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Category Archives: Islam

My Muslim friends and acquaintances frequently tell me that The Bible is not a reliable document because the Family Names of the Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are unknown. Because we don’t know their last names, their argument runs, it is impossible to know who these people were, hence their credibility is not established, hence their testimony to the life and teachings of Jesus is unreliable.

A Muslim teacher, Khalid Yasin, is shown making this argument here, along with a large number of very serious and obvious errors which I will detail at a later time.

My Muslim friends also say that it can be shown by internal evidence in The Bible that that neither Matthew, Mark, Luke or John were eyewitnesses to the life and teaching of Jesus, hence their testimony, and therefore The New Testament, is unreliable.

This post will demonstrate that the Gospels were written by  companions of Jesus who are eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus and compiled from eyewitness testimony, that the identity of the Gospel writers is known  and that their testimony is reliable.

Jews Did Not Use Family Names In First Century Israel

First, though, the simple reason that the Gospel writers did not use family names is that  Jewish societies of that time did not use Family Names at all. Jews typically identified by Patronymic or Matronymic names (Son Of or Daughter Of).

Jews only began to use Family Names when forced to by Gentile authorities in the nations to which they were dispersed after being evicted from Israel by invading armies. The use of surnames amongst Jews only began to appear in the 10th Century.

Consequently the assertion of Muslims that the identity of the Gospel writers is unknowable since they did not state their family name is based on ignorance of Jewish naming conventions

If Muslims wish to state that the lack of a Family Name makes a person’s testimony unreliable, they will have to take this argument to God who chose to deliver the Tawrat, Zaboor, Injeel (i.e.Torah, Psalms and New Testament) and all books of the Jewish prophets to people who did not have Family Names and yet wrote Holy Scripture.

While Jews were often named by Patronymics, they could be named in a variety of ways as this article describes. Jews could be named by Tribe, Occupation, Place Of Birth, Place Of Residence, by Reputation, by Title (e.g. Jesus Christ) or by a descriptive honorific. An example of the last is the Gospel writer John who with his brother James were called Boanerges (Sons Of Thunder) in description of their personality  or Richard, King of England named Richard Lionheart in honour of his courage.

Sometimes a new name, different to one’s birth name, could be bestowed on a person by a teacher or by their community, or taken upon oneself to indicate a change of destiny, circumstances or attitude. Furthermore a Jew in First-Century Israel might be known by two names, a Hebrew name given to them at birth and also a Greek name which was adopted by them to function more easily in the Roman-dominated society of that time and place.

These sorts of naming conventions were used all over the Ancient Middle East and in many places in ancient times. There was simply no need for Family Names in many societies and even where Family Names were used these many other ways of identifying a particular person could be used and functioned as unique identifiers i.e. names.

So the names of the Gospel writers are:

Matthew; Levi Son Of Alphaeus Mark 2:14 (New name adopted or bestowed)

Mark; John Mark Acts 15:37 (Jewish/Greek names combined)

Luke The Beloved Doctor Colossians 4:14 (Named by profession)

John Son Of Zebedee Matthew 4:21-22 (Patronymic)

But even these names are not required to identify the Gospel writers as they are known by the greatest honour of all, that of being the writers of the Gospel accounts and Companions of Jesus, or trusted servants and students of the Companions Of Jesus.

So it is when someone mentions, for example, Matthew in the context of The Bible, all people know that the reference is to the Matthew who was a Companion Of Jesus. This is how Matthew was identified amongst the earliest followers of Jesus from the very start. Matthew The Disciple and Companion Of Jesus is, fundamentally, the name of the Gospel writer, which identifies him uniquely amongst all other Matthews.

When someone mentions Matthew or Mark in the context of the Gospels. There is only one Matthew or Mark they can possibly mean: Matthew, Companion Of Jesus or Mark Companion of Peter, Companion of Jesus.

One name is sufficient because the context is so obvious.

This fact is proven by an unbroken chain of reliable testimony from the time of Jesus as we will see below in the section entitled The Identity Of The Gospel Writers Is Validated By Reliable Testimony.

In the Qu’ran, Mohammed is regularly mentioned without his family name. Would Muslims seriously say ‘Which Mohammed do you mean ?’

The Qu’ran Teaches That The Bible Is Reliable

Muslims are, in fact, faith-bound to accept that the New Testament is reliable because no less authority than the Qu’ran asserts that The New Testament (or Injeel as it is known to Muslims) is reliable.

Surah Yunus 10:94 instruct Muslims to verify the truth of the Qu’ran by checking it against the Injeel (i.e. New Testament) and the Tawrat (i.e. Torah or Holy Books given to Moses). Obviously if the Injeel were unreliable it would be impossible to verify the Qu’ran against the Injeel, yet this is what Muslims are told to do. Hence the Qu’ran teaches that the New Testament is reliable. Surah Yunus 10:94 says:

But if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to you, ask those who read the Book before you; certainly the truth has come to you from your Lord, therefore you should not be of the disputers.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:47 instructs Christians to live according to the New Testament. Of course this would not be possible if  the New Testament were unreliable. Yet this is what the Qu’ran commands Christians to do.  Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:47 says

Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers.

A large number of further Ayahs (i.e. verses) from the Qu’ran could be adduced to this list to further show that the Qu’ran absolutely testifies to the reliability of Gospel writers and The Bible as a whole.

The Identity Of The Gospel Writers Is Validated By Reliable Testimony

This section relies heavily on the article Who Wrote the Gospels? Internal and External Arguments for Traditional Authorship by Keith Thompson.

The identity of the Gospel writers is given in The Bible and is validated by the testimony of early Christians of Jesus who knew Jesus and the twelve companions of Jesus (i.e. twelve disciples or twelve Apostles)  who were directly taught by Jesus.

This means that the authorship of the Gospel writers is attested by reliable testimony back to the original source in exactly the same way that Muslims state the the Hadith (i.e. Islamic Traditions) are attested. 

The identity of Matthew is given in the following Bible verses: Mark 2:14, Luke 5:27-29, Matthew 9:9 and 10:3. This authorship is attested by early followers such as Papias of Heirapolis, who said of Matthew

Matthew compiled the sayings [logia of Christ] in the Hebrew language

Papias of Heirapolis, who lived from approximately 70 AD to 163 AD goes on to say that he obtained his information by those who directly knew the Twelve Companions of Jesus

If, then, any one came, who had been a follower of the elders, I questioned him in regard to the words of the elders — what Andrew or what Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say.

For I did not think that what was to be gotten from the books would profit me as much as what came from the living and abiding voice.

In short, Papias says that the Gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew, one of the Twelve Companions of Jesus, and that he got this information from people that directly knew Matthew and the Companions of Jesus, such persons including Aristion and John The Presbyter.

If the preceding two quotations from Papias were an Islamic Hadith it would read like this:

Papias said that Ariston said that Matthew was taught directly by Jesus. Papias also said that Ariston said that Matthew wrote down the teachings of Jesus in the Hebrew language.

I will leave it to the reader to consult the Thompson article to perform the same proof of validation of the authorship of the Gospel Of John who was the other gospel writer who was one of The Twelve Companions of Jesus, an eyewitness of his life, death and resurrection and directly taught by Jesus.

In short, the authorship of the Gospel writers is validated by an unbroken chain of reliable witnesses going back to the original source. Since this is the way that Muslims validate their own traditions, they must accept the same validation for Christian traditions.

And as we have shown above, the argument given by some Muslims that the Gospel writers are unreliable witnesses because they didn’t give their Family Names is based on ignorance since traditional Jewish society didn’t utilize Family Names, instead typically using Patronymics.

In any case The Qu’ran itself testifies to the reliability of the Injeel (New Testament) which makes acceptance of the reliability of The Bible mandatory for Muslims.

Mark and Luke Not Companions

Muslims are correct to state that the Gospels of Luke and Mark were not written by Companions Of Jesus. Nevertheless these Gospels have the same authority as the other Gospels as they were written under the supervision of Companions to Jesus who lived with Him and bring us the teaching of The Holy Injeel Of Jesus.

In addition, though Mark was not a Companion of Jesus, it is probable that Mark was a disciple of Jesus in his outer circle, lived in Jerusalem and was a eyewitness of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. I detail this below.

The Gospel Of Mark was written by Mark under the teaching of Peter, who was one of the Twelve Companions of Jesus. Peter lived with Jesus and was taught directly by Jesus. Mark became an assistant to Peter and lived with Peter as Peter taught the message of The Injeel. John The Presbyter, who knew the Twelve Companions Of Jesus, told Papias that Mark had accurately written down the teaching of Peter, who himself had received them from Jesus

This also the presbyter said:Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ

If this were an Islamic Hadith it would say

Papias said that John The Presbyter said that many of the Twelve Companions said that Mark accurately wrote down the teachings of Peter who received them from Jesus.

So, the Gospel of Mark has reliable attestation to Jesus through Papias. Muslims are therefore obliged to accept the reliability of  The Gospel Of Mark because it is reliably attested to the original source in the same way that Islamic Hadith are attested.

Mark, Disciple and Eyewitness

As a further note, while Mark himself was not a Companion Of Jesus, it is probable that he was an eyewitness to certain important facts in the life of Jesus including his arrest, trial and crucifixion.  I make this claim based on the identification of Mark as the disciple who was seized by guards at Jesus’ arrest but who escaped and ran away.

Based on this identification, Mark lived in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus’ life and Jesus’ visits to Jerusalem and was able to personally  witness the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus as well, it is logical to presume, many other things that Jesus did.

As a resident of Jerusalem, Mark was also therefore personally knowledgeable about many things about the History of Jesus such as how the general public responded to Jesus teaching and claims and events in the city.

The Authority And Reliability Of The Gospel Of Luke

The authority and reliability of The Gospel Of Luke comes about because Luke was a student of Paul who was directly taught by Jesus.

Muslims assert that Paul  cannot be considered reliable because he didn’t know Jesus. In this they contradict God’s Holy Books.

The Injeel (New Testament) says that Paul did know Jesus and was directly taught by Jesus after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven.

Jesus did this by directly and personally appearing to Paul, teaching Paul by direct revelation. Paul later submitted his teaching to The Twelve Companions Of Jesus who verified that Paul’s teaching was correct, did come from Jesus and that Jesus should be regarded as a Companion (i.e. Apostle) of equal standing with them, qualified to teach the inspired and Holy Injeel. These events are recorded in The Bible in Galatians 1:13-2:9, Acts 9, 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Peter 3:14-16.

Since The Twelve Companions Of Jesus accepted Paul as an Apostle and affirmed his teaching as being the teaching of The Holy Injeel to us and all God’s people, we therefore accept Paul’s teaching as reliable.

These statements expressed as an Islamic Hadith would be

Peter The Companions of Jesus, John The Companion Of Jesus and James The Companion Of Jesus said that Paul teaches the true and Holy Injeel of Jesus with the same authority as they themselves do.

The Bible teaches in many places that Luke was a student of Paul. Again I refer the reader to the Thompson article for confirmation.

As for the other Gospels, the Gospel Of Luke is attested by reliable testimony back to original sources. Iranaeus, for example, affirms the Gospel of Luke saying

Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him.

Iranaeus was a student of Polycarp who himself was a student of John The Companion Of Jesus. Hence the previous quotation if put into the style of an Islamic Hadith would read

Iranaeus said that Polycarp said that John The Companion Of Jesus said that Luke the companion of Paul, who was the Companion Of Jesus, recorded the teachings of Jesus in a book.

Once again we see that the attestation of the Gospel of Luke is provided by reliable testimony back to the original sources by an unbroken chain of transmission. Since this is how Muslims authenticate and accept Hadith then Muslims must accept the same attestation when it applies to The Bible.

Summary

Muslims say that the Gospel writers are unreliable witnesses since they did not include their Family Names in their writings. This means, they go on to say, that their identity cannot be verified and hence they must be regarded as unreliable.

This argument, made by Muslims, is invalid and based on ignorance. In fact, Jews of the First Century did not use Family Names. They instead typically used Patronymics. If Muslims wish to state that the lack of a Family Name makes a person’s testimony unreliable, they will have to take this argument to God who chose to deliver the Tawrat, Zaboor, Injeel (i.e. Torah, Psalms and New Testament) and all books of the Jewish prophets to people who did not use Family Names and yet wrote Holy Scripture.

Muslims further state that the Gospel writers cannot be regarded as reliable as they were not eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life and teaching. In fact two of the Gospels were indeed written by eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life and the other two were written by students of those who were eyewitnesses, directly taught by Jesus and were His Companions.

The reliability of the Gospels is authenticated by an unbroken chain of testimony of reliable witnesses going back to the original sources. Since this is how Muslims authenticate and accept islamic Hadith then Muslims must accept the same attestation when it applies to The Bible.

Driving through Northern NSW today, I switched on the radio, surfed the AM band looking for the ABC and chanced upon the unmistakable cadence of John Laws. I was amazed he was still on the radio. Here’s how it went:

The Ignominious Lalal Tax

Laws: Rolf. What’s on your mind ?
Rolf: John, Islam specifically states that anyone who is not Islam is an infidel and should be beheaded.
Me: Awesome start!
Laws: Yes, I know. But look Rolf, The Bible has beheadings in it too. An eye for an eye and all that.

Within seconds the conversation had entered the realm of hyper-reality. The Koran does not say that infidels should be beheaded. That punishment is reserved for Apostates and for opposing forces during Jihad. And The Bible has no beheadings anywhere. Rolf and John were like two galaxies of ignorance locked in mutual inspiralling orbit. Fascinated and aghast I wondered what horrible energy would be emitted when they finally collided. I dialled up the volume a little more.

Rolf: And Islams have put a Lalal Tax on our food. How can they do that ? Can we take them to the High Court ?
Laws: Eh ?
Me: Stalemate. Laws found Rolf incomprehensible.
Rolf. Lalal. How can Islams do it to us ?
Laws: Oh. Ha. You mean Halal. Rolf, Halal.
Rolf: Yes, Lalal. Halal.
Laws: Well the Tax Officials have decided there can be such a Tax. It’s no different to the Heart Foundation Tick Of Approval. I think we’ve demolished your arguments, Rolf.

Wow. Does Laws really think the ATO have permitted Muslims to levy a tax on Australian food ? This was fantastic. I settled in behind the wheel and dialled up the volume a little more.

Rolf: Are you an Islam, John ?
Me: !!!!!
Laws: Er… No.
Rolf: Then you have to be…
Laws: Beheaded. I know. Thanks for your call, Rolf. [Dumps Rolf]
Laws: Heh, heh. Rolf is a good old bloke, but Lalal !? What can you say heh heh.

I had overestimated the energies of Rolf. Laws had simply consumed Rolf whole and regurgitated him as a mockable titbit.

Pauline Hanson

Laws: Next caller is Anthony. What’s on your mind, Anthony ?
Anthony: Aw, G’day John. I saw Pauline Hanson speak at The Commercial Hotel in Inverell last night. She’s tidy.
Me:  Pauline Hanson! I had hit the Mother Lode !
Laws: Oh yes! She’s a great bird! What did Pauline talk about ?
Anthony: Oh. Er…like…er…cutting immigration and common-sense things like that…and…er…lots of things. I bought her a VB.
Me:  Could this get any better ???
Laws: Oh well. Pauline is a great bird, but she’s a bit extreme on some things you know.
Anthony: She’s got the body of a twenty year-old.
Laws: YES! YES! I KNOW !! SHE’S A GREAT BIRD !!!
Me: Now screaming with laughter I narrowly avoided a head-on with a 26-wheeler Semi. I punched the station co-ordinates into permanent memory.
Laws: [Panting Softly] …but a bit extreme at times. Thanks, Anthony.

Rolf Reprise. Frank Cops A Blast.

Laws: Got a text here from Geoff of Glenn Innes ‘Just went to the supermarket and asked for Lalal Food. [pause] They said they didn’t have any so I informed them I would take their supermarket to the High Court.’
[pause] Heheh Rolf What have you started ? Lalal. Hehehe.

Laws: Now, Frank, stop texting me will you ? You’re just a nark. Malcolm Turnbull’s tax havens and the Panama Papers are COMPLETELY UNRELATED.
[Laws then played a sudden one-second highly amplified blast from his show’s theme music. It cut like a buzz-saw. The effect was curiously psychedelic.]

Laws: Besides which Michael Pascoe from The Australian, a good man, was just with me yesterday saying Malcolm has done NOTHING ILLEGAL.
[Another psychedelic blast]

Me: Confirmation Bias (CB) is the sine qua non of Talkback Radio epistemology as Laws brilliantly demonstrates in just two sentences above. Note how CB also bonds Laws with his audience as they absorb the legitimacy of understanding truth through pre-existing bias and also discover just who can be trusted [The Australian and News Ltd] and who should not be trusted [Frank and other critics of the LNP / Malcolm Turnbull]. This is how Talkback hosts train their audiences how (not) to think. And thus also why Scott Morrison thought that being The Minister for 2GB was worth bragging rights in the LNP Party Room.

Laws: Keep your texts coming 1300-654-813. Steve says ‘Shorten should get out of Canberra, do a pub crawl with Barnaby Joyce and meet some real people for a change. Then maybe he’d have some idea on how to run the country’. That’s good advice, Steve.

Me: My mind reeled at the thought of what kind of manifesto for Australia would emerge from the collective unconscious of the drunken, sexist racists strewn across Joyce’s rural electorate...

Laws: And keep sending the emails to me at THE.FORTRESS@LAWS.COM.AU

Me: …not a particularly welcoming one apparently.

Laws: But always the best way is the phone. Yes, Barry. What’s on your mind ?

Barry: Fruit Bats. They bloody stink. The Quirindi Bicentennial Park is full of them. They foul the ground and strip the trees. They’re just flaming Flying Rats !

Laws: And they’re protected! Yes I know. Look you can’t kill them. But how about blasting off a few shells from a 12-gauge ? The sound should disperse them.
Barry: Yeah, well, I can smell them from the car.
Laws: I recommend a box of 12-gauge. Always worked at our place.

Me: Barry then told a good joke about an Irish bag-snatcher. He’s in the line-up with six other guys, jumps forward and says ‘Yes. That’s her!’:-)

Laws: Imagine if you said that about a Muslim ! Thanks Barry. That’s a beauty ! Enjoy your day and get somewhere away from the smell.

Me: Would the Midday News report the apprehension of some maniac in Quirindi Bicentennial Park blasting into the air with a gross of shotgun cartridges ? Crying children ? A SWAT team ?

Local Warming

But I was warming to Laws. The program was a community. They understood and liked each other. They told jokes. It was kind of…nice. And Laws was able to hold nuanced views on Muslims and Immigration. I was feeling reasonably at home in the asylum.

Laws: Jasper. What’s on your mind ?
Jasper: (Lisping heavily) Hewwo John. I have two suggestions for you.
Laws: [Suspicious Pause] Are these suggestions I would enjoy, Jasper ?
Jasper: [Sounding like Christopher Pyne]. Oh yes! I think so !
Laws: [Understandably Cautious] Go on.
Jasper: I am still cowwecting all your Solo Vocal Albums and could you pwease pway more of your own songs on your pwogram pwease ?
Laws: [Brightening Considerably] Oh yes. Sure !
Jasper: And you should visit the Slim Dusty Museum in Kwempsey. I have just been two times. Do you wike it ?
Laws: SLIM. A Great Australian. Do we have anything, Commander-In-Chief ??

With cyborg-like speed, Laws’s producer locates and cues a Slim Dusty track which appears to be entitled G’Day G’Day. In a career spanning seventy years and ninety-seven albums this Slim Dusty Classic is lyrically and musically identical to the first song Dusty penned as a four-year old. Laws can be heard singing and humming along off-mike.

Dusty: …G’Day G’Day G’Day G’Day Ten to one an Aussie will say G’Day G’Day.G’Day G’Day G’Day G’Day Ten to one an Aussie will say G’Day.
Laws: Ah. I’ve always said that song should be our National Anthem.
Me: At least the words will be easy to remember
Laws: It just makes you feel good, doesn’t it !?
Me: I have to agree. It does:-)

You know what ? I think John Laws broadcasting in rural Australia is a force for good. He is more educated than his audience but relates to them very well. His views on Muslims and Immigration are more nuanced than his listeners and he can thus act as a brake on their more reactionary and bigoted tendencies. He’s a bridge to reason.

But for now, as Paul Kelly said in his [OK maybe not] classic Australian track, Bradman,

Now shadows grow longer and there’s so much more yet to be told
But we’re not getting any younger, so let the part tell the whole

John Laws – I was glad I was there.

You made my morning.

This post critiques the aspect of Islamic Monotheim (Tawheed ) known as The Uniqueness And Oneness Of God In His Names And Attributes  – in Arabic Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat.

I will argue that Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat prevents humanity from being able to meaningfully describe God or indeed any single attribute of God and, more importantly, prevents humanity from knowing what is Truth. Thus Islam, by its own standards and teachings, is incoherent as a spiritual belief system since transmission of Truth is the basic objective of any revelatory faith.

My Muslim acquaintances frequently tell me that because the Christian Trinity is impossible to explain then belief in the Trinity is unreasonable and should be rejected in favour of Islamic Monotheism (Tawheed).

‘If you cannot describe what you believe in’, they say, ‘then you should admit that your beliefs have no foundation in reason’. 

Unfortunately for Muslims, it is Islamic Monotheism  which requires belief in an unexplainable Deity and insists upon acquiesence to truth claims which are not examinable by reason.

Islamic scholars describe Allah as an undifferentiated and indivisible monad. Yet this monad has a number of attributes. These attributes, such as wisdom and power, are possessed by Allah in a manner completely unique to him and have no equivalents elsewhere in creation.

As the Islamic site Al-Masjid explains in its article Monotheism

 Many of God’s names and attributes seem to have equivalents on the human level, but this is only a reflection of human language. God’s attributes, like God Himself, are unlike anything in our experience.

For instance, God has divine knowledge. Man has knowledge. God’s knowledge however, is nothing at all like the knowledge of human beings. God’s knowledge is unlimited (omniscient, The All Knowing). It is neither learned nor acquired. God’s knowledge encompasses all things without experiencing increase or decrease. Human knowledge, on the other hand, is acquired and limited. It is constantly changing, increasing and decreasing, and subject to forgetfulness and error.

Note that Muslims are able to abstractly describe Allah’s attributes, in this case his knowledge,  but they are not able to make any comparison or link between Allah’s knowledge and human knowledge. Allah’s knowledge is of a completely different type , not merely degree, than human knowledge. Mankind is therefore completely unable to understand what is true knowledge i.e. knowledge as God  possesses it.

Moreover, not only are Allah’s attributes unlike anything in our experience and hence beyond our understanding , but so Allah himself is completely unknowable and indescribable.

Since Muslims are incapable of understanding even a single attribute of Allah such as his knowledge and cannot know or understand Allah himself, it is unreasonable for Muslims to demand Christians to abandon belief in Trinity for supposedly being unable to understand that.

However, there is a much more serious problem for Muslims embedded in their theology of Allah’s inscrutable attributes, and that is that it leaves them incapable of knowing what is Truth.

Truth, (Al-Haqq), is an attribute of Allah. By definition, Allah possesses and knows real truth. But since Truth, as Allah has it, is not possessed in any way by humankind, nor does it exist anywhere else in creation.

It follows that humankind, according to Islam, does not know what is real Truth, cannot understand real Truth, and is incapable of recognising real Truth, as real Truth is the possession of Allah only and is not shared with creation.

How could created beings, incapable of sharing in the attribute of Divine Truth, recognise or respond to Divine Truth when we encounter it ? Divine Truth doesn’t look or sound like human truth. Its a completely different thing, not different merely in degree. So says Islam.

As Al-Masjid puts it: God’s truth is nothing at all like the truth of human beings.

Since Allah’s Truth is unlike truth as humans conceive it, any attempt by Allah to explain Truth to humanity is futile. By definition then, Islam is incoherent as a revelatory system. By definition Islamic revelation cannot succeed in its aims of revelation. Humanity is simply unable to understand the Truth possessedby Allah.

Tawfeed (Only Allah Knows)

The Islamic site, Islam Q & A, is explicit that only Allah understands His own attributes such as Truth. This is formally stated in the doctrine of Tawfeed  (Only Allah Knows What Is Meant)

[Tawfeed] is affirming the wording and the meaning to which it points, then leaving knowledge of how it is to Allah. So we affirm the beautiful names and sublime attributes of Allah, and we acknowledge and believe in their meanings, but we do not know how they are.

So, Muslims believe it proper to state that humanity cannot know the nature of Allah expressed in his attributes, as only Allah understands them, but yet insist that Christians must be able to fully know and explain the nature of God expressed by His Trinity.

Such an insistence by Muslims appears, to my mind, to be a clear double-standard.

Bi-la Kaifa (Without Knowing or Discussing How)

A related Islamic principle to ‘Only Allah Knows’ is ‘Without Knowing How’ (Bi-la Kaifa).

This principle was developed specifically in order to silence intra-Islamic theological disputes about the nature of God. As Wikipedia states 

Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari (ca. 873-936) originated the use of the term in his development of the orthodox Ash’ari school against some of the paradoxes in the rationalist Mu’tazilah school of thought. Instead of explaining that God has a literal face (which would anthropomorphize God) he explained that the earliest Muslims simply accepted the verses as they stand, without asking how or why.[5] This view was held by the vast majority of Sunni Muslims from the first generations of Islam.

In other words, early Islamic thinkers,  the Mu’tazilites, were using their rationality to probe Qu’ranic data about the nature of Allah and uncovered discovered a series of irreconcilable contradictions. Traditionalist scholars then simply shut down rational inquiry by inventing the priciple of Bi-la Kaifa (Believing without knowing or discussing how).

Islam Q&A regularly cites this principle of belief without inquiry. Here is an example:

Correct belief should be based on what is proven in the Qur’an and Sunnah, as understood by the early generations (salaf) of this ummah, namely the Sahaabah, Taabi‘een and leading scholars. They were unanimously agreed that the divine attributes mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah are to be affirmed without discussing how

So, Muslims believe it proper to state that humanity cannot know the nature of Allah expressed in his attributes, as only Allah understands them, and also accept Qu’ranic propositions without rational inquiry, but yet insist that Christians must be able to fully know and explain the nature of God expressed by His Trinity.

Such an insistence by Muslims appears, to my mind, to be a clear double-standard. I would personally find it impossible to give allegiance to any organisation which enshrines belief without discussion as a fundamental principle of operation.

 

Shia Muslims are fond of claiming that Jesus did not die on the cross, but rather that a Look-Alike was substituted into Jesus place by God and it was this Look-Alike who actually died on the cross. By this means, Shia reject the basic message of Biblical Salvation Jesus Died On The Cross For Your Sins.

Shia go as far as to say that the Look-Alike substitution theory is taught in The Bible. This article will refute that claim.

  1. The Look Alike Of Jesus

The website of the Shia sect ‘Ansar’  has an article called The Look Alike Of Jesus.

The Ansar hold to orthodox Shia teaching with the important exception that they believe the  Shia saviour, The Mehdi, has already returned to earth to commence the events leading to Armageddon. For this reason the Ansar are rejected as heretic by orthodox Shia. But in all other respects the Ansar hold to Orthodox Shia teaching. Hence i will use the Ansar article, linked above, as representative of Shia teaching on The Look-Alike of Jesus.

The Ansar article says that a young man replaced Jesus on the cross and that this young man is a vice-regent (Caliph) from the family of Mohammed whose appearance was changed so that he looked like Jesus.

The twelfth man who came, or say descended from heavens, is the vicegerent from the family of Muhammad (PBUT), who was crucified and killed, after he was made to look like Jesus (PBUH)

The Ansar article contradicts the Bible.

The Bible says that Jesus died on the cross and does not menton any Look alike. According to the Bible, Jesus himself was crucified and later resurrected. According to the Bible Jesus appeared to many hundreds of his followers after being raised from the dead and was recognsied by his friends and companions.John 21:14 is a representative scripture. This scripture says:

 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

  1. Ansar Details Of Events Completely Different To Bible

The Ansar article says the twelve were meeting in a house at the time Jesus was arrested.

The Bible says the twelve were not meeting in a house, they were meeting in a garden (John 18:1)

The Ansar article says that Jesus had water dripping from his hair when he spoke to the others

The Bible says that Jesus was sweating drops of blood, not merely dripping water from his hair. (Luke 22:44)

The Ansar article gives an incorrect translation of Jesus’s words on the cross  Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani, saying they are a call to Imam Ali.

Jesus was calling out to God using his first language which is Aramaic. They are correctly translated in the Bible as ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me ?’ (Matthew 27:46).

Question: It does not make sense that God would allow an incorrect translation of Jesus’ words in His Holy Book. Therefore the translation in the Injeel is correct.

  1. Jesus Asks For A Volunteer

 The Ansar article says Jesus asked for a volunteer to replace him on the cross

 ‘then [Jesus] said, verily Allah is raising me to him this hour, and He is my purifier from the Jews, so who among you is to have my ghost thrown upon him that he may be killed and crucified and be with me in my status/level? So a young man from them said, I am, O spirit of Allah, so he said, so you are he”.

The Bible says that Jesus Himself went to the cross and never asked for a volunteer to replace Him. There is no record of any conversation with a Look Alike

Question: If Disciples knew of the Look Alike, why didn’t they tell everybody about it instead of transmitting an untrue story that Jesus had been crucified ?

  1. The Reason For The Crucifixion

The Ansar article says that the Look Alike was killed for various reasons relation to the Mahdi including  for the resurrection of Imam Al Mahdi.

The Bible says that Jesus was crucified as a sacrifice of payment to pay for the sins of mankind. (Matthew 26:28; Matthew 20:28)

  1. King Of The Jews

The Ansar article says that Jesus was evasive when asked ‘Are you King Of The Jews’, answering ‘You say that I am’. The Ansar article explains this evasion by stating that the Look Alike gave this evasive answer to avoid stating clearly that he was not Jesus.

The explanation of Jesus’s words given by the Ansar article is not correct. When Jesus says ‘You Have Said So’ he means ‘Yes’.

For example in Luke 22:70 The High Priest asks Jesus ‘Are You The Son Of God’, Jesus answers ‘You say that I am’ The Priests say ‘We have heard it from His own lips’

This can be further seen from other passages where the same expression is used:

“‘The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.’ Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, ‘Surely it is not I, Rabbi?’ He answered, ‘You have said so.’” Matthew 26:24-25 NAB

It is obvious that Jesus was not denying that Judas was his betrayer, but was rather confirming that Judas had answered his own question.

“Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate. They brought charge against him, saying, ‘We found this man misleading our people; he opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king.’ Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He said to him in reply, ‘You say so.’” Luke 23:1-3 NAB

That Jesus’ reply was taken as an affirmation can be seen in the charges posted above his cross:

“Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, ‘If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.’ Above him there was an inscription that read, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’” Luke 23:37-38 NAB

In fact, Christ’s enemies started mocking him for claiming to be God’s Son obviously due to his confession before the Sanhedrin:

“And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said“I am the Son of God.”’” Matthew 27:39-43 RSV

From the above discussion we can plainly see that when we read the full context of scripture that Jesus’ answer to the question about Him being King Of The Jews is plainly ‘Yes, I am’.

Finally, look at Jesus answer to The High Priest in Mark 14. The High Priest asks Jesus “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”. Jesus answered him ‘I am’ (Mark 14:61-62)

In Mark 14, Jesus answer is very direct. This is because Mark has translated the meaning of Jesus’ answer, whereas Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ exact words.

Question: Why does the Ansar website use Jesus words from Luke 22 and Matthew 26 and not from Mark 14 ?

  1. Descended From Heaven

The Ansar article says that the Look Alike came from Heaven. It quotes John 18:37 as Jesus saying that he came into the world from heaven and ascribes this to the Look Alike.

The Bible tells us that Jesus said many times that Jesus came from Heaven. There are many scriptures which say this before the time of Jesus’ crucifixion.

For example in John 6:38 Jesus says “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”

In John 3:13 Jesus says of Himself

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.

Jesus said He came from Heaven. This is a true statement made many times by Him. And Jesus said this many times before His trial and crucifixion, which means he said it before the Ansar claim there was a Look Alike.

7. Jesus Asked The Father That He Should Not Go To The Cross

The Ansar article quotes Matthew 26:42-43 to say that Jesus prayed that he would not go to the cross and that therefore Allah answered this prayer so that Jesus was not crucified.

And pay attention that Jesus is a sent prophet and he had asked from Allah swt to be healed and to push the crucifixion and the torture and the killing away from him, and Allah swt does not return back a du’a of a sent prophet.

The Ansar article is incorrect in its understanding of Jesus prayer and The Father’s response. Jesus does say that he would wish there was an alternative path for Him other than the cross  but Jesus also knows that it is The Father’s will for Jesus to endure the cross and be killed there. Jesus knows there is no other way for Him. So he submits to the father’s will. He says ‘not my will, but yours be done’ (Matt. 26:39).

There is no mention of a Look Alike in this conversation between Jesus and the Father. In fact the text makes it plain that there is no other way for Jesus than to submit to the Father’s will and die on the cross. Jesus willingly allows Himself to be captured and stops Peter from trying to defend him (Matt 26:52). Jesus knows that the cross is necessary to fulfil prophecy of scripture and the Will of God (Matt 26:52-54).

Question: If The Father sent a look alike for Jesus, why is it not mentioned in the Injeel. ?

  1. Silent Before The Shearers

The Ansar website says that Jesus went to the cross without opening his mouth, without teaching, reproving or correcting his listeners. The reason the Shia assert this is to assert that they wish to say that because the LookAlike assumed Jesus identity in the Garden Of Gethsemane then Jesus’ teaching came to an end at this point, so the LookAlike renained silent.

In fact Jesus taught continuously while he was on the cross and while he was on his way to the cross (supposedly the time when the Look Alike had taken over His appearance and identity) Here are some examples:

Mark 14:47 – Teaches that the cross is predicted by the Holy Books

Mark 14:60 – Teaches High Priest that he is Messiah and Son Of God.

Matthew 27:46 – On the cross Jesus quotes from Psalm 22 teaching everyone that His death is predicted by the Holy Books

Luke 22:45 – Teaches that prayer prevents temptation

Luke 22:51 – Heals a man and prevents violence teaching violence is not the straight path

Luke 22:61 – Teaches Peter that cowardice is wrong.

Luke 22:68-70 – Teaches Jewish scholars that He is Son Of God

Luke 23:28-31 – Teaches that disaster will soon come to Jerusalem

Luke 23:33 – Teaches forgiveness

Luke 23:43 – Teaches about paradise

Jesus stayed silent only before his accusers. The reason that Jesus stayed silent before His accusers was to fulfil prediction of scripture. In Isaiah 53:7 it is written

“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

So, Jesus stays silent to fulfil the prediction that he will be silent before his death in the face of the oppressors. He will behave like a lamb. As Yahyia said, Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1:29), who by His sacrifice, brings peace between God and man by the forgiveness of sins.

8. Fulfillment Of Prophecy

The Tawrat, Injeel and Zaboor all teach us that al-Masih will be crucified as a ransom for the sins of mankind.

This means it is impossible that anyone should replace Jesus on the cross, because it is the mission of Jesus Messiah to go to the cross. No-one else is qualified to take His place.

The earliest prophecy of Al_Masih being crucified is in Tawrat Genesis 3:15 and 21.

The most magnificent prophecy of Al-Masih being crucified is in Tawrat Genesis 22 where Hazrat Ibrihim offers his loved son for sacrifice, but the son is replaced by a ram.

Moses, Daoud and all prophets sacrificed. Why  is sacrifice so important ?

Yahyia said Al-Masih is The Lamb Of God

Jesus said His purpose was to give his life as a ransom for many, Matthew 20:28. See also Surah as-Saffat 37:107 where the Allah provides a Ram as a ransom for Ismail.

Jesus says he is the fulfillment of prophecy of the sacrificial lamb. So He is the one sacrificed. There is no replacement for Him

See Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53

Does Jeremiah 46 Prophesy Imam Hussein And The Battle Of Karbala ?

No.

The notion that the death of the Shi’a Imam Hussein at Karbala is prophecied in Jeremiah 46 is entirely fanciful. Wishful thinking. Jeremiah 46 has nothing to do with the events of Karbala whatsoever.

My Shi’a friend recently asserted that Jeremiah 46, especially verses 6 and 10 pertain to Imam Hussein and Karbala because they describe a battle on the banks of the Euphrates river in which an army was slaughtered and where the Lord God made a sacrifice.

Carchemish, Not Karbala
The Battle that Jeremiah 46 records is quite simply not the Battle Of Karbala. In fact, Jeremiah 46 tells us exactly which battle it is describing: The Battle Of Carchemish, one of the most significant battles of the ancient Middle East. Jeremiah explicitly states which battle he is describing. Jeremiah 46:2 states:

This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish

Karbala is about 100km south-west of Baghdad, Iraq.
Carchemish is about 100km north-west of Aleppo, Syria.

The distance between Aleppo and Karbala is about 745km. They are in completely different countries.

The Battle Of Carchemish occurred in 605 BC. The Battle of Karbala occurred in 680 AD. About 1300 years later.

Wrong battle, wrong country, wrong millenium.
And that’s just the beginning of the Shi’a errors with this scripture.

Shi’a are eager to equate this scripture with the slaughter of Imam Hussein and his supporters at Karbala on the banks of the Euphrates River in 680 AD. Shi’a wish to appropriate these scriptures as prophecies of the death of Hussein so as to validate the Shi’a contention that the final and true religion of God is Shi’a Islam. These scriptures are used evangelistically by Shi’a to demonstrate to Christians that the Bible validates Shi’a Islam as the true religion of God and the primacy of the Shi’a Imams.

Yes, Imam Husein was killed on the banks of the Euphrates River. Yes, Jeremiah 46 is located in part on the Euphrates River. But Jeremiah 46 is not a prophecy about Imam Hussein in any way at all.

The Prophecy Is About Egypt, Not Hussein

By Shi’a interpretation, the slaughtered army is the household of Hussein and the sacrifice that God has prepared is Imam Hussein himself. But Jeremiah 46 is a prophecy about Egypt. Hussein, broadly speaking, should be said to come from Arabia, since he was born there, or Iraq since that was where the majority of his support was located.

However you care to define the country or nation of Hussein, there is no way that it can be said to be Egypt. The Shi’a interpretation is thus shown to be incoherent from the outset. Says Jeremiah 46:2 ‘Concerning Egypt…’ .

But since Shi’a like to affirm that Jeremiah 46 is about Hussein, they must then equate Egypt and its leader, Pharoah Necho, with Hussein and his household. This leads to insurmountable problems in resolving the text and shows that the Shi’a assertion that Jeremiah 46 refers to Hussein is nonsensical, as we will further demonstrate below.

God Is Opposed To The One Slaughtered

The first error of interpretation by the Shi’a is that they have failed to notice that God is opposed to the one that was slaughtered, whereas they assert that God favours and loves the one who was slaughtered i.e. Hussein.

Hussein is a Shi’a hero. Indeed, the most important date in the Shi’a calendar, Ashura, commemorates the Death of Hussein. For Shi’a, Hussein is in the line of infallible Imams, who are God’s rightly-guided caliphs, His very vice-regents on earth who provide infallible guidance to the community of believers.

But Jeremiah 46 says that God is opposed to the slaughtered army, that the slaughtered army are his foes and that this army is will be slaughtered because God is taking his vengeance upon them.

Thus, the Shi’a view that the slaughtered army (the Shi’a) and leader Hussein are the beloved of God is directly contradicted by the text. The army is slaughtered because God is opposed to this army, has judged it and will destroy it. Shi’a believe that Imam Hussein is loved by God. Why then does Jeremiah 46 say that Hussein is a foe (enemy) of God, on whom He will take vengeance ? For Shi’a this is impossible. Therefore Jeremiah 46 cannot be a prophecy of Hussein.

The hostility of God toward the slaughtered army is evident from the very beginning of the prophesy. In verse 2 The Lord God says He is against them:

This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River (Jer. 46:2)

Language throughout the entire chapter shows that the Lord is opposed to the slaughtered army and leader. Verse 21 and verse 25 says the Lord will punish them and verse 24 says they will be put to shame. Shi’a say the Karbala was a day of honour for Hussein and his people and a day in which the religion of God was preserved. None of this is compatible with the wrath that God pours out on His foes in the slaughtered army.

Details Of The ‘Karbala’ Battle Completely Incorrect

Shi’a insist that Jeremiah 46 is a record of the battle Of Karbala. But the details of Jeremiah 46 are in complete opposition to the Shi’a account of Karbala. For example, Jeremiah 46 says that the conquering army attacked the Egyptian army from the north. But Hussein was attacked from the west. So, the Shi’a interperetation has incorrect geography.

Next, the Egyptian Army (supposedly representing Hussein’s household) is said to contain mercenaries from Ethiopia (Cush), Libya (Put) and Western turkey (Lydia) (See verse 9) Hussein’s army contained no such mercenaries. Furthermore, these mercenaries were disloyal to Necho and attempted to desert the army, insulting Neco as they left calling him a loudmouth and a windbag (verse 16). Of course, Shi’a believe that Hussein’s army was completely devoted to Hussein and would never insult him nor desert him. Once again we find the Shi’a equation of Jeremiah 46 with The Battle Of Kerbala to be completely superficial and totally lacking in any consistency or credibility.

Carchemish, Not Karbala
The Battle that Jeremiah 46 records is quite simply not the Battle Of Karbala. In fact, Jeremiah 46 tells us exactly which battle it is describing: The Battle Of Carchemish, one of the most significant battles of the ancient Middle East.

This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish

Karbala is about 100km south-west of Baghdad, Iraq.
Carchemish is about 100km north-west of Aleppo, Syria.

The distance between Aleppo and Karbala is about 745km. They are in completely different countries.

The Battle Of Carchemish occurred in 605 BC. The Battle of Karbala occurred in 680 AD. About 1300 years later.

Wrong battle, wrong country, wrong millenium.
And that’s just the beginning of the Shi’a errors with this scripture.

The Fundamental Error that Shi’a have made with Jeremiah 46 is, to use the words of Gordon Fee, that they have tried to make it say what they want it to say, instead of trying to hear what God intends it to say.

As such, Shia have ignored all the fundamental disciplines of correctly interpreting the Biblical text. They have ignored historical context, also ignored the intention of the scripture under consideration and also ignored the very words in the containing text (overall chapter).

The events at Karbala were tragic and heart-rending but this does not excuse such opportunistic and negligent handling of God’s Holy Books.

Who Is The Favoured Nation Of God?

The intention of Shia in asserting that the Bible prophecies the coming of Hussein and the Imams is to attempt to provide Biblical validity to their contention that the Shia Islam is the true religion of God and that through the lineage of the Imams that true guidance and salvation is found. If I may put it this way, Shia wish to assert that Shia Muslims are the favoured nation of God and that this view is proven by discovering prophecies of Hussein in The Bible.

This is not the view of the Bible.

The Bible asserts that God’s favoured nation is Israel and that His Messiah is Jesus and that ultimately, favoured status and salvation with God comes through correct relationship with the Messiah Jesus, who is a son of Israel.

So it is that we see in Jeremiah 46 that God provides words of comfort and consolation, not to the slaughtered army, Egypt, or to the conquering army, Babylon, but to Israel. See here the conclusion of Jeremiah 46 where we see that Israel is the true focus of God’s affection:

Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant,
for I am with you,” declares the Lord.
“Though I completely destroy all the nations
among which I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only in due measure;
I will not let you go entirely unpunished.” (Jer. 46:28)

Why Is God Taking Vengeance On Egypt ?

In Jeremiah 46:10, God tells Egypt that He is taking vengeance on them because they are his foes (enemies). The reason that Egypt is God’s enemy is that Egypt have oppressed his people, Israel.

A large part of the Book Of Jeremiah describes Jeremiah prophesying about the great powers of the time, Babylon and Egypt, and Israel’s part in this drama. Israel’s part in all this is that she will be at various times attacked and occupied by both Babylon and Egypt. Jeremiah gives the consistent message that God will not forget Israel during all this trouble which has come upon her because of her disobedience. Israel will be punished by these nations, but not forgotten. The great powers who ravage her will be destroyed by God and Israel will resume her place in the Promised Land.

In Jeremiah 30:16-17 God says

“‘But all who devour you will be devoured;
    all your enemies will go into exile.
Those who plunder you will be plundered;
    all who make spoil of you I will despoil.
 But I will restore you to health
    and heal your wounds,’
declares the Lord,

Jeremiah 46 brings more detail to the prophecy of Jeremiah 30. The time is closer, so more detail is given. Babylon will defeat Egypt at Carchemish and later invade Egypt itself and break her power, causing great destruction to Egypt in the process. Some cities like Memphis will become wastelands and uninhabited (Jer. 46:19). These events have occurred and are recorded by history

The Battle Of Carchemish and subsequent events are prophesied in Jeremiah 46. These events are God’s vengeance on Egypt for devouring and plundering Israel, His chosen people, and also a judgment against the idolatry of Egypt in which

I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings (Jer. 46:25)

So God’s vengeance in 46:10 is upon Egypt for attacking His chosen people and for sins of idolatry. It is thus inconceivable that verse 10 should be some form of congratulations for Hussein. Unless Shia believe Hussein was an idolater who attacked and plundered God’s people and so became an enemy of God.

Note that God’s message of comfort to Israel in Jer. 46:27-28 is a restatement of the same message he gave in Jer. 30:10-11. This explicitly links the two chapters, allowing them to provide a direct commentary on each other.

Appendix: Example Of Mishandling Prophetic Scripture

As we have demonstrated above, Shi’a have catastrophically mishandled the prophecy of Jeremiah 46. In fact the way that Shia have misused this passage provides a case-study in bad scholarship.

Gordon Fee gives a good example of how prophecy is often mishandled in his book How To Understand The Bible For All Its Worth. His example is the misapplication of Isaiah 49:23 ‘kings who “will bow down before you with their
faces to the ground”’ to refer to the the three Magi who visited the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:1–11) .

Here is Fee’s example in full

Too great a zeal for identifying [far-future] events in Old
Testament prophetic oracles can yield strange results. The reference
in Isaiah 49:23 to kings who “will bow down before you with their
faces to the ground” has sounded just enough like the three Magi
who visited the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:1–11) to encourage many to
assume that Isaiah’s words are messianic. Such an interpretation
embarrassingly ignores the context (both kings and queens are mentioned;
the issue of the passage is the restoration of Israel after its
Babylonian exile), the intent (the language of the oracle intends to
show how great Israel’s respect will be when God restores it), the
style (the poetry symbolizes the respect of the nations via images of
their rulers as foster parents to Israel, and licking the dust at the feet
of the nation), and the wording (Magi are wise men/astrologers, not
kings). We must be careful that we do not make prophetic oracles,
or any part of Scripture, say what we would like it to say. We must
hear what God intends it to say.

A Muslim friend recently told me that the coming of Islam is prophesied in the Bible, specifically in Deuteronomy 33:2

And Moses said, “The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”

My friend told me that the three mountains in this verse represent three revelations: that Mt. Sinai represents the law given to Moses, Mt. Seir the Gospel given to Jesus and that Mt. Paran represents Islam because Mt. Paran is located near Mecca.

My friend is incorrect in his thesis for a number of reasons: First, in the Bible, Mt. Seir does not represent the Gospel or Jesus; Second,  Mt. Paran does not represent Islam; Third, the chronology (as opposed to the mention or listing) of God’s visitations to these mountains begins in Paran and ends in Sinai, which is the reverse of what of what the Islamic interpretation of these verses requires.

There are additional insurmountable problems with the Islamic interpretation of Deuteronomy 33:2 which I will also discuss below.

Mt. Seir Does Not Represent Jesus Or The Gospel.

While it is true that Mt. Sinai represents the Mosaic covenant, Mt. Seir does not represent the Gospel. Biblically, Mt. Seir represents the nation of Edom. The Edomites are the descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob, father of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Biblical data that ties Seir to Edom is immense, straightforward and incontrovertible. The first mention of Seir states that Seir is place where Esau and his descendants went to dwell after Esau parted from Jacob.

Esau dwelt in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom. These are the descendants of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir. (Genesis 36:8)

Mt Seir represents Edom. It does not represent Jesus.

For the record, the mountain that the Bible associates with Jesus Messiah is Mt. Zion in Israel. Psalm 2:6-9 and Psalm 110 are crystal clear on this, just to name two scriptures of many that could be listed.

Mt. Paran Does Not Represent Islam Or Mecca

In the Bible, Mt. Paran is associated with Teman, which is a region within Edom. Paran is not associated with Mecca.

The Book of Habbakuk places Mt. Paran in Teman and the Books of Jeremiah and Obadiah place Teman with Edom. Hence Paran is located in Edom, not Mecca.

God came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran
– Habbakuk 3:3

That Teman is a region with Edom is seen from Jeremiah 49:1. Jeremiah uses Teman as a synonym for the nation of Edom, the part representing the whole. The prophet Obadiah does the same (see Obadiah 1:9) .

Concerning Edom. Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Is there no more wisdom in Teman,
has counsel perished from the prudent,
is their wisdom gone?
– Jeremiah 49:1

Since The Bible locates Paran in Edom, Paran cannot be associated with Mecca and therefore does not represent Islam.

Ancient Edom was located on the southern borders of Judah (southern Israel), the Dead Sea and Southern Jordan (ancient Moab). It also extended into the Negev. Edom is nowhere near Mecca.

Paran Is Visited Before Sinai 

Paran is mentioned last in the list of mountains that God visited when he delivered the Sinai covenant to Moses. This is interpreted by Muslims to constitute a chronology of revelation where Sinai is given first and Islam, supposedly represented by Mt. Paran, visited last.

Unfortunately for the Islamic interpretation of this scripture, Paran, while listed last, was actually visited first, before Sinai, not after Sinai.

God’s visitation to Paran is described not only in Deuteronomy 33:2, but also Judges 5:4-5 and Habakkuk 3:3-4. You need to read all these scriptures together to understand how and why God visits Paran and Sinai.

In Deut. 33:2 the picture is of God dawning from Seir and Paran before settling on Mt. Sinai in power in fullness of glory to deliver his blessing. Dawn, of course, occurs at the beginning of a day, not the end. Thus Deuteronomy 33:2 describes a movement of God from one place (Edom) to another (the camp of Israel). The fact that the Lord initiated his Sinai appearance by moving to Sinai from Seir/Paran/Edom is made explicit in Judges 5:4-5, which records the same event as Deuteronomy 33:2

When you, Lord, went out from Seir,
    when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
    the clouds poured down water.
 The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai,
    before the Lord, the God of Israel.

The movement of God from Edom to Israel is a repeated motif in scripture. It’s prophetic meaning is that Edom, the enemies of God will be destroyed and that God will move to Israel to comfort and bless them after He has finished destroying the enemies of Israel.

So will it be in the future. In the End Times, at Armageddon, God will commence his visitation of Israel by dawning in Edom (Paran – Habakkuk 3:3-4;  Bozrah – Isaiah 63:1) where He will commence his judgement on those that oppose Him and His Messiah.

From Edom, God, by His Messiah, will again move on to visit Israel, this time settling his full glory on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. The prophetic picture is fleshed out by reading the complementary prophecies in Deut. 33:2, Habakkuk 3:3-4 and Isaiah 62:11 -63:6.

In Isaiah as in Habakkuk, The Lord God commences his judgement on the nations starting at Edom. Isaiah gives additional detail that at the completion of this judgement, God makes his way to Jerusalem (Mt. Zion). The link between Isaiah 62/63 and Deut 33:2 is the movement of God’s visitation between Edom and Israel (Mt Sinai, then Mt Zion) with the blessing in both cases being reserved for Israel.

The Lord has made proclamation
to the ends of the earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your Savior comes!

Who is this coming from Edom
with his garments stained crimson?
Who is this, robed in splendor,
striding forward in the greatness of his strength?

“…I have trodden the winepress alone;
from the nations no one was with me.
I trampled them in my anger…
It was for me the day of vengeance; (Isa. 62:11-63:4)

Notice that the Lord approaches Zion from Edom after completing judgement. This is a more detailed picture of Habakkuk 3:3-4, first shown in embryonic form in Deut 33:2. Rev. 19:13-16 makes it clear that this Lord with crimson robes is Jesus.

A very readable summary of this prophetic progression is given in this short article The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ To Bozrah.

So, the movement of God in Deuteronomy 33:2 is from Param to Sinai. This means that the chronology assumed by Muslims in interpreting this passage is incorrect.

Deuteronomy 33:2 has nothing to do with Islam.

Paran – The Centrepoint Of God’s Judgement

As noted above, the prophet Habakkuk locates Paran in Teman, a region of Edom. Deuteronomy 33 records that God shone from Paran during his delivery of the Sinai covenant, obviously prior to the events of Deut. 33, which immediately precede the Death Of Moses.

Habakkuk, on the other hand, prophecies that God will again shine from Paran in the future. But God’s future visitation to Paran will not be to deliver a new covenant – it will be for the purpose of exacting God’s vengeance on His enemies, those that hate Israel.

In other words, Paran is the centrepoint of God’s judgement, not, as Muslims would like to say, His chosen people. God will destroy His enemies beginning at Paran. Not bless it. If Muslims wish to insist that Paran represents Mecca then they must explain why the Bible prophecies that God will destroy the people of Mecca and the surrounding areas.

Thus, Habakkuk shows that the Muslim interpretation of Deut. 33 is untenable. It does not account for the explicit Biblical opinion of Paran, that God will destroy His enemies in all the earth, starting from Paran. It is absolutely clear that Paran (meaning Edom) will be totally destroyed by God. Isaiah 34 is just one example of this certainty.

Habakkuk 3:3-4 describes God’s shining forth from Paran in a highly similar way to Deuteronomy 33:2

God came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His glory covered the heavens
and his praise filled the earth.
His splendor was like the sunrise;
rays flashed from his hand,
where his power was hidden.

These initial two verses seem are positive in tone and describe a time of God’s visitation to Paran. But the remainder of Habakkuk 3 shows that God’s shining forth from Paran is a visitation of judgement.

Plague went before him;
pestilence followed his steps.
He stood, and shook the earth;
he looked, and made the nations tremble…
I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
the dwellings of Midian in anguish. (Hab. 3:5-7)

So, Habakkuk prophecies that God beings Plague and Pestilence to Paran, that His judgement extends from there to Midian (north-west Arabia) and eventually extends to all nations (v.12). The nation that is comforted and rescued by God’s saving act is not Muslims but God’s chosen people, Israel

You came out to deliver your people,
to save your anointed one..,I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us. (v.13, 16)

The last two chapters of Habakkuk are devoted to answering the prophet’s question to God ‘what will God do in the face of imminent destruction of Israel by her enemies’. The answer is that though Israel will indeed be invaded and destroyed in Habakkuk’s time, God will in the end deliver His people, comfort and save them and destroy the enemies of Israel

I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us….I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Hab. 3:16-18)

As always, God acts to save his chosen people and nation, which is Israel.

Never Mecca or Muslims.

So Why Is Paran Mentioned In Deuteronomy 33:2 ?

We have noted that biblically both Seir and Paran represent Edom. This is lethal to the assertion of Muslims that Deuteronomy 33:2 represents Mecca and Islam. So, why would God include a reference to Seir and Paran in a scripture which describes the giving of the Mosaic law to Israel at Sinai ?

The answer is that Deut. 33:2 is an embryonic prophecy of God’s judgement on Edom. Just as God’s prophecies about the coming of the Messiah grew in clarity, precision and scope from the first Messianic prophecy in Genesis 3:15, so does the prophetic treatment of God’s judgement of Edom.

This becomes clear as we read all the scriptures of God’s coming to Paran as discussed above.

Context Of Deuteronomy 33 Does Not Refer To Islam

In the following sections I will present some further reasons why Deuteronomy 33:2 does not refer to Islam.

First, the immediate context of the verse is historical and not the future. Muslims and Christians alike hold to the principle of interpretation of scripture within context. To understand a single verse within Deuteronomy it is necessary in the first instance to read the verses immediately around it and then the entire chapter in which the verse is situated.

So it is that the verses immediately following verse 2 describe the covenant of verse 2. This covenant is the law that Moses gave us (v.4) (not any other covenant or covenants) and the people blessed by the covenant are the assembly of Jacob (v.4), otherwise known as Jeshurun…the tribes of Israel (v.5).

Jeshurun is one of God’s affectionate names for Israel. It is used four times in the Bible and has the basic meaning of ‘upright one’

Verse 5 also makes it clear that the the covenant being delivered in verse 2 is the Law Of Moses, by stating that the events occurred when the leaders and tribes of Israel assembled in God’s presence. This is a reference to Exodus 24. Essentially, verse 2 through 5 all say the same thing in different ways: God has given Israel the Law Of God.

Thus the plain and obvious context of Deuteronomy 33:2 is Moses, Israel and the Jews; not Mohammed, Mecca and the Muslims.

Context Of Deuteronomy 33 Is Israel and The Promised Land

Moving now to the context of Deuteronomy 33 as a whole chapter we see that this chapter is the climax and fulfillment of Moses’s ministry to Israel.

The bulk of the chapter (vv. 6-25) details the blessings that Moses pronounces on the twelve tribes of Israel as they enter the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Moses is about to die. Before he dies he gives them blessings from God to sustain Israel in the Promised Land of Canaan. The prologue (vv. 2-5) to the blessings of the individual tribes is Moses describing the blessing on the entire nation of Israel, the blessing which unites them all and which makes them a nation, which is the blessing of covenant relationship with God through the Law which God has given them: the Sinai covenant.

The prologue impresses upon Israel and us that the ultimate source of Israel’s blessing is in their covenant with God. This is the foundation for any and all other blessings that come to individual tribes

The chapter is about Israel. Not Mecca, Muslims or Islam.

Prophetic Content Of Deuteronomy 33 Refers To Jesus

Our Muslim friends are correct, though, that Deuteronomy 33 does indeed contain prophecy beyond the immediate future of Israel in Canaan. But this prophecy refers to Jesus and not to Mohammed.

We have already seen that 33:2 is an embryonic prophecy of the coming of Jesus Messiah to destroy the enemies of Israel and subsequently commence His rule and reign as God and King Of Israel. In addition the coming of Jesus is prophesied in the blessings of Moses.

Look at Deut. 33:7, the blessing given to Judah:

Hear, Lord, the cry of Judah;
bring him to his people.
With his own hands he defends his cause.
Oh, be his help against his foes!

The prophecy is brief, but can and should be understood consistently with the prior prophetic blessing on Judah, given by Jacob in Genesis 49.

The patriarch Jacob in Genesis 49:10 delivered a prophecy that the Messiah of God will come from the tribe of Judah, as follows

The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

So, God through Jacob tells us that a ruler is coming from the tribe of Judah and all the nations will show obedience to this ruler. Mohammed does not descend from Israel let alone from the tribe of Judah. Jesus does – through David.

The first couplet of the blessing of Moses on Judah in Deut. 33:7 is a prayer for the fulfilment of the Messianic promise to Judah, that the Messiah of Israel, promised through their lineage should come. The second couplet refers to the Messiah’s activity as sole agent of Israel’s salvation in partnership with God. (I accept the second couplet also has relevance to Judah within the timeframe of the conquest of the Promised Land in addition to the future activity of the Messiah).

Notice also the promotion of Judah in the position of the tribes. In Jacob’s blessing, Judah is listed in birth order amongst the 12 tribes, in fourth position. In the blessing of Moses, Judah is promoted to second to reflect the additional significance of this tribe. Reuben as first-born son of Israel retains his honour of first mention. Of all other tribes, Judah is mentioned next. This is due to the honour of Judah holding the promise of being the progenitor of the Messiah.

Both of the above elements of my interpretations of Deut. 33:7 – the restatement of Messianic promise and the promotion of Judah due to Messianic promise – are somewhat disputable. The passage is brief and the meaning is not readily apparent. But respected commentators do support the view that Deut. 33:7 is Messianic.

In any case, looking for Mohammed in the Bible is futile. He is simply not there. And to return to the immediate subject matter, the Messianic promise to Judah in Genesis 49 is clear and indisputable. The Messiah, the one to whom all the nations will give obedience comes through Judah. These promises belong to Jesus, son of David the King Of Judah. Mohammed has nothing to do with Judah. Therefore Mohammed is not the Messiah of God, and not the one to whom the nations will give obedience. These promises belong to Jesus.

Mt Seir represents Edom. It does not represent Jesus.

Edomites, The Enemies Of God, Cannot Possibly Represent Jesus, The Son Of God

The Bible says that Jesus is God. John 1:1-14 and Revelation 22:13-16 alone make this abundantly clear.

The Edomites on the other hand are continuously described in the Old Testament as being the enemies of God’s people and of God Himself. There is an enormous amount of scripture which describes how Edom is opposed to God, His people and His purposes, how God is opposed to Edom and how Edom will certainly be destroyed by the judgement of God.

Jesus cannot oppose or destroy himself.

Jesus cannot be represented by His enemies.

Hence Mt. Seir and Mt. Paran, both representative of Edom, cannot represent Jesus.

Edom, The Enemies Of God

This section provides some more detail about how the Bible presents Edom as the enemies of God.

The Bible continuously describes how Edom opposes both God and His people, Israel, how Edom opposes God’s plans and attempts to hinder His work, and states that Edom hates and rejects God Himself.

Edom’s hostility to Israel is first seen on Israel’s journey to the Promised Land after God delivers the Israelites from Egypt. .Israel seek passage through the land of Edom to Canaan, but Edom deny them, presenting an armed force in doing so, thus forcing Israel into a circuitous route around their borders (Numbers 20:14-21).

The Lord’s anger against Edom here is not merely that they inconvenienced Israel but that they denied Israel the rights of family. Since Edom is descended from Esau, Jacob’s brother, and Israel is descended from Jacob, then Israel and Edom were brothers in the sight of God and all Middle Easterners. So Edom should have, and was obliged to, provide support for Israel instead of opposition. This is a serious family insult and very sinful by the standards of Middle Eastern culture.

The motive for Edom’s opposition to Israel was resentment and jealousy because Esau, the older brother of Jacob, had been bypassed by God who delivered Esau’s rights as firstborn son, as well as ownership of God’s covenental promises to Abraham, to Jacob. In jealousy, Edom now sought revenge on Israel by attempting to deny them the fulfillment of those promises, specifically the promise of land given by God to Abraham. In short, Edom was attempting to hinder God’s work and purposes by opposing Israel’s pilgrimage to the promised land of Canaan.

Edom, in opposing God’s purposes, made himself the enemy of God.

Edom’s jealousy of Israel continued even after Israel was established in the land of Canaan. When Israel was attacked, Edom allowed his brother nation to be plundered, indeed, went down to plunder Israel himself and cheered on the enemies of Israel as they destroyed his brother in bloody warfare. Edom hoped to gain from the destruction of Israel by becoming the eventual possessor of the Promised Land for himself.

“Because you said, `These two nations [the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel] and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them ,’—although the LORD was there—therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy which you showed because of your hatred against them. (Ezekiel 35:10-11)

It is sad to discover that Edom’s hatred of Israel became a hatred of The Lord Himself. Edom came to hate God because God had favoured Jacob over Esau.

And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it. Thus says the Lord GOD: (Ezekiel 35:13)

Edom has made himself an enemy of God’s people and of God Himself. Consequently Edom will be judged

As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. (Ezekiel 35:15)

Edom is quite simply the nation with which the Lord is angry for ever. Edom’s judgement is certain and irrevocable.:

If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins, the LORD of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, till they are called the wicked country, the people with whom the LORD is angry for ever (Malachi 1:4)

Seir does not represent Jesus or His Gospel

Seir is the home of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, who are enemies of God, His purposes and His people, and who stand under God’s decree of judgement.

 

Carland Shreds Her Credibility On National TV

During ABC’s broadcast of Q&A, ‘Live From Melbourne’ 26-March-2009 , Susan Carland, an Australian-born Anglo Muslim and wife of Waleed Aly, former president of the Islamic Council Of Victoria, was asked about the ‘rejectionist’ stance of the Muslim community i.e. that Islam prohibits Muslims from integrating into any non-Muslim society.

Andrew Bolt drew Ms. Carland’s attention to an interview of hers with Malaysia’s Star newspaper in which Ms Carland commented that converts to Islam are pressured to immediately dispense with non-Muslim friends and are bombarded with all manner of regulations to which they are told must immediately adhere.

Ms. Carland responded that those Muslims applying such pressure are in the minority of Muslims, while Andrew Bolt disagreed saying Ms. Carland herself referred to a normative rejectionist, separatist attitude amongst mainstream Muslims.

Ms. Carland then said that Bolt had probably read a badly translated version of her interview.

Unfortunately for Ms. Carland’s credibility, the Star newspaper is an English language newspaper. Bolt was not reading a translation, he was reading the article in English as it was originally published.

Here are Ms. Carland’s comments from the Q&A transcript:

ANDREW BOLT: […] There’s specifically something in the community itself, as well, and I think, to be honest, you mentioned this yourself in an interview with the Malaysian Star Newspaper only a couple of years ago, where you said within the community, being a new convert from Christianity, you face the calls, from within the community, you shouldn’t do this and you shouldn’t do that and you shouldn’t make friends with people who weren’t Muslim and you should withdraw from society and everything that was haram and you said this was a problem for you and I think that’s an acknowledgement there is, in fact, a problem within the Muslim community, a rejectionist strand, which is what makes this different.

[…]

SUSAN CARLAND: The quick response would be absolutely there are people, a very small minority of people, within the Muslim community that are reluctant to engage with the wider community, but this is more…

ANDREW BOLT: You put it as a majority in this interview and, excuse me, I just read it again.

SUSAN CARLAND: I said the majority of Muslims reject friendships with…well, I’m afraid that that…

ANDREW BOLT: You did.

SUSAN CARLAND: Well, I’m afraid that’s just not correct.

ANDREW BOLT: Well, you said it there and you…

SUSAN CARLAND: Maybe your translation from the Malay is not…

ANDREW BOLT: It was an English language newspaper.

Islam Is Embarassed About Itself

Ms. Carland’s reflexive use of ‘translation difficulties’ is a typical Muslim strategy for deflecting inquiry by non-Muslims into embarassing aspects of Islam such as its treatment of women, death penalty for converting out of Islam and its anti-historical assertions of ‘fact’ e.g. that Alexander The Great was a Muslim prophet.

Here is an example of Sheikh Hilaly Of Lakemba appealing to ‘translation difficulties’ over a sermon he gave in Lebanon in 2004 praising the September 11 massacre and Jihad in general.

Bolt caught Carland on the hop with his reference to her Star interview, and Carland being unwilling to admit that she herself, a Muslim, had criticised the mainstream Muslim rejectionist attitude to non-Muslim society, she reflexively reached for the old canard ‘translation difficulties’ as a means of deflecting criticism of Islam.

Muslims like Ms. Carland are aware that the truth about Islam is generally unpalatable to Western minds, hence she attempted to conceal the truth about Islam, in this case its rejection of conformity to generally accepted Westen norms. This concealment of truth about Islam in defence of Islam is known as Taqqiya and is a standard Islamic practice.

It is an insidious philosphy indeed that permits concealment and distortion of its own beliefs in order to make it acceptable to others.

Islam is embarassed about itself.

Carland’s Star Interview

Here is an excerpt from Carland’s interview in the Malaysian Star newspaper.

Speaking at a dinner talk during a conference organised by the Muslim Professionals Forum and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Carland, who was named Australian Muslim of the Year in 2004, was brutally honest about the treatment of converts at the hands of “born” Muslims.

“Lifting the Veil” (as her talk was aptly titled), what she had to say certainly made many cringe.

Barely have the last words of the shahada (proclamation of faith) left the lips of new converts, she said, they find themselves bombarded with rules to adhere to.

The list of unreasonable pressures on converts includes telling converts to leave their so-called haram jobs immediately, even if the person had no other source of income.

The newbies are asked to give up hobbies like painting, photography, dancing or playing instruments. They’re advised to move out and sever ties with their kafir (infidel) family and non-Muslim friends, while female converts are urged to get married as soon as possible.

They are often expected to give up their own cultures and take on Arab, sub-continental, Malay or other cultures because these are deemed to be more “Islamic”.

Carland, a lecturer at Monash University in Melbourne, described these demands as not only unreasonable but also “very dangerous”.

To summarize Carland, the mainstream Muslim community, in her experience, bombards new converts with reams of regulations trying to force them to sever ties with friends and family, drop their hobbies, give up their only source of income and abandon their own culture, Carland describes this as ‘unreasonable’ and ‘very dangerous’.

She then lied to Bolt on ABC’s Q&A on two counts, saying that only a minority in the Muslim community were unreasonable when in fact she had described the mainsteam attitude and that in any case Bolt was labouring under a badly translated version of her interview from the Malay, whereas the Star is in fact an English-language newspaper.

Carland On The Muslim Community’s Attitude To Converts

In her Star interview, Carland went on to strongly criticise the Muslim community’s attitude to converts, saying that they were made to feel inferior and that they were degraded, insulted, ignored, shouted at and excluded and that their reputation was often impugned by gossip in order to control their behaviour.

From her interview again:

Carland also takes the Muslim community to task […] converts were often made to feel inferior by those born Muslims

A practising Muslim herself for years, she finds it maddening whenever “born” Muslims ask her to recite verses from the Quran to prove that she is really one, and knows enough to pray.

Such encounters are degrading and condescending. How would anyone here feel if I were to ask her to recite some Quranic verses for me to prove her Muslim-ness? Obviously it would be quite insulting.”

Female converts report being shouted out, criticised and, worse, simply ignored by both other women and men, the first time they nervously enter a mosque. Often they report leaving in tears,” she disclosed.

[…]

As for the lot of women, she told how gossip was often used, successfully, to control them.

Carland On Islam And Youth

The general misery of the Muslim existence is epitomised by Carland in the attitudes of Muslims toward their youth:

Often the only interaction young people seem to have with the religion is being told what they cannot do. Don’t listen to music – it’s haram. Don’t have a boyfriend – it’s haram. Stop showing your hair – haram, haram, haram.

“You don’t have to just sit in your room and recite the Quran and that is the sole existence of your life. You can still come out and have a good time, within a certain framework.”

Carland On The Anti-Intellectual Nature Of Islam

In further comments, Carland admits that intellectual inquiry is unwelcome within Islam. The normal questions of converts are ignored and they are made to feel that some things should not be mentioned – a message which Carland herself has learned by the evidence of her attempt to deny to Bolt that she ever made these comments in the first place.

Converts often have a challenging mind, which is one of the factors that made them Muslims in the first place. Sometimes, having someone listen could be the last thing that helps these people hold on, she said.

“Sometimes just being able to say some things and getting them out is enough. Hopefully they will come out the other side with their faith stronger than ever.

In Favour Of Carland

In Carland’s favour, she does not endorse the general attitudes of Muslims that she discussed with the Star newspaper and she wants those things to change.

However, her inability to be truthful about Muslim attitudes to non-Muslim society and her reflexive use of ‘bad translation’ as a mechanism for deflecting inquiry and criticism of Islam shows she has learned rather too well how to be a ‘good Muslim’.

Carland cannot be trusted on Islam.

Taqiyya

Carland’s defence of Islam through deceit is an example of Taqqiya, or what the geat Islamic theologian Imam Abu Hammid Ghazali called (to paraphrase) ‘to achieve a praiseworthy aim through lying’

Quoting the Imam Ghazali via Islam Watch:

“Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it.

When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible.” (Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana publications, 1997, section r8.2, page 745)

For those unaware, ‘Reliance Of The Traveller’ is an Islamic text of unimpeachable authority and has been ceritified by Al-Azhar University of Cairo, simply the greatest centre of learning in the Islamic world, kind of an Islamic Oxford or Cambridge, but devoted to Qu’ranic understanding.

The full article in Islamic Watch Understanding Taqiyya ― Islamic Principle of Lying for the Sake of Allah includes an example of Keyser Trad employing Taqqiya.

Muslims are free to abandon promises and go back on their words whenever circumstances change and a praiseworthy objective presents itself. This is from the example of Mohammed himself. Of course, the defence of Islam is a praiseworthy objective:

Bukhari Vol 5: 668 “Narrated Zahdam:
So I went to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle ! You took an oath that you would not give us anything to ride, but you have given us.” He said, “Yes, for if I take an oath and later I see a better solution than that, I act on the later and gave the expiation of that oath”

Here is another informative article on Taqiyya, “‘Taqiyya’: How Islamic Extremists Deceive The West” located here.

It includes another example of Taqiyya by Keyser Trad, spokesperson for Sheikh Hilaly of the Lakemba Mosque and, at that time, Mufti Of Australian Muslims.

Some quotes by Muslim theologians on Taqqiya from this latter article follow. Feel free to Google:

“Al Taqiyya is with the tongue only; not the heart. A believer can make any statement as long as the ‘heart is comfortable …”; “God gave the believers freedom of movement by takiyya; therefore conceal thyself …”; “Takiyya is a cloak for the believer: he who has no religion has no takiyya, associate your opponents only outwardly and oppose them inwardly”.

Related terms include: protection of the secret (hifz-al sirr), secrecy (katm or kitman), deception (making something ambiguous) and hiding the real state of one’s convictions (talbis). Early Muslim sects, the Najadt and the Kharjites, referred to particular regions outside their communities as “the abode of dissimulation” (dar al taqiyya).

Allah Himself Lies

In fact Allah himself lies on purpose to Muslims, for their own good to achieve praiseworthy aims. Here is Allah’s own admission of the fact of lying via Mohammed in the Qu’ran 8:43:

Remember in thy dream God showed them to thee as few: if He had shown them to thee as many, ye would surely have been discouraged, and ye would surely have disputed in (your) decision; but God saved (you): for He knoweth well the (secrets) of (all) hearts.

Carland lies to defend Islam. This is accepted practice in Islam as one would expect from a religion whose God itself lies.

Fatima Al-Mutairi was killed by her family for becoming a Christian. Here is the
poem she wrote and published on the Internet while locked in her room by her brother waiting for her family to decide her fate.

And We For the Sake of Christ All Things Bear

by Fatima Al-Mutairi

May the Lord Jesus guide you, Oh Muslims
And enlighten your hearts that you might love others

The forum does not revile the Master of the prophets
It is for the display of truth, and for you it was revealed
This is the truth which you do not know

What we profess are the words of the Master of the prophets
We do not worship the cross, and we are not possessed
We worship the Lord Jesus, the Light of the worlds

We left Mohammed, and we do not follow in his path
We followed Jesus Christ, the Clear Truth

Truly, we love our homeland, and we are not traitors
We take pride that we are Saudi citizens
How could we betray our homeland, our dear people?
How could we, when for death – for Saudi Arabia—we stand ready?
The homeland of my grandfathers, their glories, and odes— for it I am writing
And we say, “We are proud, proud, proud to be Saudis”

We chose our way, the way of the rightly guided
And every man is free to choose any religion
Be content to leave us to ourselves to be believers in Jesus
Let us live in grace before our time comes

There are tears on my cheek, and Oh! the heart is sad
To those who become Christians, how you are so cruel!
And the Messiah says, “Blessed are the Persecuted”
And we for the sake of Christ all things bear

What is it to you that we are infidels?
You do not enter our graves, as if with us buried

Enough – your swords do not concern me, not evil nor disgrace
Your threats do not trouble me, and we are not afraid
And by God, I am unto death a Christian—Verily
I cry for what passed by, of a sad life

I was far from the Lord Jesus for many years
Oh History record! and bear witness, Oh Witnesses!
We are Christians – in the path of Christ we tread

Take from me this word, and note it well
You see, Jesus is my Lord, and He is the Best of protectors
I advise you to pity yourself, to clap your hands in mourning
See your look of ugly hatred

Man is brother to man, Oh learned ones
Where is the humanity, the love, and where are you?

As to my last words, I pray to the Lord of the worlds
Jesus the Messiah, the Light of Clear Guidance
That He change notions, and set the scales of justice aright
And that He spread Love among you, Oh Muslims

Such A Religion Cannot Come From God

The martyred poet gives an insight into the allegations against her and to the
attitudes of Saudi Muslims in general toward Jesus, Christians and Christianity.

Her question, and mine, is ‘why does Islam need to kill those who convert to
other faiths’. It is hard to believe that such a religion could ever come from God.

The allegations against Fatimah are that she became a follower Christian (this is enough for death), but also, concomitant to this, that she worships the cross, reviles Mohammed, that she is possessed and that she is a national traitor to Saudi Arabia (her longest stanza).

Of course all that is fabrication, mere window dressing, gilding the lily of her real and only crime which is that she was once a Muslim and is now a follower of Jesus.

In the Hadith of Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57, authoritative for all Muslims:

Narrated ‘Ikrima:
Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'”

Wikipedia says on Apostasy In Islam:

The four major Sunni Madh’hab (schools of Islamic jurisprudence) and the Twelver Shi’a Jafari madhab agree that a sane adult male apostate must be executed. They differ on the punishment for a female apostate – some schools calling for death and others for imprisonment.

This is why converts to the path of Jesus in Saudi Arabia pray the conversion prayer with their own hands around their throat, symbolic of the Sharia penalty, decapitation, should they be arrested for the ‘crime’ of Apostasy. They know that their faith is a death sentence, as Fatima did (‘swords’)

I met an ex-Muslim. He told me His sister said ‘We should kill you’. So, his family know what Islam decrees. They just had the fundamental humanity to ignore it.

‘And every man is free to choose any religion’.

Fatima is amazed and shocked, as I am, that the Muslim faith is so totalitarian that it cannot tolerate any conversion. ‘What is it to you that we are infidels’.

She tries to reason with her family from the Qu’ran that diversity of faith is permitted by referring to Quran 2:256 “There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way.” – in her words ‘And every man is free to choose any religion’.

Fatima may not have realised that Surah 2 was revealed in the early part of Mahammed’s career when he was militarily weak. No such option was permitted by Muhammad once he had power over the destiny of subjugated populations.

But Fatima certainly did realised she would be killed, hence her martydom poem, published on the Internet.

See here, here and here

What The Learned Do Not Know

Fatima, in Jesus, has discovered that God is love and a good portion of her poem is a prayer for Muslims to recognise and admit that love is absent fom Islam. She notes, in her own family, the cruelty they visit on her, their looks of ‘ugly hatred’ and their ‘threats’, their general malice, for which she advises they ‘pity’ and ‘mourn’ for themselves.

Fatima’s wish for Muslims, the thought she leaves them with even as they kill her, is that they too experience the love that is from God of which they have no experience.

I pray to the Lord of the worlds
Jesus the Messiah, the Light of Clear Guidance
That He change notions, and set the scales of justice aright
And that He spread Love among you, Oh Muslims

Fatima’s father is an Iman. It is to him specifically, amongst the ranks of the learned in general, that she instructs in the elementary truths of humanity and chides for moral blindness.

Man is brother to man, Oh learned ones
Where is the humanity, the love, and where are you?

Illumination

I enjoyed Fatima’s expressions of the spirituality of Jesus in Islamic phraseology e.g ‘Best Of Protectors’, ‘Light of Clear Guidance’, ‘for you it was revealed’, ‘bear witness oh witnesses’.

I hope that her martyrdom poem achieves her prayerful intent, the illumination of many in darkness.

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