Islam’s Revival ofJesus’ Teachings english islamic book pdf

Islam’s Revival ofJesus’ Teachings english islamic book pdf

Islam’s Revival of Jesus’ Teachings Twenty abandoned Biblical teachings revived by Islam Compiled by Majed S. Alrassi November 2013 1 NO DOUBT THIS LIFE IS AN EXAMINATION WHICH NEEDS YOUR FULL CONSIDERATION AS TO WHAT YOU WILL TAKE TO YOUR FINAL DESTINATION ONLY TRUE BELIEF AND GOOD DEEDS ARE YOUR WAY TO SALVATION (Muhammad Sherif) 2 Contents About the word ‘Lord’ ……………………………………………………….. 5 About the word ‘Allah’………………………………………………………. 6 Introduction …………………………………………………………………….. 7 Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus ……………………. 10 Introduction 1. Revival of the creed of Allah’s unity [of essence] 2. Revival of Allah’s supremacy in terms of His attributes and qualities 3. Revival of the doctrine of monotheism

[worship of Allah alone]

4. Revival of the creed of Jesus’ prophethood 5. Revival of the creed of Jesus’ humanness 6. Revival of the doctrine of Jesus’ ascension (negating crucifixion) 7. Revival of the prohibition of augury 8. Revival of the prohibition of witchcraft 9. Revival of the prohibition of taking interest 10.Revival of the prohibition of consuming pork 11.Revival of the prohibition of consuming blood 12.Revival of the prohibition of alcoholic drinks 3 13.Revival of the prohibition of adultery 14.Revival of ablution before prayer 15.Revival of performing prayers physically 16.Revival of compulsory charity [zakâh] 17.Revival of fasting 18.Revival of greeting with the supplication of peace 19.Revival of veiling [hijab] for women 20.Revival of polygyny 21.Revival of circumcision Conclusion Why Islam …………………………………………………………………… 54 A Final Call to reason ……………………………………………………… 58 This Is It …………………………………………………………………… 60 A Whisper …………………………………………………………………… 62 How to become a Muslim………………………………………………… 66 Conclusion… ………………………………………………………………….. 72 Bibliography ………………………………………………………………….. 73 Appendix …………………………………………………………………… 74 Glossary……….. ……………………………………………………………. 77 4 5 Honorific phrases in this book (the Exalted) Used after the mention of God/Allah to express: Glorified and Exalted is He (blessings and peace be upon him) Blessings and peace be upon him; used after mention of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Peace be upon him; used after mention of any prophet or after mention of Angel Gabriel (May Allah be pleased with him) used after mention of a male Companion of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with her) used after mention of a female Companion of the Prophet Muhammad 6 About the word ‘Lord’ The word lord in English has several related meanings. The original meaning is ‘master’ or ‘ruler’ and in this sense it is often used to refer to human beings: ‘the lord of the mansion’ or ‘Lord So-and-So’ (in the United Kingdom, for example). The word Lord with a capital L is used in the lexicon of Islam to refer to the One and Only God – Allah. In Islam, there is no ambiguity about the meaning of this word. While it is true that one may occasionally use the word lord (whether capitalized or not) to refer to a human being, in Islamic discourse the reference of this term is always clear from the context. Whereas for Christians, Hindus and other polytheists, the word Lord with a capital L may refer to Allah, to Jesus or to some imagined deity, for Muslims, there can be no plurality of meaning. Allah alone is the Lord, and the Lord is Allah – not Jesus, not Rama, not any other being. The Editor 7 About the word ‘Allah’ Although the English word ‘God’ has often been used interchangeably in this book with the word Allah, there is a difference. ‘Allah’ is the word in Arabic that is translated as ‘God’. However, ‘Allah’ has a much more precise meaning than ‘God’. ‘Allah’ is not merely an Arabic term for the word ‘god’. Instead, the root word of the word ‘Allah’ is ilâh, which means ‘a god’. There are countless numbers of made-up ‘gods’, but only One True God whose name is Allah. The word ‘Allah’ literally means ‘the worshipped’. Allah is, thus, the proper name for the only Being that is worthy of worship, the True Creator of the universe. By saying ‘Allah’, Muslims are, in essence, negating every other entity which people wrongfully worship. The name ‘Allah’ is how God Almighty has referred to Himself in the Qur’an1 , and how Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) also referred to Him. Therefore, in this work, the term ‘Allah’ will often be used in reference to this One and Only God, who is worthy of worship. 1 The Qur’an is the sacred book or scripture revealed to Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). 8 Introduction Every individual is born into a religious environment that is not in accordance with his/her choice; a child is raised to follow the religion or ideology of his/her family, society or culture. Even as a new-born, he/she is assigned either the religion of his/her family or the ideology of the state; in some countries, the child’s assigned religion is even recorded on his/her birth certificate. By the time individuals reach their teens, they have usually accepted the beliefs of their parents or their particular society, feeling that they have little choice in the matter. However, individuals often encounter, or are exposed, to various beliefs and ideologies throughout the course of their lives, leading many to question long-held beliefs, traditions or philosophical ideas. They begin to question the validity of their own beliefs. Seekers of truth often reach a point of confusion, especially upon realising that the believers of every religion, sect, ideology and philosophy claim to profess the one and only truth. A main point of confusion in the minds of the majority of Christians is the relation between the two main two religions: Christianity and Islam. 9 The bulk of Christians perceive Prophet Muhammad (salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam – blessings and peace be upon him) and the teachings he brought to be in great conflict with the teachings brought by Jesus (‘alayhi as-salâm – peace be upon him). This book and its twin Muhammad in the Bible prove to the fair reader that Jesus indicated the advent of Prophet Muhammad, and that the latter revived the teachings brought by the former. Before we delve into the book, it should be noted that when beginning one’s search the true religion, one should keep the following four things in mind: Firstly, Allah (subhânahu wa Ta‘âlâ – Glorified and Exalted is He) has given us the ability and the intellect to discover the answer to this crucial question, which is also a lifechanging decision: What is the True Religion? Secondly, Allah, the Most Compassionate, has not left us to go astray without any guidance. Indeed, He sent us prophets with scriptures to show us the right path. Thirdly, always remember the underlying reason for this search: the ever-lasting life to come depends upon finding the true religion in this life. This should be your ultimate 10 motivation, and a driving force to keep you searching until you are completely satisfied.1 Fourthly, one can only determine the true path and make a rational and correct decision if one willingly puts aside, all the emotions and prejudices, which often blind one to reality. I would like to thank those respected scholars who gave me the chance to learn and quote extensively from their books, especially Dr. Jamal Badawi, Dr. Bilal Philips, and Brother Muhammad bin Abdullah Caraballo. My small contribution is mainly a compilation of passages from their wonderful works. With this short preface, I leave you to peruse book. Kind regards Author: Majed S. Al-Rassi Mobile: 00966(0)505906761, e-mail: [email protected] 1. The Bible, in its present form, confirms that seeking the truth is the main cause for salvation. In John 8:32, it has been stated: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Muslims believe that the existing form of the Bible contains elements of the original true message, although it has been altered significantly. 11 Islam’s Revival of the Basic Teachings of Jesus1 Introduction All prophets were sent with the same message: monotheism in the worship of Allah, testifying to the supremacy of His attributes as well as the His unity of essence. However, their messages may differ in terms of legislation (Sharia), for instance, the manner of performing prayers, fasting, types of charity and so on. This depends upon each nation’s characteristics, according to Allah’s wisdom, for He knows His creatures better than they know themselves. Every prophet revived the basic beliefs that had been distorted after the departure of the preceding prophet. Islam, being the final message, revived the basic beliefs and practices of all the preceding messages, including the message of Jesus. It elaborated them so that people would find them clear and straightforward to follow. Following are some basic teachings which were established by Prophet Jesus and were revived in the message of Islam: 1 . Compiled from Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ and Caraballo, My Great Love for Jesus led Me to Islam. 12 17.1 Revival of the creed of Allah’s Unity (of essence) This fundamental teaching was taught by Jesus (peace be upon him), as quoted below, but abandoned by most Christians. It was revived by the message of Islam. All praise and thanks are for Allah for His guidance. Sixteen proofs from the Bible and rational thought regarding Allah’s Unity in His essence, negating the doctrine of the Trinity: 1. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:4) 2. Has not the One God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? (Malachi 2:15) 3. You may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after Me. I, I am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Saviour. (Isaiah 43:10-11) 4. I am the first and I am the last; besides Me there is no god. Who is like Me? (Isaiah 44:6-7, RSV)1 5. And there is no other god besides Me, a righteous God and a Saviour; there is none besides Me. Turn to Me and be saved…To Me every knee shall bow. (Isaiah 45: 21-23) 1 RSV: ‘Revised standard version’. 13 6. Now this is life eternal, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.1 (John 17:3) 7. Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only. (Matthew 4:10) 8. Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord. (Mark 12:29) 9. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.2 (1 Timothy 2:5) 10. I am the LORD, and there is no other god. I have not spoken in secret or kept My purpose hidden… I am the Lord, and I speak the truth; I make known what is right. (Isaiah 45:18-19, GNT) 11. An additional important proof from the Bible that God (Allah), Jesus (peace be upon him), and the Holy Spirit are each distinct in their essence: the Bible (the Old or New Testaments) does not state anywhere that Allah, Jesus (peace be upon him) or the Holy Spirit comprise one entity called God, or one of the three. It is a mere product of 1 This verse indicates very clearly the distinction between Allah as God and Jesus as a prophet. 2 This verse indicates clearly that God has to be worshipped alone without any mediator; also, Jesus was a human, not ‘God’. 14 man-made, illogical, philosophical thinking which people have blindly inherited from their parents and grandparents through ages and generations, without any rational assessment or validation. 12. The following biblical verses contradict the creed of the Trinity in an indirect way:  You have never heard his voice nor seen his face. (John 5:37)  No one has ever seen him. And no one can see him. (1Timothy 6:16)  No one can see me and stay alive. (Exodus 33:20) According to these biblical verses, no one can see or hear God. Yet, God is supposed to be Jesus (peace be upon him) according to Christian belief. In such a case, these verses should make no sense, because Jesus’ family, followers, the Jews, and many other contemporaries saw and heard him during his time. This means that Jesus cannot be what these verses are talking about; they must be referring to someone else: to God (Allah), the Highest, Whom no one can see or hear. 13. It is curious, too, that Jesus himself never mentioned the Trinity. He did not say anything regarding divine entities forming a trinity. If there was a trinity, he would have said 15 it very clearly to his people, because prophets came to convey the truth, not to hide it. 14. The concept that Jesus (peace be upon him) held about Allah was no different from the concept that all the other previous prophets had had. All of them preached the Unity of Allah instead of the concept of ‘Trinity’. Jesus simply repeated the monotheistic, unitarian message that had been revealed to the prophets who had come before him. 15. The doctrine of Trinity is irrational because nothing that comes out of Him or is created by Him can become His equal or partner. 16. The Qur’an rejects the concept of Trinity as strongly as it rejects the idea that Allah has a son. This is because Allah has informed us He is One. This is a fundamental tenet of all the revelations. Three, by reason and by simple arithmetic, cannot be one. The Qur’an has addressed Christians on this subject: {O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say: Three; desist – it is better for 16 you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.} (Qur’an 4: 171) Islam revived the concept of Allah’s Unity in essence, and absolutely negated the doctrine of ‘son-ship’ and the doctrine which states that Allah is Jesus (peace be upon him). Allah has said: {They have certainly disbelieved who say: Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary…} (Qur’an 5: 72) He has also said in the Holy Qur’an: {Say: He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets, nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.} (Qur’an 112: 1-4) 17.2 Revival of Allah’s Supremacy in terms of His attributes and qualities Allah has multiple and supreme attributes. He is the Most Gracious and Most Merciful. He was praised in all the revealed books and through the words of all His prophets. According to the Bible, Jesus (peace be upon him) taught that Allah is supreme in His attributes. In Matthew 19:16-17, when the man called Prophet Jesus ‘good’, saying, “Good teacher, what good 17 thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Prophet Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is God.” He denied the attribution of ‘infinite goodness’ or ‘perfect goodness’ to himself, and affirmed that this attribute belongs to Allah alone. In Isaiah (44:6-7, RSV), it has been reported that God (Allah) says, “I am the first and I am the last; besides Me there is no god. Who is like Me?” Islam effectively revived this basic concept. Numerous verses in the Qur’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) affirm that Allah:  Has no partners or equals.  Is ‘invisible’ because He is over His throne, over the heavens, and no one can see Him in this life.  Is not physically manifested or incarnated in other forms.  Is eternal; He does not die.  Begets not, nor is He begotten; He does not need anyone like a mother, a wife, or a son.  Has no partners in His Godhead.  Is self-sufficient; everyone depends upon Him and needs Him; however, He neither depends upon anyone, nor does 18 He need anything, such as food, drink, or help. For example, Allah has said in the Qur’an: {…There is nothing like unto Him…} (Qur’an 42: 11) {So do not assert similarities to Allah. Indeed, Allah knows and you do not know.} (Qur’an 16: 74) {…and for Allah is the highest attribute. And He is Exalted in Might, the Wise.} (Qur’an 16: 60) This basic part of belief (that Allah deserves the best names and attributes) has been emphasized repeatedly in the Noble Qur’an. This is evident to the reader of the Qur’an, who finds that numerous Qur’anic verses end with a reference to a divine attribute, such as {the All-Hearing, All-Seeing}, {the Most Forgiving, the All-Compassionate}, and {the Most High, the Most Great}. 17.3 Revival of the doctrine of monotheism (worship of Allah alone) As mentioned earlier, the call to the worship of Allah alone (monotheism), without any intermediary, was the message of all the prophets. Because of the persisting deviation in this doctrine, it has had to be reaffirmed by all of the prophets of Allah throughout the ages. The monotheistic message of Islam simply tells people that they should worship only Allah, and 19 should not worship anyone or anything other than Allah, in any way, shape or form. However, Christians now call upon (supplicate to) Jesus (and others) besides Allah. Moreover, they direct all types of worship to Jesus. Associating others with Allah is nothing but polytheism. Surprisingly, although the text of the Bible has been altered significantly, it still contains evidence that Jesus called others towards monotheism:  In Luke 4:8, ESV, 1 the Devil asks Jesus to worship him, promising him authority and glory of all of the kingdoms of this world, “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”  And there is no other god besides Me, a righteous God and a Saviour; there is none besides Me. Turn to Me and be saved…To Me every knee shall bow. (Isaiah 45:21-23)  Turn to me now and be saved, people all over the world! I am the only God there is. (Isaiah 45:22)  Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only. (Matthew 4:10)  In the Bible, the true God emphatically testifies: 1 ESV: ‘English standard version’. 20 I am the LORD, and there is no other god. I have not spoken in secret or kept my purpose hidden…I am the Lord, and I speak the truth; I make known what is right. (Isaiah 45:18-19, GNT) Thus, the essence of the message of Jesus was that only Allah deserves to be worshiped; the worship of anyone or anything besides Allah or along with Him is false. It is important to note that worshipping others besides God is a major alteration of Jesus’ message. The call to monotheism became distorted after his departure by later followers, beginning with Paul, who turned that pure and simple message into a complicated Trinitarian philosophy which justified the worship of Jesus, followed by the worship of Jesus’ mother, Mary, the angels and the saints. Catholics have a long list of saints to whom they turn in times of need. Worshiping others besides Allah is irrational and in vain; this is because neither the living nor the dead can answer the prayers (supplication) of humankind. The worship of Allah should not be shared with His creation because they are people just like us; they are not the creators. They are weak creatures like us; they need food, drink, shelter, and help, and after their death (or ascension in the case of Jesus) they cannot even hear the ones who call them! 21 Islam effectively revived the doctrine of monotheism. For example, Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: {They have certainly disbelieved who say: Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary, while the Messiah has said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him paradise, and his abode is the fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.} (Qur’an 5: 72) {Indeed, those you [polytheists] call upon besides Allah are slaves like you…} (Qur’an 7: 194) {…Is there a deity with Allah? High is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.} (Qur’an 27: 63) {…Is there a deity with Allah? Say: Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.} (Qur’an 27: 64) {And I did not create the jinn and humankind except to worship Me.} (Qur’an 51: 56) Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) said: <> (An authentic hadith narrated by at-Tirmidhi and Abu Dâwood) 22 Consequently, if a person claims to be a Muslim and prays to a prophet, saint, statue, or anything else, then he or she has stepped out of the bounds of Islam. Thus, according to these affirmations, all other supposed gods and deities whom people worship and call upon, like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Brahma, Shiva, Krishna, or Buddha are neither gods, nor are they manifestations of the one true God (Allah). Even if someone were to worship Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), the same punishment mentioned above would apply to him. 17.4 Revival of the creed of Jesus’ prophethood 9 proofs from the Bible of Jesus’ prophethood There are many verses in the New Testament which affirm Jesus’. 1. Now this is life eternal, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 1 (John 17:3) 2. In Matthew 21:11, the people of his time are recorded as referring to Jesus as a prophet, “And the crowds said: this is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth of Galilee.” 1 This verse indicates very clearly the distinction between God, the Deity and Jesus, the Prophet. See also John 4:34, 5:30, 7:16 & 28, 11:42, 13:16, 14:24. 23 3. In Mark, 6:4, it is stated that Jesus referred to himself as a Prophet, “And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.’” 4. In the previous verses, Jesus is referred to as having been sent as a messenger. In Matthew 10:40, Jesus was purported to have said, “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and He that receiveth him that sent me.” 5. In John 5:30, it is narrated that Jesus also said: I can do nothing on my own authority, as I hear I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me. 7. Jesus was also reported in the Gospel, according to Matthew 19:16, HNV,1 to have been referred to as ‘the teacher’, which is the role of all the prophets, “Behold, one came and said to him, ‘Good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’” 8. In Matthew 19:17, Jesus responded to the one who addressed him as “good teacher”, saying, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.” Jesus here rejects being called ‘good’, and states that only 1 HNV: ‘Hebrew names version’. 24 God is truly good; he clearly implies that he is not God. Also, Jesus here rejects being called ‘perfectly good’, because perfection belongs only to God (Allah). 10. In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus stated: Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the [way of] the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them, for I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Islam’s Revival ofJesus’ Teachings english islamic book pdf

11. Also in Matthew 5:19, Jesus Christ was reported to have insisted on strict obedience to the commandments of Allah, which is the role of any prophet: Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 17.5 Revival of the creed of Jesus’ humanness No evidence for the divinity of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Bible It should be noted that nowhere in the Gospels was Jesus reported to have called himself ‘God’ or one of three. If this 25 was the case then it would have been mentioned very clearly in the Bible at least once; this is because Jesus – like all other prophets – was sent to enlighten his people about the truth and clear up doubts, not to confuse them further. Indeed, the Bible, in its present form, points to Jesus’ humanness. 1. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)1 2. Even in some of the writings of Paul, which the Church has taken to be sacred, Jesus is referred to as a man, distinct and different from God (Allah). In 1 Timothy, 2:5, Paul writes, “For there is one God and one mediator2 between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Today, there are many modern scholars in Christianity who hold that Jesus Christ was not ‘God’. In 1977, a group of seven biblical scholars, including leading Anglican theologians and other New Testament scholars, published a book called The Myth of God Incarnate, which caused great uproar in the General Synod of the Church of England. In the preface, the editor, John Hick, wrote the following: 26 The writers of this book are convinced that another major theological development is called for in this last part of the twentieth century. The need arises from growing knowledge of Christian origins, and involves a recognition that Jesus was (as he is presented in Act 2.21) ‘a man approved by God’ for a special role within the divine purpose, and that the later conception of him as God incarnate, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity living a human life, is a mythological or poetic way of expressing his significance for us.1 It should be noted that the concept of Jesus’ humanness is not only held by the Muslims; it is also held by the Jews and other early sects of Christianity such as the Ebionites (Nazarenes), the Cerinthians, the Basilidians, and the Goths. They, too, maintained that Jesus was a beloved Prophet of God, and they have not elevated him from his rightful status. Even today, there are churches in Asia and Africa along with the Unitarian church and Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not worship Jesus as God. It is important to stress here that this is not enough to free them on the Day of Judgement unless they 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 61. 27 accept Islam, Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), and the last revelation from Allah. The truth about ‘son-ship’1 In the Bible, the expression of ‘son’ has been used to refer to many of the earlier prophets. Israel, for example, was called the ‘Son of God’ in one of the books of Moses, “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, thus saith the Lord, Israel is My son, even My first born.” (Exodus 4:22) Also, in the Psalms, the same title was given to David, “I will declare the decree: the Lord had said unto me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Psalms 2:7) Likewise, in I Chronicles, 22:10, Solomon was called the Son of God, “He shall build a house for My name: and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father and I will establish the throne of his Kingdom over Israel forever.” From the above statements and many others in the Bible, it has been established that the word ‘son’ refers to ‘nearness to God in love’. This is ascertained when we see Jesus himself saying that every man who did the will of the Father in heaven was a Son of God. Jesus was reported to have said in the following verses: 1 Compiled from Caraballo, My Great Love for Jesus Led Me to Islam. 28 “Love your enemies… that ye may be the children of your Father who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45) “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Hence, what made a man worthy of being called the ‘Son of God’ was a devout life and kind, merciful behaviour. The Bible proves that Jesus actually rejected being called ‘Son of God’: And demons also came out of many, crying, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. (Luke 4:41)1 Therefore, in view of the above, there is no justification to regard Jesus as the Son of God in an exclusive and unique meaning. When Jesus used the phrase ‘Son of God’, it meant exactly the same as it meant when it was used for Adam, Israel, David and Solomon (peace be upon them), that is, the nearest in love to God. The humanness and prophethood of Jesus (peace be upon him) is affirmed in many verses of the Qur’an to 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 50. 29 correct the grave mistake of elevating him to the status of God (Allah) or to ascribe him as the Son of God (Allah). In the Qur’an, Allah has denied having a son in nine different chapters: 2: 116, 10: 68, 11: 117, 18: 4, 19: 77, 19: 88, 19: 91-92, 21: 26, 25: 2, 39: 4, and 72: 3. As an example, He says: {And they say: The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son. You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation that they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son. There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a slave. He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting. And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone.} (Qur’an 19: 88-95) Allah has also mentioned: {The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.} (Qur’an 5: 75) 30 Clearly, the idea that Jesus was God or that he was the son of God is textually weak and logically impossible. Important notes 1. In none of Christian or Muslim scriptures, Mary claimed that she was a mother of God, or that her son was a God. As mentioned in the Qur’an, she was a pious, virtuous woman. 2. As a precautionary measure, there are many verses in the Qur’an which also confirm Prophet Muhammad’s human attributes, in order to prevent his followers from elevating him to a divine or semi-divine status, as happened in the case of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). For example, in chapter 18, Allah instructs Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) to inform the following to all those who hear his message: {Say: I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.} (Qur’an 18: 110) 17.6 Revival of the doctrine of Jesus’ ascension (negating crucifixion) Some of the changes made to Prophet Jesus’ message after his ascension are so fundamental that they strike at the very 31 root of Christianity. For example, the only two references to the ascension of Jesus that were found in the Gospels of Mark and Luke in the King James Version were removed from the Revised Standard Version, edited in 1952. Before the removal of these passages, the relevant verses read as follows: “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19, KJV) “And it came to pass; while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up to heaven.” (Luke 24:51, KJV) The relevant verse in the Gospel of Mark was removed, along with a number of other verses that immediately preceded and succeeded it, sixteen verses in total. In the 1952 Revised Standard Version, Luke 24:51 read, “While he blessed them, he parted from them.” The words ‘carried up to heaven’ had been removed.1 Islam revived the creed of Jesus’ ascension. The Qur’an confirms the earliest scriptures that inform us that Allah raised him when his enemies attempted to crucify him. He replaced 1 The verses Mark 16:9-20, as well as the words ‘carried up to heaven’ in Luke 24:51, were restored in 1971, and they are found in today’s Revised Standard Version. (Editor) 32 him with another person who resembled him, and in reality, it was this other person who was crucified. To this day, Christians believe that Jesus himself was the one who was killed. Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: {And [for] their saying: Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah. And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.} (Qur’an 4: 157-158) 17.7 Revival of the prohibition of augury1 Knowledge of what is going to happen in the future is a unique attribute of Allah alone. No one knows what will happen in the near or distant future except Him. Using augury and witchcraft is prohibited in the revealed scriptures because the one who does it tries to raises him or herself to the level of Allah in terms of assuming one of His divine attributes. 1 Augury has many meanings, some of which are prognostication, prophecy, and divination. Of course, prophecy is a gift that Allah gave to the prophets alone. 33 Forecasting the weather is not considered as part of augury and witchcraft; this is because weather forecasters depend upon physical measures and mathematical calculations. This is unlike augury and witchcraft, where a person claims that he or she knows what is going to happen in the future, just like Allah. Indeed, He alone is All-Knowing. Jesus prohibited augury and witchcraft. In Leviticus 19:26, “you shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not practice augury or witchcraft.” Islam revived this doctrine, which says that Allah alone knows the future. Allah has mentioned: {…The unseen is only for Allah [to administer]…} (Qur’an 10: 20) He has also clarified: {Say: None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected.} (Qur’an 27: 65) Based on this, Islam strictly prohibits consulting fortunetellers, clairvoyants, and the like. Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) said: 34 <> (Bukhari and Abu Dâwood) 17.8 Revival of the prohibition of witchcraft Referring to the Old Testament quotation above (Leviticus 19:26), witchcraft is prohibited in the teachings of Moses (peace be upon him), Jesus (peace be upon him), and all the prophets. The reason behind it is that sorcerers and practitioners of the occult seek satanic assistance to do their magic, which is against the teachings of all the prophets. Islam revived the prohibition of witchcraft. <> (Bukhari and Muslim) Revival of the prohibition of harmful practices Without doubt, the doctrinal teachings about the nature of Allah and Jesus were revived by the religion of Islam. At the same time, some of the prohibitions related to practices harmful 35 to the individual and/or to society, which Jesus and the earlier prophets had taught people, were revived as well. 17.9 Revival of the prohibition of taking interest Upholding the law, Prophet Jesus opposed giving or taking of interest because the texts of the Old Testament expressly forbade interest. It is recorded in Deuteronomy 23:19 that: You shall not lend upon interest to your brother, interest on money, interest upon victuals, interest on anything that is lent for interest.1 Islam revived the teaching of Jesus regarding the prohibition of interest: {O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.} (Qur’an 2: 278) There is great wisdom in the prohibition of interest. Firstly, the one who earns income through interest does so without working for it; in contrast, Islam strongly encourages one to work for one’s living. Secondly, the one who borrows does so due to a lack of financial resources; however, the debt (because of interest) creates an even greater burden as the borrower must 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 93. 36 repay the principle coupled with hefty interest charges. Thirdly, a system based on interest can lead to inflation, recession and even a complete collapse of financial markets, as we are witnessing in our time. Many nations in both the developed and developing world have become enslaved by the system of usury and interest. It is undisputed that the 2008-2009 world economic downturn (and possible collapse of many world economies), which started in the United States and spread to Europe and Asia, was caused directly by excessive lending in amounts several times over the actual worth of the assets in loans; this spread the interest charges over many resold loans, resulting in an exaggerated and unrealistic inflation of the value of the actual money lent. This false representation of reality meant that it would be impossible for most debtors to pay back such loans. God, the Almighty, forbade usury in three places in the Qur’an (2: 275-278; 3: 130; and 4: 161). {Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say: Trade is [just] like interest. But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah. But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] – 37 those are the companions of the fire; they will abide eternally therein.} (Qur’an 2: 275) In Islam, the distinction between legitimate (allowed) practices versus the forbidden ones is very clear. Islam permits loans and the borrowing of money, but without interest charges. In fact, it is highly encouraged in the Qur’an to forgive a debt in order to remove the hardship from the one who has borrowed, especially if he or she is in financial difficulties; Allah has promised a great reward for the one who is able to make this sacrifice. Muslims who abide by these rules consequently never suffer negative repercussions. However, when human beings do disobey God Almighty they are engulfed by disastrous results. These may come in the form of health threats, financial collapse, break-up of the social fabric, and much more. So it is clear that Islam warns people about many serious ailments afflicting our societies in this day and age; it is equally clear that these ailments are recognized by the world community as harmful. This is a powerful sign that Islam is the true religion and that Allah (Hallowed is He) is the true God, the One only Divine Lord and saviour.

Islam’s Revival ofJesus’ Teachings english islamic book pdf

17.10 Revival of the prohibition of consuming pork 38 Jesus did not eat pork. He followed the laws of Moses and he did not eat pork at all. Leviticus 11:7-8 says: And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch, they are unclean to you.1 Nevertheless, most Christians today eat pork. Islam revived the prohibition of consuming the meat of the pig. In the Qur’an, Allah has mentioned: {He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.} (Qur’an 2: 173) 17.11 Revival of the prohibition of consuming blood Jesus also did not eat anything containing blood, nor did he consume blood itself. God (Allah) is recorded as having instructed Prophet Moses in the Torah, Deuteronomy 12:16, “Only you shall not eat the blood, you shall pour it upon the 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 83. 39 earth like water,” and in Leviticus 19:26, “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not practice augury or witchcraft.”1 This prohibition has been revived in many verses of the Qur’an, one of which mentions: {Say: I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine – for indeed, it is impure…}2 (Qur’an 6: 145) 17.12 Revival of the prohibition of alcoholic drinks Jesus abstained from alcoholic drinks according to the instructions recorded in Numbers 6:1-4: And the Lord said to Moses, say to the people of Israel, when either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of the Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, he shall drink no vinegar 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 84. 2 (Qur’an 2: 173) (mentioned earlier) prohibits the meat of the pig (pork, ham, et cetera) as well as the blood of any animal that is lawful to eat. Blood must be drained from the slaughtered animal before preparing the meat for food. 40 made from wine or strong drink, and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes fresh or dried. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is a product of the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.1 Islam revived the prohibition of intoxicants irrevocably. In the Qur’an, Allah has mentioned: {O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.} (Qur’an 5: 90) 17.13 Revival of the prohibition of adultery The Bible has addressed adultery in Matthew 5:27-30, NIV, where it is said: You have heard that it was said: Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 85-86. 41 right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Islam revived the prohibition of adultery by considering fornication to be amongst the strictly forbidden acts. Allah, the Most High, has mentioned in the Qur’an: {And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty.} (Qur’an 25: 68) Allah has also mentioned: {And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.} (Qur’an 17: 32) As a precaution from adultery and fornication, all acts which might lead to it are also prohibited. Islam has, thus, strictly forbidden men from being alone with non-mahram women,1 mixing with them freely, or even shaking hands with them. At the same time, it encourages men and women to dress modestly and to speak with a firm, business-like voice that is not enticing, when dealing with men. 1 mahram: Women with whom marriage is not permitted, for example, one’s sister or one’s mother. Non-mahram women are those with whom marriage is permitted. 42 At this point, one may inquire about the wisdom behind the prohibition of adultery. The answer is that intimate relationships outside the sacred bond of marriage lead to numerous harmful effects. Some of these include diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and children who are looked down upon in society and considered to be without a lineage. Moreover, pre-marital and extra-marital relationships are destructive to the family system, which is so precious in Islam. Revival of various beneficial practices Along with the doctrinal teachings about the nature of Allah and Jesus that were revived by the religion of Islam, some of the detailed practices pertaining to everyday life which Jesus and the earlier prophets had taught by example were revived as well. To continue our list, following are a few examples of those teachings. 17.14 Revival of ablution before prayer The significance of ablution is evident when we recall that it is a form of preparation for prayer, whereby worshippers cleanse themselves before they stand before Allah, the Creator. Jesus used to wash his limbs before performing the prayer, according to the teachings of the Old Testament. Moses and Aaron have been recorded as doing the same in Exodus 40:30- 32, RSV: 43 And he set the laver between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet…as the LORD commanded Moses.1 Islam revived ablution Islam revived ablution for prayer in the Qur’an, which has instructed: {O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles…} (Qur’an 5: 6) Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) taught his followers (by his statements and his example) that ablution includes washing the hands, rinsing the mouth, washing the face, washing the arms, wiping the head, and finally washing the feet. 17.15 Revival of performing prayers physically Jesus performed his prayers physically, not just through supplication. In Mark 14:32, it is stated, “And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he [Jesus] said to his 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 86-87. 44 disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray,’” and in Luke 5:16, “But he withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.” Islam revived prayers as a main act of worship. Allah has instructed believers to perform prayers in numerous Qur’anic verses, for example: {And establish prayer and give zakâh and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].} (Qur’an 2: 43) Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) taught his followers (through words and actions) that performing prayers includes standing up, bowing down and prostrating. Interestingly, the manner of performing prayer in Islam is more in line with what Jesus taught than with what Christians do today. According to Isaiah (45:23, RSV), God is reported to have said: “To Me every knee shall bow.” Jesus is described in the Gospels as prostrating during prayer. The method of prostration in prayer followed by Jesus was not of his own making. It was the mode of prayer of the prophets before him. In the Old Testament, Genesis 17:3, Prophet Abraham is recorded to have fallen on his face in prayer; in Numbers 16:22 and 20:6, both Moses and Aaron are recorded to have fallen on their faces in worship; in Joshua 5:14 & 7:6, Joshua fell on his face to the earth 45 in worship; in I Kings 18:42, Elijah bowed down on the ground and put his face between his knees. This was the way of the prophets.1 “Christians today kneel down, clasping their hands, in a posture which cannot be ascribed to Jesus or others.”2 In many of his statements, Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) taught his followers the manner of prayer, including bowing down and prostrating to Allah. 17.16 Revival of compulsory charity (zakâh) Jesus (peace be upon him) confirmed the institution of compulsory charity known as ‘the tithe (tenth)’, which was required from the annual harvest. “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed, which comes forth from the field year by year.” (Deuteronomy 14:22)3 The Qur’an is a revival of Jesus’ teachings. It teaches Muslims to pay charity at the time of harvest. Allah has mentioned: 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 87-88. 2 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 87. 3 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 91. 46 {And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakâh] on the day of its harvest.1 And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.} (Qur’an 6: 141) The system of charity is well-organized; it provides different rates for cash, precious metals, various trade goods, agricultural products and cattle.2 The purpose of charity is very well-defined; it is to provide social support to the needy people in the community and not to provide comfortable living for priests.3 The categories of those who are eligible to receive such charity have also been clearly defined in the Qur’an; see chapter 9, verse 60. 1 The due is one-tenth if the field is naturally irrigated and onetwentieth if it is artificially irrigated. This obligatory charity is levied on other material resources, like trade and livestock, as well. 2 For example, the amount of zakâh for cash after one year has passed on it (intact) is 2.5%. 3 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 92. 47 In Islam, although the zakâh is obligatory, voluntary charity is highly promoted and encouraged. Often, Muslims voluntarily give far more from their wealth than the obligatory minimum amount. They do so because charity that is based on sincere intentions promises great rewards for the donor from Allah. In the history of Islam, there are many accounts of people who gave their entire wealth to the poor, seeking Allah’s pleasure through this remarkable act of charity. 17.17 Revival of fasting According to the Gospels, Jesus fasted for forty days. Matthew 4:2 says: And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry.1 This was in accordance with the practice of the earlier prophets. Moses is also recorded in Exodus 34:28 to have fasted. It says: And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights, he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.2 1 See also Matthew 6:16 & 17:21. 2 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 92. 48 The Qur’an is a revival of many of the teachings of Jesus and Moses. It teaches the believers to fast during the month of Ramadan. Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an that fasting is enjoined on the Muslims as it was enjoined on previous nations. {O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.} (Qur’an 2: 183) In addition, Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) affirmed that Prophet David used to fast regularly; he said: <> (Bukhari and Muslim) 17.18 Revival of greeting with the supplication of peace According to Dr. Bilal Philips, Jesus greeted his followers by saying, “Peace be with you.” This greeting was the same as that mentioned in the books of the Old Testament. In 1st Samuel 25:6, Prophet David instructed emissaries whom he sent 1 This refers to voluntary fasting, not the obligatory fasting prescribed during the month of Ramadan. 49 to Nabal, “And thus you shall salute him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.’”1 Islam is a religion of peace and respect for others. It revived this noble moral teaching. The Qur’an instructs all those who enter homes to give the greetings of peace; Allah has instructed the believers to greet each other with peace as well. Consider the following verse: {And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say: Peace be upon you….} (Qur’an 6: 54)2 Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) also taught his followers to say this greeting whenever they met each other. The greeting of peace extends even to the heavens as the angels will greet those who enter paradise with the same greeting of peace. 17.19 Revival of veiling (hijab) 3 for women The women around Jesus veiled themselves according to the practice of women around the earlier prophets. 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 90. 2 As mentioned in Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 90-91. 3 In cases where we have chosen to retain the Arabic, the transliterated word or phrase is shown in italics the first time it appears in the text. 50 Their garments were loose and covered their bodies completely, and they wore scarves which covered their hair. In Genesis 24:64-65: And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel, and said to the servant: who is the man yonder, walking in the field to meet us? The servant said: It is my master. So she took her veil and covered herself. 1 Islam encourages decency. Muslim women are instructed to cover their bodies and wear veils that cover their heads and chests. Allah has mentioned: {And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment…} (Qur’an 24: 31) The wisdom behind veiling is explained in chapter 33, verse 59, where the Qur’an states that it protects women from possible social harm.2 In addition, veiling discourages males from approaching females with dishonourable intentions. 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 88. 2 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 89-90. 51 In today’s society, disregard for the hijab has led to the objectification of women, whereby they are used as commodities from which to acquire pleasure and then discarded without a second thought. It is no surprise then that many companies use women as advertising props to entice customers into purchasing their products. The fact remains that even in the eyes of those who use women as objects, only those who keep themselves veiled and hidden from the public eye are regarded as modest. 17.20 Revival of polygyny There is no record of Prophet Jesus opposing polygyny. There are a number of examples of polygamous marriages among the prophets recorded in the Old Testament. Prophet Abraham had two wives, according to Genesis 16:3, RSV: So after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. So did Prophet David (peace be upon him), according to the first book of Samuel 27:3, “…and David with his two wives, Ahin’o-am of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow.” In 1 Kings 11:3, Solomon is said to have, “…had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines.” 52 According to 2nd Chronicles 11:21, Solomon’s son, Rehobo’am, had a number of wives. The Old Testament even specified laws regarding the division of inheritance in polygamous circumstances, which indicates that the practice was a normal one in society. (See Deuteronomy 21:15-16)1 Islam revived this practice of the earlier prophets, but imposed stringent restrictions on polygyny. It permits marriage to up to four women with strict conditions stipulating justice and equal treatment among one’s wives as the basic condition for polygyny. In the Qur’an, Allah has stated: {…marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses…} (Qur’an 4: 3) The only restriction on polygamy (polygyny) recorded in earlier scriptural teaching was the ban on taking a wife’s sister as a rival wife in Leviticus 18:18.2 This law is applied in Islam as well, as is stated in (Qur’an 4: 23). 17.21 Revival of circumcision Jesus was circumcised. According to Luke 2:21: 1 Source: Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 94. 2 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 95. 53 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. According to the Old Testament, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), who was himself neither a Jew nor a Christian, was the first to be circumcised. In Genesis 17:9-12, RSV, it is written: And God said to Abraham: As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. However, today most Christians are not circumcised because of a rationale introduced by Paul, who claimed that circumcision was the circumcision of the heart. In his letter to the Romans 2:29, he wrote, “He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spirited and not literal.” In his letter to the Galatians 5:2, he wrote, “Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be 54 of no advantage to you.” This was Paul’s false interpretation. Jesus was not circumcised in the heart nor did he say anything about circumcision of the heart, he kept the “everlasting covenant” and was circumcised in the flesh.”1 Islam revives circumcision. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) said: <> (Recorded by Bukhari, Muslim and others) 1 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 81-82. 55 Why Islam? Every person should revert to Islam because it is the birthright of every person and the original print on every human soul when he or she was born. Every person should revert to Islam because Allah has sealed and superseded all previous messages with Islam. Allah has mentioned to all people in the Qur’an: {…This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion…} (Qur’an 5: 3) Every person should revert to Islam because people in every age must worship their Lord (Allah) according to the law prescribed by Him as revealed to His Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). The tribes of Israel, for example, were ordered to worship Allah according to the Law of Moses. When Prophet Jesus was sent to them, they were ordered to worship Allah according to what was prescribed in the Gospel. Then when Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) with the message of Islam to all people, it became incumbent on all people, the tribes of Israel and all others, to enter Islam. 56 After all, what could be more serious than the rejection of the religion which the Creator and Sustainer of everything has enjoined upon all people? Indeed, this is the greatest injustice committed by human beings. It is sad but true that if a person dies in this state, he or she will be punished and cast into the hellfire to live there for eternity. This concept has been emphasized hundreds of times in the Qur’an and in the statements of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: {And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the hereafter, will be among the losers.} (Qur’an 3: 85) Also, Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) said: <> (Muslim) Note that Allah was reported to have said in the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18, “If anyone does not listen to My words that the prophet speaks in My name, I Myself will call him to account.” (Deuteronomy 18:19) Having proved that the prophet referred to here is Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), this means that 57 whoever believes in the Bible must believe in this prophet and in what this prophet says; else, he or she will be called to account for that. After the realization of who this prophet is, it follows logically that one must adhere to his teachings. There are those who may not accept Islam because they think that becoming a Muslim means to turn one’s back on all previous prophets sent by Allah. This is a false concept because of the following: Firstly, belief in all messengers of Allah is a pillar of Islamic faith and hence, no Muslim is a believing Muslim if he or she does not believe in Jesus, Moses or any other prophet. Secondly, belief in the messengers is a part of what each messenger taught (that is, every prophet called his people to believe in the next prophet who comes after him and follow him whenever he appears). So, rejecting a prophet amounts to rejecting the predecessor. Thirdly, rejecting any messenger amounts to the rejection of the One Who sent him: Allah. Fourthly, Islam promises the followers of previous faiths great rewards if they add belief in Islam to belief in their previous faith. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said: 58 <> (Bukhari) The first reward is for believing in his or her faith before he or she knew about Islam; the second reward is for recognizing the truth and believing in Islam. Hence, the Islamic perspective on the relationship between the messengers is like the relationship between the links in a chain; rejecting one of them amounts to rejecting all of them. Therefore, becoming a Muslim means having the honour of believing in all the prophets who came before Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) and not turning one’s back on any previous prophets. Finally, we have to accept Islam because Islam has revived the eternal divine teachings that had been either forgotten or distorted in the previous messages. Islam retains and maintains the practical teachings mentioned in the previous scriptures that are part of the birthright of all people till the end of this world. 59 A final call to reason A concluding suggestion: consider what everyone has in common. Come, let us reason together: {Say: O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah. But if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].} (Qur’an 3: 64) {People of the Scripture} is the respectful title given to the Jews and the Christians in the Noble Qur’an. Muslims are being commanded to invite them with noble and respectful words: O People of the Book, O learned people, O people who claim to be the recipients of Divine revelation of a holy scripture, let us gather onto a common platform: that we worship none but Allah, because none but Him is worthy of worship, because He is our Lord and Cherisher, our Sustainer and Evolver, worthy of all praise, prayer and devotion. These truths are basic and an integral part of any human being’s intellect. Sort through the layers of indoctrination which hide this simple fact, and one will be able to see that deep 60 down, every human being retains the simple and obvious concept of Allah. In essence, every human being agrees that there is only One God worthy of worship, One God who is free of partners, helpers, or anything that is ascribed to Him falsely. 61 This is it In this book, you have been shown the right path, and Allah has given you the ability to distinguish right from wrong; He has also given you the freedom of choice as to whether or not to accept the message of Islam. If you accept His call, you will be warmly welcomed into paradise. If you reject it, you will end up with the biggest loss ever imagined: the loss of paradise and the guarantee of abiding in hellfire for all eternity. Take a moment to comprehend what eternity really means. It is a very frightening realization. To those who have been faithful Christians, you are warmly welcome to embrace Islam because:  Jesus asked his followers to follow Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) whenever he appeared;1  When Jesus comes back before the end of this world, he will follow Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) and abide by his teachings.2 1 See for more discussion: ‘Who Deserves to be Worshipped?’, Chapter: ‘The Amazing Prophecies of Muhammad in the Bible. See Appendix. 2 See for more discussion: ‘Who Deserves to be Worshipped?’, Chapter: ’11 facts about Jesus’. See Appendix. 62 Yes, since Jesus called his true followers to follow it while he was on the earth, and will follow Islam when he comes back, all faithful Christian should follow Islam as well. To those who have been believing Jews, remember that Abraham and Moses surrendered themselves completely to their Lord, whether they called Him Elohenu, God, or Allah. All pride in ethnicity or ancestry is vain: what will matter in the end is your individual relationship with your Creator. This means total submission – Islam. To those of other faiths or who, until now, did not feel that they had any faith at all, consider this message now, without any reluctance or hesitation, before it is too late; before death overtakes you. It can be soon. Who knows? 63 A Whisper Some people are not able to find the truth because of their blind commitment to their beliefs. Their tenacious adherence is usually not based on an intellectual understanding of the teachings, but on powerful cultural and emotional influences. Because they were brought up in a particular family or society, they firmly cling to the beliefs of that group, believing that they are upholding the truth. There are others who are convinced about the religion of Islam and are mentally ready to embrace it. However, when they come to the point when they remember the drastic change in their lives which might not please their families and communities, they tend to go back and change their minds about the decision. Here is a whisper in their ears: Irrespective of the amount of money, prestige, position, and power an unbeliever might have possessed in this life, he or she will never have enough to buy his or her entrance into paradise. In the hereafter, the poorest from among the inhabitants of earth, who had testified to the truth of Islam, will be far happier and more dignified than the richest person who did not accept the message of Islam. 64 Rejecting Allah’s message is the biggest sin that one can commit. For this reason, while the soul of an unbeliever is still in his or her body, the wise individual should quickly utilize the occasion: he or she is still alive to accept Allah’s message before it is too late. The time for repentance is limited. Once death arrives, it is no longer possible to obtain forgiveness.1 Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: {[For such is the state of the disbelievers], until, when death comes to one of them, he says: My Lord, send me back that I might do righteousness in that which I left behind. No! It is only a word he is saying…}2 (Qur’an 23: 99-100) Religion is, without question, the most important aspect of a person’s life as it impacts whether or not a person is rightly guided; it follows, therefore, that choosing the true faith is the most important personal decision one must make; this decision needs to be based on clarity and total conviction. When it comes to matters of religion and creed, nothing must be left to chance. This is because the one who is truly guided – as 1 Compiled from Caraballo, My Great Love for Jesus Led Me to Islam. 2 The unbelievers will ask for a ‘second chance’ when they see the angels ready to punish them, but it will be too late; they were given the time, the intellect and the guidance, but they neglected it for years till time ran out. 65 opposed to the one who is not – will surely find eternal happiness in the hereafter! Being presented with the previous proofs, whoever has a sane intellect can analyze and reason; a crossroad has been reached, in which Allah (Glorified is He) calls all people to follow the clear, straight road and avoid all the foggy, zigzag ones. The right path has now become distinct from the wrong path, as Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: {…The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in tâghoot and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.} (Qur’an 2: 256) He has also specified: {There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in tâghoot and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.} (Qur’an 2: 256) It is my duty and responsibility, as a member of this great planet, and as the one who has submitted my free will to the law and commandments of the Supreme Being, to urge all human beings to stay away from the worship of false deities, to stop putting their faith in statues, sphinxes, figures, amulets, 66 talismans, horseshoes, and any other objects that have been manufactured by humans or created by God. After repentance, a person should submit completely to the will of Allah, the Only God of the universe. 67 How to become a Muslim Every religion has its own requirements for conversion: If someone wants to become Jewish, he/she needs to be able to pledge all of the following: 1) To enter the ‘eternal covenant’ between God and the people of Israel and to become a Jew of his/her own free will; 2) To accept Judaism to the exclusion of all other religious faiths and practices, which means to deny the prophethood of Jesus and Muhammad and to deny the revelations that God sent to humankind through them; 3) To pledge undivided loyalty to Judaism and to the Jewish people under all circumstances; 4) To commit to learning the Torah and Jewish knowledge; and 5) To raise his/her children as Jews. To be a Christian one must: 1) Believe that God [Allah] has a partner, a mother, and a son; 2) Believe that every new-born baby is born sinful; 68 3) Believe that God became a man and descended to the earth to die for the sins of the people; 4) Deny the prophethood of Muhammad publicly; and 5) Deny that the Qur’an is revelation from Allah. However, to become a Muslim is simple: 1) Bear witness that no one deserves worship except Allah [disown all false gods]; 2) Bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger; 3) Believe in all the six articles of faith; and 4) Worship Allah as taught by Prophet Muhammad. Hence, becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process. If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full belief that Islam is the true religion of God, all he needs to do is to pronounce the shahâdah, the testimony of faith. Pronunciation of this testimony with a sincere heart enters the person into the folds of Islam. It is the main gate to Islam. Prophet Muhammad said: <> (Bukhari) The first part of the testimony consists of the most important word of truth that Allah has ever revealed to His noble Prophets: ‘there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Allah’. He has stated in the Holy Qur’an: {And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that: There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.} (Qur’an 21: 25) Bearing this testimony implies that all forms of worship, whether it is praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to Allah and to Him alone. Directing any form of worship to other than Allah [whether it is an angel, a messenger, Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, or a tree] is considered as a contradiction to the fundamental message of not only the message of Islam, but also the message of all the prophets; it is 1 It means that Jesus was created when Allah said the ‘word’: Be; when He said it, he was created in the womb of his mother, Mary. 70 an unforgivable sin in the hereafter unless one repents from it before death. The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the slave and chosen messenger of Allah. This implies that a true Muslim obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet as mentioned in the collections of his traditions. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden as those traditions were, in fact, revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by Allah. As mentioned earlier, Prophet Muhammad was sent in order to practically implement the Qur’an in his saying, deeds, legislation as well as all the other facets of life. ‘Â’ishah (radiya Allâhu ‘anhâ – may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet, when asked about his character, replied: <> (Muslim and Abu Dâwood) Hence, to truly adhere to the second part of the shahâdah is to follow his example in all walks of life. Allah has said: {Say, [O Muhammad]: If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.} (Qur’an 3: 31) 71 A true Muslim must try to mold his/her life and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. Allah has said to His Prophet: {And indeed, you are of a great moral character.} (Qur’an 68: 4) Allah has also said to all people: {There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the last day and [who] remembers Allah often.} (Qur’an 33: 21) Upon entering the folds of Islam, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven; one starts a new life of piety and righteousness since he/she, in essence, has repented from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. The Prophet said to a person, who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that Allah would forgive his sins: <> (Muslim) As soon as a person accepts Islam, he/she will be free of all the sins committed before his/her acceptance. The person’s record will be wiped clean, and it will be as if he/she was born that very day. One should try as much as possible to keep 72 his/her records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible; the more he/she does the more he/she will be elevated in paradise. It shall be emphasized again that accepting Islam does not mean to turn one’s back on the messages of previous prophets (peace be upon them all). Indeed, it is a fulfillment of those messages. Therefore, if you are a Jew or a Christian accepting Islam and following Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) is a fulfilment of the messages which Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) brought.1 However, rejecting Islam means to turn one’s back not only on Prophet Muhammad but also to his preceding prophets [Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them)]. This is actually a clear violation of their messages, which diminishes one’s hope of paradise in the hereafter. It is now up to you to decide your own future home. Wish you all the best. 1 This important point is proven in many different works entitled ‘Muhammad in the Bible’. They are available both on the Internet and in bookstores. 73 Conclusion To conclude, Islam revived the faith of the prophets, which is based upon the belief in one God [Allah]. Along with belief, they revived many rules and practices related to morality, justice, and pure living. Hence, the Islamic way of life is much closer to the way of the life of Jesus and the previous prophets (peace be upon them all) than that of any other group of people who claim to be their followers. With this main conception about Islamic teachings clarified, true followers of Jesus are expected to accept Islam as he instructed and not to turn one’s back on his rightly guided teachings. By accepting Islam, the person will fulfil belief in Jesus and Muhammad and become eligible to enter paradise in the hereafter. May the light of truth shine in our minds and in our hearts. May it lead us to peace and certitude in this life and eternal bliss in the hereafter. Majed S. Al-Rassi Mobile: 00966 (0) 505906761 e-mail: [email protected] 74 Bibliography Caraballo, Simon Alfredo [Muhammad bin Abdullah Caraballo], My Great Love for Jesus Led Me to Islam, Saudi Arabia: Jubail Da‘wah & Guidance Centre, 2009. Al-Johani, Dr. Manee Hammad, The Truth about Jesus, UK: World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). Philips, Abu Ameenah Bilal, The True Message of Jesus Christ, Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2006. Saheeh International, The Qur’an: Arabic Text with Corresponding English Meaning, Jeddah: Abul Qâsim Publishing House, 1997. 75 Appendix For Further Information about Islam 1. The Glorious Qur’an, translation of the meaning in English by M. Marmaduke Pickthall. 2. Ataur-Rahim, Muhammad and Ahmad Thomson. Jesus, Prophet of Islam. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2008. 3. Baageel, M. Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House. 4. Bucaille, Maurice. The Qur’an and Modern Science. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House. 5. Caraballo, Simon (Muhammad bin Abdullah Caraballo). My Great Love for Jesus Led Me to Islam. Jubail, Saudi Arabia: Da‘wah & Guidance Centre. 6. Ibrahim, I. A. A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam. Houston, TX: Darussalam, 1997. Also available at www.islam-guide.com. 7. Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin. God Arises. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2005. 76 8. Khan, Abdul Waheed. The Personality of Allah’s Last Messenger, 2nd ed. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2007. 9. LeBlanc, Abdul-Malik. The Bible Led Me to Islam. Toronto: Al-Attique Publisher. 10. Philips, Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal. The Purpose of Creation. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House. 11. Philips, Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal. The True Message of Jesus Christ. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2006. 12. Al-Rassi, Majed ibn Sulaiman, Who Deserves to be Worshipped, Riyadh: Darussalam Publishers and Distributers. 13. Al-‘Uthaymeen, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih. Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Islaam. UK: Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution, 1997. 77 Online information about Islam You may also wish to visit the following web sites for upto-date information and a wealth of reading material: www.islamfortoday.com www.islam-guide.com www.islamonline.net www.islamtomorrow.com www.missionislam.com Online bookstores www.al-hidaayah.co.uk www.dar-us-salam.com www.iiphonline.com www.soundvision.com 78 Glossary of Islamic Terms Da‘wah دعوة disseminating the teachings of Islam and calling people to accept and embrace Islam hijab (hijâb) حجاب veil ordained by Allah for believing women jinn (plural of jinni) جن non-human, rational beings created by Allah from fire, often referred to as ‘demons’ or ‘devils’; They have free will like humans: some are Muslims, others disbelievers; some are obedient to Allah, others disobedient. Satan is a jinni. Some people try to ‘foretell’ the future by contacting a jinni. Some disobedient jinn mislead people into thinking that they can tell them what will happen in the future, near or far,  The Arabic words are transliterated according to the conventions of the Transliteration Chart found in this book. If a word has become part of the English language (i.e., is found in a dictionary of Standard English), that spelling is used in this book and appears first in this Glossary, with the transliterated form in brackets after it. 79 or that the jinn can provide people with riches or some sort of power. 80 mahram محرم a degree of consanguinity precluding marriage; a man whom a woman may not marry due to the close blood or marriage relationship, e.g., her father, brother, son, uncle, or father-in-law Ramadan رمضان the ninth month in the Islamic calendar; the month of obligatory fasting Sharia (shari‘ah) شرعة Islamic law derived from the Qur’an and the statements and actions of the Prophet. tâghoot طاغوت idols; everything evil that is worshipped besides Allah Zakât (zakâh) زكاة obligatory charity: an ‘alms tax’ on wealth payable by Muslims and to be distributed to poor Muslims who qualify as recipients.