Category Archives: Jihad

Evangelizing Muslims (Final Part in Series)

Muslim scholars teach the “doctrine of tahrif,” which means “corruption” in Arabic. Christians and Jews, they claim, have “corrupted” the Torah and the Gospel (Injil in Arabic). However, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the fact that Mohammed himself did not teach this. As we will see in a moment from the Koran itself, Mohammed commanded his followers to follow the Torah and the Gospel and to seek those out among the Jews and Christians who were in possession of these gifts from God before Islam came to be. Mohammed claimed the Jews and Christians did not understand the great tomes they possessed, but he never denied that they possessed those great tomes; he never denied that Jews and Christians possess true revelations from God. Mohammed claimed that the Torah and the Gospel actually point to him (Mohammed) as the true and final prophet of God, but that Christians and Jews do not understand this. But again, according to Mohammed, there are no real contradictions between the Torah, the Psalms, the “Injil,” and the Koran.

In fact, as we will see below, in one place, the Koran seems to say the entirety of the Bible actually points to him. Thus, Muslims should believe the entire Bible!

So where did the doctrine of “Tahrif” come from? This concept represents a later development in Muslim theology Muslim scholars developed in order to explain the obvious contradictions between the Koran and the Bible. But the problem with this is, not only did Mohammed never teach “tahrif,” as I said, we can know as a matter of historical fact that the idea itself is false anyway! For example, when Mohammed commands his followers to listen to and obey the “Injil,” or “Gospel,” that the Christians possessed, we know precisely what constituted that “Gospel” about which Mohammed spoke. Today, we have the Chester Beatty Papyri, dated from ca. AD 250 (some scholars today say it was written even earlier), over 300 years before Mohammed was born, and which contains the substance of the four Gospels as we have them today! Plus, we have the Codex Vaticanus, AD 325-350, which contains the entire New Testament, and 5,300 more manuscripts, written in many different languages (Latin, Greek, Aramaic, etc.) that all demonstrate the “Gospel” of Mohammed’s day is essentially the same Gospel we have today.

The Koran and the Bible

With the above in mind, I recommend the “Detective Columbo” approach when conversing with Muslims. In other words, I ask questions:

Maybe I’m mistaken, so perhaps you can help me, but I don’t understand why on the one hand the Koran states we should follow the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel, the Bible, and the witness of Jesus while elsewhere it denies some of the most basic teachings Jews and Christians hold dear from these very sacred books. The Koran states these are “revelations from God,” and yet denies essential teachings from these same revelations. Let me give you some examples of what I mean:

Then I list these texts from the Koran for starters:

The Apostles We sent before you were but men whom We inspired with revelations and with scriptures. Ask the People of the Book, if you doubt this (Sura 16:43).

The “People of the Book” are the Jews and Christians.

Say: People of the Book, you will attain nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which is revealed to you from your Lord. That which is revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase the wickedness and unbelief of many among them. But do not grieve for the unbelievers (Sura 5:68).

After them, We sent forth Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the Torah already revealed, and gave him the Gospel, in which there is guidance and light, corroborating what was revealed before it in the Torah, a guide and an admonition to the righteous. Therefore let those who follow the Gospel judge according to what God has revealed therein. Evil-doers are those that do not base their judgments on God’s revelations (Sura 5:46-47).

According to Mohammed, Jesus was a prophet and his words—the Gospel—should be believed and obeyed!

Here’s where the problems really start. The question I ask my Muslim friends is this:

The Koran teaches we should believe and follow the revelations of both the Torah and the Gospel, but it seems to me, with all due respect—maybe I’m wrong here—but it seems to me, Mohammed did not know or understand the clear teachings of these that he acknowledged to be “revelations” from God.

At this point I give these examples that are not intended to be exhaustive. These are just a few among the many we could cite:

1. Sura 2:75 tells us that the Torah is “the Word of God.”
2. Sura 10:62-64: “The servants of God have nothing to fear or to regret. Those that have faith and keep from evil shall rejoice both in this world and in the hereafter; the Word of God shall never change. That is the supreme triumph.”
3. Sura 6:34 tells us “none can alter the words of Allah,” yet, the “Doctrine of Tahrif” says, in essence, “the Word of God” was corrupted by Jews and Christians. This simply does not work here. Moreover, Muslims teach a “doctrine of Naskh” as well. “Naskh” is Arabic for “abrogation.” It states later “revelations” in the Koran can “abrogate” earlier ones. But if the “word of God” cannot change, how can there be “abrogation?”

Let’s continue:

4. The original “Gospel” of Jesus Christ, or Injil, is a revelation from God according to Sura 5:46, 66, 68, and 70.
5. Jesus was a prophet and his words should be believed by Muslims (Sura 4:171; 5:77). Thus, Christians and Muslims were obligated to accept the “Gospel” of Mohammed’s day, according to the Koran. In fact, Sura 10:94 even says, “If thou [Mohammed] wert in doubt as to what We have revealed Unto thee, then ask those Who have been reading The Book [the Bible] from before thee; The truth hath indeed come To thee from thy Lord; So be in no wise Of those who doubt.”

That was allegedly God speaking to Mohammed and telling him to go to the Bible in order to confirm the revelations he was receiving!

The problem for Muslims is this: If you obey what God said, according to the Koran, to Mohammed, you will end up Christian. And this is why:

1. The Koran says:

Jesus is not the Son of God in Sura 19:35; 10:68.

The Bible says:

Jesus is the Son of God in John 1:18; 3:16; 17:1-5, etc.

In fact, in Mark 14:62, the High Priest had placed Jesus Christ under oath exercising his “power of adjuration” from Leviticus 5:1 (see Matt. 26:63), and demanded to know specifically if Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God. Jesus’ response was telling. He declared:

“I am; and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his clothes, and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy…”

Not only did Jesus declare himself to be the Son of God and reference Daniel 7:13, a messianic text, and apply it to himself, but he also used the divine name, I AM, from Exodus 3:14, for himself as well! In one fell swoop, he refers to himself as God, the Son of God, and the Messiah. The Koran denies he is the Son of God, God manifest in the flesh.

Moreover, Jesus blessed both Nathanael in John 1:49 and, of course, St. Peter in Matt. 16:13-18 for declaring him to be the Son of God.

2. The Koran says:

Jesus did not die, nor was he crucified, according to Sura 4:157-59. Someone else was crucified in his place, and Christians wrongly believe he was crucified. God actually took Jesus up alive.

The Bible (and history) says:

The Old Testament predicted Jesus would die in Is. 53:5-10; Psalm 22:16; Dan. 9:26; Zech. 12:10, and Wisdom 2:20.

Jesus predicted his own death and resurrection (only a corpse can be resurrected!) in John 2:19-21; 10:10-11; Matt. 12:40; Mark 8:31, etc. In Matt. 17:22-23, Jesus said, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men and they will kill him, and the third day He will be raised.”

Moreover, we have multiple secular histories that record the same. Josephus’, “Aniquities of the Jews” 18:3, says: “Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross.”

Tacitus, the Roman Historian, “Annals,” 15:44. “A wise man who was called Jesus… Pilate condemned him to be condemned and to die.”

Julius Africanus, in ca. 220 AD, records the words of Thallus, the first century historian, who, “… when discussing the darkness which fell upon the land during the crucifixion of Christ…” said it was an eclipse.

“The Letter of Mara Bar-Serapion” (ca. 70 AD), housed in the British Museum, speaks of Christ’s death, asking: “What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?”

Even the often anti-Christian Jewish Talmud acknowledges “on the eve of the Passover they hanged Yeshu (of Nazareth)…” (Babylonian Talmud, Sandhedrin 43a)

We cannot even begin to quote the thousands of references from the early Christians referring to our crucified and resurrected Lord!

3. The Koran says Jesus is not God in Sura 5:72-73.

The Bible could hardly be clearer that Jesus is God. Here are just a few references:

In John 1:1-3, and Col. 1:15-16 Jesus is not only plainly called God (in John 1:1), but he is also referred to as the Creator of all things. God alone is the Creator of all things (see Genesis 1:1; Is. 44:24). In John 5:17-18, St. John tells us plainly that Jesus is “equal with the Father.” John 8:24; 28; 58, and 18:1-6, each reveal Jesus Christ using the divine name “I AM” for himself. See also Titus 2:13; John 20:28, and Heb. 1:6-11.

In Mark 2:28, Jesus refers to himself as “Lord of the Sabbath.” Only YHWH is Lord of the Sabbath (see Exodus 20:10, for example).

In Rev. 1:8, we have these words from almighty God: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” There can be no doubt that these words hearken back to Is. 44:6:

Thus saith the Lord the king of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of Hosts: I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God” (see also Is. 48:16).

This has to refer to almighty God. And yet, Jesus says in Rev. 22:13: “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

And there is much, much more!

A Simple Question

In view of just these three examples, I have to ask my Muslim friends a question. Why would I accept the Koran which tells me to listen to the Torah, the Gospel, and even the entire Bible, when the Koran so blatantly contradicts the Bible?

And if I consider this especially in view of the fact that Jesus had already warned us “there shall arise false Christ’s and false prophets… Behold I have told you beforehand” in Matt. 24:24-25, and I could also add I John 4:1, which similarly warns, “Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” and then we have texts like I Tim. 4:1-3, Gal. 1:8-9, and II Cor. 11:3-4, and 13-14, that also give similar warnings, why would ignore all of these warnings and accept the Koran which is inundated with false prophecies?

I could go on to show you how Jewish belief is misunderstood in the Koran. I could show you the logical inconsistencies in the Koran itself. In fact, If you want to learn this and a whole lot more of why Mohammed is a false prophet, and why the Koran is laden with error, I suggest you get my CD set called “Islam Exposed,” available here.

But the bottom line here is this: Anyone who would honestly examine the facts concerning the Koran and the Bible must conclude Jesus Christ to be the Lord, God of heaven and earth, who calls us all to himself, and the Koran to be in grave error. What say you?

The Truth About Islam and Jihad (Pt. IV in Series)

Islamic attitudes toward non-Muslims are determined by many factors of which two are most necessary to consider. The first is Jihad or Holy War. The second is the concept of Dar Al Harb (Arabic for “House of War”) and Dar Al Islam (“House of Submission”) in Islamic tradition. “House of War” refers to any territory or people who are not living in submission to Islam. “House of Submission,” or Dar Al Islam, refers to any territory or people living in submission to the message of Muhammad.

The concept of Jihad (Arabic for Struggle) has been given two interpretations, which I argue, are actually not mutually exclusive. Some Muslims interpret “Jihad” as referring to “Holy War,” while others will say it refers to the spiritual “struggle” to live the Faith of Islam. Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the great Muslim leaders of our times said:

The Jihad means the conquest of non-Muslim territory. The domination of Koranic Law from one end of the earth to the other is… the final goal… of this war of conquest” (Jihad, Paul Fregosi, Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1998, p.20).

It is important for we in the West to understand that for 100′s of millions of Muslims, the Jihad is considered to be a religious obligation. In fact, for some it is considered a sixth obligation for all able-bodied Muslims. Many of us have heard of the famous “five pillars” of belief for Muslims, but there are actually “five pillars” of both belief and action that are required for all able-bodied Muslims. And, again, for some, there are six “pillars:”

ACTION:                                                  BELIEF:

  1. Confession                                         1. God
  2. Prayer                                                  2. The Prophets
  3. Fasting                                                 3. The Scriptures
  4. Almsgiving                                         4. Angels
  5. Pilgrimage                                         5. The Last Day (Judgment)
  6. Jihad                                                    6. Qadar (predestination)

“Qadar” is especially important for Sunni Muslims who believe in a strict predestination akin to the beliefs of Calvinists among Christians. Shi’ites tend more toward free will in their theology. But Sunni make up about 85% of Muslims world-wide. ”Jihad,” on the other hand, is a concept that spans the spectrum of Muslims, both Shi’ite and Sunni. Muslims also, more universally, view the expansion of Islam as the predestined will of God that cannot be thwarted; therefore, it is a natural historical development and a duty for individual Muslims to participate in. The destiny for Islam is seen as the conquest of the whole world. All must submit to Koranic Law, whether they are believers or not!

Jihad has had over 1300 years of history and has engulfed and affected many nations in Asia, Africa, and Europe. In Europe, Muslim armies of conquest have been to Tours in France, sacked the City of Rome in Italy, conquered South Eastern Europe up to the Danube, laid siege to Vienna twice, controlled the Ukraine of Russia and invaded more than once the Iberian peninsula. In Africa, all of North Africa has been conquered and converted by centuries of Islamic domination, except for the Egyptian Coptics who have suffered tremendous persecution over the centuries, and are experiencing a brutality today that we have a hard times even attempting to comprehend in the West. You will also find a smattering of Christians, also persecuted to greater or lesser degrees around North Africa. I personally encountered a few of these when I went on an undercover missions trip to Morocco many years ago.

West and Eastern Africa have been terrorized by Islamic Slave raids and armies of conquest for centuries even down to our time where Boko Haram, and various other Muslim groups continue to brutalize, kill, and enslave Christians and all who do not accept their radical views. In Asia, wherever there is a majority of Muslims, non-Muslim minorities suffer discrimination and grave injustice to their basic human rights in our time. While Western, Central and Southern Asia have had centuries of wars of Muslim conquest.

We are being asked to believe today that all of this represents just a relatively few “extremists” who have hijacked true Islam.

Really?

In reality, there are approximately 120, conservatively speaking, verses in the Koran which deal with killing and fighting for Islam and these verses are favorable to this aggression if done to advance the cause of Islam.

In the nine-volume translation of “the Hadiths” of Dr.Muhammad Muhsin Khan, titled “The Translation of the Meaning of Sahih Al-Bukhari” (Kazi Publications, Lahore, Pakistan, 1979), there is clear witness of the importance and priority of Jihad in Islamic thought that represents more than just a struggle to overcome evil in one’s own heart. In Volume 1, no. 25, it declares:

Allah’s apostle was asked, “What is the best deed?” He replied, “To believe in Allah and his Apostle.” The questioner then asked, “What is the next [in goodness]?” He replied, “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.”  

 In a previous post, we have already seen from Muhammad’s own life what he thought of Jihad. But let’s look at his Koran.

I should note here that while the Koran does say “there shall be no compulsion in religion,” it also, shall we say, “nuances” itself as to what “compulsion” means in ordering religious military conquests in which the newly conquered are offered Death, conversion to Islam, or extreme taxation which reduces them to semi-servile status or even slavery as their options. One cannot deny that these options are certainly strong extrinsic compulsions to convert to Islam. But again, let’s examine the Koran itself:

There shall be no compulsion in religion. True guidance is now distinct from error. He that renounces idol-worship and puts his faith in God shall grasp a firm handle that will never break. God hears all and knows all (Sura 2:256).

Believers: do not make friends with those who are enemies of Mine and yours. Would you show them kindness, when they have denied the truth that has been revealed to you and driven out the Apostle and yourselves, because you believe in God, your Lord (Sura 60:1).

Believers: do not befriend your fathers or your brothers if they choose unbelief in preference to faith. Wrongdoers are those that befriend them (Sura 9:23).

Prophet: rouse the faithful to arms. If there are twenty steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding (Sura 8:65).

Whether unarmed or ill-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of God, with your wealth and with your persons. This will be best for you if you but knew it (Sura 9:41).

Believers make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous (Sura 9:123).

Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers, except to these idolaters who have honored their treaties with you in every detail and added none against you. With these keep faith, until their treaties have run their term. God loves the righteous. When the sacred months (Referrring to Shawwal, Dhul-Qu’adah, Dhul-Hajjah, and Muharram) are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful….12 But if, after coming to terms with you, they break their oaths and revile your faith, make war on the leaders of unbelief – for no oaths are binding with them -  so that they may desist (Sura 9:4-5, 12).

Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors. Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed. But do not fight them within precinct of the Holy Mosque unless they attack you there; if they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded; but if they desist, God is forgiving. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil-doers (Sura 2:190-193).

Believers! Shall I point out to you a profitable course that will save you from a woeful scourge? Have faith in God and His Apostle, and fight for God’s cause with your wealth and your persons. That would be best for you, if you but knew it. He will forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens watered by running streams; He will lodge in pleasant mansions in the gardens of Eden. That is the supreme triumph (Sura 61:19-12).

Those that make war against God and his apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or banished from the country (Sura 5:33).

And people really wonder why we see Muslims “crucifying” Christians today?

If anyone thinks that God will not give victory to His apostle in this world and in the world to come, let him tie a rope to the ceiling of his house and hang himself. Then let him ponder if his cunning has done away with that which has enraged him (Sura 22:15-16).

Who Are the “Enemies of God” or, Those Who “Attack” Islam?

Many who defend Islam will be quick to point out that all of these verses in the Koran that talk about killing, crucifying, etc. only refer to aggressors who first “attack” Islam. But the truth is: Even though we do see the prophet speak against the idea of “attacking first,” and only kill those who “attack you,” the problem is the definition of “attack.”  According to the Koran, anyone who does not submit to Islam, or anyone who would dare to teach contrary to the Koran (like Christians and Jews!), is attacking Islam and needs to be vanquished in battle. Let me give you an example of what I mean from the Koran:

Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in God nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and his Apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the True Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued (Sura 9:29).

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., pointed out to me in a conversation I had with him on this issue that the English translations of the Koran are often watered down to obscure the truth about what the Koran teaches. He is fluent in Arabic and showed me where the word translated as “Fight against” in Sura 9:29, actually means “kill.” “Kill them!” Kill who? All who do not embrace Islam until they are “utterly subdued,” and obey Koranic, or “Shariah” law.

Need I say more?

While I appreciate any “moderate” Muslim who attempts to “spiritualize” all of the troubling texts of the Koran, the truth is, the problem is not just with “radical Muslims,” though I must say that the killing, beheading, crucifying, of innocent children is nowhere to be found in the Koran. What these radical ISIS members, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other radicals are doing in killing innocent children, is definitely not sanctioned in the Koran. However, the problem is: the killing of those who do not embrace Islam is taught in the Koran.

Ibn Warraq in his book, Why I am not a Muslim, p. 11-12, footnote #33, quotes the famous Ayatollah Khomeini responding to Western apologists for Islam, and Muslim “moderates” concerning this matter:

Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world…Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless.

Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]?

Islam says: Kill them [the non-muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non- Muslims] overcome us?

Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender to the enemy?

Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword. People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet I spoke of above] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.

As Christians, we are always peacemakers first, but there is a time for war as Ecclesiastes 3:3,8 tells us. We pray for the conversion of all of these radical Muslims, and for Muslims in general. But, in the end, the only thing radical Islam seems to respond to universally is the point of a sword. Unfortunately, it is time for you and I to let our Congressmen and President know that we cannot allow our brothers and sisters in Christ, our Jewish brothers and sisters, and “moderate” Muslims as well, to be slaughtered as they are being slaughtered even as I write this. It must stop. And military intervention is the only way it will be stopped in our time, in my opinion.

But for now, we must educate ourselves and our families as to the threat we face, and be prepared to give a defense of our Faith and to evangelize our Muslim friends. There is much beauty and truth in Islam, as I said in an earlier post, but ultimately, these are a people who are in desperate need of their savior, Jesus Christ, as we all are! In my next and final post on Islam in this series, I will share some ideas on how we can, indeed, share the good news about Jesus Christ with our Muslim friends.

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