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 – in itself – should raise some really serious questions.
Yes – more questions – but they are incredibly important.
But – before we go there –
let’s finish the investigation into what the “invisible well” meant (from the previous article in this series – Jonah revisited – from the OT to Christianity and Islam –
and what does that have to do with Jonah?
The answer to those questions elevates the abrogation question to an even higher level.
So – remember –
Jonah was sent by the God of the Sons of Israel to deliver a message to the Ninevites telling them that He cared about them.
That God wanted them to turn to Him because they were important to them.
So they cried out to Him – and He saved them.
We also saw God – after hearing Ishmael cry out –
make a previously invisible well turn visible to Hagar and Ishmael –
a well that had been there all along –
but which they couldn’t see –
until after they cried out to Him –
and then they could drink the “invisible water” that saved them.
Of course – all of this is impossible – right?
But then again –
it’s in the very Book that Muhammad directed Muslims to read –
so he obviously believed it –
believed that it was not only possible – but true.
I cannot stress the importance of this strongly enough. I believe it’s critically important for both Muslims and Christians to realize the importance of what’s going on here.
Yes – God spoke of the issues that would arise with the descendants of Ishmael and those of Isaac. But – at the same time – God didn’t abandon Ishmael. God even provided invisible water to save Ishmael’s life. Christians – you know what this means – even if you don’t want it to be true. Note – Don’t be like Jonah!
So – let’s fast forward to the time of Isa.
He’s talking to a Samaritan woman –
someone who was looked down on by Jews,
because one of her parents was Jewish and the other wasn’t.
And look what Isa tells her –
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
Jn 4:1 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
Jn 4:4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
Jn 4:7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
Jn 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
Jn 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Jn 4:11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
Jn 4:13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jn 4:15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jn 4:16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
Jn 4:17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
Jn 4:19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jn 4:21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Jn 4:25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Jn 4:26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
So we see Isa offering “invisible water” to the Samaritan woman.
Impossible – right?
No – not at all.
Even the Samaritan women knew about the things Isa was saying –
she just didn’t realize that He was the person she had been waiting for.
But – when she asked – He made this knowledge available to her –
offering her the water –
in spite of everything He knew about her.
Isa knew she was living in sin –
but He still made the offer to her.
Isa knew she was a Samaritan – the lowest of the low –
but He still made the offer to her.
He makes this offer to everyone.
No matter who you are –
Muslim – Christian – Jew – Atheist – whatever –
this same offer was and is made to you.
What does the possibility of abrogation do to this?
If the Jonah verse really was abrogated –
this verse – according to the Islam sect that supports its abrogation – has been withdrawn.
In effect – followers of a sect that withdrew the Jonah verse says Muslims should not consider Jonah.
They say that Muslims should ignore the fact (originally stated by Muhammad) that God delivered a message to the Ninevites that He loved them and cared about them – and wanted to save them!
This seems very strange that a Muslims should ignore a message from the same God who –
heard Hagar and answered hew by promising a great nation from her son – Ishmael –
heard that same Ishmael crying out when he desperately needed water to maintain his life –
made visible a well with that much needed water –
later sent Isa with a message for a different kind of “invisible water” –
and that same Isa offered that water for eternal life to all people –
including the descendants of Ishmael.
Why would this verse be abrogated?
Why would what appears to be a continuing thread of life saving activities to Ishmael be taken away?
First – let’s look at the verse the some say abrogated the Jonah verse.
It comes from Sura 9: Ultimatum
Specifically, it is from verse 9:5 –
[9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), you shall let them go. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
If you look at this verse –
it matches up very will with what is happening in the Middle East right now with what many are calling Militant Islamists – Radical Muslims – terrorists who supposedly don’t follow Islam – etc.
So some say they are following Islam
However – others say the terrorists are not following Islam.
Well – let’s put part of that lie to the truth right now.
[9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make.
It is part of Islam.
It’s a disputed part –
but it is in the Qur’an.
Verse 5 is known as the sword verse.
Some of the other translations available are:
It has been translated into English by the western Islamic Scholar, Marmaduke Pickthall as:
“ Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.([Quran 9:5]) ”
Abdullah Yusuf Ali has translated the verse as:
“ But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. ”
Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir’s commentary on the verse is:
“ Do not wait until you find them. Rather, seek and besiege them in their areas and forts, gather intelligence about them in the various roads and fairways so that what is made wide looks ever smaller to them. This way, they will have no choice, but to die or embrace Islam.” ”
“ And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. ”
“ So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Just to be clear –
All of Islam considers Christians to be polytheists. It wasn’t this way originally. But it is by the end of the revelations presented in the Qur’an. Again – more abrogations led to this. We’ll look at them as we go on in the series.
This may seem to indicate that all Muslims should be seeking out all non-Muslims – including Christians.
However – some who say the verse is valid claim it was meant to be in self-defense only.
So we have some Muslims who say the verse isn’t valid at all.
Other Muslims say it’s valid – but only for self defense.
Obviously – it’s not always translated either way –
including by the terrorists.
At this point – again –
I have a request for you –
offered only to bring you to a true understanding of what’s happening here.
There are obvious discrepancies here.
How can one start with verses that tell Muslims to read Torah and Injil –
with the belief that they are true –
and then in a short time end up saying that the people of The Book –
those same people who follow Torah and Injil –
need to be killed?
How can this be?
And let’s not forget what the original intent of the Jonah verse in Sura 68 was really about. It was given to Muhammad because he was getting push-back from his own people about this new religion he was trying to give them. At the time of Sura 68 – historically – there was no attempt to convert Jews or Christians. In fact – he was trying to give his own people a monotheistic religion to replace the hundreds of false gods his people were worshiping with a monotheistic God like the Jews and Christians.
How did we get from a Jonah verse that was given in response to a concern over Arabs rejecting his revelations – to a sword verse telling Muslims to kill Jews and Christians. And then to a point where even Muslims with different beliefs – different emphasis on different parts of their same Holy Book – were also to be considered infidels and were to be killed as well as the Jews and the Christians?
along with that –
what do you want?
Do you believe that God loved and took care of Ishmael?
Do you believe that God made the invisible water available to Hagar and Ishmael?
Do you want to be able to listen to the message of God that came from Jonah?
Do you want to hear that the God who took care of Ishmael loves you too?
Do you want to be able to talk to Isa?
Do you want to be able to have some of the invisible water that Isa offers to all of us?
If you’re a Muslim and answered yes to any of these question –
Pray to the God of Abraham –
pray to the God who heard Hagar –
pray to the God who heard Ishmael –
pray to the God who showed the invisible water to Hagar and Ishmael –
pray to the God that made Ishmael into a great nation –
pray to Isa who offers His invisible water to you –
pray that you will ask Him for some of that water –
pray that you will be able to see the truth.
And of you’re a Christian –
Don’t forget that the same God who made the promises to Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael –
He’s the same God that we worship.
Don’t forget that the same God who chastised Jonah for wanting the Ninevites to be killed –
who told Jonah that He was concerned about those Ninevites – the predecessors of today’s Muslims –
He’s the same God that we worship.
Yes – God said there would be strife between Ishmael and Isaac.
But He didn’t abandon Ishmael.
And neither should we.
Having said that – for those that are generally considered the “extremists” –
we do have a message from Jesus (Isa) that may be appropriate –
Mt 10:11 “Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
BTW – regarding the Sodom and Gomorrah reference – yes, they are most infamous today for issues related to homosexuality. However – as I’ve pointed out before – the bigger issues related to how they treated people.
Eze 16:49 “ ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
We don’t want to fall into that same trap.
The people that we call “moderate” Muslims – they are very likely seeking the very same God that we are. They call Him Allah. We call Him God. But what if both are seeking the same goal? If we hate them – are we any different that the people of Sodom? If we hate them – are we not being arrogant and unconcerned – towards people that God loves? If we hate them – are we not being like Jonah? If we hate them – are we not also wanting God to destroy people that He loves?
There’s a plan here. God would not abandon people that He loves.
There’s a plan here. We, as Christians, should not abandon people that God loves.
There’s a plan here. Muslims – those who are truly seeking the God that made promises to Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael – need to see what that plan is. Clearly – something’s gone wrong with the original message of Islam. It does seem to have been hijacked. A long time ago. Even before the Qur’an was written down.
Pray about these things –
as I’ve said – not with you’re mind, but with your heart.
Pray to the God of Abraham,
the God who heard Hagar –
the God who heard Ishmael –
the God who said He would make Ishmael a great nation.
Pray that He will show you the path to Himself.
I’ll be praying with you – and for you.
<To be continued…>
This is part of a continuing series looking at The Qur’an and The Bible to see the relationship between Islam and Christianity.
Click here to see a page listing the current posts, with a short description of each.
The plan is to at least start by going through the Qur’an, in the order in which each of the Sura’s was revealed to the prophet Muhammad.