There is a dangerous and unfounded effort by many church leaders to equate Jehovah God of Holy Scripture with Allah, the god of the Islamic religion. Such extreme ecumenicalism is not just plain wrong; it is totally unfair to Bible-believing Christians around the world. It is also unfair to millions of Arab Christians who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. This is not a matter of treating Muslim people wrong or persecuting them for their religious belief. Nothing is below the action of any genuine Christian more than to be unkind to a fellow citizen of our America or of another nation. We are all Americans and citizens of the world, and trying to blur the differences of our religious faith does nothing to stop prejudice. The fact: When you try to rob people of the distinction of what they believe, it only tends to enflame prejudice.
It is clear that Muhammad had an extremely good understanding of the Jewish and Christian beliefs but he clearly distorted them throughout his writing. Even his revelations were not revelations that had any semblance of Biblical unity. They were clearly the work of spirits, mental imbalance, or disease-induced fever. The very foundations of Muhammad’s early days were filled with raids on caravans of merchants and nearby communities, terrorist activities that included brutal slaughter of the male population, plus selling the women and children as slaves. He and his early converts were in every detail of their activity, terrorists, just as brutal as those that commandeered those planes over our Northeastern states. This certainly does not suggest that every Muslim has the same mindset.
I want to establish the sheer facts of the religion called Islam. My primary information is from the The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 15, Volumes 22 & 25. This set of encyclopedias was chosen to make sure my information was unbiased. I have no desire to present a false picture of this religion. The Arab people, as a distinct part of the world’s population, must not be treated unfairly. They are creatures of creation by the Heavenly Father. They are in every sense of the word endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights and to choose their religion is one of the choices they must make. We must not persecute or war against them because of their choices. Neither should we try to blend the religions together as though there is no difference. Bible believers in America will not be a part of such a mindless blurring of our faith.
Foundational Facts of Islamic History
The foundations of Islam are dark indeed. The term Muslim means someone that submits himself or herself to Allah. The followers of the Islamic religion are Muslims. Muhammad was the founder of Islam. Actually, the Islam religion was a breakaway from an existing religion with a pantheon of gods and the Kab’ah (shrine) at Mecca had many idols worshipped by the locals and visitors. A description of this shrine and its deities can be researched from many sources. Here is a description from my chosen source. “Thus Mecca became an attractive site for large trade fairs that coincided with pilgrimage (hajj) to a local shrine, the Kab’ah. The Ka’bah housed the deities of visitors as well as the Meccans’ supra-tribal creator and covenant-guaranteeing deity, called Allah. Most Arabs probably viewed this deity as one among many, possessing powers not specific to a particular tribe; others may have identified this figure with the God of the Jews and Christians.” (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 15, Volume 22, p. 104.)
It is clear that Allah was a part of the large pantheon of gods and the idea of making Allah a monotheistic god was apparently Muhammad’s decision. There is nothing to suggest that Allah had a relationship to Jehovah God of the Bible. In fact, Allah had previously been worshipped as having three daughters that were gods themselves known as “Allah’s Trinity.” Notice this description. “Where more complex settlement patterns had developed, however, widely shared deities had already emerged, such as the ‘trinity’ of Allah’s ‘daughters’ known as al-Lat, Manat, and al-Uzzah.” (Ibid., p. 105.)
When Muhammad first suggested that Allah was the one and only god, he faced incredible resistance and this was one of the first schisms that caused the Meccans to break with him. He was also a threat to their authority because of his visions and the respect of most citizens in those times for superstitious activities.
Muhammad is said to have had visions and revelations almost all of his adult life from about AD 610 until his death. At first he was disturbed by the experiences he had. His first wife, much older than Muhammad, is said to have encouraged him and her cousin began to help him write down the revelations. This cousin, named Waraguh, is reported to having been a Christian. The general condition of Muhammad during these visions plainly shows from a Biblical point that they were demonic instead of Christian. The first rule for a vision or revelation in the Christian community is absolute harmony with the Bible. While there are some ideas in Muhammad’s revelation that have principles of Bible truth the majority of his thoughts fail miserably.
First, let’s look at his physical conditions when receiving his revelations. “In his later experiences of receiving messages there was normally no vision. (Occasionally there were physical concomitants, such as perspiring on a cold day, and these gave rise to the suggestion, now agreed to be unwarranted, that he was an epileptic.) Sometimes he heard a noise like a bell but apparently never a voice. The essence of such an experience was that he found a verbal message in his heart – that is, in his conscious mind.” (Ibid., p. 2.)
As the traditions of the Islamic religion are described, there was a very clear explanation of Muhammad’s revelations. Nothing in these revelations has a Biblical precedence. While Gabriel is credited, the explanation shows nothing but a spirit of some nature. “The angel Gabriel brought the Qur’an down to the Prophet’s ‘heart.’ Gabriel is represented by the Qur’an as a spirit, but the Prophet could sometimes see and hear him. According to early traditions, the Prophet’s revelations occurred in a state of trance when his normal consciousness was in abeyance. This state was accompanied by heavy sweating. The Qur’an itself makes it clear that the revelations brought with them a sense of extraordinary weight: ‘If we were to send this Quar’an down on a mountain, you would see it split asunder out of fear of God.’” (Ibid., p. 7.)
All of this is described as coming from a “Mother’s Book.” This laid the foundation for the Islamic people to believe that the revelations of Muhammad are infallible. “This phenomenon at the same time was accompanied by an unshakable conviction that the message was from God, and the Qur’an describes itself as the transcript of a heavenly ‘Mother Book’ written on a ‘Preserved Tablet.’ The conviction was of such an intensity that the Qur’an categorically denies that it is from any earthly source, for in that case it would be liable to ‘manifold doubts and oscillations.’” (Ibid., p. 7.) The presence of sweating, a state of trance where normal consciousness is absent, heaviness upon the body, all suggest a spirit indeed, but not a spirit or angel from Jehovah God. These are the kinds of activity always associated with evil and false demons operating for Satan to deceive and destroy the true faith of Holy Scripture.
Jesus Christ: Not The Divine Son of God
This point would create no problem for Orthodox Jews because we are all aware that they reject Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. Yet, for the Christian, it clearly reveals the impossibility of Allah being Jehovah God. Here is a plain statement, eliminating the trinity of Jehovah God and denying the Sonship of Christ. “The doctrine about God in the Qur’an is rigorously monotheistic: God is one and unique; he has no partner and no equal. Trinitarianism, the Christian belief that God is three persons in one substance, is vigorously repudiated. Muslims believe that there are no intermediaries between God and the creation that he brought into being by his sheer command: ‘Be.’” (Ibid., p. 6.)
They do teach that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, but was saved from crucifixion from the Jews by God. “Not only was Jesus born from the Virgin Mary, but God also saved him from crucifixion at the hands of the Jews.” (Ibid., p. 7.) They believed that Jesus was a prophet, but that “All prophets are human and never part of divinity; they are simply recipients of revelation from God.” (Ibid., p. 7.)
Muhammad Was A Terrorist
No one can follow Muhammad to the letter without becoming a terrorist. From the very beginning, monies to fund his activities were gathered by raids on merchants and communities. In describing Muhammad’s followers at the very beginning of his development at Medina, we see this description. “A few emigrants carried on trade in the local market run by a Jewish clan. Others, with the approval of Muhammad, set out in normal Arab fashion on razzias (ghazawat, ‘raids’) in the hope of intercepting Meccan caravans passing near Medina on their way to Syria. Muhammad himself led three such razzias in 623. They all failed, probably because traitors betrayed the Muslim movements to the enemy. At last, in January 624, a small band of men was sent eastward with sealed orders telling them to proceed to Nakhlah, near Mecca, and attack a caravan from Yemen. This they did successfully, and in doing so they violated pagan ideas of sanctity – thereby making the Meccans aware of the seriousness of the threat from Muhammad.” (Ibid., p. 3.)
Further description is as following, “In March 624 he was able to lead about 315 men on a razzia to attack a wealthy Meccan caravan returning from Syria. The caravan, led by Abu Sufyan, the head of the Umayyah clan, eluded the Muslims by devious routes and forced marches. Abu Jahl, the head of the Makhzum clan, however, leading a supporting force of perhaps 800 men, wanted to teach Muhammad a lesson and did not withdraw. On March 15, 624, near a place called Badr, the two forces found themselves in a situation, perhaps contrived by Muhammad, from which neither could withdraw without disgrace. In the ensuing battle at least 45 Meccans were killed, including Abu Jahl and other leading men, and nearly 70 taken prisoner, while only 14 Muslims died. To Muhammad this appeared to be a divine vindication of his prophethood, and he and all the Muslims were greatly elated.” (Ibid., p. 3.)
We can hardly comprehend a great prophet receiving direct revelation from God, who at the same time must fund his new religion by stealing and robbing innocent people. The terrorist activities did not end with just robbing and stealing but also unwarranted slaughter and the selling of slaves resulting from his raids. Once Muhammad had secured his control of Medina he proceeded to reign terror on the citizens that refused his religion. “After the siege of Medina, Muhammad attacked the Jewish clan of Qurayzah, which had probably been intriguing against him. When they surrendered, the men were all executed and the women and children sold as slaves.” (Ibid., p. 4.)
Please note that he killed the men after they surrendered and then sold their wives and children as slaves. Over and over you find these kind of terrorist tactics characterizing his lifestyle and methods. The Jews could not accept Muhammad’s new religion so they were seen as enemies almost from the first day. Soon to follow were the Christians and their communities. While he had made some friends among Christians, that soon turned to hostility. “Some of the tribes near Syria were Christian and adhered to the Byzantines; chiefly as a result of this, Muhammad’s earlier friendship for the Christians, notably those of Ethiopia, changed to hostility.” (Ibid., p. 4.)
Holy Warfare (Jihad) From The Beginning
Deny it as we may try, “Holy War” or “Jihad” is a fundamental concept in the Islamic religion. Certainly, there are Islamic people that reject that idea. National leaders among the Islamic nations vary in how they see this issue and none of us will know the final purpose of one and all. Yet, the idea is fundamental to this faith if words mean anything as history verifies. Look at this expression again from the Encyclopedia Britannica. “However much the concept and practice of holy warfare is repugnant to many minds today, in the context of Islam it implies a sensitivity to evil and a conviction that evil has to be resisted and overcome in a total dedication.” (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 15, Volume 25, p. 701.)
The facts are clear. “Although greatly maligned by medieval European scholars – whose opinions still retain some influence – Muhammad came to be viewed more objectively in the 19th century. Some of the evidence against him, such as his connivance at assassinations and his approval of the execution of the men of a Jewish clan, are historical matters that cannot be denied.” (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 15, Volume 22, p. 4.)
The idea of “jihad” comes clearly to the front row in the Islamic theology because of this “community concept.” Listen to this intellectual description of the Islamic concept. “With this socioeconomic doctrine cementing the bond of faith, the idea of a closely knit community of the faithful who are declared to be ‘brothers unto each other’ emerges. Muslims are described as ‘the middle community bearing witness on mankind,’ ‘the best community produced for mankind,’ whose function it is ‘to enjoin good and forbid evil’ (Qur’an). Cooperation and ‘good advice’ within the community are emphasized, and a person who deliberately tries to harm the interests of the community is to be given exemplary punishment. Opponents from within the community are to be fought and reduced with armed force, if issues cannot be settled by persuasion and arbitration.
“Because the mission of the community is to ‘enjoin good and forbid evil’ so that ‘there is no mischief and corruption’ on earth, the doctrine of jihad, in view of the constitution of the community as the power base, is the logical outcome. For the early community it was a basic religious concept. Jihad, or holy war, means an active struggle using armed force whenever necessary. The object of jihad is not the conversion of individuals to Islam but rather the gaining of political control over the collective affairs of societies to run them in accordance with the principles of Islam. Individual conversions occur as a by-product of this process when the power structure passes into the hands of the Muslim community.” (Ibid., p. 8.) This entire idea is scary indeed.
Humankind: Some More Human Than Others
There is no other major religion in the world that sees certain races of humans as of less value than their own kind. Yet, this is very true within the Islamic theology. One of the big points in the Encyclopedia Britannica was concerning the Islamic view of man. It stated, “According to the Qur’an, God created two apparently parallel species of creatures, man and jinn, the one from clay and the other from fire. About the jinn, however, the Qur’an says little, although it is implied that the jinn are endowed with reason and responsibility but are more prone to evil than man. It is with man that the Qur’an, which describes itself as a guide for the human race, is centrally concerned. The Judeo-Christian story of the Fall of Adam (the first man) is accepted, but the Qur’an states that God forgave Adam his act of disobedience, which is not viewed in the Qur’an (in contradistinction to its understanding in the Christian doctrine) as original sin. ” (Ibid., p. 7.)
This view that there is a class of “Jinns” (other humans, not Islamic) can lay the foundation for calling Jews, monkeys and pigs as we have been hearing in Israel. How far this prejudice reaches in the Muslim communities no one really knows that I have found. You cannot look at the world’s situation without wondering how much of this attitude is affecting the way men think.
Our purpose in this article is not to create dark emotions toward Arab people. In fact, this article has nothing to do with Arab people, but only with the Islamic religion. Millions of Arabs are American citizens, as well as many spread around the world. A tremendous number are friends of Israel, flag waving Americans, Bible-believing Christians, and indeed wonderful citizens of the world communities.
As already stated, there must not be ill treatments of those who believe in Allah. It is wrong to use your faith to try and impose it on someone against his or her will. The citizens of Islamic countries should be absolutely free to choose the Christian faith, while citizens of any country should be free in the religion of their choice. The Word of God offers no hope of salvation to anyone that does not make his or her own personal choice to receive Jesus Christ. Conversion by cohesion is not possible. You would not have a convert; you would have a slave.
If you are a Bible-believing Christian, it is your responsibility to defend the truth of one God, our Heavenly Father, and one Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you compromise this point, there is nothing left worth believing in.
Joseph R. Chambers