Invoking Others Besides Allah – Addendum, a post by Sam Shamoun

As we demonstrated in our discussion (https://badmanna.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/invoking-others-besides-allah-more-examples-of-muhammads-blatant-contradictions-and-inconsistencies-a-post-by-sam-shamoun/), Muhammad broke the Quran’s express prohibition of invoking or praying to anyone other than Allah when he permitted the Arabic Christians of Najran to pray and worship in his own mosque. In so doing, Muhammad stands condemned for indirectly committing the unforgiveable sin of shirk, or of associating others in the exclusive worship, characteristics and/or sovereignty of his peculiar deity.

In fact, here is what the Quran states concerning those who knowingly carry out such a deed:

WHO made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a roof, and caused water to come down from the clouds and therewith brought forth fruits for your sustenance; so do not set up equals to ALLAH, while you know. S. 2:22 Sher Ali

Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin. S. 4:48 Pickthall – Q. 4:116

And this is what the Quran has to say to Muhammad just in case he ever decided to commit this particular transgression:

And verily it hath been revealed UNTO THEE as unto those before thee (saying): If THOU ascribe a partner to Allah THY work will fail and THOU indeed wilt be among the losers. S. 39:65 Pickthall

Since the Muslim scripture clearly warns against praying to someone other than the Muslim deity,

Say (O Muhammad): “I have been forbidden to worship those whom you invoke (worship) besides Allah.” Say: “I will not follow your vain desires. If I did, I would go astray, and I would not be one of the rightly guided.” S. 6:56 Hilali-Khan

And invoke not besides Allah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers). S. 10:106 Hilali-Khan

Say (O Muhammad to these pagans): “Think! All that you invoke besides Allah show me! What have they created of the earth? Or have they a share in (the creation of) the heavens? Bring me a Book (revealed before this), or some trace of knowledge (in support of your claims), if you are truthful!” And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become enemies for them and will deny their worshipping. S. 46:4-6 Hilali-Khan

And since Muhammad knew for a fact that these Christians from Najran worshiped and prayed to the Lord Jesus, this makes him complicit in the supposed shirk that they allegedly committed when they prayed in his mosque. As such, Muhammad stands guilty of promoting and tolerating the one sin which he himself claimed his supposed lord will never forgive.

Therefore, Muslims must come to grips with reality and accept the fact that their very own prophet died as a blasphemer and unbeliever in the sight of their god. There is simply no way around this for them if they are to be honest and consistent with what their religious texts plainly teach concerning this issue.

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The Gospel of Jesus Christ versus Neolegalism

John W. Robbins

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Since I have published several essays in which I quote the Antichristian opinions of men such as Charles Colson, Norman Shepherd, and John Piper, and I have alluded to the Antichristian opinions of several others, a few churchgoers have written to me who do not know what Neolegalism is. Worse still, they do not know what legalism is, and some of these men are Elders in Presbyterian churches.

Legalism and Man-made Law

One common misunderstanding of legalism is that one is a legalist only if one tries to obey, or insists that others obey, man-made laws. In this way of thinking, one cannot be a legalist if one is concerned exclusively about obeying God’s law. The primary example of legalism, one correspondent told me, is the Pharisees, who by their traditions had made void the laws of God. Now, to be sure, no one denies that the Pharisees were legalists. But my correspondent does not understand what made the Pharisees legalists. They were not legalists because they added to the law of God, but because they thought that by law-keeping they could obtain salvation. Compare them with the Judaizers who were corrupting the church in Galatia. The Judaizers did not invent laws for Christians to keep, as the Pharisees invented laws for the Jews to keep; they merely insisted that Christians keep laws that God himself had imposed. The Judaizers earned the curse of Paul in his letter to the churches in Galatia, just as the Pharisees earned the curse of Jesus in Matthew 23. The Judaizers were legalists, too.

Legalism and Keeping God’s Law

Another misunderstanding asserts that legalism is a concern for keeping God’s law. This is also a very popular misunderstanding of legalism, and it frequently leads to accusing anyone with scruples about obeying God’s law of being a legalist. So if one refuses to work, to shop, or to play sports on Sunday, he is accused of being a legalist. But scrupulosity about God’s law is not necessarily legalism; what makes keeping God’s law legalistic is the wrong motive for keeping the law. If one is scrupulous about obeying God’s law because one hopes, or intends, or desires, by keeping his law, to obtain or retain one’s salvation, then he is a legalist, and lost. But if one tries to keep his law, not in order to be saved at the final judgment, but because he is already saved and is grateful for his salvation, then he is not a legalist, but a Christian.

What Is Legalism?

Legalism is the notion that a sinner can, by his own efforts, or by the power of the Holy Spirit in his life, do some work to obtain or retain his salvation. Some legalists think man has free will and can perform good works if he just sets his mind to it, thereby obtaining the favor of God. This type of legalist thinks that a sinner can believe the Gospel on his own steam. Other legalists think that a sinner does not have free will, that any good he does is done by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, and it is these good deeds done by the power of the Holy Spirit that obtain or help obtain, retain or help retain, his salvation. Both types of legalists, but espe-cially the latter, may acknowledge that Christ’s work of obedience is necessary for salvation, but both deny that Christ’s work is sufficient for salvation. Both types of legalists assert that to Christ’s work must be added the works of the sinner, done either under his own steam, or by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is what makes them legalists: their shared belief in the incompleteness or insufficiency of the work of Christ outside of them. They may differ on what constitutes good works; they may differ on whether only God’s law or church law as well is to be obeyed; but they agree that the work of Christ alone is insufficient for their final salvation.

What Is Neolegalism?

Neolegalism is the appearance of legalism in Presbyterian, Reformed, and Baptist churches in recent years. It is called Neo-new-in order to distinguish it from older forms of legalism. Neolegalism wears the trappings of Calvinism and Reformed theology, claiming to be Reformed, Calvinist, and covenantal. Some of its proponents are Norman Shepherd, pastor in the Christian Reformed Church; Steven Schlissel, pastor of a church in New York City; Steven Wilkins, pastor of Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Monroe, Louisiana; and Andrew Sandlin of the Center for Cultural Leadership. In December 2001, three Elders from Midway Presbyterian Church, Jonesborough, Tennes-see, wrote to Steven Schlissel about an essay he had published in the Auburn Analecta, the newsletter of the Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church, titled “Covenant: Keeping It Simple,” and about a letter that Schlissel had addressed to one of the Midway Elders, Dr. Joseph Neumann. Following is the text of the letter addressed to Schlissel by Dr. Joseph Neumann, Mr. Neil Smith, and Dr. John Robbins. In it you will see what Neolegalism is, and why it is Antichristian.

 

The Neolegalism of Steven Schlissel

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Mr. Steven M. Schlissel

2662 East 24th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11235-2610

Dear Mr. Schlissel:

On May 28, 2001, Dr. Joseph Neumann, an Elder here at Midway, seeking clarification of your views, ad-dressed a letter to you asking four questions about an essay the Elders of Midway had read, “Covenant: Keep-ing It Simple,” which appeared in the May 1, 2001, Auburn Analecta. Rather than addressing you as a Session, we thought that perhaps an individual query from Dr. Neumann would clear things up and eliminate our concerns. Unfortunately, your reply of June 1, 2001, while it does clarify some things, fails to allay our con-cerns about your doctrine, particularly the doctrine of salvation. Therefore, we find it necessary to write again, as individuals, to seek clarification of your views.

First, we want to thank you for making it perfectly clear that you “very much approve of Norman Shep-herd’s work on covenant.” We note that you “hope he [Shepherd] goes farther still.” Those statements do in-deed clarify some matters, for they indicate your hearty approval of Mr. Shepherd’s views on the covenant, and express your hope that Mr. Shepherd will indeed go further in the direction he has begun. We will raise this issue again later in this letter.

Although you gratuitously impugned Dr. Neumann’s motives by suggesting that he is engaged in a “deliber-ate attempt to misunderstand [your] words,” your June 1 letter confirms that his and our initial reading of your article was correct: You are indeed in agreement with the views of Norman Shepherd; so much so that you think he has been too reticent in his published views and ought to go further still.

Second, we recognize that your article expresses “the position of a very substantive number of Reformed and Presbyterian folk.” That is another of our concerns, for the views expressed by Mr. Shepherd and others are a departure from Scripture and the doctrine of justification by faith alone. That was one of the reasons Mr. Shep-herd was dismissed from his post at Westminster Theo-logical Seminary 20 years ago. Seeing the logic of his position on the covenant, some readers of Mr. Shepherd have proceeded to full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, while Mr. Shepherd himself left the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and joined the Christian Reformed Church, an organization some of whose blatant errors you yourself have decried.

Third, in your letter of June 1 you seem to misunder-stand the first question Dr. Neumann propounded in his letter of May 28. Question 1 concerned the relationship between the doctrines of individual election and cove-nant, not the question of whether Dr. Neumann’s name is written in Romans 9. The same confusion is present in your article in the Auburn Analecta. In Romans 9-11, Paul explains the covenant and defends God’s fidelity to his promises by demonstrating how God’s election and salvation of merely aremnant of the covenant people is the complete fulfillment of his promises. “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated,” is the example Paul presents – both Jacob and Esau being children of the covenant. Contrary to your statement that “Covenant is not informed by individual election,” that is precisely what covenant is informed by in Romans 9-11. Paul asserts that the doctrine of individual election explains the covenant, and he uses it to that end; but you seem to be at a loss to explain how the two doctrines fit together into one noncontradictory whole. That seems to be why you suggest that we leave the doctrine of individual election out of the discussion of the covenant, thus “keeping it simple.” Paul not only did not leave the doctrine of individual election out of his explanation of the covenant in order to “keep it simple,” but Paul taught that the only way correctly to understand the covenant and God’s promise of salvation is through the doctrine of individual election. Once that explanation is made, it is clear that not all – in fact only a believing remnant – within the visible covenant people will be saved. Without that explanation, an indispensable principle of which is individual election, the doctrine of the covenant is baffling and at best incomplete.

Fourth, once again we want to thank you for your forthright answer to Dr. Neumann’s second question about the covenant of works, for your answer makes it clear that you reject the doctrine of the covenant of works, and are not merely using a new name for the same covenant. Your answer clarifies things somewhat, and, once again, confirms our initial reading of your article. Far from there being a “deliberate attempt to misunderstand [your] words” on his part, your reply to Dr. Neumann confirmed our understanding of your words in the Auburn Analecta as a rejection of the covenant of works. But using another term without defining that term and disclosing how it differs from the covenant of works is of little help. What exactly do you mean by the phrase “covenant of creation” and how does that covenant differ from the covenant of works?

Fifth, you failed to answer Dr. Neumann’s third ques-tion about John 1:11-13, and you repeated a statement you had used in your article that “God works only in the line of generations,” expressing your astonishment that any Presbyterian would disagree. But we know of no sound Presbyterian who would agree with your statement. It is patently false, and you yourself seem to be unable to adhere to it, for you write: “When someone comes [to faith] from outside the covenant…..” But if God works only in the line of generations, as you repeatedly assert, it is impossible for someone to come to faith from outside the covenant. Once again it seems that your understanding of covenant is at odds with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty in election and salvation.

Sixth, in response to Dr. Neumann’s fourth question about Christ’s role as federal head, the substitute for his people, and his righteousness imputed to believers, you wrote, “My article was not about Christ’s obedience, was it? It was about our place in God’s covenant.” But your reply ignored the fact that our place, and our salvation, is completely dependent upon Christ’s obedience as our federal head and substitute. And it is indeed salvation you are discussing, as is obvious from your quotation of several passages of Scripture that speak of salvation. It seems that not only was individual election omitted from your discussion of the covenant, but Christ’s crucial role, without which our place in the covenant cannot be explained, was omitted as well.

Addressing the doctrine of salvation directly, you asked, “Are you saved apart from faithful obedience? Say the answer loudly, please.” Well, the answer is given loudly in Scripture and summarized clearly in the Westminster Confession of Faith:

Those whom God effectually calls he also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous: not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them…..

To reply directly to your demand for a loud answer, Scripture does indeed teach that we are saved “apart from our faithful obedience” : “not for anything….done by them,” “not by imputing….any other evangelical obedience to them as their righteousness,” “apart from works,” “apart from the deeds of the law,” “apart from the law,” “saved through faith, not of works,” by the faithful obedience of Christ alone and his righteousness alone imputed to us as a free gift. Since you used the word “apart,” please notice how Paul repeatedly used the word “apart” in Romans 4:

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe…..

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law….. But to him who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” ….Therefore, having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ….. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

This teaching of Scripture is summarized by the Westminster Confession of Faith.

To be sure, saving belief, “which is the alone instrument of justification,” produces good works in the believer, but those works are the consequence, effect, or result of an already possessed and irrevocable salvation, not the antecedent, cause, ground, or condition of our salvation. Christians, like all men, are indeed required to obey God’s law, but not for the purpose of obtaining or retaining salvation. Our good works are not conditions for obtaining or retaining our salvation. We neither enter the covenant nor maintain ourselves in the covenant by our good works. Nor are works part of or equivalent to belief, as some now assert, for, among other things, that would deny the Bible’s antithesis between belief and works. The believer’s salvation has already been completely accomplished by Christ: “It is finished.” The Gospel is precisely that good news, which we are called upon to believe. The Gospel is not “Do!” It is “Done!”

The Westminster Confession goes on to explain the doctrine of salvation, and please notice the words “fully” and “full”:

Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father’s justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, their justification is only of free grace…..

As you can see, Christ’s substitutionary atonement and Christ’s faithful obedience as our federal head is central to the doctrine of salvation and to our place in the covenant. Yet your article was silent on Christ’s indispensable obedience, focusing instead on our faithful obedience as a condition of obtaining (or retaining) salvation. Not only did you omit the doctrine of individual election from your discussion of covenant and salvation, but you also omitted the doctrines of Christ’s federal headship, substitutionary atonement, and faithful obedience.

You asked, “Is a person ‘saved’ who disbelieves and disobeys God?” We are tempted to answer that only such a person can be saved, for the righteous do not need salvation. But if you are asking, Can a person be saved apart from belief of the Gospel, the answer is no. Faith, that is, belief, is, to use the words of the Westminster Confession, the “alone instrument of justification.” Because it is alone, belief is the indispensable instrument. Because it is alone, belief is both the necessary and sufficient instrument. But your misreading of the Heidelberg Catechism suggests that our faithful obedience is a condition on which our salvation depends. Once again, here is the Westminster Confession’s accurate summary of the Bible’s teaching:

God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified [notice that the justified disobey God, for if they did not disobey, they would have no sins]; and although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may by their sins fall under God’s fatherly displeasure…..

Please note: “They can never fall from the state of justification.” This is the doctrine of the sufficiency of Christ’s work applied to the lives of all believers. Believers can and do sin continually and grievously, yet they can never fall from the state of justification. To read the warnings of Scripture against unbelief and presumption as suggesting that justified sinners can either lose their salvation or that retention of their salvation depends on their faithful obedience is logically and theologically perverse.

Question 87 of the Heidelberg Catechism, contrary to what you imply, teaches that unbelievers of various sorts cannot be saved. To suggest that our salvation depends in part on our meeting the condition of faithful obedience is to adopt the position of the Roman Church-State, which teaches: “We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1821).

The Heidelberg Catechism, which you quote, though it was not the best creed to emerge from the Reformation, still explains the Gospel clearly enough:

Q. 1 What is your only comfort in life and death?

A. 1 That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from the power of the devil….wherefore by His Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.

Notice that Christ has “fully satisfied” for “all our sins,” including those committed after our regeneration. Notice further that Christ assures us of eternal life on the basis of his full satisfaction, his faithful obedience, not on the basis of our faithful obedience, for we could have no assurance of salvation if we had to meet that condition. Notice also that Christ is not lying, nor speaking tentatively, nor imposing additional conditions for salvation when he assures the simple believer of eternal life. Finally, notice that our being willing and ready to “live unto Him” is a consequence, not a condition, of our salvation.

Q. 30 Do such, then, believe in the only Savior Jesus who seek their salvation and welfare of [from] saints, of [from] themselves, or anywhere else?

A. 30 They do not; for though they boast of Him in words, yet in deeds they deny the only Savior Jesus; for one of two things must be true: Either Jesus is not a complete Savior, or they who by a true faith receive this Savior must find in Him all things necessary to their salvation.

Here the Catechism states a Biblical antithesis, a complete disjunction, an Either-Or: Those who do not find in Christ alone, and not in themselves or others, “all things necessary for their salvation” are not Christians, even though “they boast of Him in words.”

Q. 59 But what does it profit you now that you believe all this?

A. 59 That I am righteous in Christ before God, and an heir of eternal life.

Here the Catechism asserts that one who believes the Gospel is already righteous “in Christ” before God and an heir of eternal life. That is his profit now. He is righteous, present tense, not merely future tense. He is an heir, present tense, not merely future tense. He cannot and will not be disinherited.

Q. 60 How are you righteous before God?

A. 60 Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; that is, though my conscience accuse me that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God and kept none of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I never had or committed any sin, and myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me; if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.

Here the Catechism teaches that our only righteousness is imputed to us “only by a true faith in Jesus Christ,” and that Christ’s imputed righteousness is complete and perfect, while we have kept none of the commandments of God.

 

 

Q. 61 Why do you say that you are righteous only by faith?

A. 61 Not that I am acceptable to God on account of the worthiness of my faith, but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ is my righteousness before God, and I can receive the same and make it my own in no other way than by faith only.

Here the Catechism makes it clear that our faith itself is not a good work or an act of “faithful obedience” by which we meet the conditions of salvation. It is merely the instrument by which we receive the righteousness of Christ Jesus imputed to us.

Q.62 But why cannot our good works be the whole or part of our righteousness before God?

A. 62 Because the righteousness which can stand before the tribunal of God must be absolutely perfect and wholly conformable to the divine law, while even our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.

Here the Catechism makes it clear that the Holy God has not lowered his standards so that our “faithful obedience” meets some of his conditions for salvation.

One ardent follower of Norman Shepherd has written the following about salvation and the Heidelberg Catechism: “So which is it? Are we saved by faith? Or are we saved by repentance? Or are we saved by obedi-ence? Always remember that we are saved by Christ and his righteousness. But how do we lay hold of him in contrast to the mass of humanity that perishes? We do so by faith, repentance, and obedience….. Unfortunately, in formulating the Protestant doctrine of sola fides (solely by faith), Protestants have tended to isolate faith. Thus Protestant creeds (including our Heidelberg Catechism) have said that we are saved by “faith alone.” This creates some tension because the Bible says that we are not saved by faith alone. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians have been quick to criticize this glaring inconsistency….. Does Norman Shepherd lead us back to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as his critics have charged? Absolutely not….. But we can be thankful that Shepherd does lead us a little closer in agreement with other Christians, working toward a resolution of differences.” (It is widely reported that Shepherd himself, not merely some of his followers, has also explicitly repudiated justification by faith alone.)

Do you agree with this writer’s assertion that “the Bible says we are not saved by faith alone”? Do you agree with this writer that sola fides is an unfortunate misrepresentation of what the Bible says? Do you believe justification is by faith alone?

Finally, you once again made your views clear when you stated, with emphasis, that there are “covenant conditions,” which we must meet or “perish.” You asserted that our final salvation does indeed depend in part on our meeting the condition of faithful obedience, that is, on the condition of good works. You wrote: “The above statements….set forth some of the covenant conditions which can be subsumed under the heading of ‘faithful obedience.’ “ By this phrase, “some of the covenant conditions,” we understand that even this list is not a complete list of conditions required of us for salvation. But if we are to be saved by the method you suggest, we must have a complete list of the conditions we must meet. An incomplete list of conditions for salvation would preclude the salvation of all men. What

is the complete list of conditions that a person must meet in order to be saved?

The argument of your letter, which began with a rejection of the covenant of works, ended by denying the complete and sufficient work of Christ in redemption and by asserting “covenant conditions,” some of which you failed to specify, that sinners must meet in order to be saved.

We do agree with you, as you stated in the penulti-mate paragraph of your letter, that our differences on this matter are global and involve “a way of seeing,” or better, a way of salvation. This matter is not a detail that can be overlooked. We are indeed discussing two Gospels, and one of them, as Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians, is “a different gospel, which is not another,” but a perversion of the Gospel of Christ. We are indeed discussing two ways of salvation, only one of which can be true – the first depends on Christ’s work alone, and the second depends on Christ’s work and the sinner’s fulfilling several conditions, which you have not specified. We ought not, we must not, gloss over or minimize this difference, for it is the difference between eternal life and eternal death.

Therefore, we urge you to reconsider this matter and to retract and to correct the statements you have made, both publicly and privately, that suggest that salvation does not depend wholly upon Christ’s faithful obedience, but upon the sinner’s meeting conditions as well.

 

Sincerely in Christ,

Joseph Neumann Neil Smith John Robbins

Elders, Midway Presbyterian Church

Jonesborough, Tennessee

Arrogant and Impenitent

Schlissel did not respond to the Midway Elders. Instead, he has continued to teach his errors publicly and even to ridicule the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Paul made it very clear that such teachers are cursed: “If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” The curse of God rests on the teachers of Neolegalism in the churches.

Andrew Sandlin: Defender of Neolegalists

On July 1, 2002, Andrew Sandlin, formerly of the Chalcedon Foundation, published an attack on those who are opposing Neolegalism in the churches. Ironically, in 1995, Sandlin had published an essay titled “Deviations from Historic Solafideism in the Reformed Community,” in which he listed as theological deviations some of the very ideas he now endorses. By his own 1995 standards, Sandlin is now a theological deviant. (Read the essay at http://www.chalcedon.org/review.)

Sandlin libels this author by accusing him of making “a career of vilifying good Christians,” and failing to quote even a single example, let alone a careerful, of such alleged vilification of “good Christians.” Thus, Sandlin libels by falsely accusing others of libel, and he has the audacity to say he is being charitable in doing so. This has been the modus operandi of the Gospel’s adversaries for millennia–at least since King Ahab accused Elijah of being a “troubler of Israel” (1 Kings 18). But more important than Sandlin’s several statements maligning those defending the faith are his defenses of Neolegalism:

There is an unsettling fundamentalist strain at work that seems convinced that fidelity to the Faith is impossible if one is not badgering or anathematizing other good Christians (as Barach, Schlissel, Wilkins and Wilson truly are): “There must always be enemies in the Church, and if we can’t find them, we’ll invent them.”

Here we see Sandlin’s antipathy to “fundamentalism,” not because it truncates the faith (it is Sandlin who truncates the faith, as we shall see presently), but precisely because it is obedient to the Scriptural injunction to contend earnestly for the faith. Had he lived in the 1920s and 1930s and taken the same attitude, Sandlin would have opposed J. Gresham Machen, who also was accused by his adversaries of having a fundamentalist streak and badgering “good Christians,” accusing “ministers in good standing” in the Presbyterian Church.

Further, Sandlin implicitly accuses the RPCUS in general and Joe Morecraft in particular of lying by “inventing” enemies in the church. Sandlin opines that Barach, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson “truly are good Christians,” without even attempting to refute a single one of the charges of doctrinal error leveled against those men by the RPCUS statement. Apparently we are supposed to believe Sandlin because he says so.

Then Sandlin raises an objection that has become the stock-in-trade of those who want to escape correction for publicly teaching doctrinal errors: “More importantly, what about the requirements in Matthew 18 first to confront an erring brother privately?” The fact that Sandlin asked this question shows that he does not understand what Matthew 18 says. The Neolegalists have not sinned privately against specific church members, but publicly teach grave doctrinal error, garbling the Gospel that belongs to Jesus Christ. They are to be dealt with as Paul dealt with Peter for a lesser offense: “I opposed him to his face….before them all” (Galatians 2:11-14). In acting as it did, the RPCUS was obeying the many commands to guard the flock, to reprove and rebuke, and to contend earnestly for the faith. In Matthew 18, private confrontation is required in cases of private sin; the public teaching of heresy need not be first confronted privately. But as a matter of fact, the letter I just quoted in its entirety, sent by three Elders of Midway Presbyterian Church to Steve Schlissel, is precisely the kind of private rebuke that Sandlin erroneously thinks is necessary. After receiving it, Schlissel did not repent of his errors, but continued to teach them publicly. Unlike Peter, who repented after Paul’s public rebuke, the Neolegalists have not repented, but have hardened their hearts against the Gospel.

Sandlin continues:

While I hold this theological school [Calvinism] in high regard, I start from historic, orthodox Christianity anchored in the ecumenical Christian creeds – what Thomas Oden would call “classical Christianity.” I see the Reformed Faith as the capstone, not the foundation, of Christian orthodoxy. It’s the finish line, not the starting gate.

Here Sandlin distinguishes between “historic, orthodox Christianity” and the “Reformed Faith.” The Reformed Faith is merely the “capstone, not the foundation, of Christian orthodoxy.” It is not Sandlin’s starting point; something he calls “classical Christianity” is. One can have the whole structure of “classical Christianity,” minus the capstone of the Reformed faith, and be a “good Christian,” in Sandlin’s view. The Reformed faith, far from being necessary, is simply the icing on the cake. The foundation is the “ecumenical creeds.” The building is “classical Christianity.” Notice also that Sandlin’s faith is not anchored in the Scriptures, but in the “ecumenical creeds”-that is uninspired docu-ments accepted by several branches of “Christendom.” The Reformed Faith, while not exactly superfluous, is neither foundational nor structural.

Now in case our readers do not know who Thomas Oden is, let me briefly explain. Oden is Buttz Professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University Theological School, a United Methodist seminary, hardly a Christian institution. Recently Oden said, “….if you are going to be Eastern Orthodox, and I don’t want to try to dissuade you from that at all, I think you can find the One Holy Catholic Church there.” This is the man Sandlin cites as his authority on “classical Christianity.”

Sandlin continues:

As I’ve written elsewhere, heresy is almost always defined in terms of deviation from classical Christianity, not from the distinctives of any particular species of the (orthodox) church, even the Presbyterian Church. So, even if the men charged are not Reformed (and I believe they are; they claim to be), they are not thereby heretics.

So, according to Sandlin’s scheme, a man is not a heretic if he denies, say, justification by faith alone, since it is a peculiar doctrine of the Reformed Faith, a doctrine that is not accepted by either Orthodoxism or Romanism, and which is not mentioned in the ecumenical creeds. Nor, according to Sandlin’s scheme, is a man a heretic if he denies the sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture, since those doctrines are not mentioned in the ecumenical creeds and are in fact denied by the Romanists and the Orthodoxists. Nor is a man a heretic if advocates the use of images and statues in worship, since both the Orthodoxists and the Romanists use and advocate the use of such “aids to worship,” and since the ecumenical creeds do not condemn their use. One could go on at length, but by now the reader should get the point: Sandlin has repudiated Biblical Christianity in favor of something he calls “classical Christianity.” In repudiating the Refor-mation, Sandlin has repudiated Scripture and the Gospel that belongs to Jesus Christ. But he is not finished yet:

Joe’s [Morecraft] sectarian anathemas sow unnecessary division among those who should be committed to a broad, orthodox Christian culture (without sacrificing their own Presbyterian distinctives).

The central topic of the RPCUS Resolutions is justification by faith alone. Sandlin describes this as “sectarian.” And the doctrine of justification by faith alone would indeed be sectarian, if Christianity were what Sandlin says it is. But the Scriptures, and the Scriptures alone, not “ecumenical creeds,” determine what Christianity is, and those Scriptures say that if one errs on the Gospel, not only is one lost, but the whole of his doctrine is worthless: “But even if we [the Apostle Paul] or an angel from Heaven should announce a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed.”

The Judaizers in Galatia no doubt were “classical Christians” before their time. Undoubtedly they believed in the deity of Christ and other doctrines of the ecumenical creeds; but they erred on justification by faith alone, and for that Paul damned them. Addlepated Paul should have recognized, as smart Sandlin has recog-nized, that the primary concern is creating a “broad Christian culture,” and that the Judaizers, since they agreed with him on so many things, and differed only on a sectarian distinctive, were allies in his struggle against a pagan culture. How shortsighted and sectarian the addlepated Apostle was–at least according to Sandlin’s scheme. But as a Biblical Christian, and not a “classical Christian,” I think that the Apostle Paul knew better than Andrew Sandlin, Thomas Oden, or any other “classical Christian” what Christianity is, and that is why Paul denounced the Judaizers without first confronting them privately, and why his public denunciation of them is permanently inscripturated. Sandlin sees this division as “unnecessary.” Good Christians see it as most necessary, for error on this point sends souls to Hell, and undermines the whole faith.

Sandlin asks:

I don’t support baptismal regeneration one whit, and I’m not sure the men anathematized are advocating it; but is Joe [Morecraft] ready to overturn Nicene orthodoxy (“One baptism for the remission of sins”) and indict with heresy the vast majority of the Christian church, which does espouse it?

The Christian answers: I certainly hope so. Apparently Sandlin regards the ecumenical creeds as infallible, so that even their errors are elevated to the status of irrefragable truth. But notice that Sandlin thinks that the vast majority of the visible churches are Christian. And since they endorse the soul-destroying error of baptismal regeneration, they cannot be con-demned as heretics. Apparently “classical Christianity” finds truth by counting noses.

Sandlin continues his attack on Christianity:

Is justification a work accomplished solely by the grace of God apart from human merit or good works? In contrast with Rome and in a breathtaking innovation, Luther came to believe that justification means to declare, not to make, righteous; and many modern Roman Catholic theologians (like Hans Küng) now agree.

Notice Sandlin’s audacity: Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone was “a breathtaking innovation,” not a rediscovery of the Scriptural doctrine, which the Roman Church State had suppressed for a thousand years. Luther was an innovator, and therefore is to be viewed with suspicion. Then Sandlin mentions the name of Küng, a “modern” theologian, and because he is modern, he also is suspicious, and this suspicious fellow agrees with the innovating Luther. But as a matter of fact Küng espouses the Roman Catholic view of justification, as can be seen from his book on the subject and his interchange with Karl Barth, who also accepted the Roman Catholic view. (See “Karl Barth” in the Review Archives at The Trinity Foundation website, http://www.trinityfoundation.org/.) Sandlin boasts that “We (like our Reformed forefathers) grapple with texts like Psalm 106:30-31 and James 2:21, which don’t seem to fit neatly into the tight Protestant scheme.” Not only does Sandlin “grapple” with such texts, he loses the struggle, and ends by repudiating the teaching of Scripture and the Reformers. He apparently understands those texts about as well as he understands Matthew 18. Notice that he insinuates that “our Reformed forefathers” also came to his conclusion. Hardly. Had Sandlin been around in 1517 rather than Luther, there would have been no Reformation, just another bloody attempt at bolstering “Christian culture” against encroaching secularism. Such “cultural Christianity” had prevailed in Western Europe for a millennium, and it enshrouded the West in darkness, while even Islam was creating a superior civilization.

Sandlin misrepresents and attacks the covenant of works, calling it “odious” and “un-Biblical”:

The notion of the Covenant of Works and human merit are (I believe) flatly un-Biblical; and to reintroduce them is to veer dangerously toward a works-righteousness salvation that, in fact, is the very root of the Covenant of Works. I abhor the Covenant of Works because (a) the Bible nowhere teaches it and (b) I want to stay as far as possible from the idea that man can merit his salvation by good works or law-keeping. I want Jesus Christ exalted as the only possible Mediator of eternal life.

Sandlin sees an opportunity to capitalize on the name “covenant of works” in order to bamboozle those who are unfamiliar with the concept. In fact, it is the Neolegalists who teach works-righteousness, or as they call it, covenant faithfulness, precisely because they deny the merit of Christ’s work in completely fulfilling the requirements of salvation for his people. To suggest, as Sandlin does, that the Westminster Con-fession of Faith, which explicitly teaches the covenant of works, espouses the notion of works-righteousness is ludicrous.

But there is a further problem for Sandlin here: He says that he repudiates the notion of salvation by works-righteousness. But “classical Christianity,” in-deed, the “vast majority of the Christian church,” to use his own phrase, teaches salvation by works-righteousness. Is not Sandlin therefore a heretic by his own current definition, since he disagrees with the “vast majority of the Christian church” on this central matter?

Sandlin’s attack on Christianity continues:

The RPCUS attacks any definition of faith that includes “faithful obedience”….. I believe that, in spite of their best intentions, the RPCUS men are setting forth a one-sided view of faith that could easily be used to justify antinomianism.

Sandlin’s accusation of antinomianism is, of course, the same charge leveled against Paul and the Gospel, to which Paul responded in Romans 4-6. Sandlin levels the false accusation for the same reason the Judaizers accused Paul: Paul defined faith as simple belief of the Gospel, “apart from works,” and Paul asserted that it is such faith, in antithesis to works, that is the sole and indispensable instrument of justification. The Holy Spirit asserted that “to him WHO DOES NOT WORK BUT BELIEVES on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). It is this doctrine that offends the Neolegalists, just as it offended the Judaizers of Paul’s day.

Finally Sandlin writes:

To whom are denominations accountable? To the entire Christian tradition. This is what makes Joe’s and the RPCUS’s anathemas so objectionable. Not one orthodox church in the history of the world has declared the teachings of which these men are accused as outside the bounds of historic, catholic (“classical”) Christianity, even were Barach, Schlissel, Wilkins and Wilson wrong on every teaching attributed to them. Virtually the entire Christian tradition would, I am confident, rise to reprimand Joe’s denomination and find it recalcitrant, provincial and sectarian. It implicitly stands condemned by that entire orthodox Christian tradition, to which it should be submitted.

Conclusion

Here is the bottom line for Sandlin: Tradition. Scripture is not the bottom line; the “entire orthodox Christian tradition” as represented in “classical Christianity” is. It is to this tradition that the RPCUS must submit, and by implication, every one who claims to be a Christian.

Sandlin’s is the voice of the Dark Ages speaking through one who calls himself Reformed. Listen to this voice, and the Gospel and civilization will once again be suppressed by a lifeless, mindless, ruthless ecclesio-cracy determined to impose “Christian culture” on a recalcitrant world. Sandlin represents the wave of the past-the dark, bloody, millennial reign of Rome that was ended by the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Luther, Calvin, Knox, and millions of other Christians who disbelieved classical Christianity and believed Biblical Christianity.

 

 

For Further Reading

The Atonement, Gordon H. Clark

The Everlasting Righteousness, Horatius Bonar

Faith and Saving Faith, Gordon H. Clark

The Johannine Logos, Gordon H. Clark

Justification by Faith Alone, Charles Hodge

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Invoking Others Besides Allah – More Examples of Muhammad’s Blatant Contradictions and Inconsistencies, a post by Sam Shamoun

 

According to the Quran, all prayers and requests are to be directed to Allah or God alone:

Your Lord has said, ‘Call upon Me and I will answer you. Surely those who wax too proud to do Me service shall enter Gehenna utterly abject.’ … He is the Living One; there is no god but He. So call upon Him, making your religion His sincerely. Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being. S. 40:60, 65 Arberry

This is especially true in the case of a mosque, since this is the place where Muslims gather to worship their own peculiar deity:

And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah. S. 72:18 Hilali-Khan

However, Muhammad violated these instructions by allowing a group of Arabic Christians to pray in the mosque that he had built in Medina. These Christians had come to debate Muhammad on his views concerning the Lord Jesus.

Here is the story as reported by the earliest biography on Muhammad’s life:

A DEPUTATION FROM THE CHRISTIANS OF NAJRAN

A deputation from the Christians of Najran came to the apostle. There were sixty riders, fourteen of them from their nobles of whom three were in control of affairs, namely (a) the ‘Aqib the leader of the people, a man of affairs, and their chief adviser whose opinion governed their policy, ‘Abdu’l-Masih by name; (b) the Sayyid, their administrator who saw to transport and general arrangements, whose name was al-Ayham; and (c) their Bishop, scholar, and religious leader who controlled their schools, Abu Haritha b. ‘Alqama, one of B. Bakr b. Wa’il.

Abu Haritha occupied a position of honour among them, and was a great student, so that he had an excellent knowledge of their religion, and the Christian kings of Byzantium had honoured him and paid him a subsidy and gave him servants, built churches for him and lavished honours on him, because of his knowledge and zeal for their religion.

When they set out1 from Najran to see the apostle Abu Haritha was riding on a mule of his with a brother at his side whose name was Kuz b. ‘Alqama (326). Abu Haritha’s mule stumbled and Kuz said, ‘May So-and-so stumble,’ [i.e. Curse him!], meaning the apostle. Abu Haritha said, ‘Nay but may you stumble.’ ‘But why, brother?’ he asked. ‘Because by God he is the prophet we have been waiting for.’ Kuz said, ‘Then if you know that, what stops you from accepting him?’ He replied, ‘The way these people have treated us. They have given us titles, paid us subsidies, and honoured us. But they are absolutely opposed to him, and if I were to accept him they would take from us all that you see.’ Kuz pondered over the matter until later he adopted Islam, and used to tell this story, so I have heard (327).

Muhammad b. Ja’far b. al-Zubayr told me that when they came to Medina they came into the apostle’s mosque as he prayed the afternoon prayer clad in Yamani garments, cloaks, and mantles, with the elegance of men of B. al-Harith b. Ka’b. The prophet’s companions who saw them that day said that they never saw their like in any deputation that came afterwards. The time of their prayers having come they stood and prayed in the apostle’s mosque, and he said that they were to be left to do so. They prayed towards the east. (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth Impression 1995], pp. 270-271; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Now as Christians, these men would have offered their prayers to and invoked the Lord Jesus directly,

I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, I WILL DO IT so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask ME anything in My name, I WILL DO IT.” John 14:12-14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Something that we find the Apostles and their followers doing right after Jesus’ physical, bodily ascension into his Father’s heavenly presence:

They stoned Stephen as he was calling on God, praying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ Having said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:59-60

Saul, still breathing out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and requested letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any there of the Way, either men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he went he drew near Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’ He said, ‘Who are You, Lord? The Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ Trembling and astonished, he said, ‘Lord, what will You have me do?’ The Lord said to him, ‘Rise up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but seeing no one. Saul rose up from the ground. And when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. A disciple named Ananias was in Damascus. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ He said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Rise and go to Straight Street, and inquire at Judas’ house for someone named Saul of Tarsus, for he is praying, and has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he may see again.’ Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how many evil things he has done to YOUR saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind ALL WHO CALL ON YOUR NAME.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go your way. For this man is a chosen vessel of Mine, to bear MY NAME before the Gentiles and their kings, and before the sons of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for MY NAME’S sake.’ Then Ananias went his way and entered the house. Putting his hands on him, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the way as you came, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see again. And he rose up and was baptized. When he had eaten, he was strengthened. For several days Saul was with the disciples in Damascus. Immediately he preached in the synagogues that the Christ is the Son of God. All who heard him were amazed and said, ‘Is not this he who killed those WHO CALLED ON THIS NAME IN JERUSALEM, and came here with that intent, to bring them bound to the chief priests?’” Acts 9:1-21

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2

Ananias, a devout man according to the law, who was well spoken of by all the Jews living there, came and stood by me, and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that moment I looked up at him. Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Just One and to hear His voice, for you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise, be baptized and wash away your sins, and call on the name of the Lord.’ When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance and saw Him saying to me, ‘Hurry! Get out of Jerusalem immediately, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ I said, ‘Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat those who believed in You in every synagogue. And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I was standing by consenting to his death, guarding the clothes of those who killed him.’ Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” Acts 22:12-21

If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. Come, O Lord!” 1 Corinthians 16:22

I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. This is the confidence that we have in HIM, that if we ask anything according to HIS will, HE hears us. So if we know that HE hears whatever we ask, we know that we have whatever we asked of HIM.” 1 John 5:13-15

He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Revelation 22:20-21

Or they would have addressed the Father in Jesus’ name, invoking Christ’s authority in order to insure that their prayers and supplications were acceptable and pleasing to God:

You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that the Father may give you whatever you ask Him IN MY NAME.” John 15:16

On that day you will ask Me nothing. Truly, truly I say to you, whatever you ask the Father IN MY NAME, He will give it to you.” John 16:23

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

That these particular Christians worshiped Jesus as God and the Son of God can be clearly seen from what Ibn Ishaq wrote, since he goes on to recount some of their beliefs and objections that they raised against Muhammad:

The names of the fourteen principal men among the sixty riders were: ‘Abdu’l-Masih the ‘Aqib, al-Ayham the Sayyid; Abu Haritha b. ‘Alqama brother of B. Bakr b. Wa’il; Aus; al-Harith; Zayd; Qays; Yazid; Nubayh; Khuwaylid; ‘Amr; Khalid; ‘Abdullah; Johannes; of these the first three named above spoke to the apostle. They were Christians according to the Byzantine rite, though they differed among themselves in some points, saying He is God; and He is the son of God; and He is the third person of the Trinity, which is the doctrine of Christianity. They argue that he is God because he used to raise the dead, and heal the sick, and declare the unseen; and make clay birds and then breathe into them so that they flew away;2 and all this was by the command of God Almighty, ‘We will make him a sign to men.’3 They argue that he is the son of God in that they say he had no known father; and he spoke in the cradle and this is something that no child of Adam has ever done. They argue that he is the third of three in that God says: We have done, We have commanded, We have created and We have decreed, and they say, If He were one he would have said I have done, I have created, and soon, but He is He and Jesus and Mary. Concerning all these assertions the Quran came down.

When the two divines spoke to him the apostle said to them, ‘Submit yourselves.‘1 They said, ‘We have submitted.’ He said: ‘You have not submitted, so submit.’ They said, ‘Nay, but we submitted before you.’ He said, ‘You lie. Your assertion that God has a son, your worship of the cross, and your eating pork hold you back from submission.’ They said, ‘But who is his father, Muhammad?’ The apostle was silent and did not answer them. So God sent down concerning their words and their incoherence the beginning of the sura of the Family of ‘Imran up to more than eighty verses, and He said: ‘Alif Lam Mim. God there is no God but He the Living the Ever-existent.’2 Thus the sura begins with the statement that He transcends what they say, and His oneness in creation and authority, without associate therein, in refutation of the infidelity they have invented, and their making rivals to Him; and using their own arguments against them in reference to their master to show them their error thereby. ‘God there is no God but He,’ no associate is with Him in His authority. ‘The Living the Ever-existent,’ the living Who cannot die, whereas Jesus died and was crucified according to their doctrine; ‘The Ever-existent’ one who remains unceasingly in the place of His sovereignty in His creation, whereas Jesus, according to their doctrine, removed from the place where he was and went from it elsewhere. ‘He has brought down to thee the book in truth,’ i.e. with the truth about which they differ. ‘And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel,’ the Torah to Moses and the Gospel to Jesus, as He sent down books to those who were before him. ‘And He sent down the Criterion,’ i.e. the distinction between truth and falsehood about which the sects differ in regard to the nature3 of Jesus and other matters. ‘Those who disbelieve in God’s signs will have a severe punishment. God is Mighty, Vengeful,’ i.e. God will take vengeance on all who deny His signs, after knowing about them and about what comes from Him in them. ‘Nothing in heaven or earth is hidden from God,’ i.e. He knows what they intend and scheme and what comparison they seek to establish in their doctrine of Jesus when they make him God and Lord, when they possess the knowledge that he is nothing of the kind, thus behaving with insolence and infidelity… (Ibid., pp. 271-272; bold and underline emphasis ours)

The Quran itself is witness of the fact that the Christians whom Muhammad came into contact with believed in the Deity of Christ, even though it grossly misrepresents their actual beliefs by falsely accusing them of worshiping three gods and claiming that Allah is the Messiah, Mary’s Son:

They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do aught against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allah’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He createth what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things. S. 5:17 Pickthall

They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers. They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And THEY BOTH used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! S. 5:72-75 Pickthall

And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then Thou knewest it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden? S. 5:116 Pickthall

Thus, in light of the foregoing it is crystal clear that Muhammad allowed Christians who worshiped Jesus as their Lord God and Savior to actually pray in his own mosque, despite the fact that these men would have directed their prayers to the Father in his Son’s name, and/or invoked Jesus directly. Either way, Muhammad stands condemned for not only allowing people to invoke someone other than Allah in his very own mosque, but for also permitting these individuals to address God as the Father and Jesus as his Son, knowing full well that such beliefs stood/stand in direct opposition to his own teachings as recorded in the Quran:

Say the Jews and Christians, ‘We are the sons of God, and His beloved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He chastise you for your sins? No; you are mortals, of His creating; He forgives whom He will, and He chastises whom He will.’ For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them; to Him is the homecoming. S. 5:18 Arberry – cf. Q. 6:101; 19:88-95; 21:26; 39:4; 72:3

The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the Son of God'; the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the Son of God.’ That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. God assail them! How they are perverted! S. 9:30 Arberry

As such, Muhammad once again stands condemned for failing to living up to his own standards and instructions.

Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptural quotations taken from the Modern English Version (MEV) of the Holy Bible.

Further Reading

Muhammad’s Inconsistencies: http://answeringislam.net/Muhammad/Inconsistent/index.html

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Expiation of sins in Islam by observance of religious rituals, fasting or sacrificing on the day of Arafah

Day of Arafah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Day of Arafah

Pilgrims at the Masjid al-Haram on Hajj in 2008

Official name Arabic: يوم عرفة
Also called The Day of Repentance
Type Islamic
Significance Commemoration of prophet Muhammad‘s final sermon and completion of the message of Islam. Marks the second day of the Pilgrimage or Hajj for the millions of Muslims who make the trip to Mecca each year. A day on which Muslims fast to repent for their sins.
Observances Prayer, Fasting, Repentance
Ends 9 Dhu al-Hijjah
Date 9 Dhu al-Hijjah
2014 date October 3 [1]
Frequency annual
Related to Eid ul-Adha, the major Islamic festival, which occurs the day after the Day of Arafah

The Day of Arafah (Arabic: يوم عرفة) is an Islamic Holy Day, in which the verse of the Qur’an was revealed which explained that is said that the religion had been perfected. The Day falls on the 9th day ofDhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic Calendar. This happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan. It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the day after is the first day of the major Islamic Holiday of Eid ul-Adha. At dawn of this day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of `Arafah. It was from this site that Muhammad gave his famous Farewell Sermon in his final year of life.

Virtues of the Day of Arafah[edit]

There are numerous virtues claimed for the 9th of Dhu ’l-Hijjah which is known as yawm al-‘Arafah. This is the day where the pilgrims assemble on the plain of ‘Arafah to complete one of the essential rituals of the Hajj.

It is claimed that this is the day the religion was perfected and the blessings of Allah were complete. The following verse was revealed to Muhammad on the day of ‘Arafah: Allah says: “Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My blessing upon you, and chosen Islam as Dīn (religion and a way of life) for you”. (Al Maidah: V3)

The completion of Allah’s blessing refers to forgiveness for ones sins by Allah, as without it the blessings of Allah cannot be complete. This brings to light the importance of being forgiven by Allah.

Those not performing pilgrimage are permitted to fast on Arafah day, it is expected that Allah will expiate the sins committed the previous year.

Occurrence in Hadith Literature[edit]

Abu Qatada al-Ansari reported that Muhammad was asked about his fasting. He was asked about perpetual fasting, whereupon he said: He neither fasted nor did he break it, or he did not fast and he did not break it. He was then asked about fasting for two days and breaking one day. He (Muhammad) said: And who has strength enough to do it? He was asked about fasting for a day and breaking for two days, whereupon he said: May Allah bestow upon us strength to do it. He was then asked about fasting for a day and breaking on the other, whereupon he said: That is the fasting of my brother David. He was then asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: It was the day on which I was born. on which I was commissioned with prophethood or revelation was sent to me, (and he further) said: Three days’ fasting every month and of the whole of Ramadan every year is a perpetual fast. He was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Arafa (9th of Dhu’I-Hijja), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year. He was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Ashura (10th of Muharram), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year. The Book of Fasting (Kitab Al-Sawm) Muslim :: Book 6 : Hadith 2603

In Sahih Muslim it was narrated from Aa’ishah that Muhammad said:[3]

‘There is no day on which Allaah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafaah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’

Day of Arafah in the Gregorian calendar[edit]

While the Day of Arafah is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. Each year, the Day of Arafah (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of two different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world because the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International date line. Furthermore, some countries follow the date in Saudi Arabia rather than the astronomically determined local calendar.

  • 2006: 29 December
  • 2007: 19 December
  • 2008: 7 December
  • 2009: 26 November
  • 2010: 15 November
  • 2011: 5 November
  • 2012: 25 October
  • 2013: 14 October[4]
  • 2014: 3 October

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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The Faith of the Syrophoenician Woman or the great modern crimes of insulting someone’s self-esteem or feelings and acting in a “racist” manner towards a fellow human being

The Faith of the Syrophoenician Woman

(Matthew 15:21-28)

21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Mark 7 v 24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. 25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. 28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. 29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. 30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

Everybody gets indignant with Jesus when they analyse this story. How could he call this woman a dog? How could he treat this woman in this way? How disturbing to read this about a man who was so loving, kind and compassionate on every other occasion when he was confronted with some poor person who was begging him to heal someone dear to them.

It’s almost as if the fact that Jesus did heal her daughter doesn’t count for anything because he should have done it in the right way without hurting her feelings or even treating her, dare I say it, in a racist manner. He should have acceded to her request straight away without trying to make things difficult for her. The high priests of political correctness all recoil in horror when they think about this story.

Was he not infringing her human rights to be treated with respect and for her daughter to be healed? On this occasion at least, even if this was the only exception, this is not the Jesus that we are used to seeing and that we expect to behave in a certain way. This is definitely not the politically correct Jesus that we are looking at in this passage. So how do we explain how Jesus does things on this occasion? First of all I personally don’t accuse Jesus of doing anything wrong or that is a sin. He is not transgressing the law. You might say I am biased because I am a Christian. Yes I am. Doesn’t the law command us to love our neighbour as ourself? Is Jesus consistent with that law in terms of what he did? Yes, he must be otherwise he would not have been without sin and able to become our sinbearer.

It seems to be obvious that Jesus wanted to put some hurdles in the way to put this woman’s faith to the test. How should he have done it without insulting her? Would there have been a better way to put her faith to the test that did not involve belittling and denigrating her in this hurtful way? If those who criticize Jesus can tell us what he should have done differently to put her faith under pressure then let them come up with a solution. It would also have to be something that is true. What Jesus said to the woman was true. As a pagan she lacked all the blessings which were given to the Jews. The comparison of being a dog under the table compared to the children who sat at the table was true. The only thing in the household of a jewish family that ate the same food but only a few crumbs would be the dog under the table. God did not give the blessings of the Old Testament Covenant to all. He gave them only to the nation of Israel. The heathen nations round about would catch a few of the crumbs which fell from that table of blessing.

So maybe Jesus in addition to honouring the faith of this woman also wanted to teach that blessings are not rights and that God sometimes sovereignly chooses to put faith through a fiery trial.

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During congregational temple worship or supplication of God it was customary both to stand and to prostrate to the ground. There is no law which says we must prostrate ourselves to the ground before God whenever we worship him as a congregation

Jehoshaphat Invaded by Moab

(Obadiah 1:1-14)

2 Chronicles 20 v 1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer

5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? 7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? 8 And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, 9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. 10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

13 And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. 19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

(2 Chronicles 6:12-42)

1 Kings 8 v 22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: 23 And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart: 24 Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.

Solomon’s Benediction

54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. 55 And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,

56 Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. 57 The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:

So prostrating to the ground seems to be a posture in prayer that is associated with special occasions and special times of emergency. By the same token we could ask Muslims why they never raise their hands towards heaven when they worship God in the same way that Solomon did as he stood and as he kneeled before God in worship and supplication. Christians often worship God in this way. Muslims cross their hands over their chest when they pray.

Moving on to the New Testament we have the following texts:

The Lord’s Prayer

(Luke 11:1-4)

Matthew 6 v 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

The repentant publican was standing and entreating God for mercy in the temple; and he was justified by God although he did not bow down with his face to the ground. The Pharisee was also standing and praying at the same time but his prayer was not heard:

The Pharisee and Tax Collector

Luke 18  9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

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Islam fabricates a Jewish conspiracy to kill Mohammed so it can attack, rob and displace the Jews

32762: The Jews’ attempts to kill the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)


I have heard the following: that the Jews tried to kill the Messenger 3 times. And the last time was 6 years before the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, with poisoned mutton, of which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate two mouthfuls, then Allaah caused the sheep to speak and tell the Messenger that it was poisoned. When the Messenger died, he said that it was as if he could taste that mutton. Is this true? If it is true, then it means that we have a great score to settle with them.

Praise be to Allaah.  The Jews wanted to kill the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on several occasions, including the following:

1 – When he was a child. Ibn Sa’d narrated in al-Tabaqaat, with an isnaad going back to Ishaaq ibn ‘Abd-Allaah that when the mother of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave him to the Sa’di woman who breastfed him, she said to her, “Keep him safe,” and she told her what she had seen. Haleemah al-Sa’diyyah passed by some Jews and said, “Will you not tell me about this son of mine? I conceived him in such and such a manner, and I gave birth to him in such and such a manner, and I saw such and such,” and she repeated what his mother had told her. They said to one another, “Kill him!” They asked her, “Is he an orphan?” She said, “No, this is his father and I am his mother.” They said, “If he had been an orphan we would have killed him.” Haleemah (his wet nurse) took him and said, “I nearly lost that which had been entrusted to me.”

This report is mursal, but the men of its isnaad are thiqaat (trustworthy).

2 – They tried to kill him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) after Badr. Banu al-Nadeer sent for him to come out to them with thirty of his companions, and said “We will send out thirty of our rabbis, to meet in such and such a place, halfway between us and you, so that they can listen to you. If they believe in you then we will all believe in you.” Then they said: “How can we reach an understanding when there are sixty of us? Send out three of your companions and we will send out three of our scholars to listen to you. They were carrying concealed daggers and they wanted to kill the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). A sincere woman from among Banu al-Nadeer sent word to her nephew (her brother’s son) who was a Muslim man from among the Ansaar, and told him about that, and he told the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went back, and the following day he brought his troops and besieged them, and the Jews of Banu al-Nadeer were expelled. This story was narrated by ‘Abd al-Razzaaq in his Musannaf, and by Abu Dawood in his Sunan(3004), via ‘Abd al-Razzaaq, but he does not mention the details of the story, rather he says, “… ‘They will listen to you and if they believe in you, we shall believe in you.’ The narrator then narrated the whole story. When the next day came, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out in the morning with an army, and besieged them.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani inSaheeh Abi Dawood.

3 – Ibn Ishaaq mentions another reason for the expulsion of Banu al-Nadeer, which is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to Banu al-Nadeer to ask them for help in paying the diyah of two men of ahl al-dhimmah who had been killed by mistake by ‘Amr ibn Umayyah al-Dumari. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat by a wall belonging to Banu al-Nadeer, and they plotted to throw a rock on him and kill him. The Revelation informed him of that and he rushed back to Madeenah, then he issued orders that they should be besieged.

4 – Then came the poisoning incident, after the conquest of Khaybar. Al-Bukhaari (2617) and Muslim (2190) narrated from Anas that a Jewish woman came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with some poisoned mutton. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate from it, then he asked her about that. She said, “I wanted to kill you.” He said, “Allaah would not let you do that.” They said, “Shall we kill her?” He said, “No.” He said, I can still see the effect of that on the palate of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Al-Nawawi said: It is as if the poison still left some trace of blackness etc.

The name of this woman was Zaynab bint al-Haarith, the wife of Salaam ibn Mashkam, one of the leaders of the Jews.

The reports differ as to whether or not she was killed. It seems that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not kill her at first, but when Bishr ibn al-Bara’ ibn Ma’roor died as a result of the effects of this food, then he executed her as a qisaas punishment.

Al-Bukhaari (5777) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said:  When Khaybar was conquered, a roasted poisoned sheep was presented to the Prophet as a gift (by the Jews). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Let all the Jews who have been here, be assembled before me.” The Jews were gathered and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Will you now tell me the truth, if I ask you about something?” They replied, “Yes.” He asked, “Have you poisoned this sheep?” They said, “Yes.” He asked, “What made you do that?” They said, “We wanted to know if you were a liar in which case we would have got rid of you, and if you are a Prophet then the poison would not harm you.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to feel ill because of this food, and he would be treated with cupping for that.

Ahmad (2784) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that a Jewish woman sent a gift to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) of a poisoned roasted sheep. He sent for her and asked her, “What made you do what you did?” She said, “I wanted to see if you were a Prophet, then Allaah would tell you about it, and if you were not a Prophet the people would be rid of you.” Whenever the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) felt ill as a result of that he would have himself treated by cupping. On one occasion he traveled and when he entered ihraam he felt ill as a result of that and he had himself treated by cupping. The editor of al-Musnad classed it as saheeh.

That had an impact in causing his death, so he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died as a martyr (shaheed), as Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

“If I were to swear by Allaah nine times that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was killed, that is more beloved to me than swearing once, because Allaah made him a Prophet and made him a martyr.” Narrated by Ahmad, 3617. The editors said, its isnaad is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim.

Al-Sindi said: The words “he was killed” mean by the poison in the meat of the sheep’s foreleg that he ate, when the effects of that appeared when he was dying.

Quoted from Haashiyat al-Musnad, 6/116.

Al-Bukhaari narrated in his Saheeh, in a mu’allaq report, and al-Haakim narrated in hisMustadrak in a mawsool report, that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, in the illness which would be his last, ‘O ‘Aa’ishah, I still feel the pain of the food that I ate in Khaybar, and this time I feel that my aorta is being cut from that poison.”

The aorta is the vein that is towards the back and is connected to the heart; if it is cut then the person will die.

The conquest of Khaybar took place in Muharram or Rabee’ al-Awwal of the year 7 AH. So this event took place four years before the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died.

This is in addition to the recorded crimes of the Jews which know no limit in ancient or modern times. The enmity between us and them will last until we fight them and kill them at the end of time, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has told us. 

See al-Yahood fi’l-Sunnah al-Mutahharah, by Dr. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Naasir al-Shaqaari;Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/279

And Allaah knows best.

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