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Some may think Christianity and Islam are both sourced from the same God, and they both lead to him. Is this belief true? If it were true, then their teachings on major doctrinal and ethical issues should be identical. A close examination shows conclusively that their teachings are widely divergent and contradictory, which indicates that they do not originate from the same source. One of them leads to the true living God; the other does not.
This article discusses their respective teachings on the key issues of love, forgiveness, salvation, predestination, judgment, eternal destiny, violence, Islamic law (sharia), freedom of religion and speech, oppression of women, polygamy and marriage, etc. It shows the gigantic gulf that separates their respective positions.
This page analyses the major differences between the God of the Holy Bible and the god of Islam.
This page discusses the major differences between Christ and Muhammad.
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The principal source of Islamic belief and practice is the Qur’an. Muhammad claimed that the Qur’an was the truth of his god. Furthermore, Islam teaches that the Qur’an is the eternal uncreated word of the Islamic god—Muhammad being its agent, not its originator. However, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that historical Islam is definitely shaped by the manner the man Muhammad was. Islam believes that Muhammad, its prophet, had received the Qur’an from the god of Islam beginning in the year 610 AD and ending before his death in 632 AD.
The Hadith complements the Qur’an, and is essential to understand the Qur’an as it provides its historical context and chronology. It embodies the Sunna, or “Tradition,” of Muhammad’s life, deeds and sayings. The most authentic Sunni hadith collections are those of Imam Bukhari (810-870 AD), about 200 years after Muhammad’s death, and Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (818-875 AD). The central Shia Hadith collection is that of al-Kulayni (d. 939 AD). Ibn ishaq wrote the biography of muhammad’s life (Sirat Rasul Allah) about 120 years after muhammad’s death in 750 AD. Ibn Hisham censored and edited it in 850 AD omitting disgraceful and derogatory things. Everything written afterwards was censored, embellished and infused with myths and legends.
The Islamic tradition believes that the Qur’an is the literal word of the Islamic god. The angel Gabriel gave it to Muhammad without any real input from the latter. If this being the case, one wonders why the Islamic god did not hand the Qur’an to Muhammad in the form of a book written on plates of stone, the way the living biblical God handed the ten commandments (the Decalogue) to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 31: 18; 32: 15-16). The Qur’an consists of 114 chapters, known as suras, each of which is identified by a number and a title, such as sura 2 called al-Baqarah (the Cow). Islam teaches that the first sura Muhammad gave was sura 96, al-Alaq (the Blood-Clot). And the last two suras were sura 5 (al-Ma’idah) and 9 (at-Tawbah). Where there is conflict, these suras abrogate all the earlier peaceful and tolerant verses of the Qur’an. They demand holy war (jihad) against all non-Muslims forever, including killing, enslaving, looting and raping non-Muslims in the name of the Islamic god.
The suras are arranged according length, with the longest at the beginning of the Qur’an, and the shortest at its end. The one exception is sura 1, al-Fatiha (the Opening), which has seven verses. The suras are also identified as either “Meccan” or “Medinan,” depending on whether Muhammad gave them before or after his hijra—his departure from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. Works of Qur’anic interpretation, or tafsir, abound. One of the earliest and greatest of these works is the multivolume work of al-Tabari (839-923 AD). For a detailed discussion of various aspects of the Qur’an, please see this page.
Islamic scholars (ulama) developed the code of Islamic law known as the Sharia. The Islamic law is based on four sources: the Qur’an, the Hadith, the ijmah (the consensus of Islamic scholars on an issue), and the qiyas (the reasoning on the basis of analogy). Instead of qiyas, the Shia scholars have ijtihad (individual reasoning). Four legal schools or traditions emerged in the eighth and ninth centuries: the Hanafi (predominates in central Asia and the Indian subcontinent), the Maliki (in North Africa), al-Shaf’i (in Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia), and the Hanbali (in Saudi Arabia). All the major schools of Sharia agree on more than 70 percent substantive matters. The study of Sharia is known as fiqh.
The Qur’an declares that Muhammad came to renew the religion of Abraham (an-Nisa’ 4: 125). We learn from the Holy Bible that the original religion of Abraham did not consist in legal codes; but it established a covenant of promise between God and Abraham. God established this covenant about 430 years before giving the law to Moses (Galatians 3: 17). The religion of Abraham was not the religion of the law of Moses. It was a religion of faith in the promises of God. God promised Abraham saying: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12: 3). This has been fulfilled by the birth of Jesus, the promised Messiah, from the seed of Abraham. Abraham submitted to the love and promises of God by faith alone. That is why he is called a friend of God, and not a mere slave to Him.
On the contrary, Islam is based on a code of laws (Sharia) that demand the submission to the will of its god as slaves because of the fear of punishment and the hope of rewards. It leaves no room for God’s love and friendship. Therefore, contrary to the Qur’anic statement, Islam conflicts with the religion of Abraham. The entire doctrine of Islam repudiates the Abrahamic tradition.
The central shrine of Islam is the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, which is forbidden to non-Muslims. The Islamic tradition holds that the cubic structure of the Kaaba was built by Adam, and then rebuilt and purified by Abraham and his son Ishmael. In contrast with that, the holy Bible tells us that Abraham never traveled to Arabia. History tells us that the Kaaba was a pagan temple venerated by all the tribes of Arabia. It had 360 idols at the time of Muhammad who destroyed them. Muslims turn to the direction of the Kaaba when they pray, and walk around it seven times at their pilgrimage. In one corner of the Kaaba is a small black stone, perhaps a meteorite or a fragment of an ancient pagan idol, venerated by Muslims.
About 85% of Muslims belong to Sunni Islam; and 12% to Shia Islam. The root of the schism between the Sunni and the Shia Muslims goes back to the historical conflict over the succession of Muhammad. A handful of respected Muslims chose Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s close follower, as the first caliph. Others wanted Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad’s son-in-law, to be his successor. Eventually, Ali was assassinated in 661 AD. The Shia movement arose from the pro-Ali faction. According to the Shia, the leader, or Imam, of the Muslim community should be a descendant of Ali from his wife Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter. The Shia await the twelfth Imam (referred to as Imam Mahdi). In the interim, the Imam’s full legal and religious authority is bestowed upon the leading Islamic scholars of the day (called ulama).
Islamic Sufism appeared in the ninth and tenth centuries, and spread over the entire Islamic world between 1200 and 1500 AD. It provides the spiritually sensitive Muslim with a retreat from the legalism of Islam and its rituals. Sufism, heavily influenced by Christian monasticism, emphasizes a personal relationship with the god of Islam. Historically, it had a significant role in the spread of Islam. Although some traditional Islamic scholars (e.g. al-Ghazali) recognize the validity of Sufism as part of Islam, much of Sufi teachings contradict the fundamental doctrines of orthodox Islam. For instance, the Sufi idea about god is that he is in all things and all things are in him (Hindu pantheism). All creatures are not distinct from him. This is a heretical pantheistic concept of God. Another heretical Sufi belief is that man can become as divine as God by absorption into the being of God, which is called fanna’ (annihilation—Buddhist nihilism). Some Sufi groups consider themselves above Islamic law (Sharia).
Islam originated in Hijaz, the northwest region of the Arabian peninsula, with particular emphasis on the towns of Mecca and Yathrib, subsequently known as Medina. Mecca was a small commercial center. Yathrib was an agricultural community. Most Arabs at that time were pastoral nomads. The tribe was their principal form of social and political organization. It provided them with both a sense of identity and physical security.
Islam unifies everything under religion. It rejects secularism. There is no separation between Church (Mosque) and State in Islam. Muhammad established the first Islamic state in Medina. He was its first head of state. Jewish tribes did not support him in Medina. Therefore, he exiled two of them and massacred the third. At his death on June 8, 632 AD, Muhammad ruled over much of the Arabian Peninsula. Within 100 years from his death, Islamic Arab armies established a vast Islamic empire extending from central Asia, through northern India, the Middle East, North Africa, all the way to Iberia. The conquering Arabs lived in garrison cities initially. They enjoyed a new affluent life-style supported by taxation of the conquered lands and booty from ongoing military campaigns.
Jews and Christians, called people of the Book by Islam, in the conquered territories were designated as “dhimmis” or “protected” peoples whose status was inferior to that of Muslims. Dhimmis were forbidden to propagate their faith or to build new houses of worship. They were required to pay a special poll tax, the jizya, imposed on non-Muslims only. In many places and at many times, the dhimmi was required to wear distinguishing clothes, and was prohibited from bearing arms. The stigma attached to the dhimmi status was one of the factors that compelled many non-Muslims to convert to Islam.
The five pillars of Islam are:
1. The Shahadah (the Islamic creed), the Muslim profession of faith: “There is no god but god (allah), and Muhammad is his messenger.” Reciting the creed in the presence of a Muslim makes the reciter a Muslim. When a baby is born, his father or grandfather whispers the creed in his ear to make him a Muslim.
2. Five ritualistic prayers every day following the rite of ritual cleansing (ablution) that requires washing all exposed parts of the body with water or sand, if water is not available (al-Ma’idah 5: 6). If a Muslim touches a non-Muslim after his ablution, he is defiled and will have to perform the ablution all over again.
3. Zakat (required alms giving).
4. Fast of the month of Ramadan. During the entire month of Ramadan, each Muslim over age 14 must abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset. Failure to fast without legitimate excuse is an unpardonable sin (al-Baqarah 2: 183-187). Islam follows a lunar year which is eleven or twelve days shorter than our solar Gregorian year. Therefore, the month of Ramadan rotates gradually throughout the seasons.
5. Pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca at least for those that can afford the expenses of the journey (Al-Imran 3: 97).
In addition, Muhammad in Medina urged Muslims to engage in armed jihad against non-Muslims.
The religious practices of Islam are more concerned with superficial empty dry rites and rituals than with the spiritual inner experience of the person and his spiritual transformation.
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The Holy Bible presents God’s truth in the person of his incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. He is the only truth of the living God: “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” (John 1: 14; 14: 6).
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ form the foundation of Christianity. The Christian faith is centered on Christ. Christ is God’s most important self-disclosure in history. God has revealed himself in human history by a divine person, not by a book. All is of God, from God, and by God. God is the revealer and revealed—the Father and his Word, the Son. The Holy Spirit of God is his power at work in the Christian Church. God is transcendent beyond human imagination, and yet he is immanent intimately concerned with human welfare and active in human history. In Christ, the believer is reborn and transfigured by grace. Spiritual renewal and gradual sanctification to conform to the image of Christ are the central themes in the life of the follower of Christ.
True Christian faith consists of three essential elements: the intellectual element (mental acceptance of the basic doctrines of Christianity), the affectionate element (the bond of love between God and the person), and the volitional element (full commitment to follow the teachings of Christ). Thus, true Christian faith encompasses the totality of the human person: his intellect, his emotion, and his will. It emphasizes the love of the true living God, and the love of neighbor.
The basics of the orthodox Christian faith are summarized in this page.
Sectarianism and divisiveness afflict all great religions in varying forms and degrees. All Christians have the treasure of Christ in their imperfect weak humanity (2 Corinthians 4: 7). There are three major Christian traditions: Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. A faith that has about 2.2 billion adherents is bound to have different traditions. Disagreements are inherent in the fallen nature of humanity. There are differences between these traditions. We are not attempting to belittle the importance of these differences. However, it is important to stress the fact that all Christian traditions, including the many conservative Protestant denominations, share the same core doctrines of the Christian faith, such as the inspiration of the Holy Bible, the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth of Christ, the miracles of Christ, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, the second coming of Christ in glory and power, the work of the Holy Spirit, salvation, the resurrection of the dead, God’s judgment, etc. What unites different Christian traditions is far greater than what divides them.
II. THE SEAL OF PROPHETS?
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Many Muslims believe that Jesus’ ministry was limited to the nation of Israel (al-Ma’idah 5: 46-47). They attribute the universality of Christianity to the early Gentile Church teachings. In fact, after his resurrection, Jesus has instructed his disciples to preach Christianity to all the nations of the earth: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28: 18-19; Acts 1: 8).
History tells us that his apostles obeyed his command, traveled far, and proclaimed the gospel to pagans outside Palestine. For instance, the apostle Paul proclaimed Christianity in Asia Minor and in Europe. The apostle Matthew evangelized as far as India; the apostle John in Asia Minor; and Mark the evangelist in North Africa.
The Jesus of the Qur’an is very different from the Jesus of the holy Bible. Islam teaches that he was virgin born, and preached the truth. The Bible teaches that he was virgin born, and he is the truth (the Word of God): “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14: 6). He was not merely an example of righteousness. He was the atoning sacrifice that allowed mankind to obtain righteousness. In Christianity, Jesus is the savior and reigning king of kings, whose kingdom shall have no end (Luke 1: 33; Hebrews 1: 8; 2 Peter 1: 11; Daniel 7: 14, 27).
Islam claims that Jesus is only another prophet like many other messengers of God before him. It also claims that Jesus was not crucified (al-Nisa’ 4: 157-159). In fact, non-Christian sources attest the historical event of his crucifixion.
The central message of Christianity is that Christ is the incarnate Word (Son) of God. He died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead three days later. It refutes the central message of Islam that God has no eternal Son, and that Jesus did not die on the cross and rise from the dead three days later, and that Muhammad is the seal of the prophets. There is no need for prophets proclaiming their independent religions after Christ, because:
1. Christ is the incarnate Word (Son) of God. In him, all the prophecies of the first advent of the Messiah were fulfilled. He is the culmination of all prophecy. Christ, the incarnate Word of God, is the final revelation of God, in which all partial revelations of old found their fulfillment. On the other hand, Christianity expects the coming of the false prophet and the anti-Christ (2 Thessalonians 2: 3; Revelation 19: 20; 20: 10) to be followed by the second advent of Christ in glory to judge the living and the dead at the end of this age.
2. After his ascension, Christ has sent the Holy Spirit of the living God to indwell the believers and guide his Church on earth. The Holy Spirit guides the believers in their fellowship with Christ on earth, strengthens them in the faith, and sanctifies them progressively: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2: 17-18; Joel 2: 28-29); “clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3: 3). Therefore, there is no need for prophets inspired by the Spirit of God to provide a new religion after Christ (Matthew 21: 33-44).
3. One of the main reasons for sending prophets is that God wants to improve the morality of humanity as humanity develops and matures, and becomes receptive to higher ethical standards. Every major prophet provides further moral development for humanity. For instance, God gave the prophet Moses a law saying: “…you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” (Exodus 21: 23-25). The ancient custom before the time of Moses was that the punishment should be more than the original injury. The law of Moses moderated the punishment in order to prevent a series of violent bloody acts that could spiral out of control—instead of a tenfold vengeance, there would be equality of suffering. This was a step upward for human morality.
Then Jesus came fourteen centuries later and raised humanity to the ideal moral standard by teaching love and forgiveness, in the place of vengeance: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5: 38, 44-45). “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12: 19-21).
In fact, Jesus implemented this teaching personally to provide the highest example on love and forgiveness. While he was bleeding and suffering in agony the death pains on the cross, he did not condemn those who crucified him to death and destruction. Instead, he prayed for their forgiveness: “And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do”…” (Luke 23: 33-34).
Instead of the forgiveness and tolerance that Jesus has taught, the Islamic ethical teachings are a major step backward in morality (al-Baqarah 2: 178). It teaches killing and intolerance: “Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given (Christians and Jews) as believe in neither god (the god of Islam) nor the last day, who do not forbid what god and his apostle (Muhammad) have forbidden, and do not embrace the true faith (Islam), until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued. The Jews say Ezra is the son of God, while the Christians say the Messiah is the Son of God. Such are their assertions, by which they imitate the infidels of old. God confound them! How perverse they are (at-Tawbah 9: 29-30); “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads, and when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly…” (Muhammad 47: 4).
In addition, Islam permits polygamy (instead of the Christian monogamy), taking concubines (e.g. Muhammad took Rihana and Mary the Egyptian who were not among his wives), incest (Muhammad married his daughter-in-law Zaynab bint Jahsh after his adopted son Zayd divorced her (al-Ahzab 33: 37)), breastfeeding adults, marrying child girls (Muhammad married Aisha when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage when she was nine years old, still a child (at-Talaq 65: 4)), beating wives (al-Nisa’ 4: 34), temporary marriage which is prostitution, etc. Moses and Jesus never permitted these immoralities.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a godly saintly virgin woman. Muhammad’s mother was a pagan woman who worshiped idols, and practiced occult. Jesus was a godly person all his life. Muhammad worshiped pagan idols until he was forty years of age, and committed grave immoralities. Jesus was a man of godly peace and forgiveness. Muhammad was a violent bloody man of the sword.
In contrast with the claim of al-Ahzab 33: 40 that Muhammad is the seal of prophets, the Holy Bible declares that Christ is the seal of prophethood and the end of God’s revelation to humankind: “…God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6: 27; Mark 12: 1-11); “… Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19: 10; Luke 20: 9-18). There can be no prophets from the true living God to succeed Christ, his incarnate Son. In fact, Christ declared: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6). However, Christ sends apostles and prophets by his own authority in his own name to pass on his divine revelation and proclaim his Gospel to the nations (Ephesians 4: 7, 11-16; Acts 11: 28; 15: 32; Revelation 1: 1-3; 11: 3-6). Muhammad proclaimed a different religion and contradicted key teachings of the Gospel of Christ.
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One of the most important central teachings of Christianity is the love of God and the love of neighbor: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3: 16; 17: 24, 26); “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4: 8); “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22: 37-39). In his teachings and miracles, Jesus focused human awareness on two most important facts: God’s overwhelming divine love of humanity, and people accepting that love and letting it flow through them to others. Love is manifested in relationships. Loving God means giving ourselves totally to him, and living every day of our lives to please him. This is the highest mode of worship we could offer to God. We will examine the important relationships in Islam and Christianity.
1. The relationship between the messenger and his god.
The Qur’an and the Hadith do not speak about Muhammad loving his god, or his god loving him. Muhammad described himself as a slave of his god (al-Baqarah 2: 23). In fact, in the one hundred or so names for the Islamic god, there is no word that refers to him as love.
On the contrary, Jesus relationship with God the Father is based on mutual divine love. God the Father spoke about loving his incarnate Son: “While he (Jesus) was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him” (Matthew 17: 5; 12: 18; 3: 17). And Jesus stressed his obedience and love to God the Father, without fear (John 14: 31). The divine love is the supreme example of the ideal pristine love that Christ taught: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15: 9, 12-13; 3: 16).
Jesus instructed Christians to love both God and their neighbors: “Jesus said to him: ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22: 37-40; Mark 12: 28-31; John 13: 34-35; 15: 9, 12; Romans 13: 10; 1 John 4: 7-10, 15-16, 20-21; 1 Peter 3: 8-9).
2. The relationship between the messenger and his people.
Although the Qur’an provides a passing reference for the Islamic god’s love (Hud 11: 90), it emphasizes obedience to the Islamic god as a slave to his master (Qaf 50: 8; al-Anfal 8: 13). Muhammad used to carry out cruel inhumane punishments he claimed his god demanded whether by beating, cutting off limbs, stoning to death, etc. In addition, the Islamic god did not love unbelievers (Al-‘Imran 3: 32). He leads them astray in order to populate the hell he had created: “If we had so willed, we could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance: but the Word from Me will come true, "I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together” (as-Sajdah 32: 13).
The Christian teaching contradicts the Islamic teaching. The eternal divine love between God the Father and Jesus, his incarnate Son, is reflected in their relationship with humanity. Jesus assured his disciples that God the Father loved them: “For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God” (John 16: 27). Jesus also expressed his love to his followers: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15: 9-10). In fact, he gave up his bodily life to save them from eternal damnation (John 10: 14-15). Jesus elevated his disciples to the level of friends: “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15: 15).
In addition to loving his followers, Jesus loved the unbelievers and tried to help them (Mark 2: 17; John 4: 1-26; Luke 7: 36-50; 15: 1-2; 23: 39-43). Jesus also taught that God the Father is “…kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6: 35; Matthew 5: 45; John 3: 16; Romans 5: 8).
3. The relationship between believers, and unbelievers and enemies.
Although Muhammad called for Muslims to care for each other as brothers (Al-‘Imran 3: 103; al-Hujurat 49: 10), he instructed Muslims to reject friendships with non-Muslims (al-‘Imran 3: 28; al-Ma’idah 5: 51; al-Mumtahanah 60: 1), and to participate in holy war (jihad) and kill unbelievers if necessary in order to force them to submit to Islam (al-Tawbah 9: 5, 29; al-Baqarah 2: 193; etc.). Christian and Jewish martyrs are killed for what they believe. Muslim jihadist martyrs kill for what they believe. Muhammad controlled his followers with rewards and punishments, and demanded that they do the same—reward believers and punish unbelievers.
The Islamic supremacist teachings (Al-‘Imran 3: 110, 85; at-Tawbah 9: 28) puff up the ego of Islamists. Non-Muslims are looked down upon, treated as second-class citizens and sub-humans (al-Anfal 8: 55; al-Ma’idah 5: 59-60; al-Baqarah 2: 65; al-A’raf 7: 166), and persecuted in Islamic countries. Their suffering at the hands of Muslims poisons Muslim society—a severe price for advocating hatred.
Love is the very substance of life. It is what nurtures an infant in his crib. It is the mortar of human society. Islam denies the reality and substance of love. A Muslim man who beats and murders his mother, sister, wife, or daughter does not love them. Muslims who impose the humiliating jizya on their non-Muslim neighbors do not love them; etc.
Jesus instructed Christians to love one another as he loved them “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13: 34-35).
In addition, Jesus asked them to love the unbelievers and the enemies, pray for them, preach the gospel to them, heal their sick, and raise their dead. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5: 43-45, 48; Luke 6: 27-28, 32-33, 35; Romans 12: 14). Christianity teaches forgiveness, and prevents revenge. “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12: 19-21; Matthew 5: 38-42). Islam demands revenge (al-Baqarah 2: 178, 194; al-Isra’ 17: 33; etc.).
In ancient times, Moses had instructed the Jews to “love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10: 19; Leviticus 19: 34).
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Christianity teaches that forgiveness is the healing of a broken relationship between Christ and the penitent sinner. There is only one path to forgiveness and reconciliation with God—accepting the atonement Christ offered on the cross through penitent working faith: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5: 8; 1 Peter 3: 18). Without Christ’s atoning death on behalf of the penitent sinner who puts his faith in Christ, man is hopelessly lost in his sinful ways and corrupted nature. “He (Christ) was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him. And by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53: 5).
The Almighty living God of the Holy Bible gives grace to all those who receive Jesus as Lord and savior and accept his free gift of atonement. The atonement of Christ guarantees the forgiveness of all repented sins: “…if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins …” (1 John 2: 1-2; Romans 5: 1-2; 1 Peter 2: 24-25; Ephesians 1: 7-8); “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9: 14); “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4: 12). Christians are thereby set free from the bondage of sin and spiritual death (Romans 6: 6-7; Galatians 5: 13; 1 Peter 2: 16). Christians are required to forgive others, thereby extending the forgiveness they receive from God of others.
Islam offers no means by which the Muslim person can be reconciled with the Islamic god and set free from his sins. There is no mediator for the Muslim person that can plead his case before the Islamic god. A Muslim person does not have assurance that his repented sins are forgiven (al-Tawbah 9: 102; al-Nahl 16: 61). The god of Islam gives grace only arbitrarily to whom he pleases (al-Ma’idah 5: 18). In fact, a Muslim person can never be sure that he is not being directed by the Islamic god to do evil, since that god causes people to sin and do evil: “…Whom god wills he sends astray, and whom he wills he places on a straight path” (al-An’am 6: 39; Ibrahim 14: 4).
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The Qur’an tells that the Islamic god created Adam and breathed into him his spirit (al-Hijr 15: 26; as-Sajdah 32: 9). The Qur’an does not mention anything about the time and process of Eve’s creation. Orthodox Islam believes that man has no godlikeness. God breathing into man his spirit is interpreted to mean god’s imparting his faculties of knowledge and will into man.
The Holy Bible informs that God created Adam from clay, and thereafter, Eve from one of Adam’s ribs (Genesis 1: 26-27; 2: 7, 18-23), which makes her equal to Adam. God created man in his image indicating man’s endowment of faculties, powers, and character, which man needs to employ to become like God by developing the moral perfection and holiness God intended for him.
Islam teaches that obedience to the Islamic god’s revealed guidance is the way to salvation. It involves both good deeds and correct beliefs in the Islamic god, his books, his apostles and the day of judgment, including practicing the five ritualistic pillars of Islam (al-Ma’idah 5: 10). The Islamic salvation is a release from the punishment of sins in eternity. It is not a present freedom from the hold of sin upon the mind, heart and life of the Muslim believer. It does not involve internal spiritual regeneration.
The Islamic god is presented as both merciful and also just at the same time. But he is incapable of reconciling his mercy with his justice, because Islam does not provide satisfaction for the demands of the wrath of its god’s judgment against sin in order to allow his mercy and forgiveness to flow toward sinners. A just God does not arbitrarily forgive sins without any real just basis for his forgiveness. Islam does not provide real basis for his forgiveness and does not offer a plan for redemption and salvation, because it rejects the atoning sacrificial payment that Christ has offered on the cross to satisfy the justice of God. Based on this atonement, God can justly justify the penitents who accept Christ’s payment on their behalf. Christ took their punishment in their behalf.
Despite the Islamic rejection of the doctrine of substitutionary atonement (al-An’am 6: 164), the Qur’an provides an example of it in Moses sacrifice of a cow (al-Baqarah 2: 67-71), and in Abraham’s sacrifice of his son on mount Moriah (as-Saffat 37: 102-107). The Holy Bible affirms that just as God redeemed the son of Abraham with the sacrifice of a ram he provided, God redeemed the world through the blood of Jesus Christ, “…The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). Jesus is the lamb of God sacrificed once for all to set those penitents who believe in him free from the bondage of sin.
The Holy Bible teaches that any human sin is an infinite offense against the infinite God and must be judged with infinite punishment. Good works (acts of obedience to God) are earthly and limited, and required of man. They are not a favor man offers to God. They are not good enough to pay for man’s sins. They do not satisfy the justice of God. Therefore, the concept of a judgment scale that weighs the good deeds of the person against his evil deeds is meaningless and not valid. If God’s judgment were based on his justice alone, no one could be saved eternally (Romans 3: 10). Good works no more cover and compensate for bad works than an act of kindness can take away the guilt of a murderer. Many good works mixed with bad works is like an omelet that contains both good and bad eggs. No one could eat this omelet. No one would accept a glass of water if a drop of ink is added to it. Good deeds do not compensate for bad deeds. Good deeds do not erase bad deeds neither in human laws nor in God’s laws. Man could not undo sins he did in the past.
A law determines what is right and wrong, but could not transform and purify the person internally and make him right. It is simply the standard by which the person shall be judged (Galatians 5: 4). The all-holy God does not accept a life stained with sin. Good works do not earn salvation. They do not cure the person from the sin sickness. They do not result in internal transformation and purification of the fallen human nature. Good deeds, on their own merit, are incapable of bridging the huge gulf that separates fallen humanity from the divine God, and therefore, they could not establish communion between God and the human person: “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2: 21). “We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64: 6). “…by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Galatians 2: 16). “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2: 10). If the sinner repents and accepts the atonement of Christ with genuine faith, his sin is transferred to the account of Christ who took its just punishment on the cross.
If the human nature could be renewed by guidance alone, then why did God send multitudes of prophets over the centuries instead of just one? Why have humans kept disobeying and sinning? This shows that the human nature which has been corrupted by the fall of Adam and Eve cannot be renewed by guidance alone. It needs redemption, not merely revelation. The Orthodox Christian teaching on atonement and salvation by penitent working faith that accepts the free gift of the atonement Christ has offered on the cross is explained in that page. Islam does not provide a cure for sin. It does not provide a way to transform the fallen human nature and change the character of the person. It does not change the person from within and give him a new character. Christ does.
Some Islamists object to the crucifixion of Christ thinking that God would not allow his servant to suffer. This is human rationalization. We do not know the mind of God. God said through his prophet Isaiah: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55: 8). Many godly prophets suffered persecutions. In addition, the Qur’an says that this objection is not valid, because many of the prophets and apostles were killed in the past (al-Baqarah 2: 87, 91; al-‘Imran 3: 21, 112, 181, 183; an-Nisa’ 4: 155; al-Ma’idah 5: 70). In fact, Jesus prevailed over his enemies when God raised him from the dead in the third day, conquering sin, Satan and death. “He (David the prophet), foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God . . .” (Acts 2: 31-33). By Christ’s death and resurrection, “. . . Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15: 54). The resurrection of Christ has demonstrated that God has accepted his sacrifice. The death and resurrection of Christ manifest God’s mercy and justice towards fallen humanity: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5: 8). Jesus said: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15: 13). The cross of Christ points to God’s love for the sinner as well as his consistent hatred for sin. God’s greatness is demonstrated uniquely in his suffering love shown in Christ.
Christ is uniquely qualified to be our intercessor before the throne, not merely because he was a sinless prophet, but also because of his atoning death on the cross. Christians no longer fear the prospect of standing before God’s throne, because Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, has offered infinite satisfaction and atonement by dying in their behalf on the cross absorbing the infinite wrath of the all-holy God against sin. Christ Jesus, God’s eternal Son—crucified, risen, and reigning, is the sole and sufficient savior for all believing persons everywhere at all times. Our close loving fellowship with God in Christ who intercedes in our behalf before the divine throne gives us assurance and extinguishes fear and anxiety about our eternal destiny (Romans 8: 26, 27, 34; 1 Timothy 2: 5, 6; Hebrews 7: 25; 9: 24; 1 John: 2: 1). “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3: 36, 16; 5: 24; 14: 1-3; 1: 10-13); “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4: 18; 5: 9-12; Luke 12: 32; Hebrews 7: 25; 1 Thessalonians 5: 9-10). He is God with us and God for us for all eternity. Christ has assured Christians of peace saying: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14: 27). “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5: 1).
The concept of sacrificial love is absent in Islam. Islam teaches that if a Muslim person commits a grave sin (worshiping another god, denying basic beliefs of Islam, insulting Muhammad, killing Muslims, etc.), the Islamic god may, or may not, forgive him upon his repentance. He is arbitrary in granting forgiveness (al-Ma’idah 5: 18; etc.). On judgment day, he will discover whether or not he is forgiven. On the other hand, if he commits a small sin (missing a prayer, lying, breaking Ramadan’s fast, etc.), he can earn his forgiveness by good works or going on pilgrimage (hajj).
It is hoped that the Muslim person earns his salvation by his good works (Al-‘Imran 3: 31). The only hope a Muslim has is that his good deeds outweigh his bad ones and tip the scale of judgment in his favor: “On that day all shall be weighed with justice. Those whose good deeds weigh heavy in the scales shall triumph, but those whose deeds are light shall lose their souls, because they have denied our revelations” (al-A’raf 7: 8-9; al-Baqarah 2: 277). As discussed before, good works do not cancel out evil ones. Later in his ministry when he started to send out military expeditions from Medina, Muhammad claimed to have received revelation about an assured way for earning his god’s forgiveness and favor by fighting and dying for the cause of Islam in jihad (Al-‘Imran 3: 195, 157-158; as-Saff 61: 10-13; al-Nisa’ 4: 74; Bukhari 4.52.46, 48). A Muslim person who dies in jihad, is believed to go straight to the Islamic paradise without waiting in his grave for judgment day. The one who will be awarded the Islamic paradise without passing through judgment is the Islamic jihadist who kills for the cause of Islam, not the doer of good deeds.
There is no assurance of salvation in Islam for Muslims who do not participate and die in jihad. Muhammad depended on his own works, along with his god’s hoped-for mercy to earn paradise. However, the Islamic god is exalted and pleased to send people to hell arbitrarily (Ibrahim 14: 4), and is arbitrary in his forgiveness (al-Baqarah 2: 284; al-Ma’idah 5: 18). He cannot be trusted. Therefore, Muhammad himself was insecure about his eternal fate and expressed his doubts and worries about his god’s acceptance when he said: “…nor do I know what will be done with me or with you…” (al-Ahqaf 46: 9; Bukhari 5.58.266; 2.23.334; 9.87.145). In fact, Muhammad asked Muslims to pray for his salvation (al-Ahzab 33: 56). In the five daily Islamic prayers, one of the concluding prayers is often, “O god! Have mercy on Muhammad and on his descendants, as you had mercy on Abraham and on his descendants.” If Muhammad were at peace in paradise, he would not need the prayers of anyone?
Omar, one of the early guided caliphs, said before his death: “. . . Had I the whole East and West, gladly would I give up all to be delivered from this awful terror that is hanging over me” (Cited in Jens Christensen, The Practical Approach to Muslims, London: North Africa Mission, 1977, p. 380). Abu Bakr went through the same anguish on his deathbed. Amr bin al-As wept in his deathbed worrying about his eternal destiny. In fact, except for the Islamic martyrs who die fighting for Islam in jihad (at-Tawbah 9: 111; as-Saff 61: 4, 10-13), all Muslims will spend time in hell (Maryam 19: 71). Hell is a horrible prospect indeed. But the fire of the hell of guilt in this life because of a lack of assurance of forgiveness of sins in the present is not easy to suffer either. This proves the common saying that “Islam is as arid as the deserts of its birth.” The final message of Islam is not a message of salvation and new life, but of hopelessness.
The Holy Bible does not emphasize suffering in hell. It barely mentions it. However, the Qur’an, which is comparable in size to the New Testament (Injil, etc.), mentions the word “hell” ninety-seven times. In addition, it describes hell without specifically using the term “hell” many more times. Scholars estimate that the Qur’an mentions the threat of hell, on average, every 7.9 verses (783 verses out of 6151 total verses).
Muhammad’s fears and insecurity about his eternal salvation makes his prophetic claims doubtful and questionable at best. The only emphatic guarantee Muhammad had from his god was that he was going to die (az-Zumar 39: 30-31) and pass through hell (Maryam 19: 68-72). There is no security for Muslims. If the prophet of Islam and the greatest Muslims Abu Bakr and Omar were uncertain and insecure about their salvation, how much more the average Muslim would be?
There is not a single Biblical or Qur’anic verse which exhorts believers to pray for the peace and salvation of any of the true prophets and apostles of the holy Bible after their respective deaths. All the true prophets and apostles of the living God never doubted their salvation. Dying on the cross, Jesus forgave the penitent criminal who was crucified on his right side saying to him: “…Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23: 43). Jesus knew for certainty that he was going to paradise. That is why he did not fear death. The last words he uttered on the cross before he dismissed his spirit were: “…Father, ‘into Your hands I commit my spirit …” (Luke 23: 46). The Holy Bible gives assurance that all true believers, including God’s true prophets and apostles, will enter into the heavenly presence of God in paradise right after their deaths (2 Corinthians 5: 1-10; Philippians 1: 21, 23; 2 Timothy 4: 6-8; Hebrews 12: 22-24; Revelation 6: 9-11; 7: 9-17; etc.). Christ assured Christians saying: "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.... I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14: 1-4, 6).
VI. ABSOLUTE PREDESTINATION
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Islam teaches that its god is the origin of both good and evil. This article discusses the Islamic doctrine of absolute predestination, and provides the Christian position on this pivotal issue.
The Islamic god leads aright whom he wills, and leads astray whom he wills. One of his goals is to fill hell. This article discusses the Islamic god’s attitude towards sinners and provides the Christian position.
VII. JUDGMENT AND ETERNAL DESTINY
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A. The Islamic teaching
Islam proclaims the doctrine of “the torment of the grave.” The soul of a dead Muslim person is believed to return to its corpse while it is interred. It is claimed that the dead person experiences physical sensation. Once entombed, the soul is judged by two angels, after which it is either granted paradise or the torment of the grave. This torment consists of pulverizing the corpse with a massive iron hammer that makes it crumble into dust, but the Islamic god reassembles it and has it struck repeatedly. Then the grave tightens around the corpse, till its bones crack. Then the tomb-snake (or 70-99 dragons) eats the flesh of the corpse, but then the flesh returns and is eaten repeatedly. Muhammad taught that one of the greatest sins that causes the torment of the grave is failing to properly clean oneself after urinating. A sure way of avoiding the torment of the grave is martyrdom in jihad (Bukhari 4.52.72, 73). Muhammad was afraid of the torment of the grave and used to pray that he may be saved from it (Bukhari 2.23.454; 2.18.164).
This Islamic teaching does not address what happens to a non-existent corpse which has been destroyed by either the wild beasts of the land or the sea, or by fire? Physical evidence proves that the torment of the grave is a mere fiction because exhumed corpses are found intact. Its bones are not broken and not powdered, and the size of the grave does not change.
Islam teaches that Christ will return to judge the living and the dead (Bukhari 4.55.657). It also teaches that every Muslim, good and wicked alike, goes first to hell after his death (Maryam 19: 70-72). The way to the Islamic paradise is through the gates of hell? In describing the final judgment, Islam provides two images—the judgment scale and the bridge.
1. The judgment scale weighs the good deeds of the person against his evil deeds. Those whose good works outweigh their bad works will go to paradise. The others will go to hell. “On that day all shall be weighed with justice. Those whose good deeds weigh heavy in the judgment scales shall triumph, but those whose good deeds are light shall lose their souls, because they have denied our revelations” (al-A’raf 7: 8-9; al-Baqarah 2: 277; Hud 11: 114; al-Anbiya’ 21: 47; al-Qari’ah 101: 6-11; Hud 11: 114; al-Mu’minun 23: 102-103). What if one’s good works exactly balance his bad works? Islam does not answer this question. The Islamic god never gave clear instructions as to his scoring system for good and bad deeds? Therefore, no one knows when he has done enough good works? The concept of the judgment scale encourages, and leads to, more evil and corruption. A person may commit evil and then do a good deed to outweigh his evil deed. Even career criminals and their mothers feel their good works outweigh their evil works. Eventually, evil flows, and good works become rare.
The concept of the judgment scale is meaningless and not valid, because good deeds, apart from salvation, are legalistic and superficial and do not result in internal transformation and purification of the fallen human nature. Good works no more cover and compensate for bad works than an act of kindness can take away the guilt of a murderer. Many good works mixed with bad works is like an omelet that contains both good and bad eggs. No one could eat this omelet. No one would accept a glass of water if a drop of ink is added to it. Good deeds do not compensate for bad deeds. Good deeds do not erase bad deeds neither in human laws nor in God’s laws. Man could not undo sins he did in the past. Good deeds, on their own merit, are incapable of bridging the huge gulf that separates fallen humanity from the divine God, and therefore, they could not establish communion between the human person and God. “We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64: 6a). “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2: 21).
The concept of the judgment scale is traceable to a heretical work called “The Testament of Abraham” written about eight hundred years before Muhammad’s time, and to “The Book of the Dead” found in the tombs of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
2. The idea of the bridge is based on as-Saffat 37: 23-24; and Yasin 36: 66 (Bukhari 1.12.770). This is the last phase of the process of judgment. All Muslims must finally come to a hair thin bridge across the fire of hell. The righteous will cross it quickly and safely. But those whose deeds have fallen short of the Islamic god’s standard will lose their footing and fall into the flames of hell beneath. This concept is of Persian Zoroastrian origin. It is called Chinavad meaning “the connecting link” which joins earth and paradise.
The Holy Bible does not emphasize suffering in hell. It barely mentions it. However, the Qur’an, which is comparable in size to the New Testament (Injil, etc.), mentions the word “hell” ninety-seven times. In addition, it describes hell without specifically using the term “hell” many more times. Scholars estimate that the Qur’an mentions the threat of hell, on average, every 7.9 verses (783 verses out of 6151 total verses).
Although some spiritual rewards are briefly mentioned (e.g. peace (Yasin 36: 58; Maryam 19: 62), bliss (al-Tawbah 9: 72)), the Islamic paradise is mainly a materialistic carnal paradise (an-Nisa’ 4: 57; al-Hajj 22: 23; Maryam 19: 22; az-Zukhruf 43: 71; ad-Dukhan 44: 51-56; ad-Dahr 76; 5, 21; al-Mutaffifin 83: 25). It appeals to, and satisfies, the base human fleshy instincts. It legitimizes the personal hedonistic pleasures of gluttony and polygamy. It contains the huris which the Islamic god created as devices of lustful pleasure to gratify Muslim men who fear him (ad-Dukhan 44: 51-54; ar-Rahman 55: 72; al-Waqi’ah 56: 22, 35-37; al-Baqarah 2: 25; an-Nisa’ 4: 57). The virgin huris are like delicate pearls (as-Saffat 37: 49; ar-Rahman 55: 56-58). Their virginity is reestablished after they are approached. The Islamic paradise also provides the kawa’ib (an-Naba’78: 33), who are charming young women (al-Waqi’ah 56: 23; ar-Rahman 55: 58). In addition to the female companions, the Islamic paradise will have young boys of perpetual freshness (at-Tur 52: 24; al-Waqi’ah 56: 17; al-Insan 76: 19) endowed with eternal youth. The paradise of the Qur’an suggests the immoral perverted sexual behavior of pederasty, lustful erotic sexual indulgence, excessive wine (Muhammad 47: 15), servants, etc.
It is interesting to note that the things that Islamists decry the most as satanic sins of the West are what the Islamic paradise consists of. The Islamic paradise is a man’s world. It is only to reward men. Muslim women are ignored? Even in the Islamic paradise, the Muslim woman is treated unfairly. She has no assurance of having even one man. Once again, she is used perpetually for the advantage, gratification and pleasure of the man. Virgin women are mentioned only in the context of gratifying the sexual needs of Muslim men (al-Baqarah 2: 25; as-Saffat 37: 39-49; ad-Dukhan 44: 51-59; Muhammad 47: 15; at-Tur 52: 17-24; al-Waqi’ah 56: 12-39; ar-Rahman 55: 54-59, 70-77; an-Naba’ 78: 31-34). Muhammad claimed that every Muslim man entering the Islamic paradise will be given 72 huris and virility equal to that of one hundred men. There is a sex market in the Islamic paradise which makes it sound like an Islamic brothel in the Islamic heaven. The Islamic paradise is not a liberating experience. In it, Muslim men live in bondage to gluttony and sexual lust. The origin of these Islamic teachings is found in Zoroastrian and Hindu sources. In fact, the word “huri” is derived from a Persian source.
Christ taught saying: “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8: 34-36).
B. The Christian teaching
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The Holy Bible teaches that the human soul is immortal by the grace of God (Matthew 22: 32; Luke 20: 38). Physical death is the departure of the soul from the body (2 Corinthians 5: 1-4; 2 Peter 1: 14; Philippians 1: 23; 2 Timothy 4: 6). The Holy Bible distinguishes two states of the human soul after physical death: the state immediately following death, and that after the final General Judgment. Immediately after death, a Particular Judgment of each person takes place, after which the disembodied human soul enters an intermediate state either of spiritual bliss in the immediate presence of Christ with the angels and departed saints (Luke 23: 43; 16: 22-23), or of torment and darkness separated from God. At that point the destiny of the departed person is fixed into eternity (Luke 16: 19-31). However, the person does not receive the full eternal reward or punishment until after the General Judgment.
The second coming of Christ, our Lord, will be in glory and power (Matthew 24: 30; Luke 21: 27). It is the greatest future event in human history. It signifies the final triumph of justice and life over evil and death. In fact, Muslim theologians are unanimous in believing that Christ is physically alive at present in heaven, and will return to earth at the end of this age. Approximately, seventy hadiths support the doctrine of the return of Christ to earth in the last days. Only God knows the time of the second coming (Matthew 24: 36; Acts 1: 7). It will be preceded by the appearance of a massive life giving luminous cross of Christ filling the sky (Matthew 24: 27, 30-31; Mark 13: 26-27; Luke 21: 27). At his first advent, Christ came in simplicity and humility to redeem, save, heal, and regenerate the human spirit (John 3: 17; Matthew 20: 28). At his second advent, he will come in power and glory with multitudes of angels and saints to judge the living and the resurrected dead, including Muhammad the prophet of Islam, in the final General Judgment (Matthew 13: 41-43; 16: 27; 25: 31-46; John 5: 22, 28-29 Acts 10: 42; 17: 31; Revelations 19: 11-16; 22: 12). The General Judgment will occur right after the resurrection of all the dead (John 5: 28-29), at which time the soul will be united with a resurrected body for eternity.
There are distinguishable levels of rewards and punishments corresponding to the moral situation of each person at the moment of his death. Those who died in Christ and those alive in Christ at his second coming will receive incorruptible immortal spiritual bodies that “…shine forth as the sun…” (Matthew 13: 43; 1 Corinthians 15: 35-50; Philippians 3: 20-21; 1 John 3: 1-3). They will live in an eternal spiritual bliss in a new heaven (Revelation 21: 1-4; 2 Peter 3: 13). “…Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2: 9). They will exist in a state of deification and unbroken close fellowship with God in his eternal kingdom (Daniel 2: 44; 7: 13-14; 1 Thessalonians 4: 17). Their spiritual growth towards the infinite God of the universe will never cease. The eternal bliss is a spiritual bliss at a higher state of existence in the immediate presence of God. It consists in deliverance from suffering, grief, corruption, etc.; experiencing the beatific vision of God; and the reunion with the other righteous souls. It will not be a materialistic carnal existence centered on gluttony, polygamy, and sensual pleasures. The biblical God condemns and abhors these excesses, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14: 17; Habakkuk 1: 13).
Jesus taught that there is no marriage in the biblical heaven: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22: 30; Luke 20: 35-36). This means that human sexuality ceases to exist in eternity.
The eternal hell is a condition of torment for the wicked and demons. It is represented symbolically by the fire and worms that never die (Mark 9: 43-48; 2 Thessalonians 1: 8; Revelation 21: 8), where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8: 12). It is called the lake of fire (Revelation 19: 20). The cruelest torment is the eternal deprivation of the glory of God and his eternal kingdom, and the eternal separation from the vision of God in the outer darkness. Only in God, its creator, can the human soul find its eternal rest and illumination. Therefore, eternal hell is called the second death (Revelation 20: 14).
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Islam is not a religion of peace. It is the only major religion in the world of today that institutionalizes violence against non-Muslims, which it calls jihad (normally translated “holy war,” as it is usually used in that context. The literal translation is “struggle,” or “strive”). Over a hundred verses in the Qur’an exhort Muslims to wage jihad against those who reject Islam, and against Muslims who do not practice Islam to its fullest. The historical record of the prophet of Islam and his followers leaves no doubt that Muhammad intended these verses to be understood literally. Only 56 verses in the entire Qur’an mention peace, and most of it occur in the context of the Islamic greeting of “peace be upon you.” Others deal with the peace that occurs after a military battle. A whole sura 8, al-Anfal is called “spoils of war.” There is no sura called “peace.” The most vivid and repeated themes in the Qur’an are on jihad and the punishment of hell.
The word “jihad” appears in its various forms about thirty-five times in the Qur’an: nine times in the Meccan chapters (suras), and twenty-six times in the Medinan ones. The word “qatal,” means “kill” (it does not mean inner struggle against vices). It appears in various forms about one hundred and twenty-three times in the Qur’an: thirty-four times in the Meccan chapters (suras), and eighty-nine times in the Medinan suras. The increase of these words in the Medinan Qur’an reflects the rise of the military power of the prophet of Islam after his immigration to Medina, though a few uses of these words are not in a military context. In sura 9 (al-Tawbah) of the Qur’an, thought to be one of last suras given, each of these two words appear ten times in the context of war. In fact, one verse 9: 111 contains three words rooted in the Arabic word “qatal” (meaning to kill): “God has bought of the believers their lives and their possessions, promising them paradise in return, so they fight (from “qatal”) in God's cause, and kill (from “qatal”), and are killed (from “qatal”)…?”
In contrast with that, the Holy Bible (KJV) provides 420 verses on the subject of peace. Man strove for peace since ancient times (Isaiah 52: 7). Deep inner peace is the gift of the living God. Man cannot create his own peace. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 7); “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3: 16; James 3: 17-18); “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked” (Isaiah 48: 22; 57: 20-21; 59: 1-4, 7-11; etc).
Muslims are called upon to proclaim Islam by subduing and conquering non-Muslims. The violent activities of the Muslim zealots are fully supported and encouraged by the Islamic teachings. Muhammad said: “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah …” (Bukhari 4.52.196, 496; 1.2.25; 1.8.392; etc). Jihad is a Muslim religious duty and obligation, like pilgrimage. Rejecting jihad amounts to rejecting fundamental Qur’anic dogma. Those who wage jihad rank highest in Islam. References to jihad, and killing of infidels who reject Islam and of apostates who leave Islam abound in the Qur’an: al-Baqarah 2:193, 216, 244; an-Nisa’ 4: 47, 76; al-Ma’idah 5: 33, 51; al-Anfal 8: 12-17, 39, 59-60, 65, 67; al-Tawbah 9: 5, 12, 14, 20, 29, 36, 41, 73, 81, 86, 88, 111, 123; Muhammad 47: 4-6; al-Fath 48: 16; al-Mumtahanah 60: 1; etc. There are more than one hundred jihad passages in the Qur’an. The jihad commands are open-ended and global.
Islam divides humanity into two classes: a superior class of Muslims (Al-‘Imran 3: 110; at-Tawbah 9: 33), and an inferior class of non-Muslims (infidels). The Qur’an calls the non-Muslim infidels “… the vilest of animals …” (al-Anfal 8: 55), and the vilest of all creatures (al-Bayyinah 98: 6). It claims that Jews were transformed into apes (al-Baqarah 2: 65; al-A’raf 7: 166), and Jews and Christians to swine (al-Ma’idah 5: 59-60)? It likens Jews to asses (al-Jum’ah 62: 5). It tells Muslims that Jews are cursed because of their unbelief (al-Ma’idah 5: 78, 64). Muhammad claimed that Muslims will eventually exterminate the Jews in a global holocaust (Bukhari 4.52.177).
The Qur’an goes as far as commanding Muslims to eschew friendships with infidels, including Christians and Jews (Al-‘Imran 3: 28, 118; an-Nisa’ 4: 89, 144; al-Ma’idah 5: 51, 82), even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin (al-Tawbah 9: 23; al-Mujadalah 58: 22). Abu Obaida, son of Garah, praised by the prophet of Islam, killed his own father who refused Islam. Musaab, son of Omair, never listened for his mother’s cries for help and left her to die because she rejected Islam. Abu Bakr, the first guided caliph, told his father he would kill him if he refused Islam.
While wars are the exception to the norm in the history of any civilization, it is the norm in the Islamic civilization in dar-al-harb (the house of war), which is the territory of the non-Muslim populations. Jihad is an Islamic institution, not a mere event in Islamic history. The long bloody history of Islam reflects these teachings. It is rife with continuous harassment, persecution, subjugation and killing of non-Muslim infidels. All the battles of Muhammad were offensive except for the battles of Uhud (625 AD) and the ditch (627 AD) which were defensive.
Traditional orthodox Islam promises the jihadist that if he dies fighting for the god of Muhammad in Islamic jihad, he is guaranteed to be rewarded with the Islamic paradise of sexual promiscuity and gluttony, and to avoid the horrifying torments of the grave and hell (as-Saff 61: 10-13; ad-Dukhan 44: 51-56; at-Tur 52: 17-29; ar-Rahman 55: 46-78; al-Tawbah 9: 111; Al-Imran 3: 169; an-Nisa’ 4: 74). Muhammad said: “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords” (Bukhari 4.52.73, 72). Muhammad promised these fictitious rewards in order to motivate his fighters. Unable to give them a reason to live, he gave them a reason to die.
On the other hand, should the jihadist survive and live, he gets a share from the spoils of war, which include wealth and women (al-Anfal 8: 41, 60). In addition, he obtains forgiveness of his sins (as-Saff 61: 11-12), and the love of the Islamic god (an-Nisa’ 4: 95; al-Anfal 8: 16). According to orthodox Islamic belief, martyrdom in Islamic jihad is the only sure way a Muslim could take to avoid the horrifying torments of the grave and hell, and to get into the Islamic paradise. In fact, when a Muslim dies in jihad, his corpse is not washed or dressed in clean clothes. It goes in his coffin just as he died. The stains of blood on it are a witness for him before the Islamic god. It is a sign of honor that would prompt the angels to treat him in a special distinguished way.
Muhammad had succeeded in numbing and desensitizing the conscience of his followers by claiming that an imagined divine authority approved and encouraged the atrocities they committed, and by promising a fictitious fleshly paradise as a reward. As a result, they killed, maimed, raped, and looted without heeding the cries of their victims, without feeling regret and remorse, and without feeling ashamed and guilty about it. Pascal, the French philosopher and mathematician, wrote: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction” (Sina, Ali, Understanding Muhammad, 2007-2008, p. 208). Lord Acton, a famous nineteenth century historian, said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Although Muhammad proclaimed in sura al-Baqarah 2: 256 that there is no compulsion in religion, he abrogated that concept in al-Baqarah 2: 193; Al-‘Imran 3: 83, 85; an-Nisa’ 4: 89, 101-102; al-Anfal 8: 9, 12-13; al-Tawbah 9: 5, 29; Muhammad 47: 4; al-Hashr 59: 7. In fact, the verse of the sword (al-Tawvah 9: 5) commanding Muslims to fight anyone who chooses not to convert to Islam, whether they are inside or outside Arabia, abrogated at least 124 verses in the Qur’an that speak about love, peace, and forgiveness. He taught and practiced persecution, military conquest, subjugation, coercion and killing of non-Muslims. While Islam prohibits Muslims from paying or charging interest, it permits them to extort money from infidels and suppress them with usury to gain the upper hand.
At the end of his life, Muhammad said: “… I have been made victorious with terror, and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand …” (Bukhari 4.52.220). On his deathbed, he commanded his followers to purge Arabia of non-Muslims (Bukhari 4.52.288; 5.59.716; 4.53.392, 380). He started the process (Muslim 19.4366), and his followers completed it. In fact, till this day, it is illegal to build a church in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the religious police will raid a house where Christians are gathered to worship, will arrest the leader of the worship service and torture him in prison.
In contrast with the Islamic doctrine of jihad, the biblical God condemns unjust violence, saying: “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you. Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1: 15; Psalms 5: 6b). Jesus has instructed his disciples to proclaim the Gospel peacefully: “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10: 7-8; 28: 18-20; Mark 16: 20). As part of their mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, Christians are to perform acts of charity and compassion as Jesus had done. Christians are motivated to share the Gospel by their love of God and neighbor.
It is important to emphasize the great difference between the spread of Christianity in the first three centuries of the Christian era, and the process of Islamization under pressure throughout Islamic history. Unlike Islam, early Christianity was not dependent on an earthly state to propagate it by armed expansion. Christ refused to be crowned a king over an earthly kingdom (John 6: 15; 18: 36). He did not incarnate to establish an earthly empire in this dispensation, but to inaugurate the spiritual kingdom of God, the beginning of the new creation. People converted to Christianity out of deep conviction, commitment and love to Christ. He and his apostles after him did not send out invading armies to conquer, rule, and pressure people into Christianity. Instead, he sent unarmed peaceful evangelists to preach his gospel.
In its first three centuries, Christianity spread by preaching the gospel and supportive miracles following the teaching and example of Jesus. Some Islamists claim that Matthew 10: 34-35 and Luke 22: 36, 38 seem to point to holy war. This is the wrong understanding of these verses. Matthew 10: 34-35 speaks figuratively about divisions and disputes arising from disagreements on Jesus message. These disputes might lead to attacks on those that chose to follow him. Luke 22: 36, 38 refers to a dagger or short sword travelers used for protection against bandits and wild animals. In fact, on the night of his arrest, when Peter struck the servant of the high priest cutting off his ear, Jesus responded by saying: “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” (Matthew 26: 52-54).
When Jesus was threatened, he did not fight back physically. He simply walked away from the threat (John 7: 1; 8: 59; Matthew 12: 14-15; Luke 4: 28-30). He instructed his disciples to do the same when threatened (Matthew 10: 23). They followed his instructions (Acts 8: 1, 4; 9: 28-30; 13: 50-51; 14: 5-7). Jesus refused to punish people for rejecting him (Luke 9: 55-56). He prophesied about the persecution of Christians saying: “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16: 2; Revelation 12: 7, 8, 17).
Christianity teaches to live at peace with all (Romans 12: 18; 1 Peter 3: 8-12). It prohibits violence unless it is absolutely necessary for self-defense. In fact, Christ taught that anger is a sin: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5: 21-22). Additionally, Christianity prohibits revenge: “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12: 19-21).
Christ also commanded saying: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5: 43-48).
Historically, the turning points in Christian-Muslim relations were decided in the battlefield by military power: the Arab Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 638, and of Egypt in 640; the Ottoman Muslim conquest of Constantinople in 1453; the European victory over the Arab Muslims in the Battle of Poitiers (near the town of Tours in southern France) in 732; the Russian victory over the Muslim Tatars in the battle of the field of Kulikovo in 1380; and the European victory over the Muslim Ottomans in the battle of Vienna in 1683.
This page discusses Islamic holy war (jihad) and the biblical and Christian wars.
IX. ISLAMIC LAW (SHARIA)
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Some Islamists praise Sharia and claim that it expresses the highest and best goals for all societies. The following brief analysis shows why this claim is false, and that Sharia is a hindrance to the progress of the Muslim nations. Sharia prescribes a complete way of life for the Muslim (social, cultural, religious, military, and political). It governs the Muslim’s life from the cradle to the grave. Muslims live in bondage to Sharia. It is a brutally repressive totalitarian legal code imposed on the people in the name of the Islamic god. By the beginning of 900 AD, Sharia became rigidly and inflexibly fixed, and set in its final mold. It is absolute, immutable and stagnant. It cannot be amended to conform to changing human values, standards and needs, because Islamists believe that it is divinely inspired and valid for all times and places. It has been the classic view of Islamic jurists that a government which does not submit to the principles of Sharia is invalid. That is why the constitutions of so many Islamic nations name Sharia as the source of all legislation.
There are four major schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence: Maliki, Hanbali, Hanafi, and Shafi’i. The substantive differences among these four schools of Sharia are minor except in matters of ritual. Likewise, there are four major schools of Shi’a Islamic jurisprudence: az-Zaidiyyah, al-Ithna-‘ashriyyah, al-Ja’fariyyah, and az-Zaheriyyah. While Sunni Islam allows no reinterpretation of Sharia, Shi’a imams can reinterpret Shi’a Islamic law. If none of the twelve Shi’a imams is available, qualified Shi’a legal experts called mujtahids can interpret Shi’a Sharia.
The three basic inequalities between master and slave, man and woman, and believer and non-believer are established and regulated by Islamic Sharia laws. Abhorrent behavior condoned or commanded by the barbaric laws of Islamic Sharia includes child marriage (at-Talaq 65: 4), temporary marriage, honor killing (Reliance of the Traveler, Sec. o1.2), female circumcision, polygamy (an-Nisa’ 4: 3), and domestic violence (an-Nisa’ 4: 34), including marital rape (al-Baqarah 2: 223). Shafi’i school of Sharia mandates the circumcision of females. If the family of a Muslim girl follows the Sharia Shafi’i law, it can force her to get circumcised at a young age by removing her clitoris, which is female genital mutilation (Abu-Dawud 41.5251; Reliance of the Traveler, e4.3). This crime of mutilating female genitals is widely practiced in regions where the Shafi’i school of Sharia predominates, such as Indonesia, Egypt, southern Arabia, Kurdistan, Somalia, Malaysia, etc. Parents and grandparents are not subject to punishment or retaliation for killing their offspring, which encourages honor killing.
Islam institutes a privileged hierarchy by its Sharia laws. Unjust Sharia laws promote discrimination against women, non-Muslims (infidels) and lower classes. The testimonies of a slave, a female singer, a person of low respect (street sweeper, bathhouse attendant, etc.) and of a non-Muslim against a Muslim are not admissible in Sharia courts. Compensation for killing (blood money) is based on the dead victim’s religion and gender. The indemnity paid for death or injury of a woman is half that paid for a man, for a Jew or Christian is one-third that for a Muslim, and for a Zoroastrian is one-fifteenth of that for a Muslim. Sharia law protects certain killers from capital punishment: A Muslim for killing a non-Muslim; and a Jew or Christian for killing an apostate from Islam (Bukhari 9.83.50; 1.3.111). Sharia encourages Muslims to mistreat non-Muslims by protecting them from punishment (Umdat al-Salik, Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, Ahmed ibn Nagib al-Misri, sec. o1, o4.9, o11, etc.).
Sharia prescribes cruel and unusual punishments, not leaving any space for forgiveness, rehabilitation and restoration. It prescribes death for the apostates; killing Muslim and non-Muslim critics of Muhammad, the Qur’an and Sharia; stoning adulterers to death; flogging unmarried fornicators, drinkers and gamblers; killing homosexuals; crucifying or mutilating highway robbers; cutting the hand of the thief; exacting physical eye-for-eye revenge (al-Baqarah 2: 178); beating wives; etc.
Islamic Sharia encourages vigilante justice under certain conditions, because a Muslim is not only required to follow the laws of the Islamic god, but is also entrusted to enforce them on earth without needing authorization from the government of the state. Examples on that abound: the 1994 Islamist attempt in Egypt to assassinate Dr. Nagib Mahfouz, a moderate Muslim, who won the 1988 Nobel Laureate in literature; killing Dr. Farag Foda, a liberal Muslim, in 1992 in Egypt by Islamic fundamentalists; the death fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran against the Indian writer Salman Rushdi for his novel on the Satanic verses of the Qur’an; the 2004 killing of the Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam by an Islamist for producing a twelve-minute film called Submission decrying the mistreatment of Muslim women; etc.
Every Muslim is required to correct the conduct of his fellow Muslims. A killer of an apostate who left Islam, of a robber, or of an adulterer is forgiven and exempted from punishment for murder under Sharia law. Muslims who commit genocide are spared from punishment if they repent. Individual fatwas issued by Islamic clerics for killing apostates, while not binding on the Islamic state, can be acted upon by any Islamist without getting punished for his crime. Islamists brand all who disagree with them as enemies of Islam and apostates. The violators of Sharia fear vigilante justice by the Islamist public, such as their friends, neighbors, relatives, parents, brothers, or sisters.
Vigilante justice has no restraints and is bound to be abused. It results in relationships between Muslims based on fear and arrogance. It leads to a chaotic society. Death squads or street mobs take justice into their own hands. Mobs stone women accused of adultery. Boys throw acid at girls because they do not like their dress, etc. Muslims are turned against each other. They have to watch their backs. Many of the accusations of apostasy and blasphemy are the result of personal grudges borne by the accusers against the defendants to settle personal scores, or are tools for Islamic governments to silence opposition. Deep-seated distrust plagues Islamic society. Vigilante justice is where Islam gets its power. It is not the power of conviction, but the power of fear.
The Western concept of human rights is based on the principle that “all human beings are borne free and equal in dignity and rights” (Article 1 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights). This is in contradiction with the “Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam” (Aug. 5, 1990), which is subject to the provisions of Sharia and, thereby, perpetuates the inequality of the sexes and of religions.
Sharia can only produce tyranny and dictatorships. Because of its cruelty and oppressive nature, Sharia could not coexist peacefully with the cultures of free societies. That fear of mixing with the other (the infidel) cultures was behind the Arab destruction of the surrounding great ancient civilizations of Egypt and Persia (at-Tawbah 9: 14).
Sharia was created by powerful men to serve the same—from Muhammad in the seventh century who had the first pick of war-captive women, to the caliphs, to the Arabian kings and Muslim dictators. It benefits the wealthy powerful men who can afford four wives and limitless enslaved women (maids). The poor Muslim man cannot afford even one wife or an apartment. Fossilized eleven-centuries-old laws of Sharia protect the oppressors and punish the oppressed. It strips women and non-Muslims from their God-given right to be human-beings.
Sharia ultimately degrades society and diminishes freedom. That is why many Muslims choose to rise above the corrupting temptation of Islamic Sharia and reject what the Islamic god and Muhammad’s example permit for them. They choose what their basic human decency tells them is right, not because of Islam, but despite it. They are more humane and civilized than the Islamic Sharia. On the other hand, many Muslim men feel weak without Islamic Sharia that grants them master-slave relationships in their homes. Therefore, they demand Sharia even in the West. Because of the repulsive nature of the embarrassing Islamic Sharia laws, they are kept as deep secrets not uttered. Their truth is hidden, suppressed, and misrepresented in the West.
Jesus did not seek to establish laws, but sought instead to eliminate the roots of evil wherever they are found (Luke 12: 13-15). The Gospel of Christ does not establish a legal code. Christian ethics are based not on rigid laws and regulations, as in Islam, but on principles and values. While the Gospel does not set up specific penal laws, it does emphasize the importance of maintaining justice and punishing criminals, which is the responsibility of the state (Romans 13: 1-4). Jesus taught and urged love and forgiveness, but he warned those that ignored God’s truth and refused to believe in him (Luke 11: 37-52). The grace and mercy of God are emphasized in the Gospel without neglecting his justice. The atoning death of Christ on the cross has reconciled God’s justice with his mercy. Jesus did not come to abolish the Torah, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5: 17-20). Therefore, the moral and civil laws of the Torah give us vital guidance on God’s values and priorities for society, keeping in mind that modern societies are so different from the ancient Israelite society of the Torah that literal application of the Mosaic laws is impossible and undesirable.
Laws can and should evolve according to the specific situation in which they apply. It is essential only that they be just and protect the rights of the most deprived. The advantage of the Gospel, which contains no laws, is precisely that it allows each generation and each nation the freedom and responsibility to apply justice guided by the teachings of the Gospel, taking into account contemporary and historical circumstances. Western laws are based on Biblical principles, reason, and basic human dignity. Because it does not claim direct inspiration from God, it is not carved in concrete. It self-corrects and evolves as humanity develops and matures. On the contrary, Islamic sharia loathes change and is stagnant. In order to reform it, Islam must reject many verses of the Qur’an and many passages of the Hadith. This is considered blasphemous, because Islam claims that the Qur’an is the literal word of the Islamic god.
X. FREEDOM OF RELIGION
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“…the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him'” (Bukhari 4.52.260; 5.59.632; 9.83.17; 9.84.57). Islam does not tolerate freedom of religion (al-Tawbah 9: 5, 11, 12, 29; al-Baqarah 2: 217; an-Nisa’ 4: 89; al-Ma’idah 5: 33). This contrasts with the freedom of conscience proclaimed by Christianity (Luke 10: 10-12). In Islam, the person born in a Muslim family does not choose to be Muslim. He is born Muslim if his/her parents are Muslims. Islam is much harsher than communism and Nazism, both of which any one could resign from and still live. Muslims are not free to leave Islam. Islam is a prison for those that wish to leave it. If a Muslim man leaves Islam, he is considered an apostate, and condemned to dispossession and death. Islam exercises a stranglehold upon Muslims from birth to death. Islam has been around for about 1400 years—much longer than Communism and Nazism, because it claims divine authority and supremacy.
A consensus exists by all four major schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence (Maliki, Hanbali, Hanafi, and Shafi’i), as well as Shi’a junrists that a sane adult male be put to death for abandoning Islam if he refuses to repent within a brief period of time, usually three days (an-Nisa’ 4: 89; an-Nahl 16: 106; Bukhari 9.83.17; 9.84.57; Reliance of the Traveler, Sec. o8). Varying opinions exist on whether females leaving Islam should be killed or merely incarcerated. Islam is the only religion in the world that threatens its adherents with death if they try to leave it. Because of that position, many Islamic states outlaw apostasy and consider it a capital offense. However, the problem is larger than the Islamic state, because Sunni and Shiite Islamic scholars largely agree that the Islamic law (Sharia) empowers Muslim individuals to take the matter in their own hands, exercise vigilante justice and punish Muslim apostates by death, promising the killers heavenly rewards for their crimes. Therefore, the biggest threat to the Muslim apostate is his own angry Muslim relatives and friends. Islamic authorities often ignore the attacks on Muslim apostates, because they are sympathetic with the attackers. Unfortunately, this tradition has followed Muslims to the Western world.
The definition of an apostate is being expanded by Islamic fundamentalists to include anyone who disagrees with what they think orthodox Islam is. This leaves the door wide open for condemning other Muslims as apostates deserving the death penalty. As a result, deep-seated mistrust and insecurity plague Islamic society.
The four main Sunni schools of Sharia agree that it is not allowed to build new churches or synagogues in towns and cities of Islamic states. Only the Hanafi Sharia permits it at distance greater than one mile outside the town.
Several Muslim states in the United Nations have withheld their signatures from the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights because of its insistence on freedom of religion, which is stipulated in Article 18:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
In combating “the defamation of religion (specifically Islam)” in order to suppress and silence objective criticism of Islam, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is not motivated by a commitment to truth, tolerance, or peace, but by the “apostaphobic” that drives the dictators of the Islamic world. “Apostaphobic” is the consuming fear of loss of adherents, expressed by fanatic uncompromising violent oppression.
In Christianity, if a Christian blasphemes aspects of the Christian faith, he is simply excommunicated (expelled) from the church for committing this grave sin (1 Timothy 1: 13, 14, 20). Should he change his mind and repent, he is accepted back into the church. The door of repentance is open as long as he lives.
The true biblical prophets of the living God never persecuted, oppressed or killed people that disagreed with their message and rejected it. Christianity proclaims freedom of conscience: “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5: 13; 1 Peter 2: 16). In fact, Jesus is called the prince of peace (Isaiah 9: 6). He taught saying: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5: 9; John 14: 27). Jesus did not coerce pressure or threaten anyone to follow him. He did not have a sword, did not kill or order the killing of anyone. He never threatened the life of anyone. The Holy Bible describes the loving nature of Jesus saying “A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench…” (Matthew 12: 20; Isaiah 42: 3). Jesus and his disciples preached peace and were the examples of peace (Philippians 4: 7; Ephesians 2: 17). Before his crucifixion, Jesus assured his disciples saying: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14: 27).
XI. FREEDOM OF SPEECH
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In the absence of the right to freedom of conscience in Islam, other rights such as the right to freedom of thought and speech are rendered meaningless.
The Qur’an discourages Muslims from asking questions: “Believers, do not ask questions about things which, if made known to you, would trouble you; but if you ask them when the Qur’an is being revealed, they shall be made plain to you. God will pardon you for this. God is forgiving and gracious” (al-Ma’idah 5: 101-102; Bukhari 2.24.555; 3.41.591; etc.). Muhammad urged his Muslim followers to kill his critics for him in order of silence them, and praised them for doing it afterwards. This led to the assassination of Asma’ bint Marawan while she was nursing her baby home (A. Guilaune, The Life of Muhammad, pp. 675-676), 120-year-old Abu Afak (Ibn-Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, vol. 2, Trans. S. Moinul, p. 31), Kaab ibn al-Ashraf (Buchari 5.59.369; Muslim 19.4436), Abu Rafi Salaam (Bukhari 5.59.371), etc. They were killed for telling the awful truth about Muhammad. That practice has been codified in Sharia. Blasphemy, objectively criticizing or defaming Islam, its prophet, the Islamic god, the Qur’an, the Hadith or Sharia are punishable by death in all the schools of Sharia. This stifles and restricts free speech. That blocks the door of constructive objective criticism of Islam. This created a huge gap between what is in Islamic scriptures (true Islam) and what Muslims perceive their religion to be.
Before entering Mecca, Muhammad instructed his commanders to fight only those who resisted them except for a small number of persons who were to be killed even if they were found beneath the curtains of the Kaaba. ‘Abdullah ibn-Sa’d was one of these persons (Tabari VIII:178). He was a Muslim who used to write down Muhammad’s alleged Qur’anic revelations. He found that Muhammad incorporated in his Qur’anic revelations many of the words that he suggested, including whole sentences, in order to improve its eloquence. This violated the prohibition of the Qur’an from changing any of its contents (Yunus 10: 15; al-Haqqah 69: 40-46; etc.). That convinced ‘Abdullah that the alleged Qur’anic revelations of Muhammad were an invented fake, because if it were from the true God none of its words could be changed at the prompting of a scribe. That was why he left Islam. He knew too much. Muhammad cursed him in verse al-An’am 6: 93. ‘Uthman bin-‘Affan, his foster brother, interceded in his behalf and saved his life (Abu Dawud 38.4345, 4346; Tafseer al-Tabari; Tafseer al-Qurtubi; etc.). To this day, this corruption exists in the Qur’an.
Objective criticism of Muhammad or the Qur’an based on authentic historical documents offends Islamists. Islamist organizations call for censorship of any criticism of Islam on the grounds of being insulted. This is a common trick of totalitarian movements and governments. They mislabel any objective truthful critique as an insult, and attempt to punish and silence its source. They cannot accept the fact that Islamic teachings are to blame for crimes committed by Islamist jihadists, and push the blame off to other imaginary causes. They believe Islam is always innocent, no matter how obvious the evidence is to the contrary. They want that only what can bring honor to Islam be revealed, but what brings shame be concealed. This blocks the light of truth from entering, as the doors and windows are all closed around the Muslim mind. By killing apostates and critics of Islam in the vast prison of Islam, Islam produces frightened followers, not believers. To be a Muslim is to have a relationship, not with the Islamic god, but with the Sharia run Islamic state.
Whenever the Qur’an and its prophet are criticized, the imams begin to issue death fatwas (decrees) making it lawful for Muslims to kill the source of the criticism. Violent destructive riots ensue in Islamic nations and cries to restrict freedom of speech are broadcast in order to prevent the criticism of Islam and keep the unwary West in the dark. About two-thirds of the world’s political prisoners are held in Islamic countries, which also carry out about 80 percent of all executions each year.
Freedom of speech is given to man by the Almighty God. Therefore, it cannot be removed without transgressing the divine mandate. The founding fathers of the U.S.A. were certainly very supportive of it. President George Washington said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” Benjamin Franklin understood that, “In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarcely call anything his own. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
The intolerance of free thinking and questioning has resulted in a paralyzed Islamic brain and destroyed initiative and innovation. Blind followers in a tightly controlled intellectual climate that prohibits questioning worry more about survival than innovation and discovery. Since the restless Islamists are trained to never doubt, question or criticize the Qur’an or Sharia, they blame the many dysfunctional aspects of Muslim society on external factors, such as foreign influence, etc.
In the West, we can critically study Christianity and Judaism. In Islamic countries, Islamist writers attack Christianity. However, Christians are not allowed to criticize and refute Islam objectively. Intimidation and censorship express lack of confidence and weakness in the Islamic religion and its teachings. It cannot defend itself by reason. Therefore, Islamists resort to violence to protect it. Respect should be earned, not forced by intimidation.
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Muslims suffer disproportionately from the rule of dictators. Islam insists that it be the ruling ideology of the state. Islam is associated with a few political and human rights. The Islamic law (Sharia) developed over a millennium ago is anti-democratic. It emphasizes the will of the Islamic god as interpreted by Islamists over popular sovereignty, and encourages violent jihad in order to impose Islam and expand its borders. It privileges Muslims over non-Muslims, men over women, and free persons over slaves. It imposes death sentences for blasphemy (criticizing Islam) and apostasy (leaving Islam). These fundamental ideas of inequality are rooted in Islamic cultures. Imagined Islamic supremacy and democracy are fundamentally incompatible and cannot coexist for long in the same country. Democracy requires the basic freedoms of thought, conscience, religion and speech. Democracy functions only by critical discussion, by reconciling opposing views, and by compromise. These concepts are alien to the authoritarian Islamic theocracy.
The main purpose of Islam is to set up a theocratic totalitarian state ruled by the oppressive Sharia on the basis of its own ideology. Secularism and Islam are mutually exclusive. Democracy and Islamic Sharia are antagonists. Sharia law protects the Muslim head of state from being charged with serious crimes (e.g. murder, adultery, theft, rape, etc.). Democracy exposes the Muslim ruler and the barbaric Sharia itself. Sharia makes the rebellion against the caliph (the Islamic ruler) a serious offence, even if he is unjust. Sharia annuls its protection for the Muslim ruler only if he leaves Islam, or if he is not in compliance with Sharia. In this case, his Muslim subjects are called upon to rise and topple or assassinate him.
The powerful Islamist movement seeks to create thoroughly anti-democratic totalitarian theocratic regimes. The first Islamic theocracy in history was established in Medina in the seventh century with Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, its head of state. This is the model of Islamic theocracy Islamists attempt to impose. There is no separation between mosque and state in Islam. This separation is essential in democracy. That is why minorities, dissenters, freedom of conscience, etc. are not protected in the Islamic state. In the Islamic theocracy, the Islamic god is the absolute ruler who could not be questioned. He rules through the Muslim caliph who is his shadow on earth. Therefore, the caliph should be obeyed absolutely as a religious duty. Anyone who rebels against him rebels against the Islamic god (an-Nisa’ 4: 59, 83). The Islamic caliphate was an autocracy wielding despotic power. It became hereditary in the families of the Umayyads and the Abbasids preserving the practice of bai’a that symbolized fictitious election. There is no legislative function in the Islamic state. Therefore, there is no need for democratic legislative assemblies. These are not democratic principles.
Sharia prescribes a complete way of life for the Muslim (social, cultural, religious, military, and political). It governs the Muslim’s life from the cradle to the grave. It is a brutally repressive totalitarian legal code imposed on the people in the name of the Islamic god. It is absolute and stagnant. It cannot be amended to conform to changing human values, standards and needs, because Islamists believe that it is divinely inspired and valid for all times and places. Democracy is the rule of the people. Sharia is the alleged rule of the Islamic god.
Islamists denounce democracy as un-Islamic. The Muslim Brotherhood founder, Hasan al-Banna, considered democracy a betrayal of Islamic values. The Muslim Brotherhood theoretician, Sayyid Qutb, rejected popular sovereignty. Yousuf al-Qaradawi, al-Jazeera television imam, claims that elections are heretical. However, Islamists use elections to attain power. The Islamist organization Hamas has won an election in Gaza. Erdogan, the Islamist prime minister of Turkey, explained that “Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off it.” Like communists, once Islamists take over power through elections, democracy is terminated. Islamism is the world leading anti-democratic force.
Unlike Islam, Christianity is not a religious-political system. Christ refused to be crowned an earthly king, “when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone” (John 6: 15). He said: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18: 36); “…Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22: 21). Christianity teaches the separation of Church and State.
XIII. OPPRESSION OF WOMEN
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Although Muhammad improved some conditions for women in his day and cared for widows, those improvements fall far short and are inadequate, because Islam does not protect women from the abuses of conservative Islamic societies. Women under Islam are treated like properties owned by men. They are considered inferior to men (al-Baqarah 2: 228; al-Nisa’ 4: 34).
1. Women are under the control of male relatives or husbands who are considered their guardians. They are considered to be the absolute property of males, such as fathers, brothers, husbands, etc. (al-‘Imran 3: 14). Therefore, financial independence and sexual freedom are all but impossible for women in Islam. The male guardian has the right to prevent his Muslim woman subject from education, work, travel, leaving the house, etc. (Reliance of the Traveler, m10.4). A Muslim woman is not allowed to travel without her husband or a man of her unmarriageable kin accompanying her, unless the journey is obligatory, like the pilgrimage (hajj) (Reliance of the Traveler, m10.3).
2. The Islamic god sanctions wife beating for a variety of reasons: “. . . As for those (women) from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and BEAT THEM . . .” (an-Nisa’ 4: 34b). Muhammad himself hit his girl-bride, Aisha (Muslim 4.2127). He said: “A man will not be asked why he beat his wife” (Abu-Dawud 5.2142, 2141). This domestic violence is a form of wife abuse, which is considered a crime punishable by law in the West. In addition, the Qur’an allows the Muslim husband to punish his wife by withholding the conjugal relation from her for four months (al-Nisa’ 4: 34; al-Baqarah 2: 226). Nevertheless, the Muslim wife is required to settle marital disputes through negotiations with her rebellious husband (an-Nisa’ 4: 128). The double standard is obvious.
3. The Islamic rite of Aqiqa is performed at the birth of a child. It requires the sacrifice of two sheep, goats, or lambs for a baby boy. However, only one sheep, goat, or lamb is sacrificed for a baby girl (Bukhari 7.66.380; Abu-Dawud 15.2836; Reliance of the Traveler, j15).
4. A woman can inherit only half of what her brother, husband or son inherits (an-Nisa’ 4: 11, 12, 176). This is not conditional upon a woman getting her support from a man (an-Nisa’ 4: 34), or refusing to work to support herself. A woman does not receive a portion of the battle’s bounty.
5. The testimony of one woman in court is given one-half the value and credibility of a man’s testimony (al-Baqarah 2: 282; Bukhari 3.48.826). In addition, the rule is not to accept the testimony of women in matters of prescribed Sharia penalties (Reliance of the Traveler, o24.8).
6. If a woman is killed, her indemnity money is half the indemnity money of a man (Reliance of the Traveler, o4.9).
7. If the family of a Muslim girl follows the Sharia Shafi’i law, they can force her to get circumcised at a young age by removing her clitoris and inner lips, which is female genital mutilation (Abu-Dawud 41.5251; Reliance of the Traveler, e4.3). Minor forms of mutilation cause about 20% rise in death rates, while extensive forms cause death rates rise of over 50%. Genital mutilation results in severe scarring of the vagina and surrounding area. This makes it more difficult to deliver babies.
8. Marriage of Child girls is permitted in Islam. Islam sanctions sexual abuse of child girls under the pretext of child marriage (at-Talaq 65: 4). Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s friend, wed his child daughter, Aisha, to Muhammad, the role model of all Muslims, when she was six years of age. Muhammad consummated the marriage when she was a nine-year-old pre-pubescent child (Muslim 8.3309-3311; 31.5981; Bukhari 5.58.234, 236; 7.62.64, 65, 88; 7.65.88). He was 54 years old, 45 years older than her, old enough to be her grandfather. A Muslim man has the right to force his daughter into marriage without her consent. The sexual abuse of a child is a heinous crime punishable by law in the West.
9. A Muslim wife is considered her husband’s property and sex object (al-Baqarah 2: 223). If a Muslim wife refuses the sexual advances of her husband, she is accursed for the night (Bukhari 4.54.460; 7.62.121), and her husband is not obliged to support her (Reliance of the Traveler, m11.9). In addition to four legal wives, the Qur’an (al-Ahzab 33: 50; an-Nisa’ 4: 3, 24) allows a Muslim man as many women as he wants (war captives, slaves, and concubines). The Muslim man can marry more than four wives by simply divorcing one and replacing her with another (an-Nisa’ 4: 20). Polygamy completely disregards and disrespects the feelings of women. The harem is a system of domestic slavery.
10. In Islam, men can divorce their wives for any cause (at-Tahrim 66: 5). Only the man has the right to divorce his wife by saying three times “I divorce you” (al-Baqarah 2: 226-232). A woman does not have this right. Divorce and reconciliation are always on the man’s terms (Bukhari 7.62.134; 3.49.859).
11. Muhammad demeaned women by permitting temporary (pleasure) marriages that last anywhere from an hour up to three days (Bukhari 6.60.139; 7.62.13, 52; etc.). The only thing the woman gets from this humiliation is material compensation from the man (Muslim 8.3243; Bukhari 7.62.13). This is a form of legalized religiously-sanctioned prostitution.
12. Islam permits a Muslim man to compel his slave girl to prostitution for his financial profit (an-Nur 24: 33).
13. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, taught that most of the inhabitants of hell are women (Bukhari 1.6.301; 1.2.29; 2.24.541; 8.76.456; 4.54.464; Muslim 36.6596, 6597, 6600).
14. Muhammad taught that women are deficient in intelligence and religion (Bukhari 2.24.541; 1.6.301; 3.48.826).
15. A host of oppressive laws regarding women are enforced wherever misogynistic Islamic law (Sharia) is strictly followed (e.g. wearing the veils (niqabs) and lowering their gaze (al-Ahzab 33: 59, 33; an-Nur 24: 31, 58ff), forbidding education for women, etc). Islam perceives the woman as ‘awrah (private part of the human body). By covering the entire body of the Muslim woman except for her eys, wrist and feet, the niqab adds to her alienation and loneliness. It is a shield of isolation and a symbol of subjugation and oppression. It makes Muslim women look like ghosts or the walking dead. It declares their inferior status in society.
16. Islamic Sharia treats rape victims very unjustly. In order to prove rape, either the rapist has to confess, or four male witnesses of the rape testify (an-Nur 24: 4). The victim’s testimony is inadmissible. That makes it impossible for any woman to prove rape. She may then become a victim of honor killing, or be flogged or stoned by the Islamic court for committing premarital sex or adultery, if she is married. Even if rape is proven, the rapist can get away by paying the bride’s money, without marrying her.
17. The Qur’an teaches that women are unclean by their very nature. A man is considered unclean if he touches a woman (even his own wife) before prayer (an-Nisa’ 4: 43; al-Ma’idah 5: 6). If a dog, donkey or a woman walk by a man who is praying, his prayer is cancelled out, and he will have to restart it again from the beginning (Bukhari 1.9.490; etc.). The woman is unclean during her monthly period (menses) and could not pray or fast on those days (Bukhari 1.6.301; 3.31.172). Women are bad omen (Bukhari 7.62.33; 4.52.110). If women are allowed in mosques at all for Friday prayer, they pray in separate halls or behind the men. Usually, women cannot enter the mosque through its front entrance.
If a woman is honored and respected in an Islamic household, it is in spite of the teachings of Islam, not because of them.
The teachings of Christianity are dramatically opposed to those of Islam on women. Christianity teaches that men and women are equal before God: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3: 28, Colossians 3: 11). Both men and women were created in the image of God. “God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them” (Genesis 1: 27). Jesus treated men and women equally. He praised women for their faith (Luke 21: 1-4; Matthew 15: 28). He healed women (Mark 5: 21-34), and cast demons out of them (Luke 8: 1-3; 13: 10-13). He also forgave their sins (John 4: 1-42; 8: 3-11; Luke 7: 36-50) and blessed them (Luke 7: 50).
The top ranking and most revered saint in Christianity is a woman, Mary the mother of Jesus. The first Christian evangelist was the Samaritan woman (John 4: 5-43). The first person who saw, and spoke with the resurrected Christ was a woman, Mary Magdalene (John 20: 11-18). Jesus never considered nor taught that the touch of a woman is unclean and defiling.
XIV. POLYGAMY, MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
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The Qur’an (an-Nisa’ 4: 3) permits no more than four wives for a Muslim man at one time. Muhammad broke that law and had thirteen wives in addition to concubines, slaves, war captives, and devout Muslim women who gave themselves to him (al-Ahzab 33: 50). Muhammad claimed that he received revelation that his god had made an exception for him (al-Ahzab 33: 50). He could marry any number of women, in addition to taking slave girls and concubines. In addition to four legal wives, the Qur’an (al-Ahzab 33: 50; an-Nisa’ 4: 3, 24; al-Mu’minun 23: 5-6) allows the Muslim man as many women as he wants (war captives, slaves, and concubines). The Muslim man can marry more than four wives by simply divorcing one and replacing her with another (an-Nisa’ 4: 20). Polygamy completely disregards and disrespects the feelings of women. The harem is a system of domestic slavery.
The Muslim husband is required to maintain equality among his wives pertaining to apportioning equal time and financial support to each of them (an-Nisa’ 4: 3). However, equality is not required in the husband’s affection towards his wives (an-Nisa’ 4: 129). Muhammad himself was not impartial in his affections towards his wives. He loved Aisha more than his other wives.
Following the example of Muhammad and his teachings, Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second guided caliph, married seven women and had two maid-slaves; Uthman ibn Affan, the third guided caliph, eight women. After the death of Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter, her husband Ali ibn Abi Talib married ten women and acquired nineteen concubines and maid-slaves for a total of 29 women. His son al-Hassan ibn Ali, Muhammad’s grandson, married seventy women and begot thirty-one children. Sometimes, he used to divorce two women in a day.
The god of Muhammad encourages polygamy (at-Tahrim 66: 1, 5). The wife cannot prevent her husband from taking other wives. She does not have a say in the matter. Islam sees the marriage relationship from a usurious exploitative male perspective. Polygamy causes domestic instability and family discord, high level of crime, violence, and gender inequality. It destroys the nuclear family which is the basis of society. It also leads to high fertility rates and poverty. It is a device used by Islam to increase the Muslim population, not only because the man is fathering children from several wives, but also because the wife, insecure in her marriage, would burden her husband with more children that he could not afford to multiply wives. Muhammad encouraged polygamy saying: “… Is not the worth of a Muslim measured by the number of his wives? …”
Most of the ills and resentment within the Muslim family are caused by the institution of polygamy. The family is polarized as each wife becomes a separate center of power within the family resulting in fierce competition, animosity, and rivalry. Children grow up in this venomous atmosphere of quarrelling and insults. That makes them acquire a negative outlook on life. They hate their stepmothers and their father who caused that mess. A mother’s dependence on her sons for protection complicates her relationship with her daughters who feel left out by her special treatment of her sons, which often results in arrogant spoiled sons, and troubled relationships between the mother and her daughters-in-law. Muslim women deep-seated fear from the institution of polygamy exists even among those in happy monogamous marriages.
The God of the Holy Bible intended marriage to be monogamous. In the beginning, he had created only one woman Eve for one man Adam (Genesis 2: 24; Matthew 19: 5-6; Mark 10: 7-8). Although polygamy was permitted in ancient times, the Old Testament (Torah, etc.) did not encourage it (Malachi 2: 13-15). Most of the major prophets of God (Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc) were monogamous; and some were celibate (Elijah, Elisha, etc). Jesus never married. Christianity stresses monogamy (Matthew 19: 4-5; 1 Corinthians 7: 2). Christianity teaches monogamous marriage (1 Timothy 3: 2-3, 12; Titus 1: 6), and teaches that the wife is an equal partner.
Christianity gives marriage a high spiritual status, and restricts divorce. The biblical God hates divorce (Malachi 2: 16). Christianity asserts that a husband should never abuse his wife in any way. They have complementary roles. He is required to love her as Christ has loved his Church and sacrificed his life for her. She is required to respect him as her head. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. . . Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. . . So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. . . Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5: 22-33; 1 Peter 3: 7; 1 Corinthians 7: 14, 23; Colossians 3: 19).
Christianity teaches that marriage is an honorable institution. It is a sacred life-long bond blessed by God between man and wife. It unites the two persons in one family unit (Ephesians 5: 31; Genesis 2: 24). The marriage ceremony is a holy event officiated in the church by the priest. The bride and groom exchange the sacred marriage vows of faithfulness, love, and honor in a sacred marriage covenant blessed by God. It is a new beginning for the couple that unites them in the life-long bond of marriage broken only by death, adultery, or equivalent.
The Islamic marriage is dramatically different. It is a big step backward. According to Sharia, the Islamic marriage is a legal and financial contract between families. It is not a life-long covenant between a man and a woman blessed by God. It is not conducted in a mosque. Traditionally, the Muslim marriage contract is called “Aqd Nikah” which means “Contract of sexual intercourse.” Some Arab countries changed it to “Aqd Zawag” meaning “Marriage contract,” because they found the word “Nikah,” which is the word used in the Qur’an and Hadith to describe marriage, offensive.
The Islamic marriage contract is a document that grants sexual intercourse rights to the male. It transfers the control of the woman and of her sexuality from her male guardian to her husband. It asks the bride about her virginity status, and states the amount of dowry the groom has to pay. It asks the groom to list three wives, if he has other wives. The payment of the dowry (bride’s price) creates a master-servant relationship between the Muslim husband and his wife. The Qur’an often calls the dowry ujur, meaning wages (an-Nisa’ 4: 24; al-Ahzab 33: 50; etc). The Muslim man purchases his sexual rights with his wife by paying the dowry. She has the right to refuse sexual intercourse with him until he pays the dowry in full. It is obvious that the Muslim marriage contract is about sexuality. It degrades and reduces marriage to a commercial transaction. In fact imam Ghazali (1058-1111) defined Muslim marriage as “a form of slavery. The woman is man’s slave, and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person” (al-Ghazali, Book of Etiquette of Marriage).
The happiness of some Muslim marriages is in spite of the marriage contract, not because of it. The Muslim marriage contract downgrades the institution of marriage, is defective and should be replaced. It demeans women by reducing them to property. It can only produce a mean-spirited relationship based on selfishness, anxiety and misery.
According to the Maliki, Hanbali and Shafi’i Sharia, the Muslim male guardian can force his Muslim virgin woman subject of any age to marry someone of his choice without her consent. The Hanafi Sharia allows her to say “yes” or “no” to the person picked by her male guardian.
Islamic law (Sharia) prevents Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men (al-Baqarah 2: 221; Reliance of the Traveler, m6.7(5)). However, it permits Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women (al-Ma’idah 5: 5). The children of this mixed marriage are required to be Muslim. This is one aspect of the double standard of Islamic Sharia which discriminates against women.
The Qur’an tells the wife that she is replaceable (at-Tahrim 66: 5; an-Nisa’ 4: 20). The problem of Islamic polygamy makes the Islamic marriage unstable and insecure. Some Muslim wives attempt of procreate more children in order to prevent their husbands from marrying other women because they will not be able to support them.
In Islam, men can divorce their wives for any cause (at-Tahrim 66: 5). In fact, a man may divorce his wife so that his friend may marry her (Bukhari 7.62.10). Only the man has the right to divorce his wife by simply saying “I divorce you” (al-Baqarah 2: 226-232). He can even do it by a sticky note, by leaving a message on the telephone answering machine, by email, or by text messaging. Divorce and reconciliation are always on the man’s terms (Bukhari 7.62.134; 3.49.859). In addition, a divorce could be forced on the couple by Sharia court for a variety of reasons, such as one partner leaving Islam, one partner belonging to a different social class, etc. A woman does not have the right to initiate divorce unless that right is granted to her by her husband. In some Islamic countries, the only way a wife can get divorce is by convincing the Sharia court and paying a large sum of money, which exceeds her dowry, to her husband. A divorced woman receives housing during her waiting period, and financial support after divorce for a maximum of three months if the divorce is not threefold, and may lose her children. However, if she is pregnant, she receives support till she delivers the child (Reliance of the Traveler, m11.10). She will definitely lose custody of her children if she remarries.
A Muslim man can divorce his wife three times. He can also say to her in one instance, “you are divorced three times” (Reliance of the Traveler n3.2). Afterwards, he cannot remarry her unless she first marries another man and gets divorced from him (al-Baqarah 2: 229-230; Muslim 8.3354, 3359; Bukhari 8.73.107; Reliance of the Traveler n7.7). This has given rise to the phenomenon of temporary husbands. A man may marry a divorcee for one night, consummate the marriage and then divorce her in order to allow her to remarry her original husband. The biblical God condemns this practice and calls it “abomination” (Deuteronomy 24: 1-4). Her first husband who had divorced her is prohibited from remarrying her after her second husband divorced her or died.
Three types of Islamic marriages are available for the Muslim man: the standard marriage acknowledged in public and recorded in the court; the urfi marriage which is not registered in the court and usually done secretly with witnesses; and the mutaa (pleasure) marriage (more prevalent in Shia Islam) which is a temporary marriage contract to sanction a brief sexual relationship which may last anywhere from an hour to a few days (Bukhari 6.60.139; 7.62.13; Muslim 8.3243, 3248). The dowry is paid in exchange for sexual intercourse. This is a religiously sanctioned prostitution in disguise. Muslim women covered from head to toe are treated and act like prostitutes in these religiously sanctioned temporary pleasure marriages. Muhammad sanctioned this type of marriage during times of war when men were away from home. Umar ibn el-Khattab, the second guided caliph, later abolished it. However, the Shiite and some Sunnis still practice it. The Holy Bible condemns prostitution in all its forms (Leviticus 19: 29; Deuteronomy 23: 18).
According to the four schools of Sharia, a Muslim wife is to receive daily support from her husband within marriage only if she makes herself available to him sexually. Payment for sex in one form or another is the basis for the Islamic marriage. A Muslim wife is treated as a tool for her husband’s pleasure. While the Qur’an gives the Muslim husband the right to deny his rebellious wife conjugal relations and to beat her (an-Nisa’ 4: 34), it requires the Muslim wife to settle differences through negotiations with her rebellious husband (an-Nisa’ 4: 128). The double standard is obvious. Even in the carnal Islamic paradise, Muslim women will have to compete constantly for their husbands with the huris. He may have 72 of them.
To many a Muslim woman, her husband is a source of fear. The police will not rescue the Muslim wife when beaten by her husband in an Islamic country. She has no recourse but to accept humiliation by sharing her husband with his other wives if he so chooses. She cannot complain to the domestic or foreign media, because this is considered rebellion against Islam itself severely punishable by the sword of Sharia.
Polygamy is not a relic of the dead past. It is practiced in a vast majority of Islamic countries till this day. Polygamy and ease of divorce make the Islamic marriage very unstable. Certainly, a Christian wife enjoys a much more secure married life than a Muslim wife, because she is not afraid of a surprise second wife or divorce made by her husband over a night.
XV. RELIGIOUS PRACTICES
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The Muslim person is required to offer ritualistic scripted prayers five times daily following the right of ritual cleansing (ablution) using water or sand, if water is not available (an-Nisa’ 4: 43; al-Ma’idah 5: 6; Bukhari 1.8.345). If a Muslim touches a non-Muslim after his ablution, he is defiled and will have to perform the ablution all over again. The first prayer is required at predawn around 4 a.m., the fifth in the evening around 8:30 p.m. The Islamic prayer is not a personal communication between a person and God. It is a compulsory duty external to the person saturated with formal rituals (al-Ma’idah 5: 6). Muslims may also offer additional voluntary scripted prayers during specific periods of the day. If a dog, donkey or a woman walk by a man who is praying, his prayer is cancelled out, and he will have to restart it again from the beginning (Bukhari 1.9.490; etc.). The woman is unclean during her monthly period (menses) and could not pray or fast on those days (Bukhari 1.6.301; 3.31.172). Personal non-scripted prayers are discouraged in Islam. Only the small Sufi sect focuses on this type of prayer. The five times of Muslim prayers are the same as five of the seven prayers common to the Zoroastrians. They were instituted in the Medinan period. In addition, Muhammad allowed the pagan Arabian practice of incantations to continue as long as the incantations were transformed to be Islamic. This practice is one aspect of black magic (Muslim 26.5457).
Prayer in Islam is a required duty. It is an external practice, not an internal worship that uplifts the human spirit. It is not a communication and a conversation with the god of Islam. Muhammad taught that if a person refused to do the five prayers, he was no longer a Muslim. Muhammad ordered burning alive Muslims who refused to perform the five obligatory ritualistic daily prayers with their houses (Bukhari 1.11.626, 617). The punishment of a Muslim who believes that prayer is obligatory but does not perform it is decapitation, unless he repents (Reliance of the Traveler f1.4). Through prayers, Muslims hope to avoid the wrath of their god and his punishment on judgment day, and be admitted into his paradise. Only on judgment day Muslims will know whether their god is pleased with their prayers. The Friday noon prayer is the only public prayer (al-Jum’ah 62: 9). It is obligatory for adult males.
Islam teaches that its god does not communicate with people directly (an-Naba’ 78: 37). He does that through the angel Gabriel who can only be in one place at a time (al-Baqarah 2: 97-98; ash-Shu’ara’ 26: 193; an-Nahl 16: 102). Islam calls the angel Gabriel the holy spirit. But he is a limited creature distinct from the Islamic god. Therefore, Muslims do not expect their god to communicate with them directly during their prayers. Nor do they expect the angel Gabriel to come and speak to them. Muslims hope to hear from their god through Gabriel on the last night of Ramadan fast (al-Qadr 97: 4).
The Holy Bible’s teaching about the Holy Spirit is very different. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the living God. He is the third divine Person in the Holy Trinity. Therefore, he is present everywhere at once, and able to communicate with multitudes of people at the same time.
Christ has taught that one should pray often at any time, and that God rewards the person who prays in the privacy of his room, and does not listen to the hypocrites who love to pray visibly to be seen and praised by men (Matthew 6: 5-6). Participating in corporate prayers shared in churches and meetings is good and beneficial as long as it is not motivated by vain glory. On the contrary, Muhammad wanted Muslims to pray always visibly together, and taught that praying alone was inferior.
Jesus prayed at any time: early in the morning (Mark 1: 35; 6: 46), during the day (Luke 5: 16), and during the night (Luke 6: 12). He used to pray alone, but sometimes he took his disciples with him (Luke 9: 28; 22: 39). Jesus never commanded his disciples to pray at specific times during the day, or in a specific structured rigid scripted way: “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5: 17; Luke 18: 1). He never threatened God’s punishment for not praying enough. The Islamic prayers are required to conform to a rigid form of scripted words and movements. Christ prohibited that saying: “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6: 7).
The Christian believer is an adopted child of God who loves him and cares for him. Therefore, Christ has taught to address God in prayers as “… Our Father …” (Matthew 6: 9-13; Luke 11: 11-13). This is very different from the relationship between the Islamic god and his Muslim subjects, which is a master-slave relationship. Christian prayer is an important way of communicating with God, worshiping him, glorifying him, giving him thanks, and asking for his forgiveness, help and intervention. Its focus is on the reality of talking to a personal, loving God approached through the merits of the atoning death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prayers may be offered for one’s own needs, or for others expressing the bond of love between the members of the Church (Luke 22: 32; 2 Thessalonians 3: 1; Romans 15: 30; James 5: 16). However, it should focus on the glorification and praise of God, not on personal petitions.
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Almsgiving was a pre-Islamic practice. It is called Zakat (Reliance of the Traveler, H), and is one of the five pillars of Islam (al-Tawbah 9: 60, 20, 34, 35, 41, 103; al-Hujurat 49: 15; as-Saff 61: 10, 11). It is obligatory for every Muslim who owns a minimum of wealth that requires it. It is given only to needy Muslims, never to non-Muslims (al-Fath 48: 29). In addition to helping the needy Muslims, it also finances Islamic jihad.
Christ did not discriminate in meeting the spiritual and material needs of people around him. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, raised the dead, and forgave sins of men and women, and believers and unbelievers alike. Christians are taught to be charitable to all in need, not just to other Christians (Matthew 5: 42; Deuteronomy 10: 17-18).
Christ taught that charitable giving should be done in secret: “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 from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6: 2-4). Christ also taught that a small gift given from a poor person is worth a lot more in the eyes of God than a large donation given by a rich person: “And He (Christ) looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had” (Luke 21: 1-4).
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A major difference exists between Christian and Muslim holidays. Christian holidays commemorate and celebrate divine intervention to save humanity. Islamic feasts commemorate human accomplishments. Christmas celebrates the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. Easter celebrates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ triumphant over death, which completes his salvific work on the cross. Christianity and Judaism recognize the Passover as the work of God to spare the firstborn children of the Israelites.
In Islam, Eid-al-Adha, observed seventy days after the end of Ramadan, celebrates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. Eid-al-Fitr celebrates the end of the fast of the month of Ramadan, which marks the end of the Muslim personal sacrifice in the fast.
XVI. IMMORAL TEACHINGS OF ISLAM
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A. Incestuous marriage
Muhammad adopted Zaid, one of the slaves of his first wife Khadija. Muhammad lusted after Zaynab bnt. Jahsh, the wife of his adopted son Zaid. He married his daughter-in-law, after his son Zaid divorced her. In fact, Muhammad said Qur’an for his personal benefit to justify his grave sin of incest: “. . . Then when Zaid was through with her, we gave her to you in marriage: in order that there may be no difficulty to the believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter are through with them. . .” (al-Ahzab 33: 37). This verse permits what Christianity and Judaism forbid. Both Judaism and Christianity prohibit a man from marrying his daughter-in-law. It makes no difference whether she is the wife of his natural or adopted son: “None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the LORD. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law--she is your son's wife--you shall not uncover her nakedness.” (Leviticus 18: 6, 15). Generally speaking, Muslims are not allowed to adopt children, as Muhammad subsequently prohibited adoption in order to legitimize his incestuous marriage (al-Ahzab 33: 4) after the Arabs of his day objected. This causes great harm to many orphans not finding adoptive parents. But that does not change the historical fact that Muhammad committed this grave sin, the sin of incest in violation of biblical commands. What makes it even worse, he never repented.
B. Sexual abuse of child girls
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Islam sanctions sexual abuse of pre-pubescent child girls under the pretext of child marriage. The Qur’an takes child marriage for granted when speaking about the waiting period required after divorce in order to determine whether the woman is pregnant (at-Talaq 65: 4). Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s friend, wed his child daughter, Aisha, to Muhammad, the role model of Islam, when she was six years of age. Muhammad practiced thighing with her, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine years old, still a pre-pubescent child (Muslim 8.3309-3311; 31.5981; Bukhari 5.58.234, 236; 7.62.64, 65, 88; 7.65.88). He was 54 years old, 45 years older than her, old enough to be her grandfather. Muhammad committed the immorality of sexually abusing a child girl. Child marriage is immoral despite the fact that it was culturally acceptable in seventh century Arabia. This immoral behavior is lawful and codified in Islamic Sharia. A Muslim man has the right to force his daughter into marriage without her consent. The sexual abuse of a child is a heinous crime punishable by law in the West.
There is no minimum age for entering Islamic marriage. A child girl cannot possibly give her consent to marriage. When she grows up, she will simply discover that she is already married. Early marriage prevents the girls from completing their education and increases the chances of divorce later on. The probability of death for 10-14 year-old girls at childbirth is about five times that of 20-45 year-old women, because their immature pelvises are too small. And many suffer paralysis from giving birth. This is in addition to the emotional and psychological damage the child-girls suffer because they are not mature enough for marriage.
The Holy Bible establishes that the minimum age for marriage is the onset of puberty (Ezekiel 16: 4 -14).
C. Sexual abuse of female slaves, servants and war captives
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Muslim men are permitted to have sexual relations with their slave women and war captives, even if the war captives were married (an-Nisa’ 4: 3, 24, 29; al-Mu’minun 23: 5-6; al-Ahzab 33: 49-50; al-Fatir 35: 50; at-Tahrim 66: 1; al-Ma’arij 70: 29-30; Reliance of the Traveler o9.13). This includes forced sex. Raping those women is codified in the Qur’an, Hadith and sharia (Bukhari 5.59.637; Muslim 8.3371, 3373-7, 3432). Muhammad himself practiced that immorality (al-Ahzab 33: 50; Bukhari 3.46.717; 5.59.512; 9.89.321). Islam is the only religion in the world that condones and encourages the crime of raping female captives of war as a reward for victorious Muslim soldiers for conquering the infidels. Slavery still exists in some Islamic countries till this day.
Muhammad took the Jewish captive Safiyya bint Huyai whose husband, father and brothers he had killed, and forced her to marry him completely disregarding her feelings about her murdered father, two brothers and husband (Bukhari 1.8.367; 5.59.522; Muslim 8.3329). He raped her the very evening he tortured and beheaded her husband Kinana. According to Kitab Futuh al-Buldan of Baladhuri (ninth century), after the death of Muhammad, Safiyya admitted that: of all men, she hated the prophet the most—for he killed her husband, brothers and father, before raping her. He also took Rayhanah bint Amr for a concubine after murdering all the men of her family in the massacre of Banu Qurayza completely disregarding her feelings. Those women hated Muhammad for killing the men of their families. He raped them.
Following the example of Muhammad, Khalid bin Walid—the “sword of Allah” and the military hero of early Islam—raped Liyla, a woman renowned for her beauty, right on the battlefield after he severed her “apostate” husband’s head, lit it on fire, and cooked his dinner on it.
In contrast with that, the Holy Bible requires that war captive women be treated with respect, not taken advantage of sexually, and if given in marriage, have the full rights of wives (Deuteronomy 21: 10-14).
A Muslim man is permitted to compel his slave woman into prostitution to profit from her. His god will forgive him (an-Nur 24: 33).
D. Temporary pleasure marriages
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Three types of Islamic marriages are available for the Muslim man: the standard marriage acknowledged in public and recorded in the court; the urfi marriage which is not registered in the court and usually done secretly with witnesses; and the mutaa (pleasure) marriage (more prevalent in Shia Islam) which is a temporary marriage contract, carried out without a witness, to sanction a brief sexual relationship which may last anywhere from an hour to a few days (Bukhari 6.60.139; 7.62.13, 52; Muslim 8.3243, 3248, 3250, 3261). The dowry is paid in exchange for sexual intercourse. This is a religiously sanctioned prostitution in disguise. Sex for payment is prostitution, not marriage. This is an insult to the institution of marriage. It is demeaning and humiliating to women as it makes them sex objects. Muslim women covered from head to toe are treated and act like prostitutes in these religiously sanctioned temporary pleasure marriages. Muhammad sanctioned this type of marriage during times of war when men were away from home. Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second guided caliph, later abolished it. The Shiite and some Sunnis still practice it.
The Holy Bible condemns prostitution in all its forms (Leviticus 19: 29; Deuteronomy 23: 18).
E. Breastfeeding adults
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Sahih Muslim 8.3428, 3425 states the incident which forms the basis for breastfeeding adult men in Islam. This authentic hadith informs that Muhammad commanded a married woman, Sahla bnt. Saheel, to breastfeed her husband’s adopted son, despite the fact that he was a grown man. Based on that teaching, Aisha, Muhammad’s youngest wife, had her sister, Umm Kulthum, and nieces breastfeed men before meeting with her. Muhammad’s other wives refused to do that. Other Islamic opinions provide that kinship is limited to the suckling of a child for the first two years of his life only. However, the fact remains that Muhammad commanded a Muslim woman to breastfeed an adult male. This is an immoral, shameful and disgusting behavior in any society under any circumstances. It humiliates women.
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Muhammad urged the Meccan Muslim immigrants to Medina to raid and loot Meccan caravans without provocation. He personally led three such raids in his first year in Medina. Muhammad gave Qur’an that supports this banditry (al-Hajj 22: 39-40). All the Muslim raids that took place within the first eighteen months after the hijra failed to produce any booty. Muhammad looted the three Jewish tribes of Medina. Two tribes were expelled from Medina, the third tribe was massacred. The Islamic economy was based upon piracy, plunder, slave trade, and militancy.
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Muhammad used torture to reach his goals. His greed for money drove him to barbaric behavior. He ordered the torture of Kinana al-Rabi, the treasurer of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir, to get information on the location of the tribe’s treasure. Kinana was brutally tortured with fire until he was nearly dead. Then he was beheaded (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, Trans. A. Guillaume, p. 515). To add insult to injury, Muhammad then took Kinana’s wife, the severteen-year-old Safiyya bint Huyai, a wife for himself. He forced her to marry him completely disregarding her feelings about her murdered father, brothers and husband (Bukhari 1.8.367; 5.59.522; Muslim 8.3329). According to Kitab Futuh al-Buldan of Baladhuri (ninth century), after the death of Muhammad, Safiyya admitted that: of all men, she hated the prophet the most—for he killed her husband, brothers and father, before raping her.
Muhammad had eight Muslim men from the clan of Uraynah arrested for brutally murdering the shepherd of his camels, and stealing the camels. He then ordered their hands and feet cut off and not cauterized, and their eyes seared with hot irons and then gouged out. They were then thrown upon the hot rocks of the desert where they died slowly from bleeding and thirst in the searing heat of the desert (Bukhari 1.4.234; 4.52.261; 8.82.795). This is brutal torture, and unusual and cruel punishment for their crime. We need to remember that Muhammad himself attacked and robbed Meccan caravans without direct provocation, which included killing people.
After defeating the pagan tribe of Banu Fazara in 628, the Muslim leader Zayd bin Harithah ordered the killing of Umm Qirfa, an old woman chief of her clan, in a very brutal way. Her legs were tied with ropes to two camels that were driven in opposite directions and split her in two. Muhammad then ordered the display of her decapitated head throughout the streets of Medina.
Following the example of Muhammad, Abu Bakr, the first caliph, burnt Ias bin-Abdul Yalil alive for his treason during the war of apostasy, and Khalid bin Walid, the military hero of early Islam, burnt some apostates.
Both Moses and Jesus never taught that torture is legitimate. Jesus did not come to maim and torture people. He came to give them a new life.
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Under Islamic law (Sharia), lying is not only permissible, but obligatory for Muslims in certain situations (at-Tahrim 66: 1). This is despite the fact that the Qur’an disapproves of Muslims deceiving other Muslims (al-Mu’min 40: 28). Lying is encouraged in giving directions to someone who intends to do wrong, in settling disagreements, in war, in domestic disputes, and in gaining advantage over non-Muslims (Muslim 32.6303; Reliance of the Traveler r8.0, r10.0).
Taqiyya originated in Shia Islam, but is now practiced by non-Shia Muslims as well. Taqiyya is systematic lying, particularly to non-Muslims, in order to advance Islam (Al-Imran 3: 28; an-Nahl 16: 106; Bukhari 5.59.369). It is also a precautionary deliberate dissimulation encouraged as means of hiding one’s true faith at times of persecutions (al-Baqarah 2: 173, 185, 195; an-Nisa’ 4: 29; al-Hajj 22: 78; al-Mu’min 40: 28). Taqiyya grants the Muslim a license to deceive the non-Muslim. An Islamist may show friendship to non-Muslims outwardly, but never inwardly. He may smile in their faces though his heart curses them. Taqiyya leads to deceptive dual messaging, one for the Muslim audience different from the one for the non-Muslim audience. Two ethical standards exist in Islam: one for dealing with Muslims and another for dealing with non-Muslims. In fact, the Qur’an describes the Islamic god as the best deceiver (Al-Imran 3: 54; an-Nisa’ 4: 142; al-Anfal 8: 30, 43-44; Yunis 10: 21). Therefore, the doctrine of taqiyya is consistent with his character. That makes lying and deception integral parts of the Islamic culture and life.
Muhammad sanctioned a Muslim follower to lie to an enemy called Sufyan ibn-Khalid in order to kill him. And this he did. He ordered the killing of a prominent Jew, Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf, using deception for composing satirical poems against him. Four Muslims killed him and returned to Muhammad with his decapitated head (Bukhari 5.59.369; Muslim 19.4436).
Islam permits a Muslim to lie when threatened, and to gain advantage over non-Muslims. That includes denying or insulting Islam or Muhammad and participating in the rituals of another religion. He can deny his faith and his god if threatened (al-Tawbah 9: 73-74). A Muslim is allowed to renege on his oath (al-Baqarah 2: 225; al-Ma’idah 5: 89). He can lie under oath with clear conscience as long as he thinks he is doing it to advance Islam.
Islamist groups and governments use peace talks and peace agreements to buy time so that they can make new plans, regroup, prepare and position themselves for military victory. They will break their agreements and treaties when they get to a stronger position.
Islamists utilize the doctrine of taqiyya in defending Islam. In fact, English translations of the Qur’an sometimes do not accurately reflect the original Arabic version, particularly when the passage would be offensive to Westerners. Their mistranslation attempts to sanitize it and make it look good in order to deceive Westerners. For instance, Ali’s translation of al-Anfal 8: 39a is: “And fight them (the non-believers) on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere.” The literal translation is: “Fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism) and the religion will be for Allah alone (Islam).” They quote Meccan verses from the Qur’an, which call for peace and tolerance towards non-Muslims. This is a gross misrepresentation of Islam, because they are fully aware that these verses were abrogated (cancelled and replaced) by the intolerant verses of Medina that call for violence against non-Muslims. They try of keep people ignorant of the true facts of Islam and Sharia.
In contrast with that, Christians cannot deny their faith in Christ under persecution even if this leads to martyrdom. Christ said: “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10: 33; Mark 8: 38; Luke 9: 26; 12: 9). “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2: 12). In addition, the biblical God condemns lying, “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19: 11-12; John 8: 44). The Holy Bible prohibits false witness, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20: 16).
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An-Nur 24: 2 and Bukhari 8.82.818 prescribe a hundred stripes for unmarried sexual affairs. A hundred stripes could cause death. The Islamic Sharia punishes adulterers and adulteresses by stoning to death (Bukhari 2.23.413; 8.82.816; Muslim 17.4191, 4206; Reliance of the Traveler o12.0-o12.6). The Islamic god does not make room for repentance, mercy, and forgiveness.
Christ forgave an adulteress and told her to go and sin no more (Jn. 8: 1-11). He wanted her to have a new life and a new beginning free from sin.
Traditional historic Islam requires that practicing homosexuals be killed by either burning them alive, or by having a wall thrown down on them, or by throwing them off a cliff, or by stoning them (abu-Dawud 33.4447; Reliance of the Traveler o12). They may also be flogged. It treats homosexuality as a crime, instead of a sin.
On the contrary, Christianity deals with homosexuality as it deals with any other sin through repentance, forgiveness, healing, and restoration.
2. Amputation of limbs
Islam requires the amputation of the right hand and the left foot for highway theft, or crucifixion, or banishment. With minor exceptions, it decrees the amputation of the thief’s hand, even if the thief returns the stolen items (al-Ma’idah 5: 33, 38). The thief cannot work after cutting his hand. Muhammad incorporated a seventh century barbaric pagan Arab custom into his Qur’an. He did not try to improve on it. The thief’s repentance is acceptable only after suffering the punishment of mutilation (Bukhari 8.81.788, 792; Muslim 17.4178, 4188).
The true biblical God never commanded inflicting bodily damage as a punishment for property damage. He had commanded in the Mosaic law bodily damage for bodily damage (Exodus 21: 24), and property damage for property damage. Only ancient idol worshippers called for inflicting bodily damage for property damage (Persian, Assyrian, Hammurabi laws, etc).
The word of the true God in the Torah does not command cutting off the hands of a thief. Rather, it commands that he should make restitution. If he cannot, he should work off his debt (sold as a slave, and released after six years (Exodus 22: 3; 21: 2; Leviticus 6: 4)). The freed man should be supplied with basic resources to help him start a new life (Deuteronomy 15: 12-14). This was a significant improvement over the code of Hammurabi, the emperor of Babylon (had ruled 1792-1750 B.C.), which required killing the thief who could not repay ten times (thirty times if stealing from the court) the value of the stolen goods.
The New Testament provides a path to reform the thief. His hands should be employed in productive work, not cutoff (Eph. 4: 28).
3. Flogging alcoholics and gamblers
Wine is forbidden in al-Baqarah 2: 219 and al-Ma’idah 5: 90, but permitted in al-Nahl 16: 67; Muhammad 47: 15 and al-Mutaffifin 83: 25, 26. It is the drink of the Islamic paradise (Muhammad 47: 15; ad-Dahr 76: 5, 21; al-Mutaffifin 83: 25).
The Islamic Sharia does not provide help and rehabilitation for alcoholics and gamblers. Instead, it requires the severe punishment of flogging for drinkers (forty to eighty stripes (Muslim 17.4226); Reliance of the Traveler o16.3). This punishment applies even to the light social drinker who does not get drunk. Many Christians would agree to the fact that alcoholism and gambling are sins. But no one in his right mind would agree with their Islamic punishments.
Wine is not intrinsically evil, but its misuse is. In fact, wine in moderation has health benefits. The Old Testament allows wine in moderation (Eccl. 9: 7), and commands it in ceremonial drink offerings to the Lord (Exodus 29: 40; Leviticus 23: 13; Numbers 15: 5-10; 28: 7). The Old Testament condemns drunkenness, but does not command the punishment of the drunkard (1 Samuel 1: 13-14; 25: 36; 2 Samuel 11: 13; Isaiah 19: 14; 24: 20; 28: 1-3; Joel 1: 5; etc). Similarly, the New Testament denounces drunkenness (1 Cor 6: 9-11; Rom 13: 13; Eph 5: 18), but allows moderate drinking (1 Tim 5: 23).
Islam supports slavery (an-Nisa’ 4: 24; al-Mu’minun 23: 6; al-Ahzab 33: 50; al-Ma’arij 70: 29-31; Bukhari 1.8.367; etc.). Therefore, Islamists have been taking non-Muslims, and black Muslims as slaves. Muhammad himself owned and traded in slaves (Bukhari 5.59.541; 7.65.344; Muslim 10.3901). He possessed at least fifty-nine slaves at on stage or another, besides thirty-eight servants. In Islam, slaves are treated unjustly. The slave is considered the property of his master who may dispose of him in any way he chooses. If a slave is murdered, instead of executing the murderer, an innocent slave may be killed for the murdered slave (al-Baqarah 2: 178). A Muslim could not be executed for murdering a slave. The testimony of a slave is not admissible in Sharia court. A slave cannot be a legal guardian, and what he earns belongs to his owner. A slave does not get a portion of the battle’s bounty even if he fought in it. A slave needs the approval of his master to get married. His master has the right to force him/her to marry without his/her consent.
Vast numbers of non-Muslim slaves were acquired by capture in the Islamic military conquests of foreign lands. In addition, some vassal states were forced to supply slaves annually as part of a tribute. When Amr conquered Tripoli (Libya) in 643, he forced the Jewish and Christian Berbers to give their wives and children as slaves to the Arab army as part of their jizya payment that he imposed on them. From 652 until its conquest in 1276, Nubia was forced to send an annual contingent of slaves to Cairo. Treaties concluded with the towns of Transoxiana (Iranian central Asia), Sijistan (Eastern Iran), Armenia and Fezzan (Maghreb) under the Umayyad and the Abbasids stipulated an annual dispatch of slaves from both sexes.
Muslim pirates (called the Barbary pirates) based in North Africa made large parts of the Mediterranean European coast uninhabitable for Christians. It is estimated that between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries alone, they captured and enslaved in excess of a million European. Islamic Spain became the hub of a vast slave trade, importing hundreds of thousands of Christian and Slavic European slaves. Between 1574 and 1681, three million Hungarian Catholics were enslaved in the Ottoman Empire. Slave trading flourished in slave markets in every city of the Islamic world. Many slaves suffered from degrading and inhumane conditions, and many died of exhaustion and disease. The condition of the female slaves was deplorable. She and her daughters were kept for her master’s sensual gratification. He would sell her when he got tired of her, and so she passed from master to master. The Muslim soldier was allowed to do as he pleased with any infidel (non-Muslim) woman that he might meet in his victorious march of jihad.
The grim horror is that Muslim slave masters customarily castrated the black African males they captured, because Muslim slave owners wanted to be the only ones to have sexual relations with captive black women and girls. That is why Middle Eastern and North African Islamic countries do not have black Negro population. Instead, they have tens of millions of brown-skinned Haratin descendants from the offspring of Arab fathers and black African mothers. African eunuchs staffed the Kaaba as late as the nineteenth century. They also staffed many functions in the Islamic Empires.
The transatlantic slave trade operated between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, and involved around 10.5 million African slaves. On the other hand, the Islamic slave trade in the Sahara, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean began in the seventh century and lasted into the nineteenth century. It involved about 17 million slaves. There was never a Muslim abolitionist movement. At no time did Muslims try to stop their own slave trade. The Islamic slave trade ended, not through Muslim efforts, but through British military power. In fact, the Islamic world strongly resisted European efforts to end the Islamic slave trade.
The Torah required protection for slaves (Exodus 21: 20-21; Leviticus 25: 39-41; Deuteronomy 21: 11-14; 23: 15-16). The concept of human rights is rooted in the teachings of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul has condemned slave traders (1 Timothy 1: 10). Christian leaders, such as Gregory of Nyssa (335-394) and John Chrysostom (d. 407) had condemned slavery and called for better treatment of slaves. Some Popes were former slaves (Clement I (92-99), Pius I (158-167), and Callixtus I (217-222)). The Church restored to slaves the right of family and marriage. For a while, the number of slaves increased after the Germanic invasions. The Church intervened by redeeming slaves, legislating for their benefits in its councils, and setting an example of their humane treatment. Christians were the first in history to start the anti-slavery effort in late eighteenth-century Britain. This movement spread to other countries in Europe, and then gathered force in the United States culminating into the civil war (1861-1865) which ended slavery. The 13th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution (1865) prohibited slavery throughout the country.
There is evidence that slavery persists till this day beneath the surface in some Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which formally outlawed slavery in 1962, Yemen and Oman which ended it in 1970, and Niger which abolished it 2004. Slavery is still practiced openly today in the Islamic countries of the Sudan, Mali and Mauritania, where Arabs enslave black Africans. It is hard to abolish slavery in some Islamic countries because it is rooted in the Qur’an and Muhammad’s own example. It is an indisputable historic fact that the Islamic nations did not free the slaves, the Christian West did.
Jesus and his apostles never owned or traded in slaves. Christianity teaches that God does not show partiality (Acts 10: 34; James 3: 17). The slaves and the free are equal before God, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3: 28; Colossians 3: 11; 1 Corinthians 12: 13). Anti-slavery views existed in Christendom from the middle ages on. It was Christian ideas that brought about the global abolition of slavery.
Islam teaches breaking one’s oath when it is expedient to do so (al-Baqarah 2: 225). If a Muslim discovers a better option after taking an oath, he is allowed to break his oath, take the better option and provide expiation (al-Ma’idah 5: 89; Bukhari 7.67.427; Muslim 15.4054). Islam provides that certain charitable acts could substitute for the performance of the oath (Reliance of the Traveler o20.0-4).
Muhammad had an affair with Mary the Egyptian, the maid of his wife Hafsa the daughter of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, in the house of Hafsa. He was unfaithful to his wife Hafsa. When she returned home and discovered it, she became furious. In order to pacify her, he took an oath that he would never touch her maid again. However, he still lusted after Mary the Egyptian. Therefore, he claimed that his god released him from his oath (at-Tahrim 66: 1-5; Bukhari 7.67.427; 9.89.260).
Muhammad broke his oaths (at-Tahrim 66: 2) and treaties (al-Anfal 8: 58; al-Tawbah 9: 3; at-Tahrim 66: 2) with Banu Qaynuqa, Quraysh (the treaty of Hudaybiyya (628-630) by refusing to return Umm-Kulthum to Mecca, etc.), etc. (Bukhari 8.78.619; 9.89.260). However barbarous and treacherous his means were, the end justified it in his eyes. This means that an oath cannot be made legally binding according to Islamic law (Sharia).
In contrast with that, the Holy Bible strictly forbids breaking one’s oath (Numbers 30: 1-2).
XVII. STRANGE TEACHINGS OF ISLAM
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1. Christianity teaches that temptation comes from Satan, and that God helps the tempted to overcome it if they ask for his help: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1: 13-15). Jesus defeated the temptations of Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4: 1-11).
Islam teaches that temptation may come either from Satan or from the Islamic god who uses demons to lead people astray that he may populate the hell he created (as-Sajdah 32: 13; Hud 11: 118-119)?
2. Islam teaches that the deceased person is punished because of the weeping of his relatives (Bukhari 2.23.375, 391).
3. The torment of the grave is explained in this section.
4. According to Bukhari 2.23.460; 8.73.78, 81, all the good works of a Muslim cannot keep him from the torment of the grave if his corpse is soiled with his urine in his grave.
5. Islam teaches that if a person bad-mouths another, hell is affirmed for the one who is being despised (Bukhari 2.23.448).
6. Muhammad claimed that fevers are caused by the heat of hellfire, and it could be put out with water (Bukhari 4.54.485; 7.71.619). He also taught that the severity of the heat of a summer day is from hellfire (Bukhari 1.10.514).
7. Islam teaches that the camel’s urine has medicinal curative value (Bukhari 7.71.590; 1.4.234). This shows that Muhammad adhered to the superstitious folklore of pre-Islamic Arabia.
8. “Allah's Apostle said, "If anyone of you goes to an open space for answering the call of nature he should neither face nor turn his back towards the Qibla; he should either face the east or the west” (Bukhari 1.4.146). “Allah’s Apostle said, "If anyone of you performs ablution he should put water in his nose and then blow it out and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do so with odd numbers. And whoever wakes up from his sleep should wash his hands before putting them in the water for ablution, because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep."” (Bukhari 1.4.163).
9. Muhammad taught that if a person eats seven dates in the morning, he will not be affected by poison or magic that day (Bukhari 7.71.671). He also taught that a crowing rooster is seeing angels and a braying donkey may bring Satan (Muslim 35.6581).
10. Muhammad believed that a housefly can cure the disease it transmits. One wing of the fly has the disease; the other has the antidote (Bukhari 4.54.537; 7.71.673). Science tells us that the two wings are identical.
11. Muhammad taught that a child’s physical appearance is determined by whether his father or mother reaches orgasm first (Bukhari 5.58.275; 4.55.546). The science of genetics reveals that this is a silly superstition. This is a fatal error because Muhammad claimed that Gabriel gave him this erroneous information. He claimed that Gabriel gave him the Qur’an also?
12. The Qur’an warns against “the evil of the envier when he envies” (al-Falaq 113: 5). Muhammad taught that the effect of an evil eye is a fact (Bukhari 7.71.636). He said: “The influence of an evil eye is a fact. If anything would precede the destiny, it would be the influence of an evil eye” (Muslim 26.5427). This teaches Muslims that envy hurts the envied person.
Christianity teaches that envy is a serious sin. But it hurts only the person who envies. Evil powers have no authority over the Christian believers.
13. Muhammad would suck water up his nose and then blow it out three times because he believed that Satan stays in the upper part of the nose all night long (Bukhari 4.54.516). Satan is not omnipresent. Only the true living God is.
14. Islam teaches about the existence of angels (beings of light) and jinn (made of fire) (al-Baqarah 2: 177, 97-98; adh-Dhariyat 51: 56; al-Ahqaf 46: 29ff; ar-Rahman 55: 15; al-Jinn 72: 1-2). It also teaches that angels do not sin, and that Satan is a rebellious jinn (al-Kahf 18: 50; Sad 38: 71-77).
The Holy Bible teaches that angels do exist, but jinn do not; and that Satan is a high-ranking fallen angel: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground. You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation. On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isaiah 14: 12-17; Ezekiel 28: 12-17). God had created all the angels in a state of innocence. The devil (Satan) and demons became evil and fell by their own acts, before the fall of man. Then, Satan seduced Adam and Eve, and they fell.
15. Muhammad believed that his god created the stars as missiles to throw at the devils (al-Hijr 15: 16-18; al-Mulk 67: 5; al-Jinn 72: 9; as-Saffat 37: 6-10).
16. Mecca was the center of an annual pilgrimage in Arabia long before Muhammad’s time. All the ceremonies of the Kaaba for the pilgrimage and the Umra, including the circumambulation (tawaf: the sevenfold circling of Kaaba), the animal sacrifices in Mina valley, and the stampede from Mount Arafat had been observed in all their details long before Muhammad was born.
Al-Kaaba of Mecca contains a black stone that Muslims kiss in the rituals of Islamic pilgrimage. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab found this practice uncomfortable (Bukhari 2.26.675). In fact, it spreads infectious disease. Muhammad claimed that the black stone used to pay him salutations (Muslim 30.5654). This black stone was in the Kaaba before the time of Muhammad when Arabs had worshiped pagan idols made of rock and wood. It was the most sacred stone in the pre-Islamic animistic religion in Arabia. In its silver frame, it resembles the external female genitalia (vulva). Pagan Arabs used to smear the blood of a sacrificed animal on the black stone. An Islamic legend claims that it was given to Abraham by the angel Gabriel. However, most likely, it is a fragment of one of the idols. Byzantine writers assert that it was originally a black stone image of Aphrodite which was worshipped in pre-Islamic times. The veneration of sacred stones was common in ancient pagan Semitic religions. The Nabatean high god Dushara was worshiped through an obelisk of black stone. Black conical stones were venerated in the temple of Baalbek in the later Roman period. In Emesa, Syria, a black meteorite associated with the sun god was revered.
17. The phrase “the prayer of Allah be upon him (Muhammad) with peace” is used in Islam whenever the name of Muhammad is mentioned (al-Ahzab 33: 43, 56). The obvious question is: to whom is Allah, the god of Islam, praying? No arguments can be made to suggest that the Arabic word used has any meaning other than prayer, as there are different Arabic words for mercy (rahmah) and blessing (barakah) (Hud 11; 73; etc.). These verses indicate that the Islamic god and his angles pray. This phrase is most likely a hold-over from earlier Arabian pagan religion that found its way into Islam.
In contrast with that, the God of the Holy Bible rejects any pagan religious practices in Judaism and Christianity.
18. If the Qur’an is the speech of the Islamic god as Islam claims, then the Islamic god loves nothing more than to praise himself (al-An’am 6: 1; an-Nahl 16: 75; al-Isra’ 17: 1; al-Hashr 59: 23; etc.). The Hadith confirms this tendency and practice (Bukhari 6.60.158, 161; Muslim 37.6647, 6648; 4.986). Self-praise may be the result of either excessive pride (the mortal sin of Satan), or low self-esteem that needs something reassuring from sources outside his being. The Islamic god needs the praise and worship of his creatures (al-Dhariyat 51: 56). This is a serious imperfection in him, because he needs something from sources outside himself.
19. Many passages in the Qur’an speak of the Islamic god being the only intercessor and mediator for Muslims (al-An’am 6: 51, 70; as-Sajdah 32: 4; az-Zumar 39: 44). Intercession and mediation require three persons. A person intercedes on behalf of someone before a third party. Whom does the Islamic god intercede or mediate to? It could not be to himself because it means he does not know his will, and it also means that he talks to himself? Could it indicate that he is not a unipersonal deity as Islam claims?
Christ is the advocate and intercessor for Christians before the throne of God.
20. Muhammad instructs his followers to save their heels from the fire by wiping them with wet hands (Bukhari 1.3.57). This was not because of cleanliness concern. He thought that one can save himself from the fire of hell by passing wet hand over his feet or socks
21. Muhammad cursed his enemies in his prayers (Bukhari 3.30.113; 4.52.182-184; 4.53.409; 5.59.297; 9.92.445; Muslim 32.6297). No wonder that cursing is a common accepted tradition in mosques and Muslim society. Because Muhammad practiced it, it is considered good and holy to hate and curse in Islam.
Christianity teaches exactly the opposite. It teaches love and forgiveness. Christ said: “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5: 44-45). Dying on the cross of shame, suffering and agonizing pain, Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of those who crucified him saying: “… Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23: 34).
22. Al-Baqarah 2: 65 and al-A’raf 7: 166 teach that Jews were transformed into apes, and Jews and Christians to swine (al-Ma’idah 5: 59-60)? This never happened in history? In addition, al-Anfal 8: 55 calls the non-Muslim infidels “the vilest of animals ...”
23. Islam forbids eating pork (al-Baqarah 2: 173; al-Ma’idah 5: 3; al-An’am 6: 145; an-Nahl 16: 115). This prohibition is despite the fact that three of the main Sunni schools of Sharia permit eating the lizard; the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of Sharia permit eating the dirty hyena; and the Malikis and Shafi’ites permit the hedgehog. Jesus taught saying: “… Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods? … What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7: 18-23).
Christianity is concerned with the inner man, his personal inner purity and morality, not with external rituals and forms. Islam claims the opposite, that the sources of impurity are not in the human heart, but in external forces; thus the focus on the ritual washing before prayer (ablution) and the fear of touching unclean things (pork, dogs, urine, wine, feces, corpses, non-Muslims, etc.)?
24. The Qur’an claims that the sun sets in a spring of murky waters: “Till he (Dhu al-Qarnain) reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water” (al-Kahf 18: 86a). Muhammad believed in the literal meaning of that verse (al-Zamakhshari, Kashshaf, vol. 2, p. 743, 3rd edition, 1987). This claim is a major scientific error. Modern science tells us that the sun is much larger and hotter than the earth. If the earth approaches the sun, it will vaporize from the intense heat of the sun. This fallacy is similar to legends of Muhammad’s time.
25. The prophet of Islam ordered burning alive Muslims who refused to perform the five obligatory ritualistic daily prayers with their houses (Bukhari 1.11.626, 617).
26. Muhammad had bizarre superstitious beliefs regarding dogs. He ordered the killing of all black dogs (Muslim 10.3813; Bukhari 4.54.540; etc.), because he thought that the black dog is a devil (Muslim 4.1032). He taught that if a Muslim keeps a dog for a pet, the Islamic god will take away some heavenly rewards for his good works (Bukhari 3.39.515; Muslim 10.3815). Angels will not enter his house (Bukhari 4.54.539; 4.54.448; 5.59.338; Muslim 24.5246). If a dog passes in front of people praying, their prayers are annulled (Bukhari 1.9.490; Muslim 4.1032). Muhammad finally relented and spared the dogs used in the fields and in hunting (Muslim 24.5248; 10.3812). The irrefutable benefits of pet ownership are denied to the Muslims.
27. Muhammad believed that some jinn had accepted Islam (al-Ahqaf 46: 29-32) and turned into snakes. He instructed that if a Muslim finds a snake in his house, he was to warn it for three days. If the snake did not leave the house, he was to kill it because it was evil (Muslim 26.5557, 5558, 5559; etc.). Of course, it is very dangerous to leave a snake in the house for three days because it may be venomous. Instead of following the advice of the superstitious Muhammad, the Muslim who finds the snake should call the police or fire department for help. Muhammad thought jinn eat bones and animal dung (Bukhari 5.58.200). Therefore, he instructed Muslims not to clean themselves with the bones and dung of slaughtered animals because they are the food of Muslim jinn (Muslim 4.903; Abu-Dawud 1.39).
28. A left-handed person is a taboo because, according to Muhammad, Satan eats and drinks with his left hand. Muslims are required to eat and drink with their right hands (Muslim 23.5008). One wonders about what happens to a person who does not have a right hand? The truth of the matter is that Satan does not eat or drink at all because he is a spirit. Spirits do not eat and drink.
29. Muhammad thought that Satan urinated in people’s ears (Bukhari 2.21.245), and that yawning comes from Satan (Bukhari 4.54.509; 8.73.242). Satan is a spirit. He has neither a body nor urine. Muhammad also thought that a devil is attached to every person, including Muhammad himself (Muslim 39.6757, 6759; Bukhari 3.33.254).
30. Muhammad taught that playing chess defiles the Muslim (Muslim 28.5612).
31. Islam teaches that the souls of the Islamic martyrs live in the bodies of green birds (Muslim 20.4651).
32. Muhammad thought that good dreams are godly, whereas bad ones are from Satan. If a Muslim sees a bad dream, he should spit thrice on his left side and “seek refuge with Allah from Satan …” (Bukhari 4.54.513; 9.87.124, 115, 133; Muslim 29.5613). This will protect him from harm?
33. Muhammad taught that Adam was 90 feet tall (Bukhari 4.55.543; 8.74.246). There is no evidence whatsoever from ancient records or fossils that humanoids were 90 feet tall. This teaching is a serious scientific error.
34. According to Bukhari 2.23.340, having three children who die before they reach puberty will rescue the parent’s souls from hellfire provided that they have resigned themselves to the will of the Islamic god. However, according to Muslim 32.6367, only two lost children guarantee paradise.
35. Pilgrimage could be performed by substitution. A person could do it in behalf of another living or dead person (Reliance of the Traveler, j1.10). This reduces pilgrimage from personal worship to mere rituals that the Muslim person has to perform in compliance with Islamic ordinances.
36. Ablution is required before every prayer. If water is not found, then it may be done with sand (al-Ma’idah 5: 6). The problem is that sand does not clean anything. Why is it used for ablution?
37. Muhammad believed that the freshly buried dead corpse hears the words of a living person speaking to it, but cannot reply (Muslim 40.6869). Therefore, the dead person should be instructed and reminded of the Islamic creed (Reliance of the Traveler, w32.0-2).
38. Muhammad taught that Muslims destined to be killed in an Islamic jihad battle would die even if they stayed in their homes and did not participate in the battle (Al-‘Imran 3: 154). This never happened in recorded history!
39. Muhammad taught that the fires of hell (purgatory) will burn Muslims to a crisp except for their prostration mark—a dark patch of skin formed by repeatedly touching the forehead to the ground during prayer. The angels will then take the Muslims out of the fires by locating their prostration marks, and reconstitute them (Bukhari 8.76.577; 9.93.532).
40. Muhammad taught that stones could steal clothing (Bukhari 1.5.277; Muslim 30.5849, 5850), and stones and trees could talk (Bukhari 4.52.176-177; Muslim 41.6981-6985).
41. The rituals of the Islamic pilgrimage (Hajj) end with the rite of stoning Satan. The Muslim pilgrim collects pebbles bathed in moonlight at night at Mount Muzdalifa, and goes to the plain of Mina to stone the three nearby pillars in the afternoon (stoning of the devil). These pillars are called the “Great Devil.” This rite is useless because the devil is a spirit. The pebbles will not harm him or affect him in any way?
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It is obvious from this analysis that the teachings of Christianity and Islam are very different and contradictory on major doctrinal and ethical issues. Christianity advances humanity forward. Islam drags humanity backwards.
The true living almighty God does not provide a new religion to degrade and corrupt human morality, and move it a gigantic step backward:
- from the Christian “love and bless your enemy” to the Islamic “hate, avenge, assassinate, kill, subjugate, rape, loot, etc.;”
- from the Christian monogamy to the Islamic polygamy and temporary pleasure marriages;
- from the Christian respect for women and children to the Islamic humiliation and subjugation of women, female genital mutilation (female circumcision), honor killing, wife beating, marital rape, raping war captives, breastfeeding adults, and sexual abuse of prepubescent girls (child marriage);
- from the Christian love and forgiveness to the Islamic Sharia’s mutilation, flogging and stoning;
- from the Christian freedom of conscience to the Islamic oppression and forced religion;
- from the Christian spiritual paradise to the Islamic carnal paradise of gluttony and polygamy;
- from the Christian internal ethical principles instilled in the human heart to the Islamic external superficial legalism of Sharia, and vain useless rituals;
- from the Christian honesty to the deception of Islamic taqiyya and reneging on oaths; etc.
Islam sanctifies the profane and mundane. It legalizes much immorality. It fails to separate the material from the spiritual. It fails to recognize progressive levels of morality and spiritual attainment. The concept of God’s will reigning over the heart of the individual believer, the kingdom of heaven within, is alien to Islam. The concept of the kingdom of heaven being spiritual in nature and individual in manifestation is not recognized by the material religion of Islam. Islam does not satisfy the thirst and longing of the human soul for divine love, forgiveness and assurance of salvation. Economic decline, intellectual decay and cultural retrogression characterize Islamist states that are trapped in the bondage of seventh century Arabian Bedouin manners and customs. Islam is the heaviest chain that ever shackled humanity.
Islam was spread by the sword of Muhammad and his followers after him, and by lurid enticements to the basest desires and impulses of man for conquest, promiscuous sexuality, plunder, and pride. It is a historical fact that, with the exception of some Indonesian islands, no nation has ever willingly converted to Islam. Islam is more of a political ideology, than a religion. It is a political ideology hidden under a thin deceptive cover of barren religious rituals, which do not renew the human heart and do not uplift the human spirit. Right after praying the obligatory ritual prayer, a person may do evil because his heart is not touched by the prayer. Islam is a fascist political movement akin to Communism and Nazism invented by the prophet of Islam and his followers. It is a powerful tool of domination and control because, unlike Communism and Nazism, it claims divine authority, which makes it a lot more dangerous than them. Islam is not about saving souls. It is about building a world empire. Islam is the only major religion in the world that sanctions the following immoral wicked practices:
1. Islam institutionalizes perpetual violence against non-Muslims (infidels) calling it jihad (holy war) to islamize the conquered populations. The ultimate act of worship in Islam is to murder non-Muslims in the name of the Islamic god. Sharia does not impose the death penalty for this crime.
2. Islam imposes the death penalty for Muslim men who leave it (the apostates), and does not penalize clerics who incite murdering an apostate. This immediately moves it from the realm of religion to the realm of totalitarian political ideology.
3. Islam condones and encourages its soldiers to commit the crime of rape of female war captives, even the married ones, as part of their reward for conquering the infidels.
4. Islam sanctions sexual abuse of pre-pubescent child girls under the pretext of child marriage.
Islam denies the grace and mercy that Christ has brought, and takes humanity back to the age of law, punishment, fear, and death. Islam conflicts with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights because of its insistence on freedom of religion, and the freedom and equality of all human beings in dignity and rights.
Islam arose in Arabia in the seventh century AD. Muhammad was not a Jewish or a Christian believer. He was pagan who worshipped idols for at least forty years. Islam is built upon pre-Islamic Arab pagan roots. It is mostly a recycled paganism. In addition, it has borrowed extensively from Judaism and, to a lesser extent, from Christianity and Zoroastrianism. It is like a building erected on the foundations of an old pagan shrine, for which the builders have reused materials salvaged from nearby synagogue and church. The building is a mosque with a design and identity of its own. It is neither a renovated church nor a renovated synagogue.
Muhammad’s alleged revelation is not within the context of, and not in full accord and harmony with, the covenants of the biblical God with humanity. In fact, it abrogates and supplants former authentic biblical revelation. It reverses God’s plan for redemption and salvation of the human race. God had set this plan in motion thousands of years ago ever since the fall of Adam and Eve in the ancient garden of Eden. It was fulfilled through his incarnate Son Jesus Christ. Jesus said on the cross “…It is finished…” (John 19: 30). After completing the redemption and atonement of fallen humanity on the cross, there is no need for prophets providing new religions.
In his first advent, Christ came to heal and regenerate spiritually those that would accept him, not to judge and condemn those who reject him, and not to build a world empire. He said: “And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world” (John 12: 47). He came to build, not to destroy. In his second advent, he will come back in glory and power to judge the living and the dead, including Muhammad, the self-proclaimed prophet of Islam. The Holy Bible condemns teachings that conflict with Christian teachings: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1: 8).
In his first advent, Christ has obtained the greatest victory in human history. He defeated both sin and spiritual death, the true enemies of humanity. His kingship is spiritual and universal but is not to be imposed on anyone. It is not associated with any earthly political power. In the Gospel, God offers eternal life with Christ to all who accept him as their Lord and savior. This offer remains in effect till the second advent of Christ. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’” (Revelation 1: 7-8).
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a godly saintly virgin. Muhammad’s mother was a pagan woman who worshiped idols, practiced occult, and ended up unforgiven in hell (Muslim 4.2130). Jesus was a godly person all his life. Muhammad worshiped pagan idols until he was forty years of age, and committed grave immoralities. Jesus was a man of godly love, peace and forgiveness. Muhammad was a violent bloody man of the sword. Jesus outshines anything the Qur’an and Hadith say about Muhammad. He is far superior to Muhammad.
Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, strove after his selfish mundane interests and ambitions accumulating power, wealth, and many women. He sacrificed others to build his worldly empire. What did he do for you? In contrast with that, Christ has sacrificed his life for you on the cross to save you from eternal damnation and to set you free from the bondage of sin and spiritual decay, because he has loved you. Would you receive him in your heart and life as your savior and Lord today?
Only Christianity leads to fellowship with the true living almighty God. Islam does not. Christ said: “…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6). Jesus loves you. He offered himself on a cross of shame and pain in order to save your soul from eternal darkness. He seeks you saying: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3: 20). Would you open the door of your heart for him today? If you accept him and ask him to come into your heart and life as your Lord and savior, he will transform your life from within forever. He will take you with him in an exciting journey to eternal life and the uncreated light of God. Christ has said: “…Because I live, you will live also …Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14: 19, 27). On the other hand, if you reject him or treat him merely as another prophet, you separate yourself from the true living God eternally, and dwell in the eternal torment of the outer darkness. You can begin your new life with Christ by praying this simple prayer that expresses your new dedication and commitment to journey with him:
My beloved Lord Jesus Christ, I accept you as the Son of God, who incarnated, was crucified, died, and raised from the dead by God. Please, forgive my sins. I fully trust in you to save me. I invite you to come into my heart and lead my life as my personal Lord and savior. I renounce Satan and all his works, including Islam. I unite myself to you, my Christ. I believe in you as my king and God. I worship the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, one in essence and undivided.
In ancient times, after Moses gave the commandments of God to his people, he said to them: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30: 19). May the true living God guide you to choose life over death, light over darkness, spiritual regeneration over decay, liberty over oppression, love over hatred, and peace over conflict? Christ is alive in heaven, and intervenes, as the situation requires here and now on earth. Answer his call to you. Muhammad is helplessly dead and buried in Medina. Follow the living, not the dead. It is up to you.
This page provides the basics of the Christian faith. Welcome home!
This page will help you take the next step.
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