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02-24-2005, 10:36 AM
What is Islam?

The word "Islam" is an Arabic word that means "submitting and surrendering your will peacefull to Almighty God". The word comes from the same root as the Arabic word "salam", which means peace. Unlike the names used for other religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, the name for the religion of Islam was both revealed by God and carries a deep spiritual meaning — only by submitting one’s will to Almighty God can one obtain true peace both in this life and in the life hereafter. Islam teaches that all religions originally had the same essential message — which was to submit whole-heartedly to the will of God and to worship Him and Him alone. For this reason, Islam is not a new religion but is the same divinely revealed Ultimate Truth that God revealed to all prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

Who are Muslims?

The Arabic word "Muslim" literally means "someone who submits to the will of God". The message of Islam is meant for the entire world and anyone who accepts this message becomes a Muslim. Some people mistakenly believe that Islam is just a religion for Arabs, but nothing could be further from the truth, since in actuality over 80% of the world's Muslims are not Arabs! Even though most Arabs are Muslims, there are Arabs who are Christians, Jews and atheists. If one just takes a look at the various peoples who live in the Muslim World — from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Morocco to Indonesia — it is easy enough to see that Muslims come from all different races, ethnic groups and nationalities. From the very beginning, Islam had a universal message for all people. This can be seen in the fact that some of the early companions of the Prophet Muhammad were not only Arabs, but also Persians, Africans and Byzantine Romans. Being a Muslim entails complete acceptance and active obedience to the revealed will of Almighty God. A Muslim is a person who freely accepts to base his beliefs, values and faith on the will of Almighty God. In the past, even though you don't see it as much today, the word "Mohammedans" was often used as a label for Muslims. This label is a misnomer and is the result of either willful distortion or sheer ignorance. One of the reasons for the misconception is that Europeans were taught for centuries that Muslims worshipped the Prophet Muhammad in the same way that Christians worship Jesus. This is absolutely not true since a Muslim is not permitted to worship anyone or anything besides Almighty God.

Who is Allah?

Very often one will hear the Arabic word "Allah" being used in regards to Islam. The word "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God, and is the same word used by Arabic speaking Christians and Jews. If one were to pick up an Arabic translation of the Bible, one would see the word "Allah" being use where the word "God" is used in English. Actually, the Arabic word for Almighty God, "Allah", is quite similar to the word for God in other Semitic languages — for example, the Hebrew word for God is "Elah". For various reasons, some non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians. This is certainly not the case, since the Pure Monotheism of Islam calls all people to the worship of the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all of the other prophets. However, even though Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God — since there is only one God — their concepts concerning Him differ in some significant ways.

Who is Muhammad?

The last and final prophet that God sent to humanity was the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad explained, interpreted and lived the teachings of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets for many reasons, but mainly because the results of his mission have brought more people into the pure belief in One God than any other prophet. Even though other religious communities claimed to believe in One God, over time they had corrupted their beliefs by taking their prophets and saints as intercessors with Almighty God. Some religions believe their prophets to be manifestations of God, "God Incarnate" or the "Son of God". All of these false ideas lead to the creature being worshipped instead of the Creator, which contributed to the idolatrous practice of believing that Almighty God can be approached through intermediaries. In order to guard against these falsehoods, the Prophet Muhammad always emphasized that he was only a human being tasked with the preaching of God’s message. He taught Muslims to refer to him as "the Messenger of God and His Slave". To Muslims, Muhammad is the supreme example for all people — he was the exemplary prophet, statesman, military leader, ruler, teacher, neighbour husband, father and friend. Unlike other prophets and messengers, the Prophet Muhammad lived in the full light of history. Muslims don't need to have "faith" that he existed and that his teachings are preserved — they know it to be a fact. Even when his followers only numbered a few dozen, Almighty God informed Muhammad that he had be sent as a mercy to all of mankind. Because people had distorted or forgotten God’s messages, God took it upon Himself to protect the message revealed to Muhammad. This was because Almighty God promised not to send another messenger after him. Since all of God’s messengers have preached the message of Islam — i.e. submission to the will of God and the worship of God alone — Muhammad is actually the last prophet of Islam, not the first.

What are the Teachings of Islam?

The foundation of the Islamic faith is belief in the Unity of God. This means to believe that there is only one Creator and Sustainer of everything in the Universe, and that nothing is divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Him. Truly believing in the Unity of God means much more than simply believing that there is "One God" — as opposed to two, three or four. There are a number of religions that claim belief in "One God" and believe that ultimately there is only one Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Islam, however, not only insists on this, but also rejects using such words as "Lord" and "Savior" for anyone besides Almighty God. Islam also rejects the use of all intermediaries between God and Man, and insists that people approach God directly and reserve all worship for Him alone. Muslims believe that Almighty God is Compassionate, Loving and Merciful. The essence of falsehood is the claim that God cannot deal with and forgive His creatures directly. By over-emphasizing the burden of sin, as well as claiming that God cannot forgive you directly, other religions seek to get people to despair of the Mercy of God. Once they are convinced that they cannot approach God directly, people can be mislead into turning to false gods for help. These "false gods" can take various forms, such as saints, angels, or someone who is believed to be the "Son of God" or "God Incarnate". In almost all cases, people who worship, pray to or seek help from a false god don’t consider it to be, or call it, a "god". They claim belief in One Supreme God, but claim that they pray to and worship others beside God only to get closer to Him. In Islam, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the created. There is no ambiguity in divinity — anything that is created is not deserving of worship and only the Creator is worthy of being worshipped. Some religions falsely believe that God has become part of His creation, and this has led people to believe that they can worship something created in order to reach their Creator. Muslims believe that even though God is Unique and beyond comprehension — He has no "Son", partners or associates. According to Muslim belief, Almighty God "does not beget nor was He begotten" — neither literally, allegorically, metaphorically, physically or metaphysically — He is Absolutely Unique and Eternal. He is in control of everything and is perfectly capable of bestowing His infinite Mercy and Forgiveness to whomever He chooses. That is why is called the All-Powerful and Most-Merciful. Almighty God has created the Universe for man, and as such wants the best for all human beings. Muslims see everything in the Universe as a sign of the Creatorship and Benevolence of Almighty God. Also, the belief in the Unity of God is not merely a metaphysical concept. It is a dynamic belief that affects ones view of humanity, society and all aspects of life. As a logical corollary to the Islamic belief in the Oneness of God, is its belief in the oneness of mankind and humanity.

What is the Qur'an?

It is the final revelation of the will of Almighty God's to all of mankind, which was conveyed through the Angel Gabriel, in Arabic, to the Prophet Muhammad in its sounds, words and meanings. The Qur’an, sometimes spelled Koran, was relayed to the Prophet's companions, which they memorized verbatim, and which has been publicly and continually recited by them and their successors until the present day. In short, the Qur'an is the book of guidance from God par excellence. The Qur'an is still memorized and taught by millions of people. The language of the Qur'an, Arabic, is still a living language to millions of people, so unlike the scriptures of other religions, the Qur'an is still read in its original language by countless millions of people. The Qu'ran is a living miracle in the Arabic language; and is know to be inimitable in its style, form and spiritual impact. God's final revelation to mankind, the Qur'an, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. The Qur'an, in contrast to many other religious books, was always thought to be the Word of God by those who believed in it, i.e. it wasn't something decreed by a religious council many years after being written. Also, the Qu'ran was recited publicly in front of both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities during the life of the Prophet Muhammad. The entire Qur'an was also completely written down in lifetime of the Prophet, and numerous companions of the Prophet memorized the entire Qur'an word-for-word as it was revealed. So unlike other scriptures, the Qur'an was always in the hands of the common believers, it was always thought to be God's word and, due to wide spread memorization, it was perfectly preserved. In regards to the teachings of the Qur'an - it is a universal scripture, and it is addressed to all of mankind, and not to a particular tribe or "chosen people". The message that it brings is nothing new, but the same message of all of the prophets - submit to Almighty God and worship Him alone. As such, God's revelation in the Qur'an focuses on teaching human beings the importance of believing in the Unity of God and framing their lives around the guidance which He has sent. Additionally, the Qur'an contains the stories of the previous prophets, such as Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus; as well as many commands and prohibitions from God. In modern times in which so many people are caught up in doubt, spiritual despair and "political correctness", the Qur'anic teachings offer solutions to the emptiness of our lives and the turmoil that is gripping the world today.

How Do Muslims View the Nature of Man, the Purpose of Life
and the Life Hereafter?

In the Holy Qur'an, God teaches human beings that they were created in order to worship Him, and that the basis of all true worship is God-consciousness/piety. Since the teachings of Islam encompass all aspects of life and ethics, God-consciousness is encouraged in all human affairs. Islam makes it clear that all human acts are acts of worship if they are done for God alone and in accordance to His Divine Law. As such, worship in Islam is not limited to religious rituals. The teachings of Islam act as a mercy and a healing for the human soul, and such qualities as humility, sincerity, patience and charity are strongly encouraged. Additionally, Islam condemns pride and self-righteousness, since Almighty God is the only judge of human righteousness. The Islamic view of the nature of man is also realistic and well balanced. Human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil. Islam also teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand. God has given people free will, and the measure of one's faith is one's deeds and actions. However, human beings have also been created weak and regularly fall into sin. This is the nature of the human being as created by God in His Wisdom, and it is not inherently "corrupt" or in need of repair. This is because the avenue of repentance of always open to all human beings, and Almighty God loves the repentant sinner more than one who does not sin at all. The true balance of an Islamic life is established by having a healthy fear of God as well as a sincere belief in His infinite Mercy. A life without fear of God leads to sin and disobedience, while believing that we have sinned so much that God will not possibly forgive us only leads to despair. In light of this, Islam teaches that: only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord. Additionally, the Holy Qur'an, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, contains a great deal of teachings about the life hereafter and the Day of Judgment. Due to this, Muslims believe that all human beings will ultimately be judged by God for their beliefs and actions in their earthly lives. In judging human beings, Almighty God will be both Merciful and Just, and people will only be judged for what they were capable of. Suffice it to say that Islam teaches that life is a test, and that all human beings will be accountable before God. A sincere belief in the life hereafter is key to leading a well-balanced life and moral. Otherwise, life is viewed as an end in itself, which causes human beings to become more selfish, materialistic and immoral.

source: beconvinced.com

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04-09-2005, 04:21 PM
Muslims are violent, terrorists, and extremists!

This is the biggest misconception in Islam, no doubt resulting from the constant stereotyping and bashing the media gives Islam. When a gunman attacks a mosque in the name of Judaism, a Catholic IRA guerrilla sets off a bomb in an urban area, or Serbian Orthodox militiamen rape and kill innocent Muslim civilians, these acts are not used to stereotype an entire faith. Never are these acts attributed to the religion of the perpetrators. Yet how many times have we heard the words 'Islamic, Muslim fundamentalist. etc.' linked with violence.

Politics in so called “Muslim countries" may or may not have any Islamic basis. Often dictators and politicians will use the name of Islam for their own purposes. One should remember to go to the source of Islam and separate what the true religion of Islam says from what is portrayed in the media. Islam literally means 'submission to God' and is derived from a root word meaning 'peace'.

Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion doesn’t dominate everyday life in the West, whereas Islam is considered a 'way of life' for Muslims and they make no division between secular and sacred in their lives. Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock.

NOWHERE DOES ISLAM ENJOIN THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS... The Qur’an says: "Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors." (Qur’an 2:190) "If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things." (Qur’an 8:61) War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term 'jihad' literally means 'struggle'. Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other 'jihad' is the inner struggle of the soul which everyone wages against egotistic desires for the sake of attaining inner peace.

Islam oppresses women.

The image of the typical Muslim woman wearing the veil and forced to stay home and forbidden to drive is all too common in most peoples’ thoughts. Although some Muslim countries may have laws that oppress women, this should not be seen as coming from Islam. Many of these countries do not rule by any kind of Shari'ah (Islamic law) and introduce their own cultural standpoints on the issue of gender equity.

Islam on the other hand gives men and women different roles and equity between the two is laid down in the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage gift is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband's. Both men and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified. The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said: "The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife."

Violence of any kind towards women and forcing them against their will for anything is not allowed. A Muslim marriage is a simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions.
Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country. Divorce is not common, although it is acceptable as a last resort. According to Islam, a Muslim girl cannot be forced to marry against her will: her parents simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.

Muslims worship a different God

Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Allah for Muslims is the greatest and most inclusive of the Names of God, it is an Arabic word of rich meaning, denoting the one and only God and ascribing no partners to Him. It is exactly the same word which the Jews, in Hebrew, use for God (eloh), the word which Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an identical name in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Allah is the same God worshiped by Muslims, Christians and Jews. Muslims believe that Allah's sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and in the pledge to obey His teaching and commandments, conveyed through His messengers and prophets who were sent at various times and in many places throughout history.

Islam was spread by the sword and is intolerant of other faiths

Many social studies textbooks for students show the image of an Arab horseman carrying a sword in one hand and the Qur’an in the other conquering and forcibly converting. This, though, is not a correct portrayal of history. Islam has always given respect and freedom of religion to all faiths. The Qur’an says: "God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just." (60:8) Freedom of religion is laid down in the Qur’an itself: "There is no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is distinctly clear from error". (2:256)

Christian missionary, T.W. Arnold had this opinion on his study of the question of the spread of Islam: "... Of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestantism ..."

It is a function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.

Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives, and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves. The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether the person is Muslim or not.

Racism is not a part of Islam, the Qur’an speaks only of human equality and how all peoples are equal in the sight of God. "O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All- Aware." (49:13)

All Muslims are Arabs

The Muslim population of the world is around 1.4 billion. 1 out of 4 people in the world is a Muslim. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the World and North America. They are a vast range of races, nationalities, and cultures from around the globe--from the Philippines to Nigeria--they are united by their common Islamic faith. Only about 18% live in the Arab world and the largest Muslim community is in Indonesia. Most Muslims live east of Pakistan. 30% of Muslims live in the Indian subcontinent, 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% in Southeast Asia, 18% in the Arab world, and 10% in the Soviet Union and China. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan make up 10% of the non-Arab Middle East. Although there are Muslim minorities in almost every area, including Latin America and Australia, they are most numerous in Russia and its newly independent states, India and central Africa. There are about 8 million Muslims in the United States.

The Nation of Islam is a Muslim group

Islam and the so called “Nation of Islam'" are two different religions. Muslims consider this group to be just one of many cults using the name of Islam for their own gain. The only thing common between them is the jargon, the language used by both. "The Nation of Islam" is a misnomer; this religion should be called Farrakhanism, after the name of its propagator, Louis Farrakhan.

Islam and Farakhanism differ in many fundamental ways. For example, Farrakhan followers believe in racism and that the 'black man' was the original man and therefore superior, while in Islam there is no racism and everyone is considered equal in the sight of God, the only difference being in one's piety. There are many other theological examples that show the 'Nation's teachings have little to do with true Islam. There are many groups in America who claim to represent Islam and call their adherents Muslims.

Any serious student of Islam has a duty to investigate and find the true Islam. The only two authentic sources which bind every Muslim are 1. The Quran and 2. Authentic or sound Hadith. Any teachings under the label of "Islam" which contradict or at variance with the direct understanding of fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam form the Quran and authentic Hadith should be rejected and such a religion should be considered a Pseudo-Islamic Cult. In America there are many pseudo-Islamic cults, Farrakhanism being one of them. An honest attitude on the part of such cults should be not to call themselves Muslims and their religion Islam. Such an example of honesty is Bahaism which is an off-shoot of Islam but Bahais do not call themselves Muslims nor their religion, Islam. In fact Bahaism is not Islam just as Farrakhanism is not Islam.

All Muslim men marry four wives

The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Quran, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair. No woman can be forced into this kind of marriage if they do not wish it, and they also have the right to exclude it in their marriage contract.
Polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted. Images of "sheikhs with harems" are not consistent with Islam, as a man is only allowed at most four wives only if he can fulfill the stringent conditions of treating each fairly and providing each with separate housing etc. Permission to practice polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of passion. It is rather associated with compassion toward widows and orphans. It was the Quran that limited and put conditions on the practice of polygamy among the Arabs, who had as many as ten or more wives and considered them "property". It is both honest and accurate to say that it is Islam which regulated this practice, limited it, made it more humane and instituted equal rights and status for all wives. What the Qur'anic decrees amount to, taken together is discouragement of polygamy unless necessity for it exists. It is also evident that the general rule in Islam is monogamy and not polygamy. It is a very tiny percentage of Muslims that practice it over the world. However, permission to practice limited polygamy is only consistent with Islam's realistic view of the nature of man and woman and of various social needs, problems and cultural variations. The question is, however far more than the inherent flexibility of Islam; it also is the frank and straightforward approach of Islam in dealing with practical problems. Rather than requiring hypocritical
and superficial compliance, Islam delves deeper into the problems of individuals and societies, and provides for legitimate and clean solutions which are far more beneficial than would be the case if they were ignored. There is no doubt that the second wife legally married and treated kindly is better off than a mistress without any legal rights or expermanence.

Muslims are a barbaric, backwards people

Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine-Islam calls for faith in only one God worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation. Within a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet (pbuh), 'seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and woman'.

The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history.
Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.

Muhammad was the founder of Islam and Muslims worship him

Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Mecca in the year 570. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (pbuh) was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society.

It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near Mecca. At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad (pbuh) received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for 23 years, is known as the Quran. As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate.

This event, the Hijra 'migration', in which they left Mecca for the city of Medina, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar. After several years, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to Mecca, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet saw dies at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China. He died with less than 5 possessions to his name.

While Muhammad (pbuh) was chosen to deliver the message, he is not considered the "founder" of Islam, since Muslims consider Islam to be the same divine guidance sent to all peoples before. Muslims believe
all the prophets from Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus etc. were all sent with divine guidance for their peoples. Every prophet was sent to his own people, but Muhammad (pbuh) was sent to all of mankind. Muhammad
is the last and final messenger sent to deliver the message of Islam. Muslims revere and honor him (pbuh) for all he went through and his dedication, but they do not worship him. "O Prophet, verily We have sent you as a witness and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner and as one who invites unto God by His leave and as an illuminating lamp." (33:45-6)

Muslims don't believe in Jesus or any other prophets

Muslims respect and revere Jesus, upon him be peace, and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus', but always adds the phrase 'upon him be peace' (abbreviated as (u) here). The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Quran is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows: "Behold!" the Angel said, "God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous." She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?" He said: "Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is" (Quran 3:42-47)

Jesus (u) was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam (u) into being without a father: "Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was." (3:59) during his prophetic mission Jesus (u) performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said: " I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God's leave." (3:49) Neither Muhammad (pbuh) not Jesus (u) came to change the basic doctrine of the brief in One God brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it.

In the Qur’an Jesus (u) is reported as saying that he came: "To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me. (3:50) The Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said: "Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad(pbuh) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven. "(Hadith related by Bukhari)

Source: beconvinced.com

04-09-2005, 04:23 PM
The Islamic View of Jesus (peace be upon him)

The Islamic view of Jesus (or, “Isa in Arabic, ;- peace be upon him) lies between two extremes. The Jews, who rejected Isa (Jesus) as a Prophet, called him an imposter. The Christians, on the other hand, considered him to be the son of God and worship him as such. Islam considers Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) to be one of the great Prophets of Allah and respects him as much as Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). This is in conformity with the Islamic view of the oneness of God (Allah), the oneness of Divine guidance, and the complementary role of the subsequent mission of Allah’s messengers.

The essence of Islam- willing submission to the will of Allah- was revealed to Adam ( peace be upon him), who passed it on to his children. All the following revelations to Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim, Musa, Isa (Jesus), and, finally, Muhammad (peace be upon them all) are in conformity with that message, with some elaboration to define the relation between man and God, man and man, man and his environment, and living according to Allah’s instructions. Thus, Islam views any contradictions among revealed religions as a man-made element introduced into these religions. The position of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) in the three major creeds- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam- is not an exception.

Miraculous Birth

Although the Qur'an does not present a detailed life-story of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ), it highlights the important aspects of his birth, his mission, his ascension to heaven, and passes judgment on the Christian beliefs concerning him. The Qur'anic account of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) starts with the conception of his mother, Maryam (Mary, peace be upon her), whose mother, the wife of Imran, vowed to dedicate her child to the service of God in the temple. When Maryam (Peace be upon her) became a woman, the Spirit (the angel Jibraîl ) appeared to her as a man bringing her the news of a son. We read the following dialogue in the Qur'an between Maryam (Peace be upon her) and the angel:
When the angels said: ‘O Mary! Allah gives thee glad tidings of a Word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, Peace be upon him son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah).
He will speak unto mankind in his cradle and in his manhood, and he will be of the righteous.’
She said: ‘My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?’ He said: ‘So (it will be). Allah creates what He will. If He decrees a thing, He says unto it only: “Be!” and it is.’(Ali-Imran, 3:45-47)
In a chapter (surah) entitled “Maryam” (Mary), the Qur'an tells us how Maryam (Peace be upon her) gave birth to her son, and how the Jews accused her when she brought the child home:
Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: ‘O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing. O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a woman unchaste.’

Then she pointed to him. They said, ‘How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy?’

He spoke: ‘Lo! I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and has appointed me a Prophet; And has made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and has enjoined upon me prayer and alms-giving so long as I live; And (has made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and has not made me arrogant, wicked. Peace be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!(Maryam, 19:27-33)
In the same chapter, following the above quotation, Allah assures Muhammad ( peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and through him the whole world, that what is told above is the TRUTH about Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ), although the Christians might not accept it. Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) is NOT the “son of God”: he was, obviously enough, the son of Maryam (Peace be upon her). The verses continue:
Such was Jesus, (Peace be upon him) son of Mary: (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt. It befits not Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing, He says unto it only: ‘Be!’ and it is. (Maryam, 19:34-35)
After this strong statement about the nature of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ), Allah directed Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to call the Christians to worship the one God:
And lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the straight path.
(Maryam, 19:36)
The rejection of the very idea of Allah having a son is restated later in the same chapter with even stronger words:
And they say: ‘The Beneficent has taken unto Himself a son.’

Assuredly you utter a hideous thing, whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins; That ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son, when it does not behoove the Beneficent that He should choose a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave.(Maryam, 19:88-93)
The Qur'an recognizes the fact that Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) had no human father, but this does not make him the son of God, or God Himself. By this criterion, Adam (Peace be upon him) would have been more entitled to be the son of God, because he had neither a father nor a mother, so the Qur'an draws attention to the miraculous creation of both in the following verse:
Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: ‘Be!’ and he is.
(Ali-Imran, 3:59)
The “Trinity”

The Qur'an rejects the concept of the Trinity- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit- as strongly as it rejects the concept of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) as the son of God. This is because GOD IS ONE. Three cannot be one. The Qur'an addresses Christians in the following verses from the Surah entitled “An-Nisaa” (The Women):
O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, (Peace be upon him) son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three.” Refrain! (it is) better for you! Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that he should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Guardian.

The Messiah will never scorn to be a servant of Allah, nor will the favored angels. Whoso scorns His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him;

Then, as for those who believed and did good works, unto them will He pay their wages in full, adding unto them of His bounty; and as for those who were scornful and proud, them will He punish with a painful doom, and they will not find for them, against Allah, any protecting friend or helper. (An-Nisaa, 4:171-174)

The denial of Isa’s (Jesus’, ) divinity (and, for that matter, of Maryam’s divinity) is presented in the Qur'an in the form of a dialogue, at the Day of Judgment, between the Almighty and Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ). All the messengers and their nations will be gathered before Allah and He will ask the messengers how they were received by their people and what they said to them. Among those who will be questioned is Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ):
And when Allah says: ‘O Jesus, (Peace be upon him) son of Mary! Did thou say unto mankind: “Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah?”’ he says: ‘Glorified art Thou, it was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I did say it, then Thou knew it. Thou know what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of things hidden. I spoke unto them only that which Thou commanded me, (saying): “Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord…”’ (Al-Maidah, 5:116-117)
Mission and Message

Given that the Qur'an denies the Trinity and the son-ship of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ), what, according to the Qur'an, was the real mission of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him )? The answer is that Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) was a link in a long chain of prophets and messengers sent by Allah to various nations and societies whenever they needed guidance or deviated from His teachings. Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) was especially prepared by Allah to be sent to the Jews, who had deviated from the teachings of Musa (Moses, ) and other messengers. As he was miraculously supported by Allah in his conception, birth, and childhood, he was also supported by numerous miracles to prove that he was a messenger from Allah. However, the majority of the Jews rejected his prophethood.

In another verse of the Qur'an, Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) confirmed the validity of the Torah which was revealed to Musa (Moses, ), and also conveyed the glad tidings of a final messenger who would follow him:
And when Jesus, (Peace be upon him) son of Mary, said: O Children of Israel! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who will come after me, whose name is the Praised One. (As-Saff, 61:6)
Note that “Praised One” is a translation of “Ahmad”- the Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) name. Careful study of the New Testament shows that Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) refers to the same prophet in John 14:16-17: “And I will give you another Counselor (the Prophet Muhammed Peace be upon him), to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth”.

The usual explanation of this prophecy is that the counselor referred to is the Holy Spirit, but this explanation is excluded by a previous verse in John: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you.”

The characteristics of this counselor, as can be derived from the prophecy, are that he will stay forever with believers, he will glorify Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ), and he will speak what he hears from God. All four characteristics apply to the Prophet Muhammed ( Peace be upon him). He came six centuries after Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ). He came with a universal and everlasting message, fulfilling the prophecy that the counselor will stay forever with the faithful. He glorified Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) as a great Prophet. The Qur'an attributes to Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) miracles not mentioned in the Bible. Prophecies in the Bible’s Old and New Testaments, as well as specific verses in the Qur'an, show how the Prophet Muhammed ( Peace be upon him) is rejected by Jews and Christians out of prejudice and mis*un*der*standing, rather than careful study of the Bible.


It is a sad fact of history that not many are following the “straight path” to which people were called by Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ). He was only followed by a few disciples inspired by Allah to support him. The nonbelievers plotted- as they would against Muhammad ( Peace be upon him), six centuries later- to kill Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ). But Allah had a better plan for him and his followers, as the Qur'an tells us:
But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried: ‘Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah?’ The disciples said: ‘We will be Allah's helpers. We believe in Allah, and bear thou witness that we have surrendered (unto Him). Our Lord! We believe in that which Thou hast revealed and we follow him whom Thou hast sent. Enroll us among those who witness (to the truth).’

And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.

(And remember) when Allah said: ‘O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ.’
(Âli-Imrân, 3:52-55)
As the above verses indicate, Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) was taken and raised to Heaven. He was not crucified. It was certainly the plan of the enemies of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) to put him to death on the cross, but Allah saved him and someone else was crucified:
And because of their disbelief and of their speaking against Mary a tremendous calumny;

And because of their saying: ‘We slew the Messiah, Jesus, Peace be upon him son of Mary, Allah's mes*senger.’ They slew him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain, but Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.

There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.
(An-Nisaa, 4:156-159)
The Qur'an does not explain who was that person crucified instead of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ), nor elaborates on the Second Coming of Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him). However, commentators of the Qur'an have always interpreted the last verse of the above quotation to mean that Isa (Jesus, Peace be upon him ) will return, and that all Jews and Christians will believe in him before he dies, as Muslims already do. This understanding is supported by authentic sayings (Hadith) of the Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him), may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and upon all the messengers of Allah.)


11-15-2005, 06:01 AM

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