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Nothing In Common

By Abdullah Al Araby

Islam, in the West, is fighting its battle of acceptance and legitimacy. Muslin activists are working fervently trying to improve Islam's image. Their goal is to create an environment in which Islam can be easily propagated. Their tool is as old as Islam itself, but they have just rediscovered it. This tool is telling Christians that Islam and Christianity have a lot in common. They cite Islam's belief in the Bible, God, Jesus, Mary, the prophets, the day of judgment and Paradise.

This tactic is not new to Islam. Fourteen centuries ago, Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, used it when he started preaching his new religion in Mecca. At the beginning when Mohammed was weak, he was conciliatory and appeasing to Christians. He told them, "We believe in what has been sent down to us (the Quran), and sent down to you (The Bible). Our God is the same as your God." Surah 29:45. Later, in Medina, after Mohammed became strong, all this changed. Allah, allegedly, tells him then, "Fight people of the Book (Christians and Jews) who do not accept the religion of the truth (Islam) until they pay tribute by hand, being inferior." Surah 9:29.

The fact is that the differences between Christianity and Islam are very deep, and irreconcilable. The space limitation will enable us to list just a few.

Our God is not their Allah

Our God is a loving Father, who, along with the son and the Holy Spirit, is One God.

· To Muslims, the concept of a triune God is a blasphemy.

"They do blaspheme who say God is one of three... for there is no God except one God." Surah 5:76.

· Allah of Islam is changeable.

"Our revelations we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, we substitute (with) something better or similar. Knowest thou not that God (Allah) hath power over all things." Surah 2:106.

· Allah of Islam is temperamental.

"If we had so willed, we could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance, but the word from me will come "I will fill Hell with Jinns (demons) and men all together."" Surah 32:13.

· Allah of Islam is a deceiver.

"They plot and plan, and God, too plans, but the best of planners (deceivers) is God." Surah 8:30.

· Allah of Islam is frightening.

"It is God whom ye should more justly fear, if you believe." Surah 9:13.

Our Jesus is not their Isa

Our Jesus is the Son of God who died on the Cross to save the whole world. In the Quran Jesus' name is Isa.

· Isa is a created human being.

"The similitude of Isa before God is as that of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be" and he was." Surah 3:59

· Isa is just a prophet.

"O people of the book (Christians) commit no excess in your religion; nor say of God aught but truth. Christ Isa the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God." Surah 4:171.

· Isa was not crucified."That they said (in boast) "we killed Christ Isa, the son of Mary" ... but they killed him not, nor crucified him." Surah 4:157.

· Isa will return to earth to destroy the Cross.

"The hour will not be established until the son of Mary (Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the Cross..." Hadith vol. 3:656.

Our Holy Spirit is not their Angel Gabriel

Our Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead. His work is to comfort, convict, regenerate, guide, give power and bring forth fruit.

· The Holy Spirit in Islam is an angel.

"Then we (Allah) sent her to (Mary) our Angel (our spirit), and he (Angel Gabriel) appeared before her as a man in all respects." Surah 19:17.

"Say the Holy Spirit (the Angel Gabriel) has brought the revelation (the Quran) from thy Lord in Truth." Surah 16:102.

Our Ethics are not their Sharia

Christian ethics are based on love, forgiveness, equality, tolerance and free-choice.

· Islam teaches revenge.

"If any one transgress the prohibition against you, transgress likewise against him." Surah 2:194.

· Islam does not treat women and men as equal.

"To the male a portion equal to that of two females." Surah 4:11

· Islam allows men to beat their wives.

"As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, beat them." Surah 4:34.

· Islam imposed harsh punishment on wrongdoers.

o A thief is punished by the amputation of hands. Surah 5:41

o A drunk is punished by 80 lashes. Hadith vol. 8:770.

o An adulterer is punished by 100 lashes. Surah 24:2.

· Islam must be imposed by force, if necessary.

"And fight them on, until there is no more tumult (seduction) or oppression, and there prevail justice, and faith in God (and the religion becomes Islam)." Surah 2:193.

· Apostasy from Islam is punishable by death.

"Whoever changes his (Islamic) religion, kill him." Hadith vol. 9:5.

Our Salvation is not their straight path

Our Salvation is guaranteed by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, on the Cross.

· In Islam there is no Original Sin, and no need for the Cross; Allah, the all powerful, has the supreme authority to punish or to forgive whomever He pleaseth, whenever He pleaseth.

"He (Allah) forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and punisheth whom He pleaseth, for God has power over all things." Surah 2:284.

· In Islam good deeds cancel bad deeds.

"For those things that are good remove those that are evil." Surah 11:114.

· The only assurance a Muslim has of going to Paradise is through fighting for the cause of spreading Islam (Jihad), and being martyred in the process.

"And if you are slain, or die in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all they could amass." Surah 3:157.

Our Heaven is not their Paradise

In Christianity Heaven's pleasures are pleasures of spirit, pleasures of purity.

· In Islam Paradise is the place where a Muslim will be reclining, eating meats and delicious fruits, drinking exquisite wines and engaging in sex with beautiful women (and perpetually young beautiful boys "Wildan or Ghilman," according to some Muslim theologians).

"As to the righteous, they will be in gardens and in happiness (to them will be said:) "Eat and drink ye, with profit and health, because of your (good) deeds "They will recline (with ease) on thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks; nd we shall join (marry) them to companions with beautiful big and lustrous eyes . . . And we shall bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they desire. They shall there exchange, one another, a cup free of frivolity, free of all taint of ill. Round about them youth (handsome) as pearls well-guarded." Surah 52:17, 19, 20 & 22-24.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Dear Christian Brother/Sister:

There is a new trend, these days, among well-meaning Christians, that calls for understanding, making dialogue and building bridges between Christianity and Islam. These words may sound good, but unfortunately, in many cases they have been wrongly applied.

True understanding occurs when we try to know both the attractive side of Islam and the ugly side. True dialogue occurs when we listen to them and we insist they listen to us. True bridge-building occurs when the bridges we build with them go both ways. True love occurs when we tell them they are wrong if we know that they are wrong.

Muslims' message to Christians in the West, these days," We have a lot in common, we are similar, accept us, listen to us."

It is a ploy, don't believe it; they use it only to spread their religion. After they gain the upper hand, Muslims' message will be, "We have nothing in common with you, you are infidels who worship three gods, and follow a corrupt Bible. You are dhimmis who must accept Islam or pay jizya (penalty tax) for being Christians . . ."

Then, there would be no understanding between Muslims and Christians, no dialogues, and no bridges . . .

Don't let Muslims deceive you into believing that Islam is a legitimate extension of Christianity. The Bible makes it clear that, "last of all," God the Father sent His Son Jesus (Matthew 21:37), and that the Bible is God's last revelation (Revelation 22:18). Jesus warns, "There shall arise false prophets, that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24.

"You shall know the Truth, and the
truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Quotations of the Quran are from: The Holy Quran; translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

Quotations of the Hadith (Mohammed's sayings) are from: The translation of the meaning of Sahih Al-Bukhari; Mohammad Muslim Kahn.

For additional information, you can visit the Islam Review web site.