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Where will we find peace?

Reader comment on item: Hating Valentine's Day
in response to reader comment: Re: "Is Islam peaceful and peaceloving. What do Islams most authoritative documents say?"

Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Mar 9, 2007 at 19:21

To Omar

I'm not an expert either Omar, just a very ordinary man who has met a very extraordinary God Who has completely changed my life, and Who has given me the joyful task of telling others about Him.

Allow me to thank you for taking the trouble to submit the Internet resources you did, which prompt me to respond by saying followers of the Lord Jesus Christ do not object to sincere, critical scrutiny and analyses of their Scriptures and convictions. In fact, in a way we welcome them, because they challenge us to be sure of what we believe, and no true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ would want to believe things incapable of withstanding critical analysis, the New Testament telling us to

"Be always ready to give a reason for the hope you have within you, but do so with gentleness and respect."

1 Peter 3:15

We do however take offence at the late Ahmed Deedat's style, whose many publications contained much which do nothing but pervert and distort the evidences for the Christian Faith, and which are calculated to injure our feelings, and I am persuaded that most Muslims would feel the same way about any Christian publication that distorted Islam the way Mr Deedat distorted and degraded Christianity, and there are many Muslims in South Africa who expressed their keen disapproval of such publications, with one local Muslim magazine saying this of Mr Deedat's methods:-

"It is a well-known fact throughout South Africa, even among evangelical Christian circles, that in so far as Mr Ahmed Deedat in particular is concerned, the Muslim community of South Africa is not in total agreement with his method of propagating Islam. The Muslim digest itself provides ample testimony for having been reluctantly compelled over the years to condemn in no uncertain terms the method of Mr Deedat's propagation of Islam, especially among Christians. No less has Mr Deedat been condemned by responsible Muslim religious bodies and individuals for the manner in which he propagates Islam that results in ill-will being generated against Muslims."

The Muslim Digest Jul/Aug/Sept ....1984

The central fact on which Christianity bases its claim to validity, is the resurrection from the dead of the Lord Jesus Christ, following His crucifixion, and true prophet that He was, on 18 occasions He prophesied in great detail that He was to die by crucifixion, and on 8 of those occasions, He prophesied that He would rise from the dead, these prophecies being part of the New Testament Scriptures, which the Qur'an repeatedly gives witness and support to, for example,

"Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel."

Surah 5:47

"If only they had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: but many of them follow a course that is evil."

Surah 5:66

"Say: 'O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.' It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But sorrow thou not over (these) people without Faith."

Surah 5:68

The mighty Apostle Paul, after detailing all Jesus' many post-resurrection appearances, emphasised the centrality of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, by saying:-

"And if Jesus wasn't raised from the dead, my preaching's useless, and so is your trust in God."

1 Corinthians 15:14

For many years, Mr Deedat promoted a theory that the Lord Jesus Christ was indeed crucified, denying Surah 4:157 in doing so, but was taken down from the Cross alive. It was often remarked that Mr Deedat was promoting a Qadiani theory, approved only by the Ahmadiyya movement, which the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has declared to be a non-Muslim minority sect. Mr Deedat's "swoon theory" must therefore be deplored by Christians and Muslims alike, and this has been expressed as follows by Mohamed Bana of Durban, South Africa.

"Mr Deedat is fond of making lectures about other denominations, but very seldom on Islam. He seems to have a fixed notion about Jesus' crucifixion. In his lectures, he hardly gave the Islamic viewpoint, or seldom the Christian viewpoint, thus confusing his audience. I believe he likes to make the Qadianis of this country very happy by mostly giving their viewpoint, that Jesus, after being put on the Cross, swooned. Now why should Mr Deedat tell his audience that Jesus was put on the Cross and he swooned, because nowhere does the Qur'an speak of Jesus being put on the Cross and swooning? Mr Deedat is the only person who can tell us whether he is preaching either the Christian doctrine, the Muslim doctrine, or the Qadiani doctrine.

Mohammed Bana "Allegations Confirmed" page 3

Mr Deedat, cannot now say which doctrine he was preaching, having died on the morning of 8th.August 2005 in South Africa, his death being reported by Durban's "Daily News"

http://www.dailynews.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=499&fArticleId=2821604

Knowing the centrality of the Lord Jesus' glorious resurrection from the dead, the late Mr Deedat, often attacked His resurrection, on one occasion on Good Friday in Australia, Good Friday being the day on which Christians recall and mark the Lord Jesus Christ's crucifixion, Mr Deedat attacked Jesus' resurrection with such vilification, he was threatened with deportation, by even the secular Australian Government, and I now give further information about that, quoting verbatim from:-

"Deedat's Downfall"

http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Deedat/downfall.htm

"Many readers have been asking whether Ahmed Deedat, the Muslim debater, is still alive. As of this writing (July 2005) he is alive, but he cannot speak and he is completely paralysed. In fact, Deedat has been in this condition since he suffered a rare kind of stroke nine years ago. Few people outside his home city of Durban are aware of this, and even fewer, know the sequence of events leading to this tragedy.

Four weeks before Deedat was stricken, he attacked the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ in front of a large audience in Australia. These provocative lectures "raised the ire of the Australian government", causing them to "threaten to deport him unless he toned down the content of his Good Friday lecture in Sydney." (Daily News, Durban, 6 May 1996) Incidentally, Deedat's inflammatory reputation caused Singapore to ban him from entering their country.

If a secular entity like the Australian government was so offended, what was the Christian church feeling? And more importantly what were they doing about it? Following is the record of how Christians responded in Durban where Deedat founded and directed the Islamic Propagation Centre International.

The publication of Deedat's book "Combat Kit" (1992) marked the beginning of the end. This vicious and ridiculing attack on the Bible set in motion events which proved to be Deedat's undoing. During the next year, a small group of Christians prayed about these provocations. Finally, I wrote Mr. Deedat a personal letter, in which I refuted two of his most vile and vicious attacks. He did not acknowledge receiving the hand-delivered letter — much less answer it.

[This personal letter is now displayed here. An expanded rebuttal which correlates with this letter has been available on this page already since 1996. This article reports about another visit to Deedat that is related to the same issue.]

In the following months, a group of nearly two dozen pastors from many different churches and denominations, deliberated and prayed about these mocking attacks on the Holy Bible. They decided to issue a stern public rebuke through an open letter in the Daily News of Durban. They warned him of God's judgement because Deedat refused to retract his defamatory and unscholarly attacks against the Bible.

[See this page for a reproduction of the open letter.]

This confrontation — and the stroke that Deedat suffered 21 months later — is reminiscent of another confrontation between the apostle Paul and Elymas, the sorcerer. We read that Paul sharply rebuked him, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." Acts 13:10,11 It should not surprise us that God vindicated his holiness by striking Elymas with temporary blindness. So also with Deedat: he suffered a severe stroke, rendering him speechless and paralysed.

God declares in his word, "Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken beyond repair." Proverbs 29:1

Some readers might object to this line of reasoning, arguing that the stroke happened 21 months after the rebuke was issued. They would argue that there is no cause/effect relationship. However, the Bible (and also the Qur'an) clearly teach that God does not always punish sin immediately Romans 2:1-4; surah 16:61. He shows forbearance and patience. God gave Deedat ample time to repent. It seems more than coincidental that Deedat was struck down four weeks after mocking the crucifixion in his Autralia lecture tour, climaxing with another attack on Good Friday, the highest commemorative day of Christianity. We believe that the stroke which silenced Deedat was an act of judgment, timed by God to happen on the heels of this broadside attack against the cornerstone doctrine of salvation. This particular provocation needs to be understood against the backdrop of Deedat's repeated disregard to refutations and finally to a public warning. His mouth was shut and continues to be shut as long as he remains obstinate.

The rest of the article may be read at:-

http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Deedat/downfall.htm

You quote the "Jews for Allah" website, which is interesting, given the antipathy to Jews in the Muslim world, dating from Muhammad's day, because the Jews then would not accept his claims to prophecy, and they did so with very good reason, Muhammad just did not continue in the line of Biblical prophets, preaching a message most unlike theirs.

Muhammad is Islam, he sets the genetic code for it, and Islam stands or falls on Muhammad. The heart of the matter is still the same Omar, is Muhammad a prophet of the Biblical God, does his message line-up with that revealed through the Biblical Prophets of the Old Testament? and I have previously commented on Sam Shamouns Open Challenge to Shabir Ally to ‘Debate me on the credibility of your prophet.' which Shabir has been avoiding since November 2001. http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/challenge.htm and I invite you again Omar, and other readers who would like this most important debate to go ahead, to contact Shabir at the Toronto Dawa Center comments@islaminfo.com, asking him why he is avoiding taking this debate, which would bring together two of the best debaters from Christianity and Islam, thus allowing the evidence for and against Muhammad's prophetic credentials to be publicly examined, and weighed in the balance.

In suggesting I need to talk to an Imam. you presuppose I am unable to make a judgement about Islam and its message myself. Is Islam such that ordinary people like me and you are unable to come to a decision ourselves? do we really need the help of imams. Surely not Omar, surely you and I are able to look at the life, the teaching and the preaching of Muhammad ourselves, and decide ourselves whether we want to commit ourselves to Muhammad and his Islam? and I am suspicious with good reason I believe, of some eloquent Muslim living in the West doing a snow-job on a naive and lazy Western audience, or trying to innovate and re-invent Islam into a more benign peaceful and peaceloving religion.

I believe in letting Muhammad speak for Muhammad, letting the Sahi Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim speak for themselves, and letting the Sirat and Tarikh literature speak for themselves, much preferring to read scholars such as Ibn Kathir whose Qur'anic Tafsir and Hadith scholarship are rightly famous, and who had no need to fool an audience, and present Islam as something it wasn't, in order to gain its acceptance.

You mention you are a 21 years old student, and you are right to give your best shot to your studies Omar, but do please make time to read the Bible, the Qur'an says you can trust it, and the Gospel of John clearly describes Who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and what He offers to those who ask Him onto their case. The Apostle John so clearly describes why he wrote what he did:-

"The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name."

John 20:30-31

You can read the Bible online at http://www.biblegateway.com and I suggest you read it in a modern English rendering such as the New Living Translation or the Contemporary English Version, but whichever translation you use Omar, it's still the best news you'll ever read, about God's rescue plan to give us what we can't obtain for ourselves, which is life in all its fullness now, and life that never ends. Guaranteed. That's the deal Omar. Do you want it?

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactantius Jr

Submitting....

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