Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                          November 29, 2015                                                                                                                            NO. 37



In previous articles on “Why Islam Is Not Compatible With Christianity,” we have seen the glaring difference between the Islamic god, Allah, and Christianity’s God, Jehovah. In another lesson we saw how Islam distorted Jesus Christ as Deity and the Son of God by saying Jesus was one of Allah’s prophets, but certainly not as great at Muhammad. In this article I want to briefly mention what might be called Islam’s “Articles of faith” and “The five pillars of Islam.”  

The Islamic Articles Of Faith

These are the things Muslims are taught to believe from early childhood and they must be accepted without question or argument. Since Muhammad was acquainted with Roman Catholicism you will notice that some of the these articles are entwined with some Biblical misconceptions. You will also note some parallels with the false religion, established by Joseph Smith and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly known as Mormonism or The Mormon Church.

Faith in Allah – 1. This article is called the doctrine of tawhid. It is a strict form of monotheism. To the Muslim there is no God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Muslims believe Allah is the only one who possesses deity (Surah 112:1-4). He is the only true God and that His name is Allah. His will is supreme. Allah is his personal name as used in the Koran (Qur’an). He has no gender, so Allah can be either male or female, i.e, god/goodess. Allah is one, and literally means, “the god.” This is the first article of faith, now let’s notice five more such articles. 2. Angels – Muslims believe there are multitudes of angels, both good and bad, who are invisible, yet constantly dealing with mankind. For example, the angel Gabriel transmitted the Qur’am to Muhammad, their prophet and founder of Islam. 3. The Holy Books – Muslims believe that Allah has given a long series of revelations, including the Old and New Testaments. But these revelations end with the Qur’am, which supersedes and essentially abrogates the others. Muslims claim that the Qur’am is incorruptible, whereas the Bible has been corrupted in ages past. The Mormons make the same claim to justify the need for new revelations. Both the Muslims and Mormons make this claim without offering credible evidence. Even if they proved the Bible has been corrupted, that would not prove their writings are genuine. 4. The Prophets – Muslims believe that God has sent inspired prophets to men. Six of the principle prophets are Adam, the chosen of Allah, Noah, the preacher of Allah, Abraham, the friend of Allah, Moses, the speaker for Allah, Jesus, the word of Allah, and Muhammad, the apostle of Allah. Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets. 5. Predestination - Muslims believe that all events, whether good or evil have been foreordained by Allah, consequently every act done by a Muslim, regardless of what it is, he is simply carrying out the will of Allah. 6. The Day of Judgment – Muslims believe that everyone’s good and evil deeds will be placed on a “scale.” Those having sufficient personal merit, righteousness, and the requisite favor of Allah, will go to eternal heaven, all others will go to an eternal hell.

The Five Pillars of Islam

A pillar is a foundation principle upon which the house is built. Islam has what is called “the five pillars of Islam.” The first pillar is more or less a repeat of the first article of faith. This is what they confess over and over, even while they commit acts of terrorism. The shahada or profession of faith is the sincere recitation of the twofold creed: “There is no God but Allah ad Muhammad is his prophet.” 2. The salah or formal prayer must be performed at five points in the day while facing toward the holy city of Mecca. 3. The zakah or alms-giving is the duty of sharing one’s wealth out of gratitude for Allah’s favor, according to the uses laid down in the Qur’am. 4. The sawn or fast during the month of Ramadam commemorates the first revelation of the Qur’am that Muhammad received in 610 AD. Although eating is permitted at night, Muslims must fast during the day for the entire month. 5. The hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca is to be performed, if at all possible, at least once during one’s lifetime. Muslims consider the Ka’aba – a small sanctuary near the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca – to be the most sacred spot on earth.

About this fifth pillar. Abraham and Ismael are said to have built the foundation of the Ka’aba (Surah 2:127). Islamic tradition says that the Ka’aba was first built by the first man, Adam. Abraham and Ismael rebuilt the Ka’aba on the old foundation. In addition, the Qur’am states that Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son. The son is not named in the Qur’am) Surah 37-113) and in early Islam, there was a controversy over the son’s identity. However the belief that the son was Ismael prevailed, and this view continues to be endorsed by Muslim scholars. Consequently, Ismael is a prophet in Islam and is considered the father of the Arabic people (cf.Gen.17:20).  

Most Muslims don’t believe these things, because they have read the Koran (Qur’am). Most have not read it. They rely on clerics to tell them what it means. One Muslim from Turkey expressed it clearly. “Now we are in Ramadan, I fast and practice, but I have never thought of reading the Qur’am anyway. I would not understand any of it. “ (To be continued.) 

—Tommy Thornhill

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What are you looking for in a church? That’s a fair question, and more than a few studies have been done to try to determine the things that most often appeal to the average church-goer.

Surveys suggest that the majority of people are looking for social activities and recreational opportunities. They are attract­ed to              religious groups that spon­sor parties, softball, volleyball, dinners and other occasions to enjoy food and good times.

We have pointed out that this sort of thing is not authorized in the Bible. Individuals may or­ganize such activities (1 Cor. 11:34), and we encourage them to do so. But such things are NOT the authorized work of the church.

Having said all that, let us comment about a disturbing trend in the Lord’s church. Many who would agree with the things previously    stated have still been heard to complain about local congregations on the basis that there are not enough “social” things to do. If someone is not always having them over, or if they are not occupied with a wide variety of other “fun” activities, they are quick to voice their                 dissatisfaction. Our ques­tion to such folks is, “What are you looking for in a church?” — a church that emphasizes spiritual things, or one   where there’s lots to ‘do’ socially? – a God-ordained institution, or a poor man’s country club?  Think!         

—-Greg Gwin 

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