Islam has no place at church part 1

I am continually aware of and hear about Christian pastors who cross the line of “interfaith” dialog with Muslims. They believe Muslims and Christians worship the same God (they do not). They believe we are taught by Jesus to reach out in love and accept everyone (yes, but…). And in opening up their churches to Muslims and allowing them use of church facilities for Muslim prayers, as many have done, they are complicit in the worship of a false god. They will ultimately answer to God on judgment day why they allowed this to happen.

Having said that, I am posting below a letter I wrote back on 2010 to the pastor of a Christian church who invited an imam for four consecutive Sundays to teach his church about Islam. I mailed the letter and waited several weeks for an answer, which I never received. I decided to post this as an example, among many, of the deception creeping into the church by Muslims, allowed by pastors, in the interest of “interfaith harmony.”

Since I approached the pastor personally as required by Matthew 18, and he failed to respond I have no problem calling out his name. Paul called out names when needed. We should also. We need to hold false shepherds accountable to the body of Christ.

November 8, 2010

Rev. Frank Hamilton
First Christian Church
110 N Vine Ave
Ontario, CA 91762

Dear Reverend Hamilton,

I attended the session yesterday on Islam with Imam Mustfa Umar. I have been unable to attend the previous two weeks due to prior commitments.

I appreciate your interest in learning more about Islam. As Christians, we are commanded to love Muslims, and I do. However, at the same time, it is important to understand that Islam opposes nearly every doctrine of the Christian faith.

I have been studying Islam for over ten years and teaching it to churches and Bible colleges for five years. I am an ordained minister in full-time ministry to Muslims with the goal of equipping the church regarding Islam, with an eye toward being witnesses for Jesus to Muslims.

In the spirit of love and concern, I must warn you regarding many comments Imam Umar made. What you do with this information is entirely your business, but I must be faithful to my calling from God to be “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) Imam Umar made many statements that were either incomplete, misleading, glossed over, or just simply wrong. If what I heard is representative of the other weeks, I am afraid you are being given a very simplistic and misleading view of Islam. Allow me to clarify.

COMMON LIES ABOUT ISLAM

In addressing the “common lie” that Islam was spread by the sword, Imam Umar made reference to Sura 2:256 in the Qur’an which says there can be no compulsion in religion. What the imam failed to mention is more important.

  • In contrast to the verse mentioned, many verses in the Qur’an say just the opposite. In fact, there are over 150 verses in the Qur’an that command Muslims to fight, enslave, kill, capture, or torture anyone who refuses to recognize Allah as the only God and Muhammad as his prophet. Sura 9:29 is but one example, which says, “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
  • His comments ignore 1,400 years of historical reality. In just the first 100 years after Muhammad’s death, Islam spread from Arabia eastward to the border of India, and westward across North Africa, into Spain, and was halted in 732 AD at the Battle of Tours. All of this rapid spread was by way of aggressive military warfare – compulsion. It has carried on since then. Several books written by respected scholars are available to study this issue further: Understanding Jihad by Dr. David Cook; Jihad in Islamic History by Michael Bonner; Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries by Paul Fregosi; The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew Bostom; Islamic Imperialism by Efraim Karsh.
  • It ignores the example set by Muhammad (Sunnah). Ibn Ishaq, the earliest biographer of Muhammad, records many accounts where Muhammad ordered his men to invite a nearby tribe to accept Islam and accept him as God’s prophet, with the instruction that if they rejected the invitation, his men were free to attack and force the issue. This was the primary method of spreading Islam during Muhammad’s lifetime.

GOD’S LOVE

Imam Umar attempted to present the god of Islam as a loving god. He quoted Muhammad saying “God is more loving and kinder than a mother to her child.” However, he left much unsaid about the love of the Muslim god.

I raised the question whether Allah’s love was unconditional, and he danced around the question; he did not give me a direct answer. The truth of the matter is the god of Islam does not love unconditionally as does the God of the Bible. For Muslims, god’s love must be earned.

  • Sura 2:195 – surely Allah loves the doers of good
  • Sura 2:222 – For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean
  • Sura 3:76 – surely Allah loves those who guard (against evil).
  • Sura 3:146 – And Allah loves those who are firm and steadfast
  • Sura 3:159 – For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).
  • Sura 5:13 – Allah loves those who are kind.

Other verses of the Qur’an provide reasons for Allah not loving.

  • Sura 28:77 – for Allah loves not those who do mischief.
  • Sura 2:190 – for Allah loveth not transgressors.
  • Sura 2:276 – For He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked.
  • Sura 3:32 – Allah loveth not those who reject Faith.
  • Sura 4:46 – For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious.

These are but a small sample of dozens of verses that demonstrate that Allah’s love is conditional and his favor must be earned.

SHARIAH

A question was raised if the Qur’an or shariah permits a man to force his wife to have sexual relations with him. The imam dismissed this notion as one of “those issues that are pure propaganda against Islam.”

His response is patently false. He lied. Not only is this idea embedded in shariah, it is also sanctioned in the Qur’an.

  • ‘Umdat al-Salik (manual of Shariah), section m5.1 states, “It is obligatory for a woman to let her husband have sex with her immediately when: (a) he asks her; (b) at home; and (c) she can physically endure it. Section m5.4 states, “A husband possesses full right to enjoy his wife’s person in what does not physically harm her.
  • Sahih Bukhari (Sunnah), vol. 7, book 62, #121: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.”
  • Sahih Muslim, Book 8, #3366: Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: When a woman spends the night away from the bed of her husband, the angels curse her until morning.
  • Mishkat Al-Masabih: volume 2, p. 691:alq b. `Ali reported God’s messenger as saying, “When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire she must go to him even if she is occupied at the oven.” Tirmidhi transmitted it.”
  • Sura 2:222 – “They ask thee concerning women’s courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allah.”
  • Sura 2:223 – “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will.”

Furthermore, a recent court case made news. In 2008 a woman in New Jersey claimed spousal rape when her husband forced her to have sex against her wishes. The judge in the initial trial ruled that because the husband was a Muslim and Islamic law allows a man to have sex with his wife even if she refuses, no crime was committed; it was a matter of religious practice. Last month the lower court judge’s ruling was overturned, and the man is now sentenced. But it is noteworthy that the initial judge made his decision based on religious law and practice of Muslims.  This was the defense made by the man’s attorney.

How can this, in the words of Imam Umar, be nothing but propaganda?

HUMAN RIGHTS

The imam mentioned that Muhammad gave women the right to inherit property. The inference made was that men and women are treated equally. Again, this is patently false.

Here is the truth:

  • Women get only one-half the inheritance of men.
  • Women are said to be only half as intelligent as men.
  • A woman’s testimony is equal to only half that of a man.
  • The Qur’an says men are superior to women.
  • Muhammad said men have enormous rights over women.
  • Muhammad said the majority inhabitants of hell are women.

For all the references for these, consult the article I wrote for the website WikiIslam at http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Women_in_Islam_-_From_Islam%27s_Sources.

TERRORISM

Imam Umar said the Qur’an strictly forbids terrorism. If this is so, then how does he explain these verses and others:

  • Sura 3:151 – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire.”
  • Sura 8:12 – “I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”
  • Sura 33:26 – “And those of the People of the Book who aided them – Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts.”

JIHAD

The imam suggested jihad has to do with rescuing someone from oppression. He defined “jihad” as ‘struggle.’ This is misleading and inaccurate.

While the word “jihad” does come from the Arabic word ‘to struggle,’ the reality is that the word has always had the connotation of war with the goal of spreading Islam.

  • ‘Umdat al-Salik (shariah manual) section o9.0 defines jihad as “the means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word muhahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.”
  • The Encyclopedia of Islam defines jihad as “In law, according to general doctrine and in historical tradition, the jihad consists of military action with the object of the expansion of Islam and, if need be, its defense.”
  • Sahih Bukhari (sunnah), volume 4, book 56 is the book of jihad. In this collection of hadith, Muhammad uses the word jihad dozens of times, and each time it is in the context of armed conflict.
  • Note the books on the subject of jihad mentioned earlier.

SUICIDE VS. MARTYRS

The imam stated the Qur’an forbids suicide. He said this in an attempt to downplay the role of suicide bombers and kamikaze pilots who commit heinous acts in the name of Islam. But he failed to make the clear distinction between committing suicide and offering oneself as a martyr in the service of Allah.

Martyrs are not considered to have committed suicide. One’s life can be offered as the supreme sacrifice of service to Allah, and it is not suicide. Consider the following verses in the Qur’an:

  • Sura 3: 169-171 – “Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty and rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in a Grace and a Bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers.”

Muhammad is also quoted in numerous hadith about the rewards given to martyrs, those who sacrifice their lives in service to Allah.

  • Sahih Bukhari, volume 4, book 56, number 2787 – “Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His cause into Paradise if he is killed.”
  • Sahih Bukhari, volume 4, book 56, number 2801 – “Jibril (Gabriel) informed the Prophet that they (martyrs) met their Lord, and He was pleased with them.”
  • Sahih Bukhari, volume 4, book 56, number 2818 – “Allah’s messenger said, “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords (Jihad in Allah’s Cause).”

Martyrdom, or sacrificing oneself in the cause of Allah, is a very high and noble act in Islam. It has the sanction of both the Qur’an and sunnah.

STATUS OF WOMEN

Imam Umar stated that many practices attributed to Islam today have nothing to do with Islam; they are cultural practices, related to specific cultures. This is a distortion of the truth.

In reality, Islam does not separate culture from religion. As you heard yourself, Imam Umar stated that Islam address issues of moral, spiritual, economic, social, and political practices; in a word, culture!

When challenged with the practice of Muslim men marrying young girls, for example, Muslims always bring up the argument that such a practice is not Islamic, but a cultural tradition having nothing to do with Islam. So when Muhammad married Aisha, a young girl, he was not practicing Islam, he was following the traditions of the culture in which he lived.

The problem with this argument is that Muhammad set the example for all Muslims to follow, something Imam Umar taught as the Sunnah of the prophet. Whatever Muhammad did, Muslims are free to do likewise and became religious practice. Indeed, to be a good Muslim is to emulate everything Muhammad did. So cultural practice by definition becomes religious practice because Muhammad set the example of what constitutes Islam. If Muhammad “did it,” it is part of Islam.

The Imam also mentioned that men and women had different roles, though they were considered to be equal. This does not comport with the Qur’an nor with what Muhammad said.

  • Sura 4:34 – Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women).
  • According to Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi in his book “The Ideal Muslimah,” Muhammad said, “”No human being is permitted to prostrate to another, but if this were permitted I would have ordered wives to prostrate to their husbands, because of the greatness of the rights they have over them.”

In light of these quotations, plus the ones mentioned earlier about women (half the inheritance, half the intelligence, witness only half that of man in court, women are the majority dwellers of hell, etc.), one can hardly say that Islam views men and women as equals.

Reverend Hamilton, in light of all these issues where Imam Umar clearly did not tell the complete truth, or in some cases, just plain lied, it puzzles me why you would allow someone like this into your church, when his motive clearly is to deceive you. As a shepherd over a flock of believers in Jesus, you have an obligation to keep deception out of your church. Why in the world would you invite it in?

If you are truly interested in learning what Islam teaches, without all the sugar-coating and glossing over, I am available to you, free of charge.

 

In Christ,

 

Joe Carey

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