Posts Tagged ‘Sunnah’

Islamophobia or Not?

June 10, 2018 Leave a comment

I just want to give some of my thoughts here on the subject of Islamophobia. I have seen those who speak out against Islamophobia — the fear of Islam and Muslims and I have seen those who want to put all Muslims in the same box with the same label on them. In all fairness we need to look at this subject realistically.

First of all, we need to define Islam. Islam means in Arabic — submission, that is, submission to God. The Bible teaches that we should submit to God.

Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. (II Chronicles 30:8, NKJV)

Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? (Hebrews 12:9, NKJV)

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, NKJV)

So, there is nothing wrong from both a Jewish standpoint and a Christian one about the concept of submitting to God. Both Testaments of the Bible teach that.

The problem lies in what exactly constitutes this submission to God. What are the commandments of God that we are supposed to keep? Muslims are not unanimous on this subject. There are those who think like Anjem Choudary. There are those who think like DAESH (also called ISIL, ISIS, and the Islamic State group). There are those who think like other terrorist groups (Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Hezbollah, for example). The religions that these various groups practice are to them Islam. There are those who do not think those “radical Islamists.”

One can label these groups as non-Islamic, Pseudo-Islamic, or call their versions of Islam radical Islam. However, one labels them does not matter. They still exist.

Then, there is the subject of sharia. This word means different things to different Muslims because there is more than one version of sharia. To many Muslims, sharia is nothing more than an ethical code. All it is is rules concerning fasting and prayer, and how one should treat one’s fellow man. Many Muslims believe that whenever a traveler enters a predominantly Muslim country, he or she comes under the protection of the Muslims, even if that person is “an infidel.” Many Muslims believe that whenever they enter another country they come under a covenant with that country to obey its laws. (This is sharia, believe it or not.) Many Muslims believe that they should love for their neighbor what they love for themselves. (This is an Islamic version of the Golden Rule.) In contrast to these Muslims, there are still those who believe that they should try to implement their extreme version of Islam into society. They believe that the hadd punishments — the cutting off of hands, floggings, etc. — should be inflicted upon “sinners” by the state. So, they want to change the society in which they live so that these hadd punishments become the law of the land. There are verses in the Koran which say to cut off the hand of a thief and to flog fornicators and adulterers. (Koran 5:33,38; 24:2) Not all Muslims, however, interpret those verses the same way. Some interpret Koran 5:38, for example, figuratively. They think that it means to obstruct the power and resources of a thief, not to cut off his hand. So, it is not fair to say that all Muslims believe that one should cut off the hand of a thief or flog someone for fornication. There are those Muslims who believe that adulterers should be stoned to death. This belief is derived from the Sunnah — a collection of alleged sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad which were written down over 200 years after he had died. (There is no death penalty for adultery or fornication in the Koran.) There are Muslims who accept all of the hadiths (those alleged sayings and deeds of Muhammad) which are graded by the compilers as sahih (authentic). There are other Muslims who do not accept all of the sahih hadiths. They accept only the ones which do not contradict the teachings of the Koran. The Hanafi Muslims are like that. Most of the Pakistani Muslims are Hanafi Muslims. There are other Muslims who reject all of the hadiths and accept only the Koran. Those Muslims are called Koranists (or Quranists).

What I am basically trying to say here is that there is more than one version of Islam. Anyone who claims to give the Muslim interpretation of the Koran and says that all Muslims interpret the Koran that way does not know what he is talking about. Anyone who quotes from a hadith book a sahih hadith and thinks that all Muslims accept that hadith does not know what he is talking about. Still, there are those Muslims who really do accept those barbaric sahih hadiths and think that they should practice them. (I’m  not talking about the good, positive ones.)  For example, there is a sahih hadith that says that Muhammad said, “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.” They use this hadith to justify killing apostates from Islam. (There is no death penalty for apostasy in the Koran, by the way.) Then, there are all of those crazy ones about drinking camel urine as a medicine and other such things. (Maybe someone invented that hadith in order to promote his business of selling camel urine. To me, those hadiths are nothing more than hearsay and fabrications.)

To some Muslims, Islam means fasting, praying, helping others, doing good deeds, and giving to the poor. All of the “radical” stuff they reject.

I remember going to see some Muslims in their apartment once. I was trying to convert one of them to Christianity. This happened during my college days. The Muslims were from Turkey. I got nowhere with any of them. They did not believe the Bible. They kept telling me that the priests had corrupted it. (I think they are in error on that subject.) As I was leaving, I asked one of them, “Don’t y’all believe that you must cut off the heads of those who refuse to convert to Islam?” He said to me, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Another Muslim has told me the same thing on another occasion. When I started reading the Koran, I found out that the Koran actually does say that. (Koran 2:256)

Then, there is the issue of abrogation. Muslims do not agree on which verses in the Koran have been abrogated. There are some Muslims who believe that Koran 2:256 which says that “there is no compulsion in religion” has been abrogated by some later verses spoken by Muhammad while he was in Medina. Some Muslims believe that there are hadiths that abrogate verses in the Koran. Other Muslims do not believe that Koran 2:256 has been abrogated at all. There are Muslims who believe that the hadiths cannot abrogate the Koran because the Koran is the supreme standard by which everything else must be judged. The Koran, in their view, is the revelation. The hadiths are not. So, they reject hadiths that contradict the Koran and accept the ones which they think help them better get at the true meaning of the Koran.

So, the point I want to make here is that there is more than one version of Islam. Whenever someone accuses someone else of being an Islamophobe, I must question which version of Islam they are referring to. There are some versions of Islam that I think any sane Western person should fear. There are other versions that no one should fear. If someone is talking about the type of Islam that involves praying, fasting, reading the Koran, and helping the poor but none of the so-called “radical” stuff like the hadd punishments, then no one should fear that kind of Islam. On the other hand, if one is talking about the type of Islam that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi practiced or the kind practiced by the Taliban, then people should fear that kind of Islam.

What about Koranophobia? I am not Koranophobic. The Koran contains a lot of good teachings in it that we Christians would agree on. “God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Koran 13:11) God is “the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.” (Koran 7:151; 12:64, 92; 21:83) As for the verses that people like David Wood and Robert Spencer quote (Koran 3:28,85; 5:51; 9:5,29,73,111,123; 98:6), it all boils down to interpretation. Not all Muslims interpret those verses the way they do. Some Muslims unfortunately do, however.

Likewise, not all Christians interpret the Bible the same way.

So, should Western non-Muslims be Islamophobic? Well, it all depends on what you mean when you say Islam. Some versions of Islam we should fear. Other versions we should not fear. In some instances there should be Islamophobia. In other instances there should be no Islamophobia at all. That is the correct answer to this question, in my opinion.


Prophecies of Muhammad in the Bible

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

When someone reads the title of this blog post, one might think that now I am ready to say the Shahada and go join a mosque. What I see of that which is labeled as Islam today is in my view extremely unkoranic. So, no, I am still a Christian. However, I do think that the Koran has a lot of good moral and spiritual teaching in it. I also recognize that there are mathematical miracles in the Koran which lead me to believe that it is a work of divine providence. God “works all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Ephesians 1:11) Many of the English translations of the Koran are full of mistranslations which reflect the errant theology of the translators. However, there may be some prophecies about Muhammad in the Bible. Many of the ones that Islamic religious leaders cite are not prophecies about him in my opinion.

I want to make a few remarks concerning the matter of authority first. In order for someone to be recognized as a Saint in the Orthodox Church, the Church must glorify that person. No one is recognized as a Saint while he or she is alive. This process of recognition begins at a grass roots level among Christians who knew the person while he was alive. People start venerating this person and eventually the Church does an inquiry and if the hierarchs are satisfied with their findings, the person is enrolled in the list of Saints. Not everyone who is in fact a Saint is on that list. The Church also recognizes that there are people who are Saints but they are known only to God as being such. So, there are the unknown Saints.

In regards to Scripture, the formation of the canon of Holy Scripture took several hundred years after the books of the Bible were written. In the fourth century, for example, the Church in Rome rejected St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews. The Church in the East was slow to accept the Book of Revelation into the canon. There were other books that were not accepted everywhere as Holy Scripture in the second and third century — II Peter, II John, and III John, for example. It took time for the Church to adopt all of the books that we have in our Orthodox Bibles today.

One solitary individual does not have the authority to include or exclude any book into the canon of Holy Scripture. The authority comes from the Church. The Church as a whole must recognize that a book is divinely inspired. Church councils merely state what the Church as a whole says as it is being guided by God into all truth.

Although, I personally have developed an affection for reading and studying the Koran, I do not have the authority to include it into the canon of Holy Scripture.

On the other hand, I cannot predict the future. What will be the Church’s attitude toward this book in the future is a matter of speculation.

I have read that His All-Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch, has given away two copies of the Koran. I have also read that the Patriarch of Alexandria has given away one copy of the Koran. A former Patriarch of Alexandria who lived in the twentieth century has gone as far as to say that he thought that Muhammad was a prophet. I read about that in a book written by His Beatitude Kallistos Ware.

My own thoughts about Muhammad are that he was a better man than what we read about in the massive collection of hearsay called the Sunnah. I do not believe that he married a six year old girl and had sex with her when she was nine. That is a fabricated story invented by some Persians and written down by Persians in the ninth century. I do not believe that he told his followers, “Whoever  changes his religion, kill him.” That is another fabricated story written down over two hundred years after he died. I do not believe that he was a warlord. I believe that he encouraged his followers to defend themselves when they were being attacked by polytheists, but to be at peace with the polytheists if they wanted to be at peace with them. I do not believe that the Sword Verse (Koran 9:5) teaches offensive military jihad. When one reads it in context with other verses which come before and after this verse, one can see that this is talking about a seventh century battle fought in self-defense. I do not believe that the Koran teaches the heretical theology of the Arians. I believe that Muhammad was a Trinitarian monotheist.

Greek Numbers


Now, another side note about Muhammad. I have added up the values of his name in both Greek and Hebrew. There is no numerical value for h in the ancient Greek number system because that letter is represented in Greek by a diacritical mark — something like an apostrophe, only written backwards. In Greek the numerical value of his name is 526. Here is a theory about the meaning of this number. If one were to add 5 + 2 + 6, one would get 13. 13 consists of the numbers 1 and 3. One God, Three Persons. (I still have my Trinitarian bias, as you can probably see.) In Hebrew, the numerical value of his name is 137. This number consists of the numbers 1, 3, and 7. One God, Three Persons, Total Perfection. (7 symbolizes perfection.)

 So, Muhammad is not the Antichrist. His name does not add up to 666. If he was a Trinitarian monotheist like I believe he was, then he was not a heretic either.

Now, I want to look at a verse from the Koran. I am going to use Mohsin Khan’s translation first.

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e.Muhammad SAW) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16), – he commands them for Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.), he releases them from their heavy burdens (of Allah’s Covenant), and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them. So those who believe in him (Muhammad SAW), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Quran) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful. (Koran 7:157, Mohsin Khan)

If you ever want to buy a copy of the Koran, I would strongly discourage you from purchasing this Saudi funded Wahhabi translation. The man who translated it actually interpreted it according to the Wahhabi beliefs of his benefactors.

Notice that he cites Deuteronomy 18:15 as a prophecy about Muhammad. The Koran says:

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. Lo! those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way. (Koran 4:136,137, Pickthall)

The Scripture which God “hath revealed unto His messenger” is the Koran. “The Scripture which He revealed aforetime” is the Bible. In that “Scripture which God revealed aforetime,” that passage from Deuteronomy 18:15 is cited as prophecy of Jesus, not a prophecy about Muhammad. (Acts 3:20-23; 7:37) The Koran requires that we believe what we read in the Book of Acts. If we disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, God will never pardon us. (Koran 4:137) Deuteronomy 18:15 is not a prophecy about Muhammad.

Notice also that he cites John 14:16 as a prophecy about Muhammad. Let us look at these verses from John 14.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever  —  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16,17, NKJV)

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26, NKJV)

Let us plug Muhammad’s name in these verses.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that Muhammad may abide with you forever  —  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Muhammad nor knows Muhammad; but you know Muhammad, for Muhammad dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16,17, NKJV modified)

But the Helper Muhammad, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, this person Muhammad will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26, NKJV modified)

From the context of these verses, we can easily see that the Helper, the Spirit of truth, and the Holy Spirit all refer to the same Person. (The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity. He is the one who “neither begets, nor is begotten” in Koran 112.) Let us, now, plug in Muhammad again. Look at these verses from Matthew 28.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28:19,20, NKJV)

The baptismal formula is “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (I know about the passages in the Book of Acts that talk about baptism in Jesus’ name. I prefer to stick with patristic explanations of those passages — that is to say, how the Church Fathers interpreted them. That is another subject for another blog.)

So, if Muhammad is the Spirit of truth who is also called the Helper or the Holy Spirit, then Jesus told His disciples to baptize new converts in the name of the Father, Jesus, and Muhammad. Muhammad was born in the late sixth century. Jesus’ apostles lived in the first century. This seems rather ridiculous to believe this, in my opinion. (By the way, these verses are not a later addition to the Bible. They existed in the seventh century Bible that the Koran told us to believe. The Church Fathers who lived hundreds of year before Muhammad quoted these verses in their writings.)

The Koran warns us about distorting God’s revelations.

Lo! those who distort Our revelations are not hid from Us. Is he who is hurled into the Fire better, or he who cometh secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do what ye will. Lo! He is Seer of what ye do. (Koran 41:40, Pickthall)

The Islamic religious leaders who are citing those verses from Deuteronomy 18 and John 14 are doing that.

Here is another popular distortion. Many Islamic religious leaders quote these verses from St. John’s Gospel or verses like them in parallel accounts in the other three Gospels as a prophecy about Muhammad.

John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” (John 1:26,27, NKJV)

Well, in order to properly understand who it is that John was talking about, it is necessary for us look at the verses which come later in this chapter.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” (John 1:29-31, NKJV)

St. John the Baptist was talking about Jesus. Jesus is the one who is preferred before John. John 1:26,27 is not a prophecy about Muhammad.

I could go through some other so-called prophecies about Muhammad and debunk them, too, but I do not want to anger my Muslim readers any more than I already have. Instead, I want to be a bit more conciliatory and present some possible prophecies about Muhammad from the Bible. Please remember that I am only suggesting these passages as possibilities. I, as a single individual, really do not have the authority to say that they are in fact prophecies about him.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. (II Peter 1:20, NKJV)

First, let us look at a better translation of that verse from the Seventh Surah than that Wahhabi translation I quoted earlier.

Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful. (Koran 7:157, Shakir)

Some have pointed out that the Arabic word that is usually translated as “who can neither read nor write” or “illiterate” can mean Gentile. So, this Messenger is a Gentile prophet — a prophet who is neither a Jew, nor a Christian. Muhammad is a descendant of Ishmael according to Islamic history. From what I have read in the Koran, I can easily see that he lived among pagans — people who worshiped more than one god. There were also Christian heretics that he apparently encountered — Nestorians, Sabellians, Maryamites, Adoptionists, Bitheists, and Tritheists. The Koran frequently condemns these heresies. It condemns polytheism. It also condemns the unkoranic practice of rejecting the Bible.

There are some principles of interpretation that I want to present before I provide the suggested possibilities. I will first use these prophecies of Jesus and a passage from the New Testament to demonstrate how Scripture is interpreted. The prophecies about Jesus first:

But they shall serve the Lord their God; and I will raise up to them David their king. (Jeremiah 37:9, LXX; Jeremiah 30:9, Hebrew)

And I will raise up one shepherd over them, and He shall tend them, even My servant David, and He shall be their shepherd; and I the Lord will be to them a God, and David a prince in the midst of them; I the Lord have spoken it. And I will make with David a covenant of peace and I will utterly destroy evil beasts from off the land; and they shall dwell in the wilderness, and sleep in the forests. And I will settle them round about My mountain; and I will give you the rain, the rain of blessing. And the trees that are in the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her strength, and they shall dwell in the confidence of peace on their land, and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken their yoke; and I will deliver them out of the hand of those that enslaved them. And they shall no more be a spoil to the nations, and the wild beasts of the land shall no more at all devour them; and they shall dwell safely, and there shall be none to make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of peace, and they shall no more perish with hunger upon the land, and they shall no more bear the reproach of the nations. (Ezekiel 34:23-29, LXX)

And My servant David shall be a prince in the midst of them: there shall be one shepherd of them all; for they shall walk in Mine ordinances, and keep My judgments, and do them. And they shall dwell in their land, which I have given to My servant Jacob, where their fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell upon it: and David My servant shall be their prince forever. And I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will establish My sanctuary in the midst of them for ever. And My tabernacle shall be among them; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be My people. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord that sanctifies them, when My sanctuary is in the midst of them for ever. (Ezekiel 37:24-28, LXX)

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an altar, and without a priesthood, and without manifestations. And afterward shall the children of Israel return, and shall seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall be amazed at the Lord and at His goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:4,5, LXX)

In all four of these prophecies, the Christ (that is, the Messiah) is called David. David is a biological ancestor of the Christ. The prophets use the name of the Christ’s ancestor when speaking about the Christ.

Now, for the New Testament passage.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (I Peter 2:9,10, NKJV)

St. Peter called the Church “a holy nation.” Of course, the Church is not a nation in the usual sense. The Church is a spiritual nation. Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom “is not of this world.” (John 18:36) The Church is a spiritual nation that thrives in and among earthly nations. St. Paul called the Church “the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:16)

Now, let us look at this prophecy about Ishmael (Ismael in the Septuagint).

And concerning Ismael, behold, I have heard thee, and, behold, I have blessed him, and will increase him and multiply him exceedingly; twelve nations shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. (Genesis 17:20, LXX)

Although Ishmael had been cast out of Abraham’s household. God said that He has blessed him. He said that Ishmael will beget twelve nations. This prophecy about begetting twelve nations was fulfilled in this passage.

And these are the generations of Ismael the son of Abraam, whom Agar the Egyptian the hand-maid of Sarrha bore to Abraam. And these are the names of the sons of Ismael, according to the names of their generations. The firstborn of Ismael, Nabaioth, and Kedar, and Nabdeel, and Massam, and Masma, and Duma, and Masse, and Choddan, and Thaeman, and Jetur, and Naphes, and Kedma. These are the sons of Ismael, and these are their names in their tents and in their dwellings, twelve princes according to their nations. (Genesis 25:12-16, LXX)

Then, God says, “I will make him a great nation.” God promises to make Ishmael a great nation. Twice more in Genesis, God says that He will make Ishmael a great nation.

And moreover I will make the son of this bondwoman a great nation, because he is thy seed. (Genesis 21:13, LXX)

Rise up, and take the child, and hold him in thine hand, for I will make him a great nation. (Genesis 21:18, LXX)

To further understand what is being said here, we need to understand that Abraham has spiritual children — children who are not necessarily his biological children.

Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7, NKJV)

Christians, regardless of their biological ancestry, are part of the commonwealth Israel. (God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. – Genesis 32:28)

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands — that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-13, NKJV)

Jacob, therefore, has spiritual seed — children who are not necessarily his biological posterity. Understanding this principle will help one understand some possible prophecies about Muhammad in the Torah.

Here is one possible prophecy about Muhammad from the Torah. An angel appeared to Hagar, Abraham’s concubine. Hagar had only one child, Ishmael.

And the angel of the Lord said to her, I will surely multiply thy seed, and it shall not be numbered for multitude. (Genesis 16:10, LXX)

In Genesis, there are similar prophecies about God multiplying the seed of Isaac and Jacob. (Genesis 26:4,24; 28:3; 32:12; 48:4)

It is possible that Ishmael might have spiritual seed, too. So, what I am saying is this. The great nation that God promises to make Ishmael is a spiritual nation like the Church. Just as David is used prophetically to refer to Christ, Ishmael prophetically refers to Muhammad. The Muslim Ummah is the spiritual nation. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Although what a vast majority of their religious leaders are teaching is, in my opinion, heretical, still this vast, great spiritual nation exists. (There are Christians who teach heresies, too. So, we need to point the finger at ourselves as well as to the Muslims.)

The next two possible prophecies are found in the New Testament. I need to provide some more exemplary interpretations of some other passages so that we can apply those principles to the possible prophecies. First, let us look at this verse from St. Matthew’s Gospel.

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26, NKJV)

Some parallel passages are Mark 8:36 and Luke 9:25. This has a general application. People should beware of greed and covetousness. However, the Lord may have been alluding to the Antichrist who will gain the whole world and lose his soul.

“It may be that our Lord Jesus Christ was thinking ahead to Antichrist when He said, “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26) For, without a doubt, Antichrist will be the first and last human capable of gaining the whole world. And the cost of this great acquisition will be not only his own soul, but the souls of all people who side with him.” (Ultimate Things, p. 250, by Dennis E. Engleman, copyright 1995 by Dennis Eugene Engleman, published by Conciliar Press, Ben Lomond, California, ISBN 0-9622713-9-X)

Matthew 16:26 might have a more specific application in addition to the general one.

Now, for the possible prophecy. There was a man who was casting out devils in Jesus’ name, but he was not following along with the Apostles. They forbade the man and told Jesus. Jesus said:

But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side.” (Mark 9:39,40, NKJV)

There is a parallel passage in Luke 9:50. Just as Jesus could have been alluding to the Antichrist in Matthew 16:26, here, He may have been alluding to Muhammad. When the Persian polytheists were attacking the Orthodox Christians, Muhammad prophesied that the Orthodox Christians would be victorious. (Koran 30:2-5) The Orthodox Christians eventually defeated the Persians and the prophecy was fulfilled. Also, Muhammad said that the followers of Jesus will be set over those who do not believe in Jesus until the Day of Resurrection. (Koran 3:55)

So, although Muhammad did not follow along with the Orthodox Christians, he was not against them. He, therefore, was on their side.

Someone might mention here the Jizyah verse. (Koran 9:29) The jizyah appears only once in the entire Koran. There are no rules regarding how much to exact and for how long one must exact this tax. The amount was determined by a seventh century treaty with polytheists. Judging from the context of this verse, the jizyah was being exacted from polytheists who had been given the Bible and maybe a Koran, too, but did not believe in God and the Last Day. Where there is no treaty, there is no jizyah.

All of the other passages in the Koran that appear to some misinformed people to be condemning the doctrine of the Trinity are really condemning ancient Christian heresies.

Then, there is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. From this parable we can learn some more principles of interpretation.

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37, NKJV)

This parable has a general application. It tells us that we should be “Good Samaritans” and help everyone who needs help regardless of their race or religion. There is also an allegorical interpretation. The Good Samaritan in the parable is Jesus Christ. The Jews called Jesus a Samaritan. (John 8:48) Jerusalem represents Paradise. The Temple was in Jerusalem. Jericho represents Hell. After Jericho fell, Joshua said that the man who rebuilds it will cursed. (Joshua 6:26) The thieves are the demons. Jesus called the devil the thief. (John 10:10) The priest and the Levite are the religious elite. They ignore the man who had been wounded by the thieves. The man was half-dead indicating that there was still hope for his recovery. The Good Samaritan, Jesus, comes and bandages the man’s wounds (the Sacrament of Baptism; bandages = baptismal robe). He poured oil (the Sacrament of Chrismation) and wine (the Sacrament of the Eucharist) on them. Then, He placed the man in the Church. The inn represents the Church. He gave two denarii to the innkeeper. The innkeeper is the priest. The two denarii are Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. The Samaritan told the innkeeper to take care of the man. The priest is supposed to take care of the man in his church. The Samaritan told the innkeeper that he will repay him when he returns. Allegorically, this means that the priest will be rewarded at Christ’s Second Coming.

Now, here are the two other possible prophecies about Muhammad.

45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. (Matthew 24:45-47, NKJV)

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. (Luke 12:42-44, NKJV)

Notice that in Matthew 24:46 and Luke 12:43 Jesus said, “Blessed is that servant.” In Luke 12:42, Jesus asked, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward?” Jesus is talking about a particular person. Prior to saying these words in Matthew 24 and Luke 12, Jesus spoke about future events and His Second Coming. So, this parable refers to future events. The faithful and wise steward who feeds the Master’s servants is possibly Muhammad. The Master of the Household is Jesus. The return of the Master of the Household is the Second Coming of Jesus. The food that is given in due season refers to the Koran which was revealed over a period of 22 years. In this saying of Jesus, the Word of God is spoken of as being food.

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4, NKJV)

The parallel passage is Luke 4:4. Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy.

And He afflicted thee and straitened thee with hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thy fathers knew not; that He might teach thee that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God shall man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3, LXX)

In the 18th Psalm of the Septuagint, it says:

To be desired more than gold, and much precious stone: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalm 18:10, LXX; Psalm 19:10, Hebrew)

So, the Word of God is, analogously speaking, food. Muhammad gave the Koran as it was revealed to him “in due season.” Of course, the Word of God is also the Bible. The Koran says to believe the Bible. (Koran 4:136,137) It also says to study the Bible. (Koran 3:79)

Of course, we all should be faithful and wise stewards of what God has given us. So, those passages also have a general application. Does not the Koran also say that Muhammad is a good example for us to follow? (Koran 33:21)

I think that at Jesus’ Second Coming the Theotokos will sit on His right hand. (Psalm 44:9, LXX; Psalm 45:9, Hebrew) St. John the Baptist will sit on His left hand because he is the greatest man born of a woman (Matthew 11:11) except for Jesus. (John 1:26-30; 3:25-30) I think that Muhammad will be Jesus’ deputy in the same way that Joseph was Pharaoh’s deputy (Genesis 41:37-45) and in the same way that Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel ruler over all of his kingdom. (Daniel 3:48, LXX; Daniel 2:48, Hebrew) The Twelve Apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

In conclusion, many of the so-called prophecies about Muhammad are not prophecies about him at all. Nevertheless, that does not mean that there are no prophecies about him in the Bible. I have suggested some passages from the Bible as being prophecies about Muhammad. I, however, do not have the authority to unequivocally say that those are prophecies about him. As far as the Koran being included in the canon of Holy Scripture by the Church, that is for the Church to decide and not for any one particular individual. As for Muhammad’s prophethood, that has not been universally recognized by the Church. However, that does not mean that his prophethood will never be recognized by the Church. I do not believe that Muhammad taught heresies. I think that Islamic religious leaders are teaching heresies. I believe that many of the stories about Muhammad in the Sunnah are fabrications and are not true.

Sectarian Islam is Unkoranic

November 4, 2017 Leave a comment

I have watched some of Sam Gerrans’ videos on Youtube and I agree with much of what he says. I do not agree with everything that he says. He rejects the hadiths as hearsay. I do, too. He rejects Sunni Islam which has been built on that massive collection of hearsay called the Sunnah. He calls it “brand Islam.” I have identified three key problems with “brand Islam.”

Here is a video from his Youtube channel. I found it very interesting.


The only ones who say anything resembling the shahada in the Koran are the hypocrites. (Koran 63:1) A lot of the practices derived from the hadiths, for example, the manner of prayer, are innovations. (Sunni Muslims hold their hands in certain ways while praying.) The Koran says that Muhammad received no new revelations and was not an innovator among the messengers. (Koran 41:43; 46:9)

That massive collection of hearsay, called the Sunnah, is the first key problem with “brand Islam.” All of it was written down over two hundred years after Muhammad died, except for Malik’s collection of hearsay. It was written down sometime between a hundred and two hundred years after Muhammad died. Muhammad died in 632. The compiler of Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810. The compiler of Sahih Muslim was born in 815. Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are the two most important encyclopedic collections of hearsay in Sunni Islam. All of the other encyclopedias of hearsay were compiled by people who were born after 815. Read more…

Who are the Muslims and What is Islam?

July 3, 2017 Leave a comment

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (I John 2:17, NKJV)

Most people who read the title of this blog post will think that they already know the answer to this question. They would probably say, “Oh, those are the terrorists who kill innocent people.” They might say, “Oh, those are the people who practice that religion founded by Muhammad. They stone people to death for committing adultery.” They might say, “Oh, those are those people who pray five times a day and fast during Ramadan.” I, however, am going to provide a Koranic definition of Muslim and Islam in this blog post. The Koranic definition might be quite a shock to many non-Muslim readers, that is, to those readers who are not affiliated with any of the various, modern versions of Islam practiced today.

The Arabic word translated Muslim means one who submits. In the Koran, this word has a much broader meaning than the one that is typically used today.

Several of the Old Testament Saints and Prophets were called Muslims in the Koran. Noah was called a Muslim.

And recite to them the news of Noah, when he said to his people, “O my people, if my residence and my reminding of the signs of Allah has become burdensome upon you – then I have relied upon Allah. So resolve upon your plan and [call upon] your associates. Then let not your plan be obscure to you. Then carry it out upon me and do not give me respite. And if you turn away [from my advice] then no payment have I asked of you. My reward is only from Allah, and I have been commanded to be of the Muslims.” (Koran 10:71,72, Sahih International)

In Genesis, we can read about the story of Noah building an ark to save his household from the flood and how God saved him and his household from it. (Genesis 6:8-9:29) In the New Testament, it says that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness.” (II Peter 2:5) In Genesis, it says that Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8) and “walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9)

Abraham and Ishmael were called Muslims.

And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. (Koran 2:127,128, Sahih International)

No; Abraham in truth was not a Jew, neither a Christian; but he was a Muslim and one pure of faith; certainly he was never of the idolaters. (Koran 3:67, Arberry)

Many Muslims (in the modern day Islamic sense) have been circumcised. However, Noah was a Muslim before God gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. Abraham was a monotheist. He received the commandment to be circumcised. (Genesis 17:9-14) His son Ishmael was circumcised. (Genesis 17:23,25) Circumcision was a sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his offspring and a seal of the righteousness that he had as a result of his faith in God. (Genesis 17:11; Romans 4:11) The sign and seal of this covenant has been replaced by two Sacraments in the Church: baptism (Colossians 2:11,12) and chrismation. (II Corinthians 1:21,22; I John 2:20,27; Revelation 7:3; 9:4) Baptism is the sign of the New Covenant instituted by Christ. Chrismation is the seal of the New Covenant.

Abraham was righteous before God before receiving the covenant of circumcision. (Genesis 15:6)

Lot and his household were Muslims.

So We brought out whoever was in the cities of the believers. And We found not within them other than a [single] house of Muslims. (Koran 51:35,36, Sahih International)

Lot and his family left Abraham and dwelt in the plain of Jordan. (Genesis 13:8-13) The covenant of circumcision was not given to Lot. He was most likely uncircumcised. However, he was a Muslim. In the New Testament, it says that “righteous Lot” “was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.” (II Peter 2:7)

Jacob and his children were Muslims.

When his Lord said to him, “Submit”, he said “I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.” And Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], “O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims.” Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac — one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Koran 2:131-133, Sahih International)

Jacob’s son Joseph called himself a Muslim.

My Lord, You have given me [something] of sovereignty and taught me of the interpretation of dreams. Creator of the heavens and earth, You are my protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die a Muslim and join me with the righteous.” (Koran 12:101, Sahih International)

The ancient Israelites were Muslims.

And Moses said, “O my people, if you have believed in Allah, then rely upon Him, if you should be Muslims.” (Koran 10:84, Sahih International)

Pharaoh became a Muslim before he died in the Red Sea.

And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his soldiers pursued them in tyranny and enmity until, when drowning overtook him, he said, “I believe that there is no Deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of the Muslims.” (Koran 10:90, Sahih International)

King Solomon and the people he governed were Muslims.

So when she arrived, it was said [to her], “Is your throne like this?” She said, “[It is] as though it was it.” [Solomon said], “And we were given knowledge before her, and we have been Muslims [in submission to Allah]. (Koran 27:42, Sahih International)

Jesus’ disciples were Muslims.

When Jesus found unbelief on their part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the disciples: “We are Allah’s helpers: We believe in Allah, and do Thou bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Koran 3:52, Yusuf Ali)

“And behold! I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Messenger: they said, ‘We have faith, and do Thou bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims.‘” (Koran 5:111, Yusuf Ali)

Jesus said:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21, NKJV)

St. James, the brother of Jesus, said:

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, NKJV)

This concept of doing the will of God and submitting to Him is found in the New  Testament. A Muslim is one who submits to God. That is the basic meaning of the Arabic word.

There are Jews and Christians, called in the Koran “People of the Scripture,” who are Muslims and they have never heard of or read the Koran before.

Those to whom We sent the Book before this, — they do believe in this (revelation): and when it is recited to them, they say: “We believe therein, for it is the Truth from our Lord: indeed we have been Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will) from before this. (Koran 28:52,53, Yusuf Ali)

The Koran teaches that some of the Jinn are Muslims. (Koran 72:1,8,13,14) So, a Muslim does not have to be a human being.

The Koran gives some characteristics which distinguish Muslims from non-Muslims. Muslims believe in one God. They are monotheists. In the Koran, it says:

Say: “O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.” If then they turn back, say ye: “Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will).” (Koran 3:64, Yusuf Ali)

There were many different Christian sects during the time of Muhammad in the seventh century. There were Tritheists, Maryamites, Nestorians, Arians, Sabellians, Bitheists, and other heretical sects. The Trinitarian monotheists were the Orthodox Christians. The words in this verse from the Koran are directed toward one of the heretical sects who acknowledged the existence of more than one god, like the Tritheists and the Bitheists, for example.

Those who worship others in addition to the one Triune God are idolaters and not Muslims.

Nor could he order you to take the angels and prophets as lords. Would he order you to disbelief after you had been Muslims? (Koran 3:80, Sahih International)

Asking angels and deceased prophets to pray for one is not idolatry. There is no more harm in asking for their prayers than to ask for the prayers of a living human. In the 21st Surah, it says:

Say, “It is only revealed to me that your God is but one God; so will you be Muslims [in submission to Him]?” (Koran 21:108, Sahih International)

Muhammad accepted the New Testament and all of the Old Testament books of the Orthodox Christians. (The Protestants adopted a smaller Old Testament canon in the 16th century. The larger canon was used during Muhammad’s time.) This verse from the 29th Surah provides evidence that Muhammad accepted the Bible and that there were monotheistic Christians in the seventh century.

And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Koran 29:46, Sahih International)

Muslims, not only believe in the existence of only one God, but also accept the Bible of Orthodox Christians as authoritative. Here is more evidence that Muslims are people who accept the Bible.

Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Koran 2:136, Sahih International)

Say, “We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him.” (Koran 3:84, Sahih International)

You cannot guide the straying blind. You can make no one listen except those who believe in Our revelations and are Muslims. (Koran 30:53, Muhammad Sarwar)

[To whom Allah will say], “O My servants, no fear will there be concerning you this Day, nor will you grieve, [you] who believed in Our verses and were Muslims. (Koran 43:68,69, Sahih International)

Notice in Koran 43:68,69 that it God says, “My servants” and “Our verses.” This is more evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity in the Koran. One God, three Persons. All of the above cited verses also teach that Muslims accept the Koran. “We believe in that which has been revealed to us.” (Koran 29:46) “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us.” (Koran 2:136; 3:84) The revelations and verses mentioned in Koran 30:53 and Koran 43:69 include the Koran. Here is more evidence from the Koran that Muslims are those who accept the Koran.

If they will not respond to you, know that God has sent it with His knowledge and that He is the only God. Will you then become Muslims?” (Koran 11:14, Muhammad Sarwar)

One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims. (Koran 16:89, Yusuf Ali)

Say, the Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a Guide and Glad Tidings to Muslims. (Koran 16:102, Yusuf Ali)

And struggle for God as is His due, for He has chosen you, and has laid on you no impediment in your religion, being the creed of your father Abraham; He named you Muslims aforetime and in this, that the Messenger might be a witness against you, and that you might be witnesses against mankind. So perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and hold you fast to God; He is your Protector — an excellent Protector, an excellent Helper. (Koran 22:78, Arberry)

Of course, someone may already be a Muslim without ever having read the Koran. (Koran 28:52,53) Koran 22:78 says that God named people Muslims aforetime. That means that Jews and Orthodox Christians were Muslims before the revelation of the Koran.

Two Persons of the Deity are mentioned in Koran 16:102: the Holy Spirit and one other. The other Person could be either the Father or the Son. Look at these verses from St. John’s Gospel.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26, NKJV)

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. (John 15:26, NKJV)

The Helper (in some translations, the Comforter) is the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26) The Helper is also called the Spirit of truth. (John 15:26) So, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of truth are all different names for the Third Person of the Deity. Now look at this passage from the same Gospel.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-15, NKJV)

There are some imams and Islamic scholars who are teaching that the Holy Spirit is the Archangel Gabriel and the Spirit of Truth in the Gospel according to St. John is Muhammad. The Holy Spirit, also called the Spirit of Truth or the Helper, is the Third Person of the Deity. What the imams and Islamic scholars are teaching is not true.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit “will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” The Koran says that “the Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from thy Lord in truth.” (Koran 16:102)

Some other characteristics of a Muslim are that he invites others to come to God.

And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.” (Koran 41:33, Sahih International)

That above-mentioned verse also says that he does righteousness. These verses also teach that Muslims live righteously.

Indeed, for the righteous with their Lord are the Gardens of Pleasure. Then will We treat the Muslims like the criminals? (Koran 68:34,35, Sahih International)

A Muslim repents whenever he sins.

We have advised the human being to be kind to his parents; his mother bore him with hardship and delivered him while suffering a great deal of pain. The period in which his mother bore and weaned him lasted for thirty months. When he grew-up to manhood and became forty years old, he then said, “Lord, inspire me to give You thanks for the bounties You have granted to me and my parents, and to act righteously to please You. Lord, make my offspring virtuous. Lord I turn to you in repentance; I am a Muslim.” (Koran 46:15, Muhammad Sarwar)

This verse from the 33rd Surah contains more qualities of a Muslim.

For Muslim men and women, — for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise, — for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (Koran 33:35, Yusuf Ali)

Now, I will talk about what the Koran says about Islam.

Islam is derived from a tri-literal root s-l-m. Salaam means peace in Arabic, that is, the absence of conflict. Islam means submission. Islam is submission to God that results in peace with God. In the Third Surah, it says:

In the sight of God Islam is the religion. The People of the Book created differences in the matters (of religion) because of their hostility among themselves, only after knowledge had come to them. Let whoever denies the revelations of God know that the reckoning of God is swift. (Koran 3:19, Muhammad Sarwar)

One who has adopted the Koranic version of Islam has surrendered his will to do God’s will. Jesus told us we must do that. (Matthew 7:21) If we do not agree to do God’s will, then we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. The Koranic version of Islam also demands that we accept and believe all of God’s revelations — the Bible and the Koran. The Koran confirms the Bible. It does not contradict it.

To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety. (Koran 5:48, Yusuf Ali)

Muhammad did not receive any new revelations from God.

Nothing has been said to you which was not said to the Messengers who lived before you. Your Lord is certainly All-forgiving, but stern in His retribution. (Koran 41:43, Muhammad Sarwar)

Muhammad was not an innovation among the messengers of God.

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)

So, there should be no problem with a Christian accepting the Koran. There are mistranslations of the Koran. I have already demonstrated that in  previous blogs. One example is translating the Arabic word which means “three” as Trinity in Koran 4:171. Many of the non-Christian translators have rendered their interpretation of the Koran thinking that they are refuting Christians. They do not understand any of the basic doctrines of Christianity, such as the Trinity and the two natures of Christ. I accept the Koran, but not the mistranslations of it. I believe that the Koran teaches Trinitarian monotheism.

Elsewhere in the Third Surah, it says:

If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good). (Koran 3:85, Yusuf Ali)

Islam is merely submitting to the will of God like Jesus taught. Remember St. James the brother of Jesus said: “Submit to God.” (James 4:7) Jesus also said:

But why do you call Me “Lord, Lord,” and not do the things which I say? (Luke 6:46, NKJV)

Much of what one sees being practiced by modern Muslims is derived from the Sunnah — that massive collection of hearsay. Muhammad was not an innovation among the messengers. He received no new revelations. (Koran 41:43; 46:9) The Sunnah contains a lot of innovations and novel teachings. Much of the Sunnah contradicts the Bible and the Koran. I have already illustrated how it contradicts those Holy Books in previous blogs.

The religion of Islam also demands that we observe the dietary laws. There are some foods that are haraam, that is, forbidden.

Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression. This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 5:3, Shakir)

These dietary restrictions are virtually identical to those in the New Testament. (See Acts 15:28,29.) The only difference is the addition of the requirement to abstain from pork. I believe that the reason this requirement was given was so that the Muslims would not offend the Jews living in Mecca. They were obeying St. Paul’s instructions in I Corinthians 10:32,33. The first generation Muslims believed all of the Scripture. (Koran 3:119)

God makes it possible for someone to accept Islam, that is, surrender his will to do God’s will.

Whomsoever God desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam; whomsoever He desires to lead astray, He makes his breast narrow, tight, as if he were climbing to heaven. So God lays abomination upon those who believe not. (Koran 6:125, Arberry)

St. Paul said:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12,13, NKJV)

God works in us to do His will. We must cooperate with Him and submit.

So, Muslims are people who have surrendered their wills to do God’s will. They believe the Bible and the Koran. Someone can be a Muslim without ever having read the Koran though. (Koran 28:52,53) They accept the New Testament dietary laws in Acts 15:28,29. They abstain from pork if necessary in order not to offend Jews. They do righteousness and repent. They acknowledge the existence of only one God and worship and serve Him only. They invite others to come to God and submit to Him. The concept of submitting to God in order to do His will is taught in the Bible. Both the Koran and the Bible agree that those who refuse to submit to God and do His will will not inherit the Kingdom of God and enter Paradise. (Matthew 7:21; Koran 3:85) All of the novelties practiced by modern Muslims today come from the Sunnah and not from the Koran. Muhammad received no new revelations from God was not an innovation among the messengers of God. There were Muslims in Old Testament times. Noah, Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, and King Solomon are examples of Old Testament Muslims. They surrendered their wills to do God’s will. Jesus’ disciples were also Muslims. They followed Jesus’ teachings. Jesus said that we must do the will of His Father in order to inherit the Kingdom of God. They did that. (Matthew 7:21)






Was Muhammad a Pedophile?

June 30, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the often repeated attacks on Islam is the accusation that Muhammad had sexual relations with a nine year old girl. Many critics of the religion mistakenly think that this is in the Koran. Others cite sources outside of the Koran as authoritative proof that he actually did this. I want to look at this accusation rationally and provide some possible alternative explanations.

First of all, I need to clear up a misconception regarding this alleged incident. Nowhere in the Koran does it say how many wives Muhammad had. We know from Arabic grammar that he had at least three wives because Arabic nouns have singular, dual, and plural number. Respecting the nouns and most pronouns, the plural number indicates three or more. However, the Koran limits the number of wives that a man can have to four. (Koran 4:3) Muhammad claimed to follow the Koran. (Koran 6:50; 7:203; 10:15; 46:9) So, it is reasonable to assume that he had no more than four. The names of his wives are not mentioned in the Koran. The ages of his wives are not mentioned either. We do not know from reading the Koran if Muhammad had a wife named Khadijah who was fifteen years older than he. We do not know from the Koran that Muhammad married a six year old girl named Aisha and had sexual relations with her when she was nine.

So, where do these tales about the Islamic prophet’s wives come from? The answer is from the Sunnah. The Sunnah is a large collection of stories about Muhammad. Many contain alleged sayings of Muhammad. Those sayings and stories are called hadiths (in Arabic, ahadith).

Here are the hadiths that talk about Muhammad having sexual relations with a nine year old girl named Aisha.

Narrated Hisham’s father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married `Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. (Sahih al-Bukhari 3896)

Narrated `Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5133)

Narrated `Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that `Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5134)

Narrated ‘Urwa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with `Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5158)

A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old. (Sahih Muslim 1422b)

Narrated ‘A’isha: ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle married her when she was six years old, and he (the Holy Prophet) took her to his house when she was nine, and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old (Sahih Muslim 1422d)

Narrated ‘Aishah: The Messenger of Allah married me when I was seven years old. The narrator Sulaiman said: or Six years. He had intercourse with me when I was nine years old. (Sunan Abi Dawud 2121) Grade: Sahih

It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah married her when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine. (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3255) Grade: Sahih

The hadiths are graded sahih (authentic), hasan (good), or daif (weak). All of the above hadiths were graded by the compilers as sahih (authentic).

Now, before someone jumps to a conclusion, it is good to know more about these hadiths and their compilers. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810 and died in 870. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sahih Muslim was born in 815 and died in 875. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sunan Abi Dawud was born in 817 and died in 889. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sunan An-Nasa’i was born in 829 and died in 915. Muhammad died in 632. The hadith compilers based the truthfulness of the hadiths on a chain of narrators. That chain of narrators is called an isnad. The isnad appears in the Arabic text of the hadith collections but not in the English translations of those collections. It basically says something like, “So-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so said or did…” Since so much time has passed and none of these hadith compilers were alive between 632 and 810, it is impossible for them to verify the truthfulness of the isnad. They would need a time machine. To this date, no man has ever possessed a time machine. Another thing to remember is that the hadith compilers were Persians. The first Muslims were Arabs. The Arabs and the Persians fought against each other. The Persians did not like the Arabs. So, people from an ethnic group that hated the Arabs were compiling hadiths for Arab Muslims to use in their religion.

Basically then, those hadith collections are nothing more than a large collection of hearsay compiled by people who were members of an ethnic group that hated Arabs. Why should anyone believe any of those hadiths? They are simply a bunch of fabricated stories which, for all that we can really know, may very well have no basis in fact at all.

Think of an ancestor of yours who died 200 years ago. Can you produce a nine volume encyclopedia containing factual accounts of what that ancestor said and did? Can you produce six or seven different nine volume encyclopedias containing such factual accounts about that ancestor? I know that I could not do that. Use your brain then. Those hadiths are hearsay. Would any Superior Court judge in the United States admit those hadiths as evidence in court? No, of course not.

Maybe a ninth century pedophile wanted to justify his pedophilia before various religious leaders and court judges. Maybe that ninth century pedophile invented this story about the Islamic prophet to do that. Maybe the Persians wanted to make fools of the Arabs and have them marrying nine year old girls. Maybe they invented this story about Muhammad and Aisha so that they could do that. Maybe there is some truth to the hadiths regarding this matter.  Maybe Muhammad pretended to do all of that with a nine year old girl, but never really did that. Maybe he did all of that in order to hide his virtues. There are many Christians Saints who have done things to hide their virtues. Muhammad could have been doing the same thing.

Anyway, the Koran teaches that women have a choice regarding whom they marry.

And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Koran 2:228, Pickthall)

A man has the right to choose his wife and women have similar rights to men. So, they have the right to choose their husbands. A woman cannot be inherited from a deceased relative against her will.

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. (Koran 4:19, Yusuf Ali)

A divorced woman can choose whom she marries. Her next marriage is formed by an agreement between her and her next husband in kindness.

And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and cleaner. Allah knoweth; ye know not. (Koran 4:232, Pickthall)

A man who owns a slave girl is forbidden to force her into prostitution.

Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 24:33, Pickthall)

Since a slave girl can decide to preserve her chastity, her master cannot automatically expect her to become his wife or provide him with sexual favors outside of wedlock. A man may marry his slave girl, but only then with her permission. If he wants to have sexual relations with her, HE MUST MARRY HER!

And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess. Allah knoweth best (concerning) your faith. Ye (proceed) one from another; so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, they being honest, not debauched nor of loose conduct. (Koran 4:25, Pickthall)

Concerning slavery, the Koran actually encourages masters to emancipate their slaves. (Koran 2:177; 24:33; 90:12,13) Slavery existed in the seventh century among the Muslims because they lived in a non-Islamic culture that denied women the same rights as those of men. The Muslims used that institution of slavery to protect unmarried women (divorced women and widows) from prostitution. If a woman lost her husband back then, she could not go get a job at a convenience store on the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue. She was very dependent on men to help her or she would have to prostitute herself in order to survive. Remember that Arabia is a desert. People lived in the desert, not in a rainforest or subtropical environment with trees and vegetation.

As for this girl named Aisha if she really existed at all, she would have been too young to consent to marriage. She would have needed to have been older in order to make an informed decision. A young six year old girl is under the authority of her parents. She really would not have a choice if her father wanted her to marry a fifty year old man. Marriage is a choice granted to both men and women according to the Koran.

But then again, maybe that girl Aisha was nineteen and not nine when she had sexual relations with Muhammad. Maybe they both agreed to marry each other and then made love after the wedding. I really do not give much credence to that large collection of hearsay called the Sunnah anyway. So, I really do not care what those hadiths say.