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Seeking truth: Yes, God is truth and love

Reader comment on item: Ban Islam?
in response to reader comment: quite true...

Submitted by Keith Williams (United States), Oct 11, 2008 at 18:55

Hi Brother,

Peace be upon you,

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Greetings Donvan,

Yes I was seeking truth before I found Islam.

I am a Muslim now and I denounce terrorism and terrorist and those Muslims who do not follow Islam and use Islam for their cause we denounce you and are coming for you and will bring you to justice. I don't like to see anyone misusing religion. All people of faith are appalled at terrorism and rightly so. All believers in God no matter if we are Muslims, Christians, Jews, black, white, arab, chinese, etc, etc, etc... have to stay united against terrorism, prejudice, hate, bigotry, religious intolerance, extremism, sexism, racism, etc... and not be divided like we are becoming. Satan and his forces will pick us off we we divide. United we stand, divided we fall. Terrorist break all religious and international law. They are criminals period and should be brought to justice. They bring shame to mankind, religion and to God. All terrorist no matter if they are unbelievers against God, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, black, white, arab, chinese, etc... need to be brought to justice and that is one of the reasons I support and defend the United States of America and am prepared to give my life in its defense against all enemies foreign and domestic. We have a great nation founded on Islamic, Christian, Jewish, etc... values and principles. No nation of earth has this and is why we all have to be thankful to God and protect and defend. Sure we have made mistakes and please God forgive us for our mistakes and give us the wisdom to know what they are and the strength and courage to correct the mistakes of the past and to continue to strive to become a better nation and people for the love of God.

I have a lot of respect for the Holy Roman Catholic Church and all Christian denominations. We view you as fellow believers. Yes, mistakes have been made by Muslims past and present. All religions in the past and present to include Islam have done so. I pray that God forgives us all for our sins and I pray that we all continue to strive to become better people, men, women, fathers, mothers, workers, politicians, clergy, etc...

The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a prophet of God. He deserves the respect that we give all prophets. Even if you don't believe in another religion. You should always respect all religions of God and their prophets. This is the highest form of disrespect. Not just to other people but ultimately to God. He created all of us from Adam. He sent messengers to all peoples from time to time thru the ages with the same message. All peoples have different languages and all have a different word for the same things. Some peoples to include Christian, Jews, and now Islam have corrupted those pure messengers and prophets message that was sent by God. That is where the difference lies. So don't shoot the messengers as the old saying goes. Especially the messengers of God. We are not qualified to say which messengers are better than any other. Only God knows that. Muhammad (PBUH) was trustworthy, kind, gentle and a very good man. His impact on the world is huge. He is probably the greatest and most influential man in all of human history. However, we don't get a lot in our U.S. history books about him. The info we do see is very negative and biased. Most of it is hateful and untrue. This is why you said the things that you said in your comments. I understand your misconception of Muhammad, Islam, and Muslims. Please refrain from insulting us and our religion and the last prophet. Please forgive any Muslims who insult you and Christianity. That is against the Qur'an and not Islamic to do that. It is okay to disagree and that is fine but not to hate and argue except in the most gracious, honorable, and respectful manner. I pray that I don't offend anyone with my comments. I have your feelings in mind and hope that you have my feelings in mind and I appreciate your constructive criticisms. It is a blessing and may God reward you for trying. We don't have to agree with each other on the differences and you may not agree with me on the differences but as long as we leave those differences for God to decide and live peacefully with each other on what we have in common then that is good. That would help stop the hate. We should concentrate on our similarities.

I want to try and clear up a couple of the comments that you made. I intend to do so without offending you. Please forgive me. May God please keep my intentions pure while I write this.

One misconception that you stated was that Muhammad (PBUH) persecuted the Christians. He did not persecute any Christians to my knowledge because he died before Islam spread from the Arabian Peninsula and even before Jerusalem was taken by the Arab Muslims. He died in 632 AD. The second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab not Muhammad conquered Jerusalem in 638 AD six years after Muhammad died. He was also a very pious man and he was very just to all the people living in Jerusalem. He ended the persecution of the Israeli Jews. Here is some history of the treaty between the Muslims led by Umar to Jerusalem:

The Treaty of `Umar

In 637, after a prolonged siege of Jerusalem, the Muslims finally entered the city peacefully following the signing of a treaty by the Patriach of Elya Al-Quds (i.e. Jerusalem) and Umar himself. Several years earlier, the Patriach had announced that he would not sign a treaty with anyone other than the Caliph himself. For this reason, `Umar personally came to Jerusalem after Muslims had established control of all the surrounding territory. According to both Muslim and Christian accounts, `Umar entered the city humbly, walking beside a camel upon which his servant was sitting, due to the reason they share turns over it and it was his servant's turn when they happen to reach the city. He is said to have been given the keys to the city by the Orthodox Christian Patriarch Sophronius, after conducting the peace treaty known as the Treaty of Umar, the English translation of which is provided below:

"

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Beneficent.

This is what the slave of Allah, Umar b.Al-Khattab, the Amir of the believers, has offered the people of Illyaa'[1] of security granting them Amaan (protection) for their selves, their money, their churches, their children, their lowly and their innocent, and the remainder of their people.

Their churches are not to be taken, nor are they to be destroyed, nor are they to be degraded or belittled, neither are their crosses or their money, and they are not to be forced to change their religion, nor is any one of them to be harmed.

No Jews are to live with them in Illyaa' and it is required of the people of Illyaa' to pay the Jizya, like the people of the cities. It is also required of them to remove the Romans from the land; and whoever amongst the people of Illyaa' that wishes to depart with their money together with the Romans, leaving their trading goods and children behind, then they selves, their trading goods and their children are secure until they reach their destination.

Upon what is in this book is the word of Allah, the covenant of His Messenger, of the Khulafaa' and of the believers if they (the people of Illyaa') gave what was required of them of Jizya.

The witnesses upon this were Khalid ibn Al-Walid, 'Amr ibn al-'As, Abdur Rahman bin Awf and Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan. Written and passed on the 15th year (after Hijrah)

Also another reminder of the purity of Islam is the example displayed by the pure, pious chivalry of Salahadin Ayyubi (Saladin) displayed during the reconquest of Jerusalem during the crusades as witnessed by King Richard the Lion-Hearted.

A Knight without fear or blame who often had to teach his opponents the right way to practice chivalry.
An inscription written by Kaiser Wilhelm II on a wreath he lay on Saladins Tomb.

It is equally true that his generosity, his piety, devoid of fanaticism, that flower of liberality and courtesy which had been the model of our old chroniclers, won him no less popularity in Frankish Syria than in the lands of Islam.
René Grousset (writer)

I did take offense to your comment about the Holy Roman Catholic Church versus the other Christian churches because Islam teaches tolerance and love of all people of the Book. You probably offended Protestant Christian more than me but I can not tolerate to see anyone of any race, religion, color, sex, creed to be offended and not defend that person and that is what Islam teaches us to defend right and truth. I believe that Christianity teaches the same so this is just to remind you my brother. We Muslims also need to be reminded of tolerance of each other from time to time. We all have our prejudices and that is a test and we all have to help each other when we make the mistake of failing that test.

I don't think that your comment that the Holy Roman Catholic Church was the only true Authority since the time of Jesus is true. The Holy Roman Catholic Church was not around during Jesus time. Was it like almost 300 years after Jesus (PBUH) was raised to God the most high? If so, then who was the true Authority of Christians for those almost 300 years after Jesus? Was not the Jewish Christians and the disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem the Authority before the Holy Roman Catholic Church? What happened to them??? What happened to the 12 apostles??? When did they disappear? How did they disappear? Where and who are they today? I agree that the only true Authority after 313 AD was the Holy Roman Catholic Church when the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and issued the Edict of Milan. Also, the Council of Nicaea was almost 300 years after Jesus. What were the beliefs of Jesus disciples before the Council of Nicaea and why have those beliefs been suppressed and why are they considered heretical and not included in the Church Dogma?

I think most of them were martyred. Islam didn't do that. It was not Muhammad or the Muslims as you said because it happened before Muhammad and the Muslims came to Jerusalem.

According to Christian tradition:

  • Peter, crucified upside-down in Rome circa 64 A.D.
  • James, son of Zebedee was beheaded in 44 A.D., first of the twelve to be assassinated
  • John, son of Zebedee, natural causes due to old age, last of the twelve to die, only one of the twelve to die naturally
  • Andrew, Peter's brother, was crucified.
  • Philip was crucified in 54 A.D.
  • Bartholomew was crucified.
  • Matthew killed by a halberd in 60 A.D.
  • Thomas was killed by a spear.
  • James, son of Alphaeus, beaten to death by a club after being crucified and stoned.
  • Saint Jude was crucified.
  • Simon the Zealot was crucified in 74 A.D.
  • Matthias, Judas' replacement, was stoned and beheaded.

As you can see, 11 of the 12 apostles of Jesus were martyred, like Jesus (PBUH), by the Roman Empire . Also, in 70AD the entire city of Jerusalem was razed to the ground many of the early Jewish Christians and Jews were killed and persecuted by the Roman Empire.

I agree that the only true Authority after 311 AD was the Holy Roman Catholic Church after the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. But I can not agree with you that the Holy Roman Catholic Church was the only true Authority and has been in existence since Jesus walked among us because the Roman Empire killed Jesus and his followers almost 300 years before the Holy Roman Catholic Church was formed.

At the Council of Nicaea, the Church, under Constantine, declared that .."We believe in One Lord, Jesus Christ, begotten , not made ONE IN BEING with the Father".. However not all the bishops that were present at the Council of Nicea were on board with this right? What happened to those who disagreed? Whose word do you trust? God's word, as given by his messengers or the word of the men at the Council of Nicea???

You are correct; Jesus is the truth. Islam holds Jesus in high regard. We believe in Jesus (PBUH). Muhammad is the last prophet after Jesus and he confirms Jesus and all prophets and scriptures before Jesus. When the first followers of Islam were being persecuted in Mecca some fled to Ethiopia to a Christian King. The pagan Arabs had a treaty with the Ethiopians and tried to get them to turn over the so called trouble makers. After the Christian King heard the Muslims talk about Jesus in the Qur'an and about Islam, and the prophet Muhammad, they were brought to tears and would not turn the Muslims over to the Meccans for all the money in the world. They were allowed to live in Ethiopia for as long as they liked.

Being a Muslim is also to love all human beings and not to kill even one human being because that is as if you killed all of mankind. Muhammad never terrorized, persecuted, or tormented Christians because Islam was at its beginning stages just before his death and Arabia was just being united. Just think what would have happened to Muhammad's followers who fled to Ethiopia if Muhammad would have done what you had suggested??? Muslims don't deny Christians their right to worship and assemble. Look to the history of the middle east for proof. I was ignorant to this fact before going to Iraq myself. I was amazed to find over 100,000 Christians living in Baghdad with all of the Church's and crucifix so big against the Baghdad cityscape. The Christian Arabs were so proud to see us on the streets of Baghdad. I even remember one man showing me his crucifix tattoo on his arm and smiling, "I am a Christian". One of my Iraqi interpreters in Baghdad was Muslim and his mother was Christian and Father was Muslim. Amazing stories huh? I know, I was amazed and shocked and wondered what was wrong with my education and why I was so ignorant. I started researching Islam after that. I found that Islam has always been tolerant of Jews and Christians in all Islamic countries and allow them to keep their Church's and worship and assemble for the past 1300 years. This is personal experience I am sharing with you. These are just some of the stereotypes that I see on sites like these that I try to put into perspective. I converted to Islam after my second tour to Iraq. Praise God. I know some find it hard to believe. That was my level of ignorance and I had the same prejudices that you commented about. After living and working with Muslims for three years I found all those misconceptions untrue and found a beautiful way of life and am very satisfied. I have satisfied that deep down doubt and hunger that I always had that could never get satiated. It is well fed and I am very content with Islam, praise God, praise God, all praise and glory to God, the cherisher and sustainer of the worlds!!! I have found the truth and the purpose of my life and life itself. Submit to the God alone and worship him and only him with all your heart, mind, and soul. The tools of Islam help me stay on the straight path. Pillars and way of life. They are simple but powerful. To each his own on the different religions and practices and everyone of faith feel the same with their way. I did not feel this way when I was a Christian. May they all lead to God the most High, God willing. I just wanted to share why I chose to convert to Islam.

When you said that Muslims find the concept of "God is Love" as absurd is not truth. All Muslims say "In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful". Bism Allah Al-Rahman, Al-Rahim. God's love, Grace and Mercy is everything and is why we submit to his will because he love's us and we love him. We say Bism Allah, In the name of God, before doing anything and I mean any and everything. Everything is for the sake of God, glory be to him and far be it for him to be associated with anything. This ensures that you always have God in mind and that you are aware of your intentions and that he watches everything and everything is being recorded and you will give an account for all actions so if you have that in mind and God in mind then you will have a better chance to avoid sins. Like a man walking barefoot on the ground, if you see the glass, needles, thorns, etc… on the ground, you will do your best to avoid them to ensure that you don't cut your feet. This remembrance of God for all acts that you do is like looking where you are going to step and avoid that bad thing. Not doing that is like just walking without looking and you can step on some bad thing with or without realizing it. Yes, you will still make mistakes because our eyes are not that good right and can with or without realizing it step on the bad things but at least you are giving it your best effort and that is the Love of God that he gave us this Islam. The faith and love in God and love that we feel from his love and we show that by doing righteous deeds is what Islam produces. The fear of earning his displeasure is there to. If you love someone then you don't want to earn his or her displeasure for fear of what? Losing their Love and earning their wrath. The love we receive from God in Arabic is Sakina meaning "tranquility". Can you feel that? Peace, Islam, Sakina, tranquility of God's love. These are just two of 99 of the most beautiful attributes of God that are named in the Qur'an and Sunna revealed to Muhammad. Another name is Al-Waddud, the loving- the kind one. So I agree that God is Love but I disagree that Islam does not find that concept because it permeates throughout Islam and the Qur'an.

Lastly, to address the comments that other people have raised about the U.S. was created to destroy Islam and the U.S. founding fathers only looked at Christians and Jews. I present in defense the U.S. Constitution freedom of religion. For a reminder please go to library of congress site: http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0205/tolerance.html

Peace be upon you and God's blessings and mercy,

Keith

Submitting....

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