Part 2: Understanding Islam With David Maddox

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David Maddox with wifeLESSONS FROM THE SCHOOL OF THE DESERT – UNDERSTANDING ISLAM – THE QUR’AN (“KORAN”) AND OTHER “HOLY” WRITINGS:

We have already seen that the Qur’an (“Koran”) is viewed by Muslims as an exact word-for-word copy of God’s final revelation. Its source is believed to be words inscribed on tablets that have always existed in heaven. Muslims believe that it was revealed to Muhammad (their final prophet) through the angel Gabriel. As such, Muslims treat their book with great respect. They “kiss the book, place it to the forehead, and store it on the highest shelf in the house.” (“Unveiling Islam –An Insiders Look At Muslim Life And Beliefs” by Ergun and Fethi Caner). Their beliefs about their book explain why they act in a manner we consider radical when it is challenged or in any way dishonored. They believe – as Christians should believe about their Bible – that it is God speaking and thus to dishonor it is to dishonor God. That it is God speaking is in fact what the Bible says about itself (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Koran came into existence about 600 years after Jesus walked the earth. It acknowledges the teaching of the Bible as having been given by Allah (their God) to Moses and to Jesus who were prophets of Allah. The Bible, however, is viewed “as unfulfilled (so needing the Qur’an to complete the revelation) and flawed (corrupted at its core).” It was given as a “guide to mankind . . . but humanly corrupted . . . by lies and distortions.” (“Unveiling Islam –An Insiders Look At Muslim Life And Beliefs” by Ergun and Fethi Caner). Accordingly, the Koran rewrites major portions of the Bible to fit with a different revelation. For example – Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus by Mary, but “the virgin birth was not, however to be a sign of Christ’s nature and power, but a sign of Allah’s omnipotence and sovereignty. He can and will do as He pleases.” Jesus is viewed ultimately as only a good Muslim who spent his life “spreading the gospel of Islam to all who would listen”. They believe He was not divine. The Koran also teaches that Jesus was not crucified or killed, but He was taken to heaven and will return as part of the Muslim beliefs regarding end times when ultimately He will die and be judged by Allah as will all. (“Unveiling Islam –An Insiders Look At Muslim Life And Beliefs” by Ergun and Fethi Caner).

The Koran begins its separation from the Bible with its teachings on Abraham. Muslims believe that it was not Isaac that Abraham offered as the sacrifice when tested by God. It was rather Ishmael which has the effect of separating the activity of God from the history of the Jewish people, and negates the teaching that the Jewish people are God’s chosen people. Muslims see Jews as infidels – like they see Christians. The Koran also teaches that Christians worship three Gods – the Father, the Mother (Mary), and the Son (Jesus). The key to understanding of the differences will be clearer when we take a look at a comparison of Allah and Jehovah (The Great “I Am”). They are not the same God.

Like the changes and additions made by the Pharisees to the Law which Jesus often struggled against – Islam also has writings which add to the teachings of the Koran. The Koran is the word given by God. The additions are teachings and commandments of Muhammad based on what it is believed he said and how he lived. They appear in the Hadith and Sunnah. There are four different versions of the Hadith which partially explains why there are such radical differences in some of the Muslim sects. The Hadith contains Muhammad’s commandments while the Sunnah is the basis of the legal code of Islam jurisprudence (shari’a). Some of what is provided in the Sunnah is obligatory and some are recommendations. On the other hand, “virtually every action taken by Muslims, from how they approach your home to how they brush their teeth, has precedent in the Hadith. (“Unveiling Islam –An Insiders Look At Muslim Life And Beliefs” by Ergun and Fethi Caner).

Many in America say that the Bible is a book of rules. They are clearly wrong, but it would be correct to say that Muslims must live by the rules established in their three “holy” books – all tied to Mohammad – what they believe God revealed to him – what he said and did. He is in effect the Muslim’s Jesus except that He is not considered to be God, and Jesus clearly spoke against additions to God’s revelation. To the Pharisees and Scribes who did add to or seek to redefine God’s revelation Jesus thundered: “And why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your traditions . . . So for the sake of your traditions you have voided the Word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Matthew 15:1-9).

Click on this headline for Part 1 of David’s series:

Understanding Islam — Respect

 

About David Maddox – After a legal career in both Texas and Arizona that spanned over 40 years as a civil litigator, God called David to leave his law practice and work full time as Discipleship Director for Time to Revive.  That call is really the fruit of decades of prayer for revival and teaching God’s Word, writing discipleship materials and seeking to make disciples.  David married Janet Whitehead in 1976 and they minister together from their Phoenix home.  God has blessed them with four children and thus far seven grandchildren.

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