Islam – Peace, Love and Hope

Not a madman?

For, this fellow-man of yours is not a madman; Quick – who said that in the midst of an end-time prophecy? And what’s the significance of it? Here’s a hint.  Just before this, the prophecy includes these things: the sun goes dark the stars go dark mountains vanish the seas are boiling Hell and paradise can both be seen the deeds of men are made known OK – who is it? Post Views: 4

Praising God in The Bible and Qur’an

  Praise God!  This is something that Christians and Muslims both agree on.   Yes, some question whether we believe in the same “God”.  That’s the whole point of this series – to examine that most important question. More on that later.     For this one, let’s look at the next Sura, #1 – which would be the 5th by order of Revelation.  The translation is by Rashad Khalifa. It’s quite short.  Very much to the point. [1:1] In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. [1:2] Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe. [1:3] Most Gracious, Most Merciful. [1:4] Master of the Day of Judgment. [1:5] You alone we worship; You alone we ask for help. [1:6] Guide us in the right path; [1:7] the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers. The truth is, except for maybe verse 7, I dare say most Christians would think it was said by a Christian – and – most Muslims would think it was said by a Muslim. God as gracious and merciful – something we both believe. God as Lord of the universe – of everything – […]

Swearing by the moon – Bible (Old and New Testaments) & Qur’an

  One book shows swearing (taking an oath) by the Name of God. One book says not to swear at all. One book shows swearing by the moon. Do you know which book has each of these? How do you feel about each of these scenarios? Read on to learn more about this interesting topic.    The Old Testament  Lev 19:12 “ ‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD. Jos 23:6 “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. 7 Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. 8 But you are to hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have until now. Ps 63:11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God’s name will praise him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced. Isa 45:23 By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in […]

Can the God of Islam take care of Himself?

 We saw earlier in the Qur’an where it says God can take care of Himself. It shows up again in Sura 73. But again – it’s abrogated.  This really begs the question – does Islam truly believe that their God can take care of Himself – or does He need people to do it for Him? Here are the relevant verses from Sura 73 – [73:10] And remain steadfast in the face of their utterances, and disregard them in a nice manner. [73:11] And let Me deal with the rejectors, who have been generously blessed; just give them a little time. [73:12] We have severe punishments, and Hell. [73:13] Food that can hardly be swallowed, and painful retribution. [73:14] The day will come when the earth and the mountains will quake, and the mountains will turn into a weightless pile. As you can see – verses 10 and 11 – the ones that tell believers to be steadfast and patient – and that God will take care of Himself – have been stricken.  They are replaced with – [9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter […]

Praying at night – the Qur’an and the Bible

  The Qur’an, in Sura 73, encourages praying at night.   How does this compare with what’s in the Bible? We’ll look at the New Testament to see how the two compare and contrast. And then look at what the differences mean.   The first thing I thought of when I read this was the verses in the Bible that relate darkness to evil and light to good.  Of course, that thought was quickly replaced with a stronger one that said – No, that can’t be what this is about.  After looking into it more, I think the second thought is correct.   Let’s look at what this Sura has to say.   [73:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [73:1] O you cloaked one. [73:2] Meditate during the night, except rarely. [73:3] Half of it, or a little less. [73:4] Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover. [73:5] We will give you a heavy message. [73:6] The meditation at night is more effective, and more righteous. [73:7] You have a lot of time during the day for other matters. [73:8] You shall commemorate the name of your Lord, to come ever […]

Ishmael, Pharaoh, Moses – and Esau

[73:15] We have sent to you a messenger, just as we sent to Pharaoh a messenger. … [73:19] This is a reminder; whoever wills, let him choose the path to his Lord.   Based on these verses, what is the Qur’an really saying about the path to God? Apparently there are choices to be made.    Christians and Jews should all know the story of Moses.  But there’s a few things we saw before that I’d like to remind you of – just in case you’ve forgotten.  The Israelites were in Egypt because of the famine that took place hundreds of years earlier.  Shortly before the drought began that caused the famine, Joseph had been sold, by his brothers, into slavery.  They sold him to Ishmaelites.  Those Ishmaelites took him to Egypt, where he rose from being a slave to being the number two person in all of Egypt.  All this because of a band of Ishmaelites. Fast forward about 400 years, and we have Moses being sent by God to confront Pharaoh and set the Israelites free.  Then comes the plagues.  And finally – freedom for the Israelites.  If you’d like to read the previous post to get more […]

Moses, Pharaoh, praying at night, more abrogation, and the assembling of the Qur’an

  In the 3rd Sura of the Qur’an, we are again sent to the Old Testament to understand the background of these verses. This time – Moses and Pharaoh. There is also an interesting command to pray at night. Finally, we see 6 verses stricken and replaced by others.  Once more, the stricken verses seem to replace forgiveness towards unbelievers with harsh penalties.  There is a pattern developing – even in these first three Suras.  To understand this pattern, we’ll also look at how the Qur’an came to be a written document.  Below is Sura 73 – as originally revealed.  (More or less.  I say this, because there are disagreements as to whether all of the verses were part of the original revelation.  Some feel [73:20] was actually a later revelation, but was included as part of this Sura.) Sura 73, Cloaked — part 1a – praying at night [73:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [73:1] O you cloaked one. [73:2] Meditate during the night, except rarely. [73:3] Half of it, or a little less. [73:4] Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover. [73:5] We will give you a heavy message. [73:6] […]

Jonah Abrogated. Islam Hijacked?

If what we see in the Middle East today is a hijacked version of Islam – then Islam was hijacked before the Qur’an was put in written form!  However – we must never lose sight of the fact that God has plainly stated he loves the Muslim people.  And so should we. Hard to believe?  It sure seems impossible to believe.  And yet – as we’ve seen – this is the only possible conclusion when we consider the words of the Bible that all Christians and Jews believe is the Word of God.   As usual – the question comes down to – do we just  believe in God or do we actually  believe God? This is part of a continuing series.  If you haven’t read the earlier references to Jonah – please do. Otherwise, this probably won’t make much sense. It’s best to start at the very beginning – but it’s getting pretty long now, so I encourage you to at least check out the Jonah references.  There is a list of the entire Islam series here. Yes – Jonah was abrogated. Of course – there is disagreement between various Muslim sects as to whether this is really true. That disagreement […]

Jonah revisited – from the OT to Christianity and Islam

Yes.  Jonah, the reluctant prophet with 4 short chapters, has ties to both Christianity and Islam. This isn’t going at all like I expected when I started this project.  I went into it with the feeling that Muslims and Christians couldn’t possibly be talking about the same God.  And I expected to be writing about the evidence to prove that.  But the deeper I look, the more I realize that they did start with the same God.  The evidence is there – in the Old Testament.  In the history that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have in common. Then something happened.  We learned about abrogation in my last post – Abrogation in the Qur’an.  Before looking at  The Abrogation of Jonah, let’s look at the impact of Jonah – how his actions and prophecy related to all three peoples – Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  Of course, in Jonah’s time, there were no Christians or Muslims.  But like so many OT prophecies, they existed at multiple levels.  There was the immediate impact – there was possibly a Messianic link – and finally “end times” events.   But – while the actual religions were not there by name – the ancestors of those who would […]

Abrogation in the Qur’an

Abrogation.  This is how a religion can talk about peace, incite violence, and claim no contradiction in what it teaches. Some in Islam say there is no such thing as abrogation.  We’ll shortly see that the Qur’an itself puts the lie to this statement. Others say abrogation is the key to understanding Islam. If you’ve read the previous articles in this series, then you understand the importance of  [68:48] You shall steadfastly persevere in carrying out the commands of your Lord. Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish.  But that verse was abrogated! This article will look at abrogation – what it means- and what is the impact of having verses abrogated.  Then, we’ll return to the Jonah question, so see how it fits in with the first paragraph above. Post Views: 111

A deeper look into the Jonah question

The “Jonah question” is turning out to be tougher than expected. There’s a difference between God hating what people do – and hating the people themselves. Let’s see if that could help with the “Jonah question”. This is part of a continuing series looking at God in the Qur’an, the Old Testament and the New Testament.  If you haven’t read it yet, part 1 is here. Review [68:48] You shall steadfastly persevere in carrying out the commands of your Lord. Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish. [68:49] If it were not for his Lord’s grace, he would have been ejected into the desert as a sinner. [68:50] But his Lord blessed him, and made him righteous. [68:51] Those who disbelieved show their ridicule in their eyes when they hear the message and say, “He is crazy!” [68:52] It is in fact a message to the world This is the closing for Sura 68 – telling Muhammad to not be like Jonah. Looking Deeper So far, we’ve seen that there was an expectation for Muhammad to have either already known about Jonah from the Old Testament – or else to have done the reading himself to […]

The Jonah Question of Sura 68 – Part 6

In the previous article, we saw that Muhammad was told not to be like Jonah. This is a complex, but critical issue.  With God’s command to Jonah – it was an outreach from the Hebrew people to the Ninevites (which is in modern day Iraq).  It was unheard of.  Jonah at first rejected it!  But then, with some “encouragement” from God – Jonah went on his mission.  And he succeeded. So how does this relate to Muhammad? The only way to know is to look into the roots of Jonah’s experience, and how that fits in with both Christianity and Islam.  After all – both of them were prominent in Muhammad’s time.   It’s complicated.  It’s not easy.  But I believe it will be most enlightening. So I welcome you to come along on the journey. To really understand what’s happening here with The Jonah Question, I highly recommend at least reading the article that raised the issue. Review [68:48] You shall steadfastly persevere in carrying out the commands of your Lord. Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish. [68:49] If it were not for his Lord’s grace, he would have been ejected into the desert as […]

Don’t Be Like Jonah – Sura 68 Part 5

Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish. At the end of a very long and difficult revelation, Muhammad is told to not be like Jonah. What does this mean? Among other things, it obviously means that either Muhammad already knew the story of Jonah from the Jewish Bible – or he was expected to go get a Jewish Bible and learn about it from there! Let’s check this out further.  Sura 68 – The Pen Order of Revelation – 2 Traditional order in Qur’an – 68 Sura 68 addresses the following: 1.  The sense from the Prophet that his first revelation was actually from an evil spirit. This appears to be confirming what his wife told him – that Muhammad was not crazy / hallucinating / etc. 2.  Confirms that God can see what people are doing. 3.  Compares the revelations to the Prophet to what others are told by their idols (gods). 4.  Says that God can take care of Himself. 5.  Tells Muhammad not to be like Jonah. Part 1 was covered in concerning the first revelation. Part 2 was covered in God can see what people do Part 3 was covered in Compare […]

God Can Take Care Of Himself – In The Qur’an and The Bible – Sura 68 Part 4

  [68:44] Therefore, let Me deal with those who reject this Hadith; we will lead them on whence they never perceive. Ge 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  These are statements from the Qur’an, The Torah (1st 5 books of the Old Testament) and The Injil (The Gospels from the New Testament).  Each is representative of how God deals with unbelievers in each of these three books. Post Views: 9

Idols in the Qur’an and the Bible – Sura 68 – Part 3

[68:41] Do they have idols? Let their idols help them, if they are truthful. 1Ki 18:24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.” Both the Qur’an and the Bible warn about false gods and idols.  However – while the Bible places a heavy emphasis on miracles, the Qur’an does not.  Although – Muslims do consider the Qur’an itself to be a miracle. We’ll take a look at this, based on another section of Sura 68, compared with 1 Kings from the Old Testament and The Gospel of Mark from the New Testament.  Sura 68 – The Pen Order of Revelation – 2 Traditional order in Qur’an – 68 Sura 68 addresses the following: 1.  The sense from the Prophet that his first revelation was actually from an evil spirit. This appears to be confirming what his wife told him – that Muhammad was not crazy / hallucinating / etc. 2.  Confirms that God can see what people are doing. 3.  Compares the revelations to the Prophet to what others are told by their idols (gods). 4.  Says that God can […]

Qur’an Sura 68 (part 2) – God sees everything

This part of Sura 68 speaks to God’s awareness of everything going on. He knows who follows Him – and who doesn’t. He also knows who encourages people to stray away from Him. And finally – He encourages believers to not follow those who want to transgress. Let’s compare the verses from this Sura (The Pen) with what we see in Psalms from the Bible. If you’re a Muslim, as you read this, I encourage you to take an open look at the God of the Bible.  Remember, He is the same God who made promises to Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael.  The Qur’an anticipates that you will examine the Bible, with the Book of Psalms as one of the points of emphasis.  That’s what we’re going to do in this session – see the similarities between both books. If you’re a Christian, as you read this, I encourage you to do the exact opposite.  Remember the same promises – know that the God of the Bible did make those promises to Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael.  Take a fresh and open look at what David says – and how it relates to not just the people of Israel – but all of […]

Intro to Sura 68 – The Pen. God’s promises to Abraham, revisited.

Among other things, Sura 68 is a response to Muhammad’s sense / fear that his first revelation was from a Jinn (an evil spirit).  It confirms to him that he is not crazy or hallucinating. This second Sura, in order of revelation, is quite long.   Other topics in Sura 68 will be covered in later posts.  But I think this one will be quite revealing for non-Muslims. If you’re not a Muslim – I encourage you to read on, and probably notice some things you hadn’t considered before. If you are a Muslim – I also encourage you to read on, and maybe see a different perspective towards you as a person – from a Christian. If you’re neither one, it will still be a different take on an important world issue.  Nothing like what you’ll find in the news reports – where seemingly neither the Bible or the Qur’an are actually being read or understood.  Already, this has been a fascinating journey for me.  Something I just need to share. Post Views: 114

Creation, as told in the Qur’an and Genesis

The first Sura in the Qur’an, by order of revelation, begins with the creation of man.  Let’s compare that to what’s in Genesis, from the Jewish Torah / Christian Bible. In the translation that I’m using, this verse is called The Embryo. In others, it is called “The Clot”.   The Arabic word used can be translated in various ways, including “clump of mud”. In any case, it’s meant to show that the creation of man was a wondrous event.     To get some background on how Islam, Christianity and Judaism all claim Abraham as the “father” of their religion, please see this post on What religion was Abraham?”.   Sura 96 – The Embryo Order of Revelation – 1 Traditional order in Qur’an – 96 The Qur’an is not presented by order of revelation to Muhammad.  Rather, it is arranged by the length of each Sura (or chapter) in the original Arabic language.  Therefore, I will give both the order of both the revelation to Muhammad and the printed Qur’an. This first Sura is actually two parts. The first part is verses 1-5, which is about the creation of man. The revelation is believed to have taken place in […]

Islam – peace, love and hope. Why? 1

  In the first article in this series – I said I felt led to write about this topic. I also said I had been ignoring the call.  So – what made me decide to write – what was the thing that made the decision for me? If you’re new to this site – the reason may surprise you. If you’re a regular – you’re used to this. I was in my car – listening to music – and two songs played – one after the other – Blessed Be Your Name I Know You’re Out There Somewhere The first one – Blessed Be Your Name – as one might guess is a religious song – by Rebecca Saint James. And it’s meaning – it’s pretty obvious – Blessed be the name of God. The second one though – it’s a love song – by the Moody Blues. For a long time – I’ve thought this would be a great song to use on this site – the title – I know you’re out there somewhere – it’s perfect for someone who knows that God exists – but can’t quite seem to find Him. But it’s the words – what […]

Islam – peace, love and hope introduction 2

  So – I feel like God’s been pushing me into doing research on Islam. Not nudging – or guiding – or anything like that. Because I’ve been ignoring those. No – it’s pushing.   The people of three religions claim Abraham as the father of their religion. Is it realistic to think that he’d want the three of them to hate each other?   If we look at Genesis 21:11 -13 to see how Abraham reacted when Ishmael was sent away – I think we can get the answer to this question – Ge 21:11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” So we see the Abraham cared about what happened to Ishmael. And, we see the God promised to make him into a great nation. To tell the truth – for a long time I thought maybe God made Ishmael into a great […]