Jesus’s Kingdom Versus Muhammad’s Kingdom. Is ISIS islamic? Part 1, a post from Answering-Islam.Org

JESUS’S KINGDOM VERSUS MUHAMMAD’S KINGDOM

IS ISIS ISLAMIC?  — Part 1

By Silas

THE MESSIAH’S KINGDOM AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Jesus’s arrest was the second in a series of pivotal events that led directly to His death.  Many Jewish leaders wanted Him dead and many Jewish supporters loved Him, and at least one, Peter, fought and was willing to die for Him.  Pointedly, Jesus told Peter to stop fighting.

A short time later Jesus stated:

“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king.   (John 18:36).

Jesus did not intend to set up a physical kingdom.  Not only was it not one of his goals, He resisted the effort to do so.  In contrast to this, Jesus taught previously that He, as the Messiah, the Son of God, would return as the King and Judge and purge evil people from His kingdom.  (Matthew 13:40-43, 25:31-46, 26:63, 64, also ref. Daniel 7:13, 14, 27).  But for now the Messiah’s kingdom was going to have to wait.  One day it would be established, but not today, not during His life.

There was another kingdom Jesus taught about: the “kingdom of God.”  A comparison of His teachings on His future kingdom with His teachings on the “kingdom of God” shows that more emphasis was placed on the “kingdom of God” theme.  This theme was prominent in His teaching, parables, and sermons.  The kingdom of God was present on earth, it existed in the here and now, and would be established in a fuller measure when He returned as the Word of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  This significant theme was one of the primary topics He taught following His resurrection (Acts 1:3).

Note however, even after His resurrection His disciples wanted and expected an established physical kingdom (Acts 1:7).  This kingdom would at the very least supplant Roman rule.  These disciples wanted earnestly to establish God’s rule on earth.  They rued Rome’s rule over and oppression of their country.  But they were answered “not now” and that that time was in the Father’s hands.  Then they were instructed on their lives’ mission and purpose.  From then on the physical kingdom of God on earth was not their goal or their vision.

Jesus instructed His disciples extensively about the kingdom of God because He desired that it be established and fulfilled in their lives.  Until He returned it was to be a spiritual kingdom, a spiritual power.  It is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17); it is where God is King.  God, through the Holy Spirit, was to rule as King in their hearts, souls, strengths, and minds.

As God ruled in people’s hearts and minds they changed.  Jesus’s two great commands were to love God and love your neighbor.  Men and women who became Christians were commanded to excel at this.  Those who became Christians turned from sin and hate towards loving God and man.  Their hearts and minds changed as they loved and obeyed Christ.  This submission to God was powerful enough to cause them to not only live for Him; it motivated them to suffer and die for Him.

During the next few centuries Christianity was persecuted harshly but it spread throughout the Roman Empire.  The kingdom of God was established in the hearts and minds of the early church and their faith and love won an empire.  No claim of moral perfection is made here, rather the changing of hearts and minds, and lives, under the kingdom of God’s rule is demonstrated.  This victory was won without the use of the sword, without threat, without coercion, without promise of material gain.  Force was not used to make people believe in Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God, and Lord.  No bigoted forms of taxation, social humiliation, or discrimination were imposed to provoke people to become Christians.  Under severe persecution Christianity continued to spread far and wide.

Why didn’t Jesus instruct His followers to establish a physical kingdom on earth?  They were willing to pick up swords.  Perhaps they could establish it for the Messiah’s rule?  Imagine a true Christian kingdom, a sanctified country, whose citizens excelled at loving God and loving their neighbor. This kingdom of God on earth would be a geo-political kingdom, a cultural and social kingdom, a martial kingdom.  There the church could establish, and if need be, enforce their beliefs and rules on non-Christians.

Why didn’t Jesus instruct His disciples to establish a theocracy or an ecclesiocracy?

“What could go wrong?”

Perhaps something like these monks fighting each other at the Church of the Nativity?Fighting Monks

How shameful.  How embarrassing.  What a brilliant crimson stain upon Christianity.  Atheists, Muslims, and others rightly use these public actions to criticize Christianity.  Christianity’s birthplace was in Jerusalem but these men are not practicing the Christianity Jesus and His disciples practiced.  They certainly do not represent a root of Christianity; their fruit is carnal.

Yes, “What could go wrong?”


 MUHAMMAD’S KINGDOM & THE CALIPHATE

Muhammad’s ministry lasted for 23 years, from 610 to his death from poisoning in 633.  During that time, with the exception of his colossal Satanic Verses error, he proclaimed and practiced Islam faithfully.  Those 23 years were divided between two cities: 13 years in Mecca and 10 years in Medina.

Muhammad’s ministry in Mecca was primarily a spiritual one.  In several aspects it paralleled Jesus’s ministry.  At this time he did not seek to establish a physical kingdom of Allah.  (I know that Allah means God and Arab Christians use it.  Here I am using Allah to signify Islam’s God).  Allah had told Muhammad that he was not to force men to become Muslims:

“And if your Lord had enforced His Will, surely, all who are in the earth would have believed together. Will you then force men to become believers?”  Quran 10:99

Muhammad had little success in Mecca.  His few followers were weak and oppressed.  Any use of force against the Quraysh, the dominant tribe in Mecca, would result in their deaths.

However a few years before he left Mecca he gained new converts in Medina.  These followers preached Islam and gained many converts there.  Soon Muhammad had a sizeable body of Muslims in Medina.  Many were men of war and at the Second Pledge of Aqabah they pledged their swords in Muhammad’s defense.

Throughout his ministry, as Muhammad’s circumstances changed Allah’s revelations changed, and Islam changed.  And these fighting men represented a significant change!  Unlike his followers in Mecca the Medina Muslims were not weak or oppressed.  They were armed and knew how to fight.  On cue, shortly before he left Mecca and fled to Medina, Allah gave Muhammad a new revelation, the “Order to Fight.”  Ibn Ishaq states:

The apostle had not been given permission to fight or allowed to shed blood before the second Aqaba. He had simply been ordered to call men to God and to endure insult and forgive the ignorant….

…He gave permission to His apostle to fight and to protect himself against those who wronged them and treated them badly.1

The “Order to Fight” is described on pages 212 and 213.  Different Islamic scholars have differing opinions as to which verses exactly comprise this revelation (most all of the various verses are similar), but here the general text is stated as 22:39-41 and 2:193.  Below are two of the four verses

Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers), who are fighting them, … 22:39

Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme.  But if they desist, fight none except the evil-doers. 2:193

The order to fight allowed both defensive and offensive fighting, (offensive to end idolatry and spiritual rebellion).  Many of the non-violent verses in the Quran were now “abrogated” or canceled.

Muhammad summed up Allah’s directive:

It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.2


I want to emphasize this:  If you want to understand the violence in the Islamic world today you must start here.  Muhammad’s statement above is a foundation, a “Maxwell’s Equation,” for understanding the role violence plays in Islam.

Muhammad intended to set up a kingdom of Allah.  People would have to testify that Muhammad was Allah’s Messenger and they would have to obey various aspects of Islamic law.  This was not optional.  People had to either submit to Islam or fight the Muslims.  Muhammad, and implicitly his followers, were ordered to fight non-Muslims until they either converted or submitted to Islam’s rule (as Christians and Jews had to pay extortion and submit in humility per 9:29).

Muhammad establishes Allah’s kingdom on earth.

Muhammad heeded this new direction from Allah and put it into effect quickly.  He obeyed Allah and fought non-Muslims until they bent the knee to him.  He established Allah’s kingdom on earth.  How did he accomplish this?

Shortly after arriving in Medina Muhammad began to send out his soldiers to raid and pillage non-Muslim villages and trade caravans.  Naturally this led to them murdering non-Muslims.  Muhammad’s thefts and murders led to war.  Tabari records:

This incident had provoked (a state of) war between the Messenger of God and Quraysh and was the beginning of the fighting in which they inflicted casualties upon one another…3

Tabari notes that it was Muhammad, not the Quraysh, that started the war.  During the next ten years the breath, width, and depth of violence increased.  Below is a general progression of Muhammad’s efforts to obey Allah and spread Islam’s domain through the use of force, or threat of force, primarily:

1)  raids on non-Muslim villages and caravans

2)  murders and assassinations throughout the Hijaz

3)  targeted religious persecutions of several Jewish tribes within and without Medina

4)  military conquests, subjection, rapes, massacres, and total destruction of non-Muslim Arab tribes

5)  military campaigns to spread Islam’s domination far and wide.

Muhammad did not win all of his battles but he won most of them.  People feared Muhammad and the Muslims.  Muhammad’s military leaders proclaimed:  “Accept Islam and you will be safe.”  People understood that if they did not accept Islam then they were fair game to be attacked, plundered, tortured, enslaved, raped, and murdered.  Consequently many Arab tribes used the “if you can’t beat em, join em” approach to becoming Muslim.  They didn’t want to be plundered, have their wives stolen, enslaved and raped, they didn’t want their children made into slaves, they didn’t want to die.  Why not join Islam then?  And all of this occurred under Muhammad’s direction and approving eye.

You can find all of this here:  Articles on Terrorism and Violence

Key articles are:

Muhammad’s Excessive Cruelty

Jihad

Jihad: Islamic Teaching from its primary sources

The trail of oppression and blood behind Muhammad grew ever wide.  Muhammad took Allah’s command seriously and labored to fulfill that command:  he spread and established his Islam, the kingdom of Allah.  While he lived no one dared disobey him.  He ruled Allah’s kingdom firmly, continued to obey Allah, and fight men until Islam ruled over them.  He and his followers engaged in jihad, holy warfare, to spread his kingdom’s domain.  (Jihad means struggle or effort, but its theological definition is “holy warfare” see this article, section 4: The Verse of the Sword: Sura 9:5 and Jihad )

He died about a year and a half after his conquest of Mecca.  He was an eminently successful man:  he had wealth, power, fame, respect, sex with many beautiful women, both wives and slave concubines.  He had overcome incredible challenges and eventually subjected or crushed his enemies.  Muhammad died at the apex of his power and he established Allah’s kingdom on the bodies of those who opposed or rejected his claim of prophethood.

But what happened after Muhammad died?  We’ll take a look at the kingdom of Allah in action.  What was its power?  What were its effects?


An examination of the Caliphate, the continuing “Kingdom of Allah.”

Muhammad left behind him a body of men that knew him, loved him, and obeyed him.  They would fight, kill, and die for him because they believed him to be a true prophet.  They had memorized his Quran, they recorded anecdotes about his life and teachings (hadith), and they imitated his lifestyle (sunnah) earnestly.  There was no shortage of knowledge about Muhammad’s example and his commands to love one another as brothers.  The men that led the Muslims after his death were not a pack of novices; they knew him and his will intimately.


ABU BAKR

Immediately following Muhammad’s death the Muslims began to quarrel amongst themselves over who would be their leader.  The original Muslims from Mecca, (the Muhajirun, “immigrants”), wanted one of their own to assume command as Caliph, while the Medina Muslims, (the Ansar, “helpers”), wanted one of their own, Sa’d bin ‘Ubadah, to be the leader.  An ugly argument broke out and each side cursed and threatened to kill the other.  Punches were thrown, and swords drawn but not used.  Umar proclaimed that Abu Bakr should be the leader and demanded that everyone give him the oath of allegiance willingly or unwillingly.  Finally the Ansar agreed to have Abu Bakr as ruler.

Quite an inauspicious start for them wasn’t it?  So much for the Muslim brotherhood that Muhammad taught and commanded.  Not much to be proud of.  This start was a portent of things to come.

Also following Muhammad’s death many tribes that had been subjected, coerced, or forced into becoming Muslims under compulsion, “willingly or unwillingly”, left Islam to one degree or another.  Many were not at war with the Muslims.  They wanted to live in peace and freedom instead of being forced to be Muslims.  However, under Islam they were viewed as apostates and Muhammad commanded the killing of apostates.  Consequently these tribes that refused to walk to Abu Bakr’s Islamic talk were attacked, re-subjected, or slaughtered.  Tens of thousands were killed by Abu Bakr’s Islamic army.  These wars are known as the wars of apostasy, (Ridda Wars).  Tabari volume 10 describes these brutal, imperial, wars in detail.

Some people doubt that the Muslims used compulsion and forced people to submit to Islam.  But that use of force is documented clearly:

“You [Muslims] were the most severe people against his enemies who were among you, and the most troublesome to his enemies who were not from among you, so that the Arabs became upright in God’s cause, willingly or unwillingly, and the distant one submitted in abject humiliation until through you God made great slaughter in the earth for His Apostle, and by your swords the Arabs were abased for him.”4

Muslims quote 2:256 as saying that there is no compulsion in religion but that verse was spoken for a specific time and a specific situation and it was definitely not a universal command with universal application.

Abu Bakr continued Muhammad’s methods of war and oppression to establish Allah’s kingdom and compel or force people to submit to Islam.

That of course was an external trait of Allah’s kingdom – conquering all that is non-Islamic.  But what about affairs of the heart?  How was Allah’s kingdom internalized?  How did it compare to Jesus’s “kingdom of God?”

The answer to his is best displayed in how Muhammad’s closest followers behaved and acted towards each other.  The early Christians were generally humble and devoted to each other and they served each other.  How about Muhammad’s family?  There we should expect to see the fullest measure of Allah’s kingdom in their lives and hearts.

But you would be surprised to see what actually happened.  Family and friends turned upon each other.  Betrayals, murders, assassinations, lust for power, greed, etc. all were prominent in the lives of Muhammad’s closest family and friends.

For example, Muhammad had amassed a sizeable amount of wealth prior to his death.  Before his death Muhammad established that a large portion of it be used in support of the Muslim community and that his wives be provided for but he also ordered that his descendants were not to inherit any of the wealth because he believed that is what the Jewish prophets of old had done (he was wrong in this belief).  Consequently, upon becoming Caliph, Abu Bakr refused to distribute any of the wealth to Muhammad’s descendants.

This led to deep rooted strife and bickering.  Muhammad’s daughter, Fatimah, her husband Ali, and her relative al-Abbas, bickered with Abu Bakr and demanded the wealth.  He refused to give them a nickel.  As a result Fatimah and the others hated him deeply.  Fatimah died six months after Muhammad.  Ali’s hate was such that he did not even tell Abu Bakr about her death nor allow him to attend her burial.5

You can see from this episode that these people had not been transformed from their carnal selves.  Muhammad’s kingdom had changed their outsides, they grew wealthy and powerful, but their hearts were unregenerate and sinful.

Abu Bakr was Caliph up to his death about a year and a half later.  He was Muhammad’s best friend and knew him best.  Certainly Abu Bakr did what Muhammad expected him to do.  Abu Bakr shed a river of blood to spread and maintain Allah’s kingdom, Islam.


UMAR

Abu Bakr was wise enough to preclude the violence and stress of a leader’s unexpected death and he decreed that Umar, (who was previously Muhammad’s second closest friend), would succeed him as Caliph.  Umar sent his armies out to conquer non-Muslim lands and they conquered Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Persia, and Egypt.  (Persia suffered especially under the Arab’s oppression).  These were conquests by the sword.  Wars and battles were fought but over time the Muslims conquered.  Islam was certainly not then a religion of peace, it was instead a religion of power, force, and brutality.  Tens of thousands were killed and hundreds of thousands were subjected by force to Islam’s rule.  Those that converted to Islam were treated much better than the non-Muslims, and through this oppressive bigotry Islam coerced people to convert.


UTHMAN

Uthman assumed leadership after Umar died.  Uthman’s claim to fame is that he issued the official recension of the Quran we have today.  There were many different Qurans in existence.  They were mostly similar but also had notable differences.  These differences caused severe divisions amongst the Muslims.  Uthman fixed this by having an official version of the Quran made and ordered other competing Qurans to be burned.

Uthman’s armies conquered much of Armenia, pushed further NW into Asia, and subjected Cyprus.  During his reign the Muslims had become very powerful and wealthy.

I believe that in Uthman’s death we see Islam’s truest fruit.  Political corruption set in and many Muslims became disgruntled and upset with Uthman.  Eventually large groups of these disgruntled Muslims from several Muslim regions went to Medina to confront Uthman.  One of these groups was from Egypt and they wanted Ali to assume the Caliphate.

Ali, Muhammad’s son in law, was responsible to protect the aged Uthman.  Initially he did post guards and fulfilled his responsibility.

However, deep down Ali seethed with bitterness and resentment because he felt that he should have been made successor to Muhammad.  Instead he bit his tongue as one by one, Abu Bakr, Umar, and then Uthman, assumed the role.  His bitterness rooted itself ever deeper in his heart while he coveted the wealth, status, and power of being Caliph.

The confrontation between the disgruntled Muslim gangs and Uthman took a turn for the worse.  It was at this point Ali withdrew his family and guards responsible for protecting Uthman.  Uthman was then attacked and murdered.  Ali’s men were nowhere to be found.

It’s important to note that one of the assailants was Abu Bakr’s son, Muhammad b. Abi Bakr.  Here is Tabari’s account:

Muhammad b. Abi Bakr, came with thirteen men and went up to Uthman.  He seized his beard and shook it until I heard his teeth chattering. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr said, “Muawiyah was no help to you, nor was Ibn Amir, nor your letters.”  Uthman said, “Let go of my beard, son of my brother!  Let go of my beard!”  Then I saw Ibn Abi Bakr signaling with his eye to one of the rebels.  He came over to him with a broad iron headed arrow and stabbed him in the head with it…. They gathered round him and killed him.”6

Conversely, imagine this: Jesus’s apostles hating, fighting with, and murdering each other.  Imagine Peter’s son murdering Thomas.  It would be quite horrible; it would be a dark and evil situation.

The story actually gets worse, darker, and more evil.  After Uthman’s death there was an outcry to punish the murderers.  With the support of the Egyptian gang Ali assumed the Caliphate.  To make a long story short some prominent Muslims, Talhah, al-Zubayr, and Aisha, Muhammad’s child bride, started the first civil war in Islam.  Ali and his army marched against them and they fought.  This battle is known as “The Battle of the Camel.”  Ali was triumphant.  Talhah and al-Zubayr were killed and Aisha put under house arrest.  Casualty figures range from ten to twenty thousand killed.

I could give many more examples of Muhammad’s “Companions” murdering other “Companions” for power or greed.  Perhaps its apex is the battle of Siffin, or perhaps its apex is when Yazid, a Muslim leader in Damascus and the grandson of Muhammad’s arch-enemy Abu Sufyan, killed Muhammad’s grandson, Husain.  Husain’s head was brought to Yazid and he and his companions desecrated it.

If you want to read about the events following Muhammad death you can read this series of articles:  Islam’s Royal Family, Part 1, Muhammad’s Wealth

Better yet get Tabari’s History and read it for yourself.  Don’t let anyone do your thinking for you.  Read and study the Islamic source materials for yourself.  Start with volume 10:“The History of al-Tabari Vol. 10: The Conquest of Arabia: The Riddah Wars A.D. 632-633/A.H. 11”


CONCLUSION

This was a brief, general comparison of two kingdoms: Christ’s versus Muhammad’s.  I wanted to present just how different these men, their methods, and their fruits are.

Jesus’s rule is an internal presence that changes men’s hearts for the better.  Jesus’s kingdom is established spiritually by persuasion and conviction.  Clearly Christ’s rule transformed men’s hearts and its evidence is found in the lives of the early Christians who won over much of the Roman Empire without the sword but by their faith and love.  It continues today in the church and in the lives of dedicated Christians.  The evidence of that kingdom-rule is disciples having “love for one another.”  Without that love, as demonstrated by those foolish monks, the kingdom of God is absent.    Its strength and presence has varied over time but it has been present since His time on earth.

Muhammad’s rule is an external force that changes men’s outward lives but does not have the power to transform men’s hearts towards godliness.  Once Muhammad’s personal rule was removed by his death, his companions, Islam’s leaders, proved themselves to be unchanged, carnal, and sinful.  The early Muslims hearts were selfish, bitter, and cruel.  Their lusts and desires drove them to betray and murder their friends.

Muhammad’s kingdom was established and maintained physically primarily by the sword.  It is both a religious and geo-political kingdom.  It institutionalizes armies, taxes, familial and cultural rules, commercial laws, etc.  It has all the constructs of a governed community and his kingdom continues today in one degree or another in both Muslim’s lives and various Muslim-majority countries.

Muhammad was ordered by Allah to fight men to bend the knee to his Islam.  This included defense against enemy attacks and offensive actions against enemies in order to force them to submit to Muhammad’s rule.  Muhammad’s message was clear:  “Accept Islam and you will be safe.”  Further, Muhammad’s kingdom was maintained by force of arms.  When various Arab tribes left Islam, for various reasons, they were attacked and forced to re-submit to Islam or die fighting.  Like spilled blood on a white sheet Muhammad’s kingdom spread throughout the world.  During the first 100 years of Islam Muhammad’s kingdom spread and grew into one of the world’s largest empires primarily through the force of arms.

I end with three quotes from Islamic sources.  The first quote concerns Iraqi Christians, who were once Christian, converted to Islam, but then left Islam to follow Christ again.  Their words sum up my argument perfectly:

Among them were many Christians who had accepted Islam, but when dissension had developed in Islam had said, “By God, our religion from which we have departed is better and more correct than that which these people follow.  Their religion does not stop them from shedding blood, terrifying the roads, and seizing properties.”  And they returned to their former religion.  Al-Khirrit met them and said to them, “Woe unto you!  Do you know the precept of Ali regarding any Christian who accepts Islam and then reverts to Christianity?  By God he will not hear anything they say, he will not consider any excuse, he will not accept any repentance, and he will not summon them to it.  His precept regarding them is immediate cutting off of the head when he gets hold of them.”7

This second quote concerns what some of Muhammad’s Companions did to an 80 year old women whose tribe had fought the Muslims:

The Muslims were initially defeated by the Fazara. The wounded Muslim leader swore vengeance. After he recovered he went out and attacked the Fazara again. One very old woman was captured. Here is the account:

“….and Umm Qirfa Fatima was taken prisoner. She was a very old woman, wife of Malik. Her daughter and Abdullah Masada were also taken. Zayd ordered Qays to kill Umm Qirfa and he killed her cruelly (Tabari, by putting a rope to her two legs and to two camels and driving them until they rent her in two.)8

This third quote shows just how Muhammad regarded those who mock him (bear this in mind when you consider the Charlie Hebdo massacre).  This involves a Muslim man who murdered his own slave because she mocked Muhammad.

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas:
A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the Prophet and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. When the morning came, the Prophet was informed about it.

He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up.

He sat before the Prophet and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her.

Thereupon the Prophet said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.9

In all three instances above we see the murder, the brutality, the cruelty, that was part of Muhammad’s Islam.  If it was good enough for Muhammad then it’s good enough for the Muslims today.

Part of this article’s title is “Is ISIS Islamic?”  In order to arrive at a logical, conclusive answer we need to establish what constitutes “Islamic” to establish a point of reference.   We need only examine Muhammad’s words and deeds to define “Islamic” and I’ve shown that Muhammad’s Islam, real Islam, is evil, sinful, and inhumane.  I also wanted to contrast Jesus and Muhammad.  Far too often ignorant people conflate the two and equate them because both were great religious leaders.  These two men were diametrically opposed in both their teachings and actions.

REFERENCES


1 Ibn Ishaq, “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as  “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955, page 212

2 Muslim, Abu’l-Husain, “Sahih Muslim”, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1971, translated by A. Siddiqi, volume 1, #33

3 al-Tabari, “The History of al-Tabari”, State University of New York Press,” volume 7, page 29

4 al-Tabari, “The History of al-Tabari”, State University of New York Press” volume 10, page 2

5 For a description of this event see: al-Tabari, “The History of al-Tabari”, State University of New York Press volume 9, 1993, pages 196, 197

6 al-Tabari, “The History of al-Tabari”, State University of New York Press,” volume 15, pages 190, 191

7 al-Tabari, “The History of al-Tabari”, State University of New York Press, volume 17, pages 187, 188

8 Ibn Ishaq, “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as  “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955 page 665

9 Abu Dawud, Suliman, “Sunan”, al-Madina, New Delhi, 1985, translated by A. Hasan, Book 38, Number 4348

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Deliberate killing of any Jews by any means possible is worship of Allah according to Hamas. Is this the real Islam?

Despite 20 separate requests this year from the State of Israel to the United Nations to pressure the ruling Hamas Party to cease rocket attacks upon them, the Jewish nation is still portrayed as the aggressor, as cited by UNwatch.org.

Case in point, the Israel-based news portal and research institute Palestinian Media Watch, yesterday translated a music video broadcasted on the official Hamas television network, Al-Aqsa TV (video, lower left).

In a music video by Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, they portray that Palestinians killing themselves and Jews is not only pleasing to, but also required of by Allah, the Islamic understanding of God.

As cited by Palestinian Media Watch, lyrics include:

“Bless [Hamas’] Al-Qassam men, guardians of Palestine
Oh pride of Salah Shahada, oh wisdom of Immad [Aqel] (Hamas leaders killed by Israel)
[Oh] The explosives of [Yahya] Ayyash, (Hamas bomb maker killed by Israel), Martyrdom,
[Oh] Lovers of the trigger:
Killing the occupiers is worship that Allah made into law.
Arise, oh determined men.
The color of [the Martyr’s] blood protects the land.
Oh masked one wearing a keffiyeh (Arab head scarf), terrifying the Jews…
Call out in Zionism’s face: ‘Muhammad’s army has begun to return.'”

Palestinian Media Watch also translated another Hamas-authorized music video (click here) that aired last week.

The video glorified kidnapping Israeli soldiers as well as killing Jews in general.

The lyrics are as follows;

“We are the [Al-Qassam] Brigades
Brigades – we kidnap soldiers
Brigades – we kill Jews
Brigades – we watch the borders
Brigades – we are not afraid of death
Brigades – gear up your weapon
Gear up, gear up
Destroy the usurper’s dens and set fire to the oppressors
Through training and preparations, you roar, oh lion of Qassam
It’s in your hands to get [our] country back and then we will raise the banner of Islam.”

Hebrew texts ran across the screen aimed at Israelis with warnings of:

“Your body parts are scattered everywhere.
The cemeteries await you.”

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Who can forgive sins but God only?

Mark 2 v 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

The scribes were right when they said that only God can forgive sins. He is the offended person so he is the person who must forgive. Other examples of people forgiving sins don’t prove anything because all those who are the sons of God must forgive those who trespass against them. This is the Lord’s prayer:

“Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us”

If we forgive a person who sins against us it does not mean that God has forgiven them. That person still has to repent and confess his sin to God to be forgiven by God.

If the church has the authority to forgive or retain sin this is in addition to the authority of God to forgive sin. It does not replace it. The church is a separate entity against which a man can sin. Just as a criminal law court is a separate instance of judging a man’s actions to assess whether he can be acquitted before the law. This criminal law court does not replace God as judge to acquit or condemn.

Neither does God cease to judge and forgive because the church judges, condemns or forgives as a separate entity given authority to do so by God. In this case the church is called upon to ratify the prior repentance of the suppliant man by examining his works.

When Jesus said “the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins” this means that he already possesses power in heaven to forgive sins as the Son of God.

He can only have power to forgive sins on earth if he already had this power as Son of God in heaven.

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A couple of comments to Calling Christians Ijaz Ahmed to which I am still awaiting a response

  1. The age of the extant copies of the Bible does not determine the truth of what they contain. If they were copied correctly from the originals it does not matter how old they are.

    The church fathers don’t decide as to whether anything in the Bible is true or not. They are just fallible men. The Bible is not dependant upon them or anyone else who was not an inspired author.

  2. You are arbitrarily declaring that Bethsaida was a village without offering a shred of evidence.

    You are fusing the event of Jesus meeting John and Andrew in the fishing boot mentioned in Matthew 4 and Mark 1 with a different event involving a fishing boot described in Luke 5. The event in Luke 5 occurs after Jesus preached in the synagoge and the subsequent healing of Peter’s mother in law. The Mark 1 encounter occurs before the synagogue visit and the healing of Simon’s mother in law.

    Why do you ( seem to ) assume that Jesus only spoke once to Simon Peter before he became his disciple? The biblical evidence shows that this occured on the third recorded occasion that Jesus spoke to him.

    In John 1 v 42 Jesus does not command Peter to follow him. Your efforts to create a contradiction seem contrived at the least.

    I look forward to your response.

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A comment I left at MDI relating to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Jesus insulted the Jews on a number of occasions and they tried to kill him. I am sure they blasphemed but he was lenient towards them.

Neither a cartoon nor a verbal insult is a criminal offence under the law of Moses. Unless it is directly addressed to God in which case it would be blasphemy.

An image of a man can’t be blasphemous because that would be putting a man and God on the same level wouldn’t it? Islam definitely seems to err in that direction from a Christian point of view. It seems to have difficulty not making something more than a man out of Mohammed. I can understand that the secular mind would have trouble understanding why a cartoonist should be killed for offending a dead man’s reputation. I also have trouble with it myself because none of the prophets of the OT were given this elevated status which Islam gives to Mohammed.

A non-blasphemous cartoon may be a sin or not. All depends on where we get our knowledge of God’s will. It is still not a criminal offence. There are no laws in the bible which protect a dead man’s ego.

Charlie Hebdo created cartoons which are very offensive to Christianity as well.

To kill someone for this reason is still murder.

In a multicultural society should opposing worldviews have the right to poke fun at each other in this way? It is inevitable that all worldviews are mutually derogatory. Apes and pigs is no compliment either. I am sure there is an abundance of cartoons going around in the Arab world depicting Jews in an offensive manner. Where does that come from I wonder?

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Will the Real Islam please stand up?

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Pakistan: Muslim husband murders wife for visiting her sister without permission. Jihadwatch.org

honor-killing1

Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law. In this case, of course, the victim was the murderer’s wife, a victim to the culture of violence and intimidation that such laws help create.

The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

Until the encouragement Islam gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer.

“Husband sets wife on fire in Pakistan ‘honor killing,’” AFP, April 19, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

A Pakistani man and his father have been arrested in the country’s latest so-called “honor killing” after they set the son’s wife alight for leaving the house without asking his permission, police said Sunday.

Muhammad Siddique became enraged on learning that his wife, Shabana Bibi, 25, had visited her sister without first asking him if she could go out, her brother Muhammad Azam said.

Siddique and his father then beat Bibi before dousing her with petrol and setting her on fire in Central Pakistan’s Muzaffargarh district on Friday, Azam said.

Bibi had been married to Siddique for three years, during which time she had suffered repeated domestic abuse for the couple’s inability to have children, Azam said.

Suffering burns to 80 percent of her body, Bibi died of her injuries in hospital on Saturday.

“We have arrested the husband and father-in-law of the deceased woman and charged them for murder and terrorism,” district police chief Rai Zameer-ul-Haq told AFP. The charge of “terrorism” is regularly applied in such cases so as to expedite the legal process.

Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives in Pakistan each year through domestic violence or on the grounds of defending family “honor”.

The Aurat Foundation, a campaign group that works to improve the lives of women in Pakistan’s conservative and patriarchal society, says more than 3,000 women have been killed in such attacks since 2008.

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