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Islam and Christianity:

Some Truths About Islam, Muhammad's Followers
Part One

By Michael Caplow

Since the recent tragedy at the World Trade Center in NY, and all the news coverage that has followed, there has been much interest among Americans in the religion of Islam, the fastest growing and second largest religion on earth.

In the last few weeks, I have watched as many Muslim scholars and clerics have come forth in America, on TV, radio, and public meetings, to assure the American people that Islam itself does not teach its adherents to act in violence. We keep hearing, “the terrorists have hi-jacked Islam.”

Another consensus among many Muslim scholars and clerics that have been addressing the American people, and indeed the world, is that the religion of Islam also worships the very same God as the Christian or Jew.

*{NOTE: there are alternate spellings for the holy writings and/or people of Islam: ‘Koran’ or ‘Quran’ -‘Muslim’ or ‘Moslem’ - ‘Muhammad’ or ‘Mohammed’}.

**{NOTE: All Quran quotes in this article were taken from: The Quran - Muhammad Zafrulla Khan - Arabic/English - Olive Branch Press. Some translations of the Quran verses are numbered slightly different. In some translations, verse number 20 could be verse number 21 in another translation of the Quran. When checking the references given in this article with another translation, please look a verse or two ahead or behind in your Quran if the references given do not seem to match up}.

Some of the statements that have been made recently by these Muslim scholars and clerics are as follows:

Many Christian ministers, Jewish rabbis, and news reporters are also echoing the above statements. The overall consensus among the religious world then, seems to center on two premises:

  1. that the religion of Islam and the teachings of the Quran, and the prophet that started Islam, Muhammad, do not teach the things that the terrorists are doing and …
  2. that Allah is the same as the Hebrew/Christian God Yahweh/Jehovah.

In light of recent events concerning terrorism upon Americans, and the discourse that has opened up in the religious world because of this tragedy, I would like to offer a careful rebuttal to the many Muslim scholars/clerics and Christian/Jewish teachers that are coming forth with the claims that we see in the above mentioned quotes. There is some truth in the above quotes, but not the whole truth.

I write the following from a Christian perspective and say so now… so that you may understand my bias for Jesus Christ, and proceed with your investigation carefully. I exhort all people who read this, and especially Christian ministers and pastors, to carefully and prayerfully consider a fundamental premise of the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad which are essential to all Muslims.

Biblical Prophets and the Quran

This author has been studying Islam for many years, and I feel that we are not being told the whole truth in the news coverage and many talk shows that have recently given a forum for the Islamic leaders to speak out. In this work, I will present a side of Islam that is not being shown in much of the journalistic coverage and talk shows that we have been seeing. We have been hearing a lot about how Muslims accept the Hebrew/Christian Scriptures, and that Islam shares the same prophets in Adam, Abraham, Jesus, etc., and how these same prophets are found in the Quran and are given honor, and how violence/martyrdom is not in the Quran.

It is true that the Quran mentions Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, but let me be clear about this: Honor is given to these men in the Quran, …but only as the Quran alone defines and describes their activities. In other words, the Abraham that we see in the Hebrew/Christian Scriptures is a totally different Abraham than we see in the Quran. The Jesus that we see in the Hebrew/Christian Scriptures is a totally different Jesus than we see in the Quran. So, Muslims accept only what the Quran says about these men and discounts what the Hebrew/Christian Scriptures say. In reality then, Islam, Muhammad, the Quran, and Muslims, do not honor these men in the same way as the Bible does. The accounts in the Quran concerning Adam, Abraham, Jesus, etc. are so contradictory to the accounts in the Bible that they could not possibly have been revealed by the same God.

The truth is that the Muslim leaders do not “accept” the Hebrew/Christian writings as many Muslims are claiming. The fact is that they tell us they accept these writings, but in reality, no Muslim would follow either the Torah or the Gospel of Jesus. Then why do they say that they accept these writings? Let’s be clear about this.

Muhammad taught that Allah gave previous revelation to the Jews and to the Christians in the form of the Torah/Psalms/Gospels. According to Muhammad and the Quran, and the Islamic scholars of today, Jews and Christians have “perverted and interpolated” the original revelations that were given to them by Allah. And Muhammad was given the revelation in the form of the Quran that “corrects” the Jew and Christian.

In other words, Muslim leaders do not “accept” the Hebrew/Christian Scriptures at all, but in reality, Muslims are taught that the Hebrew/Christian writings have been perverted by the “People of the Book” (Jews/Christians). According to Islam and the Quran, the Jews and Christians were supposed to “protect and guard” the revelation of Allah, but they did not… they supposedly failed. Hence, Gabriel the angel then allegedly came to Muhammad to give him the revelation of the Quran. This revelation given to Muhammad then “supercedes and corrects” the perversions that the Jews and Christians supposedly allowed. But we are not hearing this from the Muslim scholars and clerics in public forum. We are being told a “spin” to promote “tolerance” among faiths. And I am not against the tolerance, but against the “spin.” I would just like to hear the truth from these leaders.

The above is an important point to those of the Christian faith, and especially for those Christian leaders that have been led to believe that Christianity and Islam are somehow related because of our so-called “common prophets.” I will offer enough documentation so that anyone who desires to investigate this further will have a good place to start. This documentation will come from the Quran, Islamic Hadith (traditions of Muhammad), various Islamic scholars, and historic sources. I pray that Christian ministers and pastors will heed this information and deal with their flocks accordingly.

Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, in his translation, ‘The Quran’ - Arabic Text-English Translation - Olive Branch Press, writes in his introduction:
The Quran affirms the truth of previous revelations. {The Quran says} “Surely, We [Allah] sent down the Torah full of guidance and light” (Surah 5.45). “We (Allah) caused Jesus son of Mary to follow in their footsteps, fulfilling that which was revealed before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel which contained guidance and light, fulfilling that which was revealed before it in the Torah, and a guidance and an admonition for the righteous” (Surah 5.47). But it (the Quran) points out that previous revelations have suffered from interpolations and perversions at the hands of those (Christians and Jews) whose duty it was to safeguard them (Surah 2.80, 3.79).

The Quran fulfills that which was revealed before it and also acts as a guardian over it; pointing out, where necessary, the perversion of its text or meaning by those who professed to follow it. “We (Allah) have revealed unto thee this Book comprising the truth and fulfilling that which was revealed before it of the Book, and as a guardian over it” (Surah 5.49). “People of the Book (Christians and Jews), there has come to you Our Messenger (Muhammad) who unfolds to you much of that which you used to hide of the Book and he overlooks many of your faults.” (Surah 5.16). {Introduction - page xiv}

In the above text we have a Muslim scholar telling us, and giving us the Quran verses to prove that the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) were given the revelation, perverted the revelation, hid the revelation, interpolated the revelation, and that Allah’s messenger, Muhammad, unfolds the truth and corrects the previous perversions.

George W. Braswell, Jr., who taught at the Faculty of Islamic Theology of the University of Teheran from 1968-74, writes:
The Muslim view is that the teachings of the prophets before Muhammad have been lost or corrupted. Although the message of each previous prophet was the same as that of Muhammad, it was necessary for Muhammad to correct and finalize the message which now is found in the Qur’an. He (Muhammad) is the last prophet.

…Four books are well known to the Muslims. The Torah was revealed to Moses, the Psalms to David, and the Gospel to Jesus. The most sacred book is the Qur’an.

According to Muslims, the Torah and the Gospel were genuine revelations of the “Mother of the Book,” but they have been changed and corrupted. Traditional Islam views the Qur’an as identical with the “Mother of the Book” in heaven; the Qur’an contains the very words of God. Therefore, the Qur’an corrects the errors in the corrupted books and finalizes the truth from God as transmitted from the Archangel Gabriel, recited by the Prophet Muhammad, and written down in the Arabic language. {‘Islam’ Its Prophet, Peoples, Politics and Power - Broadman & Holman Publishers, pg. 50}.

According to Islam and the Quran then, Muslims do not accept the Hebrew/Christian Scriptures. Yes, Muslims do agree, and the Quran does teach, that Jews and Christians “were given” revelation. But according to Islam, the revelation that we have now in our Hebrew/Christian Scriptures is “perverted.” If these Scriptures are perverted, then how can any Muslim “accept” them? Obviously, there is a contradiction here in what Muslim leaders are saying and what Muhammad and the Quran actually teach.

Lack of Commonality Between Christianity and Islam

When some Muslims make the point that the Quran considers Adam, Moses, Abraham and Jesus to be prophets, they do so to try to show a “commonality” among Muslims and Christians. But no such commonality exists once one gets past the surface. I make this point to show that the two holy books, the Bible and the Quran, are contradictory to each other and no Muslim could follow, much less accept the Bible. In the same way the Christian can find some good things in the Quran, such as how to live cleanly and keep pure thoughts, etc., the Muslim can also find what he considers to be good things in the Bible. But on the main issues, such as God’s Name, Creation, His attributes, His forgiveness, His Love, His Son, the Deity of Jesus, the Atonement, etc., these two books do not agree at all - not in the least!

 

It is for reasons such as these that the Apostle Paul writes…
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4) (NIV)

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:6-12) (NAS)

Now this is interesting! Here we have the Apostle Paul claiming that he has received his revelation from God, that there are people out there trying to “distort” the Gospel of Christ, and that we should listen only to Paul’s version of Jesus Christ. This is exactly what Islam teaches…. only the characters have changed, and it is Muhammad that has received the revelation, and it is the Jews and Christians who are distorting the Word of God. One must make a choice. Paul says in the above Scripture… “…if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received (from Paul), let him be accursed.” Paul also says… “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!” (1 Corinthians 16:22) (NKJ)

And Jesus said…
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (not Muhammad’s) (John 14:15)

To be sure, these seem to be harsh words from Paul, and I was very hesitant to quote Paul on this issue. But these words are not my words; these are Paul’s words inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. And for the Christian, Paul would definitely override the words of Muhammad and the Quran. Ministers of Christ, take heed of Paul’s words. There is no question whatsoever that Muhammad, Islam, and the Quran are guilty of “distorting the Gospel of Christ” and preaching “another Jesus,” as I will document shortly. And this is true of all Muslim leaders and clerics even if they are not “extreme terrorists.”

Because of this recent terrorist attack, we are seeing a “unity” between members of many faiths. This is being promoted, especially right now, by many leaders of different faiths and by many political leaders of many countries as well. This looks so good on the surface, and there is some good to the idea of people working together to accomplish a common good… yet we must be careful when contemplating this unity.

In the public forum, we are being told to “unite with people of all faiths against a common enemy.” And this “common enemy” is being portrayed as a small percentage of extreme radical fundamentalist Muslims that have a deep rooted hatred for “infidels” and so promote terror and kill innocent people for the sake of Allah and his messenger, Muhammad.

But the “common enemy” of the Christian has many faces. Let us be careful that while we have our attention directed on today’s “common enemy,” that we do not let the same enemy slip in the side door with a more subtle means of deception… a deception that can destroy one’s spirit every bit as thoroughly as blatant physical terrorism can destroy the flesh. Be sober in spirit and solid in Biblical doctrine.

Here is the Quran’s account of the creation of man:
We created man from an extract of clay; then We placed him as a drop of sperm in a safe depository; then We fashioned the sperm into a clot; then We fashioned the clot into a shapeless lump; then out of this shapeless lump We fashioned bones; then We clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed it into a new creation. So Allah be the Best of Creators. (Surah 23:13-15).

My point is that the Quran and the Bible do not agree. And when the Muslim leaders attempt to draw parallels with the Hebrew/Christian Scriptures by using the names of Adam, Moses, Abraham and Jesus, the Quran must be speaking of another Jesus and another Abraham than those that are shown in the pages of the Bible; for both accounts are so contradictory.

The Muslim leaders are drawing these parallels between the Bible and the Quran to try to espouse that the Muslims honor the Hebrew/Christian prophets and holy men. But any Muslim leader/cleric has to deeply study the Quran to even be called a cleric or scholar and they know full well that Islam, as put forth by their own prophet Muhammad, denies the truth of the Hebrew/Christian Scriptures as they exist today. But of course, no Muslim has ever been able to produce an un-corrupted Hebrew/Christian document or manuscript to support their claims that the ones we have now are corrupted. For the Muslim, the Quran serves this purpose and needs no documentation; the Quran is accepted by Muslims as the word of God regardless of any proof to the contrary.

What purpose then, does it serve Islamic leaders to try to convince Christians that we have a “common bond” together because we have the same historical holy men? Meditate carefully on this issue… wolves in sheep’s clothing do exist inside the church and outside the church… during times of peace and during times of distress.

Jesus and the Quran

For some Christians, these may sound like minor or unimportant differences, but I exhort you to please bear through this and consider how Islam, through the teaching of Muhammad and the Quran, denies Jesus Christ and His deity.

In Islam, there is the doctrine of tawhid, and it means, “singularity.” This means that the Muslim believes that God is one; not plural and not triune. This is basically the same thing that the Orthodox Jews believe. In Islam, the opposite of tawhid would be shirk. Shirk means to associate partners or companions with Allah. The Quran accuses Christians of shirk because Christians associate Jesus Christ with God in a way that gives Jesus deity. The Quran denies all deity to anyone other than Allah. The Quran denies the Atonement and even denies that Jesus actually died on the Cross or is the Son of God; thus completely denying Jesus Himself and His atoning work on the Cross.

The Quran states:
…Allah has sealed them up because of their disbelief… … and their saying: “We did kill the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary”… … whereas they slew him not, nor did they compass his death upon the cross, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified to death. (Surah 4:157-162).

In the above Surah, people are accused of “disbelief” because they believe that Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead. Now see the punishment for “disbelief” that is promised to those who believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection and teach others the “True Gospel” of Jesus:

Those who disbelieve and hinder others from the way of Allah, have certainly strayed far away. Those who have disbelieved and have acted unjustly, Allah will by no means forgive them, nor will He show them any way, except the way of hell, wherein they shall abide for a prolonged period, and that is easy for Allah. (Surah 4:168-170).

People today wonder why the Muslims in most parts of the world seem to dislike Americans, or more specifically, Jews and Christians. Well, if Allah has promised that the Christian will go to hell for preaching the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that He is the Son of God, indeed, God manifest in the flesh, then is it any wonder why the religion of Islam generally shuns Christianity?

The Quran states that Jesus Himself thought that it was blasphemous that He should be raised to the level of deity (Quran - Surah 5:116-121 - the Quran alleges that these are the words of Jesus).

Christians are warned in the Quran not to exceed their limits where it concerns Jesus Christ:
People of the Book! Exceed not the limits in the matter of your religion, and say not of Allah anything but the truth. Indeed, the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was but a Messenger of Allah… …so believe in Allah and His Messengers and say not: There are three gods. Desist, it will be better for you. Indeed, Allah is the only One God. His Holiness brooks not that He should have a son. (Surah 4:172).

The above teachings are common and fundamental to all Muslims, not just to terrorists and extremists. The above Surah is one of several in the Quran that say that Allah does not have a son. Well, Allah is not Jehovah then, is he?

The Quran teaches the following about Jesus:

And again, we see the punishment promised to Christians for believing in Jesus’ death on the Cross and we see the Quran’s denial of His death on the Cross:

Allah reassured Jesus: I shall cause thee to die a natural death, and shall exalt thee to Myself, and shall clear thee from the calumnies of those who disbelieve… …As for those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe punishment in this world and in the next, and they shall have no helpers. (Surah 3:55-59) (see also 3:177-179)

The more one studies the Quran, the more one begins to understand why the extreme Muslims feel that the Christians and Jews should be chastised or punished. They are fulfilling Allah’s will to punish “those who disbelieve... with a severe punishment in this world.” Those who disbelieve what? - that Jesus died a natural death. Anyone who believes otherwise, like Christians, are disbelievers (infidels). And anyone who rejects Allah and Muhammad are infidels.

This article is continued at Islam and Christianity: Part Two

Books and eBooks by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light

The above article was posted on this Web site May 4, 2002.

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