THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Tuesday, July 21, 2020
fayee62@aol.com
Cameron, Texas, USA
DO MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS WORSHIP THE SAME GOD?

slam as a religion came into existence around the seventh century A.D., almost seven hundred years after the Glorious Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was founded by Muhammad, an orphan from the Quarrysh (at times spelled Quaraish) tribe of the Arabian Peninsula in Mecca, in what is today known as Saudi Arabia. Although most Muslims would contest the assertion that Islam started with its founder, insisting the religion predated him, however, there is no shred of historical evidence to support the claim that there was a religion known as Islam before Muhammad came onto the scene in the sixth century after our Lord Jesus Christ. In Surah 5:3 the Al-Quran says: "This day have I perfected for you your religion, completed my favor on you and chosen for you as religion, AL-ISLAM" (The word "Surah" means "chapter." Thus, Surah 5:3 means chapter 5, verse 3. This Quranic style has been used throughout this article).Each Surah or Chapter has a number and a heading. (Surah Al-Ma'ida (5:3)

The last verse in this Surah said the religion Allah has perfected for the human race is Islam. It referred to the day Islam was perfected as "This day," but unfortunately, the Quran did not tell us "This day" referred to in the above quotation thus it could be surmised that "This day" referred to could be interpreted as the day Muhammad started receiving "divine" messages from Allah, the god of Islam. Earlier on in Surah 2: 132 Muhammad had penned: "The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob saying" 0 my sons: Lo Allah hath chosen for you the true religion: therefore die not save as men who have surrendered unto Him." Surah Al-Baqara (2: 132). But leafing through the Holy Bible, one would discover that the Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had no religion until God revealed Himself to Moses. The Mosaic Law handed down to Moses by God Almighty on Mt. Sinai heralded the birth of Judaism (Exodus 9: 1-25). It would be mischievous for anyone to say the religion of the Patriarchs-Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- was Islam. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Indeed, Moses' action explains this vital point when he asked Jehovah Lord God Almighty, in the account of the burning bush: "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them: the God of your fathers has sent me to you and they ask me: What is his name? Then what shall I tell them?" (Exodus 3: 13).If the Patriarchs; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were Muslims as Muhammad claimed in the verses above, Moses should have known and wouldn't ask the Sovereign Lord for His Name when He appeared before him in the burning bush in the Land of Median where he had fled to.

The religion of Islam discountenanced the Trinity of the Lord God Almighty of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In previous articles in this column, we have explained with copious Bible references the Trinity, but the Al-Quran denies the Trinity. To understand Islam as a religion, we should start from understanding the Quran, because just as the Constitution of a nation is the grundnorm of that nation on which all legal norms are derived, so also like the Holy Bible to Christianity, the Quran is the legal basis for all that Islam as a religion represents. The Al-Quran is not a structured book which one can read in coherent and chronological order. It is written in verses and almost poetic, unlike the Bible where the authors' name are given, the authors of the various chapters and verses are not disclosed, but some Islamic commentators and Muslim teachers surmised the various chapters and verses were revealed to Prophet Mohammad at various times in various places between Mecca and Medina. The entire book is not more than 400 pages when translated from the original Arabic Language into the English Language. There are a total of 114 Surah's or Chapters in the book and unlike the Bible which proceeds from the Old Testament to New Testament, the Al-Quran on the other hand is a hodge-podge of incoherent and disjointed stories penned in verses which make the plot and narrative highly complicated. Each chapter has a name but in several instances as one reads, the plot changes midway and unrelated issues and matters are introduced mid-way making it difficult to keep abreast of definite subject matters in the narrative. The narrator or author, who Muslim scholars say was Prophet Mohammad himself-even though Muhammad, was illiterate and the Al-Quran was not written until after his death in 632A.D-seemed to be aware that his reader would have been familiar with the historical accounts in the Bible so decided not to write those accounts but refer readers to them.

In other words, the Al-Quran, starting from Surah Al-Baqara which is Chapter 2 after Surah Al-Fatiha (The Opening Chapter) to the 114 Surah or Chapter Surah An-Nas appeared as rebuttals to many of the historical accounts in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Although many of the accounts were not recorded and rebutted coherently and chronologically as the author merely selected some of those accounts for rebuttals. The writer, who is Prophet Mohammad, used words like "We", "Us" as pronouns to refer to either God rendered as Allah and Lord, God or some group of spirits as if these spirits or Lord, God or Allah were making appeals to readers on the true narratives of Bible events in the Old Testament. It's like a rejoinder in our modern-day media world; as if Prophet Mohammad was being used by Allah, Lord, God or these groups of spirits to say; "Yes, we know you have read the historical accounts in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, but here are our own side of the stories and our take." The collective pronouns of: "We and "Us" that Chapter 2 known as Surah Al-Baqara or The Cow used for Allah, God, Lord, and a group of spirits lurking in the background later contradicted the assertion made in the same text that there is no Trinity. From the onset, the Quran is a book repudiating the accounts of the Lord God Almighty in the Holy Bible.

Muhammad wrote in the Quran that his followers must belief in all the angels, all the prophets, about 123,000 of them and counting, and in all religious books, in the Resurrection and the Hereafter. Christians who believe in the Trinity are called "Shirks," that is, blasphemers. It is blasphemous to believe in the Triune Personality of God, so Muhammad penned in the Quran to his followers. The Quran listed four high-ranking angels that all Muslims should believe. They are "Mikail" whom it states is the angel in charge of rain; "Israfil," who will blow the trumpet of judgment on the Last Day; "Izrail," who takes the souls of every living creature at death-angel of death for short; and finally, ''Iblis'' or Satan, who is a "Jinn" among the angels of God who, however, disobeyed God Almighty and was cursed by his Maker. A "Jinn" means archangel The Quran says this ''lblis'' or Satan is the only angel created by God with freewill and, subsequently, misused it. Today, this ''Iblis'' instigates human beings to perpetrate evil and rebellion against God. In Surah 2:34 and 7:12-19, ''Iblis'' or Satan was cursed by God because of human beings.

According to the Quranic account, when Allah created Adam and Hawa (Eve), He gave them superior knowledge, wisdom and understanding far above all His creatures. This "Iblis" or Satan was at God's side when Allah was creating everything. After Allah was done with creation, Allah now invited all angels in heaven to come to earth and bow down to Adam and Hawa, whom He placed in the Garden of Eden. Iblis was said to have remarked, "You Allah created these human beings in my presence, we were together during this creation. I am superior to these Adam and Hawa so why should I now bow to them'?" In spite of lblis (Satan') protest and good argument, the Lord God nevertheless insisted he must bow to Adam and Hawa. But Satan adamantly refused. Consequently, Iblis (Satan) now led a rebellion against God in heaven and ever since, has been in opposition to the Godhead. This account can be read in Surah 2:34, 18:51 and 7:11-13; "And when we said unto the angels, prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate all save Iblis." And remember when we said unto the angels; Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate all save Iblis. He was of the Jinn so he rebelled against his Lord's command. "And we treated you, then fashioned you, then 'told the angels: Fall ye prostrate Adam. And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not one of those who make prostration. He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? Iblis said: I am better than him. Thou created me of fire while him thou create blood. He said: Then go down hence. " (Surah Al-Baqarah (2: 34; Surah Al-Kahf (18: 51):

On the other hand, this account of the fall of Iblis or Satan in the Holy Bible is diametrically-different from the Quranic account above. The Holy Bible, which we Christians believe is the authentic revealed Word of the Holy Spirit and inspired Word of the True Lord God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and earth has a detailed and comprehensive account of why and how Satan, formerly called Lucifer, and formerly referred to as the "Son of the Morning," fell and was driven out of God's presence. Scriptures like: Isaiah 14:1-20, Ezekiel 28: 11-19 and Revelation 12: 7-17 gave us copious accounts of the fall and banishment of Satan from heaven. When one juxtaposes both the Quranic and Biblical accounts of the fall of Satan, they revealed glaring contradictions and inconsistencies.

The Quran that says, in Surah 2:32, that angels do not have freewill to disobey Allah also says in the same chapter that only Iblis (Satan), who is also a "Jinn," has the power of freewill, which he misused. So Iblis was the only angel cursed by Allah for not bowing down to Adam and Hawa (Eve)? Where then did the fallen angels, known as principalities, demons and agents of darkness (Ephesians 6: 12) who are malevolently assisting Iblis (Satan) in his destructive activities and opposition to God and all that is good in the world today come from? Did Iblis (Satan) fall from God's grace before or after the creation of Adam and Eve? The Quran says after, but the Holy Bible says before the creation of Adam and Eve."In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters," (Genesis I: 1-2).

The darkness referred to above was Satan, who had already fallen from heaven. Satan and his lawless spirits, known as demons, became envious of God Almighty, and staged a rebellion in heaven against their Maker. But the rebellion ended in a fiasco. God Almighty Father, the Creator of the heavens and earth decided to banish these rebellious spirits from His presence. Satan and his demons had been on earth many years before God decided to create man. God gave Man power, authority and dominion over everything on earth (Genesis 1:21-28). But God warned Adam to be careful of Satan by telling him not to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2: 15-17). It was this darkness of Satan that metamorphosed into the serpent that entered the Garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve, and succeeded in robbing them of the powers God gave to Adam. So, just as Satan fell from God's grace, so Adam and Eve too fell from God's grace. Hence, Satan existed in his fallen state prior to the creation of Adam. We have made this point in previous articles in this column.

Now to the Quranic account that God Almighty commanded and insisted that Satan should bow to Adam and Eve. This is outrageous and scandalous. Now, let's be frank, could God Almighty, the God of Justice (Psalm 9:16; Isaiah 30: I 8) do this kind of thing? But hasn't God Almighty Himself said He is a jealous God who will never yield His glory to anyone (Exodus 20: 1-7; Isaiah 48: J I)? So if God instructed Satan to bow down and worship Adam, would that not be a contradiction? Was it God Himself or Adam that Satan refused to bow to? The Holy Bible says it was Satan's rebellion, as a result of pride and arrogance against God Almighty Himself that led to his fall, but the Quran says it was because Satan refused to bow to Adam in disobedience to Allah's instruction. What a contradiction! What a lie! The Quran also made an outlandish claim that when God created Adam, he assembled all the angels who He had earlier created and brought all of them to Adam. God then gave them an examination in Surah 2:30-34 and Adam performed brilliantly while all the angels failed. Then God ordered all the angels to bow down to Adam on account of his brilliant performance. All the angels complied and worshipped Adam (Surah 2: 34) but Ibis (Satan) refused and because of his disobedience to Allah, Iblis was sent packing out of heaven. The Holy Bible disclosed that angels are more powerful than humans; "Yet, not even angels, though greater in strength and power, dare to bring such slanderous charges against them before the Lord…" (2 Peter 2:11) (See also Jude 1:9).

The Quran, Muhammad's "sacred" book gave a list of 313 prophet of Allah which all Muslims must believe, but it listed only 25 of them it considered as superior prophets. They are Adam, Noah (Noah), Had (Heber), Lot (Lot), Iris (Enoch), Salah (Methuselah) Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael) Ishaq (Isaac), Yusuf(Joseph), Yaqub (Jacob), Shuayb (Jethro), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Sulayman (Solomon), Yanus (Jonah), Ayyub (Job), Dbulkill (Isaiah or Ezekiel), lIyas (Elias), Alyasa (Elisha), Zakariyya (Zacharias), Yahaya (John the Baptist), Haruna (Aaron), Issa (Jesus) and Muhammad. (References: Surahs 6: 86-87, 21: 76-95, 69: l, 124, 142, 161, 177 etc.).

Islam teaches that all religious books are to be read, studied and believed by Muslims. It does not consider any book demonic or satanic; so long as it claims to be "inspired" by a man or woman of Allah. In fact, Muslims do not believe demons exist. The Quran says there are 104 books inspired by Allah that all Muslims must read and believe. But characteristically, it only mentioned four of these religious books, namely: "AI-Tawah" or the Torah (Pentateuch) given to Musa (Moses), "AI-Zabur" (Psalms) given to Dawud (David), "al-Injil", the synoptic gospels said to be given to Issa (Jesus) and "al-Quran", the Koran given to Muhammad. In Surah 2:62, the Quran speaks about the Last Day and Resurrection. It says God's Judgment will be based on works that is the "good" and "bad" deeds of human beings shall be individually weighed by Allah. Those who did "good" on earth shall proceed to "al-Jana" (paradise) while "bad" people will go to hell. However, the cut-off mark and criteria Allah would use to determine who did "good" or "bad" were not specified by the book, but the Quran gives a clue: Allah will forgive "smaller" sins if a man or woman is able to avoid "bigger" sins. How do we know "smaller" and "bigger" sins? Not to worry, the Quran gives the list of bigger sins as follows: evil, injustice, usurping others' rights, adultery, back-biting, murder, breaking of promises, saying things we do not mean to do (whatever that means'!), drinking wine, gambling, creating quarrels among people. Characteristically, it fails to mention the smaller sins that Allah would overlook. "It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West, but righteousness is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the scripture and the Prophets, and giveth his wealth, for love of him, to kinsfolk…If ye avoid the great things which ye are forbidden, we will remit from you your evil deeds and make you enter at a noble gate," (Surahs 2: 177; 4:31). (Surah 4:31). We Christians believe we have no righteousness of our own, except the garment of righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ covering us in the aftermath of His blood- atoning sacrifice on Calvary and His Resurrection from the dead. But Muslims say, and according to the Quran, every human being must establish his or her own righteousness through good deeds. Thus, Muslims have scorned God's Righteousness, obtained by the Blood of the only begotten Son of God the Lord Jesus. This self-righteousness is a major difference between Islam and Christianity and Muslims and Christians. This is very, very important.

For Christians, the Holy Bible says nobody will enter God Almighty's eternal Abode with one single sin. It says the whole human race has fallen beyond self-redemption and only by God's grace (unmerited favor) will any human being be saved. There is nothing like "small," "big", "greater", or "bigger" sins. "All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt ... there is no one who does good, not even one," (Psalms 14:3). " ... For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23)." .. All of us have become like one who is unclean and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags," (Isaiah 64:6).The Quran lists the following as the Creed of Islam: "Salat," (Ritual Prayers); "Zakat," (Almsgiving); "Sawn," (Fasting); and "Haji" (Pilgrimage to Mecca). In Surah 20: 130, the following five daily prayers are considered obligatory: "Subh" (dawn prayer), "Zuhr" (noon prayer), "Asr" (afternoon prayer), "Maghrib" (sunset prayer) and "Ishai" (early night prayer), Surah 17:79 lists four non-obligatory prayers thus: "Natilaat" (prayer before and after obligatory prayers); "Salat Shafur and witr" (special natilaat); "Salut Duha" (prayers between sunrise and midday); and "Tahajjud" (prayers observed at midnight). Finally, six special prayers were prescribed for Muslims, namely: "Juma'at" prayer (Fridays only); Ild-ul Adha" (observed once a year after annual fasting in the month of Ramadan only); "Salat Ishaqa" (prayer to command rain in time of drought); and "Salaat Janazal" (prayers offered to the dead, corpse of Muslim). All these prayers must be offered after washing the head, face, ears, arms and ankles. If water is not available in the desert where water is hard to come by, Muhammad directed "Tayamum" that is, the use of sand or dust. "0 ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are intoxicated, till ye know that which ye understand what ye say; nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, till ye have bathed. And if ye be ill or on ajourney, or one of you cometh from the offices of nature, or ye have touched women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand and rub your faces and rub it with your faces and hands. Truly your Lord Allah is Ever-Pardoning and Lo Allah is Benign and All-Forgiving," (Surah An-Nisa (4: 43):

This "Tayamum" is one of the most ludicrous and highly disgusting acts that any knowledgeable person should demand a reasonable explanation from Allah. Why would Allah command his worshippers to perform ablution; that is; washing of face, body, arms, and legs, including lips with water before offering prayers to him, but in case there is no water, they should smear their faces, lips, arms, legs and heads with sand. Incredible! Should we not examine this spirit that taught people this kind of dirty act? Should the sanity of a person, rubbing sand on him or herself in order to worship God, not be questioned'! And funny enough, millions of Muslims, in the desert, where water is scarce, perform "Tayamum" today.

There was a funny incident about this "Tayamum" that I-Moshood- witnessed when I was in high school in Nigeria, Africa. I attended a Muslim school where all these Quranic rules had to be observed. Although there were few Christians in the school, but majority were Allah's worshippers. It happened in a particular year there was a severe drought in Africa, which forced many students to go into the forest searching for brooks, streams, rivers, just any place for water as the public taps weren't functioning. A group of junior students were on their way to the dormitory when they sighted the school "Imam" (the student Muslim leader, like a pastor) rub-bing sand all over his body on the highway. Apparently, he could not get water to perform his "astr" (afternoon prayer), so he followed Allah's directive in the Quran. The young lads were Christians, so they didn't understand that the man was praying to Allah, so when they returned to the dormitory, they informed us that" "Senior Mahmud (the Imams name) has gone mad." "How do you know he's gone mad?" someone asked. "We saw him on the road rubbing sand all over his face and body and we greeted him, but he didn't answer us." Some older students took the matter seriously and decided to enter the bush to look for Mahmud. Just then, the man showed up. "Hah, Mahmud, what is the matter?" the head boy confronted him. "We were told you have gone mad.""Don't 'mind those boys, I was performing 'Tayamum' since there's no water and you know I have to pray to Allah five times a day" he replied. With that, we all burst into laughter.

In Surah 2: 262-264, the Quran emphasizes "Zakat" (almsgiving), which is commonly referred to as the Third Pillar of Islam. It distinguishes "Zakat from "Sadaqal" as obligatory and non-obligatory almsgiving, respectively. It talks about fasting in Surah 2: 183. It should be noted that fasting did not become the habit of Muhammad until after his flight to Medina in 623 A.D., which is commonly known as "Hijirah" in the Islamic Lunar month. On the tenth day of "Muhuram" (first Lunar month), he ordered all his followers to fast on that day. This was later shifted to thirty days in the month of Ramadan, and has remained ever since. And finally, in Surah 2: 125, every Muslim is enjoined to pay pilgrimage to the "Kaabah" - a sacred stone believed by Muslims to be a place designated by Allah to Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismail (Ishmael) as a place of worship. Today, the "Kaabah" is in central Mecca in Saudi Arabia, standing in a parallelogram with the following dimensions: the northwest side is 545 feet, the southeast side is 553 feet, the northeast side is 360 feet and the southwest side is 364 feet. This area is called "al-Masjid aI-Haran," with other buildings adjoining it (Maqam Ibraham and Zamzan). A black stone is at the center of the mosque, which all pilgrims must kiss during the annual pilgrimage as a sign of ritual to Allah. Today, thousands, if not millions of Muslims come from all over the world in popular Muslim months like Shawwal, Shul, AI-quad and Shelal Hijjah to the Sacred Stone for ritual purposes. Although riots, demonstrations and murders have taken place on several occasions among the pilgrim especially Iranian and Libyan Muslims who have insisted the location must be shifted from "moderate Saudi Arabia." It is unlikely that this annual Meccan Pilgrimage will be observed with fanfare this year against the ravaging ruins and destruction of Coronavirus Pandemic.

This, in a nutshell is Islam, the religion founded by Muhammad as written in the Quran.

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