In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The article was collected by Ummu Mariam.
Verily, all praises and thanks are due to Allah, we praise Him, seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our souls and evils of our deeds. One whom Allah guides none can lead him astray, and one whom He misguides, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAAS) is His servant and His messenger.
"O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allah)]." (Al-Qur‘aan 3:102 - interpretation of the meaning)
"O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you." (Al-Qur‘aan 4:1 - interpretation of the meaning)
"O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAAS) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise)." (Al-Qur‘aan 33:70-71 - interpretation of the meaning)
Ammaa ba'd (as for what follows), the best of speech is the speech of Allah that is the Book of Allah. The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAAS). Of all matters, the worst are innovations; and everything new is an innovation, and every innovation is a deviation, and every deviation leads to Hell-fire.
Innocence refers to the state in which all the slaves of God are created; that is free from disbelief and having a natural inclination to the worship of Allah Alone. Moreover this fact can be emphasized with the known saying, which states that someone is "as innocent as a baby"!
According to Islam, human being is not born in "original sin"; instead he is born clean and sinless, and is set as God's vicegerent on earth. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Say: 'Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing.' And it is He Who has made you generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth. And He has raised you in ranks, some above others that He may try you in that which He has bestowed on you. Surely, your Lord is Swift in retribution, and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Al-Qur‘aan 6:164-165)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "He (Allah) it is Who has made you successors generations after generations in the earth, so whosoever disbelieves (in Islamic Monotheism) on him will be his disbelief. And the disbelief of the disbelievers adds nothing but hatred of their Lord. And the disbelief of the disbelievers adds nothing but loss." (Al-Qur‘aan 35:39)
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (RAA) narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily Allah is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act…" (Muslim)
The belief is an innate character of humans
Every child is born on the fitrah, an innate disposition towards virtue, knowledge and goodness. Islam is the primordial religion (ad-diin-ul-haneef), which seeks to return man to his original, true nature in which he is in harmony with other creatures, and in this nature he is inspired to do good, and confirms the Oneness of God. Abu Huraira (RAA) narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "Every child is born on the fitrah (with a true faith i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone), but his parents convert him to Judaism or to Nazarene or to Magianism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" Then Abu Huraira (RAA) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning): "…Allah's fitrah (i.e. Allah's Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in khalqillaah (i.e. the Religion of Allah Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not." (Al-Qur‘aan 30:30) (Al-Bukhari)
All the crimes of spreading immorality and committing acts of disbelief that happen among the sons of Adam are the works of Satan in order to turn people away from the right religion and to corrupt them. Satan succeeded in making men to take gods to be worshipped besides Allah for the first time, when righteous men from the people of Noah (AS) who were loved by their people died, so Satan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to call those statues by their names so that they may be reminded of them and thereby follow them in righteous conduct. Then Satan suggested to the next generation that they should worship these idols besides Allah and he whispered to them that this is what their forefathers used to do! Ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) relates: "Indeed these five (were) names of righteous men from the people of Noah. When they died Satan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to place these statues in their places of gathering as a reminder of them, so they did this. However, none from amongst them worshipped these statues, until when they (who initiated them) died and the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next generation) began to worship them." (Al-Bukhari)
Thus, Allah (SWT) sent His first messenger, Noah (AS), to command his people to worship Allah Alone, but only a few responded to his call. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, We sent Noah to his people (saying): 'Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment.' He said: 'O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you, that you should worship Allah (Alone), fear (be dutiful to) Him, and obey me, He (Allah) will forgive you of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of Allah when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but knew.' He said: 'O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day (i.e. secretly and openly to accept the doctrine of Islamic Monotheism), but all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight (from the truth). And verily, every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. Then verily, I called to them openly (aloud). Then verily, I proclaimed to them in public, and I have appealed to them in private. I said (to them): 'Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance, and give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.'' What is the matter with you, that [you fear not Allah (His punishment), and] you hope not for reward (from Allah or you believe not in His Oneness). While He has created you in (different) stages. See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another and has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp? And Allah has brought you forth from the (dust of) earth. Afterwards He will return you into it (the earth), and bring you forth (again on the Day of Resurrection). And Allah has made for you the earth a wide expanse. That you may go about therein in broad roads. Noah said: 'My Lord! They have disobeyed me, and followed one whose wealth and children give him no increase but loss. And they have plotted a mighty plot. And they have said: 'You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwaa', nor Yaghuuth, nor Ya'uuq, nor Nasr (these are the names of the idols).' And indeed they have led many astray. And (O Allah): Grant no increase to the dhaalimuun (polytheists, wrongdoers, and disbelievers) save error.' Because of their sins they were drowned, then were made to enter the Fire. And they found none to help them instead of Allah. And Noah said: 'My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth! If You leave them, they will mislead Your servants, and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers. My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. And to the dhaalimuun (polytheists, wrongdoers, and disbelievers) grant You no increase but destruction!'" (Al-Qur‘aan 71)
This is the call that Allah's first messenger, Noah (AS), conveyed to his people. However, the Christians' Bible describes Noah as a drunk whose son Ham saw his nakedness! "And he (Noah) drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without." (Gen. 9:21-22)
The insults against Allah's prophets mentioned in the Bible are not limited only on Noah (AS); instead, some other prophets are wrongly accused, for instance:
A claim and accusation that Lot's daughters lied with their father (committed incest) after making him drunk of wine! "And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our Father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day." (Gen. 19:31-38)
A claim that Jacob dealt with his brother Esau in mean selfish and cunning way, and that he conspired with his mother to deceive the aged patriarch Isaac for Jacob would be blessed before the Lord! "And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me. And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank. And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee. And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing." (Gen. 27:1-35)
A claim that Aaron made an idol to be worshipped (a molten calf) from the gold that he received from the children of Israel! "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves." (Ex. 32:1-7)
A claim that David danced naked before the people and before the Lord! "Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour." (2Sam. 6:20-22)
Another claim against David is that he committed adultery with his neighbour's wife! "And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child." (2Sam. 11:2-5)
What a strange punishment! An adulterer is punished by making others to be victims of adultery, despite the fact that in other places of the Bible the punishment for an adulterer is stoning to death! "And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you. For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people. And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister, nor of thy father's sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. And if a man shall lie with his uncle's wife, he hath uncovered his uncle's nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. And if a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless. Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them." (Lev. 20:8-23)
"And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned…" (John 8:3-5)
A claim that Solomon's wives turned his heart after other gods! "For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father." (1Kin. 11:4-6)
The children of Israel altered the heavenly books revealed to their prophets, and changed their religion. Their arrogance, envy towards the believers, as well as desires and whims, make them remain firm upon their mischief and disbelief. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent Messengers to them. Whenever there came to them a Messenger with what they themselves desired not - a group of them they called liars, and others among them they killed." (Al-Qur‘aan 5:70)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And indeed, We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of Messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear signs and supported him with rooh-ul-qudus [the holy spirit, i.e. Gabriel (AS)]. Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not, you grew arrogant? Some you disbelieved and some you killed. And they say: 'Our hearts are wrapped (i.e. do not hear or understand Allah's Word).' Nay, Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so little is that which they believe. And when there came to them (the Jews), a Book (this Qur‘aan) from Allah confirming what is with them [the Tauraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], although aforetime they had invoked Allah [for coming of Muhammad (SAAS)] in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved, then when there came to them that which they had recognised, they disbelieved in it. So let the Curse of Allah be on the disbelievers. How bad is that for which they have sold their ownselves, that they should disbelieve in that which Allah has revealed (al-Qur‘aan), grudging that Allah should reveal of His Grace unto whom He will of His servants. So they have drawn on themselves wrath upon wrath. And for the disbelievers, there is a disgraceful torment." (Al-Qur‘aan 2:87-90)
The children of Israel broke their covenant, rejected the truth, killed the Prophets unjustly, uttered a grave false charge against Mary that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse, said in boast that they killed Jesus, son of Mary (AS), and changed the words from their right places (altered their scriptures). Even the Bible testifies about their mischief and hypocrisy, and mentions how they became shifted from "God's chosen nation" to nation who earned God's anger. "Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward." (Is. 1:4)
"O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets." (Is. 10:5-6)
When Jesus (AS) was sent to the children of Israel, a group of them believed in him while most of them disbelieved. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "O you who believe! Be you helpers (in the Cause) of Allah as said Jesus, son of Mary, to al-hawaariyyuun (the disciples): 'Who are my helpers (in the Cause) of Allah?' Al-hawaariyyuun (the disciples) said: 'We are Allah's helpers (i.e. we will strive in His Cause!)'. Then a group of the Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved. So We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, and they became the victorious (uppermost)." (Al-Qur‘aan 61:14)
Among the children of Israel who disbelieved in Jesus (AS) were the Nazarenes. According to some sources the Nazarenes are referred as the earliest Christians, sometimes they are claimed to be the followers of Jesus (AS), other times, the terms Nazarenes and Christians are used synonymously, and there are times that the Christianity is called a Jewish heresy and the Nazarenes are called Jewish Christians! "Nazarenes (religion), in the New Testament, followers of Jesus Christ (see Acts 24:5). The earliest Christians were sometimes referred to as Nazarenes, particularly by their Jewish contemporaries. In later Church history, the term was applied to a sect of Jewish Christians of the 4th century who observed Jewish ritual, including circumcision, the Sabbath, and the dietary laws. They also believed in the divinity of Christ and the apostleship of St Paul. The Nazarenes differed from another group of Jewish Christians, the Ebionites, in both their beliefs and in their refusal to require that Gentile Christians observe the Jewish ritual." (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia 2000)
"Nazarene, in the New Testament, a title applied to Jesus and, later, to those who followed his teachings (Acts 24:5). In the Greek text there appear two forms of the word: the simple form, Nazarenos, meaning "of Nazareth," and the peculiar form, Nazoraios. Before its association with the locality, this latter term may have referred to a Jewish sect of "observants," or "devotees," and was later transferred to the Christians. The term Nazarene is also applied to a Syrian Judeo-Christian sect of the 4th century AD. Although they accepted the divinity of Christ and his supernatural birth, the Nazarenes also maintained strict observance of Jewish laws and customs, a practice that had been dropped by the majority of Jewish Christians. They used a version of the Gospel in Aramaic called the Gospel According to the Hebrews, or the Gospel of the Nazarenes. Their relation to the Judeo-Christian sect of the Ebionites remains uncertain. Arabs and Jews today employ the word Nazarene as a general designation for those of the Christian faith." (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2000)
"Christianity was more positively disposed toward Hellenism than was Pharisaism, particularly under the leadership of Paul, a thoroughly Hellenized Jew. When Paul proclaimed his antinomianism (against Torah observance as a means of salvation) many Jewish followers of Jesus became Jewish Christians and continued to observe the Torah. Their two main groupings were the Ebionites--probably to be identified with those called minim, or "sectaries," in the Talmud--who accepted Jesus as the Messiah but denied his divinity, and the Nazarenes, who regarded Jesus as both Messiah and God, but regarded the Torah as binding upon Jews alone." (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2000)
According to Dictionary.com Nazarene is defined as "a native or inhabitant of Nazareth; Jesus; a member of a sect of early Christians of Jewish origin who retained many of the prescribed Jewish observances; a member of an American Protestant denomination, the Church of the Nazarene, that follows many of the doctrines of early Methodism".
After studying the subject it becomes clear that both Nazarenes and Christians exist, and that the Nazarene was before the forming of the Pauline movement (Christianity). The Nazarenes were a separate group who were not "Christians". Nazarene is not a "Christian" faith at all. Unlike Christians, the Nazarenes do not believe that the Law had been nailed to the Cross. Nazarenes claim to be Torah observant Jews, declaring that the law had never been abrogated by Jesus, and that Paul was a deceiver who had perverted Jesus' message. "The Nazarenes do not differ in any essential thing from [the Orthodox Jews], since they practice the customs and doctrines prescribed by Jewish Law; except that they believe in Christ.
They believe in the resurrection of the dead, and that the universe was created by God. They preach that God is One, and that Jesus Christ is his Son ... They are very learned in the Hebrew language. They read the Law … Therefore they differ … from the true Christians because they fulfil till now [such] Jewish rites as the circumcision, Sabbath, and others." [The early Church Father Epiphanius in his doctrinal book: "Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies)" Panarion 29.]
On the other hand, Pauline movement (Christianity) was founded by one man, Saul (Paul), who expounded his own theology from which developed the doctrine called Christianity. The term "Christian," which basically means a "Messianist" (Masiihi), was first used in Greek speaking areas. According to the Bible the term Christians was first used in Antioch to describe the followers of Paul. "Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." (Acts 11:25-26)
People differ about the identity of Paul of Tarsus (nowadays city in southern Turkey). Some consider him as a thoroughly Hellenised Jew. Others think he was a Greek. However, all agree about his evil intension to cancel the law and attempt to snuff out other religions in order to lead astray the Gentiles by spreading among them his Hellenistic thoughts. There are also others who exalt him until that limit that they worship him, only because of his claimed vision of Jesus on his journey to Damascus, while before he was "…breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord…" (Acts 9:1)
"They declare that he (Paul) was a Greek ... He went up to Jerusalem, they say, and when he had spent some time there, he was seized with a passion to marry the daughter of the priest. For this reason he became a proselyte [through the Sadducee movement, hence his working for the Temple police] and was circumcised. Then, when he failed to get the girl, he flew into a rage and wrote against circumcision and against the Sabbath and the Law." (Epiphanius, Panarion, 30.16-9 as quoted in The Mythmaker by Hyam Maccoby, p 182)
Thus, Paul became an apostate from the Torah and founder of a new religion — Christianity, whose descendants are those, who are considered as "the Christians" of today.
Paul and his Christianity had a free reign outside Palestine among the gentiles, where it flourished. The development of Pauline Christianity took an anti-Semitic bias. As Christianity began to develop in the major cities of the Roman world: in Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, Ephesus and Corinth, the infusion of pagan ideas into these churches made the Christians to try to assimilate or snuff out other variations of faith that contradicted them, especially when Christianity rose to world-wide power and dominion as the "assimilation arm" of the Roman Empire.
Although Christianity prevailed both numerically and by means of military conquest, it was by no means the faith which Jesus (AS) brought to the children of Israel. Instead it was the Pauline movement, which was constituted of gentiles.
Christianity was a Hellenistic anti-Law sect, which developed into a "Christian" religion and continued its development especially during the time of the Roman Empire in the church councils, which have formed it as it is known nowadays. It is divided into groups or denominations that differ in some areas of belief and practice. Its main divisions are the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant churches. In addition to these churches there are several independent churches as well as numerous sects throughout the world!
The Nazarenes differ from both the Jews and the Christians. They do not agree with the Jews because of their belief in Christ while exceeding the limits in dignifying him, nor with the Christians because they are trained in the Law: they practise circumcision, the Sabbath, and other things. It says that they are very much hated by the Jews who pronounce curses and maledictions over them.
Christianity could also be called Messianism. According to Dictionary.com Messianism is defined as a "belief in a messiah (as the saviour of mankind); belief that a particular cause or movement is destined to triumph or save the world".
In this connection, we would like to point out that ahl-ul-Kitaab (the People of the Book), the Koranic term which is often translated as Jews and Christians should in fact be translated as Jews and Nazarenes. In the Qur‘aan and the Sunnah there occurs no mention of the terms Christianity [Messianism (Masiihiyyah)] or Christians [Messianists (Masiihiyyuun)], instead the terms Nazarene (Nasraaniyyah) and Nazarenes (Nasaaraa) are used. Thus, for the interpretation of the meaning of the Noble Qur‘aan and ahaadiith, we will use for the Arabic words Nasraaniyyah and Nasaaraa the terms Nazarene and Nazarenes respectively, but as for the usual text we will continue using the same term Christians for whomsoever deviated from the unity of God and claims to hold by the religion that follows Jesus Christ's teachings.
It is noteworthy that Jesus (AS) did not name his followers as Nazarenes or Christians; instead they were referred to as disciples and Muslims who submitted to the will of their Creator. "'And I (Jesus) have come confirming that which was before me of the Tauraat (Torah), and to make lawful to you (the Children of Israel) part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me. Truly, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path.' Then when Jesus came to know of their disbelief, he said: 'Who will be my helpers in Allah's Cause?' Al-hawaariyyuun (the disciples) said: 'We are the helpers of Allah (i.e. we will strive in His Cause!); we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah). Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger (Jesus); so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth, i.e. laa ilaaha illa Allah - none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).'" (Al-Qur‘aan 3:50-53 - interpretation of the meaning)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And when I (Allah) inspired al-hawaaryyuun (the disciples of Jesus) to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: 'We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 5:111)
Allah sent His Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) with a message which is complete in every respect; He (TWT) has included in it all the basic principles which had been sent down to all the earlier prophets. Allah (SWT) did not only confirm by His Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) what was revealed before of the scriptures, but also showed through him where the People of the Book (Jews and Nazarenes) had gone astray from the right path. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And We have sent down to you [O Muhammad (SAAS)] the Book (this Qur‘aan) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures). So judge among them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you…" (Al-Qur‘aan 5:48)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, this Qur‘aan narrates to the Children of Israel most of that in which they differ. And truly, it (this Qur‘aan) is a guide and a mercy for the believers." (Al-Qur‘aan 27:76-77)
Thus, the insults and accusations against Allah's chosen servants (Prophets) mentioned in the Bible are disproved in the Qur'aan which confirms their good characters, piety and righteousness. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And mention in the Book (al-Qur‘aan) Abraham. Verily, he was a man of truth, a Prophet. When he said to his father: 'O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything? O my father! Verily, there has come to me of the knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the Straight Path. O my father! Worship not Satan. Verily, Satan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious (Allah). O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious (Allah) should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Satan (in the Hell-fire).' He (the father) said: 'Do you reject my gods, O Abraham? If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely (before I punish you).' Abraham said: 'Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily, He is unto me Ever Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord and I hope that I shall not be unblest in my invocation to my Lord.' So when he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped besides Allah, We gave him Isaac and Jacob, and each one of them We made a Prophet. And We gave them of Our Mercy (a good provision in plenty), and We granted them honour on the tongues (of all the nations, i.e. everybody remembers them with a good praise). And mention in the Book (this Qur‘aan) Moses. Verily, he was chosen and he was a Messenger (and) a Prophet. And We called him from the right side of the Mount, and made him draw near to Us for a talk with him (Moses). And We granted him his brother Aaron, (also) a Prophet, out of Our Mercy. And mention in the Book (al-Qur‘aan) Ishmael. Verily, he was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet. And he used to enjoin on his family and his people as-salaah (the prayers) and the zakaah, and his Lord was pleased with him. And mention in the Book (al-Qur‘aan) Enoch. Verily, he was a man of truth, (and) a Prophet. And We raised him to a high station. Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Noah, and of the offspring of Abraham and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Gracious (Allah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping." (Al-Qur‘aan 19:41-58)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "'Salaam (peace) be upon Noah (from Us) among the 'aalamiin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!' Verily, thus We reward the muhsinuun (good-doers). Verily, he (Noah) was one of Our believing servants." (Al-Qur‘aan 37:79-81)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And We rescued him (Abraham) and Lot to the land which We have blessed for the 'aalamiin (mankind and jinn). And We bestowed upon him (Abraham) Isaac, and (a grandson) Jacob. Each one We made righteous. And We made them leaders, guiding (mankind) by Our Command, and We revealed to them the doing of good deeds, performing as-salaah (the five compulsory prayers), and the giving of az-zakaah (poor due), and of Us (Alone) they were the worshippers. And (remember) Lot, We gave him hukm (right judgement of the affairs and Prophethood) and (religious) knowledge, and We saved him from the town (folk) who practised al-khabaa‘ith (evil, wicked and filthy deeds, etc.). Verily, they were a people given to evil, and were faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). And We admitted him to Our Mercy; truly, he was of the righteous." (Al-Qur‘aan 21:71-75)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And We bestowed upon him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, each of them We guided, and before him, We guided Noah, and among his progeny David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron. Thus do We reward al-muhsinuun (the good-doers). And Zachariya, and John and Jesus and Elias, each one of them was of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha, and Jonah and Lot, and each one of them We preferred above the 'aalamiin [mankind and jinn (of their times)]. And also some of their fathers and their progeny and their brethren, We chose them, and We guided them to the Straight Path." (Al-Qur‘aan 6:84-87)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And remember Our servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, (all) owners of strength (in worshipping Us) and (also) of religious understanding. Verily, We did choose them by granting them (a good thing, i.e.) the remembrance of the home (in the Hereafter and they used to make the people remember it, and also they used to invite the people to obey Allah and to do good deeds for the Hereafter). And they are with Us, verily, of the chosen and the best! And remember Ishmael, Elisha, and Isaiah, all are among the best. This is a Reminder. And verily, for the muttaqoon (the pious) is a good final return (Paradise)." (Al-Qur‘aan 38:45-49)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And, indeed We gave Our Grace to Moses and Aaron. And We saved them and their people from the great distress, and helped them, so that they became the victors; and We gave them the clear Scripture; and guided them to the Right Path. And We left for them (a goodly remembrance) among the later generations: 'Salaam (peace) be upon Moses and Aaron!' Verily, thus do We reward the muhsinuun (good-doers). Verily, they were two of Our believing servants." (Al-Qur‘aan 37:114-122)
Allah, the Exalted, says in the Qur‘aan that Aaron (AS) warned the children of Israel against worshipping the calf, but his people judged him weak and were about to kill him. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "'And what made you hasten from your people, O Moses?' He said: 'They are close on my footsteps, and I hastened to You, O my Lord, that You might be pleased.' (Allah) said: 'Verily, We have tried your people in your absence, and as-Saamirii has led them astray.' Then Moses returned to his people in a state of anger and sorrow. He said: 'O my people! Did not your Lord promise you a fair promise? Did then the promise seem to you long in coming? Or did you desire that wrath should descend from your Lord on you, that you broke your promise to me (i.e. by disbelieving in Allah and worshipping the calf)?' They said: 'We broke not the promise to you, of our own will, but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the (Pharaoh's) people, then we cast them (into the fire), and that was what as-Saamirii suggested.' Then he took out (of the fire) for them (a statue of) a calf which seemed to low. They said: 'This is your ilaah (god), and the ilaah (god) of Moses, but he (Moses) has forgotten (his god).' Did they not see that it could not return them a word (for answer), and that it had no power either to harm them or to do them good? And Aaron indeed had said to them beforehand: 'O my people! You are being tried in this, and verily, your Lord is (Allah) the Most Gracious, so follow me and obey my order.' They said: 'We will not stop worshipping it (i.e. the calf), until Moses returns to us.' (Moses) said: 'O Aaron! What prevented you when you saw them going astray; that you followed me not (according to my advice to you)? Have you then disobeyed my order?' He (Aaron) said: 'O son of my mother! Seize (me) not by my beard, nor by my head! Verily, I feared lest you should say: 'You have caused a division among the Children of Israel, and you have not respected my word!''" (Al-Qur‘aan 20:83-94)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And when Moses returned to his people, angry and grieved, he said: 'What an evil thing is that which you have done (i.e. worshipping the calf) during my absence. Did you hasten and go ahead as regards the matter of your Lord (you left His worship)?' And he threw down the Tablets and seized his brother by (the hair of) his head and dragged him towards him. Aaron said: 'O son of my mother! Indeed the people judged me weak and were about to kill me, so make not the enemies rejoice over me, nor put me amongst the people who are dhaalimuun (wrongdoers).' Moses said: 'O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother, and admit us into Your Mercy, for you are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 7:150-151)
God's prophets are infallible and free from flaws of character!
Allah's prophets could not behave with ingratitude, treachery, or in other similar ways. In the Qur‘aan we are told about the story of Allah's prophet Jonah (AS) who was sent to the people of Nineveh, modern Mosul in Iraq, to call them to the worship of Allah, the One, but they refused. After Allah's prophet Jonah (AS) was rejected, he denounced Allah's punishment on them and left them. The prophet Jonah (AS) should have stuck to his post and wait for Allah's command but he was hasty, and went off to take a ship.
As a punishment for his action, he was caught in a storm and thrown into the sea after the lot fell on him, in order to save the other passengers. He was swallowed by a fish, and he repented in his living prison and so was forgiven after he cried through the depths of darkness saying: "None has the right to be worshipped but You O Allah, Glorified and Exalted are You above all that evil they associate with You. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers." Had he not repented, he could not have got out of the stomach of that creature which had swallowed him, until the Day of Resurrection, when all the dead will be resurrected. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from evil and work righteousness)." (Al-Qur‘aan 21:88)
Jonah (AS) was chosen by Allah's Grace and Mercy to be His Prophet to the people of Nineveh, but he suffered his punishment because he lost a little bit of patience and he left his people without Allah's permission! What about if he had fallen in such grievous sins of which God's chosen people are accused in the Bible! Then what would his destiny have been!
The people of Nineveh were also forgiven, for they repented, too. This is Allah's goodness and mercy upon His servants who show repentance to Him truly and sincerely.
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And, verily, Jonah was one of the Messengers. When he ran to the laden ship: then he (agreed to) cast lots, and he was among the losers. Then a (big) fish swallowed him as he had done an act worthy of blame. Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick. And We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him. And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more. And they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while." (Al-Qur‘aan 37:139-148)
Allah also informed us in the Qur‘aan that if a prophet were to invent things other than the true word of revelation which he received, or acted as he wished, he would be stricken by a severe punishment from Allah and none had the power to avert that punishment or to save him from that! Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Or say they: 'He [Muhammad (SAAS)] has fabricated it (al-Qur‘aan).' Say: If I have fabricated it, still you have no power to support me against Allah. He knows best of what you say among yourselves concerning it (i.e. this Qur‘aan)! Sufficient is He as a witness between me and you! And He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 46:8)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "So, I swear by whatsoever you see, and by whatsoever you see not, that this is verily the word of an honoured Messenger. It is not the word of a poet, little is that you believe! Nor is it the word of a soothsayer (or a foreteller), little is that you remember! This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the 'aalamiin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). And if he [Muhammad (SAAS)] had forged a false saying concerning Us [Allah (SWT)], We surely would have seized him by his right hand (or with power and might), and then We certainly would have cut off his life artery (aorta), and none of you could have withheld Us from (punishing) him. And verily, this (Qur‘aan) is a Reminder for the muttaqoon (the pious). And verily, We know that there are some among you that deny (this Qur‘aan). And indeed it (this Qur‘aan) will be an anguish for the disbelievers (on the Day of Resurrection). And verily, it (this Qur‘aan) is an absolute truth with certainty. So, glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great." (Al-Qur‘aan 69:38-52)
According to Islam, all Allah's prophets are infallible in the matters of faith and a single prophet is better than all the righteous people if brought together. The prophets are free from flaws of character like immorality, falsehood, treachery, hiding knowledge or ignorance. They conveyed the message to mankind as Allah had commanded them to do, and explained it in a manner that nobody was left in any doubt. And Muslims witness that as well as they will witness on the Day of Resurrection that Allah's Messenger Noah (AS) had conveyed the message that Allah revealed to him, because the nation of Muhammad (SAAS) is the just nation that never turns away from the truth and always follows it either by words or actions. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (RAA) narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "Noah and his nation will come (on the Day of Resurrection) and Allah will ask (Noah): 'Did you convey (the Message)?' He will reply: 'Yes, O my Lord!' Then Allah will ask Noah's nation: 'Did Noah convey My Message to you?' They will reply: 'No, no prophet came to us.' Then Allah will ask Noah: 'Who will stand as a witness for you?' He will reply: 'Muhammad and his nation (will stand as witness for me).' So, I and my nation will stand as witnesses for him (that he conveyed Allah's Message)." That is, (the interpretation) of the Statement of Allah: "Thus We have made you [true Muslims -real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a just (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind…" (Al-Qur‘aan 2:143) (Al-Bukhari)
Among the characteristics of the followers of Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) is to enjoin the good and all that is beloved and approved by Allah, the Almighty, and to forbid the evil and all that is condemned and hated by Him. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) and his Sunnah (legal ways, etc.)] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin al-ma'roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid al-munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Nazarenes) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are al-faasiqoon (disobedient to Allah and rebellious against Allah's Command)." (Al-Qur‘aan 3:110)
Additionally to the insults and false claims mentioned in the Bible concerning God's chosen people (the prophets), the People of the Book do not recognize a group of Allah's prophets as well as they believe that among the angels are fallen ones! "Only in postbiblical Judaism does the devil become the adversary of God, the prince of angels, who, created by God and placed at the head of the angelic hosts, entices some of the angels into revolt against God. In punishment for his rebellion he is cast from heaven together with his mutinous entourage, which were transformed into demons. As ruler over the fallen angels he henceforth continues the struggle against the Kingdom of God in three ways: he seeks to seduce man into sin; he tries to disrupt God's plan for salvation; and he appears before God as slanderer and accuser of the saints, so as to reduce the number of those chosen for the Kingdom of God. Thus, Satan has a threefold function: he is a creature of God, who has his being and essence from God; he is the partner of God in the drama of the history of salvation; and he is the rival of God, who fights against God's plan of salvation. Through the influence of the dualistic thinking of Zoroastrian religion during the Babylonian Exile (586-538 BC) in Persia, Satan took on features of a countergod in late Judaism." (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2000)
"Later, other angels turned bad. These angels noticed the good-looking women on earth and wanted to have sexual relations with them. So they came to the earth and put on male human bodies. Then they took the women for themselves. This was against God's purpose. - Genesis 6:1, 2; Jude 6. It also caused much trouble for mankind. The wives of these angels bore children, but they were not normal children. They grew to be violent and cruel giants. Eventually the earth became so filled with violence that Jehovah decided to destroy the wicked people by a great flood. The only humans who survived the Flood were righteous Noah and his family. - Genesis 6:4, 11; 7:23. The wicked angels, however, returned to the spirit realm; they did not die. But they were punished. They were not allowed back into God's family of righteous angels. Furthermore, Jehovah no longer allowed them to put on human bodies. And eventually they will die in the great judgement. - 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6." (Spirits of the Dead by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)
"Some angels are believed to have fallen from a position of proximity to God--such as Lucifer (after his fall called Satan by early Church Fathers) in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--because of pride or for attempts to usurp the position of the Supreme Being. In their fallen condition they then attempt to keep man from gaining a right relationship with God by provoking men to sin. Some medieval scholars of demonology ascribed to a hierarchy of seven archdemons the seven deadly sins: Lucifer (Pride); Mammon (Avarice); Asmodeus (Lechery); Satan (Anger); Beelzebub (Gluttony); Leviathan (Envy); and Belphegor (Sloth). Besides tempting men to sin, the fallen angels, or devils, were believed to cause various types of calamities, both natural and accidental. Like the demons and evil spirits of nature in primitive religions, the fallen angels were viewed as the agents of famine, disease, war, earthquakes, accidental deaths, and various mental or emotional disorders. Persons afflicted with mental diseases were considered to be "demon possessed."" (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2000)
Unlike it is mentioned in the above quote, in Islam there are no fallen angels. Satan is not a fallen angel as some people may think out of ignorance, but he is a jinni as it is stated in the Qur‘aan and the Sunnah. Allah (SWT) has created the jinn to worship Him just as He created human beings to worship Him, and both of them have been given free will and freedom of choice; they can either obey Allah or disobey Him. On the other hand angels were created to obey and serve Allah without ability to disobey Him. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): (interpretation of the meaning): "And say: 'The truth is from your Lord.' Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve…" (Al-Qur‘aan 18:29)
Moreover, the jinn are created from fire and angels are created from light. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And indeed, We created man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire." (Al-Qur‘aan 15:26-27)
'Aisha (RAA) narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "Angels were created from light, jinn were created from a fire flame, and Adam was created from what was described (in the Qur‘aan) for you (i.e. he is fashioned out of clay)." (Muslim)
Moreover, Satan has got offspring while angels have not. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And (remember) when We said to the angels: 'Prostrate yourselves unto Adam.' So they prostrated themselves except Ibliis (Satan). He was one of the jinn; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord. Will you then take him (Ibliis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you? What an evil is the exchange for the dhaalimuun (polytheists, and wrongdoers, etc)." (Al-Qur‘aan 18:50)
Like human beings and animals, the jinn are creatures created by Allah (SWT). They eat, drink and mate. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Wherein (Gardens) both will be qaaseraat-ut-tarf [chaste females (wives) restraining their glances, desiring none except their husbands], with whom no man or jinni has had tamth (has opened their hymens with sexual intercourse) before them." (Al-Qur‘aan 55:56)
Among the jinn are Muslims and non-Muslims. "'And of us (jinn) some are Muslims, and of us some are al-qaasitoon (disbelievers - those who have deviated from the Right Path).' And whosoever has embraced Islam (i.e. has become a Muslim by submitting to Allah), then such have sought the Right Path. And as for al-qaasitoon (disbelievers who deviated from the Right Path), they shall be firewood for Hell." (72:14-15 - interpretation of the meaning)
People cannot see the jinn, although the jinn see human beings. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "O Children of Adam! Let not Satan deceive you, as he got your parents (Adam and Eve) out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiments, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and qabiiluhu (his soldiers from the jinn or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the devils auliyaa‘ (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not." (Al-Qur‘aan 7:27)
Some of the jinn have great powers. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "An 'ifriit (strong one) from the jinn said: 'I will bring it (the throne of Bilqiis, the Queen of Yemen) to you before you rise from your place. And verily, I am indeed strong and trustworthy for such work.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 27:39)
The jinn can do services to some people, and in return these people have to satisfy their (jinn) arrogance and treat them god-like. The disbelievers among the jinn desire to lead people astray from the path of their Lord by making them commit disbelief. The jinn do this by whispering to them what seems like divine messages and by helping them to do things that look like miracles, for these people may be grateful to these false deities and to be among their soldiers for they will lead other people astray.
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And on the Day when He will gather them (all) together (and say): 'O you assembly of jinn! Many did you mislead of men,' and their auliyaa‘ (friends and helpers, etc.) amongst men will say: 'Our Lord! We benefited one from the other, but now we have reached our appointed term which You did appoint for us.' He will say: 'The Fire be your dwelling place, you will dwell therein forever, except as Allah may will. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 6:128)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Yet, they join the jinn as partners in worship with Allah, though He has created them (the jinn); and they attribute falsely without knowledge sons and daughters to Him. Glorified is He and Exalted above all that (evil) they attribute to Him." (Al-Qur‘aan 6:100)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "They (the angels) will say: 'Glorified are You! You are our Walii (Protector) instead of them. Nay, but they used to worship the jinn; most of them were believers in them.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 34:41)
However, the jinn do not have any power to harm or lead astray the believers in the Oneness of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "So when you want to recite the Qur‘aan, seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the outcast (the cursed one). Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allah). His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan), and those who join partners with Him [Allah, i.e. those who are mushrikuun, i.e. polytheists]." (Al-Qur‘aan 16:98-100)
The stories of ghosts and spirits are typical jinn works. Satanism, magic, as well as human and animal sacrifices in ancient cultures and present time alike have a strong connection with the demands of the jinn.
The false claims against angels which are found in the Christians' creeds are probably produced by the children of Israel. "Christianity, probably influenced by the angelology of Jewish sects such as the Pharisees and the Essenes as well as of the Hellenistic world, further enhanced and developed theories and beliefs in angels and demons." (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2000)
The false claims and insults of the disbelievers concerning angels, Prophets, Scriptures and the Creator are merely a manifestation of their disbelief in them! Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them for a (mere) play. Had We intended to take a pastime (i.e. a wife or a son, etc.), We could surely have taken it from Us, if We were going to do (that). Nay, We fling (send down) the truth (this Qur‘aan) against the falsehood (disbelief), so it destroys it, and behold, it (falsehood) is vanished. And woe to you for that (lie) which you ascribe (to Allah by uttering that Allah has a wife and a son). To Him belongs whosoever is in the heavens and on earth. And those who are near Him (i.e. the angels) are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary (of His worship). They (i.e. the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, (and) they never slacken (to do so). Or have they taken (for worship) aalihah (gods) from the earth who raise the dead? Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) aalihah (gods) besides Allah, then verily, both would have been ruined. Glorified is Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above all that (evil) they associate with Him!" (Al-Qur‘aan 21:16-22)
It was narrated that ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) said: "The Jews came to the Prophet (SAAS) and said: O Abu al-Qasem [Muhammad (SAAS)], we will ask you about certain things; if you answered us, we will follow you. Tell us who, from among the angels comes to you, for he is not a Prophet who is not visited by an angel sent by his Lord, the Almighty with the message and inspiration. Then, who is your companion? He (SAAS) answered: Gabriel. They said: That is who is sent with war and fight; that is our enemy; if you had said: "Michael", who is sent with rain and mercy, we could have followed you. Allah, the Elevated, revealed then (interpretation of meaning): "Say [O Muhammad (SAAS)]: 'Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel (let him die in his fury), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur‘aan) down to your heart by Allah's Permission, confirming what came before it [i.e. the Tauraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] and guidance and glad tidings for the believers. Whoever is an enemy to Allah, His Angels, His Messengers, Gabriel and Michael, then verily, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 2:97-98)" (Reasons and occasions of revelation of al-Qur‘aan)
Allah has created the angels (AS) from light and they are beings whose nature requires no food, drink or sleep. They are honoured servants who are assigned certain functions. They do not speak before Allah does; they act only by His command. Angels spend their days and nights in the worship of Allah (SWT), and they are part of the unseen world to us. Although they are invisible to us, reason cannot deny their existence, and the only authentic source of knowledge about them is Allah's Divine message (the Qur‘aan and the Sunnah). Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And to Allah prostate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility]. They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded." (Al-Qur‘aan 16:49-50)
So, what concerns the Creator, His Angels, His scriptures, His prophets and other matters of Allah's religion, are not as the disbelievers might imagine! Their claims are false and they have no knowledge thereof. They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire, and verily, guess is no substitute for the truth. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And most of them follow nothing but conjecture. Certainly, conjecture can be of no avail against the truth. Surely, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And this Qur‘aan is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah (Lord of the heavens and the earth), but it is a confirmation of (the revelation) which was before it [i.e. the Tauraat (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.], and a full explanation of the Book (i.e. laws decreed for mankind) - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the 'aalamiin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists)." (Al-Qur‘aan 10:36-37)
Some plots and traps that are used to deviate people!
The story of idol worshipping mentioned in the beginning of this article reminds us of the Catholics who venerate statues and images of Christ, Mary and saints with a view to awaken and nourish their faith: "Sacred images in our churches and homes are intended to awaken and nourish our faith in the mystery of Christ. Through the icon of Christ and his works of salvation, it is he whom we adore. Through sacred salvation, it is he whom we adore. Through sacred images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, we venerate the persons represented." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994, pg. 307, #1192)
"Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her (the Church)) we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God, and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994, pg. 300, #1161)
This heresy of worshiping images was already condemned by the fifth council of Constantinople in 754, which was called by Constantine V, Byzantine emperor (reigned 741-775), to deal with the problem of image worship; this position, however, was rejected by the seventh ecumenical council, held at Nicaea in 787. It was convened by Irene, empress of the East, and attended by 350 bishops, most of whom were Byzantine. In spite of strong objections by the iconoclasts, the council validated the veneration of images and ordered their restoration in churches throughout the Roman Empire. The Western churches did not recognize the council of 754 as ecumenical.
The teaching of venerating images or statues, whether it is found with the Catholics, Protestants or any other Christian sect, violates the words of their own Bible. According to Leviticus 26:1, it says: "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God."
"I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Ex. 20:2-6)
"Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee." (Deut. 4:23)
If this is said concerning the statues or images of Prophets or saints, what can be said about those of nakedness and impudence, which are used under the name of advertisement and are placed in public places in order to make people used to libertinism and immorality and to take away from them their bashfulness! We wonder if presenting women in their "underwear" to sell different products represents women's rights! Some people that support this kind of immorality and indecency try to justify it by saying that "each country has its own customs"! But the reality is that even some of the books included in their Bible are against this shamelessness! "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matt. 5:27-30)
And the strangest thing is that nowadays the libertinism and all sort of immorality are considered as sort of civilization, and whosoever opposes the call of indecency is accused of backwardness, fanaticism and extremism! And the mischief makers can even fabricate silly and funny stories in order to insult and slander the believers! How can the level of stupidity in human beings reach this extent!
The idolaters, whether they worship the idols themselves or support their worship, try to hide the reality that the idols are gods worshipped instead of Allah on earth by claiming that they are works of art or historical heritage. In the same way they try to hide other crimes by calling them with different names, for instance: libertinism is considered as freedom, fornication and adultery as girlfriend, boyfriend or cohabitation, alcohol as drink of wise people, ar-ribaa (usury) as al-faa‘idah (interest), which, according to the Bible, is forbidden among the children of Israel but lawful to be taken from gentiles! "Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury. Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it." (Deut. 23:19-20)
The mischief which the Muslims oppose, and for which reason they are criticized of backwardness and so on, is forbidden even according to the Bible. The Christians are not only forbidden to support the criminals and sinners but even to eat with them! "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." (1Chr. 5:9-13)
Thus, as our advice for the enemies of Islam, who try to change the customs and education of the Muslims by trying for example to cancel from their educational sources all that refers to polytheism and polytheists, is that first they have to change some of the books included in their Bible, which inform about the mischief of the children of Israel and different severe punishments for those who violated God's Law!
Those, who instigate the clash of civilizations and throw Islam with false claims in order to hinder men from the guidance, have to know that Islam is the religion of peace and justice that gives to all creatures their rights. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Allah does not forbid you (Muslims) to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity. It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allah forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the dhaalimuun (wrongdoers - those who disobey Allah)." (Al-Qur‘aan 60:8-9)
Additionally, the enemies of Islam have to realize that they will never succeed to cancel Islam even if they eliminated the Muslims and destroyed their books, which is impossible! They cannot extinguish Allah's Light, which is a witness against them! Their history is enough remainder for them; the crusades lasted for centuries, after their failure the colonialism on Muslim land also lasted for some time. When these methods were unsuccessful they shifted from colonizing the land to colonizing the minds and the hearts through their secularist, orientalist and evangelical missions. They try their best to establish in the Islamic countries their schools and societies, the aims and roles of which are claimed to be very humane; providing orphan care, health care, the rights of the women and so forth! But the reality is that they realized that through these means they can convey foreign ideas and trends to the Muslims and affect the beliefs of the coming generations that can stand on their side in destroying what remains of the Muslims' identity and culture!
Mr. Chatlé wrote an article in the Orientalist French magazine "The Islamic World", in which he said about French policies in Islamic nations: "France should base its policy in the East on education and changing the mentality, to enhance the work of missionaries and obtain ample benefits." He said in order to achieve this, they should not only depend on projects, done by priests and evangelists, because their efforts were too little to achieve the aspired aim. Chatlé added: "This can only be achieved by education, supervised by French universities, as it has a scientific and intellectual approach based on willpower." Chatlé ended by saying: "I hope to apply this education to let the thought adopted by French universities infiltrate Islam."
Samuel Zwemmer (1867-1950) was an American evangelist who carried out missionary work in Arabic countries. He sailed for Arabia in 1890 upon finishing medical training. He spent some time in Bahrain, and later, he lived 17 years in Cairo. Zwemmer wrote hundreds of Arabic tracts, 50 books, and founded the journal "Moslem World". After almost 40 years in the field, he joined Princton's faculty in 1929. Once, he said: "As long as Muslims are fleeing from Christian schools, then, we have to set up secular schools for them, and facilitate their enrolment. These schools will help us to get rid of the Islamic spirit in Muslim pupils."
In the past, when the enemies of Islam declared openly enmity and hatred, they failed to conquer the Muslims land because Muslims were ready to fight them. But once the enemies declared freedom, friendship and love, they succeeded to conquer the people's minds, actions and ultimately their possessions, since that the Muslims were open-minded towards them and became cheated with so-called "democracy and civilisation"! Moreover, the disbelievers realized that they can destroy Muslims only with the help of their own brothers in Islam, for a tree is best cut by a wood cutter from its own forest as Samuel Zwemmer said in his book "The Islamic World Today": "We should convince Muslims that the Christians are not their enemies, and publish the Holy Bible in Muslims' language, because it is the most important Christian reference." He added: "We should evangelize some Muslims to work at Christianizing the people of their own nation, for a tree is best cut by a wood cutter from its own forest." Also, "Evangelists should never despair, when they notice that their influence on Muslims is limited, because it is known that Muslims have started to have special interest in European sciences, as well as, granting women full freedom."
Samuel Zwemmer said at the Jerusalem Evangelism conference, in the year 1935: "The aim of evangelical missions, as determined by Christian states, in the Islamic countries, is not to make Muslims adopt Christianity, for by such conversion, they would be guided and honoured! However, your mission is to drive Muslims away from Islam." He said: "Your mission is to drive Muslims away from Islam, so that they may change into people who draw far from God. Consequently, Muslims will lack the morals, on which nations rely. Then, you will have prepared youths who have no relation with God, and don't even want to have it, and made them abandon Islam, without converting to Christianity, consequently, those young people, just as colonialist countries want, would not be interested in serious causes: they would be lazy and idle. Thus, if they got an education, it would only be to show off, and moreover, those youths would do anything to be in high positions."
In order that people will not be deceived with the wrong slogans of the missions mentioned above, and to beware of their evil, we would like to shed some light on them.
"Crusades, military expeditions undertaken by Western European Christians beginning in 1095, usually at the request of the pope, to recover Jerusalem and the other places of pilgrimage in Palestine (now in Israel and Palestine) known to Christians as the Holy Land from Muslim control. Historians disagree as to when crusading came to an end and have proposed dates that range between 1270 and 1798, when Napoleon I took Malta from the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, a military order established during the Crusades." (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia 2000)
After the terrorist attacks of September 11th on New York and Washington, Mr. Bush proclaimed crusade against "terrorism", which reminds us of the first crusades, the savagery of which remains unforgotten.
"A day after proclaiming flatly that the nation was "at war," President Bush and his senior advisers took pains to warn Americans today that it would be a war unlike any other, fought in the shadows, testing the patience of the public and leaders alike, but that nations failing to join the crusade would face the "full wrath of the United States," as Vice President Dick Cheney put it.
"This is a new kind of evil," Mr. Bush said at the White House after a weekend war council with senior aides at Camp David, "and we understand, and the American people are beginning to understand, this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while, and the American people must be patient."
"We will rid the world of the evil-doers," Mr. Bush said, adding a moment later, "They have roused a mighty giant, and make no mistake about it, we are determined."" (New York Times, September 17th, 2001)
The call for the first crusade happened on Tuesday, November 27, 1095, when Pope Urban II preached a sermon to crowds of laypeople and clergy attending a Church council at Clermont. In his sermon, the pope outlined a plan for a Crusade and called on his listeners to join its ranks. The response was positive and overwhelming. In the following is a summed up view of the crusades as it is mentioned in the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia 2000, which will give more information about the subject: "Name crusade (comes) from Latin, "cross", the emblem of the Crusaders. Any understanding of its popularity, however, must be based on some understanding of the society that supported it. This was a society of believers, and many Crusaders believed that their participation in fighting infidels would virtually guarantee personal salvation. In May 1097, the Crusaders attacked their first major target, the Anatolian Turkish capital at Nicaea. In June the city surrendered to the Byzantines, rather than the Crusaders. The Crusaders attacked, with the aid of reinforcements from Genoa and newly constructed siege machines, taking Jerusalem by storm on July 15 1099; they then massacred virtually every inhabitant. In the Crusaders' view, the city was purified in the blood of the defeated infidels.
Under Zangi, the Muslim forces won their first major victory against the Crusaders by taking the city of Edessa in 1144 and then systematically dismantling the Crusader state in that region. The papacy's response to these events was to proclaim the Second Crusade late in 1145 (but the second crusade failed and the armies returned home).
Saladin finally invaded the kingdom of Jerusalem with a massive force in May 1187. On October 29, 1187, Pope Gregory VIII proclaimed the Third Crusade. Although both the French king, Philip II; and the English king, Richard I reached Palestine with their armies intact, they were unable to recapture Jerusalem or much of the former territory of the Latin Kingdom. They succeeded, however, in wresting from Saladin control of a chain of cities, including Arcre, along the Mediterranean coast. By October 1192, when Richard finally left Palestine, the Latin Kingdom had been reconstituted. Smaller than the original kingdom and considerably weaker militarily and economically, the second kingdom lasted precariously for another century. Meanwhile, the remaining Latin outposts in Syria and Palestine were coming under increasing pressure from Egyptian forces. One by one, the cities and castles of the Crusader states fell to the vigorous armies of the Mamelukes."
After reading the above statements, the Christian "religious tolerance" and their false claims against Islam as being the religion of terror becomes well understood. Moreover, what is mentioned in Encyclopaedia Britannica shows the real nature of the Muslims in comparison to the "civilized and tolerant" Christians: "But Saladin's crowning achievement and the most disastrous blow to the whole crusading movement came on Oct. 2, 1187, when Jerusalem, holy to both Muslim and Christian alike, surrendered to Saladin's army after 88 years in the hands of the Franks. In stark contrast to the city's conquest by the Christians, when blood flowed freely during the barbaric slaughter of its inhabitants, the Muslim reconquest was marked by the civilized and courteous behaviour of Saladin and his troops."
"Colonies and Colonialism, territories, inhabited or not, acquired by conquest or settlement by a people or government previously alien to that territory; and, imposed foreign rule upon such territory. A colonial relationship is created when one people or government extends its sovereignty and imposes political control over an alien people or territory. The relationship is terminated when the subject people either become fully self-governing or become assimilated into the political structure of the colonial power on equal terms … Many former colonies have depicted colonialism as a system of exploitation, imposed on them by stronger powers and responsible for economic backwardness, racial conflict, and social and cultural disorder … That colonization had harmful effects on the peoples of the colonized areas is indisputable. Traditional lifestyles were disrupted, cultures destroyed, and entire peoples subjugated or exterminated." (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia 2000)
Colonialism is a key for the dangerous and destructive ideological attack on the Muslims either to Christianize (to convert to Christianity) or secularize them. Edward Said examined in his book Orientalism (1978), which is perhaps his best-known work, Western stereotypes about the Orient, specifically the Islamic world, and argued that Orientalist scholarship is based on Western imperialism.
"European missionaries directed their attention to new areas in the 19th century, greatly expanding their endeavours. Colonialism brought increased knowledge of Africa and Asia, and the European and British Churches extended their work into these areas. One of the best known of the 19th-century missionaries was the British doctor David Livingstone. Denominational boards, the Salvation Army, other agencies, some of them related to the World Council of Churches, and individuals belonging to such mission-oriented groups as Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons continue the work started in this period." (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia 2000)
Evangelism is defined in the Arabic encyclopaedia of contemporary religions and doctrines issued by the International Assembly of the Muslim Youth, Riyadh, as "a religious, political, colonialist movement that emerged after the failure of the crusades. The aim was to spread Christianity among other nations, in the third world, in general, and among Muslims, in particular, in order to control and overpower Islamic countries."
According to Dictionary.com evangelism is "Characterized by ardent or crusading enthusiasm".
In the Hutchinson Encyclopaedia evangelicalism is defined as "the beliefs of some Protestant Christian movements that stress biblical authority, faith, and the personal commitment of the "born again" experience". In the same reference evangelist is defined as a "person travelling to spread the Christian gospel".
"Secularism, in philosophy and politics, rejection of religious and sacred forms and practices in favour of rational assessment and decision-making and civil institutions of government … The opposite of secular society and government is a theocracy, where ecclesiastical authorities also determine the conduct of civil life." (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia 2000)
In other words, secularism is a man-made philosophy that rejects all religions. Some consider the secularists to be neutral, in the sense that they avoid religion, but the reality is that you cannot be neutral concerning the truth; you are either with it or against it! Besides, the secularists are religious people - their religion is their ideology. This is because men cannot be without belief, except the mad ones who shall not be held accountable for their deeds! Therefore, men can only submit to their Lord and obey His commands, or to submit to their own vain desires and to search to fulfil their needs.
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Have you seen him who has taken as his ilaah (god) his own vain desire? Would you then be a wakiil (a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him? Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle - nay, they are even farther astray from the Path (i.e. even worse than cattle). Have you not seen how your Lord spread the shadow? If He willed, He could have made it still - but We have made the sun its guide (i.e. after the sunrise, the shadow shrinks and vanishes at midnoon and then again appears in the afternoon with the decline of the sun, and had there been no sunlight, there would have been no shadow). Then We withdraw it to Us - a gradual concealed withdrawal. And it is He Who makes the night a covering for you, and the sleep (as) a repose, and makes the day nushuur (i.e. getting up and going about here and there for daily work, after one's sleep at night or like resurrection after one's death). And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain); and We send down pure water from the sky, that We may give life thereby to a dead land, and We give to drink thereof many of the cattle and men that We have created. And indeed We have distributed it (rain or water) amongst them in order that they may remember the Grace of Allah, but most men (refuse to accept the truth or faith and) accept nothing but disbelief or ingratitude." (Al-Qur‘aan 25:43-50)
Orientalism is a Western cultural phenomenon which is particularly related to the colonial and post-colonial reception of the Orient, its people and history. And Orientalist refers to someone who studies, or is expert in, oriental culture or languages. It also refers to any Western scholar who studies Islam regardless of his or her motives and thus, inevitably, distorts it. Edward Said, an Arab Christian professor, lecturer and author of several books, defines Orientalism in his book "Orientalism" as follows: "By Orientalism I mean several things, all of them, in my opinion, interdependent. The most readily accepted designation of for Orientalism is an academic one, and indeed, the label still serves in a number of academic institutions. Anyone who teaches, writes about, or researches the Orient and this applies whether the person is an anthropologist, sociologist, historian, or philologist either in its specific or its general aspects, is an Orientalist, and what he or she does is Orientalism."
To continue the subject of idol-worship, Islam forbids the statues and images, and whenever they are found they have to be destroyed or at least defaced within limits. The mother of the faithful, the wife of the Prophet, Ummu 'Abdullah 'Aisha (RAA) relates: "I never used to leave in the Prophet's house anything carrying images or crosses but he obliterated it." (Al-Bukhari)
Ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) narrated: Abu Talha (RAA), a companion of Allah's Messenger and one of those who fought at Badr together with Allah's Messenger, told me that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture" He meant the images of creatures that have souls. (Al-Bukhari)
Sa'id ibn Abi al-Hasan (RAA) related: "While I was with ibn 'Abbaas a man came and said: "O father of 'Abbaas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures." Ibn 'Abbaas said: "I will tell you only what I heard from Allah's Messenger. I heard him saying: 'Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.'" Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn 'Abbaas said to him: "What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects."" (Al-Bukhari)
'Aisha (RAA) related: "I stuffed for the Prophet a pillow decorated with pictures (of animals) which looked like a namrooqa (i.e. a small cushion). He came and stood among the people with excitement apparent on his face. I said: "O Allah's Messenger! What is wrong?" He said: "What is this pillow?" I said: "I have prepared this pillow for you, so that you may recline on it." He said: "Don't you know that angels do not enter a house wherein there are pictures; and whoever makes a picture will be punished (severely) on the Day of Resurrection and will be asked to give life to (what he has created)?"" (Al-Bukhari)
According to the Bible those who make or have statues have been corrupted. "Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female." (Deut. 4:15-16)
Thus, we do not have to wonder when the corrupted ones over the world made a call to destroy the Taliban when they decided to destroy the Buddhist Statues located in Afghanistan (gods worshipped by the Buddhists to whom they performed pilgrimage)! This event drew great attention around the world to that limit that one of the editors in Wall Street Journal described Taliban as wild animals and barbarians. The editor asked the World Forces to destroy them, and he finished his article by saying: "Any solid body or even any human in this world is better than that Mullah Muhammad Omar and the Taliban Militia." In addition, the representative of the United Nations threatened Taliban saying that they will pay a lot if they destroy these statues!
All this fuss was caused because idols made of stone were about to be destroyed! But when the Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, or elsewhere in the world are attacked wrongly, it does not raise even close to similar uproar as the destroying of some stones did! Additionally, the oppressors, wherever they are on this earth, misrepresent evidence and make false claims in order to lead their allies to war against weak people; the only reason being that they disbelieve in false deities and believe in the only God who is worthy of worship! Finally, the war against Islam and Muslims was given justification with vain excuses and claims to keep the peace and justice in the world, and to give people their freedom and rights under democratic regimes, but the reality is something else!
"Immunity … or else. Even as it presses for the capture of accused war criminals on the lam in Serbia and Croatia, the U.S. is using hardball tactics to insulate its own citizens from similar prosecution. By an act of Congress, Washington last week cut military aid to at least 30 countries that failed to sign agreements exempting Americans from prosecution by the new International Criminal Court in the Hague." (Time, July 14, 2003)
"Much has been written about how Iraqis complicated the task of rebuilding their country by looting it after Saddam Hussein's regime fell. In the case of the international airport outside Baghdad, however, the theft and vandalism were conducted largely by victorious American troops, according to U.S. officials, Iraqi Airways staff members and other airport workers. The troops, they say, stole duty-free items, needlessly shot up the airport and trashed five serviceable Boeing airplanes … Soldiers sleeping in the airport's main terminal helped themselves to items in the duty-free shop, including alcohol, cassettes, perfume, cigarettes and expensive watches." (Time, July 14, 2003)
"Will the defeat of Saddam Hussein bring about regime change in the world's oil market? Ever since the inflationary oil shock of the early 1970's, overseen by Zaki Yamani, a Saudi Arabian sheikh, gas-guzzling Americans have dreamed of smashing the OPEC cartel. Some of the oil men close to George Bush privately fantasise about how a pro-American and privatised Iraqi oil sector might, within a decade or so, crank out so much oil that Saudi Arabia, which in effect runs OPEC, would lose its market power. The world would be awash in cheap oil, priced by the forces of supply and demand, not by the anti-western price-fixers now led by Ali Naimi, the Saudi oil minister and de facto boss of Saudi Aramco, a state-owned firm with more that 20 times the oil reserves of Exxon Mobil." (The Economist, April 26th- May 2nd, 2003)
"No longer can opponents of the war in Iraq claim that it is "all about oil". It is also now about digging roads, putting up bridges and building hospitals, schools and power plants. Even before America's soldiers set foot in Baghdad, its government has been dishing out contracts to rebuild Iraq … America's foreign-aid agency, USAID, has been collecting bids to build roads, train teachers, print textbooks, strengthen civic society – oh, and to build a universal health service in Iraq, too … The eight contracts for "reconstruction activities in Iraq" which the agency made public recently have met with anger and stunned incomprehension. Appalled pundits splutter at the "grotesque" spectacle of American firms "profiteering" from the war even before the shooting stops. Workers at Bechtel, which is said to be leading the bidding for a $600m infrastructure contract, have had to wade through crowds of protesters chained to the doors of the firm's headquarters in San Francisco. Foreigners, somewhat confusingly, seem equally appalled that they have not been given the opportunity to profit from the war as well: only American firms have been allowed to bid. USAID's use of "secret" shortlists of bidders, meanwhile, has led much of the world's press to conclude that only cronies of President George Bush's inner circle need apply for the work." (The Economist, April 5th-11th, 2003)
The hatred towards the Muslims and the greed of this modern imperialism, which is hidden in the cloth of democracy, human rights, women's rights, freedom and religious tolerance, has become more apparent. The real incitement for them is the oil business, the rebuilding business, the role of big military companies and the zeal of missionary organisations. Even the justification of getting rid of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) – nuclear, chemical and biological arms – is all eyewash! If they were really anxious to get rid of them (WMD), why do they not disarm themselves and their closest allies! Are the nuclear, chemical and maybe biological weapons stocked in Israel helping disarmament in the region!
While the Americans are persuading other countries to give up their dangerous and destructive weapons, they themselves are developing and discovering new kind of destructive nuclear weapons!
"Although president George W. Bush spends endless hours trying to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, his Administration isn't above creating a few itself. The Pentagon is hard at work pushing to develop the first new class of U.S. nukes since the end of the cold war…
But the new plans have their own detractors. They include nuclear scientist and Pentagon adviser Sidney Drell, who says that even a tiny 1-kiloton weapon exploding 15 meters deep in rock would spew radioactivity across a wide swath of the planet. Arms-control advocates worry that possessing less catastrophic nuclear weapons would scuttle efforts to stop worldwide proliferation. Said Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, last week: 'This Administration seems to be moving toward a military posture in which nuclear weapons are considered just like other weapons.'" (Time, May 26, 2003)
"Still more dangerously, by treating nuclear weapons as just another explosive in the arsenal, rather than as a deterrent weapon of last resort, America could dangerously blur the line against nuclear use by anyone … Nor does it help Mr Bush persuade NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) waverers to keep on renouncing all nuclear ambition if his own defence planners are busily inventing new jobs for nuclear weapons to do, and new nukes to do them with." (The Economist, May 17th-23rd, 2003)
If those who call for freedom, democracy, human rights and so on, were truthful in their call, it will not be claimed that their armies had failed to protect Baghdad's hospitals, rare books and priceless antiquities while the empty Ministry of Petroleum was under tight guard! The Iraqis and others widely read this as a sign of malign intent on the behalf of the occupiers! Also they would have stopped long time ago their support for the Jews who oppress the Palestinians; occupy and usurp their land; kill, torture, punish and expel innocent people and destroy their homes with tanks, like the cuckoo takes over the nest of another bird! "Israel still sits on all the land it seized 35 years ago, transforming much of it with the permanent settlement that international law prohibits on occupied land." (The Economist, January 25th-31st, 2003)
The American taxpayer's dollars which are spent to support the mischief of the Jews in Palestine, could be better used as humanitarian aid in Asia, Africa and even in America or elsewhere, where millions of people die of hunger and different kind of diseases each year! "What manner of man would retaliate against a stone-throwing child by shooting him in the back as he ran away [Jan. 30]? What manner of government would retaliate by fining already poverty-stricken parents $1,000, demolishing their home, and confiscating their meagre possessions? What manner of people are these arrogant settlers who think they have a God-given right to commit such atrocities and still cry for more? What manner of people are we, that we permit our Government to give away billions of the American taxpayers' dollars to Israel every year, enabling it to continue to subjugate the Palestinians?" (Time, February 20, 1989)
"America is also far more pro-Israeli than Europe. Israel receives more of America's foreign aid budget than any other country - $3 billion a year, two-thirds of it in military grants. This has allowed Israel to turn itself into a muscle-bound colossus. In 1967, Israel's defence spending was less than half the combined defence expenditure of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria. Today, it is 30% higher than the combined defence spending of those states.
But does the Jewish lobby, well-connected as it may be, really explain America's support for Israel? The lobby may do its bit. But it would be powerless if America did not have such strong cultural affinities with Israel. Americans have a marked tendency to see foreign policy in moralistic terms – as a battle of good against evil or western values against barbarism. Europeans may see the Middle East as a matter of managing rival interests (and assuaging colonial guilt). Americans tend to see it as a matter of defending an island of freedom and democracy from a ravening crowd of kleptocrats and tyrants – and, since September 11th, in terms of allies and enemies in America's war against global terrorism.
Many Evangelical Christians are also passionately pro-Israel. Some of the strongest support for Israel comes from Bible-belt states, such as Alabama and Mississippi, that have few kosher restaurants. Evangelical preachers such as Pat Robertson pull off the extraordinary feat of being both anti-Semitic and passionately pro-Israel. Bestseller lists are full of apocalyptic tracts about the end of the world and the return of the Jews to Israel. A group of Pentecostal Christians in Mississippi breed red heifers for sacrifice in Israel when the Second Coming reclaims Jerusalem's Temple Mount from the Muslims." (The Economist, April 6th-12th, 2002)
What concerns the zeal of missionary organisations and their "tolerance" towards other religions is that they impute to Islam false claims and try to twist it into something other than its true message in order to hinder men from the path of the Almighty God. They would like to make people hate Islam and to strive their utmost against it! Moreover, the missionaries attempt to influence the governments of non-Islamic countries so as to engage them into conflict with Islamic countries by the claims that "Islam is terrorist". They want that the pressure will be exerted on the Islamic governments which themselves must put an end to the Islamic education, to surrender to the missionaries' missions and to receive them hospitably, otherwise, they will be labelled with fanaticism and backwardness as well as that they are against "democracy"! All this is done so that the missionaries will get free hands to spread their deviation among the Muslims which they usually disguise as humanitarian work! Thus, Islam and Muslims become under the "Zionist-crusader attack", which has its religious, political, military and ideological dimensions.
What applies to religious tolerance according to the understanding of "Zionist-Crusader alliance" can also apply to free speech, respect of women, human rights and so on! "Washington has so much power today that when it flouts human rights standards, it damages the human rights cause worldwide." (Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch). Moreover, when US Vice President Dick Cheney was speaking in Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2004 at an international conference in the Alps and called for greater global unity to fight terrorism and asked European allies to join the United States to promote democracy in the Middle East, we wonder whether he was talking about a war on all forms of terrorism including the Israeli terrorism in the Arab occupied territories which is going on for more than 50 years, or solely about the war on Islam and Muslims!
A missionary whose real name was not mentioned and who is identified personally with George W. Bush wrote an e-mail saying, "Something you must understand is that diplomacy does not work with Satan." (Time, August 4, 2003)
"Much was made of evangelist Franklin Graham's strange triple role as Islam basher ("a very evil and wicked religion"), Bush Administration favourite (he preached a Good Friday service at the Pentagon) and would-be provider of aid and the Gospel to the liberated Iraq." (Time, August 4, 2003)
"A senior Administration official told TIME that given the President's support of faith-based charity work and his close ties to the Christian right, there was little chance the White House would discourage Christian aid groups from going to Iraq." (Time, August 4, 2003)
"Some offer only material aid or aid plus the Good News. Others such as Discipling a Whole Nation (DAWN) focus on spreading God's word. Why now? DAWN's Rich Haynie says that to the extent that the conflict induced Muslims to question their faith, "we could say that the war was a ripeness moment." (Time, August 4, 2003)
"But unlike some of his fellow believers in that great aid caravan, Weaver, 33, will not preach as he goes. 'Mixing proselytising with humanitarian work is not appropriate at any time,' he says. And now 'it will confirm people's suspicions that this [war] was about Christians vs. Muslims – and the Christians won.'
At least two organisations, however, seemed ready to risk that impression. Among those at the border last week were the International Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and Samaritan's Purse, which is run by evangelist Franklin Graham. Both operations are associated with sharp criticism of Islam, the faith of 97% of Iraqis. Graham, who gave the invocation at George W. Bush's Inaugural, has called it a "very evil and wicked religion," and a former SBC president dubbed Muhammad a "demon-possessed paedophile."
Both groups, to some degree, will engage in what might be called "aid evangelism." The Baptists will deliver thousands of 32-kg food packages labelled – in Arabic – with the biblical verse John 1:17: 'For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized trough Jesus Christ.' Eight hundred volunteers have reportedly joined the effort. Samaritan's Purse, known as a highly efficient charity, will provide water systems, shelters, medical kits for 100,000 people and probably, though its leaders decline to be specific, a Gospel message. 'We do not deny the name of Christ,' a spokesman said. 'We'll be who we are.'
Many conservative Christians would encourage Graham to speak boldly. A recent poll by the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the Beliefnet website found that 89% of evangelical leaders thought it "very important" to "insist on the truth of the Gospel" to Muslims. These leaders sincerely want to emulate Jesus' love by acts of feeding and heeling, says Southern Baptist official R. Albert Mohler Jr., but 'aid alone is not sufficient to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Christ.' They have grown increasingly eager to expose Islam's "unreached" millions to Jesus. Missionary numbers in Muslim lands are reported to have quadrupled over the past decade. Thus, while Evangelicals supported the Iraq war for the same reasons as other Americans (patriotism, fear of terrorism), some hope that in victory, God is opening a door for more missionaries.
Not everyone thinks the overt approach is the way to win friends or converts. Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American Islamic Relations says the two groups are 'seeking to exploit people in their moment of vulnerability.'" (Time, April 21, 2003)
"Wake Forrest's Kimball, author of the book When Religion Becomes Evil says, 'This is an area that lives with a history of crusades and in the shadow of colonialism. The image of an overwhelming military power coming in already provokes major questions about deeper U.S. intentions. If you add an aggressive missionary presence, it will be easy to see this as a kind of American Christian triumphalism.'" (Time, August 4, 2003)
"A missions strategist named Ralph Winter suggested in 1974 that Christians turn their attention to "unreached people groups" who had never heard the Gospel. In 1989 Argentine-born evangelist Luis Bush pointed out that 97% of the unevangelized lived in a "window" between the 10th and 40th latitudes. This global slice, he explained, was disproportionately poor; the majority of its inhabitants "enslaved" by Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism and, ultimately, by Satan. Of Islam specifically, he wrote, 'From its center in the 10/40 window, Islam is reaching out energetically to all parts of the globe; in a similar strategy, we must penetrate [its] heart with the liberating truth of the Gospel.' Many mustered themselves to the Window … What did slow their efforts was a more prosaic measure: the gradual elimination by most Muslim countries of "religious worker" visas. Organizations built around salaried missionary lifers found themselves hamstrung.
So they were supplemented with a more maneuverable approach called tentmaking, after the Apostle Paul, who supported himself at that trade while spreading word of the risen Christ through the Mediterranean. Like Paul, the new missionaries did not hang up an evangelist's shingle. They took day jobs – often in development or areas in which the host country lacked expertise – and preached unofficially." (Time, August 4, 2003)
"Other experts say local leaders will often tolerate informal preaching as the price for Western expertise in other fields. 'We're creative in finding where the government itches, so we can scratch it,' says Daryl Anderson of the Evangelical Free Church of America, whose workers toil primarily in the health and information-technology fields. 'And depending on the ideological purity of the government agency, we have a certain freedom to be open about our faith.'" (Time, August 4, 2003)
"Convinced that they [Muslims] are one of the "unreached megapeoples" who must hear the Gospel before Christ's eventual return, Evangelicals from all over the world have been rushing to what has become the latest hot missions field [Muslim countries]." (Time, August 4, 2003)
"Figures from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Cronwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts suggest that the number of missionaries to Islamic countries nearly doubled between 1982 and 2001 – from more than 15,000 to somewhere in excess of 27,000 – and approximately 1 out of every 3 is Evangelical. Sept. 11 was, adds Stanley Davies, "a wake-up call" that seems only to have fueled the missionary impulse." (Time, August 4, 2003)
"Others [missionaries] distribute literature at European ports to North Africans returning home, or, from a distance, flood whole populations with Christian TV and radio, tracts and offers of correspondence courses, hoping that a few seeds will take root. Some target Muslim immigrants in Paris or London or Marseilles – "a mission to our neighbors," says an Evangelical leader – partly in the hopes that those who convert will pass on the good news to loved ones in their native lands. In the dozens of Muslim countries that deny "religious worker" visas, ever more Evangelicals take secular jobs to enter less obtrusively." (Time, August 4, 2003)
The attacks against Islam and Muslims are done for two reasons: firstly, the disbelievers desire to deviate the Muslims and to make them to live in libertinism and anarchy out of envy and hatred, and secondly, they are eager to take over the natural resources of Muslim countries out of greed! Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Nazarenes) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even after the truth [that Muhammad (SAAS) is Allah's Messenger] has become manifest unto them…" (Al-Qur‘aan 2:109)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Neither those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Nazarenes) nor al-mushrikuun (the idolaters, polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, pagans) like that there should be sent down unto you any good from your Lord. But Allah chooses for His Mercy whom He wills. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty." (Al-Qur‘aan 2:105)
An African proverbial phrase describes well the deceived mission of the missionaries through out the earth: "When the white man came, he had the Bible and we had the land. Now we have the Bible and he has the land." [Suuri sitaattisanakirja, Otava (a book of quotations in Finnish)]
It is the methodology of the Christian missionaries to lie about Islam. They are known to use false statements to convey their deviation. "Critics accuse missionaries of lying about their identities and their faith to achieve their goals." (Time, August 4, 2003)
"Then there are the apparent attempts by some missionaries to camouflage their faith as a kind of Islam: inviting prospective converts to "Jesus mosques" or publicly reciting the Muslim creed, "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is His prophet." Such techniques are rationalized as part of "contextualization," the necessary presentation of new ideas in a familiar idiom." (Time, August 4, 2003)
Missionaries' manner of using lies has originated from a rarely quoted statement of Paul in which he is proud to proclaim: "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" (Romans 3:7) Paul considered that there is no shame to spread "falsehood" as long as the final achievement resulted the greater glory of God. Moreover, he ignored one Biblical text that says: "A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies." (Proverbs 14:5) Paul admitted himself not to be a faithful witness! Therefore, it is doubtful to believe in his claimed vision of Jesus on his journey to Damascus, his appointment as a preacher to the Gentiles, and the other teachings he propagated in the name of Jesus! All of the before mentioned things might have been part of Paul's policy "the end justifies means"!
By following the footsteps of their revered "apostle Paul", the missionaries have succeeded to make Islam a misunderstood and mistreated religion especially in the West, and unfortunately even among the ignorant Muslims who seek the perishable goods of the worldly life and can even buy the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter! But those who seek the authentic Islamic knowledge, act according to it, preach it, and endure with patience and perseverance while performing all these duties despite all hindrances, are ready to sell the life of this world for the Hereafter, and those are the ones on whom Allah will bestow great reward.
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Nazarenes as auliyaa‘ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but auliyaa‘ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as auliyaa‘), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the dhaalimuun (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust). And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease (of hypocrisy), they hurry to their friendship, saying: 'We fear lest some misfortune of a disaster may befall us.' Perhaps Allah may bring a victory or a decision according to His Will. Then they will become regretful for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves." (Al-Qur‘aan 5:51-52)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, those who hope not for their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present world, and those who are heedless of Our aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), those, their abode will be the Fire, because of what they used to earn. Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah along with the six articles of Faith, i.e. to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, Day of Resurrection, and al-qadar (Divine Preordainments) - Islamic Monotheism], and do deeds of righteousness, their Lord will guide them through their Faith; under them will flow rivers in the Gardens of delight (Paradise). Their way of request therein will be subhaanaka Allaahumma (Glory to You, O Allah!) and salaam (peace, safety from evil) will be their greetings therein (Paradise)! And the close of their request will be: al-hamdulillaahi Rabbil-'aalamiin (all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of mankind, jinn and all that exists)." (Al-Qur‘aan 10:7-10)
All the Praises and thanks are due to Allah, who gives respite to the oppressor, but when He takes him over, He never releases him. Abu Muusa (RAA) narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "Allah gives respite to the oppressor, but when He takes him over, He never releases him." Then he recited (interpretation of the meaning): "Such is the Seizure of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His Seizure is painful (and) severe." (Al-Qur‘aan 11:102) (Al-Bukhari)
The missionaries, the innovators, who deviated from the path of the guidance, left their homes boastfully in desire to be seen of men, with the aim of hindering men from the Path of Allah. Satan made their evil deeds seem fair to them, but Allah grants them respite so that He will punish them gradually from directions they perceive not. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "So make no haste against them; We only count out to them a (limited) number (of the days of the life of this world and delay their term so that they may increase in evil and sins)." (Al-Qur‘aan 19:84)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto Hell. In order that Allah may distinguish the wicked (disbelievers, polytheists and doers of evil deeds) from the good (believers of Islamic Monotheism and doers of righteous deeds), and put the wicked (disbelievers, polytheists and doers of evil deeds) one over another, heap them together and cast them into Hell. Those! It is they who are the losers. Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning)." (Al-Qur‘aan 8:36-38)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Do then those who disbelieved think that they can take My servants [i.e., the angels, Allah's Messengers, Jesus, son of Mary] as auliyaa‘ (lords, gods, protectors) besides Me? Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism). Say [O Muhammad (SAAS)]: 'Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds. They are those who deny the aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them. That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took My aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 18:102-106)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "So let not their wealth nor their children amaze you [O Muhammad (SAAS)]; in reality Allah's Plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world, and that their souls shall depart (die) while they are disbelievers." (Al-Qur‘aan 9:55)
Missionaries' "good news"!
We wonder whether the missionaries have agreed about the Bible which they should preach while converting people to Christianity, or if they still use the old deception in their preaching claiming that all the Christians have the same Bible! Or are they referring to the Bible as the "Gospel of Jesus"! Isn't it astonishing when one Gospel becomes equal to 66 books of the Bible! However, the Christian Bible including all its books does not contain the Gospel of Jesus; instead the Christians boast about the Gospels according to St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John. Additionally, to these four gospels the New Testament contains series of writings, most of which were written by "St. Paul", Saul of Tarsus!
The Bible is a collection of writings by many different authors written in different times. It is a library of history, letters, proverbs, poetry and biography. The Christians have divided the books of the Bible into two main parts: the Old Testament (Old Covenant) and the New Testament (New Covenant). The books of the Old Testament are claimed to have been received through the Prophets who were prior to Jesus. And the books of the New Testament are claimed to have been written through inspiration after Jesus.
"Biblical source (is) any of the original oral or written materials that, in compilation, came to constitute the Bible of Judaism and Christianity. Most of the writings in the Old Testament are of anonymous authorship, and in many cases it is not known whether they were compiled by individuals or by groups. Nevertheless, by careful evaluation of internal evidence and with the aid of various schools of biblical criticism, scholars have been able to identify certain sources and to arrange them chronologically … Numerous other sources for the Old Testament have since been identified, including two of the earliest books of Hebrew literature, not now extant, parts of which are embedded in the early narratives. These, the "Book of the Wars of Yahweh" and the "Book of Yashar" (the Upright), were probably poetic in form.
The New Testament sources consist of the original writings that constitute the Christian scriptures, together with the oral tradition that preceded them. The first three Gospels are referred to as synoptic; i.e., they have a common source. Contemporary opinion holds that Mark served as a source for Matthew and Luke and that the latter two also share another common source, called Q (after the German word Quelle, "source"), consisting mainly of Jesus' sayings. The Gospel of John apparently represents an independent line of transmission.
Whereas most of the Old Testament authors are anonymous, the major New Testament sources are known, and the essential task in their study is to restore the texts as closely as possible to the original autographs. The main sources of evidence are manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek dating from the 2nd to the 15th century (some 5,000 of these manuscripts are known) and early versions in other languages, such as Syriac, Coptic, Latin, Armenian, and Georgian." (Encyclopaedia Britannica Profiles: World Religions)
On page 5 of their (the Bible of Jehovah's Witnesses) "foreword" they confess: "In copying the inspired originals by hand the element of human frailty entered in, and so none of the thousands of copies extant today in the original language are perfect duplicates. The result is that no two copies are exactly alike." (Quoted from the booklet "Is the Bible God's Word?" by Ahmed Deedat)
On the market there are various versions of the Bible that are used by different Christian sects, and all of these sects say that their book, though different, is the "Word of God"! Such Bibles in English are:
The Roman Catholic Version (DOUAY)
Several Christians claim that there are only different translations of their Bible. However, a translation means expressing of something in a different language, and the difference is in the choice of words. Version on the other hand, is quite a different thing. Version is a particular form of something which varies slightly from other forms of the same thing.
In the following is a summary from the booklet and videotape titled "Is the Bible God's Word?" by Ahmed Deedat rahimahullaah, concerning the different versions of the Bible: The Authorised Version (AV) of the Protestant Bible, which is also widely known as the "King James Version (KJV)" was published in 1611 by the will and command of His Majesty King James. It is said that it is dependent upon the ancient copies — those dating only five or six hundred years after Jesus. The Revisers of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) 1952 were the first Bible scholars who were able to tap the "most ancient copies" fully, dating three and four centuries after Christ. When the RSV was first published in 1952, it was complimented in the Times with these words: "The most accurate and close rendering of original." In this Bible (RSV), thirty-two scholars of the highest eminence, assisted by an advisory committee representing fifty cooperating denominations have unceremoniously excised the word "begotten" from the verse John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Similarly the verse 1st Epistle of John 5:7: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." does not exist in RSV, because thirty-two scholars of the highest eminence, assisted by an advisory committee representing fifty cooperating denominations scrapped it. In this same version (RSV), the Gospel according to Mark chapter 16 ends at verse 8, and after an embarrassing expanse of blank space, the missing verses appear in "small print" as a footnote at the bottom of the page. Among the missing verses is the ascension of Jesus!
What was thrown out in the version of 1952 was brought back to the version of 1971. When the excisions were noticed, the propagandists made a big hue and cry, and with the backing of two denominational committees out of the fifty, forced the Publishers to re-incorporate the interpolations into the "inspired" Word of God! (The summary ends here)
Still nowadays, there are other translations of the Bible that do not have the verse 1st Epistle of John 5:7, for example the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures used by Jehovah's Witnesses and the Finnish Lutheran Bible!
The Christian dominations have translated the Bible in such manner that it supports their own theological bias! For instance, since Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) do not believe that Jesus is divine, they have translated the verse John 1:1 as follows: "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." On the other hand, those who consider Jesus, son of Mary, as God, have translated the same verse in a different way with the aim of proving his divinity: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Christendom is an apostate group preaching a false gospel. Additionally, they are taught that the Watchtower organization is the true channel of God's revelation to His church on earth! "All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave." (The Watchtower; 10.1.1994; p. 8)
It is also very interesting to look into the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS (Mormons)]. They believe that the Bible is correct only as far as it is correctly translated. It is basically trustworthy. It is the only one of the four standard works (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) that is not considered infallible. Thus, they believe that: "The book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible." (History of the Church, 4:461) They also believe that: "The true gospel was lost from the earth. Mormonism is its restoration." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie, p. 635) Moreover, they teach there was an apostasy and the true church ceased to exist on earth!
In the Bible there can be found books which some Christians consider as Apocrypha (doubtful), for instance the Catholic Bible contains 73 books, while the Protestant Bible has only 66 books, yet both are claimed to be the complete Word of God! According to the Protestants the extra seven books found in the Catholic Bible were not divinely inspired!
"(Apocrypha is) appendix to the Old Testament of the Bible, 14 books not included in the final Hebrew canon but recognized by Roman Catholics. There are also disputed New Testament texts known as Apocrypha.
In the Old Testament, the Apocrypha consist of 1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Song of the Three Children, Susannah, Bel and the Dragon, the Prayer of Manasses, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.
In the New Testament, the Apocrypha include the Gospel (c. AD 150), Revelation (earlier than the Gospel), and Acts (c. AD 200) of St Peter; the Gospel of St Thomas (2nd century), dealing with the infancy of Christ and supposed miracles of that period; the Acts of Paul (and Thecla), fragments from a work of about AD 160; the Protevangelium of James, a popular life of the Virgin Mary from about AD 150; the Assumption of Mary (c. 4th century), giving a legendary account of her death and resurrection; the Letters of Our Lord and of Abgar, a 3rd - century legend; and the Agrapha, a collection of sayings attributed to Christ, not recorded in the New Testament, some of which may be genuine. Although the Apocryphal works are very untrustworthy and legendary, they may contain some true traditions." (The Hutchinson Encyclopaedia 2002)
"Apocrypha in biblical literature (means) works outside an accepted canon of scripture. The history of the term's usage indicates that it referred to a body of esoteric writings that were at first prized, later tolerated, and finally excluded. In its broadest sense apocrypha has come to mean any writings of dubious authority.
In modern usage the Apocrypha is the term for ancient Jewish books that are called deuterocanonical works in Roman Catholicism — i.e., those that are canonical for Catholics but are not a part of the Hebrew Bible. (These works are also regarded as canonical within Eastern Orthodoxy.) When the Protestant churches returned to the Jewish canon (Hebrew Old Testament) during the Reformation period (16th century), the Catholic deuterocanonical works became for the Protestants "apocryphal" — i.e., noncanonical. In 19th-century biblical scholarship a new term was coined for those ancient Jewish works that were not accepted as canonical by either the Catholic or Protestant churches; such books are now commonly called pseudepigrapha ("Falsely Inscribed") — i.e., books that were wrongly ascribed to a biblical author.
At the time when Greek was the common spoken language in the Mediterranean region, the Old Testament — the Hebrew Bible — was incomprehensible to most of the population. For this reason, Jewish scholars produced the Septuagint, a translation of the Old Testament books from various Hebrew texts, along with fragments in Aramaic, into Greek. That version incorporated a number of works that later, non-Hellenistic Jewish scholarship at the Council of Jamnia (90 CE) identified as being outside the authentic Hebrew canon. The Talmud separates these works as Sefarim Hizonim (Extraneous Books).
The Septuagint was an important basis for Jerome's translation of the Old Testament into Latin for the Vulgate Bible; and, although he had doubts about the authenticity of some of the works that it contained — he was the first to employ the Greek word apokryphos, "hidden," "secret," in the sense "noncanonical" — he was overruled, and most of them were included in the Vulgate. On April 8, 1546, the Council of Trent declared the canonicity of nearly the entire Vulgate, excluding only the Third and Fourth Books of Maccabees, the Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, and the First and Second Books of Esdras. Eastern Christendom, meanwhile, had accepted the Old Testament apocrypha as deuterocanonical — Tobit; Judith; the Wisdom of Solomon; and Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach); Third Book of Esdras; First, Second, and Third Books of Maccabees; the Book of Baruch; and the Letter of Jeremiah.
Old Testament pseudepigrapha are extremely numerous and are attributed to various biblical personages from Adam to Zechariah. Some of the most significant of these works are the Ascension of Isaiah, the Assumption of Moses, the Life of Adam and Eve, the First and Second Books of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Letter of Aristeas, and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.
All the New Testament apocrypha are pseudepigraphal, and most of them are acts, gospels, and epistles, though there are a number of apocalypses and some can be characterized as wisdom books. Some works relate encounters and events in mystical language and describe arcane rituals. Most of these works arose from sects that had been or would be declared heretical, such as, importantly, the Gnostics. In the early decades of Christianity no orthodoxy had been established, and various parties or factions were vying for ascendancy and regularity in the young church. In this setting virtually all works that were advocating beliefs that later became heretical were destined to denunciation and destruction.
In addition to apocryphal works per se, the New Testament includes a number of works and fragments that are described by a second meaning of the term deuterocanonical: "added later." The Letter to the Hebrews attributed to Paul, who died before it was written, is one of these; others are the letters of James, Peter (2), John (2 and 3), and Jude, and the Revelation of John. Fragments include Mark 16:9–20, Luke 22:43–44, and John 7:53 and 8:1–11. All are included in the Roman (Catholic) canon and are accepted by the Eastern Church and most Protestant churches." (Encyclopaedia Britannica Profiles: World Religions)
"The first Bible in English to exclude the Apocrypha was the Geneva Bible of 1599. The King James Version of 1611 placed it between the Old and New Testaments. In 1615 Archbishop George Abbot forbade the issuance of Bibles without the Apocrypha, but editions of the King James Version from 1630 on often omitted it from the bound copies. The Geneva Bible edition of 1640 was probably the first to be intentionally printed in England without the Apocrypha, followed in 1642 by the King James Version. In 1644 the Long Parliament actually forbade the public reading of these books, and three years later the Westminster Confession of the Presbyterians decreed them to be no part of the canon. The British and Foreign Bible Society in 1827 resolved never to print or circulate copies containing the Apocrypha. Most English Protestant Bibles in the 20th century have omitted the disputed books or have them as a separate volume, except in library editions, in which they are included with the Old and New Testaments." (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
"No book has influenced English as profoundly as the King James Bible of 1611 … As Adam Nicolson points out in his engaging and moving account, this was not ordinary English even when it was written. William Tyndale in the 1520s hoped that ploughboys would read his Bible, and Martin Luther in the 1530s wanted the gospels written in a language that butchers and cobblers could understand. But the King James was composed in an English that had never been spoken in the street. This was the language of deliberate godliness, yet grounded in easy words and simple things: able to swoop in one verse from the sublimity of the eternal to the clumsiness of a fisherman jumping from a boat." (The Economist, April 19th-25th, 2003)
The authenticity and divinity of the books of the Bible has been debated among the Christians themselves, because there are many contradictions and inconsistencies found in these books. Our attempt is not to expose the errors and contradictions found in the Bible, since that they have already been referred to in some of our previous articles. But the thing that we would like to indicate is that the Bible cannot be attributed to God, which is an indisputable fact among the people of knowledge!
Throughout the history, there has been numerous authors and writers who have written and compiled thousands upon thousands of books and publications, and it is well known that almost each work has got at least some logic and truth. Therefore, it is unjust and unfair to ascribe to God whatsoever work that contains some truth!
As we quoted before, the most of the writings in the Old Testament as well as some of the New Testament are of anonymous authorship. J. B. Phillips, the paid servant of the Anglican Church, a prebendary of the Chichester Cathedral, England, says in his introduction to the "Gospel of St. Matthew" about its authorship: "Early tradition ascribed this Gospel to the Apostle Matthew, but scholars nowadays almost all reject this view. The author, whom we still can conveniently call Matthew, has plainly drawn on the mysterious 'Q' ("Q" is short for the German word "quella" which means "sources"), which may have been a collection of oral traditions. He (Matthew) has used Mark's Gospel freely." (Quoted from the booklet "Is the Bible God's Word?" by Ahmed Deedat)
Dr. W. Graham Scroggie of the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, one of the most prestigious Christian Evangelical Mission in the world, answering the question – "Is the Bible the Word of God?" (also the title of his book), under the heading: It is human, yet divine, says on page 17: "Yes, the Bible is human, though some, out of zeal which is not according to knowledge, have denied this. Those books have passed through the minds of men, are written in the language of men, were penned by the hands of men, and bear in their style the characteristics of men."
Another erudite Christian scholar, Kenneth Cragg, the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem, says on page 277 of his book, "The Call of the Minaret": "Not so the New Testament … There is condensation and editing; there is choice, reproduction and witness. The Gospels have come through the mind of the Church behind the authors. They represent experience and history."
As Muslims we believe in the Divine Scriptures. The general belief entails believing in all the Scriptures sent down to any of Allah's Messengers, whether we know them by name or not. As for the particular belief, we believe in the five Scriptures that are mentioned in the Qur‘aan by name:
Sohuf (Sheets) of Abraham and Moses, which were revealed to them (AS). Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Indeed whosoever purifies himself (by avoiding polytheism and accepting Islamic Monotheism) shall achieve success, and remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord (worships none but Allah), and prays. Nay, you prefer the life of this world, although the Hereafter is better and more lasting. Verily, this is in the former Scriptures - the Scriptures of Abraham and Moses." (Al-Qur‘aan 87:14-19)
At-Tauraat (the Torah) which was revealed to Moses (AS). Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, We did send down the Tauraat [Torah to Moses (AS)], therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's Will, judged for the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests (also judged for the Jews by the Torah after those Prophets) for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto. Therefore fear not men but fear Me (O Jews) and sell not My Verses for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the kaafiroon (i.e. disbelievers - of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allah's Laws)." (Al-Qur‘aan 5:44)
Az-Zabuur (the Psalms) which was revealed to David (AS). Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth. And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to David We gave the Zabuur (Psalms)." (Al-Qur‘aan 17:55)
Al-Injeel (the Gospel) which was revealed to Jesus (AS). Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And in their footsteps, We sent Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Tauraat (Torah) that had come before him, and We gave him the Injeel (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Tauraat (Torah) that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for al-muttaqoon (the pious)." (Al-Qur‘aan 5:46)
Al-Qur‘aan which was revealed to Muhammad (SAAS). Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, it is We Who have sent down the Qur‘aan to you [O Muhammad (SAAS)] by stages." (Al-Qur‘aan 76:23)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Say [O Muhammad (SAAS)]: 'What thing is the most great as witness?' Say: 'Allah (the Most Great!) is Witness between me and you; this Qur‘aan has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach. Can you verily, bear witness that besides Allah there are other aalihah (gods)?' Say: 'I bear no (such) witness!' Say: 'But in truth He (Allah) is the only one Ilaah (God, who has the right to be worshipped). And truly I am innocent of what you join in worship with Him.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 6:19)
Whenever Allah sent a prophet to a nation, the most of its people ridiculed him and treated Allah's Signs as naught. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And how many a Prophet have We sent amongst the men of old. And never came there a Prophet to them but they used to mock at him." (Al-Qur‘aan 43:6-7)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Alas for mankind! There never came a Messenger to them but they used to mock at him. Do they not see how many of the generations We have destroyed before them? Verily, they will not return to them. And surely, all - everyone of them will be brought before Us." (Al-Qur‘aan 36:30-32)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Then We sent Our Messengers in succession. Every time there came to a nation their Messenger, they denied him; so, We made them follow one another (to destruction), and We made them as ahaadiith (the true stories for mankind to learn a lesson). So, away with a people who believe not!" (Al-Qur‘aan 23:44)
The children of Israel were among the nations that rejected the truth and distorted their scriptures, and claimed that they killed their prophet, son of Mary. They also made a false claim about his mother saying that she was unchaste. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Because of their breaking the covenant, and of their rejecting the aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, and of their killing the Prophets unjustly, and of their saying: 'Our hearts are wrapped (with coverings, i.e. we do not understand what the Messengers say)' - nay, Allah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief, so they believe not but a little. And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Mary a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse); and because of their saying (in boast), 'We killed Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah,' - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them (the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man, and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely, they killed him not (i.e. Jesus, son of Mary): But Allah raised him (Jesus) up (with his body and soul) unto Himself [and he (AS) is in the heavens]. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise." (Al-Qur‘aan 4:155-158)
Muslims regard the Scriptures of the People of the Book (Jews and Nazarenes) as interpolated, but interpolation still implies retention of some truths. Muslims do not claim that true followers of the Prophets distorted their message, but that others claiming to act in their names did so later on.
It should be noted that the true followers of Jesus were persecuted by different groups who had become deviated from the message of Jesus (AS). Thus, one should not wonder about the amount of various Gospels and epistles which exist as well as many alterations, omissions and additions that were made in the scriptures of the children of Israel, especially when each sect wanted to present the life story of the Prophets, their teachings, and events of that time according to their own understanding in order to prove their own belief!
Mrs. Ellen G. White, a "prophetess" of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, in her Bible Commentary Vol. 1, page 14, has this confession to make about the fallibility of the "Holy Bible." "The Bible we read today is the work of many copyists who have in most instances done their work with marvellous accuracy. But copyists have not been infallible, and God most evidently has not seen fit to preserve them altogether from error in transcribing." In the following pages of her commentary, Mrs. White testifies further: "I saw that God had especially guarded the Bible, yet when copies of it were few, learned men had in some instances changed the words, thinking that they were making it plain, when in reality they were mystifying that which was plain, by causing it to lean to their established views, which were governed by tradition." (Quoted from the booklet "Is the Bible God's Word?" by Ahmed Deedat)
"The Old Testament was originally written almost entirely in Hebrew, with a few short elements in Aramaic. When the Persian empire gained control of the eastern Mediterranean basin, Aramaic became the dominant language of the area, and it became desirable to have the Pentateuch (the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) translated into the common language from Hebrew. The resulting Targums (from Aramaic meturgeman, "translator") survived after original Hebrew scrolls had been lost…
In 405 St. Jerome finished translating a Latin version (of the Bible) that was based firstly on the Septuagint and then on the original Hebrew, and this version, the Vulgate, despite corruption introduced by copyists, became the standard of Western Christianity for a thousand years or more … Jerome's Latin Vulgate served as the basis for translations of both the Old Testament and the New Testament into Syriac, Arabic, Spanish, and many other languages, including English. The Vulgate provided the basis for the Douai-Reims Version (New Testament, 1582; Old Testament, 1609–10), which remained Roman Catholicism's only authorized Bible in English until the 20th century…
The first complete English-language version of the Bible dates from 1382 and was credited to John Wycliffe and his followers. But it was the work of the scholar William Tyndale, who from 1525 to 1535 translated the New Testament and part of the Old Testament, that became the model for a series of subsequent English translations. All previous English translations culminated in the King JamesVersion (1611; known in England as the Authorized Version), which was prepared by 54 scholars appointed by King James I … By the late 20th century the entire Bible had been translated into nearly 325 languages, and portions of the Bible had been published in more than 1,800 of the world's languages." (Encyclopaedia Britannica Profiles: World Religions)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, 'This is from Allah,' to purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby." (Al-Qur‘aan 2:79)
Muslims believe that all the scriptures, which were revealed before the Qur‘aan, were books of truth and guidance, and they were sent to different nations to show what Allah had legislated for them. Even though all the Heavenly Books contain the same basic message, i.e. at-tauhiid (belief in the Oneness of Allah), which Allah enjoined upon every nation through His prophets, still there were in them certain laws and judgments which were meant and applied only to the time period when they were revealed, because the practical laws varied from time to time and some were abrogated by others.
The law of Muhammad (SAAS) abrogates the practical legislation specific to past nations and reaffirms the final, eternal laws that are suited for every time and place. Additionally, the Book (al-Qur‘aan) that was revealed to Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) is the last divine revelation to the whole mankind. And since there will not be any revelation after it, Allah (SWT) has promised to preserve and safeguard it.
Al-Qur‘aan confirms the earlier scriptures which called to at-tauhiid (belief in the Oneness of Allah), and it informs us about the falsehood that man has imposed on them. It also invites man to return to his natural inclination which is worshipping Allah Alone, in order to achieve happiness in this life and the Hereafter. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And We have sent down to you [O Muhammad (SAAS)] the Book (this Qur‘aan) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures). So judge among them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you. To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. If Allah had willed, He would have made you one nation, but that (He) may test you in what He has given you; so compete in good deeds. The return of you (all) is to Allah; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ. And so judge [you O Muhammad (SAAS)] among them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you [O Muhammad (SAAS)] far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you. And if they turn away, then know that Allah's Will is to punish them for some sins of theirs. And truly, most of men are faasiqoon (rebellious and disobedient to Allah). Do they then seek the judgement of (the Days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm Faith." (Al-Qur‘aan 5:48-50)
Men are created with a natural inclination to the worship of God
Mankind was in the beginning a single nation, worshipping one God, then Satan turned them away from the right religion. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Mankind was one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent down the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed..." (Al-Qur‘aan 2:213)
Ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) said: "Between Noah and Adam were ten generations, all of them were upon Islam, then they differed. So Allah sent prophets as bringers of good news and as warners." (Related by at-Tabaree in his Tafsiir)
According to Islam, Allah created men, provides for them, guides them to worship Him alone and does not forsake them. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Allah, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord, so blessed is Allah, the Lord of the 'aalamiin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). He is the Ever Living, laa ilaaha illaa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He); so invoke Him making your worship pure for Him Alone (by worshipping Him Alone, and none else, and by doing righteous deeds sincerely for Allah's sake only, and not to show off, and not setting up rivals with Him in worship). All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'aalamiin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)." (Al-Qur‘aan 40:64-65)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "He (Allah) created man. He taught him eloquent speech." (Al-Qur‘aan 55:3-4)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not. Nay! Verily, man does transgress (in disbelief and evil deed), because he considers himself self-sufficient. Surely, unto your Lord is the return." (Al-Qur‘aan 96:1-8)
Once again, every creature is born with the natural inclination to submission to his Creator, Allah. However, those who deviate from this original nature, do so due to blind following of wicked seducers among men and jinn, and their leader is Satan (may Allah curse him). "[Ibliis (Satan)] said: 'Because You have sent me astray, surely, I will lie in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).' (Allah) said (to Ibliis): 'Get out from this (Paradise), disgraced and expelled. Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely, I will fill Hell with you all.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 7:16-18 - interpretation of the meaning)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Allah cursed him (Satan). And he (Satan) said: 'I will take an appointed portion of your slaves. Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah.' And whoever takes Satan as a walii (protector or helper) instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss. He (Satan) makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Satan's promises are nothing but deceptions. The dwelling of such (people) is Hell, and they will find no way of escape from it. But those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to the Gardens under which rivers flow (i.e. in Paradise) to dwell therein forever. Allah's Promise is the truth; and whose words can be truer than those of Allah? (Of course, none)." (Al-Qur‘aan 4:118-122)
'Iyaad (RAA) narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAAS), while delivering a sermon one day, said: "Behold, my Lord commanded me that I should teach you that which you do not know and that which He has taught me today. (He has instructed thus): The property which I have conferred upon them is lawful for them. I have created My slaves as one having a natural inclination to the worship of Allah but it is Satan who turns them away from the right religion. He makes unlawful that which has been declared lawful for them and he commands them to ascribe partnership to Me although he has no justification for that. Verily, Allah looked towards the people of the world and He showed hatred for the Arabs and the non-Arabs, with the exception of some remnants from the People of the Book (Jews and Nazarenes). He (further) said: I have sent thee [the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS)] in order to put you to the test and put (those to the test) through you…" (Muslim)
Changing anything of the human form and appearance shaped by Allah either by addition or removal for purposes of beautification or imitating the other sex, is a waste of one's dignity and disobedience to his Creator. Thus, each gender is forbidden to behave like the other one in movement, speech, dress, ornament or anything else that is considered to be characteristic to that gender by nature. Behaving like the other gender is one of the grievous sins, and whoever does so is cursed (deprived of Allah's mercy), because he rebels against the natural laws originated by the Lord of the worlds.
'Alqamah (RAA) narrated that 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (RAA) said, "Allah curses those ladies who practise tattooing, those who have themselves tattooed, those ladies who remove the hair from their faces and those who make artificial spaces between their teeth in order to look more beautiful whereby they change Allah's creation." (Al-Bukhari)
'Abdullah ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) narrated that the Prophet (SAAS) cursed those men who assume the manners of women and those women who assume the manners of men, and he (SAAS) said: "Turn them out of your houses." The Prophet (SAAS) turned out a certain man, and 'Umar turned out a certain woman. (Al-Bukhari)
Abu Huraira (RAA) narrated that the Prophet (SAAS) said: "Allah has cursed the lady who artificially lengthens (her own or someone else's) hair, the one who has her hair lengthened, the one who tattoos (herself or someone else), and the one who has herself tattooed." (Al-Bukhari)
'Aun ibn Abi Juhaifa (RAA) narrated: "My father bought a slave who practiced the profession of cupping. (My father broke the slave's instruments of cupping.) I asked my father why he had done so. He replied: "The Prophet forbade the acceptance of the price of a dog or blood, and also forbade the profession of tattooing, getting tattooed and receiving or giving ar-ribaa‘ (usury), and cursed the picture-makers (who make the pictures of human beings or animals)" (Al-Bukhari)
As we mentioned in our introduction, innocence refers to the state in which all the slaves of Allah are created; that is free from disbelief, and having a natural inclination to the worship of Allah Alone. Moreover, whoever submits to Allah, which is recognizing His unity and obeying Him, should also denounce polytheism and its people. This meaning can be further clarified by the following verse from al-Qur‘aan. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And (remember) when Abraham said to his father and his people: 'Verily, I am innocent of what you worship, except Him (i.e. I worship none but Allah Alone) Who did create me; and verily, He will guide me.' And he made it [i.e. laa ilaaha illa Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone)] a Word lasting among his offspring (True Monotheism), that they may turn back (i.e. to repent to Allah or receive admonition)." (Al-Qur‘aan 43:26-28)
The ideologies of mass destruction were introduced to the Muslims to divert their attention from their priorities, and to create anarchy in their societies by trying to separate the religion from the worldly affairs. Moreover, the claim of secularists that there is a conflict between faith and rational thinking was formed with the aim of making man confused! It is possible that this conflict really existed in the West, where Christian clergy ruled the people under the pretext of using the authority given by God. Therefore secularism rose as a counter effect to that.
It is noteworthy that the case of Islam is not the same like that of other religions. Throughout Islamic history which dates back over 14 centuries, there was never such separation between the religion and worldly affaires, instead, Islam is a religion that rules people's affaires from womb to tomb; it secures the rights of an unborn child, as it secures those of other people, even after their death.
The secularists claim to handle people's affaires by giving them their rights. While doing this, however, they treat people as stereotypes. By standardizing people, they destroy their identities, traditions and beliefs. Whilst there is no compulsion in the religion, secularism is a system that compels everyone to follow it! Hence, people are made to submit to these modern "reformers", who issue their own decrees; granting or taking away liberties, only in a modern way!
Islam is Allah's religion that frees mankind from illusions, corruption and man's worship of man. Islam calls people to be united upon the truth and justice; inviting to all that is good, forbidding all that is bad and obeying Allah's rules.
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice. And We brought forth iron wherein is mighty power, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help Him (His religion) and His Messengers in the unseen. Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty." (Al-Qur‘aan 57:25)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, Allah enjoins al-'adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allah Alone - Islamic Monotheism) and al-ihsaan [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah's sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet (SAAS) in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them, e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help), and forbids al-fahshaa‘ (i.e. all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and al-munkar (i.e. all that is prohibited by Islamic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds), and al-baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression). He admonishes you, that you may take heed." (Al-Qur‘aan 16:90)
Finally, we seek refuge with Allah, the Lord of mankind, from the evil of devils among jinn and men. We ask Him (SWT) to make us among the righteous who hasten in all good works, and not among those, for whom the life of this world has become beautified and whose evil deeds are made fair-seeming to them.
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men - like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair-seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do. And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people to plot therein. But they plot not except against their ownselves, and they perceive (it) not." (Al-Qur‘aan 6:122-123)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies – devils among mankind and jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it; so leave them alone with their fabrications. (And this is in order) that the hearts of those who disbelieve in the Hereafter may incline to such (deceit), and that they may remain pleased with it, and that they may commit what they are committing (all kinds of sins and evil deeds). [Say O Muhammad (SAAS):] 'Shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book (al-Qur‘aan), explained in detail.' Those unto whom We gave the Scripture [the Tauraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] know that it is revealed from your Lord in truth. So be not you of those who doubt. And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie. Verily, your Lord! It is He Who knows best who strays from His Way, and He knows best the rightly guided ones." (Al-Qur‘aan 6:112-117)
Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the dhaalimuun (polytheists, wrongdoers, etc.) do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror. (They will be) hastening forward with necks outstretched, their heads raised up (towards the sky), their gaze returning not towards them and their hearts empty (from thinking because of extreme fear). And warn [O Muhammad (SAAS)] mankind of the Day when the torment will come unto them; then the wrongdoers will say: 'Our Lord! Respite us for a little while, we will answer Your Call and follow the Messengers!' (It will be said): 'Had you not sworn aforetime that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter). And you dwelt in the dwellings of men who wronged themselves, and it was clear to you how We had dealt with them. And We put forth (many) parables for you.' Indeed, they planned their plot, and their plot was with Allah, though their plot was not such as to remove the mountains (real mountains or the Islamic law) from their places (as it is of no importance). So think not that Allah will fail to keep His Promise to His Messengers. Certainly, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution. On the Day when the earth will be changed to another earth and so will be the heavens, and they (all creatures) will appear before Allah, the One, the Irresistible. And you will see the mujrimuun (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism, polytheists, etc.) that Day muqarranuun (bound together) in fetters (with their hands and feet tied to their necks with chains). Their garments will be of pitch, and fire will cover their faces. That Allah may requite each person according to what he has earned. Truly, Allah is Swift at reckoning. This (Qur‘aan) is a Message for mankind (and a clear proof against them), in order that they may be warned thereby, and that they may know that He is the only One Ilaah (God - Allah) - (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) - and that men of understanding may take heed." (Al-Qur‘aan 14:42-52)
"Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur‘ân", translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan and Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali
Published on Wednesday the 20th of Dhul-Hijjah, 1424/the 11th of February, 2004