How to Lead a Muslim to Christ (Lecture 1)
|By: Dr. Anis Shorrosh; ©1991|
|Before you can effectively witness to a Muslim, it helps to understand something about what he believes, especially about God, about Jesus and about salvation.|
John Ankerberg: The information in this program was taped live at the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute’s Apologetics Conference in Orlando, Florida. Our instructor for this session is Dr. Anis Shorrosh. Dr. Shorrosh received his Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Seminary, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary. He also holds a PhD in Religion from Oxford Graduate School, the American Institute. Dr. Shorrosh is a Palestinian-Arab and directs the Anis Shorrosh Evangelistic Association in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Dr. Shorrosh is an author of several books and is a popular lecturer on Christian/Islamic issues. His book titles include The Liberated Palestinian; Jesus, Prophecy, and the Middle East; and Islam Revealed. I know that you’ll be challenged and stimulated by his thoughtful and enthusiastic love for Jesus Christ and the precision with which he declares and defends the gospel. Dr. Shorrosh’s topic for this session is “How to Lead a Muslim to Christ.” This is Part 1, and as you listen to this information it will be my prayer that God will increase your faith and draw you closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.
How to Lead a Muslim to Christ – Part 1
What is Islam?
Dr. Anis Shorrosh: I greet you in the name Jesus, the Man from my hometown, my Lord and Savior. In these two sessions, beginning with this one, we shall deal with very exciting topic and I must remind you, please, that in order to be able to witness to someone, you must know the ground on which he stands. It is my conviction that you cannot understand a people unless you understand their religion, their culture, their background. In the book which I recommend highly, Islam Revealed, which this is the third printing of it, I set forth these matters and therefore this morning we will begin first in covering as much of this book as possible in order that you may have a foundation of what you are dealing with about the religion of Islam, about Muhammad and about these matters.
In fact, it will be helpful to say to you this morning that the chapters we will attempt to cover dealing with our topic this morning, first will be “The Religion of Islam;” second, “The Life of Muhammad;” third “Jesus Christ According to Islam;” fourth, “The Crucifixion: Fact or Fiction;” fifth, “Islam Unveiled;” sixth, “The Qur’an Exposed.” This will allow us barely 10 minutes for each session.
However, I would like to begin by saying to you that I myself descended from Arabs who came from Saudi Arabia, which was called Arabia at that time. For 500 years my people had been living in the city of Nazareth. Originally they were Muslims and I was raised up in a community with both Muslims and Christians, almost half and half in the city of Nazareth. Most of my life has been spent as a growing youth in the Middle East. And as of 1967, having left Jerusalem, I have been traveling around the world, mainly living in the United States.
This morning it will be helpful to say to you that the Qur’an is held in the greatest esteem and reverence among Muslims as their Holy Scripture. It is important to remember that Sunni, another foundation of Islam, is next to the Qur’an, and Sunna actually means the tradition, using another word Hadith, which is basically, while the former, which is the Qur’an, is regarded as supreme. The whole system of Islamic government is largely founded on the latter, which is Hadith. It’s very interesting to say to you that Bukhari collected 20,000 of these, of which he rejected 10,000, accounting them untrue. Of the remaining 10,000 he accepted only 7,275, declaring the rest to be untrustworthy. Abu Dawud accepted as authentic only 4,800 out of 50,000 so-called incidents connected with the life of Muhammad. Ijma, the consent of the leading companions of Muhammad and their followers, Qiyas is the fourth foundation of Islam, also called Analogy. The Qiyas denotes the reasoning with the learned with regard to the teaching of the Qur’an, Hadith and Ijma.
As far as the compilation of the Qur’an, it is important to remind you that the delivery and writings of the Qur’an extended over a 23 year period. My conviction, however, is 15 years before that there was preparation, but no writing. The first complete manuscript was compiled 20 years after Muhammad’s death and was entrusted to the care of Hafsa, one of Muhammad’s widows. Years later Caliph Uthman appointed Zeyd to make a fresh revision of the work and all previous copies were called in and burned. This second revision, it is supposed, has been handed down unaltered.
The language of the Qur’an is Arabic, rhyming Arabic. In fact, listen to this particular opening, much similar to our Lord’s Prayer in its usage. (Speaking Arabic) In English this would be, “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, praise be to Allah, lord of the worlds, the Beneficent, the Merciful, owner of the day of judgment, Thee alone we worship, Thee alone we ask for help, show us the right or the straight path, the path of those whom Thou hast favored, not the path of those who earn Thy anger nor of those who go astray.”
It’s interesting to note the Qur’an, regarded by Muslims as their holy book, is divided into 114 surahs. Each one begins with “In the name of the God most gracious, most merciful.” It’s interesting also to note that it is believed to have 6,200 verses, 80,000 words and 330,000 letters. It is further arranged into 30 sections in order that it can be recited during the month of Ramadan. The contents, of course, for anybody who reads them, involve much history of the prophet himself, as well as biblical characters and other instructions.
The key to Islam is pretty important, and I think that for you to know just what a person will have to say to become a Muslim, he has to say (speaking Arabic), which means, “I testify there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his apostle.” Please remember, not prophet, apostle. Following this, the Muslim has to believe in these five articles, called Iman or faith. First, belief in Allah as the one true God. Second, belief in angels as the instruments of God. Three, belief in the four inspired books, Torah, Zabur, Injil and Qur’an. Torah, referring to the books of Moses; Zabur is David’s writings of the Psalms; Injil is the word for gospel; and, of course, the Quran, of which they believe the Qur’an is the final and most complete.  Belief in the 28 prophets of Allah, of whom Muhammad is the last; and  finally, belief in a final day of judgment.
In connection with these we come to ask the question: What about what we know concerning the pillars of Islam? I think that, I suppose that, most anybody who knows anything about Islam they know these five. However, I add one more.  We begin with the creed: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his apostle.  Second, daily prayers, five times a day including one on Friday, much like our Sunday worship, which also takes place at 11:00 in most places.  Then the fast of Ramadan, from morning till night, no food, no water, as is a month of enhancing your spiritual depth and understanding.  And then almsgiving. In this case, you are to give about 2.5% of your income. In contradistinction to our conviction of the tithe, it is indeed minimal.  And fifth, the pilgrimage to Mecca, if you can afford it, and if you can do it physically. If you cannot, you can send someone in your place.
The sixth is the Jihad. Although my Muslim friends disagree with me, I like to point out that the Kharijites raised jihad to a sixth pillar of Islam in the early days of Islam. When the situation warrants, men are required to go to war in order to spread Islam or defend it against infidels. However, in a pamphlet given in Birmingham, England, when I had the privilege to debate with Mr. Deedat in the presence of about 11,000 people, I was able to find this pamphlet that said the meaning of jihad, “to struggle in the path of Allah with the pen, speech and the sword is jihad.”
The sects of Islam are actually, as far as we know, about 150. The major ones are the Sunnis, of which we believe 90% of the Muslims, numbering now 980 million in the world, claim to be the majority. And then we have the Shi’ites, which most of you may recognize. They are the more warlike because they feel they were disenfranchised when their own man did not become the successor of Muhammad. And then the Wahhabis, the Sufis, and the Bahais, and finally the Ahmadiyya.
It’s interesting that the Ahmadiyyas are recognized by most Muslims are not really true Muslims, because they believe Jesus swooned on the cross, was buried, but He rose from the grave, not from death. He came out of the grave having not died, which is a very interesting conviction of these days.
Fasts and feasts of Islam include Ramadan, Idu’l-Fitr, Du-hijja, and so forth. It is of immense importance to you to recognize that without Muhammad you would have never heard of Islam. Without the Qur’an you would not know much about Islam. Personally my conviction is this, Muhammad himself, beginning with his early years in the city of Mecca, was just as ordinary as an individual. He has the loss of his father when he was born; his mother died in his early years; and then his grandfather who took care of him. He had a very difficult life.
But it is fascinating to notice that he was given a title as a young man growing in the city of Mecca, being a man of faith, El Amin, which means “the faithful one,” because he was trying to live a godly life. Muhammad’s first marriage was an interesting experience, because at age 25 he had worked for Khadijah who had been widowed twice and she was a rich lady who was very pleased with his successes in trading, in as much as he raided camel caravan. Her uncle Waraqah ibn Nawfal suggested and urged Muhammad to marry her. That was the first marriage, which lasted for about 26 years. And as far as we know there were no children that grew up, boys that is, for Muhammad from this relationship.
His claims to prophethood came at age 40. Coming home to tell Khadija that he had seen what seemed to be an angel, he thought it may be a demon. He felt at times he would jump off the mountain because he was afraid of that. She went quickly to Waraqah ibn Nawfal who assured her that it was not anything bad, but indeed we have been expecting a messenger among the Arabs because the Jews had all the messengers, all the prophets. And he encouraged her to do that, to accept. In fact, Khadijah became the first convert of Muhammad, and then his adopted son, and then several of his family members. Within that period of 13 years, Muhammad was able to claim about 40 in his city and yet his greater success was when some people came from the city of Medina, 200 miles to the north of there, and heard him speak, believed in him and the next thing they came and invited him to come to them.
By then the people in the city of Mecca were looking disturbed about this man who was preaching one true God. For they had in Mecca a successful business with 360 idols, people come annually from all over. It was a trading opportunity, economical opportunity and what would happen now? So Muhammad, we believe, tells that now he may indeed introduce an idea that will solve the problem of persecution of him and his people. So we have this particular statement in the Star Surah, which states, “Have ye thought upon Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?” Now, the rest of this, which is not in the Qur’an, is supposed to have had another statement to it, “for they have intercession with God.” The people of Mecca, having heard this, because there are three goddesses, quickly bowed down to the God of Muhammad because this is a compromise, you see. And they began to pray with him.
Not long after that he was convicted about this. His followers asked him, “How can you worship one God when you are telling us these three goddesses are able to have intercession with God?” So he changed his mind and told them that they were satanic verses, and in fact it is recorded in the scripture that practically all the prophets who tried to present the message of God, Satan came against them to thwart their effort. So what happens next is that this terminology is changed to sound adding these words, “are yours the males and his the females, that indeed was an unfair division. They are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers for which Allah hath revealed no words.”
The fact that Salman Rushdie harped on this in his book, which in my opinion is one of the filthiest books you could read in reality, caused such an uproar because it challenged the Muslims to look at a situation that has been buried so long time ago, which simply is this, “How can you believe me when I say to you God sent me with his word, when later on I say to you some of the words that I have spoken at one time, at one place, were actually from Satan?” How are you going to find what is from God, what is from Satan? This was the cause for the uproar. Of course, Salman Rushdie caused other problems beside that, which I’m sure some of you may know.
When Khadijah died he was seemingly inconsolable. And what happened next was within a few months he was—actually, as far as we know, within two months—he married Sauda. Once the Meccans realized he was no longer willing to compromise with them and their goddesses, they plotted to kill him. We are informed that he arranged quietly for the rest of his followers to leave the city discreetly, and then he and Abu Bakr, his best friend, left. It is that year which is recorded as the year of Hijra.
It is important to say to you that for the first year he began to help his followers establish in the city of Medina, which was called Yathrib, occupied mainly by Jews. And in this context we notice that they were established. He began to gain strength, but here is what we discover. Running out of food and needs, he knew, as a Quarysh, as a citizen of Mecca, of the continuous caravans from Damascus to the city of Mecca. So he decided and told his followers that they will need to attack them, to challenge them. Some of you may know that this is one of the most significant battles, and the first, called the Battle of Badr. Although he had only 350 and they had about 1000, the victory was theirs.
From that beginning, although some of his followers were frightened, he assured them that it was Allah who gave him the word and the admonition to do so, and if any one of them dies in battle he will go straight to Paradise and, of course, from then on they began with the idea that the booty that they get will be divided 50/50. In fact, after that we have the story of Muhammad’s wives, which finally concluded with 15 within the 10 years he was in the city of Medina.
Eventually, in trying to return to the city of Mecca, having made agreements with them and agreements, finally 10 years later, at the head of 10,000 of his followers, they came to the city of Mecca. The Meccans were not prepared to fight with 10,000 soldiers. We believe that the record states 34 people were killed, and then everything was given up to Muhammad.
In one of the interesting battles that took place against the Khaibar Jews, one old lady had prepared dinner for him and poisoned it. As soon as he took a bite he recognized that, spat it out and called his followers not to eat it. It is recorded that one of them, at least one of them, died immediately. But it is believed that what killed Muhammad was the effect of this poison plus pneumonia. He died in the city of Medina where he is buried to this day.
One of the unusual things that took place was the desire of his followers who would be his successor. The word that we use in Arabic is khalifah, which means a successor. In as much as Muhammad had been a political religious and military leader, they would have to follow in his footsteps as well. And so it was that he motioned to Aisha, his favorite wife whom he married when she was only 10, to bring something for him to write on, and, being weak as he was, was not able to do so. The end result was Abu Bakr was chosen, being a very godly man, as the first khalifah. And what follows is really sad. Abu Bakr died a natural death, being an old man, and yet Umar, who followed him, was stabbed in the Medina mosque in 646. The next khalifa was Uthman ibn Affan who spearheaded the revision of the Qur’an. He too was murdered when 80 years old while reading the Qur’an at his own palace.
I also must mention that Ali ibn Abi Talib was elected in 656 as governor of Syria. Muawiyah son of Abu Sufyan refused to recognize him; a civil war ensued, which ended five years later when Ali was assassinated. Muawiyah became the next khalifah, ruling from Damascus. His Umayyad dynasty ruled the Muslim world for 90 years. The grandson of Muhammad, Hussein, was brutally killed by the Umayyad’s in Karbala in Iraq on October 10, 680. And I’m sure some of you heard about that and they have an annual celebration or mourning for him every year.
We ask the question about Muhammad: Was Muhammad mentioned in the Bible? Even though some of the Muslim scholars back then and now try to take scriptures to identify this, the fact is, there is no mention of the word “Muhammad” in the Bible. There is no verse that identifies Muhammad as a coming prophet. Practically all the verses that our friends try to use, without an exception, are a reference to something out of context or to Jesus Christ Himself, our Lord and Savior.
One of the main things, however, that I must mention is that when the word parakletos is brought; first of all, the word parakleton does not mean anything at all like Muhammad. Parakleton means helper, comforter, sustainer, and advocate. The first of these titles is clearly not suited to Muhammad, the prophet with the sword. And the Qur’an itself denies the title of advocate to all but God Himself.
Secondly, in the New Testament the title, parakleton is directly applied only to the Holy Spirit according to John, and by implication, to Christ. The parakleton of whom Christ speaks is not a man, as the Qur’an tells you, sometimes even Gabriel named the Holy Spirit, is not a man, but the invisible Spirit of truth who was then dwelling with Christ’s disciples and would soon be in their hearts according to John 14:17.
Third, the parakleton was to be sent by Christ, according to John 15:26, which Muslims cannot admit concerning Muhammad.
Fourth, the parakleton’s work was not to gather armies and gain victories with earthly weapons, but to convict men of sin, of righteousness, and judgment. The very essence of sin being disbelief in Christ Jesus, according to John 16:9.
Fifth, His teaching was to glorify not Himself, but Christ and to do the work of Christ sent Him to do.
No, I would say these are some of the important matters that we can discuss in the brief time that we have. But Muhammad is not mentioned explicitly or implicitly in the Bible, God’s oldest written revelation, and the only written revelation as far as Christians are concerned. But Christ Jesus is found in the Qur’an and what it says about Him places Him far above the founder of Islam.
Now we come to the matter of Jesus according to the Qur’an. I have in my hand a sheet that identifies for you 35 different titles given to Jesus by the Qur’an. It is fascinating for any student of the Qur’an to discover. Jesus is mentioned 97 times while Muhammad is mentioned only 25 times in the Qur’an, once again, denoting the supremacy of Jesus over Muhammad.
Among the things of interests to us is that you will discover in the Qur’an, in surah Maryam 19:19-21 that Jesus was born miraculously. He said “I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son.” This is Gabriel speaking to Mary. She said, “How can I have a son when no mortal has touched me? Neither have I been unchaste.” He said, “So it will be, thy Lord saith it is easy for me, and it will be that we may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from us; and it is a thing ordained.”
It’s also interesting to note that Jesus spoke at His birth. You will find this statement. “Then she pointed to Him. They said, ‘How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy?’ He speak, ‘Lo, I am the slave of Allah. He has given Me the Scripture and hath appointed Me a prophet.’”
We are also informed that Jesus had supernatural knowledge. We find in Al Imran, chapter 3, verse 49, “And I announce unto you what you eat and what you store up in your houses, lo, hearing verily is important for you if ye are to be believers.” Muslim scholars take two positions on this passage. Some believe that from the beginning Isa, which is the name for Jesus—and I’m always eager to ask my Muslim friends, why we as Arab Christians call Jesus Yeshua and they as Muslim Arabs call Jesus Isa, two different names, seemingly two different personalities, although some, some similarities—but some believe that from the beginning, Isa, Jesus, learned hidden matters. Saudi relates that while Isa was playing with the children He told them what their mothers and fathers hid. He told the one boy, “Your mother has hidden something for you.” And the boy went home and cried until he received it.
We also notice from The Ornament of Gold 43, verse 57 these words: “And when the Son of Mary is quoted as example, ‘Behold, the folk laugh out,’” and then from 61, “And lo, verily there is knowledge of the hour, so doubt ye not concerning it, but follow Me, this is the right path.” Sometimes I like to say that when our friends, the Muslims, pray “show us the right path, or the straight path,” I refer to this, because right here Jesus is speaking and He is practically indicating Himself to be the right path, which goes back to the gospel of John, which says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
Jesus is blessed. We find this in surah Maryam in verse 31 that Christ declares, “And hath made Me blessed wheresoever I may be.” Jesus is endowed with the Holy Spirit and we gave Jesus, the Son of Mary, clear proofs of Allah’s sovereignty and we supported Him with the Holy Spirit.
Several other interesting matters will be helpful to us from surah Maryam 19:19-21. We discover a fantastic declaration. The Messiah Jesus Son of Mary was only a messenger of Allah and his word which he conveyed unto Mary and a spirit from him. And then in 3:39 “Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a son whose name is John, who cometh to confirm a word from Allah, lowly, chaste, a prophet of the righteous.” In other words, if John is coming to prepare the way for the messenger, who is called in this term, prepare the way of Allah, Jesus therefore was indeed God.
We also notice that Jesus is Allah’s mediator as Messiah. This is from Al Imran, verse 45, chapter 3, and remember when the angel said “O Mary, lo, Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, illustrious in the world, and the hereafter, and one of those brought near unto Allah.”
Jesus is like Adam. This is a remarkable statement, because you see in the family of Al Imran, chapter 3, verse 59 we are told “Lo, the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then he said unto him, ‘Be’ and he is.”
One of the remarkable stories is that we are told when God made man and ordered the angels and everybody to come and bow down to Him, that Satan refused, declaring that man was made of mud and he was made of fire. And in this case we ask, if only God is worthy of being worshiped, how come would He ask the angels and the devil to bow down to this Adam? The fact is, it is not the first Adam he was asked to bow to; it is Jesus, the second Adam, to whom we know in Philippians that “every knee shall bow in heaven, on earth and under the earth and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
Jesus is a servant, which agrees with that wonderful declarations of the 53rd chapter of Isaiah.
Jesus creates; and this a very intriguing statement which is really borrowed from some folk tales. We discover this in chapter 5, verse 110, “When Allah saith, ‘O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember my favor unto Thee and unto Thy mother, how I strengthened Thee with the Holy Spirit so that Thou speakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity and how I taught you the Scripture and wisdom and Torah and the gospel, and how Thou did shape [listen carefully] of clay as it were likeness of a bird by my permission.’” If Jesus created from dust birds, as God created man from dust, what do you suppose this says to you? Jesus as Creator, even from the Qur’an.
Jesus heals and raises from the dead is obvious as Al Imran says, chapter 3, verse 49, “I heal him who was born blind and the leper and I raise the dead by Allah’s leave.” But never does the Qur’an tell you how that was done. It just in passing gives you the statement and never tells you about what he did with the blind man according to John or how he raised Lazarus from the grave like the gospels details that.
Jesus died, and Jesus was raised from the dead. This is perhaps one of the most significant things to deal with. In chapter 19, verse 15 we read, “Peace on him the day he was born and the day he dieth and the day he shall be raised alive.” No Muslim scholar will deny that John the Baptist, of whom this passage is spoken, was born, died and will be raised up. And therefore we ask why then they balk down on the other terminology which is related to Jesus and declaring, the words of Mary, that’s surah Maryam 19:32-34, “And hath made Me dutiful toward her who bore Me and have not made Me arrogant, unblessed. Peace be on Me the day I was born and the day I die and the day I shall be raised alive. Such was Jesus Son of Mary. This is a statement of truth concerning which they doubt.”
Sometimes I feel like, because of the resurrection, you see, some of the Jews began to doubt: Did they kill Jesus?—Should I say those who kill Jesus; not necessarily the Jews, because my conviction is all of us killed Jesus because of our sins. He laid His life for us.— But in the conflict of the situation you can imagine the Jews had killed Jesus; the Romans killed Jesus; the rabbis killed Jesus; we killed Jesus. But now the tomb is empty. What are they going to make out of it? See, they did not see Him. The disciples did; and the confusion there produced this wonder, whether He was really alive or dead.
So an easy way to come out of it is, He went up to heaven. I wish that he’d asked the Jews about that because they believe that they crucified Him and that they did so because He would not back out from what He said about His being the Son of God. “Peace be on Me the day I was born and the day I die and the day I shall be raised alive,” a day of birth, a day of death, and a day of resurrection.
And why indeed would He have to go up to heaven, come down again and then live here and defeat the Antichrist and get married and have children and die and be buried next to Muhammad? This is not in the Qur’an. This is tradition, things that people say.
Remember, please, that Adam is considered the chosen of God; Noah the preacher for God; Abraham, the friend of God; Moses, the speaker with God; Jesus, the Word of God; Muhammad, the apostle of God. It s a reminder for you to ask this question to our Muslim friends: Why is it so easy for you to believe that God can give us the written word and so hard for you to believe that God can give us a living word? I mean, why do you believe a written word is so perfect and possible and not a living word? I mean, God is God. He’s almighty; He can do anything He pleases.
And, of course, one of the things that we need to remember is the matter of the crucifixion. In our dealing in the debates, we have dealt with that effectively, and I believe it’s important to remind you that the overwhelming reports of both the gospels themselves, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the testimonies of history and historians, are indeed enough evidence to the fact that Jesus was crucified arose and He is coming again.
From secular history we have Flavius Josephus. From Jewish Talmud, I think some of you would be interested in this, listen please, and this is from the copy published in Amsterdam in 1943, page 42, and this is from the Talmud. I read: “Jesus was crucified one day before the Passover. We warned Him for 40 days that He would be killed, because He was a magician and planned to deceive Israel with His delusions. Whoever wished to do so was asked to defend Him. And when none did, He was crucified on the eve of the Passover. Does anyone dare to defend Him? Was He not a stirrer up of evil? It is said in the Prophets, Deuteronomy 13:8-9: ‘You shall not consent to Him or listen to Him, nor shall your eye pity Him, nor shall you spare Him or conceal Him, but you shall surely kill Him.’”
And remember please that John writes and says at the conclusion of his gospel that he saw and believed and he reported to us what he saw. Again, in 1 John we are informed, “That which we have seen, which we have touched, which our ears have heard, we declare unto you.”
A modern commentary from the American, the Journal of the American Medical Association, I refer you to the issue of March 21, 1986, page 1455, which readers were treated to an astonishing 9-page essay entitled “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ: the Extensive, Investigative and Extraordinary Material,” was written by William D. Edwards, MD, Wesley J. Gable, MDiv, and Floyd E. Hosmer MS, AMI. I would recommend reading the entire article, however you may find it, and wherever you may find it.
The necessity of the cross; you see, the matter before us is the awareness that repentance alone cannot remove the debt of past sins is in the heart of every man everywhere. Our Muslim friends declare that their salvation is by works and repentance from sin. However, the fact is, there must be a more effective means of obtaining forgiveness than just that. The good acts of sinful men do not change the men’s inner sinful nature, only their outward appearance. There must be atonement; a sinless sacrifice must be presented to a just God. “The payment for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” according to Romans. And again, Hebrews 9:22 affirms, “and according to the law, almost all things are purged with blood and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
Sin is an insult to the name of God and destructive to man who is created in the image of God; therefore, sinful man deserves just judgment. God can never be just unless He punishes the sinner. Repentance, which is but merely the return to the place of obedience, cannot bring the justification sought for the sins committed. In other words, if a murderer tells the court that he is sorry for his terrible deed, such a confession does not mean that he goes free. The court will still give him a sentence of death or life imprisonment as his payment for his disobedience. Who is going to pay for our sins? How can we resolve the sin problem?
Now I’ll read to you from Romans 3:29: “Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles, yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.”
And here is another prophet whose name is John. His name is John the Baptist. I come now to say to you that as far as the matter before us, it is very important to remember that the man who served for 60 years in India declared—the famed Christian apostle to India for 60 years—that the types of religion in the world are basically three. First type of religion is the word made word; God’s revealing Himself primarily through inerrant revelation in a Holy book. The second type is the word made law in which God is viewed as revealing Himself primarily in a set of rules to follow. The third is the word made flesh; if humans were libraries the best way to communicate with them would be through a book; if humans were constitutions and by-laws they would respond best to a set of laws; because we are human, God chose to make the word flesh.
The Muslims seem to believe that in the beginning was the Word and the Word became a book. Muslims assert that Allah has revealed himself most clearly in a book, not in Muhammad the person. Indeed, according to my count, the word “book” occurs 259 times in the Qur’an. In contradistinction, Christians believe that in the beginning was the Word and the Word became a human being.
Here are these interesting statements. I would like to say that in the Old Testament we have references in the Qur’an concerning the story of Adam and Eve. In fact, you will observe that in the Qur’an, the Qur’an never names the sons of Adam and Eve as Cain and Abel.
Moving on, because of our time limitation, I need to say that we have these passages that identify the borrowing of the Qur’an from the Bible. Reading from the surah 97, verse 3, “The night of power is better than a thousand months.” We believe borrowed from Psalms 84:10, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.” Surah 1, verse 6: “Show us the straight path.” Psalms 27:11: “Teach me Your way O Lord, and lead me in a straight path.” We have written in the Scripture after the reminder, “My righteous slaves will inherit the earth.” Surah 21, verse 105: “The righteous shall inherit the earth and dwell in it forever.” Psalms 37:29: “He it is who sendeth down water from the sky when ye have drink and whence are trees.” And the rest of this passage, which is from the Bee surah 16, verse 10-12 and following is found in Psalms 104. Other passages worthy of comparison, if you have the time to look them up, are surah Hud 11, Psalms 14; surah Qaf 12 and Psalm 16; surah Ibrahim 14 and Psalm 35; surah Al-Hijr 15 and Psalms 5; surah Al-Kahf 18 and Psalms 34.
There are also passages that are borrowed from Jewish folklore. The Second Targum of Esther dating back to the second century AD is consistently found to be the source of surah An-Nahl 27:17-44. And I will skip the reading of that and go on to say that from the Second Targum of Esther we also read about Solomon, which is reflected of course in the Qur’an again.
The New Testament itself, it is necessary to mention to you then references there. The Qur’an mentions Jesus, as I told you a few moments ago, 97 times, plus Zachariah, his son John the Baptist, along with the disciples of Jesus. I find that there are 131 passages in the Qur’an in which the Bible is referred to, as lo, Psalms and the gospels. Furthermore, numerous passages in the Qur’an so closely parallel passages in the New Testament, which is 600 years older than the Qur’an, that one can safely conclude that Muhammad borrowed some of the contents of his revelation from the truly inspired text of the New Testament scripture.
Here are some of these choices. “Ah, woe unto worshippers who are heedless of their prayer who would be seen at worship.” And that is from surah Al-Mu’minoon 107. “Therefore when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men,” Matthew 6:2. “They taste not death therein save the first death,” surah Ad-Dukhan 44, verse 56. “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death,” Revelation 2:11. “Lo, they who deny our revelations and scorn them, for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, nor will they enter the garden until the camel goes through the needle’s eye,” surah 7, verse 40. “And again I say to you, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,’” Matthew 19:24. Many others are here and there. I believe the apocryphal fables are referred to in the story of John the Baptist, about Zachariah and his wife.
Also Christian heresies. In fact, I am convinced that the objection of Muhammad to the Trinity is not to the Trinity of the Christians, but to a sect called the Maronites who had come from heathenism and concocted the idea that God had married Mary and Jesus was born. So we are as much against this idea of the Trinity as our Muslim friends are. Our belief, of course, in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are eternal and forever.
Along with that we believe that the ancient Arabs reportedly had seven celebrated temples dedicated to the seven planets. It is from that I believe they borrowed the idea of seven heavens when the Bible reveals to us there are actually three heavens. These were dedicated to the seven planets. The temple at Siyyon was built in honor of Venus, and the one at Mecca was consecrated to Saturn.
And of course, stones; this is an interesting matter to bring before you. Stones shaped like the famed Egyptian obelisk and 10 feet high are on top of Mount Sier in Petra till this day in south Jordan which you can see for yourself. Kaaba is an Arabic word which means a cube. The structure is also called Baytula. I have fresh research and would like to say to you that it is now believed by some scholars that the Kaaba was built almost 1,000 years before Muhammad came by Jews who escaped from the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and built it 18 meters as a cube. And this is why it was called Baytula, the house of God, even before Muhammad came and before he began the religion of Islam.
Something of interest, the secrets of Enoch and the New Testament of Abraham are involved in the Qur’an, and the idea of the Sabeans. The Sabeans supposedly are the first believers in God. Notice please their worship was monotheistic, from which Muhammad borrowed their ideas. They offered sacrifices and prayed seven times a day. He reduced this to five. And of course that Sabeans fasted 30 days a year, breaking the fast at sunset, much similar to the practices of Islam. And the Sabeans were probably the first true monotheists in the ancient days.
We have also Qur’anic exaggerations, and that needs to be looked at. In the Cow surah, for instance, chapter 2, verse 259, we are told “Or bethink thee of the life of him who passing by a township which had fallen into utter ruin, exclaim ‘How shall Allah give this township life after its death?’ And Allah made him die 100 years then brought him back to life. He said, ‘How long hast thou tarried?’ The man said, ‘I have tarried a day or part of a day.’ He said, ‘Nay, but thou had tarried for 100 years. Just look at thy food and drink which have rotted. Look at thine ass.’” In other words, God raised a man and a donkey after they had been dead for 100 years. And, of course, another statement, “I raised by shaking it from its roots the Mountain of Sinai to be a covering over you as it were a lid.” This is a statement that is never found in the scripture about the Mountain of Sinai being in that situation.
Also the contradictions of science, I need to read the surah 18, verse 86: “Till when he” referring to Zul-qarnain, which is a term in Arabic meaning the man with the two horns, referring to Alexander the Great, “when he reached the setting place of the sun,” notice please, “he found it set in a muddy spring and found a people there about. We said “O Zul-qarnain! either punish or show them kindness.” Only the superstitious in the age of Muhammad believed that the sun would ever set in a muddy stream.
There are abrogation of verses which we discover as verses presented and later on nullified because there are better verses than that, either for forgetfulness or a better revelation mentioned there.