ISLAM AND THE BIBLE
A Nigerian Debate
By N. H. Ibanga
Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water
who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a wise man, teach him. He
who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. So goes and
old adage. It was in this vein that
I posed questions on Islam for a knowledgeable Muslim to explain. You
see, I did not want to be a fool. Although I have known of the existence
of the religion of Islam almost all my life, I became actively interested
in it almost two and half years ago when Sharia was rammed down the throats
of Nigerians. I have three brothers-in-law who were born in
So again, I have to thank the people who responded to my request in the spirit I asked the questions. In particular, I want to thank one Fatimah, who not only attempted to answer my questions even though she was not an Islamic scholar, but also actually prayed to God to forgive both her and myself, if in the course of our reasoning together, either one of us said anything unbecoming of God-fearing people. Thanks Fatimah, I am sure God has answered your prayers for us. I received many references some of which I have not yet had access to. There were other responses from supposedly learned people, who started their responses by assessing the level of intelligence of the person asking the questions. Needless to say, they did no render a flattering assessment.
This is how stereotypes are developed. Any time a non-Muslim asks questions on Islam, his motivations are questioned and some faithful gird their jihad attire. It was a surprise to me to be accused of trying ‘to cast aspersions on Islam’ after only 18 months of study, whereas experts spent tens of years studying it before comprehending it. I mean, if I had understood these questions, would I have posed the questions in the first place? No. I would either have been convinced by the weight of the arguments the questions portended and quietly converted to Islam, or been unconvinced and remained a Christian. It would have been better for them to ask me point blank what my objectives were. I will state my objectives up front. Before I do that I will indulge in an aside.
Let me digress briefly to answer one critic. I was accused of having the nerve to pose the questions in the web site (gamji.com) that begins by giving glory to God. I submitted three articles to each of three web sites (Nigeriaworld.com, Nigerdeltacongress.com and Gamji.com) the week before Christmas of 2001. None of the three webmasters published all three of my articles. Each exercised his editorial privilege and published which they wanted. One of those pieces was prophetic. Only the web master of Nigerdeltacongress.com published my Christmas message to Nigerians. In it, I warned the ruling elite that they must administer true justice otherwise they cannot be safe in their fortresses. It was published on Friday before Christmas. The following Sunday, murderers killed none other than the nation’s foremost law enforcement officer – in his bedroom. If I were to pick one site to pose my questions, I would have chosen the one (I believe) had the greatest probability to be read by a knowledgeable Muslim. So, do not dismiss this outright as the work of idle hands (mind?). Reason with me and consider the evidence yourself.
What was the purpose of all of these questions? I quote Luke 9:49-50 to answer this question.
“And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Your name; and we forbade him, because he follows not with us. And Jesus said to him, forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”
This passage shows that disciples of Jesus thought that they ALONE could emulate their teacher. Consequently, when they saw someone who was not in their group actually performing miracles they tried to stop him. Jesus corrected them. It is possible to appear to be on opposing sides whereas people are actually on the same side of a given issue.
My friend Safianu Rabiu has told me in private communication that if Muslims and Christians lived according to the Tenets of their religion, one would not easily be able to tell the Muslim from the Christian.
purpose of my questions was to flush out both the areas of agreement and
key differences between Islam and Christianity. The areas of agreement
would then be used as a basis for understanding the differences. If either
group could convincingly demonstrate that their view in any area of difference
is more in line with God’s commandments than the other, then perhaps a
modification of that position by the other group could lead to a more harmonious
relation. If not, then we agree to disagree but understand our differences
better and stop trying to forcibly stop each other from believing whatever
we believe. Then, maybe the periodic massacres of innocent people that
has delayed and retarded the launching of the Nigerian Nation might be
done away with once and for all. It is not just the person who spills innocent
blood that pays a price, the whole country does – especially when justice
is never done as is the case in
Why should one question any religion?
are many reasons. For one, one must separate the Tenets of a religion from
the way adherents practice the religion. The two most often
do not resemble each other. As an example, Arabs have stolen Africans’
For another, unless you examine your beliefs from someone else’s perspectives, you could be fooling yourself without knowing it.
In addition, with the passage of time, additional information comes to light to bolster or refute a previously held point of view. Hence, the need for periodic soul searching. For example, with the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy about the return of Jews to their land in 1948, one must pay close attention to other prophecies of his that are yet to be fulfilled. These surely are about to come to pass.
By the way, a question a month keeps the devil away!
Let both the writer and the reader check their pride in at the door to the discussion. What we are dealing with here has to do with the eternal abode of a person’s soul. Pride tends to get in the way of making the correct decision in matters like this.
the mid 1990s, a spate between Catholics and Protestants unfolded in the
pages of the newspaper in
For me, the claim by Moslems that the Bible “was changed” is a most serious charge. Since not the entire Bible was changed, it is important to know if possible, which portions were changed (by whom and for what purpose) and what difference such changes would make in the overall message contained therein. Conversely, I needed sound proof of the inviolability of the Quran. The next most important thing for me is the predictive capabilities of a given religion. I needed to know what new revelations Mohammed brought to light that Jesus or the Prophets before Him did not tell us.
I have tried very hard to figure out how to abbreviate this rejoinder but to no avail. In order for it to make sense, I will have to quote my original question, and then I would either summarize or post the consensus response before adding my rejoinder. My original question will be in brackets, the answer in italics. My final rejoinder will be in normal type.
(Islam alleges that the Bible is the word of God that has been corrupted. However, Islam does not hesitate to quote the Bible as having predicted the coming of Mohammed. Which parts of the Bible are corrupted? When and by whom were they corrupted? Can you be sure that the Bible verses you quote to authenticate Mohammed were not also corrupted? )
The consensus reply is that Islam does not quote the Bible and does not depend on its ability to quote the Bible for its authenticity. The Quran quotes itself for its authenticity. Saleh Zaria says it thus: “Islam does not ‘quote’ the present corrected Bible. It is the Muslims that do that in their attempt to trace the remaining ‘clue’ that may help in leading the truth-seekers among the followers of the present altered Bible to the right path”.
Then Abdulazeez Ola-Ojetola cites verses that are in the King James Version (KJV) but not in the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible. To wit:
Mark and 48
Luke 24:12, among others.
He also cited inconsistencies like those found when comparing
II Samuel 24:13 vs. 1 Chronicles
II Chronicles 9:25 vs. 1 Kings 4:26, among others - (four in all).
In reading through the responses that I received, I perceived that Muslims assume that every word that is written in the Bible is supposedly the word uttered by God. This is what they claim for the Quran. Whereas, the Muslim Hadith is separate from the word of God and is understood by all Muslims that it is not the word of God. In recent times, this misconception has been corrected by printing the actual word of God in RED letters in both the Torah (Old Testament) and the New Testament (Injeel or Gospel). Thus the Christians combine their word of God and their “Hadith” in one book. It should not be misconstrued that every word written in the Bible was spoken by God. There are many stories of peoples lives told by different observers (eyewitnesses or official recorders of events – Scribes).
With this explanation in mind, it is easy to dismiss as a non issue the fact that one person recorded that Solomon had four thousand stalls for his horses and another person recorded forty thousand stalls. That information has nothing to do with anyone’s soul. It was recorded to show that God had enriched Solomon.
Omission of passages in any Bible is a different issue. This is especially true if the omitted passage happens to be what God spoke. I was initially surprised to notice when I compared my RSV with my KJV and found that the “omissions” were actually there. On closer examination, I found that the RSV had footnotes which gave the “omitted” verses and points out that those verses were in older versions of the Bible. In effect, there are no omissions because if you read the footnotes, all the information is there in the RSV,
The RSV has attempted to use modern English as opposed to Elizabethan English for easy reading of modern man. As long as the true meaning of the passage is not changed, I see nothing wrong in trying to make the Bible understandable by today’s readers. I will make the same claim about the words actually spoken by God in the Bible as the Muslims claim for the Quran. Those words are infallible and incorruptible!
(God put a blessing on anyone who reads and keeps those things that are written in the revelation that Jesus gave to John to publish [Revelation 1:3]. He put a curse on anyone who adds to or subtracts from the word of this revelation [Revelation – 19]. Are the words of the book of Revelation also corrupted? )
The answers to this question were lengthy and revealing. I have to use excerpts.
Mr. Gummi wrote: “The words do not necessary have to be corrupted, but the jews who could kill and torture prophets and also hide the scriptures, would not be deterred by words to institute corruption of any part of the bible…..”.
Gummi also claims that the events detailed in Revelations 20 have already
happened. According to him, the prophet of Islam waged war against the
Persians and the Romans. Then a thousand years later (about 1600), the
barbarians of the northern region (the Gogs and Magogs) came out to colonize
the world. He went on further to illustrate how Biblical text could be
altered to fit a preconceived doctrine. He refers to the prophecy in Revelation .
He claims this was altered to fit the second coming of Christ by changing
in verse 13 “His name is called The Servant of God to His name is called
The Word of God”. Then in chapter 20:9, he intimated that the camp of the
Abdul Mukhtar wrote: “….. the import of Revelation 1:3 is sensible in that God’s words should not be tampered with. It is indeed laudable that we find such a passage in the Bible, including the just mentioned passage that Jesus gave revelation to John to publish. If that was the case, did Jesus also direct Matthew, Mark and Luke to publish revelations? … But if Jesus appointed only John to the exclusion of others, then there should be little doubt that only John’s account is close to the truth.”
The answers to this question highlight a serious error in the reasoning of the respondents and Islamic doctrine. Let me start with Mr. Mukhtar’s response before expanding into Mr. Gummi’s.
my knowledge, Prophet Daniel is the first person who was shown the entire
history of the world from the time of the Jewish captivity in
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the four Gospels because they were eyewitnesses to the events they recorded. It is interesting to note that Muslims hold the early Caliphs (first four) in very high esteem. They are quick to quote narrations from these people who were there with Mohammed and saw what transpired. When the tables are turned, they (Muslims) despise the eyewitnesses who were there with Jesus and discount their narrations of what they had seen. The Gospels were written by the disciples with the guidance of the Holy Spirit who ‘brought to remembrance” (John ) whatsoever Jesus had told His disciples. Clearly, they were not charlatans.
Mr. Gummi’s interpretation of the events described in Revelation 19 – 20
is representative of Islam’s understanding of those events, then one can
say unequivocally that both are wrong. The events are yet to happen. One
has to go back a couple of chapters and read the events that unfold before
those in chapter 20. Prior to
these events, the church is raptured out of the earth. The antichrist steps
in and makes a false peace with
Mohammed was conducting raids on caravans in the
I’d like to explain one thing that some respondents do not understand from
the sayings of Jesus. Jesus had told the disciples that He could not tell
them everything because they could not bear them. However, the Holy Spirit
that He promised would tell them everything and bring to remembrance the
things which He had told them. The respondents assumed that Jesus was sent
to the Jews alone and that because of the above statement, He did not have
all the information. They equated Mohammed with the Holy Spirit. But a
little reasoning can clear this up. When Jesus was asked about the signs
of the end, how long do you think it would have taken Him to explain the
concept of a computer, a bar code, infrared light, etc. to them? With a
living Holy Spirit, these technologies would be recognized at the appropriate
times by those who remember what Jesus had said. These people would clearly
recognize the sign of the times. Robotics that will enable the antichrist
to erect an image in
I forget, let me mention that the beloved city is
(Mohammed did not write the Quran. Someone else consolidated his sayings from numerous sources after his death. Are we to simply take your word for it that it has not been corrupted? How can you prove that the person who consolidated the sayings in one book did not discard a version of a saying that he did not particularly care for?).
Saleh Zaria writes in part: “The Holy Qur’an explicitly affirms, in several places, that it is the word of God issued in the same form from the exalted position of the Divinity and repeated, unaltered by the Prophet. To prove the point that the Qur’an is God’s word and not man’s, the various verses repeatedly assert that the Holy Qur’an is considered to be a miracle which is beyond the power and ability of human beings, it says:
Or say they (that) He (the Holy Prophet) had forged it (the Qur’an)? Nay! They believe not. Let them bring a discourse like unto it, if they be truthful (at-Tur 52:33-34).
Also: If ye be in doubt about what We have sent down to Our servant (Mohammed) , produce ye a surah (chapter) like unto it, and call ye your witness other than God, if ye be truthful. But if ye do (it) not, and never shall ye do (it) , then guard ye (yourselves) against the (Hell) fire whose fuel shall be the people and stones, prepared for the disbelievers (al-Baqarah 2:23-24).
Mr. Mukhtar writes: … Not only was the Qur’an kept intact, it was also registered in the memories of people. The Qur’an is not and cannot be corrupted because God Himself has protected it.
Mr. Mukhtar’s response that the Qur’an was registered in the memories of people makes me want to say, I rest my case (Alzheimer is not a new disease). But I will answer the challenge posed by Mr. Zaria’s quotations. I will quote Prophet Isaiah who wrote this verse down probably 2,000 years before the advent of Islam.
Isaiah 41:21-24: Produce your cause, says the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may know and consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, you are of nothing, and your work of nothing; an abomination is he that chooses you.
To buttress my point, I will again quote the same chapter of Isaiah and show the future that he foretold that has come through a little over 50 years ago – over 2,500 years after he had written it down. Remember that an ancient copy of the book of Isaiah is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls and it agrees with that which is in the Bible.
41:8 – 10: But you,
the rest of this chapter. In every country that the Jews were scattered,
they became the chief men (thereby incurring the wrath and enmity of the
people of those countries). Just as God spoke through Isaiah, He returned
them to their promised land in 1948, to the disbelief of
(Islam rejects the concept of the Trinity, i.e., the Triune nature of God [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit]. However, many verses in the Quran start with “We”. For example, Quran 15:9 states in part “We have, without doubt, sent down the message …..” Who does ‘we’ refer to? Why ‘we’ and not ‘I’?).
Mr. Saleh Zaria wrote a treatise on this subject, too long to be reproduced here. Others reminded me of how royals use ‘We’ when they speak.
The concept of the Trinity is not easy to explain. Since I was accused of having an infantile mind, I will attempt to address the question thus. The reader can pinch him/her self right now. That is the flesh. The reader will agree that he/she has a soul, separate from the flesh just pinched. Jesus told us not to fear those who can kill the flesh, but Him who can tear the spirit from the soul. This means that the soul and the spirit are separate and that everyone has them. So the reader has a body, soul and spirit (1st Thessalonians ). Does this make the reader three people or still one person? God spoke the universe into being. His word is Jesus (John 1:1) who manifested Himself in the flesh to demonstrate to mankind that it is possible to obey God. God sent His Spirit to live with mankind and remind him of God’s laws. There is only one God. Read 1 John 5:7 which says “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” Paul did not invent the concept of the Trinity. See Isaiah 48:16.
(Why do you trust the word allegedly delivered by the Angel Gabriel to Mohammed and yet you reject those he delivered to Mary (the mother of Jesus) announcing the impending birth of Jesus and the fact that He will be called the Son of the Highest [Luke – 33]? Why would God only protect the message delivered to Mohammed and not those delivered by the same Angel Gabriel to Daniel [Daniel Chapter 9], Zechariahs [Luke 1] and Mary?When Balaam [Numbers 22 – 23] tried to put a curse on the Jews, did God not send His Angel to turn the curse into a blessing, i.e. protect His own?)
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “…. There is no question of believing angel Gabriel’s message to prophet Mohammad and rejecting that he was also sent to Mary….”
Mr. Gummi wrote: “The word delivered by the Angel Gabriel to Mohammed has been proven authentic, but the others are still unauthenticated…” In addition he added: “… And Jesus has finally ‘put a curse on the Jews’. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? M’t:: so does it matter that a former curse was turned into a blessing?”
Mr. Saleh Zaria wrote: “This question is somehow disingenuous and muddle. Because the ‘Word’ delivered to Muhammad is different from the ‘Word’ Conveyed to Mary. The former was a ‘Message’ while the later was a ‘Spirit’ which is the Angel Gabriel”.
The point here was that since Muslims trust the Angel Gabriel, they ought to accept every message that he has brought down to mankind. In fact, the messages cited in the question have been proven true, i.e., they have happened as predicted. (Another example is Daniel’s prediction of the feats of the Maccabees - Daniel 11:32-33). Some are yet to happen. On the other hand, so far, no one has been able to point out to me any prophecy that “Angel Gabriel” gave to Mohammed that has come true after 1,400 years.Therefore, it is better to trust a message and the messenger based on events which have proven to come to pass, than trust a message given by a messenger none of whose events have ever come to pass.
(The Quran acknowledges that Jesus was a sinless man. It also states that Mohammed was asked to pray for forgiveness of his sins. Does it make sense that all the Prophets before Jesus were sinners like any human being, then came Jesus (the sinless one), followed by another sinful Prophet? Why would God stop after Mohammed and not continue to send other sinful Prophets? It seems the logical place to stop would have been at perfection, namely Jesus.)
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: ”Muslims hold all prophets in high esteem. We are taught that the prophets were the best of their people and that they are next in rank to the angels”.
Mr. Gummi wrote: “Only the angels are confirmed by the Quran to be spotless of any sin. The Quran is specific that all humans in general commit sins.” Later he added “It is however, established that prophets [without exception] are all guided and protected against committing sins of vices, like stealing etc, but that no sin was mentioned for some prophets like Jesus and Zecharias, is because Allah has screened it for them”.
My phraseology stemmed from the Psalmist’s affirmation that he was conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5). Mohammed was conceived like any other man. Jesus was not. Only today do we have people conceived without the benefit of physical copulation of the parents (test tube babies). I still question the claim of being the last prophet Matthew 11:13).
(Why do you say that Mohammed is the greatest Prophet when Jesus had stated that John the Baptist not only was the greatest man on earth, but also the last Prophet [Luke 7: 20 – 28]?)
Mr. Gummi wrote: “It is not religion or anybodies business to know who is the greatest in the eyes of Allah. That is the true position of Islam”.
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “Muslims revere all prophets and make no distinction in doing so”.
I stand corrected on my erroneous understanding that Mohammed is regarded as the greatest prophet.
Mohammed was sent to all people, why then did God (who created the different
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “Yes, the prophet Muhammad was sent to all people. The simple evidence in support of this is that there is no place in the world where there are no followers of Muhammad”.
Mr. Gummi wrote: “The question ‘why does not apply to God. And the correct interpretation of [Revelation 14:6] applies to the Quran since it was a prophecy to come after Jesus”.
I am in complete agreement with Mr. Gummi that only man answers to God, not vice versa. However, God usually tell us why He does a given thing. For example, Prophet Ezekiel was told to walk naked in front of the people as a sign of what is going to happen to them. Today, if Ezekiel were to be back and walk naked amongst us as a sign, we would call him crazy and ignore him to our peril.
The point of asking this question was to point out that since everyone did not speak Arabic, the Quran must necessarily be translated to other languages for them to understand. If (as I seem to understand) everyone is required to learn Arabic so that they can memorize the Quran before they can get saved, I for one see imperialism in this. Here I have to state that as long as the true message of the Bible is not altered, I support efforts to produce simplified versions (e.g. in street language) in order to reach those who would not read the King James Version.
(Jesus taught to pray in private [Matthew 6:6] and God would reward in public. He specifically warned people not to emulate the Pharisees [Matthew 6:5] who conspicuously pray in public for show. Mohammed teaches that public prayer is rewarded 25X over private prayer. Why?)
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “Are you not astounded by your copious reference to the gospel of Mathew at the expense of say, John, Mark or Luke? You mentioned that Jesus gave the revelation to John to publish. One would have expectedyou to locate an answer to your present question in John or even Revelation. Having said that, Muslims can pray in public of private, singly or in congregation, because God is everywhere and with everybody”.
Mr. Gummi wrote: “There are two kinds of prayers, the compulsory public prayer, which is to correct the public, and the private prayer, which is to correct the individual….”.
I understand Mr. Gummi’s explanation. To Mr. Mukhtar’s response, I hereby show that what Jesus revealed to John in detail, He had already told the disciples and they recorded them in the gospels. I owe this portion to Charles Capps.
Compare Matthew 24 with Revelation 6. You will discover that Jesus told His disciples about the six sealsin Revelation.
Matthew 24:4-5: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many”.
Revelation 6:1-2: “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer”.
to Dr. Capps, when the first seal is opened, it revealed the Antichrist
riding a white horse. He had a bow and no arrows and someone had to give
him a crown. You will remember that the Antichrist is prophesied to set
himself up in
Next the second seal.
Matthew 24:6-7: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom”.
Revelation 6:3-4: “And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword”.
For brevity, I will only now list (without quoting) the corresponding verses.
Third Seal: Matthew 24:7-8; Revelation 6:5-5.
Fourth Seal: Matthew 24:9-13; Revelation 6:7-8.
Fifth Seal: Matthew 24:14-15; Revelation 6:9-10.
Sixth Seal: Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 6:12-17.
It is clear that the message is the same, whether I quote Matthew or John.
(Jesus clearly taught (when asked) that there is no marriage in Heaven [Luke 20: 27 – 35; Matthew 22: 24 - 30]. Mohammed promises carnal pleasures in the spiritual world, again contrary to what others had said before him. Why? Could one not assume that these were promised because humans were most likely to fall for these as well as the accumulation of earthly spoils taken from non-believers whom one had killed “for God”? In contrast, Jesus advises that we store up our treasures in Heaven where neither thieves, moths nor rust cannot devour them [Matthew ]. Jesus also said in Matthew 15: 9, “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”.)
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “…. It would be futile replying to a question anchored on what you read from the New Testament, which was written well after the demise of Jesus…”
Mr. Gummi wrote: “Jesus’ message was in parables that need interpretations. Jesus’ message has not all the truth, He said: ’Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come’. John 16:13. Most of the questions that were directed to him were meant to corner him rather than to educate. He therefore leaves the issues for the ‘spirit of truth’ to explain the whole truth.
I showed in the previous question that the gospel of Matthew agreed with God’s protected Revelation. Hence Mr. Mukhtar’s response is not satisfactory. Jesus always explained His parables to His disciples in private. These explanations they published in the gospels for all to understand. Jesus clearly stated in Matthew “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven”. Then in Matthew 24:35, He adds “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away”.
It is clear that the promise of celestial virgins in the spirit world is a false (though enticing) promise.
(Jesus taught that those who reject the message of the gospel should be left alone till judgment day [Matthew – 30, 37 – 43]. This was so that one does not kill anyone who, with time, would have seen the error of his ways. Mohammed says to kill them [Quran , 47:4]. Why? Never has a Prophet sent by God ever reversed anything a previous Prophet ever said. Why is Mohammed the first to do this? Isn’t it a serious offence to kill the innocent? Are you sure then that the same God sent him?)
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “Qur'an chapter 2:256 is very clear about the nature of Islam. There is no compulsion in religion. Qur’an which you quoted directs Muslims to fight those enjoying the protection of a Muslim government but were unwilling to pay taxes…”.
Gummi wrote: “….Would God allow a man to be killed for the occupation of
his homeland [
the above two statements, it is clear that Islam believes in forcible conversion,
i.e., compulsory conversion, the Quranic verse quoted notwithstanding.
The starvation till conversion being practiced by the Arabs in
the contrary, we have a recent case in
Mr. Gummi’s assertion that Muslims believe that Jesus would have started a jihad had He had help is erroneous. The God that Jesus taught His followers to worship needs no human help to wage any kind of war. For example, God told Gideon to select only 300 men out of 20,000 to go against an army of 20,000 men – so that they cannot afterwards claim that it was their strength and bravery that saved the day. Gideon with his 300 men routed the 20,000 man army. Jesus himself, at His betrayal said that if He wanted to, He could pray to the Father for 72,000 (twelve legion) angels and they would be there immediately to defend Him. He simply chose to obey the Father. In fact, when Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of the people who came to arrest Jesus, He told Peter to sheath his sword, for he who lives by the sword will die by the sword.
In addition, another difference between the God of Mohammed and that of Jesus Christ can be found in what happened in the desert. Mohammed raided caravans to feed himself and his troops. His God could not provide for him. On the contrary, when Jesus’ God told Elijah to run into the desert to escape being killed by the king, He (God) commanded the ravens to feed Elijah. The birds of the air brought him all the food he needed in a barren land. Manna was also provided for the Jews for years as they meandered in the desert. There is a difference between the two deities.
Jesus came not to abrogate the law, but to fulfill it. He did not stop
the people from stoning the adulteress. He only asked those who had no
sins to be the first to stone. Notice, like the Muslims in
For those interested in the promise of a New Covenant, read Jeremiah 31:31-33.
(The Bible predicts that this present earth will pass away [Revelation 21:1, 2nd Peter – 12]. The original stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written by God Himself are in the Ark of the Covenant, under the Temple of God in Heaven [Revelation 11:19]. These stones are the only piece of this present earth that one can deduce will survive the destruction of the earth. One can also deduce that every piece of paper, stone tablet, clay or whatever that had been used to print the Bible or Quran will melt away and be destroyed in the end. With this backdrop, does the Quran prescribe death to anyone who either intentionally or unintentionally steps on a page of the Quran, which we now know, will not stand before God in the end?)
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “I am interested in the passage of the Quran where you claimed that death is prescribed for stepping on the Qur’an. You were quick to quote a passage of the Qur’an in question 11, but refused to do the same for this question. Please answer for yourself why anyone would want to desecrate the Qur’an deliberately”.
Mr. Gummi wrote: “The Quran is the word of God, and it is not just the ink and paper that was written. Therefore any intentional desecration or humiliation of the Quran is a blasphemy against God……”
did not claim that the Quran prescribed death to anyone who desecrates
the Quran. I wanted to know if it did prescribe death. The question was
prompted by an incident in
(A person who refuses to become a Muslim is allowed to live if he pays taxes to the Muslim. Does this mean that one can buy salvation? Mohammed claims that he was given the right to intercede for people on judgment day. Does it mean that he will intercede for non-believers who paid taxes to Muslims but had rejected his message? What does this tax do for God? )
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “….tax paying was not recommended as an alternative to becoming a Muslim. Non-Muslims were allowed to practice their religion provided they pay tax to the government under whose protection they lived”.
Mr. Gummi wrote: “…they [non Muslims] should be ready to pay tributes for the protection they would be accorded by the state……there is no absolute savoir or intercessor in the hereafter except the Will of Allah…”.
Most if not all nations require the citizens to pay taxes. These taxes are non discriminatory in that everyone, regardless of religion, must pay. The two answers above suggest that in a Muslim society, protection is only accorded to non Muslims, and hence the necessity for a special tax on them. It is clearly like the Mafia protection money. Now, given the extraordinary protection accorded to people in an Islamic society, can anyone name an Islamic country in this world where the line of people that seek immigrant visas to that country goes around the block everyday? I can name a lot secular countries where even Muslims line up at to get visas to move to the secular country FROM the Islamic one.
(If good works can earn salvation and I have kept ALL the commandments of Sharia but DO NOT elevate Mohammed above Jesus, would I not be saved by my innumerable good works?)
Mr. Gummi wrote: “The message of Islam is not to elevate a prophet against another, but rather to believe in all of them from Adam to Muhammad….The Jews are condemned for rejecting Jesus as a prophet…. The Christians are also condemned for rejecting Mohammad despite all the prophesies about him in both the old and new testaments…”
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “…the two parts of being a Muslim is belief and deeds”.
I have already acknowledged that I was under the impression that Muslims elevated Mohammed above Jesus but they have said that that view is incorrect.
Having said that let me correct the misquotations of the Bible about the coming of Mohammed. Deuteronomy is the verse most quoted by Muslims to refer to the coming of Mohammed. This verse actually refers to Jesus! It says:
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like to you, and will put My words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him”.
Matthew and Luke give the genealogy of Jesus. The people acknowledged that Jesus was one of them – Mark 6:3, Matthew both of which starts by asking “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” For brevity, refer to the following verses for additional confirmation: John , Acts , Acts , and Acts . Finally, Jesus Himself says that He speaks what He hears from His Father.
Now refer to the same chapter of Deuteronomy and read verses 21-22:
“And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him.”
Every prophet sent by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob usually confirms what previous prophets have said and then add fresh information (see 2nd Kings 9:36, Daniel 9:2, Acts 13:26 – 41, etc.). What new thing did Mohammed foretell, which no other prophet before him had foretold, that has come to pass in the last 1400 years???
(On the contrary, if what is attributed to Jesus is true, i.e., that if you refuse to believe in Him there is no amount of good works that will land you in Heaven [Matthew 19: 16 – 24], are Muslims not wasting time and taking a costly risk in assuming that their good works will save them? Will there not be boasting (which is forbidden) in paradise by those who had more good works than others? Isn’t this again contrary to what other Prophets had said?)
Mr. Gummi’s response is representative and says: “Muslims believe in Jesus as sent by God…. Even to bible Good works are what elevates one in the paradise…”
In retrospect, I should have phrased the question thus: If you refuse to believe in Him as the savior no amount of good works would land you in Heaven. 1 John reads “He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life”. One cannot accept Christ and Mohammed as the way to eternal life. It is either one or the other. Both will take you somewhere. Christ now sits at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1). Nothing is mentioned as to where Mohammed sits, or is there?
(The Quran does not mention that Jesus will return to rule the world. Where did Islam get the “tradition” of teaching that Jesus will return to lead them in a fight against the unbelievers? Could such an important thing be omitted from the Quran?)
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “The Qur’an, as I mentioned above, contains all that there is the need for a Muslim to believe.”
Mr. Gummi wrote: “There is a strong Islamic tradition that Jesus would come back to fight the anti-Christ [Dajjal] as recorded in authentic narrations from the Holy prophet. But its frank and striking omission from the Quran, together with the possible interpretation of his death, made the issue controversial. Among Islamic scholars are groups that interpret the verses to accommodate his second coming and another group sees that as metaphorical. What is important is that in reality, the Christendom is already broken and the ‘true cross’ destroyed for ever by Muslim forces that fought the Crusades, which rose from the false cry by the church to pave the way in Palestine for the second coming of Christ. The church has lost power [the whole Christian world is secular] and the Christ is yet to re-surface.”
appreciate Mr. Gummi’s honesty in stating that this issue is controversial
in Islam. If he had written his additional comments 100 or even 60 years
ago (before the Jews were returned to the Promised Land and the state of
(Jesus stated emphatically “I am the way. No one can get to the Father except through me”[John 14:6]. He also said that he who is not for Him is against Him [Matthew ]. If you elevate a sinner like Mohammed above sinless Jesus, does that not mean that you are against Him? Will He spare you then when He comes back to lead God’s army against the unbelievers? Why isn’t Mohammed the one to come back and lead this army like he did before? )
Mr. Mukhtar wrote: “The very doubt about the authenticity of parts of the Bible makes whatever emanates from there dubious. One would expect such a passage as you considered very important to be everywhere in the Bible. But I just remembered that you said Jesus asked John to publish the revelation. Does that imply that other writers of the gospel were charlatans?”
Mr.Gummi wrote: “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Joh:9:5. Since Jesus is not in the world today, it is only logical that the prophet to come after him should be the light of the world….”
Mr. Ajetunmobi wrote: “This passage, to me, is extremely difficult to digest intellectually when we relate it to the issue of human salvation……The Muslim does not believe in the necessity of the shedding of blood, much less innocent blood, to wash away sins…
In conclusions therefore, Islam undoubtedly says that we possess an immaculate nature, which is inherently free from the taint of sin. In this Islam differs from Christianity. If hell is the reward of sin and Heaven is reserved for those leave this earth sinless, Islam and Christianity advance two different and contradictory propositions. Christianity says that man is born in sin, while according to Islam he is sinless at his birth. If a child therefore dies at his very birth, he must go to heaven, under Islamic teaching, but he is foredoomed to hell according to Christian principles. In other words, heaven is our birthright under Islam. We may lose it by our subsequent misdeeds. But according to Christianity we are born for hell unless reclaimed by our faith in the Blood. Similarly, sin is a heritage according to Church beliefs, but is an after-acquisition under Islam, and can be avoided.
So the sole object of Christian Revelation is to bring man out of the slough of sin up to the brink of virtue, but Islam finds man already on its banks at his birth and comes to raise him to its highest flight that will bring him near the precincts of Divinity. What a world of difference is here!”
Mr. Mukhtar’s concern was addressed in my answer to question 9.
Following Mr. Gummi’s logic, Mohammed cannot be the light of the world because he is dead and not in the world today. At least Jesus ascended to Heaven in the view of the Galilean public, which fact the Quran could not deny.
The most interesting and revealing comments are those of Mr. Ajetunmobi. Let’s discuss, albeit briefly.
No one provided any evidence that the story of the world’s first murder, recorded in Genesis 4, has been adulterated. Therefore, it is safe to use this story to refute Mr. Ajetunmobi’s point. Cain killed his brother Abel because of jealousy. His jealousy stemmed from the fact that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice of a lamb (blood sacrifice) and rejected Cain’s of produce (no blood). While clearly God has told us that He does not delight in the blood of bulls and rams (He prefers obedience), such blood sacrifice is necessary for the cleansing of sins. It is incomprehensible that God would go the level of detail contained in the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy to specify the type of sacrifice required for each type of sin if such were unnecessary. In fact, God has specifically spoken on the subject in the Torah. I quote Leviticus 17:11:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul”
Since the blood of bulls could not actually cleanse mankind’s sins, these were symbolic of the only blood that could cleanse sin – that of Jesus. Remember that when Isaac asked his father Abraham where the sacrificial lamb was (as Abraham in obedience to God prepared to sacrifice his only son by his wife), Abraham answered that God will provide a lamb for Himself. And He did. This was symbolic of Jesus, provided by God for the cleansing of sins. Jesus was crucified (lifted up) just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert so that anyone bitten by the serpents, who looked up to that Moses-made serpent, got healed. So it is that anyone who looks up to the sacrifice of God on the cross gets salvation.
David, the Psalmist, clearly states that his mother conceived him in sin
(Psalm 51:5). Hence we know that all of us are likewise. We can get an
idea of where children who die at birth go by looking at a decision God
made which illuminates this point. When, despite the mind blowing miracles
God had demonstrated before them, the children of
In Ezekiel 14:14, we find three people that God acknowledges that they were righteous – Noah, Daniel and Job. This Daniel had his better part of man cowed when he saw Jesus on the banks of River Hiddek-kel (Daniel 10:4-8); [compare Revelation -17 to convince yourself that Daniel was looking at Jesus without knowing it]. If, at the sight of Jesus Daniel stated that “…for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption. And I retained no strength”, it is inconceivable to imagine how any good deeds could raise anyone near the precincts of Divinity, for God considered Daniel righteous. I agree with Mr. Ajetunmobi, there is a world of difference between Christianity and Islam.
Taking into consideration what Muslims have written to me, I assert the following:
Ancient scrolls of the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah are among the find of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These ancient texts are older than any Quran text. The texts agreed with what is in today’s Bible. We assert that none of these three books have been corrupted.
The book of Revelation has been protected by God and is not corrupted. Its author, John was a disciple of Christ and hence an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus. We assert that his books are not corrupted.
We will use verses that are authentic, from prophets whose predictions have come true, to prove our point.
ØMoses prophesied about Jesus (Deuteronomy ).
ØProphet Isaiah prophesied that the savior will be born of a virgin (Isaiah ).
Micah prophesied that the ruler of
ØAngel Gabriel told Daniel exactly when the Messiah would come (Daniel ).
Zechariah prophesied that the King having salvation would come into
ØAngel Gabriel told Daniel that the Messiah would be cut off, but not for Himself (Daniel ). This means that the Messiah would be cut off for others!
Jesus Christ fulfilled ALL of these prophesies by several Prophets, spanning probably 1,000 years. Then He testified that it is HE who sent His Angel to reveal to John the events recorded in the book of Revelation (Revelation ). He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the First and the Last (Revelation ).
John the beloved tells us that Jesus is the word of God who was with God in the beginning, and through whom all things were made. Nothing exists that was not made by the word of God (John 1:1).
Muslims claim that the Quran is the word of God. This claim is tantamount to claiming that Jesus sent the word written in the Quran. These have been shown to contradict what He, Jesus has said everywhere else. The only logical conclusion here is that the Muslim God on the one hand, and the Christian and Jewish God on the other hand are not one and the same.
In the basin of bath water called the Bible [Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth], there is a precious baby called Jesus. Do not throw the Baby out with the bathwater.