November 21, 2016

THE PROPHET

This is not a rant on Muhammad’s many wives, his marriage to young Aisha, the violent commands of beheading or mutilation, the “Satanic” verses, or the many scientific and historical errors of the Qur’an—although such topics are important considerations. This pamphlet focuses on what Muhammad himself called Christians to do. Muhammad called Christians to judge his claim to be a prophet—and such a claim is found wanting.

The Qur’an Calls Christians to Judge

Surah 5:42–48; 65–68 calls on Christians to judge according to the gospel, the revelation given to them by God. In 5:47 it says, “Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah had revealed therein. Whoever judges not by that which Allah has revealed; such are corrupt.” It is striking that the Qur’an here instructs Christians to judge according to that which was revealed to them. Surely Christians in Muhammad’s day were expected to follow this instruction. This instruction assumes that Christians had the gospel and that it wasn’t corrupt—they could know what Allah had revealed to them. We have complete New Testaments from the early 300s so charges of corruption since Muhammad’s time are false.
What happens when we judge according to the Gospel/New Testament? We find that Muhammad was ignorant of the teaching of Jesus, his apostles, the cross, the resurrection, the nature of the Son of God, salvation and the gospel itself! If we obey the Qur’an, and judge by the standard it commands us to use, we find that Muhammad fails the test of a prophet. To quote the Qur’an again, “Say: ‘O People of the Book! You have nothing [of true guidance] till you observe the Torah and the Gospel, and that which was sent down to you from your Lord’” (5:68). The Qur’an places us in an unsolvable dilemma, if we obey what it says, we must deny Muhammad’s claim of prophethood.

Denying Historical Fact with a Single Ayah

The Qur’an says, “And because of their saying: ‘We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s Messenger.’ They slew him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them; and those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge of it except the pursuit of conjecture; [but] certainly they slew him not” (4:157). With a single sentence, the Qur’an seeks to overturn one of the most historically certain events—the death of Jesus of Nazareth.
The crucifixion is not something that just Christians believe. Of course, the New Testament speaks much of the death of Jesus, containing many detailed eye witness accounts. Besides Christians, Josephus, a Jewish historian in the first century notes the historical event of Jesus’ crucifixion. Not only this, but the second century Roman historians, Tacitus and Lucian, also speak of Jesus’ crucifixion at the hands of Pontius Pilate. In fact, Bart Ehrman, a famous agnostic whose books attack the Christian faith says, “One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate.
How can someone 600 miles away and born 600 years after the event in question overturn overwhelming evidence to this historical fact? Why would the Qur’an, in forty Arabic words, be so out of step with historical fact? Maybe it is because Muhammad believed that a prophet would not die such a disgraceful death—we cannot be sure. However, this shows that the author of the Qur’an knew little about the New Testament’s central teaching of God’s redeeming act in Christ on the cross. Not only that, it shows that the author knows little of what history itself says on the subject. Who is following mere conjecture here?

The Qur’an Misunderstands the Trinity

One of the central discussions between Christians and Muslims focuses on the nature of God. Islam strongly rejects the Christian teaching of the Trinity, that God is one in the three persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Muhammad was fiercely against polytheism, but did he mistake the Christians for polytheists? In the Qur’an, Surah 4:166–172 commands Christians to “say not three!” What is the “three” spoken of? In both the Qur’an, and historical Muslim tradition, the three is understood as Allah, Mary, and Jesus. That is, father, mother, and son. This is certainly not what Christians believe or have ever believed!
The Qur’an also says, “They have disbelieved who say: ‘Allah is the third of three,’ when there is no god save One God. If they cease not what they say, a painful torment will fall upon those of them who disbelieve” (5:73). Later, it says, “And when Allah said: ‘O Jesus son of Mary! Did you say to mankind: “Take me and my mother for two gods other than Allah?”’” (5:116, see also 5:17). Here again, the Qur’an assumes Christians believe Allah, Mary, and Jesus are three gods, with Allah being the “third of three.” Even non-Christians can recognize this as a serious misrepresentation of the Trinity. Such a misrepresentation of Christian belief in the Qur’an demonstrates that it is the result of human effort, is marked by ignorance and error, and is not from God. If only Muhammad knew the true Jesus and what he and his followers actually said and did, what a difference it might have made!

Conclusion

The Qur’an calls on Christians to judge according to what God revealed to them, i.e., our Scriptures. As we’ve seen, Muhammad’s claims fall far short. The Qur’an misunderstands Christianity, Jesus, and what God had revealed previously.
Had he known what God had revealed before, he would have known what was spoken when it says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs” (Hebrews 1:1–4).
The truth is that God is the creator, maker of heaven and earth. He has created mankind in his image for his pleasure and to bring himself glory. From the beginning mankind has chosen to worship, not the creator, but the creation. Whether it’s money, pleasure, idols of stone or wood, false religions or false prophets, everyone worships something or someone.
Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). The greatest evil then is not loving the true God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. There has never been a day in your life when you’ve loved God the way he deserves to be loved. As such, you’ve broken the greatest commandment. In fact, you break it every single day! Since you have broken God’s greatest law, you are a lawbreaker of the greatest kind.
If you have seriously broken the law and stand before a judge, he would be a corrupt judge if he let you go free. A good judge will ensure justice is served. Even if your good deeds were many, a good judge must condemn the person who has broken the law. God’s judgment is not arbitrary, and he cannot permit the guilty to go free. This is the great dilemma that faces mankind and the only solution is found in Jesus Christ.
Jesus obeyed the law, he kept the greatest commandment perfectly. But it doesn’t end there. Jesus himself said, “I came not to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Why did he say this? He came to die so that God could be just in forgiving people who broke his law. When Jesus was crucified, he suffered the wrath of God for the sins of his people. This means that God can be just in forgiving a people who had broken his law. Because of this, Jesus is exalted as Lord of all and at his name every knee will bow. God now commands all men to repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Turn from false worship of Muhammad’s god and trust the true God. When you do this you will receive mercy and forgiveness. Read the gospel of John or Mark for yourself, see who the true Jesus is, why he came, and what it means to follow him. Examine the truth of what God revealed beforehand as the Qur’an says.

Christians Corrupted the Truth?

Everything that has been written here is typically dismissed on the grounds that Christians have corrupted the truth—the Christian Scriptures are corrupted and must be interpreted in light of the Qur’an. There are serious problems with this accusation.
First, the words of Allah cannot be corrupted (15:9; 6:114–115; 18:27; 10:64). This not only applies to the Qur’an but also to what was revealed before the Qur’an. In fact, the Qur’an admits that Allah has given a book to Christians (3:3–4; 29:46–47); and it calls Christians to judge with what God has revealed to them (5:42–48).
Second, when the Qur’an speaks of the corruption of the Christian Scriptures, it speaks of the corruption of its interpretation, not the actual text (3:78; 2:75, 79; 5:13, 41). For how can the words previously revealed by Allah be corrupted and its meaning lost? How can the Qur’an call on Christians to judge what Allah has revealed to them if it was already corrupted in 632 A.D.? The Scriptures we have today are the same as those in the time of Muhammad!
If the Qur’an is true, it calls Christians to judge by the Bible since the Bible is from God. But if the Bible is from God, then the Qur’an is false and Muhammad is a false prophet.
Read the gospels, read for yourself what God has sent before Muhammad.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

https://www.challies.com/?s=islam

https://carm.org/islam-examined

https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A322/understanding-islam

http://www.ligonier.org/search/?q=islam

Cults, Sects and Branches of Islam

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