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Faith and Disobedience

October 16, 2017 Leave a comment

It is interesting to read in the Koran similar teachings which one can find in the Bible, but expressed in a new way. I recently came across this verse in the Koran and I immediately remembered similar words in the Catholic Epistle of St. James.

Is he who is a believer like unto him who is an evil-liver? They are not alike. (Koran 32:18, Pickthall)

The Arabic word translated “an evil-liver” is translated as “defiantly disobedient” by Sahih International. Using that translation in this verse, it would read:

Is he who is a believer like unto him who is defiantly disobedient? They are not alike.

St. James said:

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26, NKJV)

Genuine faith is accompanied by good works. A true believer, therefore, is not one who practices evil. The Koran says that someone who defiantly disobeys God is not like some who believes in God. Anyone who defiantly disobeys God should not think that he will have any share in the good things God has promised those who inherit eternal life.

I went through the Koran to see how the word, “fāsiqun,” is used in other places in the Koran. Here are some things that I discovered about the defiantly disobedient. The defiantly disobedient reject God’s revelations, not just the Koran, but also the Bible.

Say, “Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel – it is [none but] he who has brought the Qur’an down upon your heart, [O Muhammad], by permission of Allah, confirming that which was before it and as guidance and good tidings for the believers.” Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael — then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers. And We have certainly revealed to you verses [which are] clear proofs, and no one would deny them except the defiantly disobedient. (Koran 2:97-99, Sahih International)

The word translated “verses” in the previous passage could be translated “revelations.” This passage is talking about the Koran. The defiantly disobedient reject the Koran. Muhammad received no new revelations (Koran 41:43) and was not an innovator among the messengers of God (Koran 46:9). Therefore, I have no problems accepting the Koran. I only have problems with interpretations of the Koran which contradict the teachings of the Bible. The Koran confirms the Bible. (Koran 5:48) It does not contradict it. It is not possible to truly accept the Koran without accepting the Bible. (Koran 4:136,150-152; 29:46)

The defiantly disobedient do not judge by what God has revealed in the Gospel.

And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient. (Koran 5:47, Sahih International)

So, someone who rejects the four Gospels in the Bible is “defiantly disobedient.” In the Sixth Surah, it teaches that those who reject God’s revelations in both the Bible and the Koran are “defiantly disobedient.”

We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Whoso believeth and doeth right, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. But as for those who deny Our revelations, torment will afflict them for that they used to disobey. (Koran 6:48,49, Pickthall)

Sahih International translated Koran 6:49 as:

But those who deny Our verses – the punishment will touch them for their defiant disobedience. (Koran 6:49, Sahih International)

The word, “messengers,” is plural indicating that those messengers who brought us God’s revelations in the Bible are included, and not just Muhammad.

Hypocrites are among the defiantly disobedient.

The hypocrites, both men and women, proceed one from another. They enjoin the wrong, and they forbid the right, and they withhold their hands (from spending for the cause of Allah). They forget Allah, so He hath forgotten them. Lo! the hypocrites, they are the transgressors. (Koran 9:67, Pickthall)

The word translated “transgressors” in this verse is usually translated “defiantly disobedient” by Sahih International.

Those who falsely accuse honorable women of having committed fornication or adultery in public are defiantly disobedient.

And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony — they indeed are evil-doers — save those who afterward repent and make amends. (For such) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 24:4,5, Pickthall)

The Arabic word translated “evil-doers” in this passage is translated “defiantly disobedient” by Sahih International. Liars are “defiantly disobedient” (Koran 5:107,108; 9:95,96) The testimony of the defiantly disobedient must be verified.

O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful. (Koran 49:6, Sahih International)

The defiantly disobedient unwillingly give to charity and are lazy in prayer.

Say, “Spend willingly or unwillingly; never will it be accepted from you. Indeed, you have been a defiantly disobedient people.” And what prevents their expenditures from being accepted from them but that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger and that they come not to prayer except while they are lazy and that they do not spend except while they are unwilling. So let not their wealth or their children impress you. Allah only intends to punish them through them in worldly life and that their souls should depart [at death] while they are disbelievers. (Koran 9:53-55, Sahih International)

The defiantly disobedient do not think about God as they go through their lives. They forget Him.

O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allah , so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient. (Koran 59:18,19, Sahih International)

The Koran teaches:

Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities — what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” (Koran 6:151, Sahih International)

Idolaters, people who mistreat their parents, people who kill their children (for example, by abortion), people who “approach immoralities” (fornication, adultery, and other sexual sins), and people who kill innocent people (for example, terrorists) are rejecting this revelation in the Koran and are, therefore, defiantly disobedient. (Notice that the doctrine of the Trinity is implied the words: “We will provide for you and them.”)

The final destination of the defiantly disobedient is Gehenna.

But as for those who defiantly disobeyed, their refuge is the Fire. Every time they wish to emerge from it, they will be returned to it while it is said to them, “Taste the punishment of the Fire which you used to deny.” And we will surely let them taste the nearer punishment short of the greater punishment that perhaps they will repent. (Koran 32:20,21, Sahih International)

And the Day those who disbelieved are exposed to the Fire [it will be said], “You exhausted your pleasures during your worldly life and enjoyed them, so this Day you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation because you were arrogant upon the earth without right and because you were defiantly disobedient.” (Koran 46:20, Sahih International)

So, those who profess faith should accept God’s revelations in the Bible and the Koran and obey those revelations. Faith without works is dead. The believer and the defiantly disobedient are not alike.

 

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Does the Koran Teach that the Bible has been Corrupted?

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

This is a short blog post. The answer to the question is no. The Koran does not teach that the Bible has been corrupted. Actually, the Koran says that we are supposed to believe the Bible and believe all of the messengers of God.

But those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, unto them Allah will give their wages; and Allah was ever Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 2:285, Pickthall)

Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us [the Koran] and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. (Koran 3:84, Pickthall)

Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah… Lo! ye are those who love them though they love you not, and ye believe in all the Scripture. (Koran 3:110,119, Pickthall)

So believe in Allah and His messengers. If ye believe and ward off (evil), yours will be a vast reward. (Koran 3:179, Pickthall)

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger [the Koran], and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime [the Bible]. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. (Koran 4:136, Pickthall)

Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom. But those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, unto them Allah will give their wages; and Allah was ever Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 4:150-152, Pickthall)

So believe in Allah and His messengers. (Koran 4:171, Pickthall)

Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us [the Koran] and that which was revealed aforetime [the Bible], and because most of you are evil-livers? (Koran 5:59, Pickthall)

If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but many of them are of evil conduct. (Koran 5:66, Pickthall)

Say O People of the Scripture! Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk. (Koran 5:68, Pickthall)

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us [the Koran] and revealed unto you [the Bible]; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender. (Koran 29:46, Pickthall)

If Muhammad accepted the Bible of Orthodox Christians in the seventh century and his followers believed and obeyed the Bible in the seventh century, then it is reasonable to believe that what existed back then was acceptable and was not “corrupted.” There are textual variants, but those variants are not serious enough apparently for Muhammad and his followers to reject the Bible. There are textual variants in the Koran, too, but many of the Islamic scholars and imams do not tell the people they teach and pastor that.

Here is an excerpt from Halley’s Bible Handbook.

There are now in existence about 4000 known manuscripts of the Bible, or parts of the Bible, made between the 2nd and 15th centuries. This seems few to us, but it is far more than the manuscripts of any other ancient writings. There is not a complete known copy of Homer earlier than A.D. 1300; nor of Herodotus earlier than A.D. 1000. (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 751, Twenty-Fourth Edition, Copyright 1965, by Halley’s Bible Handbook, Inc., Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI 49506)

Actually, anyone who refuses to believe and obey the Bible is disobeying the Koran.

The Koran says:

Naught is said unto thee (Muhammad) save what was said unto the messengers before thee. (Koran 41:43, Pickthall)

Say: “I am not an innovation among the Messengers, and I know not what shall be done with me or with you. I only follow what is revealed to me; I am only a clear warner.” (Koran 46:9, Arberry)

Muhammad received no new revelations and he was not an innovation among the messengers. The Koran confirms the Bible. It does not contradict it.

And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. (Koran 5:48, Pickthall)

I think that what has happened is that Islamic scholars have interpreted some passages in the Koran in ways that contradict what the Bible teaches. For example, Koran 4:157 says:

And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger – 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. (Koran 4:157, Pickthall)

They interpret this verse to mean that Jesus never died. Actually, this is saying that the Jews did not kill Jesus. It does not say that He did not die. The Roman soldiers nailed Him to the Cross. No one killed Him. He laid down His life voluntarily. (John 10:17,18) There are two places in the Koran that say that Jesus died. (Koran 3:55; 5:117) Most English translations do not accurately indicate what the Arabic is actually saying in those verses. The words translated “but it appeared so unto them” could be translated “but He caused Himself to appear to them.” It would be referring to His resurrection. I guess the translators adhere to the same error as those Islamic scholars.

So, because the Bible is not teaching what the Islamic scholars and imams are teaching, it must be “corrupted.”

Another contributing factor to the belief that the Bible has been corrupted is the Sunna — that massive collection of hearsay written in the ninth century, over two hundred years after Muhammad died. If someone finds something in the Sunna which contradicts the teachings of the Bible, then I guess those Islamic scholars explain the contradictions by saying that the Bible has been corrupted.

By rejecting the Bible, Muslims lessen their reward that they will receive from God (Koran 2:285; 3:179), wander far astray (Koran 4:136), and become disbelievers in the truth (Koran 4:150,151).

There is another reason why Muslims should believe and obey the Bible.

But they who deny Our revelations and scorn them — each are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein. (Koran 7:36, Pickthall)
Hell could be their abode. I hope none of them go there.

 

Categories: Islam Tags: , , ,

Prostrations Before Adam

October 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Worshiping anyone but God is clearly forbidden in both the Bible and the Koran. However, there is a curious account in the Koran about angels being told by God to prostrate themselves before Adam. This may initially appear to some as being a divinely granted license to practice idolatry, but I do not believe that that is the case. Actually, I think that this story, which occurs more than once in the Koran, is a theological statement.

First, let us look at a few passages in the Bible. In the Decalogue, it says:

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:2,3, KJV)

Having any other god in addition to God is clearly forbidden. There is only one God.

Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. (I Corinthians 8:6, NKJV)

St. John the Theologian was Jesus’ beloved disciple and the author of the Fourth Gospel. He said:

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (I John 5:21, NKJV)

The holy angels who serve God refuse to be worshiped. In the Book of Judges, the angel told Manoah:

And if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. (Judges 13:16, KJV)

In the Book of Revelation, an angel  twice forbids St. John to worship him.

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:9,10, NKJV)

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 20:8,9, NKJV)

In the Gospels, Jesus refuses to worship Satan, who is a fallen angel.

And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” (Matthew 4:9,10, NKJV. See also Luke 4:7,8.)

However, in the Koran, it says in seven places that God told the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam.

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever. (Koran 2:34, Pickthall)

And We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. (Koran 7:11, Pickthall)

When I [God the Father] have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him! (Koran 15:29, Arberry)

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis, he said: Shall I fall prostrate before that which Thou hast created of clay? (Koran 17:61, Pickthall)

And (remember) when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord’s command. Will ye choose him and his seed for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you? Calamitous is the exchange for evil-doers. (Koran 18:51, Pickthall)

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, they fell prostrate (all) save Iblis; he refused. (Koran 20:116, Pickthall)

Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I [God the Father] am about to create man from clay: when I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.” So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: not so Iblis: he was haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith. (Koran 38:71-74, Yusuf Ali)

Elsewhere in the Koran it says that the angels prostrate themselves before Allah and are not proud.

And unto Allah maketh prostration whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth of living creatures, and the angels (also) and they are not proud. (Koran 16:49, Pickthall)

It also says in the Koran:

Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. (Koran 5:72, Pickthall)

Was God ascribing Adam as a partner unto Himself? Of course not. He was making a theological statement.

In the Koran it says:

The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His Word which He conveyed [literally, cast] unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. (Koran 4:171, Pickthall)

These words from the Koran say two things about Jesus. They say that He is human. He “was only a messenger of Allah.” They also say that He is divine. He is His Word, that is, the Word of Allah.

In the Koran, it says that Muhammad accepted the Scriptures of the Jews and the Orthodox Christians.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger [the Koran], and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime [the Bible]. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. (Koran 4:136, Pickthall)

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us [the Koran] and revealed unto you [the Bible]; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender. (Koran 29:46, Pickthall)

Therefore call thou, and go straight as thou hast been commanded; do not follow their caprices. And say: ‘I believe in whatever Book God has sent down; I have been commanded to be just between you. God is our Lord and your Lord. We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; there is no argument between us and you; God shall bring us together, and unto Him is the homecoming.’ (Koran 42:15, Arberry)

Therefore, these words from St. John’s Gospel were accepted by Muhammad.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was madeAnd the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3,14, NKJV)

In St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, it says:

Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. (Hebrews 7:9,10, NKJV)

Levi was Abraham’s grandson. God commanded through Moses that the Israelites should pay tithes to the Levites — the men who were descendants of Levi. (Numbers 18:21-24) Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:18-20) So, since Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek.

Now, apply this principle to those passages in the Koran which speak about God commanding the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam. Jesus’ humanity was already in the loins of Adam from the day that he was created.

Jesus is Allah’s Word which He cast to Mary. (Koran 4:171) The Word of Allah cannot be a partner with Allah, because Allah has no partners. Therefore, the Word of Allah is Allah. (John 1:1-3)

The incarnation of Allah the Word is prophesied in the Old Testament.

This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant, and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He shew Himself upon earth, and conversed with men. (Baruch 3:35-37, KJV)

The incarnation took place when Allah cast His Word to Mary. When the angels prostrated themselves to Adam, they were making a theological statement. They were indicating that God the Word will assume His humanity from one of Adam’s descendants.

It says in the Book of Deuteronomy in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament:

And let all the angels of God worship Him. (Deuteronomy 32:43, LXX)

These words were quoted by St. Paul in Hebrews 1:6.

But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.” But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. (Hebrews 1:6-8, NKJV)

Notice in the above cited passage that God calls the Son God. Since each Person of the Trinity is God in His entirety, it is appropriate for one Person of the Trinity to call another Person God.

If one were to divide the divine essence (that is, the substance of which God consists) into infinitesimally small particles, each particle would belong to all three Persons of the Trinity. One essence, one God. The same essence, the same God.

The incarnate God, according to His assumed humanity, is a descendant of Adam and in the loins of Adam. Therefore, the angels, according to those seven passages in the Koran, prostrated themselves before Adam. The divine nature of the incarnate God came from God the Father. Jesus said that He proceeded forth and came from God. (John 8:42) The procession of the Son from the Father is called “being begotten.” This is theological language. It should not be interpreted literally. God never had sex with anyone. Jesus’ divine nature had an origin, but no beginning. His human nature has both an origin and a beginning. The two natures were joined together inseparably without division, mixture, or change into one Person. Therefore, Jesus could say to the Jews:

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 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.” (John 8:56-58, NKJV)

The Koran truly confirms whatever Scripture was before it. (Koran 5:48) The angels prostrating themselves before Adam is a theological statement that God would one day assume a human nature from one of Adam’s descendants. This already happened nine months before the birth of Jesus in about 5 B.C. (His birth was in 4 B.C.)

 

 

 

Categories: Islam Tags: , , , , , ,