A Tale of Two Religions!


March, 2002

Dear Disciple of Jesus,

It has been reported that the fastest growing religion in America and the world is Islam. Approximately 1 out of every 6 people on the earth is a Moslem. This religion has influenced the news headlines in recent times from the topic of terrorism in the United States to wars in the Middle East and other places overseas. In fact, it seems to me that every place you find Islam, you also find war, blood, and death in the news. Have you ever wondered why?

Islam's founder was Mohammed who lived A.D. 570-633. I have been told that he visited different Christian groups in his merchant travels around the Middle East, and found so much variance in what they believed that it disturbed him and he abandoned any belief in Christianity. This is what led him to create the belief system now called Islam. In his geographic area of Saudi Arabia, there was a shrine at Kabbla containing hundreds of idols of "gods" — the chief of which was called Alilah. This Alilah was also called the "moon god" and "a god of war." I do not know Mohammed's personal sincerity in concluding that this Allah (as it was shortened to) was the "true God". But I do know that every Moslem mosque in the world has the "crescent moon" on its "high place" at the peak of the mosque (as well as on all Islamic flags and crests). Spiritual symbols on "high places" have always been Biblically significant.

Mohammed was illiterate. He said "an angel" (who he claimed was Gabriel) appeared to him and told him everything he should put into this religion contained in his Koran (or Quran). (How do you verify if an angel is telling the truth when he tells you his name?) This period of time in which the angel supposedly appeared to Mohammed is now revered each year by Moslems as the month of Ramadan during which they fast food and marital relations during the day (but apparently do anything they want at night). Mohammed's followers came to be called Moslems from the Arabic word muslim which means "true believer." The word Islam is also an Arabic word which means "submission" (purportedly to God's will).

Mohammed instituted the "Five Pillars of Islam" to define how to be a Moslem. (However, the first of the five practices is all that is really required to become a Moslem.) The five pillars are:

1) A person publicly declares (preferably before two other men) that, "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet."

2) Pray five times a day saying Koran verses in Arabic (preferably facing Mecca).

3) Give at least two and a half percent of one's income to benefit Moslems.

4) Fast food, drink, and marital relations during the day during the month of Ramadan (unless there are certain extenuating circumstances).

5) Make a "pilgrimage" to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at least once in a person's life (if one can afford to do it).

Because of the opposition Mohammed encountered to his new insistence that Arabs only worship this one "moon god" Alilah (instead of the hundreds of gods previously recognized), he experienced much violence over his lifetime. According to a famous Moslem scholar Al Suyuti in his book Asbab Alnuzul, when the number of Mohammed's followers were few, he was much more tolerant toward those who disagreed. This appears to be why there are many verses in the Koran that promote peaceful existence. However, when his followers increased to a multitude, Mohammed instructed them to "slay the idolaters [non-Moslems] where you find them" (Sura 9:5). If Islam is a tolerant, "peace-loving" religion, why do most all the Moslem nations outlaw Christian churches — and brutally persecute and kill any Christians? I've been told there are over 100 places in the Koran that instruct Moslems to harm "infidels" who will not convert to Islam. In the Koran, it says "those that make war against Allah and his apostle, and spread disorders in the land, shall be put to death, or crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off" (Sura 5:33). It appears that Islam is a "religion of peace" to fellow Moslems, but a "religion of death" to those who will not convert. But Moslems themselves have engaged in recent, bloody wars over differences in their own Islamic beliefs (for example, the 1980 -1988 Iraq-Iran war between Sunni and Shiite Moslem nations). I personally have a hard time seeing any peaceful co-existence in any Islamic group with anybody else. Plus, from the record of history, I think we should always be concerned with any person or group who wants to annihilate "the Jews" simply because they are Jews.

About 75% of the Koran is roughly drawn from the Bible and the other 25% was added by Mohammed. Mohammed instructed his followers to believe the Bible and what has been revealed to Moses and Jesus (Sura 29:46, 4:136, 3:84, as well as 2:53, 2:23, 4:163, 5:46). However, modern Moslems contend that Jews and Christians "corrupted" that same Bible. Then why did Mohammed tell them to believe it? And why do Arab and Islamic countries do anything they can to prevent the distribution of Bibles to their people? But to make matters worse, there are no less than a hundred verses in the Koran that contradict the Bible. For example, Sura 19:88 says, "those who say the Lord of mercy has begotten a Son preach a monstrous falsehood." ( This is in spite of the fact that Sura 3:45, 4:171, and 19:19-21 describes the whole process of God communicating to Mary how He bestowed His word and Spirit on her resulting in the gift of a Holy Son Jesus Christ the Apostle of God when as yet Mary was chaste and untouched by man.) The Bible says in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." There is a famous passage in the Koran quoted by Moslems in Sura 72:3-8 that states that God "has taken neither wife nor a son." However, a pastor I knew from Uganda named John Mukasa correctly pointed out to the Moslems there that, in context, this statement was being made by jinn (evil spirits) — who lie! Pointing out this fact enabled him to win many debates in Mosques and to lead hundreds of Ugandan Moslems to faith in Jesus Christ.

The Koran teaches that Allah can change or eliminate his ordinances (Sura 2:106). This is called "abrogation" in the world of Islam. However, the God of the Bible says, "I will not... alter the word that has gone out of my lips" (Psalm 89:34). So it is hard to conceive that the God of the Bible and the Koran are the same being. In addition, why would God reveal Himself in so many names in the Bible without ever mentioning Allah for 5,000 years of recorded history until Mohammed came along in A.D. 570? And why would God choose the Isaac descendants of Abraham (with eternal covenants) and say He would "bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you" (Genesis 12:3) — and then suddenly instruct the Moslems to kill them all? This is in spite of the fact the Moslems believe that Jews and Moslems are both worshiping the same God of Abraham — Moslems just think they have a different name for "God" plus one additional prophet. (In fact, since the God of the Bible gave us over a dozen names to know Him by in the Old Testament, why would He want to kill us all if we don't happen to use the one name that Moslems use?) And if Islamic fanatics actively killing non-Moslems is not what Islam is truly all about, then all the Moslem nations of the world should be united right now in a massive effort to hunt down and root out all the Moslem terrorists — because they sure are giving Islam a bad name to the rest of the world.

The Bible and Christianity have a tremendous number of ways that they can be proved to be true. And the Bible changes lives like no other book. It has quite a track record for changing murderers into model citizens, not the other way around. If any thinking person should be looking for a "religion" that promotes peace, love, and acceptance — they should pursue Jesus Christ and Christianity. Jesus lived a perfect example: both to follow & recommend to others with ease.

Presenting Reasons To Believe,

Dale & Judi Leander


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