Islam

2 Peter 2:1 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”

The Dome of the Rock, is a shrine that has been situated on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem since 1022 A.D.. This is not the original shrine, the first one was built by the orders of Abd al-Malik in 691 A.D. and after it collapsed, this one was built in its place.

The Foundation Stone (or Noble Rock) where the temple was built bears great significance in the Abrahamic religions as the place where God created the world as well as the first human, Adam. It is also believed to be the site where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son, and as the place where God’s divine presence is manifested more than in any other place, towards which Jews turn during prayer. The site’s great significance for Muslims derives from traditions connecting it to the creation of the world and the belief that the Night Journey of Muhammad began from the rock at the centre of the structure.

Do you know what stood at this site previously?—Solomon’s Temple.

Solomon’s Temple, built almost 1600 years prior in 957 B.C., it was the culmination of a dream that David, the first king of Israel had regarding a place for which God might dwell. Solomon was David’s son and according to the decree of the Lord, only he could build it since David had been a man of war and bloodshed.

1 Kings 6:1 “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord.”

Why is the history of the Temple mount so significant?

Knowing history is important to understanding how the world has been shaped, and why buildings like the Dome exist. Knowing truth from falsehood is often times found in looking back and knowing how a movement like Islam was founded and why so many people follow it today.

To understand a movement one needs to look at the progenitor of a movement. There is a long complex history of Islam and there is no way I could explore all the attributes of this religion in full but for the sake of understanding the basic tenets of this faith, how to address the core issues for someone who follows this path, and how to respond to Islam’s rejection of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, one needs to come to an understanding of why this faith opposes Jesus as God in the first place.

Muhammad ibn Abdullah

1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Muhammad’s claim that he received a revelation from God is the central issue of Islam. The reliability of his testimony must come into question.

When confronted with someone claiming to speak for God, there are three main possibilities we should consider. First, the person might be getting revelations from his own mind. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he is intentionally inventing things, he may sincerely believe that he is a prophet, and yet his teachings may have a purely human origin. Second, the person might be getting revelations from demonic sources. If demons exist and can influence people, a person who claims to be a prophet could be deceived by demons. Third, the revelation may actually come from God, in which case everyone should submit to it.

In the case of Islam’s prophet Muhammed, certain aspects of his “revelation” should be taken into consideration, since millions of people have committed their eternal destiny into the hands of his revelation, the question of whether it is true should be asked.

Just because a lot of people believe it doesn’t make it true.

Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”

The “Revelations”

Born in 570 A.D., Muhammad claimed to receive his revelations while isolated in a cave in 610 A.D.. When he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave and receiving his first revelation from God and these revelations eventually were formed into the Quran.

It is interesting how the revelations began to form for they resembled much of the teachings and influences that were present at that time.

Jewish monotheism had spread into many communities in Arabia, along with biblical and extra-biblical stories about Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. Peculiar teachings about Jesus and Mary that certain quasi-Christian cults believed in (e.g. Jesus speaking at birth, Jesus giving life to clay birds, Mary giving birth under a palm tree, etc.) had taken firm root in Arabia prior to the writing of the Quran. The Sabians, who are mentioned in the Qur’an, prayed at all five of the times Muslims pray during their daily prayers. Many of the polytheists of Arabia performed ablutions (ceremonial washings), prayed facing Mecca, took an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, circled the Ka’aba, and kissed a black stone that supposedly fell from heaven. All of these teachings and practices became a part of Islam, which means that Islam is exactly the sort of religion we would expect to arise in seventh century Mecca. So right from the beginning, we have good reasons to think that Islam had a merely human origin—the mind of a man deeply affected by the teachings and practices that surrounded him.

2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions”

Many of Muhammad’s revelations began to be added to or adjusted based off his lifestyle, for instance, according to the Qur’an (4:3), Muslims can marry up to four women. But we know from history that Muhammad had far more than four wives. The early Muslim historian al-Tabari says that Muhammad consummated marriages with thirteen women. We also know from references in Sahih al-Bukhari (Islam’s most trusted source on the life of Muhammad) that he had at least nine wives at one time. So if the Qur’an says that men are allowed to have no more than four wives, why did Muhammad get more? As it turns out, Muhammad received another revelation (33:50) which gave him, and him only, special moral privileges—namely, the right to marry more women. Since human beings tend to feed their desires, this looks like a very human revelation.

But 33:50 wasn’t the only morally convenient revelation Muhammad received.The prophet of Islam had an adopted son named Zaid. One day, Muhammad went to visit him and was greeted by Zaid’s wife, Zaynab, who was one of the most beautiful women in Arabia. Muhammad saw Zaynab practically naked, and Muslim sources report that his desire was aroused. When Zaynab found out that Muhammad was attracted to her, she began to despise her husband. Zayd divorced her husband and Muhammad married the former wife of his adopted son. This sort of marriage wasn’t allowed at the time, but once again, Muhammad started receiving revelations to justify his behavior (see 33:5 and 33:37). This method Muhammed used was to continue receiving “revelations” that backed up his exploits, leaving room for him to adjust his teachings that suited him.

Jeremiah 23:16 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.”

We know from the Hadiths that after his experience in the cave, he became suicidal and tried to hurl himself off a cliff. Muhammad’s wife Khadijah and her cousin Waraqah—people who weren’t with him in the cave and had no idea what he experienced—eventually persuaded him that he wasn’t possessed. Instead, he was a prophet of God. But this wasn’t Muhammad’s impression of what he encountered.

The Hadiths

Deuteronomy 4:2 “You must not add to or subtract from what I command you, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I am giving you.”

In Islamic terminology, the term hadith refers to reports of statements or actions of Muhammad, or of his tacit approval or criticism of something said or done in his presence.

In many regions of the world, the study of the Hadiths comprise a majority of Islamic teaching and belief.

First, Muslims argue that Muhammad’s miraculous scientific insights are proof that his message was from God. The obvious problem with this argument is that both the Qur’an and the Hadith are filled with scientific inaccuracies. In Sahih Al-Bukhari 547, Muhammad tells his followers that if a fly falls into their drink, they should dip the fly into the drink, because one of the fly’s wings has a disease, while the other wing has the cure for the disease. While it’s true that flies spread disease, they certainly don’t have the cures for these diseases on their wings.

The Qur’an tells us that the sun sets in a pool of murky water (18:86), and that stars are missiles that God uses to shoot demons when they try to sneak into Heaven (67:5). In Surah 27, ants talk to Solomon. In Surah 86, we learn that semen is produced between the ribs and the spine. According to several verses in the Qur’an, humans come from a clot of blood. All of these claims are scientifically false.

Second, the central argument of the Qur’an is found in Surah 2:23, which says, “If you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.” According to this verse, if a person can’t compose something similar to a chapter of the Qur’an, he must admit that the Qur’an is from God.

When we consider one of the shorter chapters of the Qur’an, it reads: “Surely We have given you Kausar, Therefore pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice. Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.”(Surah 108)

Are we supposed to believe that this chapter is so wonderful that human beings are completely incapable of producing something like it? Such a claim would be absurd. Yet this was Muhammad’s challenge.

If we were to take the challenge seriously we could apply many things to being from God. If you can’t compose music like Mozart, does this mean he was from God? If you can’t paint like Rembrandt, does this imply that he too was God given?

The preposterous declarations of Islam only further invalidates their claim to truth, they certainly don’t support them.

Jeremiah 14:14 “And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.”

Just like in Jeremiah’s day, Muhammad contrived an elaborate series of revelations 600 years after the time of Christ and claimed it was true.

God would never contradict Himself nor deny the Son of God and yet everything in the Qur’an contradicts God’s Word.

Jesus

Of all the misleading statements of Islam is how the Qur’an claims who Jesus revealed Himself to be.

Islam seems to be designed to keep people from believing in the true Gospel. The core of the Bible consists of three doctrines:

(1) Jesus is the divine Son of God

(2) Jesus died on the cross.

(3) Jesus rose from the dead.

These are the key elements of the Gospel according to the New Testament. Yet we’re also told in the New Testament that false prophets would come, and that they would try to distort this message. Muhammad taught his followers to reject all three doctrines, and this is exactly what Christians would expect if Muhammad was led by something demonic. But is there any additional evidence that Muhammad was susceptible to the influence of evil spirits?

Islam reveres Jesus as a prophet and believes Jesus will return with Muhammad in the last days, but not as God, only as a lesser prophet.

Islam also believes Jesus never proclaimed Himself to be God.

Jesus is God

The names of God are often applied to Jesus. He is called “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father” and “Immanuel” (meaning “God with us”). Elsewhere Jesus is called “The Lord (Jehovah) our Righteousness,” “God” and “Son of God.”

The Bible ascribes the characteristics of deity to Jesus Christ. He is described as eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and immutable.

Jesus Christ is equal with God the Father. He is worshiped as God. His name is assigned equal standing with God the Father in the church’s baptismal formula and in the apostolic benediction.

Christ performed works which only God can do. He is Creator. He is the upholder of all things.  He forgives sin.  He will raise the dead and execute judgment.

Jesus Christ Himself claimed deity. He taught His disciples to pray in His name. He claimed that He and the Father were one and that He was the Son of God. He claimed that to know Him was to know God, to see Him was to see God, to receive Him was to receive God, to believe Him was to believe in God and to honor Him was to honor God, while to hate Him was to hate God.

John 8:57-58 “Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

There are so many ways the Qur’an and the Hadith conflict, a young illiterate man needed a lot of help to perpetuate such a scheme and now we are witnessing the draw to Islam in spite of the historically brutal way that it began.

As believers in Christ who have a personal relationship with the Savior of the world, the most effective way to minister to Muslims is simply to share the gospel. The first 5 books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch, have been recognized by the Qur’an as holy, out of these 5 books arose the Law of God and contained within that law is the command, “You shall have no other gods before Me”. The law of the Lord, which Islam recognizes brings condemnation against all who follow Islam. Helping a muslim understand sin is a good first step in sharing the gospel.

Allah is not Yahweh, the descriptions of Allah are far from the descriptions of a personal, loving, holy God who gave His Son as a ransom for the sins of mankind. Muslims do not understand the concept of the Trinity, they think christians are polytheistic by observing the three persons of the One God. It can be very confusing for people if you jump right to the doctrine of the Trinity, it is always best to let the Lord call them out of the darkness they live under and the gospel is the means to that call.

Remember to follow closely to the Word of God and you’ll be ready to face the criticism of false religions whatever the belief, let the evidence of the Spirit of God be found in you and maybe you can help a muslim come out of a belief system that is leading them to Hell.

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