Questions on Islam
September 2003 version
Traditions: What is true Islam? Islam has traditions people have followed for over a thousand years. Shi'ite Muslims believe in temporary marriage, 'Alawite Muslims believe in worshipping Mohammed and 'Ali, Sufis compare knowing God to drinking wine, and the hadiths of Sunni Muslims mention Mohammed ordered assassinations(1). On the other hand, some people claiming to be Christian believe false things too, such as men becoming God, following the Pope's orders to kill people, etc.. Christians can know what is true by going back to the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. How can Muslims know?
Four answers might be: by what today's leaders teach, what Mohammed taught, and what the Qur'an says, and the reliability of God's scripture.
Modern leaders being the center of a religion has caused a lot of problems. The Taliban who forbade women to work outside of the home had one view of Mohammed and Islam. Non-Sharia Muslims have a very different view of the Qur'an, and hardliner and moderate Shi'ites have differences. It appears fairly easy for some people to confuse what their modern leader says with what Mohammed really intended. It seems to me that if someone follows a leader who is not of God, their loyalty to their religion keeps them away from God. Do you agree?
Mohammed: Christians know that Jesus was from God because of the prophecies made about Him, the miracles He did, the sinless life He lived, His humility and love, and the testimony of His followers who died for Him back up His claim to be from God. How can a Muslim know whether or not Mohammed was from the True God or not?
There were no prophecies made about Mohammed. Unless Mohammed glorified Jesus, the Gospel of John 14-16 refers to the Holy Spirit of God, not Mohammed. Even if Mohammed were Jewish, the prophecies in Deuteronomy 18,33,34 about raising up another prophet from their own brothers would refer to Jesus more than to Mohammed.
While the hadiths give numerous miracles Mohammed did, including splitting the moon, these are all bogus, because Sura 17:90-93 says Mohammed did no miracles, except giving the Qur'an. Do you think that the hadiths that contradict the Qur'an are fake?
Mohammed needed forgiveness for his sin (or frailty) in Sura 40:55 and 48:1-2. Now people do not need forgiveness for physical frailties, but moral ones. Sahih Muslim 1:1695 says Mohammed prayed, "I wronged myself and make a confession of my sin. Forgive all my sins,..." Specific things(2) were burning out their eyes, and making them thirst as they died after their arms and legs were amputated. Do you agree these were evil sins?
Mohammed's followers collected his sayings into the Qur'an after his death, though some parts were lost according to Bukhari 6:509-511. After the Qur'an was distributed, 'Uthman tried collected and burned most of the Qur'ans and re-issued a standardized Qur'an. Early followers fought bloody civil wars: 'Ali vs. 'Aisha's army, Mu'awiya vs. 'Ali, and at Karbala where Husain became a Shi'ite martyr.
Mohammed's privileges: While Muslim men can have up to four wives, Sura 33:50 makes an exception for Mohammed. Muslims are [correctly] told that some of his wives were widows. However, that includes Saffiya, a beautiful captive Mohammed married after killing her husband and 700-1,000 men of Khaibar. Mohammed only married Zainab of Jahsh after he (and the Qur'an) commanded Mohammed's adopted son Zaid to first divorce her. Many believe Mohammed was always a poor man, but Bukhari Hadith 3:495 says, "When Allah made the prophet wealthy through conquests..." One-fifth of all spoils of war were put into treasury, and Mohammed's family could use that (Sahih Muslim 2:2348).
The Qur'an: Both Christians and Muslims agree that the Old Testament and Gospels were from God. Both Sura 5:46-48 and Jesus testify of the reliability of the Old Testament. But how could someone tell if the Qur'an was from God or not?
Sura 18:85-86 has a problem when it says the ruler Zul-Qarnain followed the setting sun and found that it went down into the waters of a muddy spring.
Morally, why does Sura 4:34 say to "beat" or "scourge" your wife, if she is disobedient? This Arabic word does not mean tap lightly; it is the same word used to beat a violent criminal or a camel. Mohammed himself deliberately struck 'Aisha "on the chest which caused me pain". (Sahih Muslim 2:2127)
Reliability: If Muslims believe God's word given to Moses, Jesus and others was fundamentally corrupted later, how do Muslims know whether the Qur'an or the Bible was corrupted?
At least 15 papyrii up through 200 A.D. show the New Testament's reliability. For example, these contain 82% of the 2,029 verses in the gospels of Luke and John. Second, many early writers referred to verses in the Bible. Prior to 200 A.D. over 97% of verses in the gospels are mentioned. There are manuscript variations, but none alter Christian doctrine. For the Old Testament we have the Dead Sea scrolls from the time of Jesus.
In contrast, many Muslims think the Qur'an today is word-for-word the original, because they do not know that Bukhari Hadith 4:69; 6:509 says some parts of the Qur'an were lost (not abrogated). Ubai's early copies of the Qur'an did not contain two Suras in the Qur'an today. Sahih Muslim 2:2286 gives part of a Sura that was lost. Finally, the Qur'an of Sunni Muslims is based on the ibn Masud codex, which differs from 'Uthman's version in 150 places in Sura 2 alone, including complete sentences.(3)
Walk Away from False Religion and Find the True God
Finding the truth of God is the most important thing we can do. Do you believe that God preserves His truth on earth as Isaiah 59:21 says? If so, either God was untruthful between the time of Jesus and the Qur'an, or else the Qur'an, which contradicts the truth of the preserved Bible, is a fraud. It cannot be both.
Here is the Truth You Need to Know
God is a Father. Let God be God. He can be any way He wants, and both the Old Testament Jesus read and the New reveal that God is a Father. We can have a relationship with Him better than with any father on earth.
We are separated from God. Our sins have separated us from the Holy, truthful God, who does not lie or deceive people. People are full of vengeance, hatred, and lack love toward others. Even worse, people adore creatures and black stones, instead of the one true God. Apart from God's grace and forgiveness, Heaven would be impossible for any of us.
God is a Son. If God wanted to, does He lack any power that would prevent Him from walking on the earth as a man, while still being in Heaven at the same time? Jesus, the Word of God, not only claimed to be God in words, but also in accepting worship.
God is the Holy Spirit. Prayer is not a dry ritual, but talking with God. Pray for God to show you the truth, for His Holy Spirit guides people to God. But you must choose to accept the truth, and ask Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Then join with brothers and sisters who worship the True God in a church that follows the Bible. We love Muslims, and write so that they will leave Islam, find the True God, and join us in Heaven with Him.
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(1)There was a deceptive assassination of Ka'b bin Ashraf the Jew Sahih Muslim 3:4436 Bukhari 3:687. Abdullah bin 'Atik and some other Muslims were sent to assassinate Abu Rafi the Jew. He was attacked in the dark while he was sleeping. Bukhari 5:371. Tabari's History also mentions these.
(2) See Bukhari, 1:7,19,234,711, 781; 6:3; 6:198 prior, 8:319,794-797 and 8:407 prior, as well as Fiqh us-Sunnah volume 1 p.133.
(3) Geisler & Saleeb: Answering Islam p.192.
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