Friday, September 26, 2014

Does America need Islam?

My response to “The Key to Defeating ISIS is Islam” Written in the Huffington Post by Salam Al Marayati, the executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, DC.

Does America need Islam? I disagree completely with Salam Al Marayati’s statement, “America needs Islam -- not to convert people to the religion, but as the antidote to the toxic and threatening ideology of ISIS.”  (Please see his article, “The Key to Defeating ISIS is Islam” in the Huffington Post. The link is posted at the end of my response.) Personally, I have felt the negative side effects of Islam, which America most definitely does not need! I was born in Islam, did my best to be a good Muslim for 23 years and have studied it for 40 years.

Salam Al Marayati’s article seems to be a deliberate attempt to show Islam as a peaceful ideology and ISIS as a group which Islam does not condone. Let’s look at his claims concerning ISIS and Islam and see the real picture in the light of the Qur'an and what Muhammad taught.

1.) “ISIS calls people to death. Islam responds to the Prophet who calls you to life (8:24) and calls for serving the public interest (3:104).”

Salam Al Marayati does not mention that chapter 8 of the Qur’an is named Al-Anfal - “Spoils of War, Booty.” Muslims had just won a battle against Non-Muslims and then argued over how to divide the booty. To keep his followers from animosity against each other, Muhammad played a spiritual card: that the spoils in fact belong to “Allah and His messenger” – Muhammad.  

 In 8:24, Muhammad urges his followers to obey:

“O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life; and know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered.“ - 8:24 (Yusuf Ali).

 Salam Al Marayati totally ignores other verses in chapter 8, which show the context:

“Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do. If they refuse, be sure that Allah is your Protector - the best to protect and the best to help. And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer,- if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing,- the Day of the meeting of the two forces. For Allah hath power over all things. “ - 8:38-41 (Y. Ali)

“O Messenger! Rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand o the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding. For the present, Allah hath lightened your (task), for He knoweth that there is a weak spot in you: But (even so), if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred, and if a thousand, they will vanquish two thousand, with the leave of Allah. for Allah is with those who patiently persevere. It is not fitting for an apostle that he should have prisoners of war until he hath thoroughly subdued the land. Ye look for the temporal goods of this world; but Allah looketh to the Hereafter: And Allah is Exalted in might, Wise. Had it not been for a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that ye took. But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good: but fear Allah. for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” 8:65-69 (Yusuf Ali)

Since we have already seen some other verses of chapter 8 (“Spoils of War, Booty”), let’s see the context verse of 3:102 which states: “O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.” (Y. Ali) This obviously refers to Muslims and the desire for all people to become Muslims. Just one verse after we find that this is instruction that among Muslims there should always be a group that act like religious “police” - instructing people to do good, perform their prayers and religious dues. The public interest is in fact Muslim interest and not what Salam Al Marayati states. In fact, this verse goes in favor of groups like ISIS.

2.) “ISIS coerces and punishes Muslims who are accused of not attending prayers. Islam is no compulsion of religion (2:256).”

This statement does not share what Muhammad did. Once he had the power, he destroyed the idols of the Arabs and forcibly compelled the Arabs to submit to Islam. Is Muhammad not as Islamic as Islam can get? Does that sound like “no compulsion of religion”? Scholars believe that Sura 2:256 is later abrogated by Sura 9:73:

“O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed.” – 9:73 (Y. Ali)

Al Marayati also fails to mention that the first caliph, Abu Bakr, attacked apostates in the Riddah (Apostasy) Wars. Obviously, “no compulsion of religion” meant nothing to Abu Bakr as he forced the apostates to revert, fight to the death for their right to apostate, or pay a ransom as dhimmis – second-class citizens. Is Abu Bakr, the first caliph, not an Islamic leader?

3.) ISIS spreads cruelty. Islam is spreading mercy (21:107).

It is not Islam but Muhammad is referred to as mercy in this verse of the Qur’an, We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.” - 21:107 (Yusuf Ali).  Just because a book states that someone is a Mercy does not necessarily mean it is true. Did Muhammad have mercy on the people he ordered killed (men) and enslaved (women and children), such as the Jewish clan Banu Qurayza? I personally do not believe so.

We also find that Sura 21 is a Meccan Sura, revealed when Muhammad did not have any political and military power. Once that changed, Non-Muslims were in big trouble. Instead of mercy, Muhammad said that he was sent to cause terror among those who did not accept him as prophet of God:

Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy…)” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Hadith 220: Narrated by Abu Huraira]

About terror, the Qur’an says the following:

“Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers! Allah did indeed fulfill His promise to you when ye with His permission Were about to annihilate your enemy,-until ye flinched and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed it after He brought you in sight (of the booty) which ye covet. Among you are some that hanker after this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then did He divert you from your foes in order to test you but He forgave you: For Allah is full of grace to those who believe.” – 3:151-152  (Y. Ali)

“Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." This is because they contended against Allah and His Messenger. If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment.” 8:12-13  (Y. Ali)

“And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will. And those of the People of the Book who aided them - Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts. (So that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners. And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And Allah has power over all things.”  33:25-26  (Y. Ali)

It is the ideology of Islam that is troublesome in the first place. Yes the Qur’an does have some nice verses, but they are from Muhammad’s life when he did not have the ability to conquer his enemies. Once he had enough power to subdue his enemies, the violent verses were revealed. Nowadays,  countries in which Muslims are in the minority are associated with the first period of Islam, before Islamic violence started. The caravan raids (and the Battle of Badr in which Muhammad first showed his military prowess) began the revenge mentality against the unbelievers for rejecting him. Muhammad did not obey Jesus Christ’s command to love his enemies once he had the power to attack them or retaliate against them. ISIS is doing the same as Muhammad and later his Khulafa (successors) did.

4.) “ISIS executes people under the rule of their iron fist. Islam is establishing the rule of law (16:90).”

What ISIS is doing is what the majority of Khulafa (successors of Muhammad’s political leadership) did. If a Muslim killed a Non-Muslim, he could not be given capital punishment for it. In many cases not even blood money was given. If a person was accused of blasphemy against the prophet, that person could easily be killed.

About Sura 16:90, it is said to have been revealed to Muhammad at the time when he and his people started immigrating to Medina. The people who welcomed him there were called the Ansar, the helpers. To bring unity between the immigrant Muslims from Mecca and those of Madina, this passage refers to having justice and kindness among the Muslim brotherhood.

5.) “ISIS confronts others and spreads intimidation Islam is engaging others (16:125).”

This verse, 16:125, is about inviting Non-Muslims to convert to Islam, since the Qur’an teaches:

 “It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).” – 9:33 (Y. Ali)

“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness.” – 48:28 (Y. Ali)

“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).” – 61:9 (Y. Ali)

Once he had the power to do so, Muhammad confronted Pagans and People of the Book (Jews and Christians). We learn from the Qur’an, the traditions (ahadith), and the biographies about Muhammad concerning how he treated those who steadfastly rejected him.  We learn that Muhammad destroyed the pagan gods that the Arabs used to worship and forced them to submit to Islam. Muhammad forced the Jews (that he did not expel from Medina or kill) and Christians into dhimmi status, second-class citizens forced to pay the jizya (poll tax). He left instructions for his successors how they should deal with non-Muslims including Jews and Christians. We do not have to go to secondary sources like the Ahadith. Here the Qur’an has all the ammunition of hatred:

“O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-wise. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are    deluded away from the Truth! – 9:28-30  (Y. Ali)

Muhammad made both Christians and Jews second-class citizens. During the period of 1300 years of the Khulafa rule, privileges were available to only a few who were used as pawns by the Islamic hierarchy, to keep control over the minorities.

6.) “ISIS is locked into the past. Islam is looking to the future (28:83).”

“The future” in this verse of the Qur’an is mentioned as in the hereafter, akhira. It is for those who are not corrupt. Anything which is not Islamic is seen as corrupt. Thus, through the centuries it has been clearly understood that to have the eternal life in the hereafter, one has to be a good practicing Muslim following what Allah in the Qur’an has said and similarly, following Muhammad’s instructions and life example. The verse Salam Al Marayati references does not talk about the future as the secular West understands it. It talks about the future when Allah will bring the last day, and will judge people. This verse refers to that future and not what Salam Al Marayati is pretending.

7.) “ISIS is based on hate and vengeance. Islam is forgiving and persevering (16:127).”

I wish that were true. However once again the context clearly refers to a time when Muhammad was not powerful enough to conquer his enemies through force. At that time, he was willing to be patient and persevere. But when power came, things changed. He later basically told his followers that peace with unbelievers is only allowed when Muslims are weak:

“AND SO, [when you fight in a just cause,] do not lose heart and [never] beg for peace: for, seeing that God is with you, you are bound to rise high [in the end]; and never will He let your [good] deeds go to waste. “ – 47:35 (Asad)

ISIS, contrary to some Muslims influenced by Western ideals, is not begging for peace. Since the Qur’an and the life of Muhammad are as Islamic as Islam can get, it is important to understand that ISIS seeks to obey the Qur’an and follow Muhammad’s political campaign of dominance. Granted, some Muslims, heavily impacted by Western ideals of tolerance ever since the caliphate ended in 1924, do not obey the violent verses of the Qur’an or follow Muhammad into fighting Non-Muslims. ISIS however despises Western influence and seeks the return of the caliphate in order to advance the Muslim dominion of the world, begun by Muhammad and continued by his successors.

Interestingly, Salam Al Marayti, in his article, neglects to mention the verses of the Qur’an that motivate Muslims not influenced by the West to fight disbelievers: (2:190-193; 2:216; 2:244; 3:167-171; 4:74-77; 4:84; 4:89;  4:95; 8:12-17; 8:38-41; 8:65-75; 9:1-5; 9:12-14; 9:28-33; 9:44-45; 9:81-83; 9:86-88; 9:123; 33:25-27; 47:4; 47:20; 48:15-17; 59:2-4; 61:4).

8.) “ISIS responds to evil with evil. Islam is repelling evil with goodness so those with whom there is animosity become your close friends (41:34).”

Let’s see what this passage says:

Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, "I am of those who bow in Islam"?  Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!” - 41:33-34  (Y. Ali)

This passage needs to be compared with other verses in the Qur’an concerning friends:

“O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take for your bosom-friends people who are not of your kind. They spare no effort to corrupt you; they would love to see you in distress. Vehement hatred has already come into the open from out of their mouths, but what their hearts conceal is yet worse. We have indeed made the signs [thereof] clear unto you, if you would but use your reason. “ 3:118 (Asad)

“O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in Allah your Lord! If ye have come out to strive in My Way and to seek My Good Pleasure, (take them not as friends), holding secret converse of love (and friendship) with them: for I know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path.” – 60:1 (Y. Ali)

Many Muslims accuse me of rejecting the  “Truth” and “Faith” and “the Straight Path” (Islam to them but not to me). Thus, I am considered by some a “renegade.” The Qur’an gives the following command to Muslims about what to do to renegades:

“They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;” – 4:89 (Y. Ali)

Some Muslims also accuse me of be waging “war against Allah and His Messenger” though I have never killed anyone. They accuse me of striving “for mischief” though I teach the Truth (Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah who died for us, rose again and will return). Because of this, they consider me a prime candidate for the punishment stated in the Quran:

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a       heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;” – 5:33  (Y. Ali)

As a result, several sincere Muslims, including my own father, have attempted to kill me after I became a Christian. (I thank my Heavenly Father for rescuing me!)

Back to Salam Al Marayati’s article, I do wholeheartedly agree with this statement: “Bombs cannot destroy ideas. Decapitating the leadership of ISIS will not stop violent extremism.”

Jesus Christ did not teach violence against enemies, but rather taught love for one’s enemies (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-37). While it is difficult to love those who hate, God’s love through Jesus Christ dissolves the cycle of revenge and hatred in the hearts of those hurt by injustice. As a former Muslim who has accepted God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, I love those who hate me through God’s Spirit filling me with His love even for those who want my death.

It is the ideology in the Qur’an and traditions that is a problem. A true Muslim is just the prey of it. Unless Muslims fully shun the ideology of Islam, movements like ISIS and others will keep rising.

Thank you for taking the time to read my response.


Steven Masood

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Steven Masood’s response to “30 Facts about Islam”

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:

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.

1) ‘Islam’ means ‘Peace through the submission to God.’”

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. 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.

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:

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!


Sunday, September 4, 2011


There is a subtle, dangerous and perilous movement roaming about, raising voices for a false unity between Islam and Christianity. It is called Chrislam, claiming to share the same God, the prophets and the Truth. The idea behind it is to relativize all differences for the common good to create a utopian society. Interestingly, here are some Muslims also propagating it and yet after a glance, one finds that they are only involved so to take advantage of preaching and propagating their faith. Pick up any program organized by interfaith or by Muslims in the USA, in the name of interfaith, and you will find them teaching Islamics at the expense of others. The agenda is to bring Jesus to the level of Muhammad and then convince participants, that like Jesus, Muhammad should be accepted by Christians as the prophet of God.

As ambassadors of the crucified and risen redeemer, Christians have a message to deliver to all everywhere. Thanks be to God for the freedom we still have available in the USA that we can still share the message and even search and choose.

According to Wikipedia, 76% of the USA is Christian. I am sure, like others, all of us are concerned with the evil of terrorism. If we want Muslims to stop terrorism, let us, along with other precautions, not forget the ultimate calling; to share the Good News of Jesus with them. Share with them the assurance of eternal life that God gives to us all, through Jesus, the Christ.

What Muslims think of Jews and Christians

Many Muslims have no idea what the Bible is all about and what Christians really believe. Like a typical Muslim child, I learned the first chapter of the Qur’an by heart at age 6 with translation and commentary. If you even look at the translation, it is very encompassing but do you know that when it comes to the commentary, there it creates hatred. Let me share with you how. Verse 6 and 7 state: ‘Show me the straight path; the path of those whom you have blessed and not the path of those with whom you are angry, nor of those condemned.’ Do you know that Muslims interpret that the condemned by God are the Jews and those with whom he is angry are the Christians? (See for example, Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p. 28. (Lebanon: Resalah Publishers, 2001)
 Such an interpretation is taught to Muslim children in the mosques and Islamic centers even in the United States of America. Part of the Islamic faith is to believe in Abraham and all the prophets and their scriptures and do not make any distinction among them (see Sura 3:84). Yet Muslims do make a distinction by claiming that the Bible is corrupted. They claim to believe in Jesus and yet hate the Jews, not even for a moment thinking that Jesus, as a human being was a Jew. Every day in their prayers, Muslims also recite a special prayer dozens of times; asking God to bless Muhammad and his descendants, as he has blessed Abraham and his descendents.

Ironically, the same Muslims, not for a moment, question their intention to destroy the descendents of Abraham, including the Israelites, who are Jews. What a contradiction! I thank God for someone like you sharing the gospel with me. I thank God for the Bible being available to me in my language and for the Christians who spent many hrs in conversation with me, answering questions about Jesus.

Help your Muslim friend to read: “The LORD had said to Abraham. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Geneses 12:1-3. Promise repeated in 15, 17 and 22). Someone (following the Messiah, Jesus) distributed copies of John’s gospel and one reached me. Today when I look back, it was then that the seed was sown in my life.
If you want Muslims to stop terrorism, why not reach them with the message of Jesus? Otherwise how can you expect a Muslim to stop hating Jews and Christians, when 5 times daily, he is reminded of it in his prayer? As a Muslim, I believed in Jesus but hated Jews and Christians also. Well, Jesus was a Jew. Then I read in the Qur’an: Believe in Abraham and the Prophets; Moses and Jesus that led me to read the Bible. – Thanks be to God for his grace, mercy and assurance available to me through Jesus, who I found to be more than a prophet!

Let us share with Muslims that they do not have to kill themselves and others for God to get into his paradise as ‘martyrs’. God already sent his own to give his life once and for all, as the great sacrifice. Let us also reach the Muslim who thinks that “only a Muslim is a brother of a Muslim and worthy of love and fellowship”, by sharing what Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbor like yourself’. Let them see that Christ-like love is in us. Love will not be satisfied with anything less than the total salvation of its object. ̶ Steven Masood

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Building Bridges – but what kind of bridges?

Building Bridges – but what kind of bridges?

When it comes to sharing the Gospel with Muslims, we find that Muslims comprise at least 39% of all un-evangelized people of the world. Only 1% of mission force is directed to reach them. Most of the work by some nowadays is directed towards Muslims to make them feel at home in their own religion in the name of ‘tolerance’ and ‘love’. Indeed many of such churches, their mission committees quote the scriptures as ‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love’ (1 John 4:8).

I desire that many friends who are trying to ‘create peace between faith’ will realize that Love will not be satisfied with anything less than the total salvation of its object. I have seen again and again in my past 40 years that the matter of salvation of Muslims is totally ignored for the sake of and in the name of ‘multi-culturalism’, ‘multi-faith societies’ and multi faith trends with the idea that all roads lead to God.

‘Creating peace between faiths’ is very good but is it possible without watering down the status of Jesus? I wonder what happened to the peace Jesus talks about and claims to be the giver of it. No matter how much we try to bring peace between faiths and people, if we keep Christ, the original source of peace, out of it, there can be no peace.
And what do you do when one finds that the people who are teaching how Islam is peaceful, behind your back support militant Islam? The predicament is not the people, but Islamic ideology. It has 2 faces both the peaceful and militant and Muslims use both of them as the case may be. When we look at the Qur’an, the Ahadith, the schools of thought and classical commentaries, we find both trends used and being used even today.

One of the top methods that the majority of Muslims have used is not only their insistence that Islam should always have the upper hand but profess it through a military type of radicalism. I can quote to you from the Arabic Qur’an and what Muhammad has said and from the classical Muslim era, people like Urwah ibn Zubayr (d. 712), Wahb ibn Munabbih (d. 728), Ibn Ishaq (d. 761), al-Waqidi (745-822), Ibn Hisham (d. 834), al-Maqrizi (1364–1442), and Ibn Hajar Asqalani (1372-1449) and you will be surprised at how the 2 faces of Islam, its jurisprudence and communities have been used in expansion of Islamic empires and are used today to renew and restore the zenith of the Islamic empires. In the West, today, those Muslim tactics amount to hypocrisy, manipulation and unprovoked attacks.

Having said that, as Christians, indeed we should be peaceable to our neighbors, including our Muslim neighbors, in-spite that Islam has exclusivity that ‘al-Muslim akhwal Muslim, a Muslims is a brother of a Muslim.’ Let us not ignore the matter of salvation of Muslims for the sake of and in the name of ‘multi-culturalism’, ‘multi-faith societies’ and multi faith trends with the idea that all roads lead to God. If we really love Muslims, then we have to share the love of Jesus with them, by telling them that He is the only way to have the eternal life.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why is Islam spreading fast in the USA?

Why is Islam spreading fast in the USA?
1. Islamic Da’wa (Islamic evangelism). Islam is a “works religion”, Muslims believe they will get into paradise by winning non-Muslims to Islam. They marry Christians and Jews to eventually convert them to Islam, although they don’t tell them up front, nor do they tell them that they must raise their children as Muslims, even if she remains a Christian or Jew.
2. Islam is a community oriented system, especially when Muslims are in a minority in a new country. Leaders convince followers to unite and do good so to entice the non-Muslims around them, to ultimately convert them to Islam.
3. Islam is seen as dealing with every aspect of a Muslim’s life, religious or political. Thus while Christians may be hesitant to share their views, Muslims feel obligated to share their faith anywhere.
4. Muslims are allowed to lie for a greater purpose, the ‘domination of the world for Islam’ and so they hide the points of weaknesses in Islam.
5. Also to be an instrument to fulfill what Muhammad predicted that his community will over populate the
world through propagation. Muhammad advised, “Marry beautiful women, especially those women who will bear you lots of children”.

Pastor Terry Jones and the burning of the Qur’an

An Opportunity lost
Well, we heard it all - Pastor Terry Jones and the burning of the Qur’an. We thank the Lord that he did not follow the conviction and withdrew from it. However, I believe he could have used the opportunity while announcing his withdrawal to remind the media of the atrocities against Christians that are committed day and night in Muslim majority countries. Churches are burned down and even members killed and their Scriptures are destroyed. The Pastor could have easily reminded the media asking ‘where are you when such things happen? Why don’t you report them? I am calling on you to look into your conscience and ask yourselves which side you are on.’

This would at least been heard in the media somewhere, but Terry did not use such an opportunity. Let us please pray for each other, that whenever we all are given such an opportunity, we may glorify Him, use the Lord’s wisdom and be counted to say words that will be a warning and loving too. (Ezekiel 3:18)

Be warned of the ‘Interfaith’ delusion that is about in the USA

We are living in a time where in the name of tolerance we try to find
something good anywhere and everywhere and whatever the situation may be. Mindful people claiming to be from various faiths in the USA, have established themselves into what is known as Interfaith dialogue. On the surface, when you look at it, you find that in the forefront Judaism, Christianity and Islam as ‘Abrahamic faiths’ and not as Judeo-Christian faith is presented. They claim that ‘The Torah, the New Testament, and the Quran all contain exceptional teachings instructing us to love God, to love one another, and to care for all people.’ Then they go a little further, stating that it is ‘crucial… that we honor both the universal as well as the particularly exclusivist teachings of each of our faith’s traditions.’ ( Although as a Christian, I have no problem with such statements, what I find is that many Muslims on these “Interfaith committees” are actually using the forum to their own propagation agenda, while the prominence of salvation through Jesus is shunned by them and many of the pastors and reverends attending these meetings just keep quite in the name of so-called ‘tolerance’ not even pointing out their reservation of the matter.

In these interfaith dialogues while it is talked how badly Muslims are treated in America, we hear rarely Muslims and other raising their voices on what goes on in Muslim majority countries against Christians, in losing their lives and belongings. In fact in the name of ‘Interfaith’ Muslims hold meetings in churches and synagogues to convince non-Muslims how good the Islamic ideology is. They go to the extent to invite attendees to perform some of the rituals and even are given Islamic polemic material showing that it is not Christianity, but Islam that should be followed.

As far as being loving and kind to each other that is indeed Biblical, but to allow a Muslim on a church platform to go on to do Islamic evangelism, is not Jesus, but Muhammad who is presented to be followed. Such a notion is a total negation of the gospel which declares that Jesus is the only way unto Salvation.

If you love Jesus and accept him as the only Savior, then it is of utmost importance that you, as his follower, should draw a line and state – this far is fine, but not beyond Biblical values. State clearly indeed I have to love as the Lord loves, but when it comes to the matter of Salvation, even God has drawn the line. There is only one name under heaven through whom we can be saved. He is Jesus. Be warned. The Scriptures is quite clear and warns us of ‘no other gospel’ to be accepted.