Misunderstanding cleared, thank you
Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Oct 15, 2006 at 18:26
Thank you so much Hafiz, for writing in the way you have done, your graciousness and kindheartedness is obvious, and very endearing, thank you once again. No Hafiz, I don't believe you were being deceitful, and completely accept you were describing your understanding of concepts you were taught as a child, and like you, I hold fast to some, but not all, concepts I was taught in my childhood, now as an adult, I seek to shine the bright light of Scripture on the narrow way of truth, Scripture being my ultimate authority, believing it to be all-sufficient in all matters of belief, conduct and doctrine, and I seek to learn it, and to live by it, so I quote it now to explain the rigorous way I have approached, and continue to approach, my comparison/contrast of the Bible and the Qur'an,and Jesus Christ and Muhammad.
"Put everything to the test. Accept what is good and don't have anything to do with evil."
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
I have to say Hafiz, that in reading the source documents of Islam, the Qur'an, the Sahi Hadith, the Sirat literature, and the Tarikh of Al Tabari, I am struck by the completely contrasting reports about Muhammad's behaviour, sometimes showing great kindness and compassion, and other times showing great cruelty and violence, but then, Muhammad never claimed to be anything other than a man, a man with all his human failings fully intact.
Yes, I have given considerable thought to the punishments that Islam imposes, and conclude Hafiz, that whilst the dread of truly fearsome punishments may result in fewer transgressions, it doesn't completely remove them, because the fear of punishment, however terrible, does nothing to change human nature, the problem being that we need changing from the inside out, not the outside in, and Christians believe, and the Bible teaches, that the heart of the problem is the problem of the human heart, a problem so massive and insurmountable, that a heart transplant is required, a heart transplant that only God Himself can carry out, hear what the Scriptures of what both Old and New testaments say:-
"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?"
"And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God."
"Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between Himself and us, and He has given us the work of making peace between Himself and others."
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
You come across as a most thoughtful man, asking that I don't take an aya in isolation, and you are also willing to take my different cultural background into account, thank you for that Hafiz, but I seek to do my best not to just select the bits I don't like, making my conclusion on them, truly, I have tried, and will continue to try and take the whole sweep and teaching of the Qur'an, and the life, the example, and the teaching of Muhammad, and this is the approach I take with the Bible, the life, the example, and the teaching of Jesus Christ.
You mention scientific discoveries and the Qur'an; I am familiar with these claims Hafiz, and have carefully looked at them, for example, embryology and oceanography, and have to say, I have found nothing to convince me here, and truly believe that Muslims would be best avoiding such claims. This is a subject about which much has been published, showing that the Islamic claims are without foundation, and it would belabour the point in providing lists of references now, but will gladly quote them later through Dr Pipes website, should this be desired. What I will say about them Hafiz, is that a moments reflection shows that science is being used to judge the Qur'an, that is, science is being given a status greater than the Qur'an itself, and the implication is one that can only make you very unhappy Hafiz, which is, that if the science the Qur'an is said to contain is wrong, where does that leave the Qur'an itself? as I say Hafiz, I truly believe this is a claim Muslims would be best not making.
I will certainly seek to do my best in explaining why I believe what I believe, being always conscious that the Bible tells me to:-
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"
1 Peter 3:15
I conclude Hafiz, by returning your greeting of peace, doing so in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, when I say. "May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you," and quoting some of Jesus' own words:-
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.' "
"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
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