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Home The Light Articles from 2001 A Study of the Islam Faith Part I

A Study of the Islam Faith Part I

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A Study of the Islam Faith Part I

by Raymond Stiner

Since the tragedy inflicted upon our nation on September 11, 2001, and subsequent threats, many people have asked about this religion of Islam. It seemed to never be a threat to Christianity before, but then we have forgotten the history of the crusades, which began in 1095 A.D., which was basically a series of wars fought between Christians and Mos-lems over the control of the Holy Land. These wars lasted for about 100 years.

We should not be surprised at these recent efforts when you realize that the Islam religion is born in bloodshed, nurtured in violence and matured in conquest. It thrives when militarily challenged. The Qur’an ( pronounced coor’ahn ) advocates warfare on behalf of Islam and Allah (the God of the Moslems) in Surah 9:29 "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden."

I received a book a few weeks ago that I would recommend to any who would be interested in information regarding this religion. It is entitled A Resource for the Study of Islam, by Ney Rieber. It is from this book that I present to you some of the interesting facts that I think we ought to know about this religion, and so I want to give credit where credit is due.

Islam is a very demanding religion. It demands complete submission, and in this is not any different from Christianity for our Lord demands complete submission. The word Islam means "Submission to its prophet and the Qur’an."

There are what is known as the five pillars of Islam. Under this religion a follower must be willing to confess "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet." This statement is called "Kalima." It is at this point that one is forgiven of his sins. Under this religion the followers are required to pray 5 specific times a day. During the month of Ramadan every Muslim must fast from dawn to dark, and if at all possible, once in his lifetime, make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Islam demands the believers to distribute to the poor.

One of the pillars of Islam is called "Zakah." Zakah is a mandatory, charitable contribution to the poor. It is basically, 2.5% of all property and wealth that has been in one’s possession for one year or more. Zakah is a compulsory payment and is neither charity nor a tax. Charity is optional and taxes can be used by the state for any purpose but Zakah has to be spent under fixed headings like helping the poor, the needy, payment of salaries to its collectors, to free captives and debtors, for travelers in need, to win over hearts and for the cause (Surah 9:60). In many ways these people put Christians to shame with their devotion to Allah who is their God

Muslims hold a man, by the name of Muhammad, who lived between the ages of 570 AD to 630 AD, to be their founder and Savior. They believe God’s revelation was made known to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. He is believed by his own people to be illiterate, so his spoken words were recorded by others. They contend that he had no literary talent whatsoever, that he could neither read nor write. They make this claim to help promote that the giving of the Qur’an was a work of Allah and not a writing of Muhammad’s own doing. But his illiteracy is doubted by many authorities. But whether he was illiterate or not does not take away from his being able to have the Qur’an written based upon his good memory of the Old and New Testaments.

Muhammad’s exposure to both Christians and Jews probably had a great deal to do with his understanding of God (Allah). They hold him to be the finest messenger of God that ever lived. He is believed to have had the finest character and morals of any man of his time, and perhaps since. But we know that at times his conduct was not consistent with the high standards that the Qur’an set for Muslims. For instance there is the matter of his many wives. Islamic law for marriages allows up to four wives. Surah 4:3, "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three or four..." The Qur’an mandated that they all (wives) were to be treated equally. If a man was in doubt of his ability to do so he was restricted to one wife. This is significant because Muhammad violated this law that he himself had written for he had more than four wives. He had as many as fifteen wives.

Now the Muslims do not believe that a prophet can do wrong. For this reason they do not believe in the account of Lot’s daughters in what they did to Lot, nor do they believe the story of David and Bathsheba and many other stories that deal with the faults and sins of the Prophets. Their contention is that prophets must be the very best that society produces. This being the case, they must in some way justify the excessive number of wives that Muhammad took to himself. In order to take these additional wives he had a special revelation that excused him from the law of only four wives. In Surah 33:50 we read: "O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts who migrated (from Mecca) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her; this only for thee and not for the believers at large…" How convenient to be able to make the law fit your own uncontrollable desires. It is explained by Muslims that this exception for Muhammad was allowed because he had such a splendid morality and character before Allah. Muhammad’s unusually fine character would enable him to live in harmony and peace with these women, treating them justly as other men could treat only four wives. What a man he must have been!

Muhammad’s many wives are an embarrassment to many Muslims. They do their best to put a noble face on Muhammad’s purpose for marrying so many wives, but upon examination, their reasons do not seem to hold up. Though they do not want to admit it, one of his wives was stolen from his son, which caused a great disturbance at the time. His third wife was ten years old. But if you take into consideration, of all the false religions of the world, this seems to be the nature of all the supposed leaders. Adultery and fornication have characterized men like Brigham Young (Mormons), James T. Russell (Jehovah’s Witness), Jim Jones (in the 1970's), David Karesh (Waco Texas), and many other cult like groups. Because the New Testament does not allow this kind of lifestyle, these men, including Muhammad must decide that they are the new prophets of God so they can establish their own lifestyle. History just keeps repeating itself. –Box 4, LeContes Mills, PA 16850

(Continued next issue)



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