In the below video, Shaykh Ahmed Deedat’s (may Allah be pleased with him) most The FAMOUS EPIC question which NO CHRISTIAN can answer , “Show us where Jesus said “I am God” or “Worship Me”
There are passages in the CHRISTIAN bible which are ambiguous and not in the words of Jesus which the CHRISTIAN claim are saying that Jesus is God. But there is no clear-cut passage in the bible where Jesus himself says He is God. Or Jesus himself says to worship him. This is a relevant question because the salvation of billions depend upon Jesus being God.
In the Quran its says, And when God said, “O Jesus son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind, “Take me and my mother as gods apart from God?” [Jesus son of Mary] said, “Glory be to Thee! It is not for me to utter that to which I have no right. Had I said it, Thou wouldst surely have known it. Thou knowest what is in my self and I know not what is in Thy Self. Truly it is Thou Who knowest best the things unseen. I said naught to them save that which Thou commanded me: “Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness over them, so long as I remained among them. And Thou art Witness over all things. If Thou punisheth them they are indeed Thy servants, but if Thou forgiveth them, then indeed Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.” (5:116-118)
For a full perspective on the debate, please watch the full debate for a full context.
Debate between Pastor Stanley Sjoberg and Ahmed Deedat (may Allah confer mercy upon him). Muslim Debate Initiative. IPCI
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The Christian concept of divine decree , fate or destiny is marred by ambiguity. In searching of Christians’ understanding of this belief, we found a conflict of opinions. Some Christians reject the existence of this belief altogether; others make a distinction between faith in decree and predestination. They believe in the first while rejecting the second !
Father Michael Mena, says: “As for fate is the matter through which things are predestined without extravagance or shortcoming. In other words, it is a just requital in which a person may have a just reward or punishment for his/her acts. Such idea of decree and predestination does not exist in Christianity, but rather is taken from pagan acts of worship where they believe that their gods may value certain works, calamities or good things. In Christianity, the compulsory decree may be found in celestial bodies which have certain paths that are compelled to walk through”.
Another Christian thinker says: “Christianity does not believe in decree and destiny. This is an Islamic thought, but that everything is subject to the authority of our living God. We believe in the power of prayer and the response of the Lord who does anything for the sake of his loved ones. God does not compel anyone and does not judge anyone wrongly on the pretext of fatalism and the saying that everything is judgment.”
The Islamic vision and understanding of divine decree and predestination is considered to be reasonable and comprehensive. Allah-glory be to him- does not compel anyone to choose a thing or do it. He previously knew what to happen in future and wrote it.
Fathers have fallen into the misunderstanding and confusion of the reality of such concept, as their views were based on the apparent injustice of the Lord!
Father Michael says, “God’s decree confirms the result of human actions and the freedom of their will to choose their actions. But Christianity rejects the compulsory decree of the idea of a person being judged before he is born to live as a disbeliever, a murderer or an adulterer. This is injustice and lack of knowledge of a just God. A murderer or adulterer, on the day of judgment, will be held accountable for something that was written upon him before s/he was born; even if the infidel repented or prayed to God, it is written that he should be so. Those beliefs are rejected by Christianity.”
The Islamic point of destiny requires that God Almighty wrote what he knew that would be in future and no one was forced into his destiny, but they were given what they chose to do and this is what Christians could not understand, even though many texts contained in the Bible indicate the two aspects of compulsion and choice:
“to carry out the sentence written against them– this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 9: 149)
“But now, please forgive their sin–but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” ” (Exodus, 32/32).
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy, 30:19).
“Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD.” “Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied..” (Joshua 24:22).
With these texts, Christians cannot reject the principle of fate, decree, predestination or judgment, but it is the misunderstanding that has made them reject it or make wrong interpretations to it. Divine decree or predestination is addressed in the Qur’an with a comprehensive understanding:
“There is not to be upon the Prophet any discomfort concerning that which Allah has imposed upon him. [This is] the established way of Allah with those [prophets] who have passed on before. And ever is the command of Allah a destiny decreed”. (33:38)
“And to Allah are [all] matters returned.” (8:44)
“No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things”. (24:22)(
Also such a doctrine finds a support in the Sunnah (narrations) of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him):
The Prophet, (PBUH), said:
“You will believe in good and bad destiny.” And he, peace and blessings of God be upon him, said: “Know that what was to affect you, will not happen to you,.”and what was not to affect you, will not happen to you”.
“A believer who is strong (and healthy) is better and dearer to Allah than the weak believer, but there is goodness in both of them. Be keen on what benefits you and seek help from Allah, and do not give up. If anything afflicts you do not say, ‘If I had done such and such things, such and such would have happened.’ But say, ‘Allah decrees and what He wills He does,’ for (the utterance) ‘If I had’ provides an opening for the deeds of the devil.” Related by Muslim.”
“The creation of you (humans) is gathered in the form of semen in the womb of your mother for forty days, then it becomes a clinging thing in similar (period), then it becomes a lump of flesh like that, then Allah sends an angel who breathes the life into it; and (the angel) is commanded to record four things about it: Its provision, its term of life (in this world), its conduct; and whether it will be happy or miserable. By the One besides Whom there is no true god! Verily, one of you would perform the actions of the dwellers of Jannah until there is only one cubit between him and it (Jannah), when what is foreordained would come to pass and he would perform the actions of the inmates of Hell until he enter it. And one of you would perform the actions of the inmates of Hell, until there is only one cubit between him and Hell. Then he would perform the acts of the dwellers of Jannah until he would enter it.”[Al- Bukhari and Muslim].
If you are to collect the texts of the Bible together, you will reach the same understanding, but the ecclesiastical misinterpretation of the texts carries with it an approach that contradicts the requirements of sound thinking. Jesus is reported to have said
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” (Matthew. 10:29).
Islam, in its comprehensiveness of the concept of destiny, raises the value of acts. Allah-glory be to him- hided the fate of every act so that no one may take it as a pretext for his evil or good act although the acts themselves are created by God (Allah). The Prophet (PBUH) says,
“None will enter Paradise but will be shown the place he would have occupied in the (Hell) Fire if he had rejected faith, so that he may be more thankful; and none will enter the (Hell) Fire but will be shown the place he would have occupied in Paradise if he had faith, so that may be a cause of sorrow for him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari).
Al-Bayhaqi says, “It is known that the actions are more than things, Had the people were the creators of all their acts or their deeds they would be superior to God who would the creator of things only! Therefore, the deeds of people are created the will of all because God Almighty said: “And God created you and what you do.”
-Theology, Father Michael Mena.
-Belief by Bayhaqi
The Ten Commandments are one of the greatest teachings that Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, came with. In Christianity and Islam as well, we find similar teachings that are sometimes identical and may exceed them.
According to some Christians, they are “essential and obligation; no one can be excused from being bound by them!”
The New Testament gives a hint at them: Christ was asked:
“Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”. “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments. “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ “(Matthew, 19: 16-21).
Also in Matthew (22: 35-40), we find:
“One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”. (Matthew, 22: 35-40).
According to some: “These two commandments relate to the whole law and all the prophets” and were considered “A summary of the basic laws of conduct for humanity. Jews and Christians refer to them in order to learn from how to lead a moral life.”
Pope John Paul II said, “The Ten Commandments are not obligations imposed on us by a tyrant deity. They safe our family’s day and all our coming days”.
They are, according to the Old Testament as follows:
“Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.The Ten Commandments in Islam”
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you”.
“You shall not murder”.
“You shall not commit adultery”.
“You shall not steal”.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor”.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus, 20: 10-17)”.
Islam came with much of these teachings and with more other commandments! it was Say,
“Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” And do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember. And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous”. (6 : 151-153).
Many other commandments are also mentioned in Allah’s saying:
“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” Your Lord is most knowing of what is within yourselves. If you should be righteous [in intention] – then indeed He is ever, to the often returning [to Him], Forgiving. And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful. And if you [must] turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word. And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent. Indeed, your Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing. And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin. And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. ……”. (17: 23-38)
Regarding the prohibition of unlawful killing, it says:
“And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right. And whoever is killed unjustly – We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed limits in [the matter of] taking life. Indeed, he has been supported [by the law] (17:33)
As for tackling monotheism (tawhid) and the unity of God, the Qur’anic, the Islamic scripture, teachings in most of its contents refer to monotheism:
God Almighty praises (Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”)(112: 1-4).
This surah has been considered a third of the Qur’an because it included establishing monotheism, which permeates the teachings of the Holy Qur’an much!
Islam, unprecedently, has exceeded these commandments, added much clarifications and benefits, and brought some new rulings and regulations regarding them. While forbidding adultery, Islam sets forth unprecedented rulings as regards adultery-accusations, male and female adulterer respective states of the adulterer, consequences of accusation whether the punishment should be mitigated or strengthened, deferred or abolished.
The same applies to the crime of theft. Islam lays the appropriate punishment fit to such a heinous crime. It gives details of evidence of the accusation of theft and also takes into account the conditions of the thief and the crime of theft.
According to Islamic beliefs, God has commanded the faithful servants in the Qur’an with many commandments, the most important of which are the ten commandments that were included in the three verses of Surat Al-Anam and also mentioned in verses of Surat (chapter of) Al-Isra.
The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbids making statues (which could lead to their worship).
“Abu Hurairah, a prominent companion of the Prophet -may Allah be pleased with him- says: The Messenger of God, may Allah’s peace and prayers be upon him, says: Who is more wrongdoing than the one who tries to create like my creation. Let him create an atom(ant) or a grain of wheat or that of barley”.
The Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, also said:
“The most tormented people (on the Day of Judgement) are the sculptors (or cravers)”.
As for the forbidden false oath, which was stated in the Bible as: “Do not utter the name of the Lord your God in vain,” Islam has forbade swearing by God in vain; such oath was condemned by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that he called it Al-Yamin Al-Ghamus (the one which casts its doer in the Hellfire). However, we find false applications of this concept on the Christian side; we see many of them swearing by faith rather than by God, although the Bible teachings forbids to swear by God falsely only and do not discourage them from swearing by God truthfully! The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, says:
“Whoever wants to swear let him swear by God (Allah) only”.
We, moreover, find many texts in the prophetic Sunnah that show the different rulings on oath: How to preserve or break it.
The Sunnah of the Prophet abounds with talking about being kind to one’s parents: The Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:
“A person will not recompense their parents their right except that he finds them slaves and free them (i.e. s/he cannot recompense them their right) “(Narrated by Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah).
As for the glorification of the Sabbath or other days, it was a test for the Jews who violated the sanctity of God’s commands; God afflicted them with the Sabbath. According to Islam, there are many days which are blessed by God and have merits:
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].)” (9: 36).
As for the prohibition on killing. Islam forbids killing others unlawfully. It legalizes death-penalty for those who deserve it and violates God’s law Almighty says:
“And do not kill the soul that God has forbidden except by the truth.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him, said: : It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who testifies that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of God except for one of three: being a Thayiib (married or divorced) fornicator, killing others, and the one who leaves his religion and become an apostate dissenting from Muslims”.
The forbidding of false testimony finds support in the Qur’an. Islam condemns those who do false testimony. According to the Qur’an, one of the characteristics of the servants of the Most Merciful that they do not do false testimony. The Prophet, as well, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, stresses the prohibition of such testimony saying:
“Should I not inform you about the most grievous of the grave sins? (The Holy Prophet) repeated it three times, and then said: Associating partners with Allah, disobedience to parents, false testimony or false utterance. The Prophet was reclining, then he sat down, and repeated it so many times that we wished that he was silent”.
Thus, we see the comprehensiveness of Islamic commandments. Islam adds more noble commandments which are not even found in the Bible or any other scripture. It encourages observation of one’s promises or covenants, being kind or charitable to the orphans, encouraging justice and giving full scales or balance while selling to others and the fear of God Almighty!.
-Catechism of the Catholic Youth – in Arabic, a group of bishops with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, Patriarchal Youth Office, Bkerke 2012, pp. 192-193).
Concept of Education and Upbringing in the Bible
The concept of upbringing and education is one of the most important concepts to occupy the contemporary mind. All approaches have begun to express its voice on it or, even, offer solutions to social problems related to it. However, still the religious approach- especially the heavenly religions– has the highest voice in this regard.
Making a comparison between the Islamic and Christian stands on the educational aspects, we found the Islamic stand to be comprehensive and accurate compared to the Christian one which was based on general and ecclesiastical texts that have nothing to do with the Bible or its teachings!
A Christian thinker claims that Jesus’ saying: “So what God gathered together, no man will separate it.” (Mark 9:10) leads to progeny good upbringing. However, a permanent marital relationship without divorce does not mean a good upbringing!
As many Christian beliefs, this perception has been blended with the doctrine of trinity or the belief in the paternity of God Almighty for the creatures—far is God from such blasphemous beliefs. A Christian thinker says, “As adoption is a divine idea, He set an example for us through adopting us as His children”, (Romans,8:15, Ephesians 1: 5).
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”(The Bible, Ephesians 6: 1-4).
The Prophet of Islam warned humanity against the crime of the transferring deviant doctrines to upcoming innocent generations or the monopoly of their future faith; he said,
“There is none born but is created to his true nature (Islam). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Magian quite as beasts produce their young with their limbs perfect. Do you see anything deficient in them? Then he quoted the Qur’an., The nature made by Allah in which He has created men there is no altering of Allah’s creation; that is the right religion” (30: 30) (Sahih Muslim 2658 b)
This prophetic saying (hadith) means that: God (Allah) created people on the perfect creation (instinct), which is: natural acceptance of the truth of monotheism (the religion of Islam) enabling them to realize it upon their birth; the goodness of this religion is fixed in their souls, Al-Mazeri said: “It was a promise (not to be pagans) taken by them (i.e. their souls) before their creation”.
The objectivity of research in this field leads us to say that we do not lack an educational concept in the Bible, as many texts came in it that assure it, including:
-“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. “Deuteronomy (4: 6-7).
-“In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the LORD sent signs and wonders–great and terrible–on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”(Deuteronomy 6-25: 20)
-“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise– .”so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6: 1-4).
-“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in”. (Proverbs 3: 11-12)
Among the texts regarding this may also include: (Psalm 127: 3; 34: 11; Proverbs 23: 13-14).
Concept of Education and Upbringing in Islam
However, not denying the Christian concept of education and upbringing, as establishing a good basis for education, it seems that it lacks inclusiveness, methodology and accuracy, compared to the Islamic one which seems to be comprehensive because it is based on a firm educational methodology.
Dr. Khaled Rusha, an specialist in education says: “Non-Islamic educational methodologies were characterized by focusing on one aspect of human life. In Judaism, education is based on excellence and specificity; the Christian education focuses on the salvation of man from vice. In natural education Rousseau sees that the goal of education is to provide the mind with knowledge only. John Dewey believes that growth is the goal of education. Renan believes that the individual, not society, is the goal of education. Islam is unique from all approaches, as it treats the human psyche along with the body, mind, and spirit. It took advantage of all human energies not wasting them.
Among these educational principles upon which Islam laid are the following:
Education and Upbringing through the Concept of Reward, Punishment, and Worship
Establishing the concept of reward and punishment to encourage doing good and discourage from doing evil deeds. Islam maximizes the role of joint responsibility towards the offspring and the concern to establish it righteously, as the Prophet of Islam, who was sent mercy to humanity, says:
-“All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects, the man is a guardian of his family, the woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects.”.( Book 1, Hadith 283)
-“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded”.(66:6)
In the context of religious guidance or education by worship, God Almighty says:
-“And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein. We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for [those of] righteousness.” (20: 132)
-The Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, says about prayer: “Teach a boy Salat (the prayer) when he attains the age of seven years, and punish him (if he does not offer it) at ten”.( Book 1, Hadith 302)
Islam take into account the age of punishment; it defers it through considering an introductory period of psychological preparation that precedes the stage of punishment, which is restricted in Islam, under certain conditions. These include not breaking bone, injuring others, slamming face or insulting.
Moral, punitive education finds a way for it in Islam, as Islam takes into account that souls are driven by reward and punishment. The Sunnah (way) of the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him,- says:
-On the authority of Ibn Abbas, may God be pleased with them, on the authority of the Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, he said: “Hang the whip where the people of the house can see it (i.e. be serious or firm in your house), for it (i.e. threaten of punishment) may deter them from vice discipline their manners for them.” Narrated by al-Tabarani (10/248).
In order not to misunderstand this concept incorrectly, Islam associates it with the concept of kindness. The Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, says:
“When God Almighty wants good for the people of a house, he will bring kindness to them”.
The Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, greeted children and made them feel their societal value. Sometimes he gave them his secret, which leads us to say that he tried to build their healthy social personality at young age.
Planting Sound Beliefs and Good Morals
Islamic education and upbringing aims to: instill sound belief in the hearts of children since childhood through conversation between parents and children.
The Qur’an mentions the Wiseman Lukman’s, commandments to his son saying:
“And We had certainly given Luqman, wisdom [and said], “Be grateful to Allah.” And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor] – then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy. And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.” And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do. O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination. And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” (31:12)
Many educators have considered such Qur’anic approach to education because it contains the most important foundations of education criteria: For example education by planting sound belief, education by worship, education through psychological observation, vigilance of conscience and physical education, and establishing the concept of disciplined communication with society.
This aspect of education by worship through connecting children to noble rites especially prayer in Islam, is enough to create a generation that carries in its conscience a torrent of good qualities and good morals, as the Qur’an says in the matter of prayer:
“Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. “(16:90)
Education by Example
This is evidenced in the establishment of the Qur’an of the supreme human perfect example i.e. Prophets, especially Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him):
“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” (33:21)
The Qur’an focuses that the goodness of parents has a good impact on the souls of children and their general affairs and attitude:
“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. ” (18:82)
Allah (God) Almighty says,
“And let those [executors and guardians] fear [injustice] as if they [themselves] had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. ” (9: 4)
Making Legislation Appropriate to Family Cohesion
It should be affirmed that Islam has laid appropriate legislations for the cohesion of the family, which is the nucleus of society. These include social legislation such as marriage, divorce, and other legislations which were welcomed by Christian themselves .
Similarly, the Prophet of Islam urged marriage to the righteous wife who takes care for the man’s children and wealth, saying:
“The world is but a (quick passing) enjoyment; and the best enjoyment of the world is a pious and virtuous woman”.(Book 1, Hadith 280)
He, moreover, ordered kind treatment between spouses due to the good effect on society and offspring, as confirmed by education and social scientists:
-“Fear Allah, ‘Uthman, your wife has a right on you, your guest has a right on you, your self has a right on you ; you should keep fast and (sometimes) leave fast, and pray and sleep.”
-“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.”( Book 9, Hadith 2053)
-Al-Durar Al-Saniyya Website.
-Islam Way Website.
By Faten Sabri
“Say, [O believers], ‘We have believed in Allah (The Creator) and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.’ ” (Qur’an 2:136)
Although Muslims don’t deny Prophet Isaac’s Prophecy, but the Promised Son for them was Prophet Ishmael (the father of Arabs), from whom Prophet Muhammad arose as the last Prophet.
Muslims don’t believe that the Old Testament and the New Testament are the word of God, but they believe that both have a valid source which is the Torah and the Gospel (God’s revelations to the Prophets Moses and Jesus Christ). Therefore, some parts of them are from God and others not. Both the Old Testament and the new testaments suffered severe changes to hide the truth of the Prophecy of the coming Prophet Muhammad and the importance of the city of Makkah, and for many other reasons.
The following explanation can help many to understand what that means:
God made a covenant with Prophet Abraham before both Of His Sons Were Born
“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.’” (Genesis 15:18)
All the descendants of Prophet Ishmael settled in Arabia, this area is located between the Nile and the Euphrates.
“His descendants (Ishmael) settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur,.. “(Genesis 25:18)
Havila, according to the Bible placed in southwest Arabia, while Ashur is located on the north-eastern border of Egypt, and Ashur was the capital of the Old Assyrian Empire (Iraq today).
Therefore, the descendants of Ishmael settled this area extending south of the Hijaz (Arabia) and north, which includes the land of Paran (Makkah according to the Bible), which was inhabited by Ishmael.
Hagar Is A legal Wife To Prophet Abraham
“So after Abraham had been living in Canaan ten years, Sara his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.” (Genesis 16:3)
Ishmael Is A Legal Son To Prophet Abraham
Ishmael means ‘God hears.’ That God accepted the supplication of Abraham to give him a son. The name Ishmael was chosen by God. It was never mentioned in the Old Testament that Ishmael was an illegitimate son.
“The angel of the Lord also said to her: ‘You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery.’” (Genesis 16:11)
God Promised To Make From Ishmael A Great Nation And Honors Him
“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. “ (Genesis 17:20)
The Promised Son
“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’”(Genesis 22:1-2)
A contradiction was found here; it is mentioned that ‘take your only son Isaac’. Ishmael was the only son of Prophet Abraham for fourteen years, till the birth of Prophet Isaac. When Isaac was born, Abraham had two sons. The name of Ishmael was changed to Isaac. But the word ‘only’ preserved by the mercy of God to show us the truth.
According to the biblical verse below Hagar and Ishmael were sent a way because of Sara’s jealousy. In Islam this incident happened because of God’s plan and it took place before the birth of Prophet Isaac. By reading the following biblical verses we can understand that the Islamic version of the story is more accurate.
“The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, ‘Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.’” (Genesis 21:8)
“Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put the child upon her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.” (Genesis 21:14-15)
Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.
“Abraham was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.” (Genesis 16:16)
And he was one hundred years old when Isaac was born.
“Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.” (Genesis 21:5)
It is concluded that Ishmael was fourteen years old when Isaac was born. This is because as mentioned, the incident happened after Isaac was weaned, and their tradition was that the child is weaned about the age of three. Therefore, when Hagar and Ishmael moved, Ishmael was a full grown teenager of about seventeen years old. A teenager can’t be lifted up and to be put under the bushes, according to biblical verse Ishmael must have been a baby not a teenager. Therefore, according to Muslim’s point of view it is another contradiction in the Old Testament.
Ishmael Was Circumcised Before The Birth Of Isaac
“And Abraham was ninety years old and nine when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the self-same day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.” (Genesis 17:24-27)
Abraham, Ishmael, and the men of Abraham’s family were circumcised, but Isaac was not born at that time. Isaac was born a year later, and he was circumcised at the age of eight.
“And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.” (Genesis 21:4-5)
So when the covenant was made (circumcision and sacrifice) Abraham was ninety-nine and Ishmael was thirteen. Isaac was born a year later, when Abraham was one hundred years old.
Abraham Is A pure Monotheist
Prophet Abraham is the ancestor of Judah, Judah whom the Jews came from, is a descendant of Prophet Abraham, so Abraham cannot be a Jew simply because he is not a follower of Judah.
“Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [Monotheist]. And he was not of the polytheists.” (Qur’an 3:67)
Judah taught his people the religion of Prophet Abraham and the religion of all the Prophets who came before him which is Pure Monotheism (believe in One God and unifying Him in worship). Which is The exact definition of the religion of Islam, the religion which started from Prophet Adam and ended with the coming of Prophet Muhammad by shifting the religious leadership to the Arabs and the direction of the prayer to Makkah.
About The Author:
Faten Sabri (1973-) is a modern Jordanian Muslim thinker. She is well known for her frequent interaction with various cultures, religions and she speaks different languages. She studied comparative religions which made her able to discuss the controversial issues about Islam with the truth seekers and free thinkers.She wrote books about the message of Islam, the original concept of God and Jesus Christ in Islam and she has monthly articles in an international magazines. These books and articles were translated and distributed in more than 9 languages.
Concept of Jihad in Modern Time
The concept of Jihad (combat) occupies one of the most critical contemporary concepts, as much confusion permeated in the light of the facts of modern time and twisted Western interpretations of it.
In the face of this deliberate misrepresentation of this concept, many religious thinkers are either shying entirely from it or directing it in a way not consistent with its reality.
Christians claim that Jihad in Christianity is restricted to “spiritual jihad only”, and that Christians do not have to respond to any aggression! A Christian writer says: “There is no kind of Jihad in Christianity other than Jihad against sin and against the lusts, hatred, envy, killing and persecution; It is the Jihad that brings people to a life of adherence to God, love, purity, serenity, and complete inner peace with God and people.” They support such sayings by some biblical citations, including:
The words of Christ: (Luke 24:13)
“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”
And: (John 18: 35-36),
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”. (Matthew 34-35:10)
1 Timothy (6:12):
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses..”
1 Timothy (4: 7):
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith..”
1 Peter (3: 14):
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
However, we found the ecclesiastical interpretation of Christian Jihad has been translated into the Crusades against the homes of Muslims in the form of a vicious Material “Holy War” “not a spiritual one”!
They were categorically against the noble teachings and ethics encouraged by the Muslim Jihad. The Christian holy war was not as alleged a spiritual jihad, for Christians launched aggression against innocent Muslims homes and holy shrines, and even against innocent Christians themselves in Jerusalem.
The Christian Jihad was carrying the holy banners of the popes and the fathers, and the war was in the name of the Lord.
When faced with such astonishing facts, many Christian thinkers began to disavow their European fellow citizens and say that they are Christians who deviated from the right teachings of Christ. So, they interpreted this Christian Jihad according to their whims.
However, needless to say, in different rites, many Christians worldwide, consider the ecclesiastical consensus to be legal, sacred and should not be violated, even if it was not said by Jesus! Would they disregard the ecclesiastical or Church war represented in the crusades, even if they war which were considered blessed by both the Church and God?!
In Christianity we find signs of “A Christian material Jihad” where Jesus commands his followers to carry the sword, saying:
“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”(Luke 22: 35-38).
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword., For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—”(Matthew 34-35:10)
“So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.” But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king. He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it….. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.”(Luke 19:13 -27).
But the distortion-drama in the Bible did not receive those text in their real intent, so we see opposite and contradicting texts in one context!
Jesus orders his followers to carry their swords in the face of the Romans, then he discourage them from injuring them with their swords!
“When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.”(Luke 22: 49-51).
The truth that is absent from many Christian minds is that the Fathers included in the Bible the thing and its opposite. When they wanted to wage a holy war, they advanced texts to justify them, and in times of weakness, they construed the same texts to mean “spiritual jihad”!
Jihad, although not found in the Bible by its explicit term in the meaning of fighting enemies, is pragmatically present in biblical commands to struggle against “pagans and the enemies of the Lord”.
This is further supported by and was translated in the wars of David and other Bible prophets, and Jesus’ silence regarding them; Jesus was following the laws of Moses and the Torah before him was commanded not to nullify them: “I was not sent to break the law”.
The Qur’an cites Jesus’ approval of Moses’ scripture and its legislation saying says:
“And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.”(5:46)
“And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me.” (3:50)
Jesus, being not acting upon Jihad, does not mean that he aimed to nullify it , because he did not intend to lead a state in the full sense of the word, but he intended to reform the children of Israel after they deviated from the teachings of the Torah.
Therefore, he came with spiritual teachings, preaching them, and reminding them of that law that they deviated from, including the struggle against both souls and enemies.
This is evidenced by the fact that the Holy Bible’s, especial New-Testament, writers did not delete the wars and the practical struggles in the Old Testament (See Psalm 46). (1 Samuel 17) (Isaiah 6) (And see II Chronicles) (II Kings – Chapter 3) (1 Samuel Chapter 4) (Psalms XVIII).
What motivated Christians to disregard this divine legislation represented in Jihad, is the distortion that this concept, and other concepts, has acquired in Christianity.
Jesus’ message, in its real image, foretold the appearance of a new peaceful message approving his message, that was the message of Islam that was a mercy for humanity:
“And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.”(61:6).
Jihad in Islam
As for Jihad in Islam, it is only a means to support the weak; Material Jihad is only accomplished through fighting the soul, the devil, and the passions first.
The countries that the Muslims conquered felt the tolerance the of the followers of this religion with them. It became clear to them that they opened these countries only to deliver the message of heaven to them; their rights were guaranteed and ensured safety, and lived among Muslims in peace. They enjoyed rights they did not obtain under the Roman state that adopted their religion. the Qur’an establishes the rules of peace and war saying:
“Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors” (2: 190).
“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (61: 8)
Jihad in Islam has many conditions and has observed human rights. Prophet Muhammad says:
“Whenever he appointed a man to lead a military detachment, the Messenger of Allah would advise him especially to fear Allah and treat the Muslims with him well. He said: ‘Fight in the Name of Allah and in the cause of Allah. Fight those how disbelieve in Allah. Fight but do not be treacherous, do not steal from the spoils of war, do not mutilate and do not kill children”. (Sunan b. Majah Book 24, Hadith 2967)
And he says:
“Beware, if anyone wrongs a contracting man, or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall plead for him on the Day of Judgment..”( Sunan Abi Dawud 3052)
Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, the first caliph after the Messenger of God -may God bless him and grant him peace- followed the same way when he sent Osama’s army, saying:
“O people, stand up and I command you ten commandments so keep them: Do not betray, , do not treachery, do not represent Do not kill a child or an old man or a woman. and do not cut a palm-tree or burn it. Do not cut down a fruitful tree, and do not slaughter a sheep, a cow, or a camel except for a meal; you will pass by people (i.e. monks and priests) who have emptied themselves in the tents (or temples), so leave them.”
-Holy Qur’an (Tanzil.com)