clear and distinct fatalism. The followers of Muhammad have no knowledge of God as a loving Father who has made us free moral beings. Surat al-Taubah (Repentance) 9:52 reads:
Say: Can ye await for us aught save one of two good things (death or victory in Allah’s way)? while we await for you that Allah will afflict you with a doom from Him or at our hands. Await then! Lo! we are awaiting with you.
Abrogation of Qur'anic Verses
Muslims resolve some internal contradictions in the Qur'an by stating that certain passages of the Qur'an are mansukh, or annulled by verses revealed chronologically later than themselves, which are called nasikh. This is taught by Muhammad in Surat al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:106:
Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?
What is called “the sword verse” in Surat al-Taubah (Repentance) 9:5 annuls 124 verses which originally encourage tolerance.
Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
One tradition has it that ‘Ayisha declared emphatically that the Surat al-Saff (The Ranks) 61 had 200 verses during Muhammad’s lifetime. But when Uthman standardized the Qur'an, the Surat had only 72 verses.
This idea is certainly unacceptable and foreign to an all-wise God who, according to this Muslim doctrine, is presented as an ignorant Allah who dictates wrong commands and later corrects them because they do not work. Compare this belief of Muslim theology with what Christ Jesus announced according to Matthew 5:17 and 19.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Another evidence of fickle faith concerns the direction of a Muslim’s daily prayers. Muhammad communicated to his early followers in Mecca that the Qiblah, the physical direction of their prayers, should be toward Ka’bah. Once he migrated to Medina, he changed the direction toward Jerusalem, to please the predominant Jewish population in Medina. Then seventeen months later, Allah changed His mind the third time by commanding Muhammad to look toward Mecca and no longer toward Jerusalem.
A man makes mistakes and needs to correct them, abut such is not the case with God. God has infinite wisdom and cannot contradict Himself. Does God have two Qur'ans if this system of abrogation is valid? What does one do with this emphatic declaration in Surat al-An’am (Cattle) 6:34?
. . . there is none That can alter the Words (And Decrees) of Allah.
Muhammad professed to have a revelation, through Gabriel, when ever it suited his purpose. Many students of Muhammad’s life say some “messages from heaven” were given to justify his political and moral conduct, as well as to match his religious precepts. Battles were fought, wholesale executions inflicted, wives added, and territories annexed, these students say, under pretext of the Almighty’s sanction.
Women's Inferiority In Islam
Polygamy and Unlimited Divorce
And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.
When the leading Muslim men complained to ‘Ali of the licentious practice of his son, Hasan, he told them the remedy lay in their own hands: they could refuse Hasan their daughters altogether. At that time, Hasan had married and divorced seventy times.
One is bound to ask, if Mohammed brought us a greater and more perfect revelation, then why do we seem to regress instead of progress with the moral standards of the Qur'an? Jesus Christ enunciated, “He who made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4). If God wanted man to have four wives, He would have made more than one Eve for Adam!
A Muslim husband may cast his wife adrift without giving a single reason or even notice. The husband possesses absolute, immediate, and unquestioned power of divorce. No privilege of a corresponding nature is reserved for the wife.
Here are two more verses from Surat al-Nisa (Women) (4:11, 176) in which the inferiority of women in Islam is most obvious.
And give unto the women, (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth). They ask thee for a pronouncement. Say: Allah hath pronounced for you concerning distant kindred. If a man die childless and he have a sister, hers is half the heritage, and he would have inherited from her had she died childless. And if there be two sisters, then theirs are two-thirds of the heritage, and if they be brethren, men and women, unto the male is the equivalent of the share of two females. Allah expoundeth unto you, so that ye err not. Allah is Knower of all things.
Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then, if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great.
Slave Girls Become Concubines
In addition to the four wives allowed by law, a Muslim can have an unlimited number of slave girls as concubines (sexual partners). This practice abrogates God's commands against fornication. Surat al-Nisa (Women) 4:24 states,
And all married women are forbidden
unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a
decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned,
so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. and those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give
unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what
ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo!
Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
One wonders if the idea of sexual slavery is projected and perpetuated even into heaven itself once we read in Surat al-Naba (The Tidings) 78:33, about the pleasures of Paradise including young women for concubines.
Sword & Slavery In Islam
Intolerance and Religious Oppression
While at Mecca, Muhammad, realizing that he was surrounded by enemies, taught his followers toleration. He was simply a teacher commissioned to deliver a message. Even for a time at Medina, he was moderate. In Surat al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2, verse 256, it states,
There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
But it was very different after Muhammad’s power was established. When the Muslims armies went forth to attack the surrounding tribes, or other nations, they offered them three options: accept Islam, pay tribute, or die by the sword (see the Repentance Surat, verse 29).
Let us put you in that position with those choices. What would you and your family choose? Numerous Christians paid with their lives. Yet the numbers of those who took the easy way out were far greater. As a result, many church buildings were turned into mosques to please the conquering Muslims, and a shroud of spiritual darkness covered huge areas of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. History informs us that the twelve months following Muhammad’s death were spent in bitter, bloody battles to subdue the Arab tribes who became apostate.
Around one million Armenian Christians were savagely slaughtered by the Turkish Muslims at the beginning of the twentieth century. Since then, an Armenian secret organization has assassinated a top Turkish leader of diplomat in some country in the world every year. This is the Armenians’s method of impressing on the minds of the world the horror of that atrocity and their insistence on revenge.
According to a twenty-three page report filed March 28, 1987, by Khartoum University professors Ushari Mahmud and Suleyman Ali Baldo, more than one thousand Dinka citizens, including women and children, were massacred in the western Sudan town of Diem in 1987. The Baptist Record newspaper of November 5, 1987, added that dozens of pastors have been killed and many churches destroyed since Islamic law was imposed in 1983, when Sudan was officially declared an Islamic republic.
Another report appeared in the
Baptist World Alliance newsletter of September, 1987, indicating that 130
church buildings and pastor’s homes of all Christian denominations in Kadona
State in Nigeria were destroyed by Muslim rioters.
Surat al-Taubah (Repentance) 9:29 gives the following instructions for dealing with Jews and Christians:
Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
In Islamic countries, Christian missionaries are forbidden to preach to Muslims. Some governments even prohibit any Christian activity whatsoever in their particular countries (Libya, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia). In fact, a person has to be a Muslim in order to obtain citizenship in Saudi Arabia.
Religious liberty is unknown where Islam is the creed of the majority. Of course, Muslims are quick to take full advantage of the freedom of religion which is practiced throughout the Western world. This is demonstrated in the Muslim centers established in every major European and American city in the last fifteen years. Francehad but one mosque in 1974. Now there are fifteen hundred.
According to a tradition of Ibn ‘Abbas and “Ayisha, the prophet is said to have permitted the blood to be shed of him “who abandons his religion and separates himself from the community.” This practice continues in some Muslim countries. However, the backslider is to be given an opportunity to repent in the Western world, rather than have his blood shed. (See Surat al-Imran [The Family of ‘Imran] 3:83-90.)
Muhammad enjoined Muslims to treat slaves kindly, but Muslims are under no obligation to release them. Slaves, male or female, Muslim, heathen, Jew, or Christian, may be bought and sold like cattle. The female slaves are completely under the control of their masters. Surat al-Nisa (Women) 4:36 states:
And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loveth not such as are proud and boastful. . . .
When the Christian nations of Europe were trying to suppress slavery, Muslims were its greatest supporters and involved with slave trading. Up until a few decades ago, Muslim Arabs converted a large portion of Central Africa into a slave-hunting ground. A gang would surround a peaceful village of blacks, startle them by sudden gunshots, and shoot any who attempted to defend themselves. They would pinion the arms of the frightened male captives behind their backs, fasten their necks together with cleft sticks, and then drive them, along with the women and children, to the coast to be sold as slaves.
Surat al-Nisa (Women) 4:74 promises enormous rewards to those who fight for Allah:
Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.
Muhammad gives himself a self-serving, so called divine order to fight. This is perhaps the basis for calling Islam “the religion of the sword.” Surat al-Nisa (Women) 4:84 says:
So fight (O Muhammad) in the way of Allah-- Thou art not taxed (with the responsibility for anyone) except for thyself--and urge on the believers. Peradventure Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. Allah is stronger in might and stronger in inflicting punishment.
Finally, here is another gruesome order given by Allah through Muhammad according to Surat al-Ma’idah (Table Spread) 5:33:
The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom.
The Gospel Of Barnabas
One of the favorite sources used by Muslims to support their erroneous views of Christ and the Holy Bible is the spurious Gospel of Barnabas. Because of its importance as a Muslim apologetic tool, we must examine its veracity and claims.
The History Of The Gospel Of Barnabas
The first mention of Barnabas is found in the New Testament book of Acts. He was a Cypriot Jew, a Levite by tribe, and the friend and sponsor of Saul of Tarsus.
The only known manuscript of the Gospel traditionally attributed to him in existence today is the eighteenth-century copy in Italian. No one has ever seen or mentioned an original copy in Arabic. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support such a claim that there is an authentic Gospel of Barnabas.
Barnabas himself is mentioned in Acts 4:36, but with the name Joseph. He sold his field and gave the proceeds to the apostles to distribute among the needy. His kindness prompted them to call him Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement.” In the so-called Gospel, the author makes a serious blunder by suggesting throughout his book that the name Barnabas was given him by Jesus and that he was one of the Twelve.
Later in Acts, we are told of the reluctance of the church in Jerusalem to accept Saul of Tarsus as a bonafide believer, since he had gained notoriety before his conversion as a persecutor of Christians:
But Barnabas took him and brought him (Saul) to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Here in Acts, Barnabas is the friend of Paul. However, in the Gospel of Barnabas, he is Paul’s bitter enemy (see also Acts 11:26).
One of the most interesting events in the joint ministry of Barnabas and Paul is recounted in Acts 15:1-2. The author of the alleged Gospel declares emphatically that Paul’s preaching of Jesus as the Son of God and his forcing of circumcision on the Gentiles was totally opposed by Barnabas; the account in Acts reveals the opposite:
And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.
The Gospel’s Popularity Among Muslims
The current Gospel of Barnabas
circulating among Muslims is popular because: (1) it counteracts “Pauline
Christianity”; (2) its Jesus denies that He is the Messiah; and (3) its Jesus
prophesies the coming of Muhammad. Yet, this eighteenth-century forgery
is a false document from beginning to end. Christians and Muslims should
reject it because it contradicts both the Bible and the Qur'an. The Bible
states clearly in Matthew 16:20, “then He commanded His disciples that they
should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.” It was not time to
reveal Himself yet.
The Qur'an declares emphatically in Surat al-Imran (The Family of ‘Imran) 3:45:
O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth three 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).
Pope Gelasius and the Gospel of Barnabas
Almost five centuries after
Barnabas’s death, the Gospel of Barnabas is mentioned by pope Gelasius I (A.D.
492-496). Because of its heretical teaching, Pope Gelasius forbade
Christians to read it. The book was Gnostic in origin and denied the
deity of Christ as well as His incarnation. Such a book could have fallen
into the hands of Muhammad, providing him with the glaring absurdities of the
Qur'anic account of Christ.
Beyond the biblical account, there is nothing known of what happened to Barnabas except a tradition that states he ministered in his later years in Alexandria and Rome. One is surprised to learn that another apocryphal book, the Epistle of Barnabas, claimed Alexandria as its origin. This is not to be confused with the Gospel of Barnabas to which our Muslim friends attach so much import.
The Eighteenth-Century Copy is a Forgery
In the eighteenth century, an Italian copy of the Gospel surfaced. It is definitely a forgery because it quotes lines from the Qur'an, which, of course, dates to the seventh, not the first, century. The author seems to be familiar with the Gospel forbidden by Pope Gelasius and its heretical teachings. The author of this forgery also quotes Date’s Divine Comedy, which was written in the thirteenth century!
Although the Gospel of Barnabas was
written as an ideal “Islamic Gospel,” presenting the life of Christ as ‘Isa of
the Qur'an rather than the Lord Jesus Christ, no one with any intellectual
integrity should ever accept it as anything but a forgery.
The Mystery Of Pbuh Unveiled
Before we go on, we must deal with the term pbuh. This cryptic word is accepted by Muslims as an abbreviation for “peace be upon him.” It is respectfully spoken as well as written after repeating the name of Muhammad. Although it is supposed to be the rendering of an Arabic phrase, it is actually not a true translation--only half of it is. The Arabic phrase is Salla-llahu’ alayhi wassalam. It occurs in the Qur'anic text and literally read, “Lo Allah and His angels pray upon the prophet. Oh yea who believe, pray on him and salute him with peace.”
One is utterly confounded when the literal and real translation is understood. Why do our Muslim friends hide the true meaning of pbuh? It is because the Arabic statement is embarrassing since it contradicts Muslim doctrine?
How is Allah supposed to pray to
Muhammad and greet Him or anyone else for that matter? Does Allah
pray? And if He does, to whom does He pray? Is this passage not
contrary to Muslim theology, which teaches that Allah is prayed to but He never
prays to anyone else? Or does Allah really pray to other human beings or
only to Muhammad, Allah’s own prophet? The confusion of this popular
Islamic expression leaves one perplexed and hanging in the air.
The Early Advances Of Islam
Muslims sometimes cite the rapid spread of Islam as a proof of its divine origin, but other explanations may be given, some of which will be mentioned.
Suited for the Arabs
The predominant characteristics of the ancient Arab were an almost inconceivable vain-glory and self-conceit. He was never weary of contemplating and boasting of his own perfection. Mohammed was precisely the Prophet to win such a race. The Arab gloried in his language; Mohammed declared that it was a Divine language-- the decrees of God had been written in it from all eternity. The Arab gloried in the traditional practices and customs of the desert-- murder, predatory war, slavery, polygamy, concubinage. Mohammed impressed upon all these assuages the seal of a Divine sanction. The Arab gloried in the holiness of Mecca. Mohammed affirmed it to be the single portal whereby men could enter into Paradise. In a word, he took the Arab people just as he found them, and declared all that they did to be very good and sacred from change. The fancied revelation gratified the vanity of the Arabs, but it pronounced on them a sentence of perpetual barbarism. Such as they were when the Prophet lived, such are the Arabs now. Their condition is proof that Islam is incapable of elevating a people to a higher level.
It has been well said that “the Allah of Mohammed spares the sins the Arab love.: As an Arab, this writer will object strongly to such general characterization. Yet much truth is found in the above stated evaluation of my people.
Incentives of Plunder and Conquest
The Muslims’ early raids were not aimed exclusively at conquest or conversion. Rather, they were simply part of the Bedouin skirmishing traditions and were carried out primarily for economic motivations-- the booty and tribute that amounted to 50 percent of one's wealth were healthy incentives for impoverished desert warriors-- thus the spread of Islam was more economic phenomenon than a religious one. Barely a century after Muhammad’s revelation claims began, Muslim soldiers and traders stood from Spain in the west, across North Africa and the Middle East, to the borders of China.
The Desert, the Camel, and the Horse Advantage
The Arab Bedouins were the masters of the desert. They trapped their enemies in sandstorms and dry riverbeds. Although they fought few battles, their victories were decisive. The Battle of Yarmuk, A.D. 631, led by Khalid, was fought in a sandstorm, giving the Muslims the advantage, because they were more familiar than the Byzantines with desert warfare.
For mobility, the Bedouins used the swift, sure-footed Arabian horse, whose flaring nostrils can take in large quantities of air. The one-humped camel, which can drink twenty-five gallons of water in ten minutes and survive for days on a diet of thorny bushes and dried grass, was used for endurance. The camel has a double row of eyelashes and is able to close its nostrils for long periods of time as protection from sandstorms. Additionally, its soft, two toed feet serve the same purpose as balloon tires on a dune buggy, and it can run faster than any other animal on the desert sands. The camel and the Arabian horse gave the Arabs a definite advantage in warfare.
Expectation of Religious Merit through Jihad (Holy War)
All who die “fighting in the ways of
the Lord” (Jihad) are richly rewarded, while those who draw back are sorely
punished, according to Surat al-Fath (Victory) 48:16-17.
While attending a Foreign Missions Conference in June 1986, in North Carolina, I sat in on the special discussions on world religions. To my utter surprise, the forty-minute slide presentation with its “expert” narrator on world religions attempted to impress the group of two hundred that Islam is mistakenly called “the religion of the sword.” I stood up and challenged the speaker to explain how that was true when the Qur'an command Mohammed to fight and Mohammed conducted twenty-seven battles and planned thirty-nine others.
The Spiritual Vacuum Created by a Lukewarm Christianity
Every human soul seeks the ultimate reality, the truth. Whenever this goal eludes them, they find substitutes in philosophy, materialism, religions, cults, and various other substitutes. Even now we live in a world of substitutes. We no longer want sugar, therefore sweetener substitutes are offered. “Coca-Cola” advertises that their product is “the real thing!”
The majority of Christians of that time were neither living holy lives nor sharing their faith in order to lead Mohammed and his contemporaries to Christ Jesus, the ultimate reality. It is to our extreme sorrow and eternal shame that the Arabs ended up following Mohammed instead of Christ. In fact, I am convinced, as an Arab, that Mohammed would have been one of the most powerful disciples of Jesus had he lived in Palestine during Jesus’ earthly ministry.
However, Mohammed, instead, became a warrior, orator, and the un-crowned emperor of Arabia. he used religion as his literary theme and the sword to enforce his beliefs. The surats are titles of his poems and prose in an expressive language. Others before him had used prose and poetry effectively to win a place of honor by hanging them in the Ka’bah long before Muhammad’s emergence on the horizon of Arabia.
The Bankruptcy of Heathenism
The Arab tribes were getting very restless. Their heathen practices never could satisfy the longing in their hearts. The 360 local idols increased their hunger for the truth. The idea of an Almighty Creator captured their imagination. This made Muhammad’s teaching that much more attractive.
Islamic Growth Today
Population Explosion in Muslim Countries
Our world’s population grew to more than five billion in July 1986. The statistics provide evidence that the greatest increases in population have been occurring in Third World countries that are non-Christian, such as Hindu, Muslim, and Socialist countries. The belief, especially among the illiterate Muslims, is that Allah’s favor upon a family is shown by its large size. Riches are also a sign of His favor; thus, Arabs accept oil as evidence of His pleasure with them.
The children who are born in a Muslim home are automatically counted as Muslims, with no choice provided for anything else. One can deduce that this comprises the major reason for the increase in the number of Muslims in the world. Indonesia, with a population of 168 million, has more Muslims than the entire Arab world, then Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India in that order.
Oil Riches Used to Propagate Islam
The new resurgence of Islam is partially due to the billions of oil dollars reaped from the terrifying hikes in oil prices since 1973. Although the picture drastically changed in 1986, still petroleum dollars are being used to build Muslim centers in every major city in the world and every sizable city (over 500,000 population) in the Untied States. Literature, the Qur'an itself, and magazines proclaiming the praises of Islam are published and distributed daily throughout the world.
Accepting Islam for Economic Reasons
Many of the poorer countries of ;the Third World, particularly those in Africa, have denounced Israel, Christian missionaries, and the West in general in order to receive Muslim funds. With the influx of financial aid rushes in the Muslim religion and proselyting of citizens.
Non-Muslims Change Names for Employment
In Egypt alone there have been between 20,000 to 50,000 people every year for 25 years who changed their Christian names to Muslim names to gain employment in the Muslim-controlled economy. Prejudice in the predominantly Muslim countries has forced thousand of people to switch their names, if not their Christian allegiance.
A Fanatical Desire to Conquer the World
At the Battle of Tours, France, in A.D. 432, the Muslims were stopped in their tracks as their armies advanced to conquer the world. But now the cry is intensifying, as we heard in England in the summer of 1985: “If we can take London for Islam, we can take the world.” Their effort is militant, represented by men like Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, military regimes like Colonel Gadhafi of Libya, and the tragic civil war in Lebanon.
According to the United States State Department’s Office of Counter-Terrorism, there were more than 800 international terrorist incidents in 1985, with 2,223 causalities in that bloody year. This was a 60 percent increase over the 1978 to 1983 early averages. Facts and figures indicate that the majority of these incidents were sponsored by fanatical Muslim groups.
Furthermore, it is believed that an extreme Muslim group, perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood, engineered the assassination of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt in 1983. Mr. Sadat, along with American President Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Begin of Israel, shared the 1978 Nobel Peace prize for their roles in the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
Nevertheless, something else must be recognized in connection with the Palestinian terrorists. I am a former Palestinian, but I cannot condone their atrocities carried out to force the world to take another look at their desperate lot. Even as this book is being prepared for the press, the whole world is sickened at the six-month-long riots, demonstrations, and bloodshed between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis on the West Bank. Tragically, over two hundred Palestinian Arabs have been killed so far. But since we have given the displaced Jews a homeland, why not the Palestinians? After all, did they not live there for centuries and know no other homeland except Palestine? Unless they are given the self-determination to choose the West Bank as their Palestine or the West Bank as a federation with Jordan, peace in the Middle East will continue to be elusive. The Libyan bombing by the United States in 1986 was merely a treatment for the symptom of the illness. We must still deal with the real problem--the Palestinian homeland.
On February 4, 1987, I was one of numerous speakers, greeters, and singers at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast held at the Washington Sheraton Hotel. Many dignitaries from the national and international scene sat with me on the huge platform. The attendance was nearly two thousand, Edwin Meese, the Treasury Secretary of the United States, spoke on terrorism. Reverend Stephen Olford spoke on “A Biblical View of Israel.” I was the only Palestinian Arab on the program.
Before Meese delivered his address, Ed McAteer, president of the Religious Roundtable, introduced me as a member of a new P.L.O. He announced P.L.O. stands for Palestinians Loving Others to a tumultuous round of applause. Greeting them first in Arabic, then interpreting, “I greet you in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, and the man from my hometown of Nazareth,” I nearly brought the house down.
In a brief, two-minute speech, I shared my testimony, and how God’s love had changed my heart, attitude, and will, teaching me, through Christ, to forgive even those who were responsible for the deaths of my father, an uncle, and a cousin. Concluding, the Holy Spirit reminded me of an idea an Arab pastor from London was inspired to proclaim:
The Jews now have a place. But they have no peace. My Palestinian people someday will have a place. Yet that will not guarantee peace either. What we need is not just a place but a person, a person who declared, “If the son has made you free you are free indeed.” And in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Prince of peace, I want to say to you I love you and God bless you.
The response was electrifying, unbelievable, and very humbling. The audience and the speakers alike began to stand and applaud. out of thirty or more participants on the program, mine was the only speech which received a standing ovation. To God be the glory! They did not stand for me but for Jesus Christ--the One who changed me.
Disaffection with Prejudiced Organized Religions
The prime example of this is none other than Cassius Clay of the world boxing fame. When he became the world champion and discovered persistent prejudice against his color, he turned tot he Black Muslims who welcomed him with open arms. The young boxer did not realize that prejudice--racial, sexual, national, and religious--permeated Islam. However, I have personal knowledge of a ten-hour visit between him and evangelist Billy Graham where Mohammad Ali, now his Muslim name, admitted his dissatisfaction with Islam after embracing it for twenty years.
At least 6,000 Britons have sought
Islam as a result of their disaffection with organized Christianity in England
in the past five years. One such person is the famous singer Cat Stevens,
a pop musician.
In other words, no matter what one’s religion is, it does not provide the ultimate reality. A person needs a relationship with Christ Jesus because only He can satisfy our souls.
Immigration of Muslims into the West
The number of Muslims in the West has not increased because of conversion, but because of immigration of Muslims by the millions to the West. The recent changes in immigration laws and the leniency of the previously restricted quotas from Third World countries has brought this Muslim influx.
Marriages of Younger Muslim Men to non-Muslim Women
The thousands of Muslim students who travel to study in the numerous institutions of higher learning in Europe and the United States find the alluring and sophisticated girls here much more attractive than their docile counterparts at home. Of course, a further truth is obvious to any observing individual. Many young men would rather marry and live in the West with its freedoms and opportunities than return tot he old-fashioned traditions and modern tragedies of the war-torn Muslim world and its instability.
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