Many years ago, back in those pre-internet days, I lived in an area that was increasingly becoming one that was predominantly populated by Muslims. So, I bought a Christian book on Islamic beliefs, and their children played with my children, and all was well with the world. However, I never really interacted with any of them at a deeper level; that of discussing matters of faith, salvation and those things that really matter. In those younger days, it was more a matter of living a quiet and Godly life, whilst remaining separate and “safe” from them. Anything more than that felt altogether too daunting. I had neither the information nor the boldness that I needed in those days.
Fast forward two decades to today, when I have the internet at my disposal, and Amazon speedily delivering every book under the sun to my door (or Kindle) in a matter of days (or seconds), along with a stronger faith, and I certainly have a different tale to tell you.
Sharing My Faith in Jesus
The Bible certainly teaches us to share the Gospel with the whole world. But how we speak to each person differs due to their starting point. We know that we are to speak with gentleness and graciousness and we are to be wise and knowledgeable too.
“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:5-6
As Christians we certainly have “good news” for any who will listen. We have “the goods,” so to speak! But will we speak, that is the question? And if we do dare to attempt to share our faith with a Muslim colleague or neighbour, will we be left tied up in confusion with their strong rebuttals that they have learnt since childhood?
One young Muslim ((let’s call him Mr A, for the sake of ease of reference in this post) began asking me, “Do you eat pork?” This was shortly followed by him stating that the Bible has been corrupted, and is therefore totally untrustworthy! Ouch! He went on to say that Jesus didn’t die on the cross, that God cannot be three Gods, and why would any God want to kill his own child anyway? Double ouch!! I think he also threw in something about “the Crusades,” which totally astounded me!
At this point I realised I needed help! I realised there may be a lot of groundwork required, in order to attempt to undo the false teachings that he has been around for so long.
I have therefore immersed myself continually into researching all things Muslim, Islamic and of the “prophet Muhammad” ever since. My motivation is the love of God for a young man lost in darkness; a young man who is striving to pay for his own sins with good deeds and bad deeds not done. Striving to learn how he can amass more “points with the capricious angels” on the judgement day balances!
Will he be allowed out of hell (I think that all Muslims are sent there first, apparently – Quran Surah 19:66–72) or will he have gained enough “goodness points” to cancel out his “badness points” from his sins? It seems he will never know. It seems all Muslims will never know if their eternity will be in hell or heaven. And even if they think that they may be permitted access to heaven, it is nothing like the heaven described in the Bible. This is a horribly sad situation for anyone to live with, if you ask me.
I started off therefore, by telling Mr A that I felt terribly sorry for him, that though he believed in God and in sin and good deeds, he would never have what I have. He would never know that wonderful assurance that his sins were forgiven and that he was loved by a wonderful, loving, forgiving heavenly Father. I think he was rather taken aback at my comment! Religious Muslim young men seem to have a certain type of arrogance that they are keeping all their “laws and rules,” that they seem to think they are superior to all the “unbelievers” around them. Remember they are taught that their belief system is the only right one, and everyone else is doomed unless they submit and join them.
I couldn’t help but remember the Bible parable that Jesus taught about the two men praying; one arrogant and the other humble and contrite.
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’
And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:10-14
Anyway, as I was saying, I delved in deep on the internet, and what I discovered there has been a real eye-opener.
I have listened to Christian apologists who have in depth knowledge of both the Bible and the Islamic teachings. I have read books and listened to You Tube channels by ex-Muslims, who turned to Jesus Christ as their Saviour. I have been fascinated to learn the process and thoughts they went through, as they transferred their trust from the Quran and Mohammad to the Bible and Jesus Christ. I realise that it is quite a rocky ride for some people. But buckle up, for the ride of a lifetime (and eternity) is certainly a journey worth taking my friends!
Just prior to all this Islamic study, I had already been noticing how all false cults and religions have ways of keeping people from reading the Bible themselves, with open hearts and minds. They either tell them it’s OK to read the Bible, BUT it must ONLY be read in conjunction with the group’s other books or magazines (think Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons) – which usually take precedence over the Bible, in any case.
Some organisations enslave people further by teaching that they must not read any material from other “apostate religions;” some going as far as banning their adherents from reading information on any internet site, except their own faith’s site (again think JW’s).
Sometimes people are told they must read the Bible in its original languages, or in Latin, or in sixteenth century English. Failing that, they produce their own version of the “Bible,” that has their own spin built into it, or its own notes built in (think Scofield Reference Bible, for instance).
If those tactics don’t suit the particular cult leader or latest “prophet,” then they will simply and categorically state that the Bible is an untrustworthy book, as it has been tampered with, corrupted and added to, making it beyond any reliable use. And this is what Islam has chosen to say concerning the Bible. When I heard this from Mr A, and I then discovered that it is standard Islamic practice to prevent them from reading the truth of the Bible message, I was momentarily, taken aback!
It seems that the Islamic faith has been holding its followers firmly in its fist by telling blatant lies about the historicity and trustworthiness of the Bible, in order to deceive its people, for centuries! Fourteen centuries to be precise!! Well, I thought, “That is long enough!” I will find a way, by prayer and by diligent study, to at least attempt to lift the veil of deception from one person’s eyes, if not a great many. Christian apologetics, here I come!
Warnings & Fear
Now I realise that some of these devout followers of Mohammad don’t always play fair. OK, that might be an understatement. I’ll try that again. Now I realise that some of these devout followers of Mohammad threaten to kill those who leave Islam, and even threaten to kill any “Kafir” or “unbelievers of Islam”. And so the threat of violence or violence itself can hold people bound in a system they no longer believe in, nor want to be part of.
In some circumstances, those that wake up and discover they have been lied to about the Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ and God Himself, when they leave the Islamic faith, they sadly pay with their lives. Yet all who leave this faith system are deemed “apostates” to be shunned, due to the concept of “bringing shame” on their families and communities.
We have thus established that the stakes are high. It is after all, the battle of the ages – good against evil, truth against lies, eternal life over eternal torment in hell; the true and living God against the wicked adversary, the dragon, or Satan! It’s the same old problem, and one that requires prayer and Godly wisdom to really help the Muslim person dare to step outside their comfort zone and to listen to your gospel message of hope.
But does all this mean that Christians should remain silent? I rather think not! Our Master and Lord Jesus Christ is always with us and will guide us and guard us as we go. Be encouraged by Hebrews 13:5-6 (from Psalm 118:6)
“He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
Muslims – Their books and their “prophet”
I have learnt that not all Muslims are equal in their adherence or fervour for their faith. Some are nominal Muslims; they may have been taught at a Mosque when they were children but now live fairly worldly western lives. Others will be more devout and be trying to follow their faith more closely; but not many of them are “scholars.” Not many of them possess the religious books that contain the full teachings of Islam for them to explore themselves. They will no doubt have a Quran, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the general Muslim person reads or studies it. This is where the Mosques and Imams come in. They are the “scholars” that have the volumes of books of Islamic doctrines that they teach to their followers.
The Main Man
Mohammad, is their “prophet,” who was born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 570 AD and he died in 632 AD. It was this man who started the Islamic faith.
He said that “the angel Gabriel” appeared to him, when he was in a cave, and told him revelations from Allah. Well, that was the story that was eventually circulated and that he went with. Apparently in the beginning he was exceedingly afraid, and told his wife that he had encountered a jinn, or demon spirit. Apparently, he often felt suicidal, and had to be prevented from throwing himself off a mountain side. (Ref Ibn Ishaq, p. 106)
In any case, Mohammad taught many things that were in obvious contradiction to the Bible. He denied the doctrine of the Trinity (God as Father, Son Jesus & Holy Spirit), the deity of Christ, the crucifixion, Christ’s resurrection, and salvation by grace alone.
Muslims, however, are taught how wonderful and holy a prophet Mohammad was, and they are encouraged to hold him in the highest esteem and to emulate him.
Quran 33:21 – “The Messenger of Allah is an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in Allah and the last day and remember him often.”
According to the Quran (4:65), a person can have no faith without unquestioningly accepting Muhammad’s judgments.
The Islamic Trilogy of Books
- The Quran is considered Islam’s primary holy book, as Muslims believe its words came directly from Allah to Mohammad. It also seems that there are differing versions of the Quran, and that its history is not as straight forward as they would have us believe. Apparently, Mohammad was illiterate and used to verbally recited the sayings that he said were from Allah. His followers would also recite them, in attempt to learn them.
It has been interesting to discover that Muhammad had a system of “abrogation” of any previous doctrines that
he didn’t like, he said were changed by Allah; and he would discard or add to his body of teaching, as the mood Allah led him. In fact, it is this method of “abrogation” that Islam has applied to the Bible itself. They say that Mohammad was prophesied in the Bible as coming after Jesus, as the last prophet. Islam states that Mohammed and his sayings take precedence over all that went before. (Maybe I will look in a future post at the Bible gymnastics that are required of Muslims to believe such a thing.)
2. The “Hadiths” are collections of stories about, or traditions ascribed to, Mohammad, that were gathered, sifted and written down many years after Mohammad’s death. I have discovered that they esteem the writings or hadiths, by “Sahih Al-Bukhari,” which were completed in 846 AD (214 years after Mohammad’s death), as well as, though to a lesser extent, “Sahih Muslim” (also published in the 9th century).
3. The Sira is the biography on Muhammad’s life.
The Quran, the Sira and the Hadith together make up the Islamic Trilogy.
Relative size of the Quran to the other Islamic Books:- the Quran itself is only 14 % of the total, the Sira is 26 %, and the Hadith 60 %.
Size of Quran compared to the New Testament:– the Quran is shorter than the Bible’s New Testament, being 114 Suras (or chapters), comprising of around 6200 verses, as compared with about 7900 in the New Testament.
Truth vs Lies
This was one of the first things that I mentioned to Mr A. I had heard that Muslims are taught that it is OK to lie to non-Muslims, and at first he denied knowledge of such a practice. However, I found the following on Wikipedia about a practice they call “Taqiya” – “a precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution,” as well as “Kitmān” – “dissimulation by silence or omission.” (Dissimulation is concealment, pretence of faking – ie, lying.)
When I presented this information to him, he admitted he was aware of this in Islam, particularly in the face of persecution for their faith. In fact, it caused him to openly ask me, “Why, would you not do the same thing?” Straight away I responded the “No, I would not do that.” He was rather surprised at my response. Such is Islam; it seeks to “save their skin” but not their soul.
I have just read in my new Quran the following verse about the dishonest nature of the God, Allah.
“And the disbelievers schemed, but Allah schemed. And Allah is the best of schemers.” Quran 3:54 (Oxford World Classics translation, by M A S Abdel Haleem)
NB – The Arabic word translated as “schemed” is “makr” and some Quran translators are trying to hide the fact that their beloved book actually refers to their Allah as a schemer, by substituting the word “planned.” (See answering-islam for more details on this).
I thought of my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, when He clearly taught His followers never to deny Him.
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 & Luke 12:8-9
Also consider the following Bible passages regarding truth and lies.
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds…” Colossians 3:9
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.” Proverbs 12:22
“A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies will not escape.” Proverbs 19:5
“Jesus said to him (Thomas), “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
“Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbour,” for we are members of one another.” Ephesians 4:25
“These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbour;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbour;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the Lord.” Zechariah 8:16-17
And finally consider Jesus’ response to the religious teachers of His day.
“But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.”
Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.” John 8:40 -45
When I first became a Christian in my youth, God convicted me that telling the truth was exceedingly important to Him. The Bible is very clear about this matter. In fact it is so crystal clear, that it tells us that unrepentant liars will end up in hell’s lake of fire!
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
My conclusion is that the Bible and the Islamic books cannot both be right! Each person must therefore choose for themselves which path of life they will follow. For any that are raised in a religion, there comes a time to consider – is this the right path of truth that leads to life, or is it a wrong path that leads to eternal death?
In this morning’s mail, along with a new Quran, (which I have purchased for study purposes) I received an annual letter from an organization that I have supported for many years. It is one that assists persecuted Christians worldwide. Their letter refers to families fleeing persecution in Islamic majority countries. This seems to me to be a prompt to continue with my research and writing on the troubles that Islam brings to individuals, families, countries, and in fact the whole world.
I hope that this first post will give you a small glimmer of insight into the Muslim mind set. I hope that it has whetted your appetite to learn more, in order to help you to pray for, or witness to these people lost in darkness.
Blessings to all my readers,
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