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).
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"
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
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