Understanding Muslim Hearts
"Understanding Muslim Minds" focused on Muslim thought, and we saw that it was not an easy task, for all Muslims do not think the same. While it gave a caucophany of various Muslim voices, now we want to focus more on liberal Muslims.
The purpose of this is help Christians understand how Muslims feel when they share the Gospel. It is also to challenge Christians to share more with Muslims why it is imperative for them to stop trusting in a false prophet and turn to Jesus.
Demographics on Muslims
85% of Muslims are non-Arabs; most of them do not speak Arabic. Of the 160-180 million Shi'ites, at least 60% are not Iranian. Some Americans might think that Pakistan is small, but the truth is, it has a population (in 2000) of 142 million. Believe it or not, there are almost as many Muslims in India (115 million) as in Pakistan. Besides India, the largest Muslim country is Indonesia with a total population of 245 million, about 87% Muslim. Bangladesh rounds out the list of large non-Arab Muslim countries with 87% Muslims in a population of 129 million. By contrast, the United States had an estimated 2000 population of 276 million. Source: Time Almanac 2001.
Islam According to the Perception of more Liberal Muslims
According to the view of many modern Muslims:
Islam is a great way to live: it is in contrast to the sexually immoral, high-crime, apathetic "Christian" society of the west.
Of course if a society has many Christians in it, it must be a Christian society. Also, the ruler of Oman has a large "harem" of young boys.
Mohammed was a peace-loving man. He only had Muslims fight in self-defense. Of course if an enemy was going to attack first, a pre-emptive strike is still self-defense.
You should overlook all those Muslims who study the Qur'an seriously all their life and then lead others to blow up buildings.
Mohammed was never a wealthy man: whatever riches he got he gave away to others. For example, he proclaimed it unlawful for him and his family to accept charity.
One-fifth of all war booty went into the common treasury, and Mohammed fed all his wives, and gave lavish but strategic gifts to people out of that.
Mohammed was a generous man: he only married so many wives because most of them were widows of generals and others and needed someone to care for them.
We do not want to look too closely into why Zainab was ordered divorced so that Mohammed could marry her. Safiya was married to harmonize relations between the Muslims and the men of Khaibar, right before Mohammed ordered 800 of them beheaded.
Mohammed was a virtuous man. In fact, like Jesus he was completely sinless.
While Mohammed prayed for forgiveness of his sins, you have to understand that attacking caravans, ordering assassinations, and killing Christians and Jews who He claimed worshipped the same God were not actually sins.
Mohammed was a reliable man. If there had been any contradictions in the Qur'an, non-Muslims would have brought them up, but none have been found.
You can ignore those pesky Christians who say otherwise.
Mohammed is a model for the ideal modern man today, except that he lived in an earlier time.
Apparently the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines and eastern Indonesia, and the Wahhabis in southwest Saudi Arabia are all misguided.
Mohammed spoke positive and true things about people. In contrast to the nice things Mohammed said, the Qur'an in Sura 3:110 informs us that most of the Jews and Christians are "perverted transgressors".
Actually according to Mohammed, the Jews in Moses' time used to all bathe together Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 29 (Merits of the Companions) ch.990 no.5849 p.1263. The Jews were wicked because they called Ezra ('Uzair) son of Allah Sura 9:30, Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 1 (Faith) ch.81 no.352 p.117, Bukhari vol.9 book 93 ch.24 no.532 p.395; vol.6 book 60 ch.80 no.105 p.86. Narrated Al-Bara : The Prophet said to Hassan, "Lampoon them (the pagans) in verse, and Gabriel is with you." Bukhari vol.8 book 72 ch.91 no.174 p.113
Cursing in Islam
At the end of Mohammed's life he said, "May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets." Bukhari vol.1 book 8 ch.55 no.427 p.255.
Honesty in Islam
"He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar." Bukhari vol.3 book 49 ch.2 no.857 p.533
In contrast to Islam, Ephesians 4:25 says, "Therefore each of you much put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body."
1 Thessalonians 2:5: "You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed - God is our witness."
When I was an undergraduate in college, when I once had a Bible study with a Turkish Muslim, at the end of the study I prayed. After the prayer he looked at me funny and said, "It did not sound like it was written down anywhere." I explained to him then that prayer is our pouring out our heart to God. That was complete news to him!
Later, after I read all the hadiths, I understood where he was coming from. The Hadiths have large sections on prayer, but it is on the mechanics, when it is forbidden to pray to God! It is forbidden to pray at sunset, and between the (pre-dawn) morning prayer and sunrise, according to Bukhari vol.1 book 10 ch.30-32 no.558-563 p.323-325. Women are to "abandon prayer" during their time of month. Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 2 (Purification) ch.131 no.652 p.188-189; Bukhari vol.1 book 6 ch.26 no.322 p.194, vol.1 book 6 ch.30 no.327 p.196. One of the key wrongs of Christians and Jews, according to the Hadiths, is that they prayed at the wrong time.
Women are Not Half-Wits!
According to the Muslim Sharia (Law), the witness of a woman is equal half that of a man, because of the deficiency of the woman's mind. (Bukhari vol.3 book 48 ch.12 no.826 p.502). Mohammed said that a nation will never succeed that makes a woman their ruler (Bukhari vol.9 book 88 ch.18 no.220 p.171).
The worst thing is not that Muslim writers would be considered male chauvinist pigs for saying that women have deficient minds. The really sad thing is that an educated Pakistani woman with a high-tech job was trying to explain to me why this was true.
Galatians 3:28 says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
A man in Islam can divorce his wife for any reason. A reason mentioned in Bukhari vol.3 book 49 ch.4 no.859 p.534 includes, "something unpleasant about his wife, such as old age or the like".
Looking Forward to Paradise
In heaven believers will allegedly have wives called "houris" Bukhari vol.4 book 55 ch.1 no.544 p.343 and other places.
Bukhari vol.6 book 60 ch.294 no.402 p.374 says that believers will have wives beautiful women restrained (chained?) in pavilions. While Muslims cannot drink on earth, they will have wine in Heaven.
In the Bible, people are neither married nor given in marriage in Matthew 22:30.
On one hand, Mohammed was against astrology and fortune telling. On the other hand, Mohammed had many superstitious commands in the Hadiths.
Always enter a mosque with your right foot first.
When answering the call of nature, a person should always wipe with an odd number of pebbles. Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 2 (Purification) ch.97 no.458,460,463 p.153,154.
The evil eye is a fact. Bukhari vol.7 book 71 ch.36 no.636 p.427; vol.7 book 72 ch.86 no.827 p.538.
Odd numbers better Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 7 (The Hajj) ch.497 no.2983 p.655, vol.1 book 4 (Prayer/Blessing) ch.263 no.1632-1634,1644-1647 p.362-364; book 2 (Purification) ch.97 no.458,460,462,463 p.153-154
Mohammed regularly ate an odd number of dates. Bukhari vol.2 book 15 ch.4 no.73 p.38
Satan spends the neat in people's noses. Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 2 (Purification) ch.97 no.462 p.153 (also footnote)
Even Mohammed himself was bewitched! Bukhari vol.4 book 54 ch.10 no.490 p.317. See also vol.4 book 53 ch.34 no.400 p.267, vol.8 book 72 ch.56 no.89 p.56-57, vol.8 book 75 ch.59 no.400 p.266-267
Don't Be Negative - About Islam but not Christianity?
One thing that I hear often is that it is not good to be negative. I wonder if someone told the Jewish people after World War II it was negative to criticize the Nazis. Would someone have told blacks, as well as northern whites, that it was negative to work to abolish slavery? Did anyone tell the British that it was negative to prohibit Suttee (burning widows to death) in India? So while Christians are being persecuted and killed by Muslims around the world, those in America are saying do not be negative.
Muslim "Dawa" (evangelistic) literature has said the Bible is pornographic, but negative reactions about Christianity go far beyond words.
In Indonesia some Christian women were having a Bible club for kids. An elderly Muslim grandmother asked if her grandkids could come, and the Christian said they could. As a result, those women were put in prison.
In Pakistan they have the death penalty for men who convert to Christianity from Islam, and life imprisonment for women who do so.
Even many of the "moderate" Muslims will tell you that if a person converts from Islam to Christianity or another religion, they should be killed.
Muslims Can Go to Church!
Invite a Muslim to come to church with you to see what it is like. When you do, you might want to mention that it is OK for a Muslim to pray in a Christian church, provided there are no statues or pictures in it. Bukhari vol.1 book 8 ch.54 (after 425) p.254.
Muslims are also forbidden to sell wine, idols, carcasses, and pork. Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 9 (Business) ch.621 no.3840 p.828-830. They cannot buy, sell, or carry wine. Ibn-i-Majah vol.4:3380-3381 p.493-494; vol.4:3382 p.494. Selling alcohol is forbidden in Bukhari vol.1 book 9 ch.73 no.449 p.267.
Two Muslim men were good friends, so one man asked the other which wife he should divorce so that the other could marry her. Bukhari vol.5 book 58 ch.3 no.125 p.82
Muslim Teachings on Suicide
"...He who killed himself with a thing would be tormented on the Day of Resurrection with that very thing...." Sahih Muslim vol.1:201 p.62
See also Sahih Muslim vol.1 no.199, 202 (p.62)
Bukhari vol.5 book 59 ch.37 no.515 p.364 and vol.5 book 59 ch.37 no.518 p.367 tell of a Muslim warrior, who was wounded seriously, so he took some arrows out of his quiver and killed himself and went to Hell. Here is the quote:
Bukhari vol.5 book 59 ch.37 no.515 p.364 "Narrated Abu Huraira : We witnessed (the battle of) Khaibar. Allah's Apostle said about one of those who were with him and who claimed to be a Muslim, 'This (man) is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire.' When the battle started, that fellow fought so violently and bravely that he received plenty of wounds. Some of the people were about to doubt ( the Prophet's statement ), but the man, feeling the pain of his wounds, put his hand into his quiver and took out of it, some arrows with which he slaughtered himself (i.e. committed suicide). Then some men amongst the Muslims came hurriedly and said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Allah has made your statement true ; so-and-so has committed suicide.' The Prophet said, 'O so-and-so! Get up and make an announcement that none but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support (this) religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man.'"
"...When we were in the thick of battle that man fought desperately and was wounded. It was said: Messenger of Allah, the person whom you at first called as a denizen of the Fire (Hell) fought desperately and died. Upon this the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) remarked: He was doomed to the Fire (of Hell). Some men were on the verge of doubt (about his fate) when it was said that he was not dead but fatally wounded. When it was night he could not stand the (pain of his) wound and killed himself." Sahih Muslim vol.1:205 p.63 al-Tabari vol.7 p.135-136 relates similar of a warrior named Quzman.
'Amir tried to strike a Jew, but the blade of his sword turned and he accidentally hit his own leg and died. The Muslims were fearful that 'Amir's deeds were lost (he would go to Hell) for committing suicide. However, Mohammed said that Amir got a double reward, so accidentally killing oneself does not send someone to Hell. Bukhari vol.5 book 59 no.509 p.359-360
On the other hand, Sahih Muslim vol.1:211 p.66 tells of a Muslim man came to Medina, fell sick, and cut his finger joints. Blood streamed until he died. Afterwards, Tufail son of 'Amr saw him in a dream, and he was forgiven by Allah, and his hands were wrapped.
Mohammed Allegedly Could Never Sin
Most Muslims today believe that Mohammed was sinlessly perfect.
In Sura 40:55 and 48:1-2 Allah tells Mohammed to ask forgiveness for his sin (or frailty.) Now people do not need forgiveness for physical frailties, but for moral ones. Sahih Muslim vol.1 1695 says Mohammed prayed, "I wronged myself and make a confession of my sin. Forgive all my sins,..." Bukhari, vol.1:7,19,711, 781; vol.6:3; vol.8:319, vol.8:407 prior, and Shamaa'il Tirmidhi ch.2 no.9 (22) p.31 also mention Mohammed's sins.
Specific things mentioned in the Bukhari vol.1 no.234 vol.8:794, 795 include cutting off people's limbs, burning out their eyes, and making them die of thirst. See Bukhari vol.8 no.796,797; vol.6:198 prior, as well as Fiqh us-Sunnah vol.1 p.133.
How Can You Trust the Scriptures, when the Jews and Christians...
"When the skin of anyone amongst the people of Israel was besmeared with urine, he cut that portion with a cutter. Hudhaifa said : I wish that our friend should not inflict such an extreme rigour." Sahih Muslim vol.1:523 p.163
The Jews were wicked because they called Ezra ('Uzair) son of Allah according to the Qur'an in Sura 9:30. They worshipped Ezra according to Bukhari vol.6:105 p.86.
"The Christian disbelieved in Paradise and say that there are neither meals nor drinks therein." Bukhari vol.6:252 p.224.
Oops! Revelation 22 tells of the River of Life that people would drink and the tree of life with twelve crops of fruit.
Sura 5:116 says, "And behold! Allah will say: 'O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, 'Take me and my mother For two gods beside Allah''?..."
"...there is no Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament which can be dated with certainty earlier than 916 A.D." Note in Yusuf Ali's translation p.331.
A Medieval Italian forgery called the Gospel of Barnabas is mentioned in Yusuf Ali's translation p.268,334, and in Sahih Muslim volume 4 footnote 2648 p.1254.
Could Islam Ever Be Wrong?
"... and whoever sees me [Muhammad] in a dream, he surely sees me, for Satan cannot impersonate me (appear in my figure). And whoever intentionally ascribes something to me falsely, he will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire." Bukhari vol.8:217 p.139-140.
Shi'ites say Mohammed appointed 'Ali as his successor. So according to Sunnis, the Shi'ites must be ascribing things to Mohammed he did not say. Sunnis follow the Hadiths, which say many things refuting Shi'ite Islam. So according to the Shi'ites, the Sunnis must be ascribing things to Mohammed in error.
Abu Harb b. Abu al-Aswad reported on the authority of his father that Abu Musa al-Ash'ari said: "...We used to recite a Sura which resembled in length and severity to (Sura) Bara'at. I have, however, forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it: 'If there were two valleys full of riches for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust.' And we used to so recite a Sura which resembled one of the suras of Musabbihat, and I have forgotten it, but remember (this much) out of it: 'O people who believe, why do you say that which you do not practice' (lxi 2.) and 'that is recorded in your necks as a witness (against you) and you would be asked about in on the Day of Resurrection'" (xvii. 13). Sahih Muslim vol.2:2286 p.500,501
Apparently the Qur'an today has lost this Sura.
"Talmudic" Attention to Detail
The Pharisees and other Jews were rebuked for reducing religion to a set of doctrines and rules. Soon after Jesus' time Jews codified their Pharisee traditions in the massive Talmud. Muslims have something similar, called the Hadiths. There are numerous examples of their rules, which quite frankly I found very boring to read. Here is just one example that also has a rationalization in it.
"Some companions offered 'asr [prayer] during their ride to their destination, while others offered it late after reaching Banu Quaraizah. The first group thought that the Prophet's intention was to make them reach the place in the shortest possible time; the second group thought that they were expressly told not to offer 'asr on the way to the place of conflict. The issue was brought to the Prophet's attention and he ruled both of them right in the execution of his commandment. The reason was that the first group reflected on the intention of the Prophet's commandment, while the second group took it literally. These kind of divergent positions are always possible and cannot be avoided." (Fiqh us-Sunnah vol.1 p.v)
The Lesson of Isfahan
Could Islam ever be wrong? Tamerlane (1364-1405 A.D.) was a great Muslim conqueror who built a huge, beautiful mosque in Samarqand in 1399. He fought more Muslims than non-Muslims. Before building the Great Mosque, when Tamerlane captured the Iranian city of Isfahan in 1357 A.D., he made a mound of 70,000 skulls. After building the mosque, in 1401/2 A.D. Tamerlane sacked Baghdad, killing 20,000. Tamerlane was a very religious man; is it possible that his religion led him astray?
According to Mohammed in Sunan Nasai', no. "...If anyone builds a mosque wherein Allah's name is mentioned, Allah will build for him a house in the Paradise." Sunan Nasa'i vol.1 no.691 p.437
2. Any religion can be an idol. no religion can substitute for relationship with the True God. Not just Islam, but any religion, including Christianity, can serve Satan as a substitute for a relationship with God.
3. Everyone is sinful and easy to be self-deceived
4. Christ showed us the truth from God
5. The Bible is God's word, reliably preserved
6. You must choose if it is a "what" or a "who" you love most. Do not embrace a falsehood, do not embrace a religion, embrace God as revealed through Jesus.
7. Pray right now, renouncing all known and unknown falsehoods, and talk to God to ask Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior.
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