Anonymous: hey! I'm a Christian, & I see you are a Muslim. Could you explain a little about your beliefs please? I'm really intrigued and curious to know more about such a fascinating religion, I don't mean to cause offense at all (: have an awesome day!
I don’t mind at all! :) I am happy to share with you.
I grew up in south Texas and was raised as a Baptist Christian all my life. The town I lived in was extremely small. I went to school that was not very diverse at all. I had never heard of a Muslim, much less met one until 9/11. After that, I pretty much hated all Muslims and thought they were all terrorist. Little did I know that nearly 10 years later, I would become a Muslim.
When I was a Christian, I always asked a lot of questions to which my Sunday school teachers could never answer, so they told me it is “blind faith.” I felt like a terrible person for always questioning my beliefs and others would jokingly call me “Doubting Thomas.” The biggest question that I always had was in the Trinity. If God is God and Jesus is Jesus, but God is Jesus and Jesus is God, then who was the Holy Spirit and why could no one explain that they holy spirit was something more than just a feeling in your heart but it was also God.
Well, when I went to college, during my Sophomore year, I began hanging out with a lot of Nigerians, Moroccans, and Saudi’s. I began having pleasant debates about religion with a lot of them over time. I hate how they also tended to make sense and I just confused them more. I figured that if I would convert them to Christianity, then I need to read about their religion and find out why they worship a black box out in the desert, find out why they prayed to Muhammad and find out what Allah was God of. I assumed it was more of a Pagan religion than anything else… and you know what I found out? THEY DID NONE OF THOSE THINGS,
I started by reading the Quran. I found out that most of the stories in the Quran, I already knew them! They were so similar to the stories in the Bible. Little did I know that they were the same, only easier for me to understand. Muslims believe in Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jonah, David, Solomon, Joseph, Mary, Jesus… the list goes on. I learned that these great men were not just men that did special things, they were prophets. Muslims loved them each of them and held them in high regard. I couldn’t believe that Muslims believe in Jesus! They did not believe he was God or that he was the son of God, but they loved him and believed he was one of the greatest prophets. Now s for the black box in the desert? Muslims don’t worship it; I found it was an important part of Islamic history, and the Kabba is a symbol for the unity of Muslims. Now as for Allah, many Americans think that because he is not named God, then he is not the same god or he would be called God. It is funny really. Do people think that all Christians around the world do not have another name for God? It depends on what language you are speaking. In fact, Allah is special. It is a name only given to Him. It means the one and only God, creator of everything (the only one to be worshiped). It is a little difficult for me to translate the meaning because in English we do not have the word. God in English doesn’t just refer to God of everything. We say God when we are describing Pagan people’s religion. An example, “They worship a Moon god.” In Arabic, Allah is just for Him.
I later went on to find that Islam doesn’t teach hostility, and that jihad doesn’t mean to go off and kill a bunch of people in the name of Allah. It is something that you struggle with, such as when you lose your job or anything else in that sense. I began to realize that most of what I knew about Islam wasn’t even correct at all. A lot of it came from terrible translation, my fear of what I didn’t know, and the media’s twisted perception of this actually incredibly peaceful religion.
I gathered the majority of it all from the Quran. I read it (English translation) twice. Both times I cried because it actually made sense to me. It wasn’t just something that was symbolic and I needed someone to translate or decode it for me. I could understand it. That was something I had a hard time doing with the Bible. After that, I began doing research. I watched, YouTube, read books/journals/articles, studied constantly anything and everything I could, not only over Islam, but over Christianity and some Judaism. I realized that there was a lot of stuff about Christianity that I didn’t realize, mainly about the stuff that was hidden from Christians. After about 2 years of studying, I decided to convert.
I hope that this helps to answer some of your questions. I was kind of a rough overview of Islam and what led me to it from Christianity. I think sometimes it is easier to answer direct questions regarding narrow subjects. It is difficult to give an overview of an entire religion through 1 ask lol, but I am glad that you asked. I think that no matter what religion you are, it is a good thing to ask questions and find out about other religions. If nothing else, it will make you stronger in your own beliefs or make you understand a person a little better. I hope this helps you, and any time that you may have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Hey there, so I’m just intrigued, like literally genuinely intrigued I’m not trying to cause offense or owt. How does the quran (hope I spelt it right?) Reconcike jesus being simply a profit with his blatant claims to be God, the Christ, the Messiah, the son of God, the way the truth and the life etc. Also am I right in thinking that the quran says Jesus didn’t die on the cross?
I get what you mean, but isn’t it confusing how contradictory the Bible is? One minute Jesus say’s he is equal to God and the son of God and then the next, he says
“The Father is greater than I." - John 14:28
"I do nothing of myself" - John 8:28
"Men of Israel listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you know."
Jesus said unto them, "If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me"
Jesus answered, "If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom ye say, that he is your God”John 8:54
"…Â I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God"
And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.
The woman said unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
They say unto the blind man again, What do you say of him, that he has opened your eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
And is also difficult to know what has been changed and altered in the Bible and what has not. Not to mention, all the things that were purposely left out of the Bible so that the people in power could remain in power. Also a few interesting tidbits in the Bible that a lot of Christians think Muslims are weird for doing, but they should be doing it as well are :
"And swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he chews not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall you not eat, and their carcass shall you not touch, they are unclean to you."
Leviticus 11:7-8 And Exodus 20:4-5
"Thus says the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain; for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.”
7. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
And the Quran states that this is what Jesus told his followers:
… Jesus, the son of Mary, said, ”O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Almighty God to you - confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.”
Surah As-Saff 61 verse 6
And for those who state that they do not need to follow the rules/law’s of the Old Testament:
"Think not that I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets. I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily, I say unto you that until Heaven and earth pass away not a jot or one tittle shall no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled."
Okay so I just followed up on checking those verses in my own bible, most of them can be discounted as a support to your argument by placing them in context. The others explained by what I already spoke of. You see the trouble is because of what Jesus so often claimed you cannot call him simply a prophet, he was either a madman, a compulsive liar or the son of God, it seems impossible to me that somebody who literally claimed to be God can be seen simply as a prophet
Okay, Let me first answer you with a couple of questions that might help to clear future confusion. Do you mind if I ask you what denomination you are? Also, what version of the Bible do you use/refer to? It has been my experience that people that are using different versions of the Bible to make points often have a difficult time doing so because the variation can alter drastically. Also, if you think that my verses would make more sense, could you please provide examples of the full context then? My version of the Bible that I own is “The NIV Study Bible: New International Version” by Zondervan. I say that because if you are Catholic, you have more books added into your Bible that mine does not have. Also, I would like to ask you if you have ever read any of the books that were purposely left out of the Bible? Examples of these would be: The Life of Adam and Eve, The Book of Jubilees, The Book of Enoch (which has close ties to things that were explained from the Quran), Dead Sea Scrolls, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Proto-Gospel of James, The Gnostic Scriptures of Nag, The Gospel of Mary, The Gospel of Nicodemus, The Apocalypse of Peter, Gospel of Judas, The Book of Susanna, The Book of Tobit (in Catholic Bible), The Book of Judith (in Catholic Bible). All of those are writings that have been left out of the Bible/Canon. Even some were ordered to be destroyed/were forbidden to read, such as the Book of Jubilees, yet somehow of all places it ended up in a Bible in Ethiopia I believe. These are also documents that were left out: The Testament of Solomon, The Zohar (The Book of Splendor), The Alphabet of Ben-Sira, Joseph and Aseneth, The Septuagint, Bel and the Dragon, The Acts of Perter, The Acts of Paul and Thecla, Mar Saba Letter and The Secret Gospel of Mark.
Now, since you say somethings make more sense when used in full context, but you did not provide examples, I will provide some from my NIV Bible. I mentioned John 20:17, ” I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” Now, if you use the section “Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene,” it states (John 20: 10-18)
"Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. The asked her, Woman, why are you crying?" The have taken my Lord away (Lord was a title back in the day meaning master which does not necessarily mean she was referring to him as God), and I don’t know where they have put him. At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. Woman, he said, Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for? Thinking he was the gardener, she said, Sir if you have carried him away tell me where you have put him, and I will get him. Jesus said to her, Mary. She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, Rabboni (Which means Teacher). Jesus said, Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them I am returning to my Father and your Father to my God and your God. Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news. I have seen the Lord (again, title of respect not meaning God)! And she told them that he had said these things to her.”
(Then it it now goes on to a new section- Jesus Appears to his disciples).
As you can see, even with the context around it, no where does he say that he is the son of God.
Also, Did Jesus really claim to be the son of God, or did man, through mistranslation of the Bible, alter some of that and claimed he was the son of God for Jesus instead? Have you ever read the Canon in its original, true form or language? There is much debate on the way that they really translate and the words they used. Also, many versions of the Bible with use parenthesis to give their own opinions (like I have done and am doing now). Well, there have been problems because when a person writes a new Bible using that as references, we have seen that they leave off the parentheses, like I am doing right now, and they become the actual Bible and not just the editors comments. This has been done numerous times.
Also, just for discussion/peaceful debate purposes, have you ever read the Quran/Quran’s English Translation? I may make some references, but I am not sure if you have read the whole Quran or not.
Okay finally got round to this. In terms of my denomination the furthest I will define myself is as a protestant, but even then I’m unwilling to do that, I see myself as a christian, a follower of Jesus, I don’t believe doctrines are in line with how Jesus envision the church. I attend a pentecostal church but I wouldn’t call myself a pentecostal, similar to how you would most likely define yourself as a muslim before you would be a sunni muslim or a shia muslim etc. I use a few versions, generally the NIV or the ESV (English Standard Version) as both of these are translated directly from the original sources in the original languages. I have a limited knowledge of the original languages, but yeah I try and read bibles that come from the original source material, as opposed to using other translations as source material. Obviously no translation is perfect as all languages have words that are not in other languages etc. that’s true for the translation of the quran as well, an english translation of arabic is ultimately not going to convey exactly the same meaning as the original language all the time.
Now you ask for context if we take a verse like Luke 24:19 that you quoted. Now that was said by two people who had followed Jesus during the time of his ministry, though they were not part of the twelve, this was after Jesus had died and they did not know he had been raised to life again, they were on their way to Emmaus. They said this to Jesus (though they didn’t know it was him) because he had asked them what they were discussing. However if you then read on Jesus replies to them and says “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Now obviously when he says Christ he referring to himself, since he is the one who ‘suffered these things’. Anyway he is calling them foolish, having just called him a prophet, and also having said they ‘had hoped (past tense) he was the one to redeem Israel’. You’ll also notice he refers to the prophets in the third person, not grouping himself amongst them. It then says after that ‘and beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself’ so he is referencing the scriptures, when it says moses it is referring to the torah, which in the bible is genesis, exodus, leviticus, deuteronomy and numbers (so that includes abraham and his children), and all the prophets, he is saying it all points to him, it is all about him. Those scriptures never predict another one of the prophets, not isaiah, not jeremiah, not daniel, not any of them, however all those prophets predict Jesus. The only other people who are predicted are those who have a part to play in the coming of Jesus, John the Baptist and Jesus’ mother Mary for instance. Now it doesn’t make sense to my mind that all of the scriptures would point towards just another prophet.
Now with regards to the books left out of the bible, no I haven’t read any of them but ‘left out of the bible’ implies they were intended to be there in the first place. For instance if I were trying to compile a series of documents about Britain during the second world war, I would simply compile every document from or about that time, I would select the ones that are accurate, reliable and useful. In the same way when the bible was being compiled the people doing so would have prayerfully considered which things were inspired by God, which things were accurate etc. So I would say the canon of the bible is as God intended it rather simply being humans deciding to leave things out, if that were the case personally I would have stayed well away from revelation haha. So if we take the life of adam and eve, that is a writing which is ascribed in the writing to Moses, however it was not written by moses, it is a pseudepigrapha. So considering it is already making false claims about who wrote it I am unlikely to include it. If we take another example the gnostic scriptures of Nag, again I would not include this, because a great deal of the new testament, many of Paul’s letters as well as all of John’s letters (remember both these men had met Jesus in some way) are decrying the gnostic worldview, they don’t use the term gnosticism, but it is clear from when they are dated, they way they describe what they are decrying and the places the letters are sent to that they are referring to gnosticism, now if I have a writing that has a gnostic theology, and I also have 2 apostles, one of whom was with Jesus throughout his ministry, saying that gnosticism is wrong, I would not not include that writing. That’s just a couple of examples but I imagine you could do similar things with the other examples you gave.
Now with that example you gave yes Jesus does not claim to be God or the son of God in that passage but that doesn’t mean that he never claimed to be the son of God. Now remember just because Jesus refers to God and the Father as a separate person does not mean he is not God. Now this doesn’t mean we have more than one God, rather it mean we have one God in three persons. The trinity is difficult to explain but I find this diagram helpful:
Now I think you need a trinity in order for God not to contradict himself, God loves yes? Then who was he loving before the creation? God speaks yes? then who did he speak to before the creation?
Now if you want places where Jesus claims to be God or the son of God I’ll give a few examples.
In John 17:24 Jesus is praying and he says ‘you loved me before the creation of the world.” now who existed before the creation of the world? God. So who can Jesus be but God.
John 3:16 I’m sure you’ve heard, ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his only son’ Jesus is speaking in reference to himself.
John 5:26 also Jesus speaking in reference to himself ‘for as the father has life in himself so he has granted the son also to have life in himself’. Now what it is saying here is that first God is the only entity in existence, the reason for whose existence is in Himself, that is to say God is not created, God has life in himself. Now Jesus is saying that he also has life in himself, that seems to be a claim to be God to me.
There are many more examples but I’ll just leave you with those for now, and in answer to your final question no I haven’t read the entire quran, I’ve studied the faith and read section but I haven’t read the entire thing.
I hope this answers some of your questions :)
Thank you so much for your response! You hit on some really wonderful points, and I can respect that you wouldn’t like to give what denomination you are. I agree with you that Jesus (peace be upon him), never intended for the church to become separated. I agree that he meant for everyone to follow the same and one religion. That is where a lot of problems come from, but would you agree that the reason for so many different sects of Christianity is due to how each sect chooses to interpret the Bible?
I will also agree with you that not everything that was left out of the Bible absolutely needed to be in the Bible, but leaving out important books such as Enoch and Jubilees, that is a big problem. The book of Mary Magdalene, that is important. She was very close to Jesus and was even the first to notice (according to Christianity) that he was not in the tomb and had been resurrected. Would her book not be an important aspect? It is thought to have been left out because of the men of the church at that time didn’t want women to have any kind of power (women according to the Gospel are not allowed to even ask questions in the church 1 Corinthians 14:34-35). I have had the ability to read up and study Enoch and Jubilees. They set a very big tone and provide ample about of history about mankind, the giants that were mentioned, and other such things. That is crucial. Genesis 6:4 states:
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."
And that’s it, there is no more mention of Giants. The Book of Enoch states that Giants came from angles breeding with human women. In that book, it also states that Enoch walked with God. If a man walked with God, you would think that that man’s book should be in the Bible.
Now, referring to the Bible how it is now (not the Catholic Bible seeing as they have more books that protestants), I do not deny that it is the word of God. All Muslims believe this, if they believe in the Quran. I would not be a good Muslim, or an intelligent person to say that the Bible is not the word of God. I will say however, that there are places in the Bible that contradict itself, and that for me is the problem. I do not deny the places that Jesus claimed to be the son of God, but I also do not deny the places in the Bible where he declares that God is the only and he is not any greater than god. I will give an example from the Bible below:
Numbers 23:19 states, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Luke 3:38 states: Who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God.
—So was Adam, also then, the son of God.
Now before you try to say that there was a lower cased “s” for Adam, and an uppercase ”S” when referring to Jesus being the son of God, the Semitic languages, such as:
There are no upper-cased letters in those languages.(Aramaic and Hebrew being the majority of the original language of the Bible).
I find that a problem.
Last, I mean this in no way disrespectfully, I promise, but your example of the Trinity just confused me even more. I’m really sorry, but that is one of the main reasons that I started looking elsewhere for religions. I just could not grasp how Jesus could be the son of God, yet himself be God, and I still don’t even have a clue what the Holy Spirit is (besides just a feeling you get when listening to a Casting Crowns song and everyone around you is swaying and crying so you decide to also). To me, if Jesus was God, then the night before he was arrested, when he was praying in the gardens of Gethsemane, who was he praying to if not his own self?
I know that you have not read the Quran in its entirety, but it may help you to understand some of where I am coming from also. I feel like the word of God and a list of instructions for His creation would not be so difficult to understand. It would not have 1 contradiction within it. If a person’s soul is at stake, He would not allow that to happen.
Finally, I will say this.. I don’t think we will find any stopping grounds for this post. I think this could continue to go on forever… :/