Some Muslims and Non-Muslims have directed me, a former Muslim from Pakistan, to a particular website to “learn about the real Islam.” These Non-Muslims have more than likely not grown up in a Muslim-dominated country, yet they try their best to persuade Americans that Islam is not what apostates of Islam or conservative Non-Muslim Americans portray. When a friend of our ministry asked me to check this same website, I decided to answer these alleged “facts” about Islam.
The article “30 Facts on Islam” can be found here: http://www.islamondemand.com/30_facts.html
Please read the article and my response together. While I have not copied and pasted all of the alleged facts, those I did are boldened.
To say that Islam means “peace through submission to God” is not accurate; to say Islam means “submission” is accurate.
If the writer is saying that in Islam, peace is based on submitting and surrendering to God in the way the Qur’an (the first-hand authority of the religion of Islam) dictates, then where is the evidence? From the 1500 years of Islamic history, along with the commentaries penned by the greatest Muslim scholars, we can easily conclude that Peace and Justice cannot exist on the basis of submission and surrender as outlined in the Qur’an.
2) ‘Muslim’ means ‘anyone or anything that submits itself to the will of God.’”
Here the writer is misleading the readers. Many people believe themselves to submit to the will of God, yet they do not follow Muhammad and are not defined as Muslims. For example, I believe I submit to God by following Jesus’ example, which entails not following after my own will but rather desiring God’s will be done in my life. Am I accepted as a Muslim? No. After I came to believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6) and accepted Jesus Christ as the only name by which we are saved (Acts 4:11-12), I was disowned by my Muslim family and almost killed by several Muslims. Muslims most definitely do not consider me a Muslim anymore, ever since my conversion to Christianity. The writer deliberately does not mention that the condition of following Muhammad is what makes a person a Muslim.
3) Islam is not a cult. Its followers number over 1.5 billion worldwide. Along with Judaism and Christianity, it is considered to be one of the three Abrahamic traditions.”
Jesus is Jewish, though he came to save all who believe in him, both of his Jewish brethren and also Gentiles! Jesus says that salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22), whereas Muhammad (not Jewish) claimed to be given the words of Allah, which includes severe punishment for those who do not believe the revelations he proclaimed (Qur’an 4:56).
Concerning the USA, Judeo-Christian values have been an integral part of American culture, yet some Muslims now seem to want to have a “piece of the pie” too, in the name of interfaith and multiculturalism. They seem to be persuading Americans to drop the term “Judeo-Christian” and replace it with “Abrahamic tradition” – in order to add Islam. While the term Abrahamic religions is popular, it neglects the crucial differences between the teachings and lives of the Jewish Jesus and the non-Jewish Muhammad.
4) There are five pillars of practice in Islam. These practices must be undertaken with the best of effort in order to be considered a true Muslim: A) Shahadah - declaration of faith in the oneness of God and that Muhammad is the last prophet of God. B) Formal prayer five times a day. C) Fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. D) Poor-due "tax" - 2.5% of one's savings given to the needy at the end of each year. E) Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able.”
It is interesting comparing this with alleged fact #2. A true Muslim then obeys mandates from Muhammad’s life. It would have been great if the author had explained that when Muslims perform the second pillar of Islam, this can include reciting verses of the Qur’an that are against Non-Muslims. With regard to the tax, why does the writer not tell that such a fund or part of it cannot be given to a poor Non-Muslim but can be given to a Mujahid – war with Non-Muslims?
5) There are six articles of faith in Islam. These are the basic beliefs that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. They are belief in: A) the One God. B) all the prophets of God. C) the original scriptures revealed to Prophets Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. D) the angels. E) the Day of Judgment and the Hereafter. F) the divine decree (or destiny).”
First of all, in Arabic the articles of faith are simply to believe in Allah, his angels, his books, his prophets, the last day, and that all good and bad are destined by Allah. It is interesting to see that when it comes to C), the writer states “the original scriptures...” Most Muslims believe that the present Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel accounts are not God’s books. In The Bible and the Qur’an: A Question of Integrity, I have dealt with this subject after researching it thoroughly.
The writer should have mentioned that in Islam, “destiny” is big. According to the Qur’an, Allah misleads those he wants to mislead and guides whom he wants to guide (Sura 14:4; 16:93). However, the Bible states that God “is patient … not wanting anyone to perish but wants everyone to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). Ezekiel 33:11 shows that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, but wants wicked people to repent, turning from their wicked ways to live for Him!
6) Islam is a complete way of life that governs all facets of life: moral, spiritual, social, political, economical, intellectual, etc.”
Many in the USA think that Islam is only a religion like any other, but that is not true. Here the writer tells it all in one line: “Islam is a complete way of life that governs all facets of life…” Islam is not only a religion but is a political system too. What does that mean? Well, the Muslim writer does not want to tell it but clearly means that a (true) Muslim’s choice at the end of the day will always be not the Constitution of the USA for example but rather Islamic Sharia (law). It has to be accepted for all facets of life: personal, social, spiritual, economics, and even as the governing political system. Deep down a true and practicing Muslim has to believe God has revealed Islam to take over all and even work towards that goal for “all facets of life: moral, spiritual, social, political, economical, intellectual, etc.” (As the writer has put it). These are not farfetched ideas. In fact, the Qur’an dictates in several places that Allah has revealed this religion (Islam) to take over all (Sura 9:33; 48:28; 61:9).
Concerning points 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11
Although many Jews and Christians who speak Arabic use the word Allah for God, it is important for readers to understand that this does not mean that Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians agree with the theology of God as prescribed in the Qur’an and Islamic tradition.
Christians for example believe that God is our Father in Heaven, due to Jesus’ teachings (Matthew 5-7, 18, 23…). Jesus called God our “Father in Heaven.” God’s promise concerning the Anointed One that He promised on King David’s throne forever being called the Son of God (1 Chronicles 17:11-14; Psalm 2) is not important to Muslims, since the Qur’an denies God having a son.
Many in the United States rallying interfaith conferences do not understand that while Islam uses many of same adjectives to describe God as Jews and Christians do, including loving and merciful, Islam has its own dictionary for these attributes. For example in Islam, God’s love is conditional. It is the person who has to take the initiative to love Allah by following the prophet Muhammad and then in return, Allah will love him (Sura 3:31). This contradicts Christianity because the Bible states that we love God because “He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
A Muslim in this life is never sure whether God truly loves him. Only on the Day of Judgment will he come to know this. The same is the case as well concerning the question of assurance and salvation. A Muslim is not sure what will happen to him. If a Muslim says he knows – well then he is claiming to be greater then his own prophet, Muhammad. The Qur’an states that Muhammad was told by Allah to tell people clearly, “I do not know what will happen to me” (Sura 46:9).
12) Muslims believe in and acknowledge all the prophets of old, from Adam to Jesus. Muslims believe that they brought the message of peace and submission (islam) to different peoples at different times. Muslims also believe that these prophets were ‘muslims’ because they submitted their wills to God.”
Certainly Muslims believe in prophets from Adam to Jesus. However, the writer does not tell us that the Muslim beliefs about these prophets are different than what is in the Bible. For example, Muslims believe that Jesus is a prophet of God but they do not believe he was crucified, nor do they believe in his resurrection. According to Muslim beliefs, Jesus did not die - thus no victorious resurrection. Due to Ahadith (Islamic traditions), they believe Jesus will one day come back (though they do not believe he died and resurrected) and establish Islam by helping the Mahdi, through a great battle killing of the Jews and Christians who refuse to become Muslims.
Concerning calling the Jewish prophets “Muslims”, this is just an attempt to Islamize Jewish history and replace the Tanakh and Christian Bible with the Qur’an.
13) Muslims neither worship Muhammad nor pray through him. Muslims solely worship the unseen and Omniscient Creator, Allah. “
Indeed that is correct. In fact, Muslims ask God in their prayers to bless Muhammad and his descendants as he blessed Abraham and his descendants. It is ironical that one may blaspheme God, but if anything is said against Muhammad, that person is then in big trouble. This is not something new. Classical historians Ibn Ishaq (d) and Ibn Hisham related to us how Muhammad allowed his followers to kill those of the Jews who “blasphemed” about his prophethood or person. He even allowed people to lie and deceive in order to kill them, whereas Jesus Christ taught his followers to bless those who curse and to love, be merciful, pray for, and do good to one’s enemies (Luke 6:27-36).
When Muslims utter the name of Muhammad they always add “peace be upon him.” They are surprised to hear Christians uttering the name of Jesus but never saying “peace be upon him.” It is time that Muslim friends be told of the Biblical facts. According to the Bible, Jesus himself is the source of all peace. It is us who need his peace. He himself said, “My peace I leave with you …”(John 14:27).
Points 14-18 concerning the Qur’an and the Bible
The Muslim writer seems to want to accuse the Bible as being corrupted while he alleges that the Qur’an is word for word the same as was revealed by Muhammad to his followers. This theory concerning the Bible is a belief that goes against the Qur’anic teaching about the Torah and the Injil (the Gospel). In fact, the Qur’an encourages the people of the book (Christians and Jews) to abide and judge by what is revealed in their Scriptures (Sura 3:3-4; 5:45-48). Scriptures from before Muhammad’s time, such as the Greek Old Testament (second century BC) and New Testament manuscripts (dating back to 125-200 AD) have been reliably copied and translated into different languages for centuries.
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/bibleorg.html is a great website concerning the reliability of the Bible throughout the centuries.
Now, as the writer of the “30 Facts about Islam” suggests that the Bible is corrupted, that would mean that Allah of the Qur’an did not know that the Torah and the Injil were corrupted. It is point worthy to note that the Qur’an claims that there is guidance and light in them. It also claims that God’s words cannot be changed. How then did Muslims arrive at the conclusion that God’s words in the Torah and Injil have been changed?
On this subject I have written in detail two leaflets, namely: “The Bible is changed, REALLY?” and “The Bible has been abrogated, Really?” Anyone who desires to read them can send me an email with an address and I will send them. I also have written a book on the integrity of the Bible and the Qur’an (250 pages) to show that both the Bible and the Qur’an textually are reliable and to address their compilations. It is the message of these books we should consider.
19) Muslims do not believe in the concept of ‘vicarious atonement’ but rather believe in the law of personal responsibility…”
Since Muslims do not believe in the integrity of the Torah, it is easy for them to reject the redemption plan fulfilled through Jesus, the Lamb of God who fulfills Isaiah 53 and fulfills the demands of the Law of Moses for blood sacrifice as atonement for sins. Muslims misunderstand the sacrifice that Jesus did once for all, thinking that those who believe in atonement do not believe in the law of personal responsibility. A believer in Christ desires to obey God and strives to please God out of love, because God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to save us from our sins. True Christians show our love and reverence for God by obeying what Jesus commanded.
20) Islam was not spread by the sword. It was spread by the word (Islamic teachings) and the example of its followers. Islam teaches that there is no compulsion in religion (the Holy Qur'an 2:256 and 10:99).”
No matter how you cut it, Muhammad was not only a religious leader; he was also a military leader, waging physical war against his enemies as soon as he had the means. Following his example, Muslims quickly carved out an enormous empire. What ended Muslim expansion was not a change of heart or doctrine, but European military might.
The writer is not honest when quoting the “no compulsion verses” from the Qur’an. Muslim exegetes agree that such verses have been superseded by the later verses in the Qur’an. In Islam, this doctrine is known as al-Nasikh wa al-Mansukh – “the abrogater and the abrogated.” Muhammad preached nonviolence for 13 years in Mecca when he had little power. It was in Madina, when he acquired a large following of men and a community of Muslims was firmly established, that he changed his mind.
There is even evidence in the Qur’an and Ahadith that some followers complained about Jihad and the qital (kill) doctrine of their own non-Muslim folks (Qur’an 2:216; 4:77; 8:5; 9:29-83) However, Muhammad reminded them that it was God telling him that they should fight and that those non-Muslim family members are not truly their family. Only a Muslim is a brother of Muslim. )
For example what does the following tell you from the Qur’an:
“[And] fight against those who - despite having been vouchsafed revelation [aforetime] -do not [truly] believe either in God or the Last Day, and do not consider forbidden that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and do not follow the religion of truth [which God has enjoined upon them] till they [agree to] pay the exemption tax with a willing hand, after having been humbled [in war].” (9:29 Asad)
There are Ahadith that are quite clear how Muhammad and later his successors sent military expeditions to call upon Non-Muslims to convert to Islam, or pay Jizya (a kind of poll tax) or fight. What does that tell you? It is quite clear here that Islam was pushed on people. Muslim historians accounted how Muslims treated Non-Muslims; those among Christians and Jews who surrendered to pay taxes were treated as second-class citizens.
If Islam was only spread by peaceful means, why do we find threatening words against unbelievers uttered by Muhammad in the Qur’an and in hadiths? According to Islamic sources, Muhammad himself took part in many military expeditions and also sent out around 60 military expeditions He claimed, “I have been made victorious with terror.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 52, Hadith 220)..
When Muhammad called people to Islam, the sword accompanied his call. He commanded his leaders to do likewise. Here is just a little example out of many: Both Al-Bukhaari (3009) and Muslim (2406) mention how Ali Ibn Abi Talib was told what to do with the people at Khaybar. When Muhammad gave him the flag, Ali asked, “Shall I fight them so that they will be like us?” He said: “Go ahead, until you reach their encampment, then call them to Islam and tell them what they are obliged to do, for by Allah if Allah were to guide a man at your hands that would be better for you than having red camels [the best kind].” And certainly many were put to the sword because they did not accept Islam.
21) Terrorism, unjustified violence and the killing of innocent people are absolutely forbidden in Islam. Islam is a way of life that is meant to bring peace to a society, whether its people are Muslim or not. The extreme actions of those who claim to be Muslim may be, among other things, a result of their ignorance or uncontrolled anger. Tyrant rulers and those who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam are simply not following Islam. These people are individuals with their own views and political agendas. Fanatical Muslims are no more representative of the true Islamic teachings than Timothy McVeigh or David Koresh are of Christianity. Extremism and fanaticism is a problem that is common to all religious groups…”
This is word play. I have seen billboards by Muslims voicing, “Islam condemns Terrorism.” It is quite interesting that when we point out the everyday news of terror attacks by Muslim groups, then the comment changes stating, ‘What you call terrorism is actually a freedom fight.” So there we go.
There is no evidence that what McVeigh did was because he was influenced by Jesus to do so. Jesus did not kill anyone yet was killed for everyone, and rose again. Jesus specifically commanded his followers to love their enemies (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-37) and practiced what he preached. Christians are to follow Jesus’ example of loving others, telling them the Good News and fulfilling the great commission Jesus gave us (Matthew 28:18-20).
Yes, we do hear about Hindu radicals, Buddhist radicals and Christian radicals. However, one has to ask this question, does the Qur’an promote violence against Non-Muslims? A researcher very soon finds that it is the ideology portrayed in the Qur’an that is causing the problem. When a Muslim hears or reads about Allah's love for him because of his killing for HIM, his natural reaction would be of a militant attitude towards non-Muslims. For example, the Qur’anic words: Innallaha Yuhibul-ladhina yuqatiluna fi sabilihi ...' meaning ‘Allah loves those who kill for him ...” (Sura 61:4). Oh, yes I remember the days as a Muslim reciting all such passages even more radical ones with the interpretation from classical Tafsirs along with commentaries on Ahadith in my Islamic Studies program at Islamic institutions. I remember all such passages in the Qur'an which would bring me to conclusion, 'Masood, there is no way knowing whether you will finish up in hell or paradise, however, the Qur'an is very clear that those who die for Allah in Jihad will go straight into the paradise of Allah.'
I am so thankful that came to know the real dilemma of Assurance of eternity in Islam and found that it is available only through Jesus.
I am so thankful that came to know the real dilemma of Assurance of eternity in Islam and found that it is available only through Jesus.
22) The word "jihad" does not mean "holy war". Instead, it means the inner struggle that one endures in trying to submit their will to the will of God. Some Muslims may say they are going for "jihad" when fighting in a war to defend themselves or their fellow Muslims, but they only say this because they are conceding that it will be a tremendous struggle. But there are many other forms of jihad which are more relevant to the everyday life of a Muslim such as the struggles against laziness, arrogance, stinginess, or the struggle against a tyrant ruler or against the temptation of Satan, or against one's own ego, etc. “
Yes, literally jihad means struggle. It appears around 40 times in the Qur’an. Let it be known that this word in the Qur’an is also used for war against unbelievers, along with other words like “qital” – to kill, and several others. After Muhammad’s death, during the early Caliphs’ rule, Muslim commentators and collectors of Ahadith mentioned the word “Jihad” when referring to military struggle. To explain other situations like the inner struggle, they used phrases like jihad bil qalb/nafs (struggle of the heart).
Point 23-26 concerning women in Islam, with emphasis on alleged fact 23:
23) Women are not oppressed in Islam. Any Muslim man that oppresses a woman is not following Islam. Among the many teachings of Prophet Muhammad that protected the rights and dignity of women is his saying, "...the best among you are those who treat their wives well." (Tirmidhi)
Very interesting. First of all, Tirmidhi is a very late collection. However, if we accept this then what about those sayings mentioned by Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and other authentic traditions? For example, the following saying of Muhammad basically equates women with dogs and donkeys: "Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people)." Does it require too much intelligence to understand this hadith? For more on the role of women in Islam, please visit our website: http://www.jesustomuslims.org/articles/role-women-islam
Points 27- 28: Islam and the "Nation of Islam" are two different religions … All Muslims are not Arab …
I somewhat agree on 27. Yes, not all Muslims are Arab and not all Arabs are Muslims. Some Muslim Arabs nowadays however are descendants of Christian Arabs, such as those conquered by the Umayyad Empire.
29) In the five daily prayers, Muslims face the Kaaba in Mecca, Arabia. It is a cube-shaped stone structure that was originally built by Prophet Adam and later rebuilt by Prophet Abraham. Muslims believe that the Kaaba was the first house of worship on Earth dedicated to the worship of one god. Muslims do not worship the Kaaba. It serves as a central focal point for Muslims around the world, unifying them in worship and symbolizing their common belief, spiritual focus and direction. Interestingly, the inside of the Kaaba is empty.
30) The hajj is a simultaneous pilgrimage to the Kaaba made by millions of Muslims each year. It is performed to commemorate the struggles of Abraham, Ishmael and Hagar in submitting their wills to God. “
The belief that Abraham rebuilt the Ka’ba (Kaaba) is an Islamic idea. Did Abraham and Ishmael actually build the Ka’ba? There is no archaeological or scriptural evidence outside Islamic sources. The earliest documentations of Abraham and other patriarchs and prophets did not mention the building of the Ka’ba or any connection of Abraham with it. Researchers interested in such claims point that this claim only appeared during the rise of Islam. I have written on this subject in my book, Jesus or Muhammad: A Question of Assurance, as well as compared the Qur’an and the Bible and their key texts on Creation, the prophets, the message, the guidance, the salvation and eternal purpose through the eyes of Muhammad and of Jesus.
A question each person can ask oneself is the following: Did God speak to us in these last days through Jesus or Muhammad? Who should we follow? I leave that up to each reader to decide. As for me, an ex-Muslim who used to strive to follow Muhammad, I now love and follow Jesus Christ, my Redeemer who loved me before I was even born!