Born in Louisville, Kentucky to a Baptist mother and a Methodist father, Ali was named Cassius Clay. His father was a sign painter and his mother, Odessa Clay, was a housemaid. The American South was racially segregated at that time and the young Ali grew up with all the humiliations and restrictions that the Jim Crow laws enforced on African Americans.
When Muhammed Ali was 12, his bicycle was stolen and he reported it to a local police officer. He boldly declared to Officer Joe Martin that he ‘would whip the thief’ who stole his bike when he caught him. Officer Martin, who was quite amused by this bold and resolute young man, advised young Muhammad that he had better learn to fight and invited him to come and train at the gym he owned. Muhammed Ali took him up on his offer and the legen began. He would become the greatest ever heavy weight champion, winning the title 3 times and defending it 16 times. Ali was opposed to war and refused to fight in the Vietnam War. This resulted in him been banned from boxing for nearly four years. Throughout his life his battles in and out of the ring were many as he strove for perfection in every sphere of his life.
From a very young age Ali would question many aspects of the Christian faith and he challenged the idea of having to see himself as inferior because of his race and color. His mother was often bombarded by him with questions such as “Why is Jesus white with blonde hair and blue eyes?”, and “Why are all the men at the last supper white?” The fact that white people were always portrayed in a positive way and that African Americans were given subordinate positions did not miss his keen observational qualities.
Muhammad Ali’s fierce fighting skills were not only put to use in his boxing matches, but also against white supremacy and social injustices. Ali could not accept that the Christian faith interpreted the bible in a way that allowed for the degradation and subordination of anyone that was not white. Having been bothered from a very young age that beauty, goodness, truth and many other virtues were seen from the perspective of the white supremacy. He asked his mother, “Why is everything white?”, “the Angels’ food cake was the white cake and the Devil’s food cake was the chocolate cake. The president lives in a White House and Santa Claus was white. Everything bad was black, the little ugly duckling was black duck, the black cat was the bad luck and if I threaten you I’m going to blackmail you, I said ‘Mum, why don’t they call it white-mail, they lie too?”
He started questioning his beliefs and while touring around the world he realized that six hundred million people were Muslims. He noted that every third person was named Muhammad. He has said that even though he had found it extremely difficult to read at a younger age, and was probably dyslexic he started reading profusely after his conversion to Islam. He read the Quran, Islamic books and research books in order to find contradictions in the Bible. He kept notes on all that he discovered in his readings and spoke profusely at various events and lectures when invited. The link between Christianity and white supremacy is what caused Ali to drift away from the Christian faith and to oppose white supremacy with all his might. After all, African Americans had been robbed of their true religion, Islam, and that is one of the reasons why he rejected the name given to him at birth and opted to be named Muhammad Ali, after the prophet. The slaves had been named after the people who had bought them and had not kept their own names. In 1964, shortly after he won the coveted title, Ali joined the Nation of Islam. It was then that he said, “Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it,” “I am Muhammad Ali, a free name – it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me.”
Muhammad Ali is the most well known American to convert to Islam. Later on, he met Malcolm X who became his spiritual mentor at that time. During a mass conversion of the Nation into Sunni Islam in 1974, organized by the son of the founder of the Nation of Islam Elijah Muhammad, Muhammad Ali converted to Sunni Islam. Muhammad Ali ceaselessly exalted the virtues of Islam as a universal and anti-racist religion. The absoluteness of Islam is embodied in the Hajj (pilgrimage) and the spirit of brotherhood and Ali endlessly spoke about it.
Ali was touched when he saw how many different cultures and races converged in one place to honor Islam. He was always warmly accepted wherever he went and was very articulate about the way Islam connected humanity; no matter what race or ethnicity they were. He once said, “You can go to any country and say, Asalaamualaikum. Walaikum salaam and you’ve got a home, you’ve got a brother.” The reason Ali chose to follow the Islamic path was that he “never saw so much love, never saw so many people hugging each other, kissing each other and praying five times a day.” Muhammad Ali was a person that most people felt deeply connected to because he was very approachable and had a wonderful way of transcending any prejudices that he encountered on his travels. We all know that racism exists worldwide and in many variations, but Ali’s graceful manner reminded the Muslim world that the Ummah (community) is meant to embrace the differences in race, class and culture.
Muhammad Ali never considered himself as elite and saw himself as no different to anyone else. His activism was grounded in his Islamic beliefs and he believed that human beings are obliged to do good and charitable things during their short time on earth. As a child growing up in a racially segregated Louisville, it was almost impossible for him to find a place to work out and he would run to the gym or to school in order for him to stay in shape. He returned as an adult and, without ever been asked, helped many charitable causes, and built a Museum for children in order to encourage them to reach for their dreams.
His belief, that by giving he was pleasing Allah and that actions were based on intentions, made him known for his generosity.
Muhammad Ali is known by his trademark statement “I am the greatest!” This was not a sign of arrogance. He is still the greatest heavyweight champion of all times. He was asked by an interviewer how he balanced his humility as a Muslim with this statement and Ali replied: “Allah is the Greatest; I am just the greatest boxer.” He was a pious person and showed utter humility and always gave credit to Allah for his victories.
Ali is the only celebrity to have turned down the offer to have his name placed on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. He so revered the Prophet Muhammad (S), that he did not want to have people stepping on his name and thus he is the only celebrity to have his star placed on the wall. Watch this video on the Walk of Fame.
Ali refused to play the role of the “submissive negro” and he attributed all his success and skill as a boxer to the Greatness of God. A Muslim fan once asked him if he was “As good a Muslim as he was a boxer, and he asserted that “No true Muslim will brag or even take a chance of saying he is good, because it is up to Allah to judge. God blesses me to be so great here, because all of the time I’ve been talking about God, pushing God, pushing religion. I’m not talking about me, how great and how much money I’ve got, I’m always giving the praise to God, so that’s why I’m as great as I am in this physical world, because I push Him first.”
Muhammad Ali never let an opportunity drop and he would take any question put to him and answer in a way so as to preach about Islam and the Oneness of God. He used his fame and stature to his advantage and would make people contemplate various issues pertaining to their faith, especially about man’s existence, life after death and how to prepare to receive Allah’s Jannah (eternal place of rest). He would take any opportunity to give Dawah( preach) and always encouraged the Muslims to get closer to Allah. He praised Allah and the religion of Islam and advised young Muslims to “Stay strong, read the Quran, pray and praise Allah,” in order to ward off the pressures of secular or anti-Islamic forces. Young people, he believed, should not compromise their beliefs. In many photos of Ali before a fight we see him standing with his hands raised in dua( prayer and supplication) to Allah. Prayer and dua were an essential part of his struggle and he attributed all obstacles, difficulties and all of his successes to Allah.
On his retirement, Muhammad Ali was asked how he was going to spend his time. He replied that he was going to prepare himself to meet his Maker, Allah. In interviews ,he often expressed that if we subtracted all the hours that we needed to sleep, watch television etc, and then he reckoned that he had about sixteen years to prepare for his death. Click here to watch his video interview.
He would remind people that the soul and spirit never die and that is why we must prepare them for heaven. His intention was to help people learn how to treat each other and he brought about peace and charitable work. He managed to do all this and more. “Islam is a religion of peace,” he would say.
Muhammad Ali’s adored his family and his 2 sons and 7 daughters. They speak of what a warm and gentle father he was to them and he always had his large family around him. In an interview two of his daughters revealed that he had over a hundred hours of recordings which he had made of them speaking to him and answering his questions and he played them back to them as they grew older.
”His daughter Hanna recalls how he taught her an important lesson about modesty. She had arrived at his home dressed in a revealing outfit. Instead of admonishing her he took her aside and lovingly said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.” He told his young daughter, “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”
When Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1979, he did not stop making himself available to charitable causes worldwide and he managed to negotiate the return of American hostages from Lebanon and Iraq. He even increased the active role in pursuing justice all over the world. With time the disease severely affected his mobility and his speech. “We as Muslims have to stand up against those who use Islam to advance their own personal gain,” – Ali has said. He remembered that though he was great, he was not The Greatest; that he was a servant of Allah (SWT).
On June 3, 2016, Muhammad Ali returned to his Lord. He is one of the most famous, most loved and most written about public figures in the last century. He has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine 30 times. He lit the Olympic Torch in the 1996 Atlanta Games and was the first Muslim to do so. To his last breath he challenged America to live up to its promises and refused to accept the unjust imposition of class and race. The former Attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder said, “his biggest win came not in the ring, but in our courts in his fight for his beliefs.” He never ceased to be an example to all and constantly reminded the people of Allah and the Islamic faith. He spoke the truth, he was never ashamed to be pious and he felt as much at home in the palaces that he visited as he did in the humble homes of the people of his home town. He knew how to handle the pressures of fame and the obligations that fame bring. He managed to channel his fame to a good purpose and lived his life according to his faith and the principles of Islam. This ambassador to humanity always managed to practice what he preached in every sphere of his life.
Muhammad Ali was buried in his home town of Louisville Kentucky. An estimated 100,000 people holding signs and chanting, “Ali!Ali!” lined up the streets as he was carried to his final resting place. His headstone was simple in keeping with Muslim tradition. Muhammed Ali was a Champion for all people and will be remembered fondly.
“Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return.” (Quran 2:156)
We ask Allah to have Mercy on him, forgive his sins and grant him the highest level in paradise, Jannat Al Firdous. Ameen.
Waa’il Abdul Salaam, formerly Austin Roe – How he converted to Islam by his own volition at the age of merely 10 years
A lesson for Parents, Doctors, Children Etc.
Waa’il (formerly Austin Roe), now 13, he converted to Islam by his own volition at the age of merely 10 years old. He movingly describes how difficult his childhood was and how the touch of Islam has changed his life entirely around. Many children who grow up to be aggressive or violent are often the result of their environment – whether within the home or without. They are not inherently as such. A right environment and guidance with love and mercy can make them rediscover themselves and rekindle their thought process and inherent potentials. The story of Waai’l Abdul Salaam will bear this out.
He contributed his story so that it may serve as a lesson for parents, doctors, as well as children.
My story of becoming a Muslim at the age of ten years old might be unusual, but it was very real for me. I want to share my story so that it might be beneficial for other kids who are going through the same problems I went through. I was born into a family with a mother who was Roman Catholic and a father who was Baptist. When I was born, I had one sister who was a year and a half older than myself. When I was six weeks old, my father took me from my crib and ran off with another woman. He left my mother alone with my sister. He hid me and was involved in drugs. I remember the first few years of being very hungry and alone. I remember how I was very angry and had a bad temper.
During those first few years, my mother’s friends got her a job as a bartender so that she could support herself and my sister. After a while, one of my father’s friends went to her and told her where I was because he was afraid something bad was going to happen. My mother came right away and found my father and his friends doing drugs. She saw me running around being neglected, and so she picked me up and left with me. I did not really know her. I guess maybe I thought I was being kidnapped or something, so I threw temper tantrums every chance I got and became even angrier.
Eventually, my mother finally got me to smile, learn how to hug, and even say I love you – things I did not know how to do when she found me. She had two of us kids to support and herself, and so she wound up spending more time working at the bar, which meant we were left with lots of different babysitters.
Then one day my father came to the house where we lived and took me back to where he was living with another new lady. By the end of that year, my father tried to put me in school, which did not work. I did everything bad I knew just to get into trouble.
The school called and said that I could not continue in the school because of my behavior, and so I was taken back and dumped at my mother’s doorstep. She was happy that I was back and took me to my sister’s school. I thought I was getting left again, and so I threw a fit, hit my teachers and other kids. The school called my mother and said I could not go to school there either. I was mad at everyone. I did the worst things I could think of at every chance I got. This time my mother got on a plane with me and we flew to her mother’s house – far across the country – in another state. She was very loving but very strict about my throwing fits. She did not yell but whenever I destroyed something or had a tantrum, she would hold my hand and walk outside with me to a pile of small wood blocks on the side of the house. She would tell me to move all the little wood blocks from one side of the driveway to the other and when I was done to come and let her know. Then she would go back inside and leave me there by myself. At first I was so mad at her, but by the time I finished moving the little blocks, I was not mad anymore. It was like a game.
By the end of the eight months that I lived with my grandmother, I stopped throwing tantrums, liked to sit on her lap and listen while she read bible stories and poems to me until I fell asleep. I learned all my school lessons, knew how to ride a horse, and I absolutely knew how to move blocks around. At the end of that time, it was time for me to go back home, and I was doing so well that I got to ride on a plane all by myself (with an escort of course). I felt very grown up and very happy. She told me that I was going to be just fine, and that whenever I got angry or sad or lonely, I should think about God. She said I should always remember how He took care of all the people in the Bible and if I would ask Him she knew He would take care of me too. She told me that if I got upset or angry, I should never hurt anyone. Instead, I should just pray to God until I was not angry anymore.
After I got back home, my mother was happy because I was not hurting people or throwing tantrums. I was eating well and not afraid to sleep. I was happy almost all of the time. My mother worked all the time while babysitters took care of my sister and a new brother who was born while I was away. My father knew that my mother had to work to take care of us and yet he would never give her even a penny to help. He divorced her without telling her.
Then again my father came one day. He saw how good I had turned out and just like before, he took me away.
The new lady my father was living with was so cruel. I lost a lot of weight. I am not sure how things happened, but it was during that time that I supposedly split my head open on monkey bars at the school, and supposedly was hit by a jeep in front of their home. I do not remember those things too clearly, but I do remember his girlfriend picking up a two-by-four and hitting me with it in the front yard. I also remember my father slamming my head into the kitchen table because I did not write fast enough. He and his lady friend would threaten me by convincing me that the devil would come out of my bedroom floor and take me to burn in hell if I got out of bed while they were having drug parties.
This went on until I was in fourth grade. My father used to show me a big baggie filled with drugs he was then getting from a doctor and telling me how good they made him feel. His house was filled with dirty magazines and MTV movies and it all seemed normal because that was all I ever knew back then. I did not know there was any other way to live. I had long forgotten how my grandmother had taught me to pray and I could not remember the wonderful days I spent with her riding horses, being hugged, and read to about God. All the bad stuff at that age seemed to push the good stuff away. When it was time to start fourth grade I acted uncontrollably at school, hoping that I would get sent back to my mother or grandmothers. I did not stop until I got what I wanted, and it worked. I was taken back and left with my mother. By then she was working around sixty hours a week. She would come home tired, yelling and screaming and expecting us to take care of ourselves and not give her any more trouble. I wanted attention from her, and so I went back to being a brat and being mean to my sister and my new little brother whom I resented even more.
By the end of the first month of that school year, I was the worst I had ever been. My mother could not cope with me one minute longer. My father had already made me go to doctors who put me on five different kinds of medicines – from Ritalin to even worse drugs – to try to control me, but even that did not work. In fact, that stuff made me worse. I beat up other kids, started fights, accused them of doing things they did not do, stole things, lied, refused to obey the teachers, or do any work. School to me was a place I was going to play and do whatever I wanted to do. I knew they could not do anything about it. I thought I was really something and all I thought about was myself. They sent me to the hall, to the office, to home, and even put a box around me in class to keep me from bothering other kids, but I still did not give up.
Do not get me wrong here – I am not saying all these to sound cool. I was an idiot to say the least – I know that now. I want other kids to know that it does not have to be that way regardless of their family problems. So, if I do not say how bad it had gotten they will not be able to understand. I was only ten years old then. I am almost fourteen now. When I look back about what I was at ten, I cannot believe that I am the same person, or that the kid I am telling you about above was for real. But he was for real and he was me! Most people would not believe that a ten-year-old kid could be as bad and do as bad things as I did. It all finally came to an end for me when, one day, I called the home of a kid, pretending to be another kid, and told them that their boy was missing. You can image how much trouble I was in then. That only got me into more drugs from the doctor. All those drugs made me see things and hear things that were not there and made me angry enough to be dangerous. I do not believe anyone should put their kids on those drugs even if the school insists. Adults just have no idea what those drugs do to kids or what they make kids think about. I am proof to tell you that kids are not going to admit to parents or doctors or anyone about having horrid thoughts because of the drugs. Anyway, when the drugs were not helping and I was getting into even more trouble, it was at that point they threatened to put me out of the family forever. All of a sudden, my mother did not want to put up with it anymore. My father did not want me either. I did not know what was going to happen to me.
When I least expected it, there was a couple who offered to take me into their home and try to help me. They did not have children living at home, and so there would be no one for me to hurt. They would also homeschool me until my behavior got in check. Neither of them drank used drugs. They were not going to give me any drugs and promised to me that I did not have to go to a bunch of doctors unless I was physically sick. It was my last chance. I said okay and I was put on a plane and sent to their home. They picked me up from the airport. It was Jumaana and her husband Waseem. All of a sudden I felt different. Here was a new couple. The family back at my home already knew my routines, so they caught me right away every time I did something wrong, but these two did not know how I operated. At first, I tried to be loud and a real brat. I did a good job for a few days, reminding them both that they said I did not have to take all those drugs. They looked like they did not know what to do with me exactly but they reassured me that their promise was good.
They had a room all ready for me when I arrived. The walls were pale blues, my favorite color. It had a blue carpet and blue drapes and even a blue bedspread. There was a desk, just for me to use, and even a small fish tank with fishes that swam in and out of the rocks. It had a light that stayed on all night. It was incredible. I never had anything like that for myself. I used to sleep on the floors on a blanket or on a couch in the living room before. As the days passed, the drugs were draining out of my body. It made me tired and drowsy most of the first few weeks and I slept a lot. I was ten years old but weighed only forty-eight pounds because the drugs make one too sick to eat. By the end of the first month, I gained several pounds and felt better than I had in a long time. I did not want to be put up with that stuff ever again. The following month, my homeschool box was delivered to the house and Jumaana began to teach me every day when Waseem was at work.
I could see how different it was in Jumana’s and Waseem’s house. At certain times, for example, Jumaana would leave the room to go to her room. I would pretend to keep working, but I could not help but notice that she would put on a long scarf over her head and a small rug on the floor. I was not sure what she was doing back then, but she would be praying. I watched her do that every day. Finally one day I asked about it. I think that was when I stopped being so bad and started wondering about other things. I would see their house was different, quieter, and more peaceful – something I could not think of because for ten years I had only known people who were either drugged up or drunk, or just plain mean. This was like a different planet, one might say. I did not exactly know what to think about it, but I did start liking being there. I tried not to get too attached because I thought that one day I would get sent away again, which always happened and I did not want to think about it. That is why I would have a couple of good days and then I would go back to my old ways.
Every day I asked more and more questions. Jumaana or Waseem would do their best to answer them. I wanted to learn to pray too, and so one day I asked if I could pray with her. She said I could and even opened her closet and gave me na ew blue velvety prayer rug. I followed everything she did and I listened to every word, but I could not remain still and be always wiggling and moving around. After a couple weeks I could remain motionless, and I felt very peaceful inside. I never remembered feeling that way before. One evening, after I had gotten settled into bed for the night, Jumaana came into my room and asked if I was doing okay. I told her yes and she said she thought I had become quieter lately and wondered if there was anything I needed. She and Waseem always talked nice to each other, and I never heard them fight or anything like what the people did in my old home. I could not believe how nice they were to one another, they were now talking to me that way too. I could not quite figure things out. I thought maybe it would be okay if I told her that I wanted to be a Muslim too. I really did want to be and I did not know how to do it. So, I just came out and said it, “I want to be a Muslim”.
She smiled and asked if I knew what being a Muslim was. I told her I did not but I wanted to be one. She tucked me in, gave me a hug, left the room and came back with some children’s books on Islam. That night I read them until I fell asleep. The next day I finished the books and I could not get enough to read. I read about saying Shahada and so I told her right away that I needed to say it, so that I could be a Muslim. They reminded me that I was only ten years old and so maybe I would need to study more first. I told them that I had already read all the books and I had to say the Shahada that very day. I know I was young, but it did not seem that way to me at the time, because all I knew was that I had to become a Muslim. It was right for me and I knew it – right from the beginning. Later that night, on December 29, 2000, I officially said the Shahada to Jumaana and Waseem, and I became a Muslim.
Jumaana continued to teach me at home and I passed the fourth grade and the fifth grade all in one year. I was also given the privilege to read whatever books I wanted from the shelves of books Waseem and Jumaana had. They had books on all religions, but I read every one they had on Islam. I asked lots of questions about the difference in religions because I did not know why everyone in the world was not following Islam. I went to the library of the little town where we lived and got to know the librarian there. She ordered me lots more books on Islam and would ask me questions about it too. She said that I knew a lot for my age and was surprised about how much I knew about Islam. Then after I read everything they had, I would go to the big public library in downtown and find all kinds of books on Islam. I knew I could never be anything except a Muslim.
My parents did not want me to come back and live with them ever. They only remembered me the way I was when they sent me away. I also did not want to go back to my old way of life, or live with them with the drinking, drugs, fighting, and chaos either. They had not sent any money to take care of me during the entire first year I lived with Jumaana and Waseem. Waseem was ready to retire but he kept on working just to take care of me. Jumaana also had given up her writing to teach me at home. They had done these things because they cared about what happened to me. I really did not want to ever leave them. So, after I lived with them for a year, the courts granted me a legal adoption. It was the only way they could have the right to make decisions about my schooling and other legal issues since they were not considered my parents. Because my parents had not had contact with me and never sent any support for the whole year, the court could make me go into a home or foster care if it wanted to. I was so afraid that if my parents all of a sudden wanted to take me back because I was so much better, then they would do the same things to me they had before. I also knew they would never let me stay as a Muslim.
I prayed so hard every day – five times a day or more – asking Allah to help me. Adoption in this country is the only way to assure legal rights. More than anything, I wanted Waseem and Jumaana to adopt. I was so happy when the court felt it was the best thing for me too. The papers were filed and my parents were notified accordingly. But they did not even bother to contact the court to contest it. In fact they quickly signed the papers to give me up. I was happy about that, actually. Then on the day of the adoption, the judge even told me that I could change my name. I chose “Waa’il” because it meant “one who returns for shelter”, and I did feel like I went to Jumaana’s and Waseem’s home for shelter. I also felt like I had returned to Islam, and so that was a shelter for me inside. It was the best thing in my whole life that ever happened to me. Because of the delays in removing the parental rights of my birthparents, the date for my adoption was changed, making it fall on the first day of Ramadan in 2001. It was, as if, Allah was blessing me over and over again.
Three and a half years have now passed by, and I see how incredibly different my life has been from what it used to be. Sometimes it is hard to look back and think what it used to be like before becoming a Muslim. Having had such a stubborn and defiant attitude during those first ten years of my life still affects me sometimes, but I am still very different from what I was back then. People do not think me as a thirteen and a half year old when they meet me – most of them think that I am a lot older. I think it is probably because of having such a tough life from the time I was born until I came to live with my new parents. They encourage me to keep at least some kind of contact with my family, which is fine because I know that they cannot come and take me away anymore or tell me that I cannot be a Muslim. I know that I am safe. I also believe that Allah made it all happen, which makes that negative period of my life more bearable now when I remember it. For, I have found Islam and found Allah, which I probably would not have found if all that stuff had not happened. At least, this is how I think now.
My sister came and spent a week during her school break this last December/January. I had not seen her in over three years. She is fifteen now and flew here on her own to stay with us for the week. She was shocked at the changes in me. I had grown to five feet ten inches in height from being half her size when I left, which made me tower over her by almost a foot. I also outweighed her by fifty pounds, after having last been seen a scrawny skeleton of a kid. When I left I was wearing a Rugrats hat and Harry Potter clothes from television and cartoon shows. When she saw me this time, I was wearing a Kufi – or one of my other kinds of Islamic caps – and a Kurris. When I left I had been a loud, troublemaking, obnoxious brat who had failed three out of five grades and who could not even write a complete sentence, and she hated me. This time she saw me polite, quieter, having passed all my grades, and even skipping a whole grade which put me in the same grade as she was. Sometimes she would see me stop whatever I was doing and go to prayer five times a day. She hated me when I left home at age ten, and was expecting me to be the same. Now, she told me after a couple days of being with us that she could hardly believe that I was that same person. She really liked me as her brother now. She found out that I was a Muslim. Because I had changed so much, she asked a ton of questions about Islam, took back a bunch of Islamic books I gave her, and told everyone back there that they just would not believe how different I was. Now, every once in a while, my mother will let my brother and sister call, and she even talks to me for a few minutes. I send books for them to read about Islam and I hope that someday they will all become Muslims too. I know they would be so much happier if they did.
My life seems a hundred years away from the way it used to be. I have become a Muslim now going on for four years, been blessed with new Muslim parents, had my adoption finalized on the very first day of my very first Ramadan, learned my prayers in Arabic, read my new parent’s entire library of books on Islam, exhausted the public libraries of their Islamic books, been given a new name and a new life. I do not know what else I could ask for. I am studying very hard to finish my high school in another two years. I will be sixteen by then, but I feel like I am a lot older. I know now that I did not need drugs to make me behave. I did not need anger to get me through all those years of chaos. I did not need to be so hurtful to others just to get attention. I did not need to cause such chaos for others. What I needed all along was Islam. I needed Allah. As I realize now, instead of these schools and parents putting their kids on Ritalin and other junk, they should put their time and money in studying Islam and teaching their children about Allah. When nothing else worked – and believe me a lot of people tried to get me straightened out – Allah did it. Allah can do anything and everything. When He does something for you, that is the way it is supposed to be.
I am Waa’il Abdul Salaam and this is my story.
Is the Bible God’s word?
Whether Catholic, Protestant or a “Cultist,” of the thousand and one sects and denominations-of-Christianity, never will you find a missionary who will not, prima facie, presuppose that his potential convert accepts his “Holy Bible” as the book of final authority on every religious opinion? The only answer the prospective proselyte has is to quote verses from the Bible which are contradictory to the missionary’s or debate their interpretations.
The dogged question
When the Muslim proves his point from the Christian’s own Holy Scripture, and when the professional priest, parson or predikant cannot refute the arguments the inevitable Christian evasion is “Do you accept the Bible as God’s word?
On the face of it, the question seems to be an easy one, but a simple “Yes” or “No” cannot be given as an answer. You see, one has first to explain one’s position. But the Christian will not give one the opportunity. He gets impatient.
“Answer ‘Yes or No!’ “ he insists. The Jews did the same to Jesus two thousand years ago, except that surprisingly he was not strait-jacketed, as is the fashion today!
The reader will readily agree that things are not always either black or white. Between these two extremes there are various shades of grey. If you say “Yes” to his question, then it would mean that you are prepared to swallow everything Hook, Line and Sinker, from Genesis to Revelation from his Bible.
If you respond with a “No” he quickly unhooks himself from the facts you have presented, and rallies support from his co-religionists in the audience with; “You see, this man does not believe in the Bible! What right has he to expound his case from our Book?” With this hydra-like somersault he rests content that he has safely evaded the issue. What is the Muballigh1to do? He has to explain his position vis-a-vis the Bible, as he ought to do.
– We Muslims have no hesitation in acknowledging that in the Bible, there are three different kinds of witnessing recognizable without any need of specialized training. These are:
You will be able to recognize in the Bible what may be described as “The Word of God.”
You will also be able to discern what can be described as the “Words of a Prophet of God.”
And you will most readily observe that the bulk of the Bible is the records of eye witnesses or ear witnesses, or people writing from hearsay. As such they are the “Words of a Historian”
You do not have to hunt for examples of these different types of evidences in the Bible. The following quotations will make the position crystal clear:
The First Type
a) “I will raise them up a prophet … and I will put my words in … and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
b) “I even, I am the Lord, and beside me there is no saviour.”
c) “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the end of the earth: for I am God, and there is non else.”
Note the first person pronoun singular in the above references, and without any difficulty you will agree that the statements seem to have the sound of being God’s Word.
The Second Type
a) “Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?”
b) “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord:”
c) “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.”
Even a child will be able to affirm that: Jesus “cried” Jesus “answered” and Jesus “said” are the words of the one to whom they are attributed, i.e. the words of a prophet of God.
The Third Type
“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he, (Jesus) came, if haply he (Jesus) might find anything thereon: and when he (Jesus) came to it, (Jesus) found nothing but leaves”
The bulk of the Bible is a witnessing of this third kind. These are the words of a third person. Note the pronouns. They are not the Words of God or of His prophet, but the words of a historian.
For the Muslim it is quite easy to distinguish the above types of evidence, because he also has them in his own faith. But of the followers of the different religions, he is the most fortunate in this that his various records are contained in separate Books!
One: The first kind ‘The Word of God’ is found in a Book called The Holy Quran.
Two: The second kind the words of ‘The Prophet of God’, (Muhammad) are recorded in the Books of Tradition called The Hadeeth.
Three: Evidence of the third kind abounds in different volume of Islamic history, written by some of high integrity and learning, and others of lesser trustworthiness, but the Muslim advisedly keeps his Books in separate volumes!
The Muslim keeps the above three types of evidence Jealously apart, in their proper gradations of authority. He never equates them. On the other hand, the “Holy Bible” contains a motley type of literature, which composes the embarrassing kind, the sordid, and the obscene all under the same cover A Christian is forced to concede equal spiritual import and authority to all, and is thus unfortunate in this regard.
The multiple bible versions
Before we scrutinize the various versions, let us clarify our own belief regarding the Books of God. When we say that we believe in the Tablets, the Psalms, the Gospel and the Quran, what do we really mean? We already know that the Holy Quran is the infallible Word of God, revealed to Prophet Muhammad word for word, through the agency of the Archangel Gabriel, and perfectly preserved and protected from human tampering for the past fourteen hundred years! See The Quran – The Miracle of Miracles Even hostile critics of Islam have grudgingly vouched for the purity of the Holy Quran:
“There is probably in the world no other book which has remained twelve centuries (now fourteen) with so pure a text.”
The Old and New Testaments we Muslims believe in is not the “Old and New Testaments” of the Jews and the Christians, though the words one Arabic, the other Hebrew are the same. We believe that whatever the Holy Prophet Moses preached to his people, was the revelation from God Almighty, but that Moses was not the author of those “books” attributed to him by the Jews and the Christians.
Likewise, we believe that the Psalms was the revelation of God granted to David, but that the present Psalms associated with his name are not that revelation. The Christians themselves do not insist that David is the sole author of “his” Psalms. (Later on you’ll read how Christian “Brains Trust” confess “Author; Principally David, though there are other writers.”)
What about the ‘Gospel’? or ‘good news’ which Jesus Christ preached during his short ministry. The “Gospel” writers often mention that Jesus going about and preaching the Gospel “And Jesus went … preaching the gospel … and healing every disease among the people.”
“but whosoever shall lose his fife for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
“preached the gospel”
The “gospel” is a frequently used word, but what Gospel did Jesus preach? Of the 27 books of the New Testament, only a small fraction can be accepted as the words of Jesus. The Christians boast about the Gospels according to St. Matthew, according to St. Mark, according to St. Luke and according to St. John, but there is not a single Gospel “according” to (St.) Jesus himself! We sincerely believe that everything Christ preached was from God. That was the Injeel, the good news and the guidance of God for the Children of Israel. In his life-time Jesus never wrote a single word, nor did he instruct anyone to do so. What passes off as the “Gospels” today are the works of anonymous hands!
The question before us is:
“Do you accept that the Bible is God’s Word?” The question is really in the form of a challenge. The questioner is not simply seeking enlightenment. The question is posed in the spirit of a debate. We have every right to demand in a similar vein “Which Bible are you talking about?”, we may ask.
“Why, there is only one Bible!”.
The Catholic bible
Holding the “Douay” Roman Catholic Version of the Bible aloft in my hand, I ask, “Do you accept this Bible as the Word of God?” For reasons best known to themselves, the Catholic Truth Society have published their Version of the Bible in a very short, sturnpy form. This Version is a very odd proportion of the numerous Versions in the market today.
The Christian questioner is taken aback. “What Bible is that?” he asks. “Why, I thought you said that there was only one Bible!” I remind him. “Yes,” he murmurs hesitantly, “but what Version is that?” “Why, would that make any difference?” I enquire. Of course it does, and the professional preacher knows that it does. He is only bluffing with his “one Bible” claim.
The Roman Catholic Bible was published at Rheims in 1582, from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate and reproduced at Douay in 1609. As such the RCV (Roman Catholic Version) is the oldest Version that one can still buy today. Despite its antiquity, the whole of the Protestant world, including the “cults”condemn the RCV because it contains seven extra “books” which they contemptuously refer to as the “apocrypha” i.e. of doubtful authority. Notwithstanding the dire warning contained in the Apocalypse, which is the last book in the RCV (renamed as “Revelation” by the Protestants), it is “revealed”:
“If any man shall add to these things (or delete) God shall add unto him the plagues written in this Book.”
But who cares! They do not really believe! The Protestants have bravely expunged seven whole books from their Book of God! The outcasts are:
The Book of Judith The Book of Tobias The Book of Baruch The Buck of Esther, etc.
The Protestant bible
Sir Winston Churchill has some pertinent things to say about the Authorised Version (AV) of the Protestant Bible, which is also widely known as the “King James Version
“The authorised version of the bible was published in 1611 by the will and command of his majesty king James the 1st whose name it bears till today.”
The Roman Catholics, believing as they do that the Protestants have mutilated the Book of God, are yet aiding and abetting the Protestant “crime” by forcing their native converts to purchase the Authorised Version (AV) of the Bible, which is the only Bible available in some 1500 languages of the lesser developed nations of the world. The Roman Catholics milk their cows, but the feeding is left to the Protestants! The overwhelming majority of Christians both Catholics and Protestant use the Authorised (AV) or the King James Version (KJV) as it is alternatively called.
First published, as Sir Winston says, in 1611, and then revised in 1881 (RV), and now re-revised and brought up to date as the Revised Standard Version (RSV) 1952, and now again re-revised in 1971 (still RSV for short). Let us see what opinion Christendom has of this most revised Bible, the RSV:
1. “The finest version which has been produced in the present century.”
2. “A completely fresh translation by scholars of the highest eminence.”
3. “The well-loved characteristics of the authorised version combined with a new accuracy of translation.”
4. “The most accurate and close rendering of the original”
The publishers (Collins) themselves, in their notes on the Bible at the end of their production, say on page 10:
“This bible (RSV), is the product of thirty-two scholars, assisted by an advisory committee representing fifty co-operating denominations.” Why all this boasting? To make the gullible public buy their product? All these testimonies convince the purchaser that he is backing the right horse, with the purchaser little suspecting that he is being taken for a ride. See The Multiple Bible’s Versions.
The world’s best seller
But what about the Authorised Version of the Bible (AV), the “World’s Best Seller?” These Revisers, all good salesmen, have some very pretty things to say about it. However, their page iii, paragraph six of the preface of the RSV reads:
“The king James version (alternative description of av) has with good reason been termed ‘the noblest monument of English prose.’ its revisers in 1881 expressed admiration for ‘its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression … the music of its cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm.’ it entered, as no other book has, into the making of the personal character and the public institutions of the English-speaking peoples. we owe to it an incalculable debt.”
Can you, dear reader, imagine a more magnificent tribute being paid to the “Book of Books” than the above? I, for one, cannot. Let the believing Christian, now steel himself for the un-kindest blow of all from his own beloved Lawyers of Religion; for in the very same breath they say:
“Yet the king James version has grave defects.” and, “that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision …” This is straight from the horse’s mouth, i.e. the orthodox Christian scholars of “the highest eminence.” Another galaxy of Doctors of Divinity are now required to produce an encyclopedia explaining the cause of those grave and serious defects in their Holy Writ and their reasons for eliminating them.
Fifty thousand errors!
The Jehovah’s Witnesses in their “AWAKE!” Magazine dated 8 September, 1957, carried this startling headline “50,000 Errors in The Bible?”.
While I was still formulating the theme of this booklet, I heard a knock at my door one Sunday morning. I opened the door. A European gentleman stood there, grinning broadly. “Good morning’” he said. “Good morning” I replied. He was offering me his “Awake” and “Watchtower” magazines. Yes, a Jehovah’s Witness! If a few had knocked at your door previously, you will recognize them immediately. The most supercilious lot of people who ever knocked at people’s doors! I invited him in.
As soon as he settled down, I produced the full reproduction of what you see below. Pointing to the monograph at the top of the page, I asked, “Is this your’s?” He readily recognised his own. I said, “It says:
50,000 Errors in the Bible, is it true?” “What’s that!” he exclaimed. I repeated, “I said, that it says, that there are 50,000 errors in your Bible.” “Where did you get that?” He asked. (This was published 53 years ago, when he was perhaps a little nipper) I said, “Leave the fancy talk aside is this your’s?” pointing again to the monograph “Awake!” He said, “Can I have a look?” “Of course,” I said. I handed him the page. He started perusing.
They (the Jehovah’s Witnesses) are trained. They attend classes five times a week in their “Kingdom Halls.” Naturally, they are the fittest missionaries among the thousand and one sects and denominations of Christendom. They are taught that when cornered, do not commit yourself to anything, do not open your mouths. Wait for the Holy Ghost to inspire you with what to say.
I silently kept watching him, while he browsed the page. Suddenly he looked up. He had found it. The “Holy Ghost” had tickled him. He began, “The article says that “most of those errors have been eliminated.” I asked “If most are eliminated, how many remain out of 50,000? 5000? 500? 50? Even if 50 remain, do you attribute those errors to God?” He was speechless. He excused himself by suggesting that he will come again with some senior member of his Church. That will be the day!
This “cult” of Jehovah’s Witnesses which is so strong in its condemnation of the orthodox Trinitarians, for playing with the “Word of God,” is itself playing the same game of semantic gymnastics. In the article under review “50,000 Errors In The Bible?” they say: “there are probably 50,000 errors … errors that have crept into the Bible text … 50,000 such serious errors… most of those so-called errors… as a whole the Bible is accurate.”
We do not have the time and space to go into the tens of thousands of grave or minor defects that the authors of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) have attempted to revise. We leave that privilege to the Christian scholars of the Bible.
Here I will endeavour to cast just a cursory glance at a “half-a-dozen” or so of those “minor” changes:
1. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
The indispensable “Virgin” in the above verse has now been replaced in the RSV with the phrase “a young woman,” which is the correct translation of the Hebrew word Almah. Almah is the word which has occurred all along in the Hebrew text and not bethulah which means Virgin. This correction is only to be found in the English language translation, as the RSV is only published in this tongue. For the African and the Afrikaner, the Arab and the Zulu, in fact, in the 1 500 other languages of the world, Christians are made to continue to swallow the misnomer “Virgin.”
Begotten, not made
“Jesus is the only begotten son of God, begotten not made,” is an adjunct of the orthodox catechism, leaning for support on the following:
2. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only BEGOTTEN son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
No priest worth his cloth would fail to quote “the only Begotten of the Father!” when preaching to a prospective convert. But this fabrication “Begotten” has now been unceremoniously excised by the Bible Revisers, without a word of excuse. They are as silent as church-mice and would not draw the reader’s attention to their furtive excision. This blasphemous word “Begotten” was another of the many such interpolations in the “Holy Bible.” God Almighty condemned this blasphemy in the strongest terms soon after its innovation. He did not wait for 2000 years for Bible scholars to reveal the fraud:
“They say: (God) Most Gracious has begotten a son! Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, That they should invoke a son for (God) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (God) Most Gracious that He should beget a son.”
The Muslim World should congratulate the “Fifty cooperating denominations” of Christendom and their Brains Trust the “Thirty-two scholars of the highest eminence” for bringing their Holy Bible a degree nearer to the Quranic truth: “He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;”
3. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
This verse is the closest approximation to what the Christians call their Holy Trinity in the encyclopaedia called the Bible. This key-stone of the Christian faith has also been scrapped from the RSV without even a semblance of explanation. It has been a pious fraud all along and well-deservedly has it been expunged in the RSV for the English-speaking people. But for the 1499 remaining language groups of the world who read the Christian concoctions in their mother tongues, the fraud remains.
These people will never know the truth until the Day of Judgement. However, we Muslims must again congratulate the galaxy of D.D.’s who have been honest enough to eliminate another lie from the English (RSV) Bible, thus bringing their Holy Book yet another step closer to the teachings of Islam. For the Holy Quran says:
“Say not ‘Trinity’: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah”
One of the most serious of those “grave defects” which the authors of the RSV had tried to rectify concerned the Ascension of Christ. There have been only two references in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and of John to the most stupendous event in Christianity of Jesus being taken up into heaven. These two references were obtained in every Bible in every language, prior to 1952, when the RSV first appeared. These were:
4a. “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.”
4b. “While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.”
You will be shocked to note that Mark 16 ends at verse 8, and after an embarrassing expanse of blank space the missing verses appear in “small print” as a footnote at the bottom of the page. If you can lay your hands on a RSV 1952, you will find the last six words of 4b above, i.e. “and was carried up into heaven” replaced by a tiny “a” to tell you to see the footnote if you please, where you will find these missing words. Every honest Christian has to admit that he does not consider any footnote in any Bible as the word of God. Why should the paid servants of Christianity consign the mightiest miracle of their religion to a mere footnote?
From the Chart “The Origin and Growth of the English Bible” appearing below, you will note that all the Biblical “Versions” prior to the Revised Version of 1881 were dependent upon the Ancient copies those dating only five or six hundred years after Jesus. The Revisers of the RSV 1952, were the first Bible scholars who were able to tap the “Most Ancient Copies” fully, dating three and four centuries after Christ.
We agree that the closer to the source the more authentic is the document. Naturally “Most” Ancient deserves credence more than mere “Ancient.” But not finding a word about Jesus being “taken up” or “carried up” into heaven in the Most Ancient manuscripts, the Christian fathers expurgated those references from the RSV 1952.
The donkey circus
The above facts are a staggering confession by Christendom that the “inspired” authors of the Canonical Gospels did not record a single word about the Ascension of Jesus- Yet these “inspired” authors were unanimous in recording that their Lord and Saviour rode a donkey into Jerusalem as his mission drew to a close:
– “And they sat him thereon.”
– “And he sat upon him.”
– “And they set Jesus Thereon.”
– “Jesus … sat thereon:”
Could God Almighty have been the author of this incongruous situation going out of His Way to see that all the Gospel writers did not miss their footing recording of His “son’s” donkey-ride into the Holy City and yet “inspiring” them to black-out the news about His “son’s” heavenly flight on the wings of angels?
Not for long!
The hot-gospellers and the Bible-thumpers were too slow in catching the Joke. By the time they realised that the corner-stone of their preaching The Ascension Of Jesus had been undermined as a result of Christian Biblical erudition, the publishers of the RSV had already raked in a net profit of US$15,000,000! (Fifteen Million). The propagandists made a big hue and cry, and with the backing of two denominational committees out of the fifty, forced the Publishers to re-incorporate the interpolations into the “Inspired” Word of God in every new publication of the RSV after 1952, the expunged portion was “Restored To The Text.”
It is an old, old game. The Jews and the Christians have been editing their “Book of God” from its very inception. The difference between them and the ancient forgerers is that the ancient forgers did not know the art of writing “prefaces” and “footnotes”, otherwise they too would have told us as clearly as our modern heroes have about their tampering, and their glib excuses for transmuting forged currency into glittering gold.
“many proposals for modification were submitted to the committee by individuals and by two denominational committees all of these were given careful attention by the committee.
“Two passages, the I longer ending of… and are restored to the text.”
“Why ‘restored’”? Because they had been previously expunged! Why had the references to the Ascension expunged in the first place? The most Ancient manuscripts had no references to the Ascension at all. They were interpolations similar to 1 John 5:7 about the Trinity.
Why eliminate one and re-instate the other? Do not be surprised! By the time you lay your hands on a RSV, the “Committee” might also have decided to expunge the whole of their invaluable Preface. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have already eliminated 27 revealing pages of their Foreword to their “New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures,” (this is their way of saying New Testament). See The Origin Of The New Testament
Allah in the Christian Bible
The Rev. C. I. Scofield, D. D. with a team of 8 Consulting Editors, also all D.D.’s in the “Scofield Reference Bible” thought it appropriate to spell the Hebrew word “Elah” (meaning God) alternatively as “Alah” The Christians had thus swallowed the camel they seemed to have accepted at last that the name of God is Allah but were still straining at the gnat by spelling Allah with one “L”!
References were made in public lectures to this fact by the author of this booklet. Believe me, the subsequent “Scofield Reference Bible” has retained word for word the whole commentary of Genesis 1:1, but has, by a clever sleight-of- hand, blotted out the word “Alah” altogether. There is not even a gap where the word “Alah” once used to be. What Is His Name” . This is in the Bible of the orthodox! One is hard pressed to keep up with their Jugglery.“
Mrs. Ellen G. White, a “prophetess” of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, in her Bible Commentary Vol. 1, page 14, has this confession to make about the fallibility of the “Holy Bible.”
“The bible we read today is the work of many copyists who have in most instances done their work with marvellous accuracy. but copyists have not been infallible, and god most evidently has not seen fit to preserve them altogether from error in transcribing.”
In the following pages of her commentary, Mrs. White testifies further: “I saw that god had especially guarded the bible” (from what?) “yet when copies of it were few, learned men had in some instances changed the words, thinking that they were making it plain, when in reality they were mystifying that which was plain, by causing it to lean to their established views, which were governed by tradition.”
The mental malady is a cultivated one. This authoress and her followers can still trumpet from roof tops that “Truly, the Bible is the infallible Word of God.” “Yes, it is adulterated, but pure” “It is human, yet divine.” Do words have any meaning in their language? Yes, they have in their courts of law, but not in their theology. They carry a “poetic license” in their preaching.
The most vociferous of all the Bible-thumpers are the Jehovah’s Witnesses. On page 5 of their “Foreword” mentioned earlier, they confess:
“In copying the inspired originals by hand the element of human frailty entered in, and so none of the thousands of copies extant today in the original language are perfect duplicates. the result is that no two copies are exactly alike” Now you see, why the whole “foreword” of 27 pages is eliminated from their Bibles. Allah was making them to hang themselves with their own erudition.
Out of over four thousand differing manuscripts the Christians boast about, the Church fathers just selected four which tallied with their prejudices and called them Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We will deal with each of them in their proper place. Here/ let us go over the conclusion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ research as recorded in the now expunged Foreword:
“The evidence is, therefore, that the original text of the Christian Greek scriptures (New Testament) has been tampered with, the same as the text of the lxx the same as the text of the lxx.
Yet this incorrigible Cult has the effrontery to publish 9,000,000 (Nine Million) copies as a First Edition of a 192 page book entitled “Is the Bible Really the Word of God?” We are dealing here with a sick mentality, for no amount of tampering, as they say, will “Appreciably affect the authenticity of the bible”. This is Christian logic!.
A patient hearing
Dr. Graham Scroggie in his aforementioned book, pleads, on page 29. for the Bible: “And let us be perfectly fair as we pursue the subject (Is the Bible God’s word?). Bearing in mind that we are to hear what the bible has to say about itself. in a court of law we assume that a witness will speak the truth, and must accept what he says unless we have good grounds for suspecting him, or can prove him a liar. surely the bible should be given the same opportunity to be heard, and should receive a like patient hearing.”
The plea is fair and reasonable. We will do exactly as he asks and let the Bible speak for itself. In the first five books of the Bible Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy there are more than 700 statements which prove not only that God is not the Author of these books, but that EVEN Moses himself had no hand in them. Open these books at random and you will see:
– “And the Lord said unto him. Away, get thee down …”
– “And Moses said unto the Lord, the people cannot come …”
– “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people …”
– “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying …”
– “And the Lord said unto Moses, Get down, charge the …”
It is manifest and apparent that these are neither the Words of God nor of Moses. They indicate the voice of a third person writing from hearsay.
Moses writes his own obituary?
Could Moses had been a contributor to his own obituary before his demise? Did the Jews write their own obituaries? “So Moses … died … And he (God Almighty) buried him (Moses) … he was 120 years old when he died … And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses …”
The New Testament
What about the so-called New Testament? because nowhere does the ‘New Testament’ calls itself the New Testament, and nowhere the Old Testament calls itself the Old Testament. And also the word “Bible” is unknown within the pages of the Bible. (God forgot to give a title to ‘His’ books!)
Why does every Gospel begin with the introduction According To … According To … Why “According to?”
Because not a single one of the vaunted four thousand copies extant carries its author’s autograph! Hence the supposition “according to!” Even the internal evidence proves that Matthew was not the author of the first Gospel which bears his name.
“And as Jesus passed forth thence, he (Jesus) saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he (Jesus) saith unto him (Matthew), follow me (Jesus) And he (Matthew) arose, and followed him (Jesus).”
Without any stretch of the imagination, one can see that the “He’s” and the “Him’s” of the above narration do not refer to Jesus or Matthew as its author, but some third person writing what he saw and heard a hearsay account. If we cannot even attribute this “book of dreams” (as the first Gospel is also described) to the disciple Matthew, how can we accept it as the Word of God?
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. See Jesus Christ In Islam
We are not alone in this discovery that Matthew did not write the “Gospel according to St. Matthew” and that it was written by some anonymous hand. J. B. Phillips concurs with us in our findings. He is the paid servant of the Anglican Church, a prebendary of the Chichester Cathedral, England. He would have no reason to lie or betray to the detriment of the official view of his Church! Refer to his introduction to the “Gospel of St. Matthew”.
Phillips has this to say about its authorship:
“Early tradition ascribed this gospel to the apostle Matthew, but scholars nowadays almost all reject this view.” In other words, St. Matthew did not write the Gospel which bears his name. This is the finding of Christian scholars of the highest eminence not of Hindus, Muslims and Jews who may be accused of bias. Let our Anglican friend continue: “The author, whom we still can conveniently call Matthew” “Conveniently” because otherwise every time we made a reference to “Matthew” we would have to say “The first book of The New Testament” Chapter so and so, verse so and so. And again and again “The first book …” etc. Therefore, according to J. B. Phillips it is convenient that we give the book some name.
So why not “Matthew?” Suppose its as good a name as any other! Phillips continues: “The author has plainly drawn on the mysterious ‘Q’ which may have been a collection of oral traditions.” What is this “mysterious ‘Q’?’ ‘Q’ is short for the German word “quella” which means “sources.” There is supposed to be another document a common source to which our present Matthew, Mark and Luke had access. All these three authors, whoever they were, had a common eye on the material at hand. They were writing as if looking through “one” eye. And because they saw eye to eye, the first three “Gospels” came to be known as the Synoptic Gospels.
But what about that “inspiration” business? The Anglican prebendary has hit the nail on the head. He is, more than anyone else, entitled to do so. A paid servant of the Church, an orthodox evangelical Christian, a Bible scholar of repute, having direct access to the “original” Greek manuscripts, let him spell it out for us. (Notice how gently he lets the cat out of the bag): “He (Matthew) has used Mark’s Gospel freely” which in the language of the school- teacher “has been copying wholesale from Mark!” Yet the Christians call this wholesale plagiarism the Word of God?
Does it not make you wonder that an eye-witness and an ear-witness to the ministry of Jesus, which the disciple Matthew was supposed to be, instead of writing his own first hand impressions of the ministry of “his Lord” would go and steal from the writings of a youth (Mark), who was a ten year old lad when Jesus upbraided his nation? Why would an eye-witness and ear-witness copy from a fellow who himself was writing from hearsay? The disciple Matthew would not do any such silly thing. For an anonymous document has been imposed on the fair name of Matthew.
Plagiarism or literary kidnapping
Plagiarism means literary theft. Someone copies ad verbatim (word for word) from another’s writing and palms it off as his own, is known as plagiarism. This is a common trait amongst the 40 or so anonymous authors of the books of the Bible. The Christians boast about a supposedly common cord amongst the writers of the 66 Protestant booklets and the writers of the 73 Roman Catholic booklets called the “Holy Bible.” Some common cord there is, for Matthew and Luke, or whoever they were, had plagiarised 85% word for word from Mark! God Almighty did not dictate the same wordings to the synoptists (one-eyed). The Christians themselves admit this, because they do not believe in a verbal inspiration, as the Muslims do about the Holy Quran. (See “The Quran: The Miracles of Miracles”)
This 85% plagiarism of Matthew and Luke pales into insignificance compared to the literary kidnapping of the authors of the Old Testament where a hundred percent stealing occurs in the so-called Book of God. Christian scholars of the calibre of Bishop Kenneth Cragg euphemistically calls this stealing, “reproduction” and take pride in it.
Dr. Scroggie most enthusiastically quotes in his book Scroggie most enthusiastically quotes in his book (Is the Bible God’s word?) a Dr. Joseph Parker for his unique eulogy of the Bible:
“What a book is the bible in the matter of variety of contents! … whole pages are taken up with obscure names, and more is told of a genealogy than of the day of judgment. stories are half told, and the night falls before we can tell where victory lay. where is there anything” (in the religious literature of the world) “to correspond with this?”
A beautiful necklace of words and phrases undoubtedly! It is much ado about nothing, and rank blasphemy against God Almighty for authorising such an embarrassing hotch potch. Yet the Christians gloat over the very defects of their book, like Romeo over the “mole” on Juliet’s lip!
Nothing less than 100%
To demonstrate the degree of plagiarism practised by the “inspired” Bible writers, I asked my audience during a symposium at the University of Cape Town conducted between myself and Professor Cumpsty the Head of the Department of Theology on the subject “Is the Bible God’s Word?” to open their Bibles.
Some Christians are very fond of carrying their Bibles under their arms when religious discussions or debates take place. They seem to be utterly helpless without this book. At my suggestion a number of the audience began ruffling the pages. I asked them to open chapter 37 in the “Book of Isaiah.” When the audience was ready, I asked them to compare my “Isaiah 37” with their “Isaiah 37” while I read, to see whether they were identical.
I began, readingly slowly. Verses 1, 2, 4,10, 15, and so on, until the end of the chapter. I kept on asking after every verse if what I had been reading, was identical with the verses in their Bibles. Again and again they chorused “Yeh!”, “Yeh!”. At the end of the chapter with the Bible still open in my hands at the place from which I had been reading, I made the Chairman to reveal to the audience that I was not reading from Isaiah 37 at all but from 2 Kings 19! There was a terrible consternation in the audience! I had thus established 100% plagiarism in the “Holy Bible.”
In other words, Isaiah 37 and 2 Kings 19 are identical word for word. Yet they have been attributed to two different authors, centuries apart, whom the Christians claim have been inspired by God.
Who is copying whom? Who is stealing from whom? The 32 renowned Bible scholars of the RSV say that the author of the Book of Kings is “Unknown!” See later on for a reproduction from the RSV by “Collins’”. These notes on the Bible were prepared and edited by the Right Rev. David J. Fant, Litt. D., General Secretary of the New York Bible Society. Naturally, if the Most Reverend gentlemen of Christiandom had an iota of belief about the Bible being the Word of God, they would have said so, but they honestly (shamefacedly?) confess: “Author UNKNOWN!” They are prepared to pay lip service to Scriptures which could have been penned by any Tom, Dick or Harry and expect everyone to regard these as the Word of God Heaven forbid!
II kings 19
“And it came to pass. when king Hezeki’ah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the lord.”
2. “And he sent Eli’akim. which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the ‘elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.”
3. “And they said unto him. Thus saith Hezeki’ah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.”
5. “So the servants of king Hezeki’ah came to Isaiah.”
10. “Thus shall ye speak to Hezeki’ah king of Judah, saying. Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying. Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.”
11. “Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?”
12. “Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; as Gozan, and Ha-ran. and Rezeph. and the children of Eden which were in Thel’-a-sar?”
14. “And Hezeki’ah received the letter of the hand of the messengers. and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the lord, and spread it before the lord;”
15. “And Hezeki’ah prayed before the lord, and said. O lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cher’-u-bims. thou art the God. even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth, thou hast made heaven and earth.”
36. “So Sennach’erib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nin’eveh.”
37. “And it came to pass. as he was worshipping in the house of Nis’-roch his god, that A-dram’-me-lech and Sha-re’-zer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into – he land of Armenia. And E-sar-had’-don his son reigned in his stead.”
And it came to pass. when king Hezeki’ah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the lord.
2. “And he sent Eli’akim. who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.”
3. “And they said unto him. Thus saith Hezeki’ah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.”
5. “So the servants of king Hezeki’ah came to Isaiah.”
10. “Thus shall ye speak to Hezeki’ah king of Judah. saying. Let not thy God. in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saving, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”
11. “Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shall thou be delivered?”
12. “Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran. and Rezeph. and the children of Eden which were in Telas’sar?”
14. “And Hezeki’ah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: And Hezekiah went up unto the house of the lord, and spread it before the lord.”
15. “And Hezeki’ah prayed unto the lord, saying,”
16. “O lord of hosts. God of Israel. that dwellest between the cher’-u-bims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.”
37. “So Sennach’erib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned. and dwelt at Nin’eveh.”
38. “And it came to pass. as he was worshipping in thc_house of Nis’roch his god, that Adram’melecb and Sharc’zcr his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and E’sarhad’don his son reigned in his stead.”
These verses are culled from the Authorised Version, but you will find the same in every Version. See The Old Testament.
No verbal inspiration
What have Christian scholars to say about the “Book of Isaiah?” They say: “Mainly credited to Isaiah. Parts may have been written by others” In view of the confessions of Bible scholars, we will not take poor Isaiah to task. Can we then nail this plagiarism on the door of God? What blasphemy!
Professor Cumptsy confirmed at question time, at the end of the aforementioned symposium that the “Christians do not believe in a verbal inspiration of the Bible” So God Almighty had not absent-mindedly dictated the same tale twice! Human hands, all too human, had played havoc with this so-called Word of God the Bible. Yet, Bible-thumpers will insist that “every word, comma and full stop of the Bible is God’s Word!”
The acid test
How do we know that a book claimed to be from God is really the Book of God? One of the tests, out of many such tests, is that a Message emanating from an Omniscient Being must be consistent with itself. It ought to be free from all discrepancies and contradictions. This is exactly what the Last Testament, the Book of God says:
“Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy”.
God or the devil?
If God Almighty wants us to verify the authenticity of His Book (The Holy Quran) with this acid test, why should we not apply the very same test to any other Book claiming to be from Him? We do not want to bamboozle anybody with words as the Christians have been doing. It would be readily agreed from the references, I have given from Christian scholars, that they have been proving to us that the Bible is not the Word of God, yet making us believe that they have actually convinced us to the contrary.
A classic example of this sickness was in evidence again only “yesterday” The Anglican synod was in session in Grahamstown. The Most. Rev. Bill Burnett, the Archbishop was preaching to his flock. He created a confusion in his Anglican community. An erudite Englishman, addressing a group of learned English priests and bishops, in their own mother-tongue English, which his learned colleagues drastically misunderstood: to such an extent that Mr. McMillan, perhaps also an Anglican, the Editor of an English daily “The Natal Mercury” dated December 11, 1979, had this to say about the confusion the Archbishop had created among his own learned clergy:
“Archbishop burnetts remarks at the synod were hardly a model of clarity and were widely and dramatically misinterpreted by many of those present.”
There is nothing wrong with English as a language, but can’t you see that the Christian is trained in muddled thinking in all matters religious. The “bread” in his Holy Communion is not “bread” but “flesh?” The “wine” is “blood?” “Three is one?” and “Human is Divine?” But don’t make a mistake, he is not that simple when dealing with the earthly kingdom, he is then most precise. You will have to be doubly careful when entering into a contract with him! He can have you sold out, without you realising it.
The examples that I shall furnish in substantiating the points I have raised about the contradictions in the so-called Book of God, would be found so easy even for a child to follow and understand. See below.
II Samuel 24: The Numbering
“And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.”
While the author of Samuel 24 above, makes God the boss of the situation, the author of Chronicles below gives credit to the Devil.
I Chronicles 21 The Numbering
“And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”
Apart from showing allegiance to God as is noted elsewhere, the Devil (Satan) is also given his due. This dichotomy on the part of the author of Chronicles reminds one of the story of the old woman who lit one candle to St. Michael and another to the devil. St. Michael was trampling underfoot, so that whether she went to Heaven or Hell, she would have a friend. This Chronicles fellow, made sure that he had a friend at court Above, as well as a friend at court Below. He wanted to have it both ways, or wanted to have his cake and eat it too.
You will observe that the authors of the books of “Chronicles” and of “Samuel” are telling us the same story about David taking a census of the Jews. Where did David get his “inspiration” to do this novel deed? The author of 2 Samuel 24:1 says that it was the “Lord” God who moved (RSV: “incited”) David, but the author of 1 Chronicles 21:1 says that it was “Satan” who Provoked (RSV: “incited”) David to do such a dastardly thing! How could the Almighty God have been the source of these contradictory “inspirations?” Is it God or is it Satan! In which religion is the devil synonymous with God?
I am not talking about “Satanism” a recent fungus growth of Christianity, in which ex-Christians worship the Devil. Christianity has been most prolific of spawning isms. Atheism, Communism, Fascism, Totalitarianism, Nazism, Mormonism, Moonism, Christian Scientism and now Satanism. What else will Christianity give birth to?
The “Holy Bible” lends itself to all kinds of contradictory interpretations. This is the Christian boast! “Some claim and rightly so, that biblical passages have been continuously misused and misappropriated to justify almost every evil known to man”
Who are the real authors?
As further evidence will be adduced from “Samuel” and “Chronicles” I deem it advisable first to determine their authors instead of suspecting God of those books’ incongruities. The Revisers of the RSV say:
a) Samuel: Author “Unknown” (Just one word)
b) Chronicles: Author “Unknown, probably collected and edited by Ezra.”
We must admire the humility of these Bible scholars, but their “possiblys” “probablys” and “likelys” are always construed as actually’s by their fleeced sheep. Why make poor Ezra or Isaiah the scapegoats for these anonymous writers?
What did the Lord decree 3 years famine or 7 years famine?
II Samuel 24:13
13. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? Or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue, thee?
I Chronicles 21:11
11. So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Choose thee 12. Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee;
If God is the Author of every single word, comma and full-stop in the Bible, as the Christians claim, then is He the Author of the above arithmetical discrepancy as well?
Three or seven?
Note the reproduction of above. Compare both the quotations. 2 Samuel 24:13 tells us — “So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him” These words are repeated word for word in 1 Chronicles 21:11, except the redundant “and told him” is removed! But while trimming the useless phrase, the author also pruned the time factor from “seven” years to “three” years. What did God say to Gad — Three or Seven years plague — “on both your houses?”
Eight or eighteen?
See below. Compare the two quotations. 2 Chronicles 36:9 tells us that Jehoiachin was “eight” years old when he began to reign, while 2 Kings 24:8 says that he was “eighteen” when he began to reign. The “unknown” author of Kings must have reasoned that what possible “evil” could a child of eight do to deserve his abdication, so he generously added ten years to make Jehoiachin mature enough to become liable to God’s wrath. However, he had to balance his tampering, so he cut short his reign by 10 days! Add ten years to age and deduct ten days from rule? Could God Almighty say two widely differing things on the same subject?
How old was Jehoiachin? 8 or 18?
Between Eight and Eighteen years, there is a gap or difference at a full 10 years. Can we say (God forbid!) that the all-knowing Almighty could not count, and thus did not know the difference between 8 and 18? If we are to believe in the Bible as the Word of God, then the Dignity and Status of the Lord Almighty will hit an all-time low!
II Chronicles 36
9. Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.
II Kings 24
8. Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mothers name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
Cavalry or infantry?
Compare the two quotations on page 40. How many chariot riders did David slay? Seven hundred or seven thousand? And further, did he slay 40000 “horsemen” or 40000 “footmen?” The implication in the conflicting records between 2 Samuel 10:18 and 1 Chronicles 19:18 is not only that God could not discern the difference between hundreds and thousands, but that He could not even distinguish “cavalry” from “infantry!” It is obvious that blasphemy masquerades in the Christian dictionary as “inspiration!”
700 or 7 000?
It is certainly naught for Bible-lovers’ comfort that a whole nought (0) was either added to 700, or subtracted from 7 000, thus making the confused Biblical Mathematics even more confounded! (The remarks on the Zero will be discussed later in this article).
II Samuel 10
18. And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.
I Chronicles 19
18. But the Syrians fled before Israel: and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host.
God confused between “cavalry” and “infantry” ?
As for the “inspired writers” of the Bible not knowing the difference between “footmen” and “horsemen,” is all the more serious because God himself here stands accused, as a source of that “inspiration” for not knowing the difference between cavalry and infantry. Or is it possible that the Syrians who fled before Israel were centaurs (i.e. a race of creatures with the body and legs of a horse and the torso, head and arms of a man), is it possible that these “creatures” had suddenly stepped out of Classical Mythology to bemuse the all too gullible authors.
Now, look below and note that the author of 1 Kings 7:26 has counted 2 000 baths in Solomon’s palace, but the author of 2 Chronicles 4:5 increases the kingly count by 50% to 3 000! What extravagance and error in the “Book of God?” Even if God Almighty had nothing else to do, would He occupy Himself “inspiring” such trivial contradictory nonsense to the Jews? Is the Bible God’s Book? Is it the Word of God?
The difference 2000 and 3000 is only 50% exaggeration!
I Kings 7
26. And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths..
II Chronicles 4
5. And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.
Whether it is witting or unwitting, the “inspired” writer’s singular inability to grasp the difference between 2 000 and 3 000 is unforgivable. It is an obvious contradiction. “And no miracle would prove that two and two makes five, or that a circle has four angels; and no miracles, however numerous could remove a contradiction which lies on the surface of the teachings and records of Christianity.”
Before I conclude this series of contradictions, let me give you just one more example. There are hundreds of others in the Bible. See below. It is Solomon again. He really does things in a big way. The ex-Shah of Iran was a nursery kid by comparison! The author of 2 Chronicles 9:25 gives Solomon one thousand more stalls of horses than the number of baths he had given him. “And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses …”
But the author of 1 Kings 4:26 had real kingly thoughts about his royal patron. He multiplied Solomon’s stalls by 1 000% from 4 000 to 40000 stalls of horses! Before some glib evangelist draws the wool over your eyes that the difference is only a nought, a zero “0”; that some scribe or copyist had inadvertently added a zero to 4 000 to make it 40 000, let me tell you that the Jews in the time of Solomon knew nothing about the zero “O”!
It was the Arabs who introduced the zero to the Middle East and to Europe centuries later. The Jews spelt out their figures in words in their literary works and did not write them in numerals. Our Question is Who was the real author of this staggering discrepancy of 36000? Was it God or man? You will find these references and many more allied facts in a very comprehensive book “The Bible Word of God or Word of Man?” by A. S. K. Joommal.
II Chronicles chapter 9
25. And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
I Kings chapter 4
26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
The Difference between 4 thousand and 40 thousand is only 36000!
The Jews did not use The “0” (Zero) in the Old Testament.
Most objective testimony
The Christian propagandist is very fond of quoting the following verse as proof that his Bible is the Word of God. “All scripture IS given by inspiration of God, and IS profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16 – AV by Scofield)
Note the “IS’s” in capitals. Rev. Scofield is telling us silently that they do not occur in the original Greek. “The New English Bible,” translated by a committee representing the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church, the Congregational Church, the Baptist Union, the Presbyterian Church of England, etc., etc., and the British and Foreign Bible Society has produced the closest translation of the original Greek which deserves to be reproduced here:
“Every inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, or for reformation of manners and discipline in right living.”
II chronicles chapter 9
25. And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
I kings chapter 4
26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. The Roman Catholics in their “Douay” Version, are also more faithful to the text than the Protestants in their Authorised Version (AV). They say: “All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct …”
We will not quibble with words. Muslims and Christians are agreed that whatever emanates from God, whether through in inspiration or by revelation, must serve one of four purposes:
1. It must either teach us doctrine;
2. Reprove us for our error;
3. Offer us correction;
4. Guide us into righteousness.
I have been asking learned men of Christianity for the past forty years, whether they can supply a fifth “peg” to hang the Word of God on. They have failed signally. That does not mean that I have improved upon their performance. Let us examine the “Holy Bible” with these objective tests.
Not far to seek
The very first book of the Bible – Genesis – provides us with many beautiful examples. Open chapter 38 and read. We are given here the history of Judah, the father of the Jewish race, from whom we derive the names “Judea” and “Judaism.” This patriarch of the Jews got married and God granted him three sons, Er, Onan and Shelah.
When the first-born was big enough, Judah had him married to a lady called Tamar. “But er, Judah’s first-born was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.’’
Under what heading, from the above four principles of Timothy will you place this sad news? The second – “Reprove” is the answer. Er was wicked so God killed him. A lesson for all, God will destroy us for our wickedness. Reproof!
Continuing with this Jewish history, according to their custom, if a brother died and left no offspring, it was the duty of the other brother to give “seed” to his sisters-in-law so that the deceased’s name might be perpetuated. Judah, in honour of this custom, orders his second son Onan to do his duty. But Jealousy enters his heart. It will be his seed but the name will be his brother’s! So at the critical moment “He spilled it on the ground. .. and the thing he did displeased the Lord: Wherefore he slew him also.”
Again, where does this slaying fit into Timothy’s tests? “Reproof!” is the answer again. No prizes are offered for these easy answers. They are so basic. Do wrong and bear the consequence! Onan is forgotten in the “Book of God,” but Christian sexologists have immortalized him by referring to “coitus interruptus,” as Onanismin their “Books of Sex.”
Now Judah tells his daughter-in-law, Tamar, to return to her father’s house until his third son Shelah attains manhood, when she will be brought back so that he can do his duty.
A woman’s revenge
Shelah grows up and is, perhaps, married to another woman. But Judah had not fulfilled his obligation to Tamar. Deep in his heart he is terrified. He has already lost two sons on account of this “witch,” – “Lest peradventure he (shelah) die also, as his brethren did.”
So Judah conveniently forgets his promise. The aggrieved young lady resolves to take revenge on her father-in-law for depriving her of her “seed” right. Tamar learned that Judah is going to Timnath to sheer his sheep. She plans to get even with him on the way. She forestalls him, and goes and sits in an open place en route to Timnath. When Judah sees her, he thinks she is a harlot because she has covered her face. He comes up to her and proposes “Allow me to come in unto thee; and she said what wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?”
He promises that he would send her a goat kid from his flock. What guarantee could she have that he would send it? What guarantee did she require, Judah queried. “His ring, his bracelet and his staff” is the ready answer. The old man hands these possessions to her, and “came in unto her, and she conceived by him.” Women in Islam vs women in ChristianitySee
The moral lesson
Before we seek the heading from Timothy 3:16, under which to categorize this filthy, dirty story from the “Book of God,” I am tempted to ask, as you would be tempted to ask: what is the moral lesson that our children will learn from Tamar’s sweet revenge?
Of course we do tell our children, fables, not really for their entertainment value, but that through them some moral may be imparted.” The Fox and the Grapes,’’ “The Wolf and the Lamb,’’ “The Dog and his Shadow,” etc. However simple or silly the story, a moral is aimed at.
‘Christian parental dilemmas’
Dr. Vernon Jones, an American psychologist of repute, carried out experiments on groups of schoolchildren to whom certain stories had been told. The heroes of the stories were the same in the case of the different groups of children, but the heroes behaved contradictorily to each group. To one group “St. George,” slaving the dragon emerged a very brave figure, but to another group, fleeing in terror and seeking shelter in his mother’s lap. “these stories made certain slight but permanent changes in character, even in the narrow classroom situation,’’ concluded Dr. Jones.
How much more permanent damage the rapes and murders, incests and beastialities of the “Holy Bible” has done to the children of Christendom, can be measured from reports in our daily newspapers. If such is the source of Western morality, it is no little wonder, then, that Methodists and Roman Catholics have already solemnized marriages between homosexuals in their “Houses of God.” And 8000 “gays” (an euphemistic term for sodomites) parade their “wares” in London’s Hyde Park in July 1979, to the acclaim of the news and TV media.
(Ever since then, the major cities of the Western World; be it London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Paris etc hold annual gay parades (Mardi Gras), with now, public turnouts bringing in children as spectators. Australia prides itself in having Sydney being declared the gay capital of the world.)
You must get that “Holy Bible” and read the whole chapter 38 of Genesis. Mark in “red” the words and phrases deserving this adornment. We had reached verse 18 in our moral (?) lesson – “and she conceived by him.”
Can’t hide for ever
Three months later, as things were bound to turn out, news reached Judah that his daughter-in-law, Tamar, had played the “harlot” and that she was with “child by whoredom and Judah said, bring her forth, and let her be burnt.”
Judah had deliberately spurned her as a “witch” and now he sadistically wants to burn her. But this wiley Jewess was one up on the old man. She sent the “ring,” the “bracelet,” and the “staff’’ with a servant, beseeching her father-in-law to find the culprit responsible for her pregnancy. Judah was in a fix. He confessed that his daughter-in-law was more “Righteous” than himself, and “he knew her again no more.”
It is quite an experience to compare the choice of language in which the different Versions describe the same incident. The Jehovah’s Witnesses in their “New World Translation” translate the last quotation as – “he had no further intercourse with her after that.”
This is not the last we will hear about in the “Book of God” of this Tamar whom the Gospel writers have immortalized in their “Genealogy of their Lord.”
I do not want to bore you with details, but the end verses of Genesis 38 deal with a duel in Tamar’s womb: about the twins struggling for ascendancy. The Jews were very meticulous about recording their “first born” The first born got the lion’s share of their father’s patrimony. Who are the lucky winners in this prenatal race? There are four in this unique contest. They are “Pharez and Zarah of Tamar by Judah.’’ How?
You will see presently. But first, let us have the moral. What is the moral in this episode? You remember Er and Onan: how God destroyed them for their several sins? And the lessons we have learnt in each case was “REPROOF’’ Under what category of Timothy will you place the incest of Judah, and his illegitimate progeny? All these characters are honoured in the “Book of God” for their bastardy. They become the great grandfathers and great grandmothers of the “only begotten son of God’(?) See Matthew 1:3.
In every Version of the Bible, the Christians have varied the spelling of these characters’ names from those obtained in the Old Testament (Genesis chapter 38) with those contained in the New Testament (Matthew chapter 1) to put the reader off the scent. From Pharez in the “Old” to Pares in the “New,’’ and Zarah to Zara and Tamar to Thamar, But what about the moral? God blesses Judah for his incestuous crime! So if you do “evil” (Er), God will slay you; if you spill “seed” (Onan), God will kill you, but a daughter-in- law (Lamat) who vengefully and guilefully collect her father-in-law’s (Judah’s) “seed” is rewarded. Under what category will the Christians place this “honour” in the “Book of God?” Where does it fit? Is it Your …
1. Doctrine? 2. Reproof? 3. Correction? or 4. Instruction into Righteousness?
Ask him who comes and knocks at your door – that professional preacher, that hot-gospeller, that Bible-thumper. Here, he deserves a prize if he can grant an explanation for the correct answer. There is none born who can justify this filth, this pornography under any of the above headings. But a heading has to be given. It can only be recorded under – “Pornography!”
Ban the book!
George Bernard Shaw said that the Bible is “The most dangerous book on Earth, keep it under lock and key.” Keep the Bible out of your children’s reach. But who will follow his advice? He was not a “B.A., (“B.A.” short for “born again” it is a new sickness. It destroyed the “Suicide Cult” of Rev. Jim Jones, in Jonestown, Guyana.) a “reborn” Christian.
According to the high moral scruples of the Christian rulers of South African, who have banned the book, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,’’ because of a “tetragrammaton” – a four-letter word, they would most assuredly have placed a ban on the “Holy Bible” if it had been a Hindu religious Book, or a Muslim religious Book. But they are utterly helpless against their own “Holy Book,” their “Salvation” depends upon it!
“Reading Bible stories to children can also open up all sorts of opportunities to discuss the morality of sex. An unexpurgated Bible might get an X-rating from some censors,”
Daughters seduce their father
Read Genesis 19, verses 30 to the end and mark again in “red” the words and phrases deserving this honour. Do not hesitate and procrastinate. Your “coloured” Bible will become a priceless heirloom for your children. The “history” has it that, night after night, the daughters of Lot seduce their drunken father with the noble (?) motive of preserving their father’s “seed.” “Seed” figures very prominently in this “Holy Book”:
Forty seven times in the little booklet of Genesis alone! Out of this another incestuous relationship come the “Ammonites” and the “Moabites,” for whom the God of Israel was supposed to have had a special compassion. Later on in the Bible we learn that the Jews are ordered by the same compassionate God to slaughter the Philistines mercilessly – men, women and children. Even trees and animals are not to be spared, but the Amonites and the Moabites are not to be “distressed” or “meddled” with because they are the seed of Lot!
No decent reader can read the seduction of Lot to his mother, sister or daughter, not even to his fiancee if she is a chaste and moral woman. Yet you will come across perverted people who will gorge this filth. Tastes can be cultivated!
Read again and mark Ezekiel 23. You will know what colour to choose. The “whoredoms” of the two sisters, Aholah and Aholibah. The sexual details here puts to shame even the unexpurgated edition of many banned books. Ask your “born again” Christian visitors, under what category will they classify all this lewdness? Such filth certainly has no place in any “Book of God.”
Al-Haj A.D. Ajijola in his book – “The Myth of the Cross” gives a masterly expose of the fallacy of the Bible as well as of the crucifixion, in short, of the whole of Christianity. No student of comparative religion can afford to be without this publication and “The Bible: Word of God or Word of Man?”.
The genealogy of Jesus
Watch now how the Christian fathers have foisted the incestuous progenies of the Old Testament upon their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in the New Testament. For a man who had no genealogy, they have manufactured one for him. And what a genealogy! Six adulterers and offsprings of incest are imposed upon this holy man of God. Men and women deserving to be stoned to death according to God’s own law, as revealed through Moses, and further to be ostracised and debarred from the House of God for generations.
Why should God give a “father” (Joseph) to His “son” (Jesus)? And why such an ignoble ancestry? “This is the whole beauty of it” says the pervert. “God loved the sinners so much that he disdaineth not to give such progenitors for His ‘son’”.
Only two commissioned
Of the four Gospel writers, God “inspired” only two of them to record the genealogy of His “son.” To make it easy for you to compare the “fathers and grandfathers” of Jesus Christ in both the “inspired” lists, I have culled the names only, minus the verbiage. Between David and Jesus, God “inspired” Matthew to record only 26 ancestors for His “son.” But Luke, also “inspired,” gathered up 41 forefathers for Jesus. The only name common to these two lists between David and Jesus is Joseph and that, too, a “supposed” father according to
This one name is glaring. You need no fine-tooth comb to catch him. It is Joseph the carpenter. You will also easily observe that the lists are grossly contradictory. Could both the lists have emanated from the same source, i.e. God?
Matthew and Luke are over-zealous in making David the King, the prime ancestor of Jesus, because of that false notion that Jesus was to sit on the “throne of his father David”
The Gospels belie this prophecy, for they tell us that instead of Jesus sitting on his father’s (David’s) throne, it was Pontious Pilate, a Roman Governor, a pagan who sat on that very throne and condemned its rightful (?) heir (Jesus) to death. “Never mind,’’ says the evangelist, “if not in his first coming, then in his second coming he will fulfill this prophecy and three hundred others beside” But with their extravagant enthusiasm to trace the ancestry of Jesus physically to David, (for this is actually what the Bible says – that of the fruit of his (David’s) Loins, according to the flesh” (literally, not metaphorically Acts 2:30), both the “inspired” authors trip and fall on the very first step.
Matthew 1:6 says that Jesus was the son of David through Solomon, but Luke 3:31 says that he (Jesus) was the son of David through Nathan. One need not be a gynecologist to tell that by no stretch of the imagination could the seed of David reach the mother of Jesus both through Solomon and Nathan at the same time! We know that both the authors are confounded liars, because Jesus was conceived miraculously, without any male intervention. Even if we concede a physical ancestry through David, both authors would still be proved liars for the obvious reason.
As simple as the above logic is, the Christian is so emotionally involved that it will not penetrate his prejudiced mind. Let us give him an identical example, but one where he can afford to be objective.
We know from history that Muhammed the Prophet of Islam, was the son of Abraham through Ishmael, so if some “inspired” writer came along and tried to palm off his “revelation” to the effect that Muhummed was the son of Abraham through Isaac, we would, without any hesitation, brand such a writer as a liar, because the seed of Abraham could never reach Amina (Muhummed’s mother) through Ishmael and through Isaac at the same time! The differences of lineage between these two sons of Abraham is the difference between the Jews and the Arabs.
In the case of Muhummed, we would know then that anyone who says that Isaac is his progenitor, was a liar. But in the case of Jesus both Matthew and Luke are suspect. Until the Christians decide which line of ancestors they prefer for their “god,” both Gospels will have to be rejected. Christendom has been battling tooth and nail with these genealogies for the past 2000 years, trying to unravel the mystery. They have not given up yet. We admire their perseverance. They still believe that “time will solve the problem.” Perhaps another 2000 years?!
“There are claimed contradictions that theologians have not resolved to every atheist’s satisfaction. There are textual difficulties with which scholars are still wrestling. Only a bible illiterate would deny these and other problems”
The source of Luke’s inspiration
We have already nailed 85% of Matthew and Luke to Mark or that “mysterious ‘Q’’’. Let us now allow Luke to tell us who inspired him to tell his “most excellent Theophilus” the story of Jesus. He tells us plainly that he was only following in the footsteps of others who were less qualified than himself, others who had the temerity to write accounts of his hero (Jesus). As a physician, as against fishermen and tax collectors, he was no doubt better equipped to create a literary masterpiece. This he did, because “It seemed good to me also” to “put in order.” These are his prominent Justifications over his predecessors.
1. For as much as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us;
2. Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word;
3. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus;
4. That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou has been instructed.
In the introduction to his translation of the “Gospel of St Luke” A Christian scholar, J. B. Phillips, has this to say – “on his own admission Luke has carefully compared and edited existing material, but it would seem that he had access to a good deal of additional material, and we can reasonably guess at some of the sources from which he drew.” And yet you call this the Word of God?!
Obtain “The Gospels in Modern English” in soft cover by ‘Fontana publications. It is a cheap edition. Get it quickly before the Christians decide to have Phillips’ invaluable notes expunged from his translation! And do not be surprised if the authors of the RSV also decide to eliminate the “Preface” from their translation. It is an old, old habit. As soon as those who have vested interests in Christianity realize that they have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag, they quickly make amends. They make my current references “past” history overnight!
The remaining Gospel
Who is the author of The Gospel of St. John? Neither God nor St. John! See what he says about it himself on page 58 – John 19:35 and 21:24-25. Who is his “he” and “his” and “this?” A-N-D, his “we know” and “I suppose.” Could it be the fickle one who left him in the lurch in the garden, when he was most in need, or the fourteenth man at the table, at the “last Super,” the one that “Jesus loved?” Both were Johns. It was a popular name among the Jews in the times of Jesus, and among Christians even now. Neither of these two was the author of this Gospel. That it was the product of an anonymous hand, is crystal clear.
Watch the pronouns!
St. John 19:35. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. Who is “he” and “his”?
St. John 21:24. This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. Who is “we”?
Authors in a nutshell
Let me conclude this “authorship” search with the verdict of those 32 scholars, backed by their 50 co-operating denominations. God had been eliminated from this authorship race long ago. In the RSV by “Collins,” invaluable notes on “The Books of the Bible” are to be found at the back of their production. I am reproducing only a bit of that information on below. We start with “Genesis” – the first book of the Bible. The scholars say about its “Author”: “One of the ‘five books of Moses’.” Note the words “five books of Moses” are written in inverted commas – “ “ This is a subtle way of admitting that this is what people say – that it is the book of Moses, that Moses was its author, but we (the 32 scholars) who are better informed, do not subscribe to that tittle-tattel.
The next four books, “Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy”: Author? “Generally credited to Moses.” This is the same category as the book of Genesis.
– Who is the author of the book of ‘Judges’? “Possibly Samuel.”
– Who is the author of the book of ‘Joshua’? “Major part credited to Joshua.”
– Who is the author of ‘Ruth’? “Not definitely known”
And Who Is The Author Of:
|1st Samuel?||Author is “unknown”|
|2st Samuel?||Author is “unknown”|
|1st king?||Author is “unknown”|
|2st king?||Author is “unknown”|
|1st chronicles?||Author is “unknown probably…”|
|2st chronicles?||Author is “likely collected…”|
|Bible’s Books||The author is:|
|Genesis||One of the “five books of Moses.”|
|Exodus||Generally credited to Moses.|
|Leviticus||Generally credited to Moses|
|Numbers||Generally credited to Moses|
|Deuteronomy||Generally credited to Moses|
|Joshua||Major part credited to joshua|
|Ruth||Not definitely known, perhaps Samuel|
|First chronicles||Unknown, probably edited by Ezra|
|Second chronicles||Is likely collected and edited by Ezra|
|Ezra||Probably written or edited by Ezra|
|Psalms||Principally David, though there are other writers|
|Ecclesiastes||Doubtful, but commonly assigned to Solomon|
|Isaiah||Mainly credited to Isaiah. or written by others|
|Habakkuk||Nothing known of the place or time of his birth|
|The Above Facts Are From Collins’ R.S.V. 1971. Pages 12-17|
And so the story goes. The authors of these anonymous books are either “UNKNOWN” or are “PROBABLY” or “LIKELY” or are of “DOUBTFUL” origin. Why blame God for this fiasco?
The Long-suffering and Merciful God did not wait for two thousand years for Bible scholars to tell us that He was not the Author of Jewish peccadilloes, prides and prejudices; of their lusts, wranglings, jealousies and enormities. He said it openly what they do:
“Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: This is from Allah, to traffic with it for miserable price! Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.”
Note: (“The Bible” – “The World’s Best Seller!” the Publishers of the RSV made a net profit of 15 000 000 dollars on the first edition alone’ “What a miserable price in exchange for eternity!”)
We could have started the thesis of this book with the above Quranic verse and ended with it, with the satisfaction that God Almighty had Himself delivered His verdict on the subject – “Is the Bible God’s Word?”, but we wished to afford our Christian brethren an opportunity to study the subject as objectively as they wished. (See Dr Scroggie’s plea in chapter 5.) Allowing believing Christians, “reborn” Christians, and their own Holy Book the Bible to testify against their “better” judgement.
What about the Holy Quran? Is the Quran the Word of God? The author of this humble publication has endeavoured to answer this question in a most scientific manner in his book “The Quran – The Miracle of Miracles”. Also see The Amazing Quran by Dr Gary Miller.
The reader must by now be convinced, that is if he has an open mind, that the Bible is not what it is claimed to be by the protagonists of Christianity. For nearly four decades people have asked me as to how I have such an “in depth” knowledge of the Bible and Christianity.
Frankly speaking my present position as a Muslim “expert” on Judaism and Christianity is not of my own volition. I have been forced into being what I am.
It was in 1939 when I was working as a shop assistant at Adams Mission near a Christian seminary by that name; producing preachers and priests, that I and my fellow Muslim workers were the target of young aspiring men of the cloth. Not a day passed when these young Christians did not harass me or my brothers-in-faith, through insults which they piled on Islam, the Holy Prophet and the Quran.
Being a sensitive young man of 20, I spent sleepless nights in tears for not being able to defend the one dearer to me than my own life, that mercy unto all mankind – Muhammad I resolved to study the Quran, the Bible and other literature. My discovery of the book – “Izharul Haq” was the turning point in my life. After a short while I was able to invite the trainee missionaries of Adams Mission College and cause them to perspire under the collar until they developed a respect for Islam and its Holy Apostle.
Muslims under constant attack
It made me ponder as to how so many unwary Muslims are being constantly assaulted by Christian evangelists who carry out a door to door campaign, and being invited in by the proverbially hospitable Muslim, I thought of how the merciless missionary munched the samoosas and punched the wind out of the Muslim with snide remarks against his beliefs.
Determined to bring home to the Muslims their right to defend themselves and to arm them with enough knowledge to counter the hot gospeller, the door to door pedlar of Christianity and the shameless insulter of Islam and its Holy Apostle; I humbly undertook to deliver lectures to show the Muslim masses that they had nothing to fear from the assaults of the Christians. My lectures were also an invitation to the Christians to witness the truth of Islam and the fabrications which had penetrated the true teachings of Jesus.
Attack is not new
Christian Missionaries in the past hundred years and more have challenged Muslims on many aspects and quite a number of these challenges have, to my knowledge, gone answered or have been partly answered. Perhaps by the will of Allah my contribution in this field can also be answers or part answers to the challenges of the detractors of Islam. It is of supreme importance that we do not go by default.
One such challenge comes to mind viz. Geo G. Harris the author of “How to lead Muslims to Christ”. This missionary who tried to convert the Muslims of China says in the usual arrogant and condecending manner of the Westerner on page 19 under the heading – “The theory or charge of corruption.”
“we now come to the most serious charge by the Moslem world, against our Christian Scriptures. There are three aspects of this charge.
1. That the Christian scriptures have been so changed and altered that they bear little, if any, resemblance to the glorious Gospel praised in the Quran. This can be answered by the asking of one of the following questions: Wherein have these been so changed or altered? Can you obtain a copy of a true Gospel and show it that I may compare it with mine? At what date in past history was the unaltered Gospel in circulation?
2. That our Gospels have suffered corruption. The following five questions are definite and we have a perfect right to ask them;
a) Was such corruption or alteration intentional?
b) Can you point out in my Bible one such passage?
c) How did this passage read originally?
d) When, by whom, how or why was it corrupted or altered?
e) Was such, corruption of the text or of the meaning?
3. That our Gospels are “faked” substitutes for the original Gospel. Or that our Gospels are the handiwork of men, not the Noble Gospel which descended upon Jesus. A little questioning will usually reveal the true situation, that usually the Moslem making the charge is woefully ignorant of the Bible or New Testament as it actually existed in the past or exists today.
Before going on to the latter half of this discussion, a reminder is important that as soon as the objector is willing to sense the flimsiness of such a charge we should press home some teaching from our scriptures, that our effort may be positive and not negative.
Have Muslims the answer?
Have we as Muslims no answers for these questions? If you, gentle reader have read this book you will admit that Ceo G. Harris has no feet to stand on. I have been able to give actual pages from the Bible to disprove his assertions.
On page 16 of Geo G. Harris’ book he teaches his comrades a basic missionary rule in order to corner the Muslim prospective:
“In this chapter it is assumed that the question of the authenticity and genuineness of our scriptures has been raised by the Mohammedan. When this is the case, before we undertake defence of our position we should bear in mind a basic rule. “the burden of proof rests with the Moslem.”
During my Christian days there were many verses in the Bible that made me question the religion I was following (Christianity). There was one particular verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 which says; “pray without ceasing,” that lingered heavily in my mind. I often wondered how a person (Christian) was supposed to pray (be in a state of worship) without ceasing? Without any biblical or divine guidance, the only way I thought this to be possible was to always do good deeds and keep the remembrance of God on my tongue and in my heart.
However, I found this to be impossible to do as a human being. But when I was introduced to Islam in 1987, and began to read and learn more about this way of life, I found that Islam provided divine guidance both from God (Allah) and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by which a person could pray (be in a state of worship) without ceasing, if it was the Will of God.
Whether waking up, eating, sleeping, putting on clothes, being in the presence of a woman, looking at a woman, going shopping, going to the bathroom, looking in the mirror, traveling, visiting the sick, sitting in a non-religious meeting, taking a bath, having sexual intercourse with one’s wife, yawning, cutting you nails, sneezing, greeting people, talking, hosting guests at home, walking, exercising, entering one’s house, praying and many other acts, Islam and the guidance therein of the Quran, and the acts and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), provided ways in which I could observe 1 Thessalonians 5:17. In addition, it allowed me to be at peace with myself and in submission to the one True God – Allah (SWT).
This divine guidance of Islam taught me greatly about my duties, responsibilities and birthright to my Creator (Allah), and more about the religion of Christianity as a Muslim, I [By the Will of Allah (SWT)] felt it necessary to share with you how the Bible led me to Islam.
Given the fact that there has never been in the history of the Torah (Old Testament) the religion of God to be named after a Prophet (i.e. Adaminity, Abrahamity, Mosanity, etc.), I hope to explain that Jesus did not preach the religion of Christianity, but a religion that gives all Praise and Worship to The One God.
One of the questions I asked myself as I took an objective (second) look at Christianity was; where did the word Christianity come from and was the word ever mentioned to Jesus? Well, I did not find the word Christianity in the Bible, not even in a Bible dictionary. Specifically, I did not find in the Bible where Jesus called himself a Christian.
The word Christian was first mentioned by a pagan to describe those who followed Jesus. It is mentioned one of three times in the New Testament by a pagan and Jew in Antioch about 43 AD, (Acts 11:26, Acts 26:38 and 1 Peter 4:16) long after Jesus left this earth. To accept the words of pagans as having any value or association with divinity, Jesus or God is contrary to the teachings of all Prophets.
Jesus prophesied that people would worship him uselessly and believe in doctrines made by men (Matthew 15:9).
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” This verse, Matthew 15:9, is further supported by these words of the Quran:
“And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto men: “Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?” He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower o fall that is hidden and unseen.
Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world).” (Al-Ma’idah 5:116-117)
I found that Biblical verses like John 5:30, John 12:49, John 14:28, Isaiah 42:8 and Acts 2:22 support the above-mentioned verses of the Quran.
Before leaving the subject of Christianity, I should mention one small point of observation. If Christians are Christ-like, why are they not greeting each other with the words; Peace be with you (Salamu Alaikum), as Jesus did in Luke 24:36. As you may be aware, the greeting from one Muslim to another Muslim is Assalamu Alaikum; a Christ-like saying.
Various Holy Bibles
It is worth mentioning that the Bible references cited might not be exactly as the Bible you are using. There are MANY Bibles on the market that are used by different Christian sects and all of these sects say that their book, though different, is the word of God. Such Bibles are The Revised Standard Version 1952 & 1971, New American Standard Bible, The Holy Bible; New International Version, the Living Bible, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures used by Jehovah Witnesses, Roman Catholic Version and the King James Version. A special note: I have not found in any of these Bibles where the “New Testament” calls itself the “New Testament,” and nowhere does the “Old Testament” call itself the “Old? Testament.” Also, the word “Bible” is unknown within the pages of the Bible.
In addition to the many different Christian sects and Bibles, I have learned that there are also different men, not Prophets, who founded these sects and are using various interpretations of the Bible and/or man-made doctrines as their creed.
I would like to share with you some thoughts that you may not have read or known about the Bible being the word of God. Briefly, let me mention that on September 8, 1957, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in their “Awake” magazine carried this startling headline – 50,000 Errors in the Bible. If you ask a Jehovah’s witness about this headline, it may be said that today most of those errors have been eliminated. How many have been eliminated, 5,000? Even if 50 remain, would one attribute those errors to God?
Let me pose another question: if a “Holy” book contained conflicting verses would you still consider it to be Holy? Most likely you will say of course not. Let me share with you some conflicting verses both in the Old and New Testaments:
|II Samuel 8:4 (vs)||II Samuel 8:9-10||II Kings 8:26|
|II Samuel 6:23||Genesis 6:3||John 5:37|
|John 5:31||I Chronicles 18:4||I Chronicles 18:9-10|
|II Chronicles 22:2||II Samuel 21:8||Genesis 9:29|
|John 14:9||John 8:14|
Only two contradictions of the New Testament have been mentioned, but others will be referenced when the Trinity, Divinity of Jesus Christ, Divine Sonship of Jesus, Original Sin and Atonement are reviewed.
How could the “inspired words” of God get the genealogy of Jesus incorrect (See Matthew 1:6-16 where it states 26 forefathers up to Prophet David, and Luke 3:23-31 says 41 in number). Or for that matter, give a genealogy to Jesus who had NO father? See II Kings 19:1-37, now read Isaiah 37:1-38. Why is it that the words of these verses are identical? Yet they have been attributed to two different authors, one unknown and the other is Isaiah, who are centuries apart; and yet, the Christians have claimed these books to be inspired by God.
I looked up the word Easter in the Nelson Bible dictionary and learned that the word “Easter” (as mentioned in Acts 12:4) is a mistranslation of “Pascha,” the ordinary Greek word for “Passover.” As you know Passover is a Jewish celebration, not a Christian holiday. I think human hands, all to human, had played havoc with the Bible.
From the brief points mentioned above, and the fact that Biblical scholars themselves have recognized the human nature and human composition of the Bible (Curt Kuhl, The Old Testament: Its Origin and Composition, PP 47, 51, 52), there should exist in the Christian’s mind some acceptance to the fact that maybe every word of the Bible is not God’s word.
As a side note to this subject, let me mention that some Christians believe that the Bible was dictated to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by a Christian monk, and that is why some of the biblical accounts are in the Quran. After some research, I found that this could not have happened because there were no Arabic Bible in existence in the 6th century of the Christian era when Muhammad (SAW) lived and preached. Therefore, no Arab, not even Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who was absolutely unlettered and unlearned, would have had the opportunity to examine the written text of the Bible in his own language.
If you read Luke 1:2-3, you will learn, as I did, that Luke (who was not one of the 12 disciples and never met Jesus) said that he himself was not an eyewitness, and the knowledge he gathered was from eyewitnesses, and not as words inspired by God. Incidentally, why does every “Gospel” begin with the introduction According to. Why “according to?” the reason for this is because not a single one of the gospels carries its original author’s autograph! Even the internal evidence of Matthew 9:9 proves that Matthew was not the author of the first Gospel which bears his name:
“And as Jesus passed forth thence, He (Jesus) saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He (Jesus) saith unto Him (Matthew), follow me (Jesus). And he (Matthew) arose, and followed Him (Jesus).”
Without any stretch of the imagination, one can see that the He’s and the Him’s of the above narration do not refer to Jesus or Matthew as its author, but a third person writing what he saw or heard – a hearsay account and not words inspired by God.
It is worth noting, and well known throughout the religious world, that the choice of the present four “gospels” of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were imposed in the Council of Nicea 325 CE for political purposes under the auspices of the pagan Emperor Constantine, and not by Jesus. Constantine’s mind had not been enlightened either by study or by inspiration. He was a pagan, a tyrant and criminal who murdered his son, his wife and thousands of innocent individuals because of his lust for political power. Constantine ratified other decisions in the Nicene Creed such as the decision to call Christ “the Son of God, only begotten of the father.”
Literally, hundreds of gospels and religious writings were hidden from the people. Some of those writings were written by Jesus’ disciples, and many of them were eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ actions. The Nicea Council decided to destroy all gospels written in Hebrew, which resulted in the burning of nearly three hundred accounts. If these writings were not more authentic than the four present gospels, they were of equal authenticity. Some of them are still available such as the Gospel of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas which agree with the Quran. The Gospel of Barnabas, until now, is the only eyewitness account of the life and mission of Jesus. Even today, the whole of the Protestant word, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists and other sects and denominations condemn the Roman Catholic version of the Bible because it contains seven “extra” books. The Protestant have bravely expunged seven whole books from their word of God. A few of the outcasts are the Books of Judith, Tobias, Baruch, and Esther.
Concerning Jesus’ teachings of the Gospel (Injeel), the Gospel writers frequently mentioned Jesus preaching the Gospel: Matthew 9:35, Mark 8:35, and Luke 20:1. The word “gospel” is recurrently used in the Bible. However, in the New Testament Greek edition, the word Evangeline is used in place of the word gospel, which is translated to mean good news. My question was: what Gospel did Jesus preach? Of the 27 books of the New Testament, only a small fraction can be accepted as the words of Jesus, and only of the 27 books are known to be attributed as the Gospel of Jesus. The remaining 23 were supposedly written by Paul. Muslims do believe that Jesus was given God’s “Good News.” However, they do not recognize the present four Gospels as the utterances of Jesus.
The earliest Gospel is that of Mark’s which was written about 60-75 AD. Mark was the son of Barnabas’s sister. Matthew was a tax collector, a minor official who did not travel around with Jesus. Luke’s Gospel was written much later, and in fact, drawn from the same sources as Mark’s and Matthew’s. Luke was Paul’s physician, and like Paul, never met Jesus. By the way, did you know that the names Marks and Luke were not included in the 12 appointed disciples of Jesus as mentioned in Matthew 10:2-4?
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; the first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
John’s Gospel is from a different source and was written in about 100 AD. He (John) should not be confused with John, the disciple, who was beheaded by Agrippa I in the year 44 CE long before this gospel was written. It should be accepted as a reliable account of the life of Jesus, and whether it should be included in the scriptures.
Christians, as I once did, boast about the Gospels according to Matthew, according to Mark, according to Luke and according to John. However, if we think about it, there is not a single Gospel according to Jesus himself. According to the preface of the KJV (King James Version) new open Bible study edition, the word “Gospel” was added (see below) to the original titles, “According to John, according to Matthew, according to Luke and according to Mark.”
The permission to call “According to” writings the Gospel was not given by Jesus nor by any other divine guidance. These writings; Matthew, Luke, Mark and John, were never originally to be the Gospel. Therefore, Mark 1:1 can not be a true statement that his writing is the gospel of Jesus.
It should be mentioned that Muslims must believe in all Divine scriptures in their original form, their Prophets and making no distinction between them: The Suhuf (Abraham); Torah (Moses); Psalms (David); Gospel – or the Injeel (Jesus); and the Quran (Muhammad). It is clearly stated in the Quran 3:3 that Allah sent down the Torah and the Gospel. However, none of these scriptures remains in its original form now, except the Quran, which was sent for all mankind everywhere and for all times.
In addition to other reasons why the Quran was sent to mankind, as mentioned in 18:4-5 it was sent to warn the Christians of a terrible punishment from God if they cease not in saying: “Allah has begotten a son.”
Muslims sincerely believe that everything Jesus (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) preached was from God; the Gospel (Injeel): The “good news” and the guidance of God for the Children of Israel. There is no place mentioned in the present four Gospels that Jesus wrote a single word of his Gospel, nor is it mentioned that Jesus instructed anyone to do so. What passes off, as the “Gospels” today are the works of third party human hands. The Quran 2:79 says:
“And woe to those who write the book with their own hands and they say: “This is from Allah (God).” To traffic with it for a miserable price! So woe to them for what their hands do write, and woe to them for what they earn thereby!”
Jesus As the Son of God
Is Jesus the Son of God? Matthew 3:17 could be used by some Christians to support the divine Sonship of Jesus. If Matthew 3:17, “And Lo a voice for heaven, saying, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased,” is used to support divine Sonship, then there should be no other verse that contradicts or gives equal divine Sonship to another person or persons in the Old or New Testament. However, many references were found in the Old and New Testaments that mentioned someone other than Jesus as having a divine Sonship to God. See Exodus 4:22:
“Israel is my son, even my firstborn.” II Samuel 7:14 and I Chronicles 22:10: “…and he shall be my son (Solomon).” Jeremiah 31:9: “…and Ephraim is my firstborn.” Also, Psalm 2:7.
The word “Son” must not be accepted literally because God addresses many of his chosen servants as son and sons. The Jews have also claimed Ezra to be the Son of God. The New Testament Greek words used for “son” (pias and paida, which mean servant or son in the sense of servant) are translated as son in reference to Jesus and as servant in reference to others in some translations of the Bible.
Further, the term “Father” as used by Jesus corresponds more closely to the term Rabb, i.e. One who nourishes and sustains, so that in Jesus’ doctrine, God is “Father” – Nourisher and Sustainer – of all men. The New Testament also interprets “son of God” to be mystical: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14). This mystical suggestion is further supported with Jesus being called the only begotten Son of God.
In Psalm 2:7, the Lord said to David:
“…Thou art my son: this day have I begotten thee.”
Does this mean that God had two sons? Jesus also said that God is not only his Father but also your Father (Matthew 5:45, 48). Luke 3:38 says:
“…Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the Son of God.”
Who is mentioned in Hebrews 7:3 as like unto the Son of God? It is Melchisedec, King of Salem, as mentioned in Hebrews 7:1. He (Melchisedec) is more unique than Jesus or Adam. Why is he not preferred to be the Son of God? Moreover, Adam did not have a mother or father, but was the first human being created by God and in the likeness of God to exist in the Garden of Eden and on earth. Wouldn’t this give more rights to Adam to be called the Son of God in its truest meaning?
I would like to share with you an obvious contradiction between John 3:16, Luke 10:25-28 and Matthew 19:16-17. John 3:16 reads:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten, Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Now let’s read Luke 10:25-28:
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, what is written in the law? How readest Thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and Thou shalt live.
These verses tell us that the inheritance of eternal life is for anyone who believes and worships no other God, but the One True God. Luke 10:25-28 agrees with Matthew 19:16-17 which says;
“And behold, one came and said to him (Jesus), Good teacher, what good things shall I do that I may have eternal life? So he (Jesus) said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? – No one is good but One that is, God. But if you want to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.”
There is no commandment that says to worship Jesus, but there that tells us to worship God alone.
In Luke 4:41, Jesus refused to be called the Son of God by demons. Do you think that Jesus would rebuke the demons, or anyone else for that matter, for telling the truth? Unquestionably, no! Jesus rebuked the demons because they were saying something false by calling him the Son of God. Also, if the demons knew that Jesus was the Christ, for Jesus to shut them up because they called him the Christ is a contradiction to Jesus’ mission.
In Luke 9:20 & 21, Jesus said unto his disciples:
“But who say ye that I am? Peter answered saying, “The Christ of God, and Jesus straightly charged them and commanded them to tell no man that thing.”
Furthermore, verses like John 3:2, John 6:14, John 7:40, Matthew 21:11, Luke 7:16 and 24:19 confirm that Jesus accepted the title of teacher, Prophet and called himself the son of man in Matthew 8:20, 12:40, 17:9 & 12, 26:24, Luke 9:26, 22:48, 22:69, and 24:7. The most conclusive verse that says Jesus is the son (servant) of man is Mark 14:26 where Jesus is mentioning the Day of Reckoning. Jesus specifically said we would see the son of man, not the Son of God, sitting in the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
The act of begetting is a physical act and such act is against God’s nature. The Qur’an 19:35 says:
“It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter He only says to it “Be,” and it is.” (Maryam 19:35)
The teachings of Jesus as the Son of God were not preached by Jesus nor accepted by Jesus, but were taught by Paul as supported in Acts 9:20:
“And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.”
Did Jesus ever claim to be God or say, “Here am I, your God, worship me”? The answer is no. For there is no single, unequivocal statement in the Bible whereby Jesus himself declares, “I am God, therefore worship me.” Virtually all of the more than two thousand verses of the epistles of Paul are his own fabrications to include Romans 9:5 that says, depending upon which Bible you read:
“…Christ came, who is overall, the eternally blessed God.”
Christians should know that Paul himself mentions his own gospel, not Jesus, in his epistle to the Romans when he says in Romans 2:16:
“In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
In face, the Pauline epistle to the Romans serves as the foundation of today’s Christianity. Thus, it is the Christians whose efforts will be wasted in this life as they think they were acquiring good by their works when they attribute partners to God, as stated in Chapter 18:103-106 of the Qur’an:
“Say: Shall we tell you of those who lost most in respect of their deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?” they are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of judgment, give them any weight. That is their reward, Hell; because they rejected Faith, and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest. (Al-Kahf 18:103-106)
Indeed, it is so strange and ironic, knowing that none of Paul’s epistle to the Romans, more than 430 verses, were ever formulated by Jesus. Paul should have made direct reference to the pristine teachings of Jesus, if only the former claim for apostleship by divine inspiration was indeed true. Instead, large parts of his epistles’ Biblical quotations (notably those in the Epistle to the Romans) were taken from the Old Testament – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Hosea. His epistles were, indeed a product of tedious efforts, but that does not make Paul far better than any of the other men who authored the Bible, nor does it make him a Prophet.
Other practices that were adopted under Paul included the following: the Roman sun-day as the Christian Sabbath; the traditional birthday of the Sun-god as the birthday of Jesus; the emblem of the sun-god (the cross of light) to be the emblem of Christians; and, the incorporation of all the ceremonies which were performed at the Sun-god’s birthday celebrations.
As I come to a close concerning the position of Christ, I would like to ask my Christian reader bow down and pray earnestly to God and ask Him to invoke His curse on you, your wife, your sons, and your daughters if what you believe about Christ (Christ is God, Son of God or part of a trinity of God) is false. Likewise, I have learned that if you asked a Muslim to earnestly pray to God to invoke His curse on him, his wife, his sons, and his daughters if what he is saying about Christ (Prophet, Messenger of God, A Word from God) are false, the Muslims are firm in their faith knowing that Christ is not God, nor the Son of God and nor part of a trinity of God. This exercise of asking God to invoke His curse on you and your family may sound a bit cruel, but it would prove two points: (1) you would know that you are on the wrong path; and, (2) it would put you on the right path.
The Crucifixion and Atonement
A very significant event in the Christian doctrine is the Crucifixion of Jesus. Before talking about the many controversies surrounding the Crucifixion, it should be mentioned that it was a gospel of Paul’s which professed the Crucifixion/Resurrection of Jesus (II Timothy 2:8):
“Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.”
In addition, the gospel of the resurrection in Mark 16:9-20 was already removed from the text by gospel writers in the 1952 edition of the Revised Standard Version and then, for some reasons, restored in the 1971 edition. In many Bibles, if not removed, it is printed in small print or between two brackets and with commentary (See the Revised Standard Version, New American Bible and New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures).
The traditional biblical account of Jesus’ Crucifixion is that he was arrested and crucified by the orders and plans of the chief priest and Jewish elders. This account was denied in the 1960’s by the highest Catholic Christian authority, the Pope. He issued a statement in which he said the Jews had nothing to do with Jesus’ Crucifixion.
Did any one of the disciples or the writers of the Gospel see the Crucifixion or the Resurrection? No! In Mark 14:50, it says the disciples forsook Jesus and fled. Even Peter forsook Jesus after the cock crowed three times as Jesus foretold:
(Matthew 26:75) And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly.
The most likely persons whom may have witnessed this moment in Jesus’ life were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, the mother of Zebedee’s children and other women (Matthew 27:55-56). However, there is no statement or account in the Gospels from those women as to what they saw or heard.
The disciple(s) found the sepulcher where Jesus was laid down, empty, and made the conclusion that he was resurrected because the disciples and other witnesses saw him alive after the alleged Crucifixion. Nobody saw the moment he was resurrected. Jesus himself stated that he did not die on the cross in Luke 24:36-41, as explained in the following paragraphs.
Early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene went to the sepulcher, which was empty. She saw somebody standing who looked like a gardener. She recognized him after a conversation to be Jesus and wanted to touch him. Jesus said (John 20:17):
“Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father…”
Now read Luke 24:36-41:
“And as they (disciples) thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are you troubled? And why so thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me end see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of boiled fish and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
Does a spiritual or dead body have a need to eat food? Jesus eating of food was to prove to the disciples that he was not a spirit, but rather, he was still alive and not dead.
Jesus being alive and not dead is further supported in his own prophecy (Matthew 12:40):
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Did Jesus fulfill this miracle? Christians would say “yes,” because Jesus died and rose three days later according to Luke 24:36 and Matthew 20:19, to name a few verses. However, in line with the miracle of Jonah and according to the Bible, Jesus only spent one day and two nights in the sepulchre, and not three days and three nights as he prophesied.
Jesus was put in the sepulchre just before sunset on Friday (Good Friday) and was found missing before sunrise on Sunday (Easter). If we were to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the time frame a bit, one may say that Jesus spent three days in the earth, but there is no way and I repeat, no way, that Jesus spent three nights in the earth. We must not forget that the Gospels are explicit in telling us that it was “before sunrise” on Sunday morning that Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus and found it empty.
Consequently, there are some inconsistencies as to whether Jesus fulfilled his own prophecy. Whether he was actually crucified, or if the day (Good Friday) of his alleged Crucifixion is wrong. Another significant point to mention is that Jonah was alive in the belly of the whale. The Christians says, Jesus was dead in the belly of the earth/tomb, and this contradicts Jesus’ own prophecy. Jesus said (Luke 11:30):
“As Jonah was…so shall the Son of man be.”
If Jonah was alive, so was Jesus.
One critical event that took place before the alleged Crucifixion was the prayer of Jesus to God for help. Luke 22:42:
“Saying Father if thou be willing, remove this cup (of death) from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.”
Jesus’ prayer not to die on the cross was accepted by God according to Luke 22:43 and Hebrews 5:7. Therefore, if all of Jesus’ prayer were accepted by God, including not to die on the cross, how could he have died on the cross?
In Matthew 27:46, it states that while Jesus was on the cross, he said:
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani (My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?).
If Jesus said these words, it represents a blatant declaration of disbelief according to all theological authorities. This is a great insult as such words could only come from an unbeliever in God. Further, it is incredible that such words should come from a Prophet of God, because God never breaks His promise and His Prophets never complained against His promise, especially when the Prophet’s mission is understood. It could be said that whoever relates that this statement was said by a Prophet (Jesus), is a disbeliever.
Muslims believe, as the Qur’an states, Jesus was not crucified. It was the intention of his enemies to put him to death on the cross, but Allah saved him from their plot. Qur’an 4:157:
“That they (Jews) said boasting, “We killed Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah, but they (Jews) killed him not, nor crucified him…” (An Nisa 4:157)
Abdul Malik LeBlanc tells how he discovered Islam within the pages of The Bible. Taken from international edition, Voice of Islam (November 1998).
Cat Stevens – Yusuf Islam
All I have to say is all that you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him) as given by God – the Religion of Truth. As human beings, we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation… It is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life.
Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in the Glorious Quran that when a man is brought to account, he will say, “O Lord, send us back and give us another chance. The Lord will say, ‘If I send you back you will do the same.’”
My early religious upbringing
I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature – it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus – he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all.
I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents.
Cat Stevens – Yusuf Islam as a Popstar
Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. “Well, I said, “he has it made. He has a lot of money.” The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God.
I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a ‘great life.’ Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Quran, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.)
So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life, and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).
Cat Stevens In the Hospital
After a year of financial success and ‘high’ living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by God, a chance to open my eyes – “Why am I here? Why am I in bed?” – and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time, there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in ‘peace and flower power,’ and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital.
One day when I was walking, and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, ‘Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.’ This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go.
Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now, I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again, and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: “I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?” and I knew I was on the Path.
I also wrote another song, “The Way to Find God Out.” I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society.
I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards, and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand, it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility prevailed.
Cat Stevens and The Quran
When he came to London, he brought back a translation of the Quran, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion and thought I might find something in it also.
And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me – who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from – I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic.
I was not a fanatic; I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don’t have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim.
I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point, I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was that of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point, I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim.
On reading the Quran, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God’s Word and called Jesus the son of God.
Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Quran; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Quran asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God’s creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times, one seems to overlap the other.
Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious because they have seen the Signs of God.
When I read the Quran further, it talked about prayer, kindness, and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Quran, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Quran also speaks on different levels. I began to understand it on another level, where the Quran says, “Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers.” Thus at this point, I wished to meet my Muslim brothers.
Conversion of Cat Stevens
Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, “Stevens.” He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam, and she directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Quran
Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Satan, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after the Friday congregational prayer service, I went to the Imam (Prayer Leader) and declared my faith (the Shahaadah) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune.
But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Quran Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, “You don’t understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate.” What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat (prayer). This is the process of purification.
Finally, I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of God and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Quran first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Prophet we will be successful.
May God give us guidance to follow the path of the nation of Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. Ameen!
In The Name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
It’s interesting for me to look back on my life and see how it all fits together – how Allah planned this for me all along. When I think about it, I can’t help saying “Subhaanallah”, and thank Allah for bringing me to where I am today. At other times, I feel sad that I was not born into Islam and been a Muslim all my life. While I admire those who were, I at times pity them because sometimes they don’t really appreciate this blessing.
Insha’Allah, reading this can help you understand how I, at least, came to be a Muslim. Whether it gives you ideas for da’wah or just gives you some inspiration in your own faith, I hope it is worth your time to read, insha’Allah. It is my story, but I think a lot of others might see themselves in it.
I was born in San Francisco, California, and raised in a Bay Area suburb. My small own (San Anselmo, pop. about 14,000 when I last checked) was a mostly white, upper-middle-class, Christian community. It is a beautiful area – just north of San Francisco (across the Golden Gate Bridge), nestled in a valley near the hillsides (Mount Tamalpais) and the Pacific Ocean. I knew all of my neighbours, played baseball in the street, caught frogs in the creeks, rode horses in the hills, and climbed trees in my front yard.
My father is Presbyterian, and my mother is Catholic. My father was never active in any church, but my mother tried to raise us as Catholics. She took us to church sometimes, but we didn’t know what was going on. People stand up, sit down, kneel, sit again, stand up, and recite things after the priest. Each pew had a booklet – a kind of “direction book” -and we had to follow along in order to know what to do next (if we didn’t fall asleep first!). I was baptized in this church and received my First Communion at about the age of 8 (I have pictures, but I don’t remember it much). After that, we only went about once a year.
I lived on a dead-end street of about 15 houses. My grammar school was at the end of the street (4 houses down), next to a small Presbyterian Church. When I was about 10, the people of this church invited me to participate in their children’s Christmas play. Every Sunday morning from then on, I walked down to church alone (no one else in my family was interested in coming). The whole congregation was only about 30 older people (past their 50’s), but they were nice and never made me feel out of place. There were about three younger couples with children younger than me.
I became a very active member of this church down the street. When I was in 6th grade, I started babysitting the younger kids during the service. By ninth grade, I was helping the minister’s wife teach Sunday school. In high school, I started a church youth group by recruiting 4 of my friends to join me. It was a small group: my friends, myself, and a young couple with kids, but we liked it that way. The big Presbyterian Church in town had about 100 kids in their youth group and took trips to Mexico, etc. Nevertheless, our group was content to get together to study the bible, talk about God, and raise money for charities.
These friends and I would sit together and talk about spiritual issues. We debated questions in our minds: what happens to the people who lived before Jesus came (go to heaven or hell); why do some very righteous people automatically go to hell just because they don’t believe in Jesus (we thought about Gandhi); on the other hand, why do some pretty horrible people (like my friend’s abusive father) get rewarded with heaven just because they’re Christian; why does a loving and merciful God require a blood sacrifice (Jesus) to forgive people’s sins; why are we guilty of Adam’s original sin; why does the Word of God (Bible) disagree with scientific facts; how can Jesus be God; how can One God be 3 different things; etc. We debated these things but never came up with good answers. The church couldn’t give us good answers either; they only told us to “have faith”.
The people at church told me about a Presbyterian summer camp in Northern California. I went for the first time when I was 10. For the next 7 years, I went every summer. While I was happy with the little church I went to, this is where I really felt in touch with God, without confusion. It was here that I developed my very deep faith in God. We spent much of our time outdoors, playing games, doing crafts, swimming, etc. It was fun, but every day we would also take time out to pray, study the bible, sing spiritual songs, and have `quiet time.’ It is this quiet time that really meant a lot to me, and of which I have the best memories. The rule was that you had to sit alone – anywhere on the camp’s 200 beautiful acres. I would often go to a meadow, or sit on a bridge overlooking the creek, and just THINK. I looked around me, at the creek, the trees, the clouds, the bugs – listened to the water, the birds’ songs, the crickets’ chirps. This place really let me feel at peace, and I admired and thanked God for His beautiful creation. At the end of each summer, when I returned home, this feeling stayed with me. I loved to spend time outdoors, alone, to just think about God, life, and my place in it. I developed my personal understanding of Jesus’ role as a teacher and example and left all the confusing church teachings behind.
I believed (and still do) in the teaching “Love your neighbor as yourself”, fully giving to others without expecting anything in return, treating others as you would like to be treated. I strived to help everyone I could. When I was fourteen, I got my first job, at an ice cream store. When I got my paycheck each month (it wasn’t much), I sent the first $25 to a program called “Foster Parents Plan” (they’ve changed the name now). This charity hooked up needy children overseas with American sponsors. During my 4 years of high school, I was a sponsor for a young Egyptian boy named Sherif. I sent him part of my paycheck each month, and we exchanged letters. (His letters were in Arabic, and looking at them now, it appears that he believed he was writing to an adult man, not a girl 5 years older than him.) He was 9 years old, his father was dead, and his mother was ill and couldn’t work. He had 2 younger brothers and a sister my age. I remember getting a letter from him when I was 16 – he was excited because his sister had got engaged. I thought, “She’s the same age as me, and she’s getting engaged!” It seemed so foreign to me. These were the first Muslims I had contact with.
Aside from this, I was also involved with other activities in high school. I tutored Central American students at my school in English. In a group called “Students for Social Responsibility,” I helped charities for Nicaraguan school children and Kenyan villagers. We campaigned against nuclear arms (the biggest fear we all had at that time was of a nuclear war).
I invited exchange students from France into my home, and I had penpals from all over the world (France, Germany, Sweden, etc.). My junior year of high school, we hosted a group called `Children of War’ – a group of young people from South Africa, Gaza Strip, Guatemala, and other war-torn lands, who toured the country telling their stories and their wishes for peace. Two of them stayed at my house – the group’s chaperone from Nicaragua and a young black South African man. The summer after my junior year of high school, I took a volunteer job in San Francisco (the Tenderloin district), teaching English to refugee women. In my class were Fatimah and Maysoon, 2 Chinese Muslim widows from Vietnam. These were the next Muslims I met, although we couldn’t talk much (their English was too minimal). All they did was a laugh.
All of these experiences put me in touch with the outside world and led me to value people of all kinds. Throughout my youth and high school, I had developed two very deep interests: faith in God, and interacting with people from other countries. When I left home to attend college in Portland, Oregon, I brought these interests with me.
At Lewis & Clark College, I started out as a Foreign Language (French & Spanish) major, with a thought to one day work with refugee populations, or teach English as a Second Language. When I arrived at school, I moved into a dorm room with two others – a girl from California (who grew up only 10 minutes from where I did), and a 29-year-old Japanese woman (exchange student). I was 17.
I didn’t know anyone else at school, so I tried to get involved in activities to meet people. In line with my interests, I chose to get involved with 2 groups: Campus Crusade for Christ (obviously, a Christian group), and Conversation Groups (where they match Americans up with a group of international students to practice English).
I met with the Campus Crusade students during my first term of school. A few of the people that I met were very nice, pure-hearted people, but the majority were very ostentatious. We got together every week to listen to “personal testimonies”, sing songs, etc. Every week we visited a different church in the Portland area. Most of the churches were unlike anything I’d ever been exposed to before. One final visit to a church in the Southeast area freaked me out so much that I quit going to the Crusade meetings. At this church, there was a rock band with electric guitars, and people were waving their hands in the air (above their heads, with their eyes closed) and singing “Hallelujah.” I had _never_ seen anything like it! I see things like this now on TV, but coming from a very small Presbyterian Church, I was disturbed. Others in Campus Crusade loved this church, and they continued to go. The atmosphere seemed so far removed from the worship of God, and I didn’t feel comfortable returning.
I always felt closest to God when I was in a quiet setting and/or outdoors. I started taking walks around campus (Lewis & Clark College has a beautiful campus!), sitting on benches, looking at the view of Mount Hood, watching the trees change colors. One day I wandered into the campus chapel – a small, round building nestled in the trees. It was beautifully simple. The pews formed a circle around the center of the room, and a huge pipe organ hung from the ceiling in the middle. No altar, no crosses, no statues – nothing. Just some simple wood benches and a pipe organ. During the rest of the year, I spent a lot of time in this building, listening to the organist practice, or just sitting alone in the quiet to think. I felt more comfortable and closer to God there than at any church I had ever been to.
During this time, I was also meeting with a group of international students as part of the Conversation Group program. We had five people in our group: me, a Japanese man and woman, an Italian man and a Palestinian man. We met twice a week over lunch, to practice English conversation skills. We talked about our families, our studies, our childhood, cultural differences, etc. As I listened to the Palestinian man (Faris) talk about his life, his family, his faith, etc., it struck a nerve in me. I remembered Sherif, Fatima, and Maysoon, the only other Muslims I had ever known. Previously, I had seen their beliefs and way of life as foreign, something that was alien to my culture. I never bothered to learn about their faith because of this cultural barrier. But the more I learned about Islam, the more I became interested in it as a possibility for my own life.
During my second term of school, the conversation group disbanded and the international students transferred to other schools. The discussions we had had, however, stayed at the front of my thoughts. The following term, I registered for a class in the religious studies department: Introduction to Islam. This class brought back all of the concerns that I had about Christianity. As I learned about Islam, all of my questions were answered. None of us are punished for Adam’s original sin. Adam asked God for forgiveness and our Merciful and Loving God forgave him. God doesn’t require a blood sacrifice in payment for sin. We must sincerely ask for forgiveness and amend our ways. Jesus wasn’t God, he was a prophet, like all of the other prophets, who all taught the same message: Believe in the One true God; worship and submit to Him alone; and live a righteous life according to the guidance He has sent. This answered all of my questions about the Trinity and the nature of Jesus (all God, all human, or a combination). God is a Perfect and Fair Judge, who will reward or punish us based on our faith and righteousness. I found a teaching that put everything in its proper perspective and appealed to my heart and my intellect. It seemed natural. It wasn’t confusing. I had been searching, and I had found a place to rest my faith.
That summer, I returned home to the Bay Area and continued my studies of Islam. I checked books out of the library and talked with my friends. They were as deeply spiritual as I was, and had been searching (most of them were looking into eastern religions, Buddhism in particular). They understood my search and were happy I could find something to believe in. They raised questions, though, about how Islam would affect my life: as a woman, as a liberal Californian, with my family, etc. I continued to study, pray and soul-search to see how comfortable I really was with it. I sought out Islamic centers in my area, but the closest one was in San Francisco, and I never got to visit (no car and bus schedules didn’t fit with my work schedule). So I continued to search on my own. When it came up in conversation, I talked to my family about it. I remember one time in particular when we were all watching a public television program about the Eskimos. They said that the Eskimos have over 200 words for “snow”, because snow is such a big part of their life. Later that night, we were talking about how different languages have many words for things that are important to them. My father commented about all the different words Americans use for “money” (money, dough, bread, etc.). I commented, “You know, the Muslims have 99 names for God – I guess that’s what is important to them.”
At the end of the summer, I returned to Lewis & Clark. The first thing I did was to contact the mosque in south-west Portland. I asked for the name of a woman I could talk to, and they gave me the number of a Muslim American sister. That week, I visited her at home. After talking for a while, she realized that I was already a believer. I told her I was just looking for some women who could help guide me in the practicalities of what it meant to be a Muslim. For example, how to pray. I had read it in books, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it just from books. I made attempts and prayed in English, but I knew I wasn’t doing it right. The sister invited me that night to an aqiiqah (dinner after the birth of a new baby). She picked me up that night and we went. I felt so comfortable with the Muslim sisters there, and they were very friendly to me that night. I said my shahaadah, witnessed by a few sisters. They taught me how to pray. They talked to me about their own faith (many of them were also American). I left that night feeling like I had just started a new life.
I was still living in a campus dorm and was pretty isolated from the Muslim community. I had to take two buses to get to the area where the mosque was (and where most of the women lived). I quickly lost touch with the women I met and was left to pursue my faith on my own at school. I made a few attempts to go to the mosque, but was confused by the meeting times. Sometimes I’d show up to borrow some books from the library, and the whole building would be full of men. Another time I decided to go to my first Jumah (Friday) prayer, and I couldn’t go in for the same reason. Later, I was told that women only meet at a certain time (Saturday afternoon), and that I couldn’t go at other times. I was discouraged and confused, but I continued to have faith and learn on my own.
Six months after my shahaadah, I observed my first Ramadan. I had been contemplating the issue of hijaab, but was too scared to take that step. I had already begun to dress more modestly and usually wore a scarf over my shoulders (when I visited the sister, she told me “all you have to do is move that scarf from your shoulders to your head, and you’ll be Islamically dressed.”). At first, I didn’t feel ready to wear hijab, because I didn’t feel strong enough in my faith. I understood the reason for it, agreed with it, and admired the women who did wear it, they looked so pious and noble. But I knew that if I wore it, people would ask me many questions, and I didn’t feel ready or strong enough to deal with that.
This changed as Ramadan approached, and on the first day of Ramadan, I woke up and went to class in hijab. Alhamdu lillaah, I haven’t taken it off since. Something about Ramadan helped me to feel strong, and proud to be a Muslim. I felt ready to answer anybody’s questions.
However, I also felt isolated and lonely during that first Ramadan. No one from the Muslim community even called me. I was on a meal plan at school, so I had to arrange to get special meals (the dining hall wasn’t open during the hours I could eat). The school agreed to give me my meals in bag lunches. So every night as sundown approached, I’d walk across the street to the kitchen, go in the back to the huge refrigerators, and take my 2 bag lunches (one for iftaarr (sunset breakfast meal), one for suhoor (pre-dawn meal)). I’d bring the bags back to my dorm room and eat alone. They always had the same thing: yogurt, a piece of fruit, cookies, and either a tuna or egg salad sandwich. The same thing, for both meals, for the whole month. I was lonely, but at the same time, I had never felt more at peace with myself.
When I embraced Islam, I told my family. They were not surprised. They kind of saw it coming, from my actions and what I said when I was home that summer. They accepted my decision and knew that I was sincere. Even before, my family always accepted my activities and my deep faith, even if they didn’t share it. They were not as open-minded, however, when I started to wear hijab. They worried that I was cutting myself off from society, that I would be discriminated against, that it would discourage me from reaching my goals, and they were embarrassed to be seen with me. They thought it was too radical. They didn’t mind if I had a different faith, but they didn’t like it to affect my life in an outward way.
They were more upset when I decided to get married. During this time, I had been back in touch with Faris, the Muslim Palestinian brother of my conversation group, the one who first prompted my interest in Islam. He was still in the Portland area, attending the community college. We started meeting again, over lunch, in the library, at his brother’s house, etc. We were married the following summer (after my sophomore year, a year after my shahaadah). My family freaked out. They weren’t quite yet over my hijab, and they felt like I had thrown something else at them. They argued that I was too young, and worried that I would abandon my goals, drop out of school, become a young mother, and destroy my life. They liked my husband but didn’t trust him at first (they were thinking “green card scam”). My family and I fought over this for several months, and I feared that our relationship would never be repaired.
That was 3 years ago, and a lot has changed. Faris and I moved to Corvallis, Oregon, home of Oregon State University. We live in a very strong and close-knit Muslim community. I graduated magna cum laude, with a degree in child development. I have had several jobs, from secretary to pre-school teacher, with no problems with my hijab. I’m active in the community and still do volunteer work. My husband, insha’Allah, also finished his Electrical Engineering degree. We visit my family a couple of times a year. I met Faris’ parents for the first time this summer, and we get along great. I’m slowly but surely adding Arabic to the list of languages I speak.
My family has seen all of this and has recognized that I didn’t destroy my life. They see that Islam has brought me happiness, not pain and sorrow. They are proud of my accomplishments and can see that I am truly happy and at peace. Our relationship is back to Alhamdulillah.
Looking back on all of this, I feel truly grateful that Allah has guided me to where I am today. I truly feel blessed. It seems that all of the pieces of my life fit together in a pattern – a path to Islam.
Your sister in faith, C. Huda Dodge “Say: Allah’s guidance is the only guidance, and we have been directed to submit ourselves to the Lord of the Worlds…”
Many people ask me how a preacher or priest in Christianity can ever go to Islam, especially considering all the negative things that we hear about Islam and Muslims everyday. Some people are simply curious, while others take a profound exception to my “conversion” to Islam. Some have asked how I could have turned my back on Jesus, or if I truly understood the Holy Ghost and some even questioned whether or not I considered myself as “born again” or had ever really been saved at all. These are good questions to which I will offer answers to at the end of this writing.
I would like to thank everyone for their interest and offer my humble story, God Willing. One very nice Christian gentleman asked me in email why and how I left Christianity for Islam. This is more or less a copy of the letter I sent to him.
My name is Yusuf Estes now, but in years past my friends used to call me Skip. I have preached Christianity and worked in the entertainment and music industry since I was a boy in the 1950’s. My father and I have established music stores, TV and radio programs and outdoor entertainment for fun (and profit).
I was a music minister and even used a pony ride and entertained the children as “Skippy the Clown.” Once, I have served as Delegate to the United Nations Peace Conference for Religious Leaders. Now I am a retired former Muslim Chaplain for United States Bureau of Prisons, Washington, DC. and I join alongside many American Muslims, working with Muslim student and youth organizations as well as schools for Muslim children. As such, I travel around the entire world lecturing and sharing the message of the Christ of the Quran in Islam. We hold dialogs and discussion groups with all faiths and enjoy the opportunity to work alongside rabbis, ministers, preachers and priests everywhere. Some of our work is in the institutional area, military, universities and prisons.
Primarily our goal is to educate and communicate the correct message of Islam and who the Muslims really are. Although Islam has grown now to nearly tie Christianity as the largest of religions on earth, we see many of those who claim Islam as Muslims, that do not correctly understand nor properly represent the message of “Peace, Surrender and Obedience to God” (Arabic = ‘Islam’) Dear me, I am afraid that I got a bit ahead of myself. I was trying to give a bit of background of our work perhaps to see if it would in anyway benefit those who may being going through what I experienced while trying to resolve some of the issues of Christianity.
How it happened
This may seem quite strange, while we perhaps may share a few different perspectives and concepts of God, Jesus, prophethood, sin and salvation. But you see, at one time I was in the same boat as many folks are today. Really, I was. Let me explain.
Born a strong Christian
I was born into a very strong Christian family in the Midwest. Our family and their ancestors not only built the churches and schools across this land, but actually were the same ones who came here in the first place. While I was still in elementary we relocated to Houston, Texas in 1949 – “I’m old”. We attended church regularly and I was baptized at the age of 12 in Pasadena, Texas. As a teenager, I wanted to visit other churches to learn more of their teachings and beliefs. The Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Charismatic movements, Nazarene, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Full Gospel, Agape, Catholic, Presbyterian and many more. I developed quite a thirst for the “Gospel” or as we say; “Good News.” My research into religion did not stop with Christianity. Not at all. Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Metaphysics, native American beliefs were all a part of my studies. Just about the only one that I did not look into seriously was “Islam”. Why? Good question.
Anyway, I became very interested in different types of music, especially Gospel and Classical. Because my whole family was religious and musical it followed that I too would begin my studies in both areas. All this set me for the logical position of Music Minister in many of the churches that I became affiliated with over the years. I started teaching keyboard instruments in 1960 and by 1963 owned my own studios in Laurel, Maryland, called “Estes Music Studios.”
Business projects in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida
Over the next 30 years my father and I worked together in many business projects. We had entertainment programs, shows and attractions. We opened piano and organ stores all the way from Texas and Oklahoma to Florida. We had earned millions of dollars during those years, but could not find the peace of mind that can only come through knowing the truth and finding the real plan of salvation. I’m sure you have asked yourself the question; “Why did God create me?” or “What is it that God wants me to do?” or “Exactly who is God, anyway?” “Why do we believe in ‘original sin?” and “Why would the sons of Adam be forced to accept his ‘sins’ and then as a result be punished forever.” But if you asked anyone these questions, they would probably tell you that you have to believe without asking, or that it is a ‘mystery’ and you shouldn’t ask – “Just have faith, brother.”
Strangely enough, the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible. And it has been a concern for religious scholars as early as 200 years after Jesus was raised up by Almighty God. I would ask preachers or ministers to give me some sort of an idea how ‘one’ could figure out to become ‘three’ or how God Himself, Who can do anything He Wills to do, cannot just forgive people’s sins, but rather he had to become a man, come down on earth, be a human, and then take on the sins of all people; keeping in mind that all along He is still God of the whole universe and does as He Wills to do, both in and outside of the universe as we know it. They never seemed to be able to come up with anything other than opinions or strange analogies.
Father – Ordained non-denominational minister
My father was very active in supporting church work, especially church school programs. He became an ordained minister in the 1970s. He and his wife (my stepmother) knew many of the TV evangelists and preachers and even visited Oral Roberts and helped in the building of the “Prayer Tower” in Tulsa, OK. They also were strong supporters of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker, Jerry Fallwell, John Haggi and the biggest enemy to Islam in America, Pat Robertson.
Distributing “Praise” Tapes for Jesus
During the early 1980’s my Dad and his wife worked together and were most active in recording “Praise” tapes and distributing them for free to people in retirement homes, hospitals, and homes for the elderly. We were really “winning souls to the Lord – for Jesus” day after day.
Met a man from Egypt
It was early in 1991 when my father began doing business with a man from Egypt and told me that he wanted me to meet him. This idea appealed to me when I thought about the idea of having an international flavor. You know, the pyramids, sphinx, Nile River and all that.
He was a “Moslem”
Hijackers; Kidnappers; Bombers, Terrorists – and who knows what else? Then my father mentioned that this man was a ‘Moslem.’ First, I hated the idea of meeting an “infidel, hijacker, kidnapper, bomber, terrorist, non-believer.” Any normal person would be repulsed at the idea. I couldn’t believe my ears. A ‘Moslem?’ No way! I reminded my dad of the various different things that we had heard about these people.
Lies against Muslims & Islam
They don’t even believe in God They worship a black box in the desert. And They kiss the ground five times a day. No Way! I Did Not Want to Meet Him! I did not want to meet this ‘Moslem’ man. No way! My father insisted that I meet him and reassured me that he was a very nice person. This was too much for me. Especially since the evangelists that we used to travel around with all hated Muslims and Islam very much. They even said things that were not true to make people afraid of Islam. So, why would I want anything to do with these people? Idea – “Change Him To Christian”. Then an idea came to me, “We can change this man to Christian.” So, I gave in and agreed to the meeting. But on my terms. I Met Him With A Bible, Cross and Cap with “Jesus Is Lord!” on it.
I agreed to meet him on a Sunday after church so we would be all prayed up and in good standing with the Lord. I would be carrying my Bible under my arm as usual. I would have my big shiny cross dangling and I would have on my cap which says: “Jesus is Lord” right across the front. My wife and two young daughters came along and we were ready for our first encounter with the ‘Moslems.’
Where is he?
When I came into the shop and asked my father where the ‘Moslem’ was, he pointed and said: “He’s right over there.” I was confused. That couldn’t be the Moslem. No way.
Turban and beard?
I’m looking for a huge man with flowing robes, a big turban on his head, a beard halfway down his shirt and eyebrows that go all the way across his forehead with a sword or a bomb under his coat.
No turban – No beard
This man had no beard. In fact, he didn’t even have any hair on his head at all. He was nearly bald. Best of all, he was very pleasant with a warm welcome and handshake. This didn’t make sense. I thought they are terrorists and bombers. What is this all about?
He needs Jesus
Never mind. I’ll get right to work on this guy. He needs to be ‘saved’ in the ‘Name of Jesus’ and me and the Lord are going to do it.
Introduction & interrogation
After a quick introduction, I asked him: “Do you believe in God?”
He said: ”Yes.” – (Good!) Then I said: ”Do you believe in Adam and Eve?”
He said: ”Yes.” – (Very Good!) I said: “What about Abraham? You believe in him and how he tried to sacrifice his son for God?”
He said: ”Yes.” – (Even better!) Then I asked: ”What about Moses?” ”Ten Commandments?” ”Parting the Red Sea?”
Again he said: ”Yes.” – (Better still!) Then: ”What about the other prophets, David, Solomon, and John the Baptist?”
He said: ”Yes.” – (Great!) I asked: ”Do you believe in the Bible?”
Again, he said: ”Yes.” – (OK!) So, now it was time for the big question: ”Do you believe in Jesus? That he was the Messiah (Christ) of God?”
Again the said: ”Yes.” – (Fantastic!) Well now – “This was going to be easier than I had thought.” He was just about ready to be baptized only he didn’t know it. And I was just the one to do it, too.
Shocking knowledge – Muslims believe in the Bible?
One day in the Spring of 1991, I came to know that the Muslims believed in the Bible. I was shocked. How could this be? But that’s not all, they believe in Jesus as: * A true messenger of God; * Prophet of God; * Miracle birth without human intervention; * He was the ‘Christ’ or Messiah as predicted in the Bible; * He is with God now and most important; * He will be coming back in the Last Days to lead the believers against the ‘Antichrist.’ After “winning souls to the Lord for Jesus” day after day, this would be a big achievement for me, to catch one of these ‘Moslems’ and ‘convert’ him to Christianity.
Cup of tea – Discuss beliefs
I asked him if he liked tea and he said he did. So off we went to a little shop in the mall to sit and talk about my favorite subject: Beliefs. While we sat in that little coffee shop for hours talking (I did most of the talking) I came to know that he was very nice, quiet and even a bit shy. He listened attentively to every word that I had to say and did not interrupt even one time. I liked this man’s way and thought that he had definite potential to become a good Christian. Little did I know the course of events about to unravel in front of my eyes.
Agreed to do business
First of all, I agreed with my father that we should do business with this man and even encouraged the idea of him traveling along with me on my business trips across the northern part of Texas. Day after day we would ride together and discuss various issues pertaining to the different beliefs that people have. And along the way, I could, of course, interject some of my favorite radio programs of worship and praise to help bring the message to this poor individual. We talked about the concept of God; the meaning of life; the purpose of creation; the prophets and their mission and how God reveals His Will to mankind. We also shared a lot of personal experiences and ideas as well.
Moved to our home
One day I came to know that my friend Mohamed was going to move out of the home he had been sharing with a friend of his and was going to be living in the mosque for a time. I went to my dad and asked him if we could invite Mohamed to come out to our big home in the country and stay there with us. After all, he could share some of the work and some expenses and he would be right there when we were ready to go to out traveling around. My father agreed and Mohamed moved in.
Continued ministry & preaching
Of course, I still would find time to visit my fellow preachers and evangelists around the state of Texas. One of them lived on the Texas — Mexico border and another lived near lived Oklahoma border. One preacher liked to carry a huge wooden cross that was bigger than a car. He would carry it over his shoulder and drag the bottom on the ground and go down the road or freeway hauling these two beams formed in the shape of a cross. People would stop their cars and come over to him and ask him what was going on and he would give them pamphlets and booklets on Christianity.
The preacher has a heart attack
One day my friend with the cross had a heart attack and had to go to the Veterans Hospital where he stayed for quite a long while. I used to visit him in the hospital several times a week and I would take Mohamed with me with the hopes that we could all share together in the subject of beliefs and religions. My friend was not very impressed and it was obvious that he did not want to know anything about Islam. Then one day a man who was sharing the room with my friend came rolling into the room in his wheelchair. I went to him and asked him his name and he said that it didn’t matter and when I asked him where he was from he said he was from the planet Jupiter. I thought about what he said and then began to wonder if I was in the cardiac ward or the mental ward.
Man in a wheelchair – Needed the Lord
I knew the man was lonely and depressed and needed someone in his life. So, I began to ‘witness’ to him about the Lord. I read to him out of the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God’s Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh. And the idea was that we can’t really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done. And what is more, God also always knows what we have done.
After sharing this story with the man in the wheel chair, he looked up and me and apologized. He told me he was sorry for his rude behavior and that he had experienced some real serious problems recently. Then he said that he wanted to confess something to me. And I said that I was not a Catholic priest and I don’t handle confessions. He replied back to me that he knew that. In fact, he said: “I am a Catholic priest.” I was shocked. Here I had been trying to preach Christianity to a priest. What in the world was happening here?
Priest in Latin America
The priest began to share his story of being a missionary for the church for over 12 years to the south and Central America and Mexico and even in New York’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ When he was released from the hospital he needed a place to go to recover and rather than let him go to stay with a Catholic family, I told my dad that we should invite him to come out and live with us in the country along with our families and Mohamed. It was agreed by all that he would so, he moved out right away.
Priests must study Islam? – yes!
During the trip out to our home, I talked with the priest about some of the concepts of beliefs in Islam and to my surprise he agreed and then shared even more about this with me. I was shocked when he told me that Catholic priests actually study Islam and some even carry doctors degrees in this subject. This was all very enlightening to me. But there was still a lot more to come.
Different versions of the Bible
After settling in, we all began to gather around the kitchen table after dinner every night to discuss religion. My father would bring his King James Version of the Bible, I would bring out my Revised Standard Version of the Bible, my wife had another version of the Bible (maybe something like Jimmy Swaggart’s ‘Good News For Modern Man.” The priest, of course, had the Catholic Bible which has 7 more books in it that the Protestant Bible. So we spent more time talking about which Bible was the right one or the most correct one than we did try to convince Mohamed about becoming a Christian.
Quran has only one version – In Arabic – and still exists
At one point I recall asking him about the Quran and how many versions of it there were in the last 1,400 years. He told me that there was only ONE QURAN. And that it had never been changed. Yet he let me know that the Quran had been memorized by hundreds of thousands of people, in its entirety and were scattered about the earth in many different countries. Over the centuries since the Quran was revealed millions have memorized it completely and have taught it to others who have memorized it completely, from cover to cover, letter perfect without mistakes. Today, over 9 million Muslims have memorized the entire Quran from cover to cover.
How could this be?
This did not seem possible to me. After all, the original languages of the Bible have all been dead languages for centuries and the documents themselves have been lost in their originals for hundreds and thousands of years. So, how could it be that something like this could be so easy to preserve and to recite from cover to cover.
Priest Goes to the Mosque Anyway, one day the priest asked the Mohamed if he might accompany him to the mosque to see what it was like there. They came back talking about their experience there and we could not wait to ask the priest what it was like and what all types of ceremonies they performed. He said they didn’t really ‘do’ anything. They just came and prayed and left. I said: “They left? Without any speeches or singing?” He said that was right.
A priest enters Islam!
A few more days went by and the Catholic priest asked Mohamed if he might join him again for a trip to the mosque which they did. But this time it was different. They did not come back for a very long time. It became dark and we worried that something might have happened to them. Finally they arrived and when they came in the door I immediately recognized Mohamed, but who was this alongside of him? Someone wearing a white robe and a white cap. Hold on a minute! It was the priest. I said to him: “Pete? — Did you become a ‘Moslem?’ He said that he had entered into Islam that very day. THE PRIEST BECAME A Muslim!! What next? (You’ll see).
My wife announces her Islam!
So, I went upstairs to think things over a bit and began to talk to my wife about the whole subject. She then told me that she too was going to enter into Islam, because she knew it was the truth.
I was really shocked now. I went downstairs and woke up Mohamed and asked him to come outside with me for a discussion. We walked and talked that whole night through.
Truth had come!
By the time he was ready to pray Fajr (the morning prayer of the Muslims), I knew that the truth had come at last and now it was up to me to do my part. I went out back behind my father’s house and found an old piece of plywood lying under an overhang and right there I put my head down on the ground facing the direction that the Muslims pray five times a day.
Guide me! O God! guide me!
Now then in that position, with my body stretched out on the plywood and my head on the ground, I asked: “O God. If you are there, guide me, guide me.”
A sign inside of me
And then after a while I raised up my head and I noticed something. No, I didn’t see birds or angels coming out of the sky nor did I hear voices or music, nor did I see bright lights and flashes. What I did notice was a change inside of me. I was aware now more than ever before that it was time for me to stop any lying and doing anything sneaky. It was time that I really work at being an honest and upright man. I knew now what I had to do.
Wash away the “OLD”
So I went upstairs and took a shower with the distinct idea that I was ‘washing’ away the sinful old person that I had become over the years. And I was now coming into a new, fresh life. A life based on truth and proof. - And Become New! Around 11:00 A.M. that morning, I stood before two witnesses, one the ex-priest, formerly known as Father Peter Jacobs, and the other Mohamed Abel Rehman and announced my ‘shahadah’ (open testimony to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him). ”I bear witness, there is no deity to worship, except Almighty Allah, alone and He has no partners and I bear witness that Mohammad is His messenger and servant.”
My wife was next
A few minutes later, my wife followed along and gave the same testimony. But hers was in front of 3 witnesses (me being the third). Then my father. My father was a bit more reserved on the subject and waited a few more months before he made his shahadah (public testimony). But he did finally commit to Islam and began offering prayers right along with me and the other Muslims in the local masjid (mosque).
Children too! The children were taken out of the Christian school and placed in Muslim schools. And now ten years later, they are memorizing much of the Quran and the teachings of Islam.
Father’s wife (Stepmother) next
My father’s wife finally acknowledged, before she died, that Jesus could not be a son of God and that he must have been a mighty prophet of God, but not God. She passed away within a few months of this statement at age 86. May Allah accept her statement of faith, ameen.
A houseful of new Muslims – What’s next?
Now stop and think. A whole entire household of people from varying backgrounds and ethnic groups coming together in truth to learn how to know and worship the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Think. A Catholic priest; a minister of music and preacher of the Gospel; an ordained minister and builder of Christian schools; and the children, even a great-grandmother – they all come into Islam!
His mercy and guidance
Only by His Mercy were we all guided to see the real truth of Islam, by removing the coverings over our ears and the blinders on our eyes, no longer having seals over our hearts – He was Guiding us now.
Family and friends entering Islam from one man. If I were to stop right here, I’m sure that you would have to admit that at least this is an amazing story, right? After all, three religious leaders of three separate denominations all going into one very opposite belief at the same time and then soon after the rest of the household.
But that is not all. There is more! The same year, while I was in Grand Prairie, Texas (near Dallas) I met a Baptist seminary student from Tennessee named Joe, who also came to Islam after reading the Holy Quran while in Baptist Seminary College!
More? Yes. Catholic priest loves Islam – but Needs his job! There are others as well. I recall the case of the Catholic priest in a college town who talked about the good things in Islam so much that I was forced to ask him why he didn’t enter Islam. He replied: “What? And lose my job?” – His name is Father John and we still pray for Allah to Guide Him.
Another Catholic Priest Makes Shahadah The very next year I met a former Catholic priest who had been a missionary for 8 years in Africa. He learned about Islam while he was there and entered into Islam. He then changed his name to Omar and moved to Dallas Texas.
Any more? Again – Yes! Two years later, while in San Antonio, Texas I was introduced to a former Arch Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Russia who learned about Islam and gave up his position to enter Islam.
Daughter of Hindu Pundit (Religious Leader) – Accepts Islam – helping thousands to Islam I met a woman in New York who wanted to make our CDs about “What Is Islam?”. After giving her permission several years ago, I have learned she has produced and distributed over 600 thousand of these to the non-Muslims in America. May Allah reward her and keep her strong in her efforts, ameen. Hundreds – Thousands – Still Coming And since my own entrance into Islam and becoming a chaplain to the Muslims throughout the country and around the world, I have encountered many more individuals who were leaders, teachers and scholars in other religions who learned about Islam and entered into it. They came from Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Coptic Christians from Egypt, non-denominational churches and even scientists who had been atheists.
Why? Good question
The combination always seems to be the same; people are sincerely seeking the truth and are willing to put their different prejudices and biases out of their minds and begin to ask God for His Guidance in their lives. So, now you have the introduction to the story of my coming into Islam and becoming Muslim. There is more on the Internet about this story and there are more pictures there as well. Please take the time to visit it and then please take the time to email me and let us come together to share in all truths based on proofs for understanding our origins and our purpose and goals in this life and the Next Life.
9 Steps to purify the heart
May I suggest to the seeker of truth do the following nine steps to purification of the heart:
- Clean your mind, your heart and soul. Remove all prejudices & biases.
- Thank God for what you have – every moment of every day.
- Read a good translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran in a language that they can understand best.
- Reflect on the meanings & consider the bounties of your Lord.
- Seek forgiveness from God and learn to forgive others.
- Ask in your heart for guidance from above.
- Open your heart and mind.
- Continue to do this up for a few months and be regular in it.
- Avoid the poison of evil while your heart is opening for the “rebirth of your soul.”
Ask, and it shall be given to you. Knock, and it shall be opened. The rest is between you and the Almighty Lord of the Universe. If you truly love Him, then He already Knows it and He will deal with each of us according to our hearts.
Answers to questions
Now as I promised here are the answers to the questions many have asked me connected with my choice of Islam:
Q1. How could you have turned your back on the perfect plan of salvation of Jesus Christ on the cross for you sins?
Answer: Your question implies you have not considered the similarities and teachings of the Bible and the Quran. ”Islam” means – “Surrender, submit and obey your Lord in sincerity and peace.” Whoever is trying to do this, is a “Muslim.” If someone believes in Almighty God as One God and One Lord and wants to commit their life to serving Him and obeying His Commandments, then that person will be in the right way and they will be “saved” according to God’s Mercy. No one can take the sins of another and the guilty must stand accused for what they have done. It will be up to Almighty God to Forgive or Punish according to His Judgment on that Day.
According to the remains of the translations of Jesus, he did not preach a message of salvation by worshipping him. This was something added later by Saul (who later became Paul). We find clear statements indicating salvation would come only through acknowledging Almighty God as One God and worshipping Him with all the heart, mind and strength. Jesus, peace be upon him, taught his followers to worship “My God and your God, My Lord and your Lord.”
Again, according to the remains of the English translation of the Bible, we see the one on the cross crying out a very blasphemous statement, “Eli! Eli! Lama sabachthani?” (Which being translated means, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”) This statement on the cross clearly indicates the one on the cross is not pleased with the situation nor does he consider it right or just.
Therefore, one would have to conclude this was not something Jesus approved of nor did he accept, or else someone else was on the cross in his place. Either way you look at it, the one on the cross did not accept this as a plan of salvation. The Quran is absolutely in agreement with these teachings and Muslims do worship the same God and Lord of Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Adam, peace be upon them all. The Quran states in many places, no one will be taken to task for the sins of another, nor can anyone carry the burden of another. We will all be on our own on that Day. And I ask Allah to have Mercy and Forgiveness for all those who believe in Him, ameen.
I consider that I have not left the teachings of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. On the contrary, I feel much closer to Jesus, and I look forward to His return on earth more than ever before. Now I am worshipping the same God he worships and I serve the same Lord he serves, in the very same way he does. Jesus prayed to Almighty God and taught his followers to do the same. I am simply doing what he commanded to the best of my ability and ask Almighty God to accept it.
Q2. Do you consider you were really “saved” and that you had in fact, been “born again?
Answer: The Baptists have a statement, “Once saved, always saved.” I asked one of them about this and he agreed it was true. Then I mentioned at one time I had become a Baptist (in my teen years) but now I was a Muslim. I had also been “saved” and baptized at the age of 12. I had accepted the very statement of Jesus being the way, the light and the truth and no man coming on to the Father except by him. I understood these statements to mean I must follow Jesus and his teachings. Therefore, I read the Bible for myself and did not let others tell me what to think about what I was reading.
The Bible states that Jesus prayed for salvation for himself in the garden of Gethsemane in this way, “Let this cup pass from me, even so, Thy Will be done.” This prayer was repeated by Jesus, peace be upon him, a number of times and it is mentioned in more than one Gospel. Yet, according to Biblical accounts, the cup did not pass from him and his prayers were NOT ANSWERED.
Islam teaches us his prayers were answered and he did not have to endure the cruel treatment and death on the cross, but rather he was taken up while still alive and is with Almighty God even now and ready to return in the Last Days to bring victory to the believers. Additionally, we find Jesus, peace be upon him, teaching his disciples to pray like this, “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil. For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and Glory, forever and ever, ameen.”
Every Muslim I have met accepts every single word of this pray with the exception of calling “Allah” our “Father.” Muslims consider it better to call on Almighty God by His Names, which we do consider to be “Hallowed.”
Q3. How did your family respond to your conversion?
Answer: This is always difficult for families to adjust to and it usually takes time. My family was no exception. Although my wife, children entered into Islam and eventually my father came to declare Islam to be the way of salvation for himself, still my own mother and many others in my family resented our going to Islam at first. Eventually, things became more normalized and we do stay in touch, although they are all still very much involved in Christianity. Allah promises to test those who declare their faith in Him with many types of difficulties and family is one of those mentioned as a test in the Quran. I do pray for them and ask Allah to guide them to the very best in this life and the very best in the Next Life. But it is up to Allah if He wants them to be in Submission to Him (Islam means, submission to Allah) or not.
Q4. How about your congregation? What did they say?
Answer: I never had my own church. I was a music minister in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana branch) in Texas and did my preaching to businessmen and informal gatherings. Those who knew me for the most part did not object and some even came to Islam, but there were a few who felt very upset and accused me of “Turing my back on Jesus, peace be upon him.” No matter what I tried to say or do, these particular individuals would not listen nor did they want to learn anything about Islam.
Q5. Did you experience a lot of difficulties in changing religions?
Answer: Certainly anyone who wants to consider Islam in these times, just as in times gone by, will have to recognize there will be certain difficulties and tests along the way. The followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, were highly criticized and persecuted even until death (read what Paul said he used to do to them in the Bible; Book of Acts of the Apostles). Those who followed Muhammad, peace be upon him, suffered at the hands of their very own tribes, yet they were determined to continue to worship Almighty God Alone, without partners and submit to His Will.
The biggest problem with non-Muslims is their lack of understanding and lack of knowledge as to what Islam is really all about and who the Muslims are supposed to be. I pray for them all and ask Allah to forgive the Muslims for not showing a better picture to everyone.
Q6. Who was responsible for converting you?
Answer: As Muslims we believe that it is only Allah who guides the people and whoever He guides will not be misguided and whomever He lets go astray none will be able to guide them. As such, it means we don’t believe anyone really can “convert” someone else. Also, we accept that all children are born in the natural state of submission to Almighty God and as such that means they are Muslims. Should a child die he or she would go to Heaven as they are not responsible for what they do not understand.
Q7. Don’t you ever think about coming back to being a Christian?
Answer: “Christian” indicates a follower of Christ. When Jesus, peace be upon him, returns to earth in the Last Days, all the Muslims will be obliged to follow him. But we would not call ourselves “Christians” anymore than he would. He never called himself or his companions “Christians.” The Bible tells us they were never even called “Christians” until Paul was preaching his message in Antioch.
Q8. Doesn’t it bother you to have left the way of peace, justice and love for a religion of hatred, violence and oppression toward women and others?
Answer: All the prophets, peace be upon them all, called the people to worship Almighty God as One God and One Lord. As such, those who did not want to submit to Almighty God would combat them and treat them with hostilities, even unto death, as Paul had done while still being a Pharisee. The prophets, peace be upon them all, did encourage their followers to live in peace and deal with people in justice and certainly love is the highest form of emotion a human can have for another human being.
Yet at the same time, believers have to defend themselves, their families and the religion itself, lest those who are not believers should remove belief from the very face of the earth. Islam, like Christianity preaches a message of peace and tolerance – to a point. But when this is no longer possible without totally compromising and loosing one’s way of life and belief system, then there is no alternative except to engage in open combat against those who are combating against the believers.
Jesus called upon his followers to sell their coats and buy swords. He explained that he did not come with peace, but rather a sword. He and his companions were engaged in mortal combat with their enemies, the Pharisees when one of the priests slaves had his ear cut by the sword. Jesus then told them to put down their swords. This is mentioned in the Bible.
The word “sword” appears over 200 times in the Bible – but even though the Arabic language has more than a dozen words for sword, there is not a single occurrence of any of these words anywhere in the Quran. Combat is ordered in the Quran, only under very specific and limited conditions and it is nothing more than what we would today call “The War on Terrorism.” Fighting against all acts of organized aggression, oppression, persecution and terrorism is an obligation on all believers. But it certainly has limits and women, children, elderly and any innocents are not to killed or injured during such occasions. Treatment of prisoners is not to be humiliating or use torture of any kind. Even the dead of the enemy are to be buried with dignity and respect.
Now since writing my story and publishing here on the internet many other websites have picked up this story and it had become a famous example of how “Priest and Preachers Are Coming to Islam.” Again, I thank you for visiting. And I thank our Christian friend for his email. If he hadn’t sent it, I probably would still not have completed this task of putting down the story once and for all of how my family, friends and myself all came to Islam.
I would like to take the opportunity to share with you my journey to Islam and I feel that by sharing this experience with you I can help you on your journey through life. We are all born into different cultures, countries, and religions in what often seems a confusing and troubled world. Actually, when we examine the world around us, we can easily see what a troubled state it is in:
War, poverty, and crime. Need I go on? Yet when we look at our own upbringing and our education, how can we be sure that all the things that we have been told, are in reality the truth?
Unfortunately, most people in the world decide to try to hide and escape from the world’s problems rather than stand up and deal with the truth. Dealing with the truth is often the harder avenue to follow. The question is: Are you willing to stand up for the truth? Are you strong enough? Or, are you going to escape and hide like the rest?
I started my search for the truth a number of years ago. I wanted to find out the truth about the reality of our existence. Surely, to understand life correctly is the key to solving all the worldly problems that we are faced with today. I was born into a Christian family and this is where my journey began.
I started to read the Bible and to ask questions. I quickly became unsatisfied. The priest told me, “You just have to have faith.” From reading the bible I found contradictions and things that were clearly wrong.
Does God contradict himself? Does God lie? Of course not! I moved on from Christianity, thinking the scriptures of the Jews and the Christians are corrupted so there is no way that I can find the truth from the false. I started finding out about Eastern Religions and Philosophies, particularly Buddhism. I spent a long time meditating in Buddhist temples and talking to the Buddhist monks. Actually, the meditating gave me a good clean feeling. The trouble was that it didn’t answer any of my questions about the reality of existence. Instead, it carefully avoided them in a way that makes it seem stupid to even talk about it.
I traveled to many parts of the world during my quest for the truth. I became very interested in tribal religions and the spiritualist way of thinking. I found that a lot of what these religions were saying had truth in them, but I could never accept the whole religion as the truth. This was the same as where I started with Christianity!
I began to think that there was truth in everything and it didn’t really matter what you believed in or what you followed. Surely though this is a form of escaping. I mean, does it make sense: one truth for one person and another truth for someone else? There can only be one truth! I felt confused, I fell to the floor and prayed, “Oh, please God, I am so confused, please guide me to the truth.” This is when I discovered Islam.
Of course, I always knew something about Islam, but only what we naively hear in the West. I was surprised though by what I found. The more that I read the Quran and asked questions about what Islam taught, the more truths I received. The striking difference between Islam and every other religion is that Islam is the only religion that makes a strict distinction between the creator and the creation. In Islam, we worship the creator. Simple.
You will find, however, that in every other religion there is some form of worship involving creation. For example, worshipping men as incarnations of God or stones sounds familiar. Surely though, if you are going to worship anything, you should worship the one that created all. The one that gave you your life and the one who will take it away again. In fact, in Islam, the only sin that God will not forgive is the worship of creation.
However, the truth of Islam can be found in the Quran. The Quran is like a text book guide to life. In it you will find answers to all the questions. For me, everything I had learnt about all the different religions, everything that I knew to be true, fitted together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
I had all the pieces all along but I just did not know how to fix them together. I would therefore like to ask you to consider Islam now. The true Islam as described in the Quran. Not the Islam that we get taught about in the West. You may at least be able to cut down your journey in search of the truth about life. I pray for your success, regardless.
May 2, 1996. Ever since I can remember, my family attended a non-denominational conservative Christian church (Church of Christ). I grew up in the church, taught in Bible school and sang in the choir. As a young teenager I began asking questions (as I think everyone does at one point in their lives):
Why was I a member of the Church of Christ and not say Lutheran, Catholic or Methodist? If various churches are teaching conflicting doctrine, how do we know which one is right? Are they all right? Do ‘all paths lead to God’ as I had heard some say? Others say that as long as you are a good person it doesn’t matter what you believe – is that true?
After some soul searching I decided that I did believe that there was an ultimate truth and in an attempt to find that truth I began a comparison study of various churches. I decided that I believed in the Bible and would join the church that best followed the Bible. After a lengthy study, I decided to stay with the Church of Christ, satisfied that its doctrines were biblically sound (unaware at this stage that there could be various interpretations of the Bible).
I spent a year at Michigan Christian College; a small college affiliated with the Churches of Christ but was not challenged academically and so transferred to Western Michigan University. Having applied late for student housing, I was placed in the international dorm.
Although my roommate was American, I felt surrounded by strange people from strange places. It was, in fact, my first real experience with cultural diversity and it scared me (having Stories of New Muslims been raised in a white, middle class, Christian community). I wanted to change dorms but there wasn’t anything available. I did really like my roommate and decided to stick out the semester.
My roommate became very involved in the dorm activities and got to know most everyone in the dorm. I however performed with the marching band and spent most of my time with band people. Marching season soon ended and finding myself with time on my hands, I joined my roommate on her adventures around the dorm. It turned out to be a wonderful, fascinating experience! There were a large number of Arab men living in the dorm. They were charming, handsome, and a lot of fun to be around.
My roommate started dating one of them and we ended up spending most of our time with the Arabs. I guess I knew they were Muslims (although very few of them were practicing). We never really discussed religion, we were just having fun.
The year passed and I had started seeing one of the Arabs. Again, we were just enjoying each other’s company and never discussed our religious differences. Neither of us was practicing at this time so it never really became an issue for us. I did, deep down, feel guilty for not attending church, but I pushed it in the back of my mind. I was having too much fun.
Another year passed and I was home for summer vacation when my roommate called me with some very distressing news: she’d become a Muslim!! I was horrified.
She didn’t tell me why she converted, just that she had spent a lot of time talking with her boyfriend’s brother and it all made sense to her. After we hung up, I immediately wrote her a long letter explaining that she was ruining her life and to just give Christianity one more chance. That same summer my boyfriend transferred to Azusa Pacific University in California. We decided to get married and move to California together. Again, since neither one were practicing, religion was not discussed.
Secretly I started reading books on Islam. However, I read books that were written by non-Muslims. One of the books I read was Islam Revealed by Anis Sorosh. I felt guilty about my friend’s conversion. I felt that if I had been a better Christian, she would have turned to the church rather than Islam.
Islam was a man-made religion, I believed, and filled with contradictions. After reading Sorosh’s book, I thought I could convert my friend and my husband to Christianity.
At APU, my husband was required to take a few religion courses. One day he came home from class and said: “The more I learn about Christianity, the stronger my belief in Islam becomes.” At about this same time he started showing signs of wanting to practice his religion again. Our problems began.
We started talking about religion and arguing about our different beliefs. He told me I should learn about Islam and I told him I already knew everything I needed to know. I got out Sorosh’s book and told him I could never believe in Islam.
My husband is not a scholar by any stretch of the imagination, yet he had an answer for everything I showed him in Sorosh’s book. I was impressed by his knowledge. He told me that if I really wanted to learn about Islam it must be through Islamic sources. He bought a few books for me from an Islamic bookstore and I started taking classes at a local mosque. What a difference the Islam I learned about from Muslim sources was compared with the Islam I learned about from non-Muslims!
It was so difficult though when I actually decided to convert. My pride stood in the way for a while. How could I admit to my husband and my friend that they were right all along? I felt humiliated, embarrassed. Soon though, I could deny the truth no longer, swallowed my pride, and alhamdulilah embraced Islam – the best decision I ever made.
A few things I want to say to the non-Muslim reader: When I originally began my search for the truth all those years ago, I made a few wrong assumptions. First, I assumed that the truth is with Christianity only. It never occurred to me at that time to look outside Christianity. Second, I assumed that the Bible was the true Word of God. These were bad assumptions because they prohibited me from looking at things objectively.
When I began my earnest study of Islam, I had to start at the very beginning, with no preconceived ideas. I was not a Christian looking at Islam; I looked at both Islam and Christianity (and many other religions) from the point of view of an outsider. My advice to you is to be a critical thinker and a critical reader.
Another mistake that many people make when talking about Islam is that they pick out a certain teaching and judge the whole of Islam on that one point. For example, many people say that Islam is prejudiced towards women because Islamic laws of inheritance award the male twice as much as the female. What they fail to learn, however, is that males have financial responsibilities in Islam that females do not have.
It is like putting a puzzle together: until you have all the pieces in the right places, you cannot make a statement about the picture, you cannot look at one little piece of the puzzle and judge the whole picture.
Many people said that the only reason I converted was that of my husband. It is true that I studied Islam because he asked me to – but I accepted Islam because it is the truth. My husband and I are currently separated and plan to divorce in June, Insha Allah.
My faith in Islam has never been stronger than it is now. I look forward to finding a practicing Muslim husband, insha’Allah, and growing in my faith and practice. Being a good Muslim is my number one priority. May Allah lead all of us closer to the truth.
O Callers to Islam! Clarify the Religion
Allaah intends to clarify the truth to people and prove it, and thereby, leave no place for excuses that they did not receive the message of truth from Him; that is why He sent Messengers and Divine Books. Indeed, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “No one likes to give people excuses more than Allah.” He has sent the Messengers, peace be upon them, as Warners and bringers of glad tidings; hence, they explained the message of Allah and the scholars and students of knowledge did the same after them. This is so, because it is compulsory upon anyone who attains any knowledge to follow the footsteps of the Prophets and Messengers, peace be upon them, by clarifying what they are aware of.