Americans have longed been intrigued by Islam. We have watched as Islamic fundamentalists propagated terrorist attacks around the world-the taking of American citizens from the American embassy in Tehran, Pam Am 103 over Scotland, the kidnapping of American journalists in Lebanon, the car bombing of the World Trade Center, the bombing of American embassies in Africa, the attacks of September 11th. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America. It is especially spreading quickly among African Americans.
President Bush and his advisors keep telling us good things about Islam-how it is a religion of peace and the religion of hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens. Is Islam really that good of a religion? Tonight, we want to study the religion of Islam, a doctrine of demons.
HISTORY OF ISLAM
The history of Islam-and of the fighting between Jews and Muslims and Christians and Muslims-is quite old. The Arabs descend from Ishmael, the child of Abraham and Hagar. God promised to blessed Ishmael and multiply him exceedingly (Gen. 17:20). The Angel of the LORD told Hagar concerning Ishmael, “He shall be a wild man, His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him” (Gen. 16:12). The hatred that exists between Muslims and Christians results from the fact that Sarah did not trust God and convinced Abraham to conceive a child with Hagar.
The history of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is quite interesting. He was born in AD 570 in Mecca (which is in modern-day Saudi Arabia). His father died before his birth, his mother died when he was 6, and he was raised by his grandfather. His grandfather died when Muhammad was 8, and he was raised by his uncle. Muhammad was a camel farmer. When he was 25, he married a much-older, wealthy widow named Kahadijah.
Mohammad was a very religious person, but he was offended by the polytheism he knew in Arabia. He began a ritual of fasting and going into caves for meditation. In 610 during the month of Ramadan, Mohammad sees a vision of the angel Gabriel who tells Mohammad that he will recite the commandments of God. At first, Mohammad believed his revelations were coming from demons, but his wife convinced him that they were coming from God. Mohammad did not write the Qur’an, for he was illiterate. He memorized his revelations and scribes wrote them down. Mohammad’s main teaching was that mall had corrupted pure monotheism and he needed to get back to God. His wife was his first convert. Mohammad could be a vicious and cruel man toward his enemies; he would stoop to assassination, and he was undeniably sensual.
FIVE ARTICLES OF ISLAMIC FAITH
There are five main teachings in Islam.
Allah exists and is one. Allah has 99 names, and the camel knows God’s 100th name.
One must believe in a hierarchy of angels. Each person has two angels (one good and one bad); these two angels record our actions.
Qur’an is God’s last revelation. There have been other scriptures-the Bible-however, these were corrupted by men.
124,000 prophets were sent. There were six main prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad.
Predestination: everything is pre-ordained of God.
FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
Confession of faith.
“There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet.” This is the confession one makes to become a Muslim.
Prayer is to be made five times daily-dawn, noon, late afternoon, sunset, and after nightfall. These prayers are made facing Mecca.
Alms giving may be voluntary or imposed. By giving, one is purifying his remaining wealth. One is legally obligated to give 1/40th of his income.
Fasting mostly occurs during the month of Ramadan, and then fasting is simply from sunrise to sunset. Most Muslims have two large meals during Ramadan, one before the sun rises and one after the sun sets.
Pilgrimage: one is required to go to Mecca at least once during his lifetime.
Some ethical teachings of the Qur’an are quite different from those of the Bible.
If a husband believes his wife may leave him, he is permitted to beat her (Surah 4:34). Yet, the Bible teaches that husbands should love and respect their wives. Ephesians 5:28-29.
The Qur’an teaches that one call fight those who do not believe in Allah (Surah 9:29; 2:190-192; 4:74). The Bible teaches that we should love our enemies (Matt 5:44). Jesus was compassionate toward those who were lost (Matt 9:36-38).
The Qur’an tells biblical stories differently than the Bible.
When Moses wanted to see God, God showed himself to a mountain. The mountain crumbled and Moses fainted (Surah 7:143; cf. Ex. 38:17ff.).
Mary gave birth to Jesus underneath a palm tree (Surah 19:23ff.), yet the Bible says nothing of a palm tree (Matt 1:18ff.; Lk 2:1ff.).
Scientific errors in the Qur’an are numerous. A few examples are the following:
“When he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring and found a people thereabout. We said: ‘O Dhul-Qumeyn! Either punish or show them kindness’” (Surah 18:86).
Surah 86:5-7 says that man is created from a gushing fluid that issues from between the loins and the ribs. According to this text, semen is created in the kidneys.
There are many historical errors in the Qur’an as well:
The Qur’an says that the calf worshiped by the Israelites at Mount Horeb was molded by a Samaritan (Surah 20:85-87, 95-97). Yet the term “Samaritan” was not coined until 722 BC, which is several hundred years after the event in question. Thus, the Samaritan people could not have existed during the life of Moses, and therefore, could not have been responsible for molding the calf.
- In Surah 18:83-100, we find the story of Alexander the Great.
According to this Surah, his power was given to him by Allah (84), which some Muslims contend is an assertion that he had the same prominence as a prophet. Yet, Alexander was a heathen whose drunkenness and carousing led to his death at age 33. According to this Surah, he was credited with building an enormous wall of iron and brass between two mountains, which was tall enough and wide enough to keep an entire army out. Alexander lived in the light of history, but nothing of this sort has ever been written.
- In Surah 7:124, we find Pharaoh admonishing his sorcerers because they believe in the superiority of Moses’ power over theirs. Pharaoh threatens them with crucifixion. Yet, crucifixion was first practiced by the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians and then borrowed extensively by the Romans close to the time of Christ, 1700 years after Pharaoh!
There are many contradictions in the Qur’an as well:
The Qur’an states that the earth was created in six days (Surah 7:54; 25:59), but it also states that the world was created in eight days (Surah 41:9-12).
In Surah 51:57 we find that Jinn (angelic-type beings) were created to worship Allah, yet in Surah 7:17 we find that the Jinn were created for Hell.
In Surah 17:103 we are told that Pharaoh was drowned with his army, yet in Surah 10:90-92, upon admitting to the power of God, he is rescued as a sign to others.
In Surah 4:157 we read that Jesus did not die, yet in Surah 19:33 we read that not only did he die, but he arose again!
The interesting point in all of this is the reading of Surah 4:82 which reads, “Do they not consider the Qur’an? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancies.”
The Qur’an completely retells the story of Jesus Christ.
Mohammad believed the Christian Trinity consisted of the Father, Christ, and Mary.
“And when Allah will say: O Isa Jesus son of Marium! Did you say to men, ‘Take me and my mother as two gods besides Allah” (Surah 5:116). The text goes on to say that Jesus will tell Allah that he said no such thing. Mohammad taught that Christians believed in three gods. “Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no God but the one God” (Surah 5:73).
The Qur’an clearly says that Jesus was not the Son of God.
“He [Jesus] was naught but a servant on whom We bestowed favor” (Surah 43:59). “The Christians say: the Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!” (Surah 9:30). “It beseems not Allah that he should take to Himself a son, glory be to Him, when he has decreed matter He only says to it ‘Be,’ and it is” (Surah 19:35).
Islam is a dangerous religion. It is dangerous because it teaches that hate comes from God. It is dangerous because it takes glory away from the Son of God. It is dangerous because it robs men of eternal life.
Christianity is altogether a different story. It teaches that love comes from God. It glorifies the Son of God. It gives men eternal life. Are you a Christian?