09 January 2009

Confucianism: Founded by K'ung Fu Tzu

K'ung Fu Tzu (commonly pronounced Confucius in English) was born in 551 BCE in the state of Lu (modern day Shantung Province). He lived during the Chou dynasty, an era known for its moral laxity. Later in life, he wandered through many states of China, giving advice to their rulers. He accumulated a small band of students during this time. The last years of his life were spent back in Lu, where he devoted himself to teaching.

His writings deal primarily with individual morality and ethics, and the proper exercise of political power by the rulers.

In China, and some other areas in Asia, the social ethics and moral teachings of Confucius are blended with the Taoist communion with nature and Buddhist concepts of the afterlife, to form a set of complementary, peacefully co-existent and ecumenical religions.

There are approximately 6 million Confucians in the world. About 26,000 live in North America; almost all of the remainder are found throughout China and the rest of Asia.

Confucian ethical teachings include the following values:
  • Li: includes ritual, propriety, etiquette, etc.
  • Hsiao: love within the family: love of parents for their children and of children for their parents
  • Yi: righteousness
  • Xin: honesty and trustworthiness
  • Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others; the highest Confucian virtue
  • Chung: loyalty to the state, etc.
Confucianism does not contain all of the elements of some other religions, like Christianity and Islam. It is primarily an ethical system to which rituals at important times during one's lifetime have been added.

Since the time of the Han dynasty (206 CE) four life passages have been recognized and regulated by Confucian tradition:
  • Birth: The T'ai-shen (spirit of the fetus) protects the expectant woman and deals harshly with anyone who harasses the mother to be. A special procedure is followed when the placenta is disposed of. The mother is given a special diet and is allowed rest for a month after delivery. The mother's family of origin supplies all the items required by the baby on the first, fourth and twelfth monthly anniversary of the birth.
  • Reaching Maturity: This life passage is no longer being celebrated, except in traditional families. It takes the form of a group meal in which the young adult is served chicken.
  • Marriage: This is performed in six stages:
    1. Proposal: the couple exchange the eight characters: the year, month, day and hour of each of their births. If any unpropitious event occurs within the bride-to-be's family during the next three days, then the woman is believed to have rejected the proposal.
    2. Engagement: after the wedding day is chosen, the bride announces the wedding with invitations and a gift of cookies made in the shape of the moon.
    3. Dowry: This is carried to the groom's home in a solemn procession. The bride-price is then sent to the bride by the groom's parents. Gifts by the groom to the bride, equal in value to the dowry, are sent to her.
    4. Procession: The groom visits the bride's home and brings her back to his place, with much fanfare.
    5. Marriage and Reception: The couple recite their vows, toast each other with wine, and then take center stage at a banquet.
    6. Morning After: The bride serves breakfast to the groom's parents, who then reciprocate.
  • Death: At death, the relatives cry out aloud to inform the neighbors. The family starts mourning and puts on clothes made of a coarse material. The corpse is washed and placed in a coffin. Mourners bring incense and money to offset the cost of the funeral. Food and significant objects of the deceased are placed into the coffin. A Buddhist or Taoist priest (or even a Christian minister) performs the burial ritual. Friends and family follow the coffin to the cemetery, along with a willow branch which symbolizes the soul of the person who has died. The latter is carried back to the family altar where it is used to "install" the spirit of the deceased. Liturgies are performed on the 7th, 9th, 49th day after the burial and on the first and third anniversaries of the death.

5 comments:

akhter said...

ISLAM AND MODERN MAN

THE PROSPECTS OF AN ISLAMIC RENAISSANCE



[Maryam Jameelah was born Margaret Marcus to a Jewish family in New Rochelle, NY, on May 23, 1934. She grew up in a secular environment, but at the age of nineteen, while a student at New York University, she developed a keen interest in religion. In 1954 she was greatly impressed by Marmaduke Pickthall’s The Meaning of the Glorious Koran and by the works of Muhammad Asad, himself a convert from Judaism to Islam. Jameelah cites Asad’s The Road to Mecca and Islam at Crossroads as critical influences on her decision to become a Muslim.
She embraced Islam in New York on May 24, 1961, and soon after began to write for the Muslim Digest of Durban, South Africa. Her articles outlined a pristine view of Islam and sought to establish the truth of the religion through debates with critics. Through the journal, Jameelah became acquainted with the works of Maulana Sayyid Abu Ala Mawdudi, the founder of the Jamaati Islami (Islamic Party) of Pakistan, who was also a contributor to the journal. Jameelah traveled to Pakistan in 1962 on Maududi’s advice and joined his household in Lahore. She soon married Muhammad Yusuf Khan, as his second wife. Today she lives in Lahore and continues to write on Islamic thought and life.]


The opponents of those who are striving to build a genuine Islamic society argue with the most arrogant cynicism that Islamic civilization has vanished forever, that its era of creativity is past history and that it has nothing more to contribute to the world. They take supreme delight in relating how one Muslim country after another has succumbed to Western civilization. The various stages of acculturation are described in detail in order to prove that the disintegration of Islamic life and the complete triumph of westernization are inevitable. It is furthermore asserted that nothing can stop this process. The assumption is that modern civilization is invincible. No propaganda technique in the hands of our enemies has proved so successful in demoralizing the rising generation of Muslim youth than the adoption of these clichés. Despite voluminous propaganda to the contrary, Western civilization is far from invincible. Racial hatred, class conflicts, the epidemic of lawlessness, the perversion of scientific achievements for destructive purpose, the debility of the family, drug and alcohol addiction, universal indulgence in illicit sex and the waste of natural and human resources for luxurious living are some of its most vulnerable weaknesses. What has doomed all other civilization of the present? Our most precious asset over our adversaries is that genuine Islamic life is not contaminated with any of these corruptions. Western civilization only appears invincible because there is no rival. Once effective opposition appears on the scene, the corruption of modern culture will be exposed for all to see.


Most devastating to our cause are those of our writers who escape from a practicable and realistic solution of present-day problems by over glorifying the past, entirely overlooking the fact that the most extravagant praise of the achievements of Muslims a thousand years ago, provides no guarantee that the Islamic community will flourish in the future. These well meaning authors write reams in praise of our Holy Prophet and his companions, never tiring of rejoicing in the superiority of the “noble spiritual principles of Islam” coupled with a most vituperative condemnation of the “materialistic West” as if their effusive verbalism would automatically result in a beautiful Islamic utopia without any further effort needed on their part!


As one Muslim writes about this problem:


The Muslims of the world are passing through the most critical period in their history. The western civilization called modernism has dominated over all other civilizations with the forceful hammerings of scientific advancement. Christianity fought against it desperately but it could not stand any longer for it had many vulnerable chinks in its armour. Other religions met the same fate as Christianity.


There may still different customs prevailing in different countries but none can deny that they are highly influenced and imbued with modernism, so much so that they are totally changed and have lost their originality. Although the Muslims of all countries are trying hard to ward off the mighty blow dealt by modernism, they are losing ground against it. Even most of the Muslims themselves have welcomed it and are now gradually being absorbed into this universal civilization.


Superficially at least, the chances for the success of those determined to implement Islamic life on a significant scale would appear to be extremely remote. The recovery of political sovereignty from European rule has not at all weakened the influence of Western culture. On the contrary, under the slogan of “economic development”, the westernization of Asia and Africa continues to progress at an ever-accelerating speed.


The beginning of the 19th century witnessed the merging of Islamic society into the worldwide society of the present era. To become aware of these implications is in my view the greatest single problem of the Islamic society of our day. The influence of the West has been so great that even when the Islamic peoples regained their political independence they have found that a return to the traditional Islamic way of life was not possible.


If the above quotation is so typical of the mentality of our modern-educated elite, must we Muslims yield to complete pessimism and bow to defeat? If every other civilization has been vanquished by modernism, must we meekly resign ourselves to the same fate? Is there no hope for us?
However bleak the prospect for an Islamic renaissance may appear at present, I still maintain that there yet remains considerable hope for us provided we take the appropriate action in time. This ray of optimism is based on the following assumptions;


1. The fundamental sources of Islam --- the Quran and the Sunnah --- are uncorrupted and intact. No other religion can claim this advantage.


2. As Islamic teachings are comprehensive, all embracing in scope and entirely self-sufficient, Islam does not tolerate eclecticism or compromise with any culture in conflict with its principles. Islam alone provides adequate guidance for life in its totality. Not only does Islam tell us what to do but also specifically how to do it. The extant teachings of all other religions are limited, restricted and fragmentary.


3. The determination to preserve and propagate Islam in its original purity has been practically implemented in every period of Islamic history simultaneously in every Muslim country by a long series of Mujaddids. Although with the support and encouragement of Western scholars and politicians, the modernists attempt to force their distorted interpretation of Islam upon the entire community, happily they are encountering stiff resistance on every side from those who are not deceived by this hypocrisy and are determined to preserve an unadulterated Islam intact.

4. From Morocco to Indonesia the overwhelming majority wants Islam and once inspiring leadership is prouded, they will be ready to follow most enthusiastically.


This being the case, why has not Islamic leadership emerged in any Muslim country? We must realize that this is not on account of any intrinsic merit of Western culture, much less inherent inadequacy of Islam. The answer can be foundry an insight into the nature of European imperialism. In1908, Lord Cromer wrote very revealingly in the last chapter of his book, Modern Egypt, that England was prepared to grant eventual political freedom to all of her colonial possessions as soon as a generation of intellectuals and politicians, imbued through English education with the ideals of English culture, were ready to take over, but under no circumstances would the British Government tolerate for a single moment an independent Islamic state. What was true in the case of Egypt is equally applicable to Pakistan and what was British policy was also French, Italian and Dutch policy and remains American and Russian policy to this day. Consequently, our political sovereignty is more nominal than real and the Western powers through economic means are determined to keep it that way.


At this stage it is essential to examine the social structure of the Muslim countries in relation to the issues at stake.


On the top rung of our social and economic ladder we have our modern-educated elite who, although Arab, Indian Malay or African by blood, are carbon duplicates in their mentality of their ex-overlords, zealously determined to make their respective countries as closely as possible resemble the societies in Western lands. Although constituting only a small fraction of the total population, they hold all the power and unless their activities are stopped in time, the perverted moral and cultural values, hitherto limited to the aristocratic elite, will spread and contaminate all classes of the people.


At the bottom of the ladder is the second group, which is more than three quarters of the population in all Muslims countries---that is, the simple common folk. This second group includes all of these who by good fortune have remained removed from the impact of modern culture and not received a modern education. Although these Muslims are mostly poor and illiterate people in humble occupations, the ulema and Imams of mosques who have received an exclusively madrassah type education (such as, al-Azhar or Deoband) also belong to this category. Although most of them are good Muslims at heart and some even in practice, because of their naïve ignorance, they are easily deceived and although they are numerous, because they are so weak disorganized, they are powerless. To make matters even worse, many, if not most, in this group observe Islam much more as habit and custom than personal conviction. Because there is no dynamism nor vitality left in the traditional culture they represent, the modern-educated youth cannot help but associate with what is old, primitive, backward, poor and dying while every thing “Western” appears to them as bright and beautiful. And to the foreign tourist, this “traditional” culture is but the decaying remnants of the “exotic” Orient. Because no young person can bear to be stigmatized as backward or a reactionary fanatic and yearns to be praised as enlightened, modern and progressive, as soon as these youth can qualify at the government or Christian missionary higher institutions of learning as businessmen, technicians, doctors, teachers or social workers, to gain prestige and respect they are determined to put an end to all “traditionalism” and spread the “blessings” or modernism to the most remote corners of the land. With the full backing of the Government and the Western powers with their technical assistance programmes and foreign business investments, they are sure to succeed. The most the simple folk can do is offer passive resistance. And even if they themselves do not succumb, their children after imbibing modern education inevitably must.


If the question rested with these two groups alone our cause would indeed be hopeless but thanks to God there is slowly emerging a third group who, although smallest of all numerically, will decisively determine the future of the Muslim community. These are the men and women who, although having been thoroughly exposed to Western culture and received a modern education even to the extent of studying or working abroad in Europe or America, have by the grace and mercy of God maintained their faith and love for Islam, demonstrating in their daily lives, their zeal and readiness for self-sacrifice to implement their faith.


Because this group possesses the necessary intellectual weapons to resist effectively modernist penetration into Islamic life, they alone are qualified for the leadership of the Muslim world. The prevailing view of contemporary Muslim writers and scholars is that the Christian Church in Europe lost its power and influence between of its irrational dogmas of the Trinity, the Incarnation, Original Sin or the reactionary institution of the priesthood. Since Islam is a simple and straightforward doctrine having no inherent conflict with scientific progress and no priestly hierarchy set apart from the bulk of believers, it is immune to the catastrophe, which befell Christendom. This line of reasoning, comforting as it may be, is dangerous wishful thinking. However contrary to Islam Christian dogma and institutions have always been, they themselves were not the cause of Christendom’s downfall. When the Catholic Church was confronted with the secular humanism of the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and tidal wave of atheist materialism which followed the French Revolution, all the Church did was resort to purely negative measures. Thus the Church welded all the power it could command to conduct a systematic persecution of non-conformists, organized heresy hunts, infamous inquisitions, invoked excommunication and the burning of heretical books. Had the Catholic Church employed its best scholars to refute intellectually with logical and persuasive arguments the fallacy of the materialistic philosophers instead of merely hurling anathemas of heresy and placing their writings on the index of forbidden books, quite probably the Church would have succeeded in retaining its influence undiminished. Unfortunately, instead of appealing to the minds and hearts of its members and thus inspire love for Christianity in the minds of the Christians, these repressive actions incited nothing but hatred and rebellion. Even if, from the point of view of the Church, its heretics deserved what they received, repressive measures alone are not only cruel and inhuman but also utterly ineffective, completely defeating their own purpose. Those who want to implement Islam by force and blood shed should take a lesson from the history of Christendom.


Although we Muslims, thank God, have never been guilty to such an intense degree of persecuting those who do not agree with us, still we must be honest with ourselves and confess that some of us have committed in a milder way, the same mistake. Merely cursing Western civilization as “materialistic”, “ungodly” and “satanic” (as true as this is) cannot in the slightest counter its growing allurement for our modern educated youth. Hurling vituperative of heresy at the modernists is not going to stop them. The question at stake is not whether they deserve to be labeled as kafir. Quite probably they do but is this sufficient to accomplish anything constructive for our cause? The answer is an emphatic no! The final judgment is God’s---not ours---and we as believers can rest confident that if we exert ourselves to the utmost for Islam, God will punish as He sees fit.


The crisis the Muslims are facing today is nothing new. Centuries ago we were faced with the same problem with the growing popularity of secular Greek humanism propagated by such Mu’tazilite philosophers as al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd all of whom exactly like the modernists today, tried to concoct a new brand of Islam. But by the grace and mercy of God, al-Ghazzali in his Incoherence of the Philosophers ripped their fallacies and intellectual dishonesty that the Mu’tazilite movement was halted in its tracks. Ibn Taimiya dealt the rationalists the fatal blow. Henceforth Greek humanism lost all its influence and never again did the Mu’tazilite philosophy command any respect in the Muslim world.


What the Muslim world today needs above all is a modern al-Ghazzali and a modern Ibn Taimiya. The task of their successors would not be nearly so complicated it as may seem at first because the secular humanism of ancient Greece does not at all essentially differ from contemporary materialist philosophy. The latter is but a further development of the former.


One of the most important tasks of our modern Ibn Taimiya is to refute the bogey of progress. Our obsession with “change” and “progress” and “moving with the times to meet the challenge of the age” is nothing but a modernist dogma derived from the Darwinian theory of evolution and incorporated into social philosophy as materialist concept of history by Karl Marx. As Muslims we should be concerned only with submission to the will of God through unquestioning obedience to Quran and Sunnah in its plain, literal meaning. Once we attain cultural independence, we do not have anything to fear from a natural and spontaneous social evolution and development within the context of our indigenous Islamic values and ideals. So long as we remain slaves to modernism, however, change means nothing except progressive abandonment of Islamic values in exchange for the Western way of life and this is why under the present circumstances, every change is from the Islamic point of view to our detriment.
There is nothing “new” or “progressive” about modernism. Despite science, technology and economic development, ideologically Western civilization has not changed at all since the Age of Pericles nearly 2,500 years ago.


Ibn Taimiya’s modern successor must also expose the modernist dogma concerning the so-called necessity for complete freedom of inquiry on the part of students and teachers in higher institution of learning as just another bogey. This demand for complete freedom of “rational” and “scientific” inquiry is but another dogma of modernism derived from the philosophy of Socrates as recorded by his pupil, Plato and continuing to this day under the guise of “liberalism”. Divested of its sophistry, this so-called intellectual freedom is intended for the sole purpose of casting doubt and ridicule on the foundations of faith and mock God, His revelation and the Here after which has found its legal expression in the Soviet Constitution of 1936 guaranteeing to all Russian citizens complete freedom of anti-religious propaganda. Freedom in its true sense must be freedom in every direction yet under the patronage of Western civilization, this so-called “reason” must always be pitted against revelation-never in its favour. Consequently, this so called “rational” and “scientific “inquiry is permitted to proceed in one direction only---the way of materialism. These people never tire of condemning traditional Islamic education for its lack of critical, creative or independent thinking but we are at a complete loss to find any more originality or independence in respect to theirs!


Another favorite technique of the modernists is to pit the “spirit” against the “letter” of Islam as if the two were irreconcilable! The letter of the Shariah murders its spirit, so say the modernists. Consequently, the late Sayyid Ameer Ali in his well-known book The Spirit of Islam, suggests that the literal injunctions of Purdah are most “un-Islamic”, but the Western concept of free mingling and absolute equality of the sexes is the true “spirit” and Islam; the letter of the Shariah permits polygamy, but only monogamy, and marriage a liberal Christians understand it, is in true conformity with the “spirit” of the Quran!
The plain injunctions of the Qur’an repeatedly urge Jihad against aggressive unbelievers as the most sacred duty of the Muslims, but Ameer Ali says that the “spirit” of Islam regards all warfare in the name of religion as a horrible sin, preferring peace at any price. The list could be added to indefinitely. The fallacy that the “letter killeth but the spirit giveth life” is a purely Christian idea taken from the Epistles of Saint Paul in the New Testament.


Whatever Christian teachings may say, we as Muslims must summon the moral honesty to admit that this concept is totally foreign to Islamic values. Just as no creature can exist without its external shape, so in human society, the organization of institutions is essential because we cannot live as disembodied spirits. If the body of a human being were transformed into that of another creature, it could be human no longer. Similarly, the letter of Islam lives in its spirit and its letter, the two indivisible and inseparable.
Since the rise of modern technology, there has been endless and futile debate within the precincts of every religion as to its compatibility or incompatibility with modern scientific progress. If truth is one, then true faith could never conflict with true knowledge, that is, in its strict and impartial sense. The question arose only because modern science is not morally neutral but has evolved under the direct influence and patronage of materialist philosophy as its most important product and its most powerful weapon. One of the most essential tasks of modern Muslim scholarship is to distinguish genuine, useful and constructive knowledge from pseudo-scientific, materialist theory and speculation.


In my opinion the ideal Mujaddid or Mahdi will be a most modern leader of his age possessing unusually deep insight into all the current branches of knowledge and all the major problems of life. As regards statesmanship, political sagacity, and strategic skill in war, he will take the whole world by surprise and prove himself to be the most modern of the moderns. (p. 41). My view that the ideal Mujaddid will be a most modern leader does not mean that he will shave his beard, dress up in European clothes or live-in the Western manner. I only mean to suggest that he will be fully conversant with the arts and sciences of his age, with its conditions and requirements and will use all scientific means and devices invented by it to the best advantage and all this is natural for unless a party captures all the available means of power and makes use of all existing arts and sciences, devices and techniques to propagate its influence, it cannot obtain its objectives and dominance in general. (p.147).


This means that our only alternative is to come to grips with our enemy and fight and that we had better possess some effective weapons to fight with. But here a word of warning. Coming to grips with modernism means fighting modernism---not compromising with it. And while waging our ideological and psychological warfare, we must never forget that once on the grounds of expediency we compromise and begin to resemble our adversaries, we shall have become as bad as they and have no reason to continue the struggle.


The God fearing creed cannot survive under the Godless leadership. Therefore it is incumbent on the God fearing people to establish the God fearing leadership in the world. The Muslims do not want leadership for selfish motives. Their contention with the materialists is not on the point of depriving them merely from the leadership. The Muslims want to regain the leadership on point of principle. The materialists are leading the world towards Godlessness and open rebellion against their Creator. It is extremely difficult in this environment of Godless culture and civilization that the God fearing theory, aims and principles of life may appeal to the minds and hearts of human beings because the entire trend of modern life is diagonally opposed to it. As opposed to this theory and practice, the Muslims are a group of God-fearing people who place their belief in the obedience to Allah. This faith enjoins on the Muslims not only to keep themselves away from the materialist creed of the West but also to show to the world their own God fearing path. This duty cannot be performed by them successfully unless the Muslims take back the leadership of the world from the materialists.

akhter said...

How I came
to
ISLAM ...
Yusuf Islam

(Cat Stevens)..




All I have to say is all what you know already, to
confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet
(Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the
Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a
consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of
creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and
it is important to realize the obligation to rid
ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a
preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this
chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought
back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed
that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O
Lord, send us back and give us another chance." The Lord
will say, "If I send you back you will do the same."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

- MY EARLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING

I was brought up in the modern world of all the
luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in
a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in
his original nature - it is only his parents that turn
him to this or that religion. I was given this religion
(Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that
God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so
we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in
fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by
me, but I did not swallow it all.

I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were
just stones with no life. And when they said that God is
three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I
more or less believed it, because I had to have respect
for the faith of my parents.

- POP STAR

Gradually I became alienated from this religious
upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big
star. All those things I saw in the films and on the
media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my
God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a

beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a
lot of money." The people around me influenced me to
think that this was it; this world was their God.

I decided then that this was the life for me; to make
a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were
the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I
had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became
rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'an, we
make a promise, but when we make something, we want to
hold onto it and become greedy.)

So what happened was that I became very famous. I was
still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all
the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to
live larger than life and the only way to do that was to
be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-IN HOSPITAL

After a year of financial success and 'high' living,
I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be
hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What
was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in
life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that
this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a
chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in
bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At
that time there was great interest in the Eastern
mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began
to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on;
it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss
and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even
became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower
power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did
believe in particular was that I was not just a body.
This awareness came to me at the hospital.

One day when I was walking and I was caught in the
rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized,
'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is
telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a
saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be
trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will
lead you where it wants to go.

Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift:
follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new
termino- logy I was learning in the Eastern religion. By
now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making
music again and this time I started reflecting my own
thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It
goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes
the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in
my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big
hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path.

I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out."
I became even more famous in the world of music. I really
had a difficult time because I was getting rich and
famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching
for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided
that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready
to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and
was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself
from society.

I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and
astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could
not find anything. At this time I did not know anything
about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle
occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem
and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it
throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues
which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of
peace and tranquillity prevailed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-THE QUR'AN

When he came to London he brought back a translation
of the Qur'an, which he gave to me. He did not become a
Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and
thought I might find something in it also.

And when I received the book, a guidance that would
explain everything to me - who I was; what was the
purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be
the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this
was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West
understands it, not the type for only your old age. In
the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make
it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a
fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the
soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not
apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be
religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can
rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to
do now was to be a Muslim.

I realized that everything belongs to God, that
slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At
this point I began to lose the pride in me, because
hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of
my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create
myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to
submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the
religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point I started
discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading
the Qur'an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by
God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and
Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not
accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His
Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and
called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much
sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to
reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon
but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'an asks
man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation
in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from
the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth,
yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to
overlap the other.

Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they
see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of
space. They become very religious, because they have seen
the Signs of Allah.

When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about
prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but
I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'an, and
God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the
Qur'an also speaks on different l I began to understand
it on anothlevel, where the Qur'an says, "Those who

believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the
believers are brothers." Thus at this point I wished to
meet my Muslim brothers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

- CONVERSION

Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother
had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat
down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a
Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens."
He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so
successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called
Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she
directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977,
about one and a half years after I received the Qur'an.
Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid
of Iblis, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after
Jumma' I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the
Kalima) at this hands. You have before you someone who
had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something
that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was
shown the Qur'an. Now I realize I can get in direct
contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other
religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't
understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use
these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she
was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to
create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But
Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that
moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat.
This is the process of purification.

Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the
pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some
inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would
like to stress that I did not come into contact with any
Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur'an first
and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect,
and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet
(Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) we will be successful. May
Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of
Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Ameen!
jaferomar is offline Reply With Quote

akhter said...

You are a better Jew and a better Christain by turning to Islam [peace, submission to Allah].


What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?


Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him). They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary). The Quran describes the birth of Jesus as follows:
(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God). He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be). God creates what He wills. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Quran, 3:45-47)
Jesus was born miraculously by the command of God, the same command that had brought Adam into being with neither a father nor a mother. God has said:
The case of Jesus with God is like the case of Adam. He created him from dust, and then He said to him, “Be!” and he came into being. (Quran, 3:59)
During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. God tells us that Jesus said:
“I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I make for you the shape of a bird out of clay, I breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s permission. I heal the blind from birth and the leper. And I bring the dead to life by God’s permission. And I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses....” (Quran, 3:49)
Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified. It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies to crucify him, but God saved him and raised him up to Him. And the likeness of Jesus was put over another man. Jesus’ enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus. God has said:
...They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)... (Quran, 4:157)
Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God, brought by earlier prophets, but rather to confirm and renew it.1
Footnotes:
(1) Muslims also believe that God revealed a holy book to Jesus called the Injeel, some parts of which may be still available in the teachings of God to Jesus in the New Testament. But this does not mean that Muslims believe in the Bible we have today because it is not the original scriptures that were revealed by God. They underwent alterations, additions, and omissions. This was also said by the Committee charged with revising The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version). This Committee consisted of thirty-two scholars who served as members of the Committee. They secured the review and counsel of an Advisory Board of fifty representatives of the co-operating denominations. The Committee said in the Preface to The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version), p. iv, “Sometimes it is evident that the text has suffered in transmission, but none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration. Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text.” The Committee also said in the Preface, p. vii, “Notes are added which indicate significant variations, additions, or omissions in the ancient authorities (Mt 9.34; Mk 3.16; 7.4; Lk 24.32, 51, etc.).”For more in-depth articles regarding this subject, please visit the following external web pages: Confessions of the New American Bible and Bible Contradictions.
The Qur’an: A book you can believe in
In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
The Qur’an: unique among Scriptures The Qur’an is the most often-read book in the world. Revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the 7th century, and revered by Muslims as being God’s final Scripture and Testament, its words have been lovingly recited, memorised, and implemented by Muslims of every nationality ever since. The faithful are inspired, consoled often moved to tears by its eloquence and poetic imagery, especially when recited aloud. And yet, the Qur’an is unique in being the only Scripture that is free of scientific inaccuracies, whose historical authenticity can be verified, and whose text has been so carefully preserved that just one authorised version (in Arabic) exists. Approximately the length of the New Testament, the Qur’an is also the only holy book that can be memorised in its entirety by people of all ages and intellectual abilities – including non-Arabic speakers – which Muslims consider to be one of its miracles. We invite you to take a few minutes to learn something about a book that is the foundation of the world-view and culture of almost one-fourth of the people on this planet.
A scientific Scripture for a scientific age One of the most remarkable things about the Qur’an is that it contains many verses which accurately describe natural phenomenon in various fields such as embryology, meteorology, astronomy, geology and oceanography. Scientists have found its descriptions to be inexplicably valid for a book dating from the 6th century; in fact, many of the processes and functions mentioned in the Qur’an have been discovered only recently. This fact alone has been the cause of a number of distinguished scientists embracing Islam. It also explains why the conflicts that emerged in Europe during the Middle Ages between faith and reason, religion and science, never arose in Islam; the Qur’an repeatedly encourages people to reflect and use their intelligence, and most Muslim scientists and inventors have also been pious believers.
Some of the Qur’an’s ‘scientific’ verses include an accurate description of embryonic development during the first forty days of life; an explanation that the roots of mountains are like pegs which help to anchor and stabilise the earth’s crust; that a natural barrier exists wherever two seas meet (each maintains its own salinity, temperature and density); that waves occur in layers in the depths of the ocean; that the heavens and earth were first joined together before being split apart; and that the heavens emerged from ‘smoke’, i.e. the gases and dust that characterise nebulas as stars are forming.
The Qur’an was never meant to be a ‘science textbook’; whether highlighting the wonders of nature or the lessons of history, its verses direct us to reflect on the glory of God. However, no other ancient book or Scripture is accurate in this way. Muslims believe that this is one of the Qur’an’s proofs; one of the things that makes it a credible, ‘living revelation’ for a modern age, and allows it to reveal itself afresh with passing time.
The Qur’an and the development of knowledge The word ‘qur’an’ means ‘recitation’, and the first verse of the Qur’an to be revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad was a command to ‘Read (or recite)! In the name of your Lord…’ This directive to a man who, like most people of the time, could neither read nor write, marked the beginning of a new age in human communication, learning, and development. Whereas earlier Scriptures had been written and passed down by elite circles of priests and scribes – usually long after the death of the religion’s founder – the preservation of the Qur’an was a community effort from the beginning, and it was completed during the Prophet Muhammad’s own lifetime. The Prophet’s early followers eagerly memorised and recorded each new revelation as it was revealed; by the time he passed away, thousands had memorised the entire Qur’an by heart. Within two years after the Prophet’s death, the first caliph Abu Bakr requested the Prophet’s secretary Zayd to collect all existing copies and fragments of the Qur’an in one place, in order to compile a standard edition. This manuscript became the basis for the authorised editions that were distributed to each Muslim province during the rule of ‘Uthman, third caliph; remarkably, a few of those early manuscripts have been preserved and can still be viewed in museums today.
Following the example of the beloved Prophet, who encouraged all Muslims, male and female, to seek beneficial knowledge, mosques became centres of learning as well as prayer. The concept of universal, free basic education originated in Islam; children learned to read, write, memorise the Qur’an and do basic maths at village mosque schools; bright students were sent to cities to pursue higher education. The world’s first universities, hospitals, and postal services were established by Muslims. Early caliphs set up institutions like the ‘House of Wisdom’ in Baghdad, where scholars were paid to translate scientific, literary and religious works from every known language into Arabic. It was this open-mindedness that inspired Jews and Christians under Muslim rule in Spain to translate classical Roman and Greek texts from Arabic into European languages, sparking the European Renaissance.
A book with a message and a purpose Like all books, the Qur’an is a means to convey a message – in this case, a very special message from the Creator to all humanity. The Qur’an is an ‘owner’s manual for the human being’; whoever wonders about the purpose of life and their own existence will find it to be a guide par excellence. Building on prior revelations, this Final Testament confirms the age-old truths of previous Scriptures, but clarifies points of faith where error or confusion have crept into them over the centuries. Those who have read the Bible will find much that is familiar: descriptions of God’s handiwork; stories of the Prophets, Satan, angels and the Day of Judgement; moral and ethical guidelines; and spiritual practices like prayer and fasting. Yet the Qur’an is not just a re-hashing of old stories; its perspective is unique and fresh, and its worldview eminently suited to people of today.
To give one example, according to the Qur’an, God held Adam and Eve jointly responsible for tasting the forbidden fruit; no special curse was laid on Eve for leading Adam astray, and no ‘original sin’ came into being, to be inherited for all time by innocent children. Adam and Eve simply sought His forgiveness and were forgiven, and Adam (peace be upon him) is respected in Islam as the first Prophet.
There are other important distinctions between the Qur’an and the Bible; the Qur’an asserts that much of the original books of the Bible and other Scriptures have been lost or corrupted over time (whether through warfare, political intrigue, religious schisms or other reasons). One only has to consider the number of different versions of the Bible in use today, the lack of ‘first’ originals, and the late discovery of long-lost Scriptures like the Dead Sea Scrolls to realise that this viewpoint is an objective one. The Qur’an rejects the concept of salvation or special privilege based on ethnicity; God does not discriminate on the basis of race or colour. It also denies the need for the sacrifice of innocent life – animal or human – in order for people to attain salvation. It states that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not crucified as claimed, but that God saved him from his enemies, as one would expect of God’s honoured and beloved Messenger; his life was meant to be an inspiring example. Spiritual salvation is to be achieved solely through humble repentance, coupled by an attempt to make amends for one’s sins, and a sincere intention not to repeat one’s mistakes in the future. There is no official priesthood in Islam, and the Imam is no more than a knowledgeable prayer-leader and brother in faith; one’s sins need only be confessed directly to the Creator.
The Qur’an’s main message is to call people to turn to the Source of all being and the Giver of life, and to serve Him with a pure heart, free of idolatry or superstition. In Islam, ‘One God’ means just that: there is no concept of trinity, or anything else to complicate one’s understanding. Like the single nucleus of a cell or an atom, He Alone is the ‘control centre’ behind it all; anything else would lead to chaos and confusion. God is Unique and without partner; He was not born and did not give birth; He is All-Compassionate and Merciful, Almighty and Just, and the only One we need turn to for guidance and help. Anything that we allow to come between ourselves and our Creator – even our own egos – is an idol. Wealth, fame, physical attraction and all the pleasures of this world will someday fade, and we will not be able to take them with us when we die. Only our faith and good deeds will remain, to light our graves and be a beacon for us on the Day of Judgement.
Although no translation of the Qur’an can faithfully capture its Arabic meaning (and all Muslims are encouraged to learn Arabic), the following excerpt illustrates these points beautifully:
‘Recite to them the story of Abraham, When he asked his father and his people, ‘What do you worship?’ ‘We worship idols,’ they replied, ‘and we are ever devoted to them.’ He said, ‘Do they hear you when you cry? Or do they benefit or harm you in any way?’ They said, ‘No, but this is what we found our forefathers doing.’ He said, ‘Do you see, then, what you and your forefathers have been worshipping? Truly, they are all my enemies, except the Lord of the Worlds, Who created me, and Who guides me, And Who feeds me and gives me to drink, And when I am ill, He heals me, And Who will cause me to die, and give me life again; And Who, I ardently hope, will forgive me my sins on the Day of Judgement. O Lord, grant me wisdom, and unite me with the righteous, And grant that I may be remembered well in future generations, And make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Delight; And forgive my father, for he is one of those who is lost; And do not disgrace me on the Day when all will be resurrected, The Day that wealth and children will not avail anyone, Except one who brings to God a clean heart.’ (The Qur’an, Chapter of ‘The Poets’, 26:69–89)
------------------------------------------- Interested in learning more? For reliable information on the Qur’an, Islam and Muslims, contact: WAMY EUROPE: 46 Goodge Street, London W1T 4LU, UK E-mail: wamy@wamy.co.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7636 7010, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7636 7080 More Literature about Islam in other Languages is available in our website: www.wamy.co.uk
Allah, the unique name of God
The word Allah, according to several Arabic lexicons, means "the Being Who comprises all the attributes of perfection", i.e. the Being Who is perfect in every way (in His knowledge, power etc.), and possesses the best and the noblest qualities imaginable in the highest degree. This meaning is supported by the Holy Quran when it says:
"His are the best (or most beautiful) names." (17:110; 20:8; and 7:180)
Contrary to popular belief, the word Allah is NOT a contraction of al-ilah (al meaning 'the', and ilah meaning 'god').
Had it been so, then the expression ya Allah ('O Allah!') would have been ungrammatical, because according to the Arabic language when you address someone by the vocative form ya followed by a title, the al ('the') must be dropped from the title. For example, you cannot say ya ar-rabb but must say ya rabb (for 'O Lord'). So if the word Allah was al-ilah ('the God'), we would not be able to say: ya Allah, which we do.
Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (which is based on classical Arabic dictionaries), says under the word Allah, while citing many linguistical authorities:
"Allah ... is a proper name applied to the Being Who exists necessarily, by Himself, comprising all the attributes of perfection, a proper name denoting the true god ... the al being inseparable from it, not derived..."
Allah is thus a proper name, not derived from anything, and the Al is inseparable from it. The word al-ilah (the god) is a different word.
The word Allah is unique among the names of God in all the languages of mankind, in that it was never applied to any being other than God. The pre-Islamic Arabs used it to refer to the Supreme Being, and never applied it to any of the other things they worshipped. Other names of God used by mankind, such as "lord", "god", "khuda", etc. have all also been used for beings other than God. They have meanings which refer to some particular attribute of God, but "Allah" is the name which refers to the Being Himself as His personal name.
The Holy Quran itself refers to the uniqueness of the name Allah when it says:
"Do you know anyone who can be named along with Him?" (19:65)
Arabic is the only language, and Islam is the only religion, that has given the personal name of God (as distinct from attributive names such as lord, god, the most high, etc.) There are clear prophecies in previous scriptures (the Bible, the Vedas etc.) about the man who will come and give the name of God, which in previous religions was regarded as a secret.
David prophesied:
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Psalms 118:26).
This is also repeated in the Gospels (Matt. 21:9, etc.), and was fulfilled by the Holy Prophet Muhammad whose first revelation was "Read in the name of thy Lord" (the Quran, 96:1).
Zechariah prophesied:
"And the Lord shall be king over all the earth, in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one." (Zech. 14:9)
All Muslims, anywhere on the earth, speaking totally different languages, recognise the name "Allah", thus fulfilling this prophecy, "his name one". (All Christians, to take an example, do not recognise a single name of God, and therefore do not fulfil this prophecy.)
Isaiah prophesied:
"And in that day shall you say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name." (Isaiah 12:4)
So Muslims say repeatedly exactly this: al-hamdu li-llah, and call upon His name Allah.
An objection answered.
The following objection has been raised regarding the name Allah:
Al -'The', lah - 'God'. It means the God. It was one of the gods worshipped by the Arabs. His female equivalent was Allat, al- 'the', Lat 'goddess'. Muhammed's followers did not like the concept of worshipping a female diety.
Answer.
"Allah" was NOT "one of the gods" of the pre-Islamic Arabs, but was recognised by them as the supreme, abstract God. There was no idol which they called "Allah". The Quran quotes the idol-worshippers as presenting the argument that:
"We worship them (i.e. the idols) only so that they may bring us nearer to Allah." (39:3)
Obviously then, "Allah" was not just one of the gods.
It is also entirely wrong to say that Al-Lat was a feminine form of Allah. Besides Allah, the different tribes of the Arabs believed in their tribal gods. "Al-Lat" was the tribal god of the Thaqeef tribe who lived in the city of Taif (where there was a shrine with an idol of Lat). The Quraish worshipped Uzza as their tribal god, and similarly with other tribes.
So it is simply incorrect to say that the Arabs regarded Lat as being a female equivalent of "Allah". "Allah" was, as said above, regarded by them as their supreme God. Lat, Manat etc. were believed in as tribal gods.
Moreover, Lat, Manat and Uzza were believed by them to be daughters of Allah, as the Quran says:
"Have you then considered Lat and Uzza, and the third, Manat? Are the males for you and for Him the females" (53:19-21).
The Quran is here pointing out the contradiction in their beliefs, that they ascribed daughters to Allah, but preferred to have sons themselves! So Lat being believed as a daughter of Allah, could not possibly be regarded by them as the female equivalent of Allah.
In Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon the words ilah (god) and Allah occur under the root A-L-H, but the word Al-lat is given under an entirely different root L-T. Therefore, "Al-lat" is not the feminine form of the word Allah (for in that case it would occur under the same root as for "Allah"), but is derived from a completely different root with a totally different meaning.
The root from which al-lat comes means (among other things) "to moisten". Lane quotes several reports on how the idol came to be so called. It is named after a man called Al-Lat. Sometime before Islam, there was a man who used to give pilgrims a barley meal (known as saweek), moistened with either water or clarified butter. He thus became known as Al-lat. After he died, the rock where he was buried came to be worshipped and was known by his name. And thus there came to be the idol named Al-lat.
Why Muslims Believe that Islam is the truth
Many Christians & Jews don't know that Muslims believe in their prophets and holy books. Muslims believe that the Bible and the Torah were changed by people for their personal benefits. This is why God sent Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, not with a new religion, but to correct the people who had gone astray, those who were worshipping idols and being misguided by their forefathers. Islam is the last message to the world and God wants the miracle of Islam to be witnessed by the people from Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, time till the day of Judgment. The miracle is the Qu'ran, Muslims holy book.
Many Christians & Jews don't know that Muslims believe in their prophets and holy books. Muslims believe that the Bible and the Torah were changed by people for their personal benefits. This is why God sent Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, not with a new religion, but to correct the people who had gone astray, those who were worshipping idols and being misguided by their forefathers. Islam is the last message to the world and God wants the miracle of Islam to be witnessed by the people from Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, time till the day of Judgment. The miracle is the Qu'ran, Muslims holy book.
• Why is the Qur'an a miracle ? 1- The Qu'ran is an untouchable book : After 1400 years, from the begining of Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, message, the Qu'ran has not changed in any way, even as a matter of one charachter. Prooving this is very easy, since you can compare all the versions of the Qu'ran everywhere in the world and you will find them all the same. God ensured that this book would be saved from any changes attempted by human beings. God said in the Qur'an : " We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)" 2- The Qu'ran contains many scientific facts that have been discovered recently using computer systems and microscopes. Many scientists have attended conferences dealing with this subject and have themselves accepted Islam. These same scientists have said that it is not possible that Muhammad, peace be upon him, an illiterate man, who lived 1400 years ago, could have discovered such things on his own. God said in the Qur'an : "Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things" ( Quran 41:53 )For more information about this topic please visit : http://www.it-is-truth.org 3- The Qu'ran, which is in Arabic, was revealed to the people of the Arabian Gulf who invented the Arabic language. Through Muhammad, peace be upon him, Allah challenged the people who claimed that a human wrote it to emulate such a book. No one from the time of the Prophet till now could write a book that contained the many scientific facts, miracles and similar effects on people that the Qu'ran did and still does today. 4- The Qu'ran had not one Arabic grammar mistake, which was recognized by the disbelievers at the time of the Prophet, who were the founders of the Arabic language. These are a few examples of why Muslims believe in the Qur'an. Here are some verses from God to Muslims encouraging them to invite the People of the Book ( Jews and Christians to Islam ): God said : {Say: "O People of the Book! Why reject ye the Signs of Allah, when Allah is Himself witness to all ye do?} (Quran 3:98) God tell Muslims to say : {..'We believe in that which had been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender} (Quran 29:46) If you have any questions or would like to know more about the Qu'ran and Islam please contact me at : webmaster@islamway.com

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WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?
Seven Things About God
1. We believe there is Only One Unique God. It is written: (Deuteronomy 6:4) Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God [is] one LORD.
2. God is Creator of everything, this vast universe. All was created by His Word. He spoke it into being. It is written: (Genesis 1:3) And God said... and it was so. His Word is powerful.
3. How can we created beings know anything about God? How can we puny creatures know anything about His thoughts?
We can - but only because God Himself has chosen to reveal something about Himself to us. He is the God of Revelation. It is written: (Deuteronomy 29:29) The secret things belong to the LORD our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
What has God revealed about Himself to us?
4. He is Holy - pure - absolutely no evil can exist in or with Him. He has nothing to do with any sin, or wrong thinking, or evil. It is written: (Habakkuk 3:11) Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.
5. He is Just - which means that all wrongdoing will be punished. Sometimes people are confused on this point. Justice is not the same as mercy. Justice means if you break the law, you pay the penalty.
God does not compromise His nature of Holiness. He punishes all wrong doing.
It is not as if God puts all our good deeds on one side of a scale, and all our bad deeds on the other side to see which is heavier. To use an example: If I were to murder your brother, would a judge be just who said, "It's OK. We can let him be free. He has done mostly good during his life." God does not close His eyes to wrong. He does not tolerate it.
But doesn't God know that we are all dust? That we are prone to make mistakes? There is no perfect man or woman. Yes, He knows. But does this mean that our mistakes don't matter to God? God is holy and just, so they matter greatly. If we understand this, then we realize that we are in a very bad situation.
If we are honest - which of us has never had a selfish or wrong thought? or never lied? Who can say that they have a pure heart before a Holy God?
And even if we were able to live without making mistakes now - what about the past? Does God have a poor memory? Does doing good erase doing wrong? No.
Each of us deserves God's judgment and Hellfire. It's not just a matter of saying a prayer, "I am sorry. I will try to do better next time." There would be no justice in that.
An example: If I drive through a red light and an officer stops me, is it any good saying, "But officer, I have been going through green lights the rest of my life!" If this argument wouldn't work with an officer, how much less with a Holy and Just God! It is written: (Romans 6:23) The payment of wrongdoing is death.
Fortunately for each one of us, this is not the end of the story.
6. God is Almighty - God can do anything He wants to. It is written: (Jeremiah 32:17) Ah Lord GOD! You have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm, nothing is too hard for you.
There are no limits - no bounds to His power.
God is consistent. God is not contradictory - He doesn't contradict His holiness or justice. He does not violate His law.
Let me ask a question: "How do you get to know someone?" You might be able to tell something about others from the way they look. But you can't know what they think, what's in their heart. We need to hear a person's words. Their words tell what is inside their heart, what they are thinking in their mind.
If I want to communicate my wishes to you, there are several ways of doing it. I might send you a letter, writing down my thoughts. You could read it. But you might have questions, or not understand something. A better way is to send my letter with a good friend, someone who knows me well. My friend would be able to explain something of what I am saying. Better yet, I telephone you, and you can talk with me directly. But best of all, I come to you in person, and we meet face to face.
God's Word spoke the universe into being. His Word is powerful beyond our comprehension. He wants us to know Him. God gave His written Word in the law. He sent the prophets to explain and clarify His Word. It is written: (Hebrews 1:1) In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways.
God is so powerful that nothing is impossible - if God wants to, His WORD can actually come to us, face to face. His Word can become a man.
7. God is LOVE - God loves us and wants us to know Him - so His Word became a man.
It is written: (John 1:1,14) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the Glory of the One and Only.
Jesus is the Word of God. The pure and Holy Word of God.
Remember Abraham and his son? (Genesis 22:1-14) Abraham wanted to obey and submit to God. He took his son to sacrifice him, and on the way his son asked, "The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the offering?" Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the Lamb for the offering." Abraham laid his son on the altar for sacrifice and was about to slay him when God called to him, "Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy!" And Abraham looked up and saw a ram God momentously provided, caught by its horns, and sacrificed it instead. His son was ransomed.
The Bible calls Jesus the Lamb of God (John 1:29) when the prophet John declared, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" He ransomed us. In love, God's Word took the judgment we deserved upon Himself.
But He didn't stay dead - He could not - He rose victorious - and conquered death.

How can we know God?
How can we know God? It isn't easy - it takes humility.
It takes humility to recognize that we are dust, that we have unclean hearts, and our deeds deserve Hell.
It takes humility to receive what God has done: He washes us clean, makes us pure, and gives His Spirit to help us live lives of obedience.
There is great joy and freedom in knowing God - the One and Only God, the Creator, the One who Reveals Himself, who is Holy, Just, Almighty, and Loving.
He calls us not to be servants, but His children. Jesus says (John 15:15) I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead I have called you friends.
It is written: (John 1:12) To all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God.
What is Islam?
The third, great Abrahamic religionThe name Islam, comes from an Arabic root word meaning "peace" and "submission." Some who describe Islam therefore emphsize that this is a religion of peace, whereas others place the emphasis upon submission or obedience to the will of God. In either case most Muslims believe that one can find peace only by submitting to God (Allah). The same Arabic root word is used in the greeting "Salaam alaykum," ("Peace be with you").
Islam is a major world religion, with over 1.2 billion followers worldwide (1/5 of the world population); it ranks second only to Christianity. Islam is considered one of the "Abrahamic" religions, being derived from the tradition of Abraham, the Hebrew Bible patriarch. Although usually associated with the Arabs of the Middle East, less than 10% of Muslims are Arab. Muslim majorities are found throughout the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than any other country, while Pakistan and India rank second and third in the number of Muslim citizens, with well over 100,000,000 in each. It is difficult to determine how many Muslims there are in the US; some put the figure as high as six million, others place the figure closer to two million. Still, given demographic trends, it is probable that Islam will soon be, if it is not already, the second largest religion in the US.
Largest Muslim Populations in the World
Rank
Country
Muslim Population
1
Indonesia
182,570,000
2
Pakistan
134,480,000
3
India
121,000,000
4
Bangladesh
114,080,000
5
Turkey
65,510,000
6
Iran
62,430,000
7
Egypt
58,630,000
8
Nigeria
53,000,000
9
Algeria
30,530,000
10
Morocco
28,780,000
For our map showing the geopraphical distribution of Muslims
Who is the Muslim God, Allah?"Allah" is the proper name for God But Allah is also referred to as: the Creator, the Sustainer, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Judge, the Governor, the Eternal, etc. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that God is without beginning, without end, and alone sees and knows all things. Allah is transcendent, yet close to humanity. "...He knows what enters within the earth and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what mounts up to it. And He is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah sees well all that you do" (Qur'an 57:4). Also, like Christians and Jews, Muslims believe that God is all powerful and is alone worthy of worship and adoration. "There is no god but He, the Creator of all things; then worship Him, and He has power to dispose of all affairs. No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision; He is the Sublime, Well-Aware" (Qur'an 6:102-103).
Muslims have difficulty with the Christian notion of the Trinity and especially the notion that Christ is "the only begotten Son of God." In this sense Islam may be closer to Judaism in its affirmation of the unity and singularity of God. "Say: He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute. He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him" (Qur'an 112:1-4). For Muslims, any worship or prayer directed at saints, prophets, other human beings is considered idolatry. Likewise, Muslims take the Hebrew Bible's prohibition of idols literally. This extends even to art. In most Muslim cultures, artists are prohibited from painting images of God or of Mohammed.
This sacred text of Muslims is the Quran. We invite you to explore the entire English translation here.In the Muslim tradition, the naming of children is important and conveys strong meaning. To find the meaning of various, popular Muslim baby names check out our list.
Holidays of Islam -- Complete holiday calendar for 2007 - 2010
Books About Islam now available from major publishers
Islam in the News -- the latest headlines and newstories. Our newsfeed is updated daily.
Now let's consider some definitions of Islam found in leading reference texts:
Islam (ĭsläm', ĭs'läm) , [Arab.,=submission to God], world religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Founded in the 7th cent., Islam is the youngest of the three monotheistic world religions (with Judaism and Christianity). An adherent to Islam is a Muslim [Arab.,=one who submits].
Islamic Beliefs
At the core of Islam is the Qur'an, believed to be the final revelation by a transcendent Allah [Arab.,=the God] to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam; since the Divine Word was revealed in Arabic, this language is used in Islamic religious practice worldwide. Muslims believe in final reward and punishment, and the unity of the umma, the “nation” of Islam. Muslims submit to Allah through arkan ad-din, the five basic requirements or “pillars”: shahadah, the affirmation that “there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God”; salah, the five daily ritual prayers (see liturgy, Islamic); zakat, the giving of alms, also known as a religious tax; Sawm, the dawn-to-sunset fast during the lunar month of Ramadan; and hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The importance of the hajj can hardly be overestimated: this great annual pilgrimage unites Islam and its believers from around the world.
The ethos of Islam is in its attitude toward Allah: to His will Muslims submit; Him they praise and glorify; and in Him alone they hope. ... Islam views the Message of Muhammad as the continuation and the fulfillment of a lineage of Prophecy that includes figures from the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, notably Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. Islamic law reserves a communal entity status for the ahl al-kitab, People of the Book, i.e., those with revealed religions, including Jews and Christians.
Other Islamic obligations include the duty to “commend good and reprimand evil,” injunctions against usury and gambling, and prohibitions of alcohol and pork. Meat is permitted if the animal was ritually slaughtered; it is then called halal. Jihad, the exertion of efforts for the cause of God, is a duty satisfied at the communal and the individual level. At the individual level, it denotes the personal struggle to be righteous and follow the path ordained by God. Communally, it involves both encouraging what is good and correcting what is not and waging war against enemies of Islam
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright © 2003, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The religion of allegiance to God and to his prophet Muhammad, the religion (din) which God always intended for his creation, but which is derived in its present form from the prophetic ministry of Muhammad (c.570-632 CE) and from the revelation mediated through him, the Qur'an. The verbal noun islam appears eight times in the Qur'an: derived from the same Semitic root as Heb. shalom (peace), it means 'entering into a condition of peace and security with God through allegiance or surrender to him'.
When Muhammad died, no exact provision had been made for any successor to lead the new community. Those who looked for the most effective leader chose Abu Bakr, known as caliph. Those who looked for the closest relative of Muhammad support 'Ali. The party (shi'a) of 'Ali broke away from those who claimed to be following the custom (sunna) of the prophet, thereby creating the divide between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims which persists to this day.
Muslim life and belief are derived directly from the Qur'an, but since the Qur'an does not deal with every issue or question which a Muslim might wish to ask, authoritative guidance is derive also from the traditions (hadith) concerning the words, deeds and silences of Muhammad and his companions.
The spread of Islam was extremely rapid. Within a hundred years of the death of Muhammad, it had reached the Atlantic in one direction and the borders of China in the other. At one stage (fom the 9th to the 13th centuries CE) the Muslim delight in creation led it into a passionate commitment to knowledge ('ilm), which in turn led Muslims into spectacular achievements in philosophy (falsafa) and the natural sciences.
From John Bowker, ed., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (2000). Text © Oxford University Press.
Paintings and other Images of the ProphetA discussion of the controversy surrounding the publication of sartical cartoons depicting Muhammed.
Why interfaith understanding, dialogue and cooperation are importantThe Top Dozen Religions of the WorldWhat are the largest religions of the world? What are their membership statistics, relative size, locations, rankings? Find out now simply by looking at out chart and map.
Can Christians Alone Be Saved?"I am the way, the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father but by me," said Jesus. Does this mean that only Christians can be saved?
What is Islam?
The third, great Abrahamic religionThe name Islam, comes from an Arabic root word meaning "peace" and "submission." Some who describe Islam therefore emphsize that this is a religion of peace, whereas others place the emphasis upon submission or obedience to the will of God. In either case most Muslims believe that one can find peace only by submitting to God (Allah). The same Arabic root word is used in the greeting "Salaam alaykum," ("Peace be with you").
Islam is a major world religion, with over 1.2 billion followers worldwide (1/5 of the world population); it ranks second only to Christianity. Islam is considered one of the "Abrahamic" religions, being derived from the tradition of Abraham, the Hebrew Bible patriarch. Although usually associated with the Arabs of the Middle East, less than 10% of Muslims are Arab. Muslim majorities are found throughout the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than any other country, while Pakistan and India rank second and third in the number of Muslim citizens, with well over 100,000,000 in each. It is difficult to determine how many Muslims there are in the US; some put the figure as high as six million, others place the figure closer to two million. Still, given demographic trends, it is probable that Islam will soon be, if it is not already, the second largest religion in the US.
Largest Muslim Populations in the World
Rank
Country
Muslim Population
1
Indonesia
182,570,000
2
Pakistan
134,480,000
3
India
121,000,000
4
Bangladesh
114,080,000
5
Turkey
65,510,000
6
Iran
62,430,000
7
Egypt
58,630,000
8
Nigeria
53,000,000
9
Algeria
30,530,000
10
Morocco
28,780,000
For our map showing the geopraphical distribution of Muslims
Who is the Muslim God, Allah?"Allah" is the proper name for God But Allah is also referred to as: the Creator, the Sustainer, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Judge, the Governor, the Eternal, etc. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that God is without beginning, without end, and alone sees and knows all things. Allah is transcendent, yet close to humanity. "...He knows what enters within the earth and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what mounts up to it. And He is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah sees well all that you do" (Qur'an 57:4). Also, like Christians and Jews, Muslims believe that God is all powerful and is alone worthy of worship and adoration. "There is no god but He, the Creator of all things; then worship Him, and He has power to dispose of all affairs. No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision; He is the Sublime, Well-Aware" (Qur'an 6:102-103).
Muslims have difficulty with the Christian notion of the Trinity and especially the notion that Christ is "the only begotten Son of God." In this sense Islam may be closer to Judaism in its affirmation of the unity and singularity of God. "Say: He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute. He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him" (Qur'an 112:1-4). For Muslims, any worship or prayer directed at saints, prophets, other human beings is considered idolatry. Likewise, Muslims take the Hebrew Bible's prohibition of idols literally. This extends even to art. In most Muslim cultures, artists are prohibited from painting images of God or of Mohammed.
This sacred text of Muslims is the Quran. We invite you to explore the entire English translation here.In the Muslim tradition, the naming of children is important and conveys strong meaning. To find the meaning of various, popular Muslim baby names check out our list.
Holidays of Islam -- Complete holiday calendar for 2007 - 2010
Books About Islam now available from major publishers
Islam in the News -- the latest headlines and newstories. Our newsfeed is updated daily.
Now let's consider some definitions of Islam found in leading reference texts:
Islam (ĭsläm', ĭs'läm) , [Arab.,=submission to God], world religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Founded in the 7th cent., Islam is the youngest of the three monotheistic world religions (with Judaism and Christianity). An adherent to Islam is a Muslim [Arab.,=one who submits].
Islamic Beliefs
At the core of Islam is the Qur'an, believed to be the final revelation by a transcendent Allah [Arab.,=the God] to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam; since the Divine Word was revealed in Arabic, this language is used in Islamic religious practice worldwide. Muslims believe in final reward and punishment, and the unity of the umma, the “nation” of Islam. Muslims submit to Allah through arkan ad-din, the five basic requirements or “pillars”: shahadah, the affirmation that “there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God”; salah, the five daily ritual prayers (see liturgy, Islamic); zakat, the giving of alms, also known as a religious tax; Sawm, the dawn-to-sunset fast during the lunar month of Ramadan; and hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The importance of the hajj can hardly be overestimated: this great annual pilgrimage unites Islam and its believers from around the world.
The ethos of Islam is in its attitude toward Allah: to His will Muslims submit; Him they praise and glorify; and in Him alone they hope. ... Islam views the Message of Muhammad as the continuation and the fulfillment of a lineage of Prophecy that includes figures from the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, notably Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. Islamic law reserves a communal entity status for the ahl al-kitab, People of the Book, i.e., those with revealed religions, including Jews and Christians.
Other Islamic obligations include the duty to “commend good and reprimand evil,” injunctions against usury and gambling, and prohibitions of alcohol and pork. Meat is permitted if the animal was ritually slaughtered; it is then called halal. Jihad, the exertion of efforts for the cause of God, is a duty satisfied at the communal and the individual level. At the individual level, it denotes the personal struggle to be righteous and follow the path ordained by God. Communally, it involves both encouraging what is good and correcting what is not and waging war against enemies of Islam
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright © 2003, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The religion of allegiance to God and to his prophet Muhammad, the religion (din) which God always intended for his creation, but which is derived in its present form from the prophetic ministry of Muhammad (c.570-632 CE) and from the revelation mediated through him, the Qur'an. The verbal noun islam appears eight times in the Qur'an: derived from the same Semitic root as Heb. shalom (peace), it means 'entering into a condition of peace and security with God through allegiance or surrender to him'.
When Muhammad died, no exact provision had been made for any successor to lead the new community. Those who looked for the most effective leader chose Abu Bakr, known as caliph. Those who looked for the closest relative of Muhammad support 'Ali. The party (shi'a) of 'Ali broke away from those who claimed to be following the custom (sunna) of the prophet, thereby creating the divide between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims which persists to this day.
Muslim life and belief are derived directly from the Qur'an, but since the Qur'an does not deal with every issue or question which a Muslim might wish to ask, authoritative guidance is derive also from the traditions (hadith) concerning the words, deeds and silences of Muhammad and his companions.
The spread of Islam was extremely rapid. Within a hundred years of the death of Muhammad, it had reached the Atlantic in one direction and the borders of China in the other. At one stage (fom the 9th to the 13th centuries CE) the Muslim delight in creation led it into a passionate commitment to knowledge ('ilm), which in turn led Muslims into spectacular achievements in philosophy (falsafa) and the natural sciences.
From John Bowker, ed., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (2000). Text © Oxford University Press.
Paintings and other Images of the ProphetA discussion of the controversy surrounding the publication of sartical cartoons depicting Muhammed.
Why interfaith understanding, dialogue and cooperation are importantThe Top Dozen Religions of the WorldWhat are the largest religions of the world? What are their membership statistics, relative size, locations, rankings? Find out now simply by looking at out chart and map.
Can Christians Alone Be Saved?"I am the way, the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father but by me," said Jesus. Does this mean that only Christians can be saved?
Yes just not the same God that Christians believe in.
His name is Allah. MMMMMMMMMM...
I believe that Muslim's believe in the same God but Jesus was a prophet And not the Son of God and that the prophet Muhammud recieved the Book of the Qur'an by taking information from the ArchAngel Gabriel
Islam means "To enter into Peace"
Muslims believe in the same real God Almighty which Jesus and other prophets before him believed.
a. Elohim El, Elah, AlahIn the Bible, God is very often referred to as 'Elohim' in the Hebrew language. The 'im' in the ending is a plural of honour and God is referred to as 'El' or 'Elah' in the English Bible with commentary, edited by reverend C. I. Scofield. 'Elah' is alternatively spelled as 'Alah'. The difference in spelling is only of a single 'L'. Muslims spell Allah as 'Allah' while the Reverend has spelled it as Alah and they pronounce it as 'Elah'. Muslims pronounce it as Allah. Hebrew and Arabic are sister languages therefore we say it should be pronounced as 'Allah' and not as 'Elah'. When I was in school, I was taught 'D, O' is do, 'T, O' is to. What is 'G, O' It is 'go' and not 'gu'. 'N, U, T' is nut, 'C, U, T' cut; 'B, U, T' is but, what is 'P, U, T'? Not 'pat' but it is 'put'. If you ask "Why?" The answer is "It is their language". If I have to pass I have to say 'P, U, T' is 'put' and not 'pat'. Similarly the right pronunciation for A, L, L, A, H, is Allah.
b. Jesus (pbuh) cried out Allah Allah when he was put on the crossIt is mentioned in the New Testament in the Gospel of Mathew, chapter 27 verse 46 as well as Gospel of Mark, chapter 15 verse 34 when Jesus (pbuh) was put on the cross.
Jesus cried with a loud voice saying "E'-Li, E'-Li la'-ma sa-bach'-tha-ni?" that is to say, 'My God, My God why hast Thou Forsaken Me?' Does this sound like Jehovah! Jehovah! why has thou forsaken me? Does it sound like Abba Abba? The answer is 'No'. Hebrew and Arabic are sister languages and if you translate "E'-Li, E'-Li la'-ma sa-bach'-tha-ni" into Arabic it is 'Allah Allah lama tarak tani' does it sound similar?
This statement of Jesus (pbuh), "E'-Li, E'-Li la'-ma sa-bach'-tha-ni" is preserved in its original Hebrew in each and every of its translation which is available in more than 2000 different languages of the world and in each and every of them, "Allah" is present.
2. "Allah" in SikhismOne of the names by which Gurunanak Sahib referred to God is "Allah".
3a. "Allah" in Rigveda Book 2 Hymn I verse IIEven in the Rigveda which is the most sacred scripture of the Hindus, one of the attributes given to God Almighty in Book no 2 Hymn no I verse II, is 'Ila' which if pronounced properly is the same as Allah.
3b. Allo Upanishad:Amongst the various Upanishads one of the Upanishad is named as 'Allo' Upanishad in which God is referred to as "Allah" several times.
True and Perfect God, to believe in Whom is essential for every person, is the Lord of all the worlds
The Promised Messiah 1835-1908 says:Impossible as it is, yet by way of argument let us assume that Jesus (peace be upon him) did claim to be God. In that case, for him to confine his beneficence to such a small circle as the House of Israel does not behove the magnanimity of God. Had he been God, was he God only for the House of Israel to the exclusion of all other nations? He is known to have suggested that he had no concern for those who did not belong to the House of Israel.In short, the Jews and the Christians do believe that all Prophets and Messengers have been appearing from among them, and that Divine scriptures were revealed to them alone. Thereafter, according to the beliefs of the Christians, the institution of revelation and communion with God ended with Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) as though a seal had been set on the institution of revelation from God.Unfortunately the Hindus of the Arya sect also entertain a similar belief. Like the Jews and Christians, who restrict the institution of Prophethood and Divine revelation exclusively to their people and deny the honour of Divine revelation to others, the Aryas also, unfortunately for the human race, have adopted the same doctrine. They too believe that the blessing of Divine communication was never bestowed to any people outside the domain of the Aryan race. Again it is India alone which, according to them, is exclusively blessed by God for the selection of the four ‘Rishis’ from its soil; it is Sanskrit alone, the language of the Vedas, which has always been the medium of instruction chosen by God. One can safely conclude from this, that both these nations do not consider God to be the Lord [Provident] of all the worlds. Notwithstanding this, He is still proclaimed to be Lord of the Universe and not that of the Israelites or the Aryans alone. Moreover this strange behaviour of God, as presented by them, draws an image of God which is so partial that He appears unmindful of the rest of His creation. Thus, it is for the refutation of such erroneous views, that God commences the Holy Qur’an with the verse: The Holy Quran : Chapter 1: Al-Fatihah [1:2] All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, God also made it clear in several places in the Holy Qur’an that His Messengers have been appearing in different lands all over the world. In fact He did not neglect any people or any country. The Holy Qur’an explains through various examples that just as God has been looking after the physical development of the people of every country, in accordance with their requirements, so has He blessed every country and every people with spiritual upbringing. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:The Holy Quran : Chapter 35: Al-Fatir[35:25] Verily, We have sent thee with the Truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and as a Warner; and there is no people to whom a Warner has not been sent.Meaning that there is no people to whom a Warner has not been sent.Therefore there is no question that the True and Perfect God, to believe in Whom is essential for every person, is the Lord of all the worlds. Furthermore, His providence is not confined to any particular people, age or country. In fact, He is the Lord of all peoples, the Lord of time and space, and He is the Sovereign of all the countries. He alone is the 5. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.Fountainhead of all beneficence and the Source of every physical and spiritual strength. All that exists is sustained by Him. He is the Support for every creature.It is the universal beneficence of God which encompasses all peoples, all countries and all ages. It so happened lest anyone should have cause to complain that: ‘God has bestowed His favour upon such and such people, but not upon us.’ Or that: ‘So and so received the Book in order to be guided while we did not.’ Or that: ‘In such and such an age, He revealed Himself through His revelations, communications and miracles but in our time He remained hidden.’ Thus, by demonstrating His universal beneficence, He left no justification for such possible accusations. He displayed His virtues boundlessly so that no people remain bereft of physical and spiritual bounties from Him. He also did not treat any age as doomed.So, when such are the attributes of our Lord, it is but befitting for us to acquire them ourselves. So, O compatriots!This short epistle entitled A Message of Peace is being presented to you with all due respects and with a sincere heartfelt prayer that Almighty God may Himself inspire you and fill your hearts with trust in my sincerity, lest you misread this friendly gesture and consider it to be an attempt to gain some ulterior motive. Dear Countrymen! The matter of the Hereafter is very often obscured to ordinary people. Its secrets are known only to a few of the enlightened, who embrace a kind of death [for the sake of their Lord] before they actually die. The goodness of this world, on the other hand, is easily recognized by any man with vision and wisdom.http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Message-of-Peace.pdfI am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim Jesus (Isa) A.S. in Islam, and his Second Coming
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by Mufti A.H. Elias
I. Jesus (A.S.) In Islam
Muslims do believe that Isa (A.S.) was sent down as a Prophet of Allah (God), but he (Jesus) is not God or Lord, nor the son of God. Muslims do not believe that Isa (A.S.), also known as Jesus by Christians and others, is dead or was ever crucified. We believe that he was raised to heaven and is there, and will descend at the appointed time, end all wars, and bring peace to the world. Like Jesus (A.S.), Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is also a Prophet and Messenger. Muhammed (P.B.U.H.) is the last Prophet, though, and there is none after him. Hence, Islam is the last religion, complete, with the Holy Qur'an as the unchanged and perfect word of God for over 1400 years, as God promised to preserve it till the last day for all of humankind, unlike sacred texts of other religions which have mulitple versions and are "revised" periodically. God, or Allah in Arabic, is Divine and Supreme Being and Creator.
What the Holy Qur'an says about Jesus:
They slew him not, nor did they crucify him but it was made dubious to them. (Holy Qur'an, Surah Nisaa, Verse 157)
Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) himself told of the coming of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). In the Bible, Jesus (A.S.) says,
If you love me, Keep my commandments. And I will pray to the Father and He shall give you another comforter that he may abide with you forever. (Bible, John 14-15/16) But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me, and he also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. (Bible, John 15-26/27) I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the spirit of Truth will come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall speak not of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that he shall speak, and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and he shall show it unto you. (Bible, John 16-12/14)
Ulema (learned scholars in Islam) have said that the person who is described by Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) to come after him - in the above verse - does not comply with any other person but Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
In this case, the "comforter" he mentions is none other than Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his laws and way of life (Shariah) and Book (Holy Qur'an) are those that Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) asks his followers to abide by.
The "person" whom Jesus (A.S.) prophecised will come after him, is called Pargaleeta in the Bible . This word was deleted by interpreters and translators and changed at times to "Spirit of Truth" and at other times, to "comforter" and sometimes "Holy Spirit." The original Greek and its meaning is "one whom people praise exceedingly." The sense of the word, then, is applicable to the word Muhammad in Arabic, since Muhammad means "the praised one."
Jesus (A.S.) also says in the Bible,
... and a little while and you shall not see me; and again a little while, you shall see me because I go to the Father.(Bible, John 16:16)
... and the Holy Qur'an says,
And surely they slew him not. But Allah (God) raised him unto Himself. (Holy Qur'an, Surah Nisaa, Verse 157-158)
As such, Muslims believe that Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) was raised to heaven. According to Hadith, he is on the second heaven. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam=Peace be upon him) mentioned, "During the Meraj (Ascension), I met Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) on the second heaven. I found him of medium stature, reddish white. His body was so clean and clear, that it appeared as though he had just performed ghusal (ablution, cleansing of the entire body) and come." In another Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentioned to the Jews that, " Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) is not dead, he will most surely return to you before Qiyamat (the Day of Judgement)."
May Allah Guide all people to the Truth. Aameen.
(For more information about Jesus A.S. in Islam, Click Here)
II. Hadhrat Isa's (A.S.) Descension The Physical Features of Hadhrat Isa (A.S.)
He will resemble the famous Sahabi (A.S.) Hadhrat Urwa bin Masoodi (R.A.). He will be of average height and red and white in colour. His hair spread to the shoulders, straight, neat and shining as after a bath. On bending his head, it will seem as if pearls are falling. He will have an armour on his body. He will be wearing two pieces of cloth light yellow in color.
His Descension
He will descend on a Jamaat (group) that will be righteous at the time and comprising of 800 men and 400 women. The people will be preparing for war at the time against Dajjal (the anti-Christ). It will be time for Fajr prayers, and Imam Mahdi will be the Amir (leader). From the darkness of the dawn, a sound will suddenly be heard that "one who listens to your pleas has come" -- the righteous people will look everywhere and their eyes will fall on Isa (A.S.). Briefly, at the time of Fajr, Isa (A.S.) will descend. When descending, Isa (A.S.)'s hands will be on the shoulders of two angels (according to another source (Kab Abrar), a cloud will carry him). On their insistence Hadhrat Isa will introduce himself. He will inquire about their enthusiasm and thoughts on Jihad against Dajjal. Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will descend on the eastern side near the Minaret in Damascus (or in Baitul-Muqaddus by Imam Mahdi). At the time Imam Mahdi will have proceeded forward to lead the Fajr Salaat. The Iqamat of the Salaat would have been said (already recited) and Imam Mahdi will call Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) for Imamat (to lead the prayer), but he (Hadhrat Isa (A.S.)) will instead tell Imam Mahdi to lead the prayer since the Iqamat of that Salaat has already been said for him. Thus Imam Mahdi will lead the prayer, and Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will follow him. After the ruku, he will make this statement: "Allah has killed Dajjal and the Muslims have appeared."
The Killing of Dajjal (anti-Christ) and the Victory of the Muslims
After the completion of Fajr Salaat (congregational dawn prayers), Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will open the door behind him where Dajjal accompanied by 70,000 Yahudis (Jews) will be. He will indicate with his hand to move away between him (Hadhrat Isa (A.S.)) and Dajjal. Dajjal will then see Hadhrat Isa (A.S.). At that time every Kafir on whom the breath of Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will reach, will die. His breath will reach up to the distance of his eyesight. The Muslims will then come down from the mountains and break loose on the army of Dajjal. There will be war, Dajjal will retreat, and Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will pursue Dajjal. Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will have two flexible swords and one shield with him and with these he will kill Dajjal at the Gate of Hudd. He willl show the Muslims the blood of Dajjal which will get on his shield. Eventually the Yahudis will be selected and killed. The swine will be killed and the cross broken. People will revert to Islam. Wars will end, and people will return to their respective countries. One Jamaat (group) of Muslims will remain in his service and companionship.
Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will go to Fajr Rawha and perform Haj or Umrah (or both) from there. He will also go to the grave of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and present his greetings and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) will reply. People will live comfortable lives. The wall of Yajooj and Majooj (Gog and Magog) will then break.
III. The Blessings of Hadhrat Isa (Jesus) (A.S.)
1 Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will descend and stay on earth. 2 His descension will be in the last era of the Ummat. 3 He will be a just ruler and a fair judge. 4 His ummat will be the Khalifa (deputies) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). 5 He will act himself and instruct others on the Qur'an and Hadith (Shariat/Tradition of Islam). 6 He will lead people in Salaat (Prayer). 7 He will stay on earth for a period of 40 years after descending. The will be the best era of the Ummat after the first era of Islam. 8 Allah will protect his companions from Jahannam. 9 Those who will save the Deen of Islam by associating themselves with Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will be amongst the most loved by Allah Ta'ala. 10 During this period all other religions and mazhabs besides Islam will perish, hence there will be no kuffaars (non-believers) in the world. 11 Jihad will be stopped. 12 No Khiraaj will be taken. 13 Nor Jizya (protection tax) money from the kafirs (non-believers) 14 Wealth and property will be in surplus to such an extent that there will be no one to accept the wealth of the other (everyone will be independent). 15 Receiving Zakaat (Alms-giving, Charity to poor) and Saadaqa will be discarded (as there will be no poor to receive them!). 16 The people will love the sajda (prostration to God) more than the world and what it consists of. 17 All types of Deeni (religious) and worldly blessings will descend on earth (many halaal (lawful) things will be created). 18 There will be peace, harmony and tranquility during the time of Hadhrat Isa (A.S.)'s stay in the world. 19 There will be no animosity for a period of seven years, even between two persons. 20 All hearts will be free from miserliness, envy, hatred, malice and jealousy. 21 For a period of forty years no one will fall ill or die. 22 Venom will be taken out of all venomous animals. 23 Snakes and scorpions will not harm anyone to the extent that if a child put his hand in its mouth, he will not be harmed. 24 Will animals will not harm anyone. 25 If a man will pass a lion, he will not be troubled or harmed, or even if any girl will open its mouth to test if it will do anything. 26 The camels will graze among lions, cheetahs with cattle and the jackals with goats. 27 The fertility of the land will increase to such an extent that even if a seed is planted in a hard rock, it will sprout. 28 A pomegranate will be so huge that a jamaat will be able to eat it and the people will use its peel as shade. 29 There will be so much barakaat (blessing) in milk that a camel will suffice for a huge jamaat, a cow for a tribe and a goat for a family. 30 In short, life will be most pleasant after the descension of Jesus (A.S.).
His Marriage, Death and Deputies
After his descension on earth, Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will marry. He will have children, and he will remain on earth 19 years after marriage. He will pass away and Muslims will perform his Janaza Salaat and bury him net to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). (Tirmidhi)
from: Hadhrat Esa (Alaihis Salaam): The Truth Revealed and Major Signs of Qiyamat by Mufti Afzal Hoosein Elias (May Allah reward him for his work in producing these kitaabs, aameen.) from the original (with references): "Aalalaat-e-Qiyyamat aur Nuzul-e-Eesa.

akhter said...

“Why Do Priests & Preachers Enter ISLAM?”



Many people ask me how a preacher or priest in Christianity can ever go to Islam, especially considering all the negative things that we hear about Islam and Muslims everyday. Some people are simply curious, while others take a profound exception to my “conversion” to Islam. Some have asked how I could have turned my back on Jesus, or if I truly understood the Holy Ghost and some even questioned whether or not I considered myself as “born again” or had ever really been saved at all. These are good questions to which I will offer answers to at the end of this writing. I would like to thank everyone for their interest and offer my humble story, God Willing.

One very nice Christian gentleman asked me in email why and how I left Christianity for Islam. This is more or less a copy of the letter I sent to him.

Introduction
My name is Yusuf Estes now, but in years past my friends used to call me Skip. I have preached Christianity and worked in the entertainment and music industry since I was a boy in the 1950’s. My father and I have established music stores, TV and radio programs and outdoor entertainment for fun (and profit). I was a music minister and even used a pony ride and entertained the children as “Skippy the Clown.”

Once, I have served as Delegate to the United Nations Peace Conference for Religious Leaders. Now I am a retired former Muslim Chaplain for United States Bureau of Prisons, Washington, DC. and I join alongside many American Muslims, working with Muslim student and youth organizations as well as schools for Muslim children. As such, I travel around the entire world lecturing and sharing the message of the Christ of the Quran in Islam. We hold dialogs and discussion groups with all faiths and enjoy the opportunity to work alongside rabbis, ministers, preachers and priests everywhere. Some of our work is in the institutional area, military, universities and prisons. Primarily our goal is to educate and communicate the correct message of Islam and who the Muslims really are. Although Islam has grown now to nearly tie Christianity as the largest of religions on earth, we see many of those who claim Islam as Muslims, that do not correctly understand nor properly represent the message of “Peace, Surrender and Obedience to God” [Arabic = 'Islam']

Dear me, I am afraid that I got a bit ahead of myself. I was trying to give a bit of background of our work perhaps to see if it would in anyway benefit those who may being going through what I experienced while trying to resolve some of the issues of Christianity.

How It Happened
This may seem quite strange, while we perhaps may share a few different perspectives and concepts of God, Jesus, prophethood, sin and salvation. But you see, at one time I was in the same boat as many folks are today. Really, I was. Let me explain.

Born A Strong Christian
I was born into a very strong Christian family in the Midwest. Our family and their ancestors not only built the churches and schools across this land, but actually were the same ones who came here in the first place. While I was still in elementary we relocated in Houston, Texas in 1949 (I’m old). We attended church regularly and I was baptized at the age of 12 in Pasadena, Texas. As a teenager, I wanted to visit other churches to learn more of their teachings and beliefs. The Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Charismatic movements, Nazarene, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Full Gospel, Agape, Catholic, Presbyterian and many more. I developed quite a thirst for the “Gospel” or as we say; “Good News.” My research into religion did not stop with Christianity. Not at all. Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Metaphysics, native American beliefs were all a part of my studies. Just about the only one that I did not look into seriously was “Islam”. Why? Good question.

Music Minister
Anyway, I became very interested in different types of music, especially Gospel and Classical. Because my whole family was religious and musical it followed that I too would begin my studies in both areas. All this set me for the logical position of Music Minister in many of the churches that I became affiliated with over the years. I started teaching keyboard instruments in 1960 and by 1963 owned my own studios in Laurel, Maryland, called “Estes Music Studios.”

Business Projects In Texas, Oklahoma and Florida
Over the next 30 years my father and I worked together in many business projects. We had entertainment programs, shows and attractions. We opened piano and organ stores all the way from Texas and Oklahoma to Florida. We had earned millions of dollars during those years, but could not find the peace of mind that can only come through knowing the truth and finding the real plan of salvation. I’m sure you have asked yourself the question; “Why did God create me?” or “What is it that God wants me to do?” or “Exactly who is God, anyway?” “Why do we believe in ‘original sin?” and “Why would the sons of Adam be forced to accept his ’sins’ and then as a result be punished forever.” But if you asked anyone these questions, they would probably tell you that you have to believe without asking, or that it is a ‘mystery’ and you shouldn’t ask - “Just have faith, brother.”

Trinity Concept
Strangely enough, the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible. And it has been a concern for religious scholars as early as 200 years after Jesus was raised up by Almighty God. I would ask preachers or ministers to give me some sort of an idea how ‘one’ could figure out to become ‘three’ or how God Himself, Who can do anything He Wills to do, cannot just forgive people’s sins, but rather and had to become a man, come down on earth, be a human, and then take on the sins of all people; keeping in mind that all along He is still God of the whole universe and does as He Wills to do, both in and outside of the universe as we know it. They never seemed to be able to come up with anything other than opinions or strange analogies.

Father - Ordained Non-Denominational Minister
My father was very active in supporting church work, especially church school programs. He became and ordained minister in the 1970s. He and his wife (my stepmother) knew many of the TV evangelists and preachers and even visited Oral Roberts and helped in the building of the “Prayer Tower” in Tulsa, OK. They also were strong supporters of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker, Jerry Fallwell, John Haggi and the biggest enemy to Islam in America, Pat Robertson.

Distributing “Praise” Tapes for Jesus
During the early 1980’s my Dad and his wife worked together and were most active in recording “Praise” tapes and distributing them for free to people in retirement homes, hospitals and homes for the elderly. We were really “winning souls to the Lord - for Jesus” day after day.

Met A Man From Egypt
It was early in 1991 when my father began doing business with a man from Egypt and told me that he wanted me to meet him. This idea appealed to me when I thought about the idea of having an international flavor. You know, the pyramids, sphinx, Nile River and all that.

He Was A “Mozlem”

Hijackers; Kidnappers; Bombers, Terrorists - and who knows what else?
Then my father mentioned that this man was a ‘Moslem.’ First, I hated the idea of meeting an “infidel, hijacker, kidnapper, bomber, terrorist, non-believer.” Any normal person would be repulsed at the idea. I couldn’t believe my ears. A ‘Moslem?’ No way! I reminded my dad of the various different things that we had heard about these people.

Lies Against Muslims & Islam - They Told Us, Muslims:

* They don’t even believe in God
* They worship a black box in the desert.
* And They kiss the ground five times a day.

No Way! I Did Not Want to Meet Him!
I did not want to meet this ‘Moslem’ man. No way! My father insisted that I meet him and reassured me that he was a very nice person. This was too much for me. Especially since the evangelists that we used to travel around with all hated Muslims and Islam very much. They even said things that were not true to make people afraid of Islam. So, why would I want anything to do with these people?

Idea - “Change Him To Christian”
Then an idea came to me, “We can change this man to Christian.” So, I gave in and agreed to the meeting. But on my terms.

Met Him With A Bible, Cross and Cap with “Jesus Is Lord!” on it.
I agreed to meet him on a Sunday after church so we would be all prayed up and in good standing with the Lord. I would be carrying my Bible under my arm as usual. I would have my big shiny cross dangling and I would have on my cap which says: “Jesus is Lord” right across the front. My wife and two young daughters came along and we were ready for our first encounter with the ‘Moslems.’

Where Is He?
When I came into the shop and asked my father where the ‘Moslem’ was, he pointed and said: “He’s right over there.”
I was confused. That couldn’t be the Moslem. No way.

Turban & Beard?
I’m looking for a huge man with flowing robes, a big turban on his head, a beard half way down his shirt and eyebrows that go all the way across his forehead with a sword or a bomb under his coat.

No Turban - No Beard - [No Hair at All!]
This man had no beard. In fact, he didn’t even have any hair on his head at all. He was nearly bald. Best of all, he was very pleasant with a warm welcome and handshake. This didn’t make sense. I thought they are terrorists and bombers. What is this all about?

He Needs Jesus
Never mind. I’ll get right to work on this guy. He needs to be ’saved’ in the ‘Name of Jesus’ and me and the Lord are going to do it.

Introduction & Interrogation
After a quick introduction, I asked him:

“Do you believe in God?”
He said:
“Yes.” - (Good!)

Then I said:
“Do you believe in Adam and Eve?”
He said:
“Yes.” - (Very Good!)

I said: “What about Abraham? You believe in him and how he tried to sacrifice his son for God?”
He said:
“Yes.” - (Even better!)

Then I asked:
“What about Moses?”
“Ten Commandments?”
“Parting the Red Sea?”
Again he said:
“Yes.” - (Better still!)

Then:
“What about the other prophets, David, Solomon and John the Baptist?”
He said:
“Yes.” - (Great!)

I asked:
“Do you believe in the Bible?”
Again, he said:
“Yes.” - (OK!)

So, now it was time for the big question:
“Do you believe in Jesus? That he was the Messiah (Christ) of God?”
Again the said:
“Yes.” - (Fantastic!)

Well now - “This was going to be easier than I had thought.”
He was just about ready to be baptized only he didn’t know it.
And I was just the one to do it, too.

Shocking Knowledge - Muslims Believe in the Bible?
One day in the Spring of 1991, I came to know that the Muslims believed in the Bible. I was shocked. How could this be? But that’s not all, they believe in Jesus as:

* A true messenger of God;
* Prophet of God;
* Miracle birth without human intervention;
* He was the ‘Christ’ or Messiah as predicted in the Bible;
* He is with God now and most important;
* He will be coming back in the Last Days to lead the believers against the ‘Antichrist.’

After “winning souls to the Lord for Jesus” day after day, this would be a big achievement for me, to catch one of these ‘Moslems’ and ‘convert’ him to Christianity.

Cup of Tea - Discuss Beliefs
I asked him if he liked tea and he said he did. So off we went to a little shop in the mall to sit and talk about my favorite subject: Beliefs. While we sat in that little coffee shop for hours talking (I did most of the talking) I came to know that he was very nice, quiet and even a bit shy. He listened attentively to every word that I had to say and did not interrupt even one time. I liked this man’s way and thought that he had definite potential to become a good Christian. - Little did I know the course of events about to unravel in front of my eyes.

Agreed to Do Business
First of all, I agreed with my father that we should do business with this man and even encouraged the idea of him traveling along with me on my business trips across the northern part of Texas. Day after day we would ride together and discuss various issues pertaining to different beliefs that people have. And along the way, I could of course interject some of my favorite radio programs of worship and praise to help bring the message to this poor individual. We talked about the concept of God; the meaning of life; the purpose of creation; the prophets and their mission and how God reveals His Will to mankind. We also shared a lot of personal experiences and ideas as well.

Moved to Our Home
One day I came to know that my friend Mohamed was going to move out of the home he have been sharing with a friend of his and was going to be living in the mosque for a time. I went to my dad and asked him if we could invite Mohamed to come out to our big home in the country and stay there with us. After all, he could share some of the work and some expenses and he would be right there when we were ready to go to out traveling around. My father agreed and Mohamed moved in.

Continued Ministry & Preaching
Of course I still would find time to visit my fellow preachers and evangelists around the state of Texas. One of them lived on the Texas — Mexico border and another lived near lived Oklahoma border. One preacher liked to a huge wooden cross that was bigger than a car. He would carry it over his shoulder and drag the bottom on the ground and go down the road or freeway hauling these two beams formed in the shape of a cross. People would stop their cars and come over to him and ask him what was going on and he would give them pamphlets and booklets on Christianity.

Preacher Has Heart Attack
One day my friend with the cross had a heart attack and had to go to the Veterans Hospital where he stayed for quite a long while. I used to visit him in the hospital several times a week and I would take Mohamed with me with the hopes that we could all share together in the subject of beliefs and religions. My friend was not very impressed and it was obvious that he did not want to know anything about Islam. Then one day a man who was sharing the room with my friend came rolling into the room in his wheelchair. I went to him and asked him his name and he said that it didn’t matter and when I asked him where he was from he said he was from the planet Jupiter. I thought about what he said and then began to wonder if I was in the cardiac ward or the mental ward.

Man in Wheelchair - Needed the Lord
I knew the man was lonely and depressed and needed someone in his life. So, I began to ‘witness’ to him about the Lord. I read to him out of the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God’s Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh. And the idea was that we can’t really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done. And what is more, God also always knows what we have done.

Catholic Priest
After sharing this story with the man in the wheel chair, he looked up and me and apologized. He told me he was sorry for his rude behavior and that he had experienced some real serious problems recently. Then he said that he wanted to confess something to me. And I said that I was not a Catholic priest and I don’t handle confessions. He replied back to me that he knew that. In fact, he said: “I am a Catholic priest.”
I was shocked. Here I had been trying to preach Christianity to a priest. What in the world was happening here?

Priest in Latin America
The priest began to share his story of being a missionary for the church for over 12 years to south and Central America and Mexico and even in New York’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ When he was released from the hospital he needed a place to go to recover and rather than let him go to stay with a Catholic family, I told my dad that we should invite him to come out and live with us in the country along with our families and Mohamed. It was agreed by all that he would so, he moved out right away.

Priests Must Study ISLAM? - YES!
During the trip out to our home, I talked with the priest about some of the concepts of beliefs in Islam and to my surprise he agreed and then shared even more about this with me. I was shocked when he told me that Catholic priests actually study Islam and some even carry doctors degrees in this subject. This was all very enlightening to me. But there was still a lot more to come.

Different Versions of the Bible
After settling in, we all began to gather around the kitchen table after dinner every night to discuss religion. My father would bring his King James Version of the Bible, I would bring out my Revised Standard Version of the Bible, my wife had another version of the Bible (maybe something like Jimmy Swaggart’s ‘Good News For Modern Man.” The priest of course, had the Catholic Bible which has 7 more books in it that the Protestant Bible. So we spent more time talking about which Bible was the right one or the most correct one, than we did trying to convince Mohamed about becoming a Christian.

Quran Has Only ONE Version - In Arabic - And Still Exists
At one point I recall asking him about the Quran and how many versions of it there were in the last 1,400 years. He told me that there was only ONE QURAN. And that it had never been changed. Yet he let me know that the Quran had been memorized by hundreds of thousands of people, in it’s entirety and were scattered about the earth in many different countries. Over the centuries since the Quran was revealed millions have memorized it completely and have taught it to others who have memorized it completely, from cover to cover, letter perfect without mistakes. Today, over 9 million Muslims have memorized the entire Quran from cover to cover.

How Could This Be?
This did not seem possible to me. After all, the original languages of the Bible have all been dead languages for centuries and the documents themselves have been lost in their originals for hundreds and thousands of years. So, how could it be that something like this could be so easy to preserve and to recite from cover to cover.

Priest Goes to the Mosque
Anyway, one day the priest asked the Mohamed if he might accompany him to the mosque to see what it was like there. They came back talking about their experience there and we could not wait to ask the priest what it was like and what all types of ceremonies they performed. He said they didn’t really ‘do’ anything. They just came and prayed and left. I said: “They left? Without any speeches or singing?” He said that was right.

Priest Enters Islam!
A few more days went by and the Catholic priest asked Mohamed if he might join him again for a trip to the mosque which they did. But this time it was different. They did not come back for a very long time. It became dark and we worried that something might have happened to them. Finally they arrived and when they came in the door I immediately recognized Mohamed, but who was this alongside of him? Someone wearing a white robe and a white cap. Hold on a minute! It was the priest. I said to him: “Pete? — Did you become a ‘Moslem?’
He said that he had entered into Islam that very day. THE PRIEST BECAME A MUSLIM!! What next? (You’ll see).

My Wife Announces Her Islam!
So, I went upstairs to think things over a bit and began to talk to my wife about the whole subject. She then told me that she too was going to enter into Islam, because she knew it was the truth.

Shocked!
I was really shocked now. I went downstairs and woke up Mohamed and asked him to come outside with me for a discussion. We walked and talked that whole night through.

Truth Had Come!
By the time he was ready to pray Fajr (the morning prayer of the Muslims) I knew that the truth had come at last and now it was up to me to do my part. I went out back behind my father’s house and found an old piece of plywood lying under an overhang and right there I put my head down on the ground facing the direction that the Muslims pray five times a day.

Guide Me! O God! Guide Me!
Now then in that position, with my body stretched out on the plywood and my head on the ground, I asked: “O God. If you are there, guide me, guide me.”

Sign Inside of Me
And then after a while I raised up my head and I noticed something. No, I didn’t see birds or angels coming out of the sky nor did I hear voices or music, nor did I see bright lights and flashes. What I did notice was a change inside of me. I was aware now more than ever before that it was time for me to stop any lying and doing anything sneaky. It was time that I really work at being an honest and upright man. I knew now what I had to do.

Wash Away the “OLD”
So I went upstairs and took a shower with the distinct idea that I was ‘washing’ away the sinful old person that I had become over the years. And I was now coming into a new, fresh life. A life based on truth and proof.

- And Become New!
Around 11:00 A.M. that morning, I stood before two witnesses, one the ex-priest, formerly known as Father Peter Jacob’s, and the other Mohamed Abel Rehman and announced my ’shahadah’ (open testimony to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him).

“I bear witness, there is no deity to worship, except Almighty Allah, alone and He has no partners and I bear witness that Mohammad is His messenger and servant.”

My Wife Was Next
A few minutes later, my wife follow along and gave the same testimony. But hers was in front of 3 witnesses (me being the third).

Then My Father
My father was a bit more reserved on the subject and waited a few more months before he made his shahadah (public testimony). But he did finally commit to Islam and began offering prayers right along with me and the other Muslims in the local masjid (mosque).

Children Too!
The children were taken out of the Christian school and placed in Muslim schools. And now ten years later, they are memorizing much of the Quran and the teachings of Islam.

Father’s Wife (Stepmother) Next
My father’s wife finally acknowledged, before she died, that Jesus could not be a son of God and that he must have been a mighty prophet of God, but not God. She passed away within a few months of this statement at age 86. May Allah accept her statement of faith, ameen.

Houseful of New Muslims - What’s Next?
Now stop and think. A whole entire household of people from varying backgrounds and ethnic groups coming together in truth to learn how to know and worship the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Think. A Catholic priest; a minister of music and preacher of the Gospel; an ordained minister and builder of Christian schools; and the children, even a great-grandmother - they all come into Islam!

His Mercy and Guidance
Only by His Mercy were we all guided to see the real truth of Islam, by removing the coverings over our ears and the blinders on our eyes, no longer having seals over our hearts - He was Guiding us now.

Amazing Story - Family and Friends Entering Islam - From One Man
If I were to stop right here, I’m sure that you would have to admit that at least, this is an amazing story, right? After all, three religious leaders of three separate denominations all going into one very opposite belief at the same time and then soon after the rest of the household.

More? - Yes! Baptist Seminary Student Reads Quran - Accepts Islam
But that is not all. There is more! The same year, while I was in Grand Prairie, Texas (near Dallas) I met a Baptist seminary student from Tennessee named Joe, who also came to Islam after reading the Holy Quran while in BAPTIST SEMINARY COLLEGE!
More? Yes. Catholic Priest Loves Islam - But Needs His Job!
There are others as well. I recall the case of the Catholic priest in a college town who talked about the good things in Islam so much that I was forced to ask him why he didn’t enter Islam. He replied: “What? And loose my job?” - His name is Father John and we still pray for Allah to Guide Him.

Another Catholic Priest Makes Shahadah
The very next year I met a former Catholic priest who had been a missionary for 8 years in Africa. He learned about Islam while he was there and entered into Islam. He then changed his name to Omar and moved to Dallas Texas.

Any more? Again - Yes! Orthodox Arch Bishop leaves church for Islam
Two years later, while in San Antonio, Texas I was introduced to a former Arch Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Russia who learned about Islam and gave up his position to enter Islam.

Daughter of Hindu Pundit (Religious Leader) - Accepts Islam - Helping thousands to Islam
I met a woman in New York who wanted to make our CDs about “What Is Islam?” After giving her permission several years ago, I have learned she has produced and distributed over 600 thousand of these to the non-Muslims in America. May Allah reward her and keep her strong in her efforts, ameen.

Hundreds - Thousands - Still Coming
And since my own entrance into Islam and becoming a chaplain to the Muslims throughout the country and around the world, I have encountered many more individuals who were leaders, teachers and scholars in other religions who learned about Islam and entered into it. They came from Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Coptic Christians from Egypt, non-denominational churches and even scientists who had been atheists.

Why? Good question.
The combination always seems to be the same; people are sincerely seeking the truth and are willing to put their different prejudices and biases out of their minds and begin to ask God for His Guidance in their lives.

So, now you have the introduction to the story of my coming into Islam and becoming Muslim. There is more on the Internet about this story and there are more pictures there as well. Please take the time to visit it and then please take the time to email me and let us come together to share in all truths based on proofs for understanding our origins and our purpose and goals in this life and the Next Life.

9 Steps to Purify the Heart
May I suggest to the seeker of truth do the following NINE STEPS to purification of the heart?

1. Clean - your mind, your heart & soul - remove all prejudices & biases.
2. Thank God - for what you have - every moment of every day.
3. Read - a good translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran in a language that they can understand best. (http://islamtomorrow.com/downloads/)
4. Reflect on the meanings & consider the bounties of your Lord.
5. Seek - Forgiveness From God & Learn to Forgive others.
6. Ask - in your heart for Guidance from Above.
7. Open - your heart and mind.
8. Continue - to do this up for a few months. And be regular in it.
9. Avoid - the poison of evil while your heart is opening for the “rebirth of your soul.”

Remember: Clean; Thank; Read; Reflect - then:

“Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and it shall be given thee. Knock, and it shall be opened.”
Then: Continue & Avoid

The rest is between you and the Almighty Lord of the Universe. If you truly love Him, then He already Knows it and He will deal with each of us according to our hearts.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

Now as I promised here are the answers to the questions many have asked me connected with my choice of Islam:

1. “How could you have turned your back on the perfect plan of salvation of Jesus Christ on the cross for you sins?”

Answer: Your question implies you have not considered the similarities and teachings of the Bible and the Quran.

“ISLAM” means - “Surrender, submit and obey your Lord in sincerity and peace.” Whoever is trying to do this, is a “MUSLIM.” If someone believes in Almighty God as One God and One Lord and wants to commit their life to serving Him and obeying His Commandments, then that person will be in the right way and they will be “saved” according to God’s Mercy. No one can take the sins of another and the guilty must stand accused for what they have done. It will be up to Almighty God to Forgive or Punish according to His Judgment on that Day.

According to the remains of the translations of the Bible [see: "Bible, A Closer Look"] Jesus, peace be upon him, did not preach a message of salvation by worshipping him. This was something added later by Saul (who later became Paul). We find clear statements indicating salvation would come only through acknowledging Almighty God as One God and worshipping Him with all the heart, mind and strength. Jesus, peace be upon him, taught his followers to worship “My God and your God, My Lord and your Lord.”

Again, according to the remains of the English translation of the Bible, we see the one on the cross crying out a very blasphemous statement, “Eli! Eli! Lama sabachthani?” (Which being translated means, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”) This statement on the cross clearly indicates the one on the cross is not pleased with the situation nor does he consider it right or just. Therefore, one would have to conclude this was not something Jesus approved of nor did he accept, or else someone else was on the cross in his place. Either way you look at it, the one on the cross did not accept this as a plan of salvation.

The Quran is absolutely in agreement with these teachings and Muslims do worship the same God and Lord of Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Adam, peace be upon them all. The Quran states in many places, no one will be taken to task for the sins of another, nor can anyone carry the burden of another. We will all be on our own on that Day. And I ask Allah to have Mercy and Forgiveness for all those who believe in Him, ameen.

I consider that I have not left the teachings of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. On the contrary, I feel much closer to Jesus, peace be upon him, and I look forward to His return on earth more than ever before. Now I am worshipping the same God he worships and I serve the same Lord he serves, in the very same way he does. Jesus prayed to Almighty God and taught his followers to do the same. I am simply doing what he commanded to the best of my ability and ask Almighty God to accept it.

2. “Do you consider you were really “saved” and that you had in fact, been “born again?”

Answer: The Baptists have a statement, “Once saved, always saved.” I asked one of them about this and he agreed it was true. Then I mentioned at one time I had become a Baptist (in my teen years) but now I was a Muslim. I had also been “saved” and baptized at the age of 12. I had accepted the very statement of Jesus being the way, the light and the truth and no man coming on to the Father except by him. I understood these statements to mean I must follow Jesus and his teachings. Therefore, I read the Bible for myself and did not let others tell me what to think about what I was reading.

The Bible states that Jesus prayed for salvation for himself in the garden of Gethsemane in this way, “Let this cup pass from me, even so, Thy Will be done.” This prayer was repeated by Jesus, peace be upon him, a number of times and it is mentioned in more than one Gospel. Yet, according to Biblical accounts, the cup did not pass from him and his prayers were NOT ANSWERED. Islam teaches us his prayers were answered and he did not have to endure the cruel treatment and death on the cross, but rather he was taken up while still alive and is with Almighty God even now and ready to return in the Last Days to bring victory to the believers.

Additionally, we find Jesus, peace be upon him, teaching his disciples to pray like this, “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil. For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and Glory, forever and ever, ameen.” Every Muslim I have met accepts every single word of this pray with the exception of calling “Allah” our “Father.” Muslims consider it better to call on Almighty God by His Names, which we do consider to be “Hallowed.”

3. “How did your family respond to your conversion?”

Answer: This is always difficult for families to adjust to and it usually takes time. My family was no exception. Although my wife, children entered into Islam and eventually my father came to declare Islam to be the way of salvation for himself, still my own mother and many others in my family resented our going to Islam at first. Eventually, things became more normalized and we do stay in touch, although they are all still very much involved in Christianity.

Allah promises to test those who declare their faith in Him with many types of difficulties and family is one of those mentioned as a test in the Quran. I do pray for them and ask Allah to guide them to the very best in this life and the very best in the Next Life. But it is up to Allah if He wants them to be in Submission to Him (Islam means, submission to Allah) or not.

4. “How about your congregation? What did they say?”

Answer: I never had my own church. I was a music minister in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana branch) in Texas and did my preaching to businessmen and informal gatherings. Those who knew me for the most part did not object and some even came to Islam, but there were a few who felt very upset and accused me of “Turing my back on Jesus, peace be upon him.” No matter what I tried to say or do, these particular individuals would not listen nor did they want to learn anything about Islam.

5. “Did you experience a lot of difficulties in changing religions?”

Answer: Certainly anyone who wants to consider Islam in these times, just as in times gone by, will have to recognize there will be certain difficulties and tests along the way. The followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, were highly criticized and persecuted even until death (read what Paul said he used to do to them in the Bible; Book of Acts of the Apostles). Those who followed Muhammad, peace be upon him, suffered at the hands of their very own tribes, yet they were determined to continue to worship Almighty God Alone, without partners and submit to His Will.

The biggest problem with non-Muslims, is their lack of understanding and lack of knowledge as to what Islam is really all about and who the Muslims are supposed to be. I pray for them all and ask Allah to forgive the Muslims for not showing a better picture to everyone.

6. “Who was responsible for converting you?”

Answer: As Muslims we believe that it is only Allah who guides the people and whoever He guides will not be misguided and whomever He lets go astray none will be able to guide them. As such, it means we don’t believe anyone really can “convert” someone else.

Also, we accept that all children are born in the natural state of submission to Almighty God and as such that means they are Muslims. Should a child die he or she would go to Heaven as they are not responsible for what they do not understand.

7. “Don’t you ever think about coming back to being a Christian?”

Answer: “Christian” indicates a follower of Christ. When Jesus, peace be upon him, returns to earth in the Last Days, all the Muslims will be obliged to follow him. But we would not call ourselves “Christians” anymore than he would. He never called himself or his companions “Christians.” The Bible tells us they were never even called “Christians” until Paul was preaching his message in Antioch.

8. “Doesn’t it bother you to have left the way of peace, justice and love for a religion of hatred, violence and oppression toward women and others?”

Answer: All the prophets, peace be upon them all, called the people to worship Almighty God as One God and One Lord. As such, those who did not want to submit to Almighty God would combat them and treat them with hostilities, even unto death, as Paul had done while still being a Pharisee. The prophets, peace be upon them all, did encourage their followers to live in peace and deal with people in justice and certainly love is the highest form of emotion a human can have for another human being.

Yet at the same time, believers have to defend themselves, their families and the religion itself, lest those who are not believers should remove belief from the very face of the earth. Islam, like Christianity preaches a message of peace and tolerance - to a point. But when this is no longer possible without totally compromising and loosing one’s way of life and belief system, then there is no alternative except to engage in open combat against those who are combating against the believers.

Jesus called upon his followers to sell their coats and buy swords. He explained that he did not come with peace, but rather a sword. He and his companions were engaged in mortal combat with their enemies, the Pharisees when one of the priests slaves had his ear cut by the sword. Jesus then told them to put down their swords. This is mentioned in the Bible.

The word “sword” appears over 200 times in the Bible - but even though the Arabic language has more than a dozen words for sword, there is not a single occurrence of any of these words anywhere in the Quran.

Combat is ordered in the Quran, only under very specific and limited conditions and it is nothing more than what we would today call “The War on Terrorism.” Fighting against all acts of organized aggression, oppression, persecution and terrorism is an obligation on all believers. But it certainly has limits and women, children, elderly and any innocents are not to killed or injured during such occasions. Treatment of prisoners is not to be humiliating or torture of any kind. Even the dead of the enemy are to be buried with dignity and respect.

Now since writing my story and publishing here on the internet many other websites have picked up this story and it had become a famous example of how “Priest and Preachers Are Coming to Islam.”

Again, I thank you for visiting. And I thank our Christian friend for his email. If he hadn’t sent it, I probably would still not have completed this task of putting down the story once and for all of how my family, friends and myself all came to Islam.

Please feel free to share this story with others. You should print it out and make copies for everyone. Give them our links, add our story to your website or blog page, and send out emails to everyone you know. Maybe it could make a difference for others like us, God Willing.

May Allah guide you on your journey to all truth. Ameen. And May He open your heart and your mind to the reality of this world and the purpose of this life, ameen.

Peace to you and Guidance from Allah the One Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
Your friend,

Yusuf Estes
Chaplain Yusuf Estes

Anonymous said...

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Alena

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