“Marhaba. Ismi Yakub.” Hello, my name is Jacob, happy to meet you,
I’ve been meeting a lot of Muslims in Britain and America and other countries and I've been talking to them about their faith. And most of them are quite enthusiastic about sharing with me the beliefs of Islam, the teachings of Mohammed in the Quran, and why they feel I should believe it. Often they will point to things like the moral disintegration of Western society, with which I agree, and they will point out many other things. They will claim we have the same God, and it’s even been pointed out that the Quran speaks more about Jesus than it does Mohammed.
Well, actually I’ve read the Quran; I have a Quran in my hand. And it has spoken more about Jesus than of it does Mohammed, only the things it says about Jesus disagree with what the Gospel say about Jesus. The Gospels, of course, say that He was God, that He died. The Quran says He was not God and did not die.
I’m speaking to you not as an enemy. I'm speaking to you as, I hope, a friend and somebody who wants to know the truth. I've listened to what Muslims have said about Islam, why they feel it’s right, why they feel Christians, Jews, and others should believe it, why it is the true religion.
Now of course there are multiple kinds of Muslims. There are Sunni, there are Shi’a, there are Baha’i, there are Aleywa, there are Achmahdi, there’s the Nation of Islam, and Sufi, and they will disagree on many fundamental points among themselves. However, the same would be true of Christianity. You’d have Catholics, Protestants – different kinds, Methodists, Pentacostals – and these would often disagree themselves. But what is broadly called “Christian” will essentially agree on the central points that Jesus was God who became a man to take our sin, that He died on the cross and rose from the dead to give eternal life, and He’s coming again. All people who say they are “Christian” will agree, in essence, on that. ALL people who call themselves “Muslims” will agree on the five pillars of Islam. They will all agree on the inspiration of the Quran, that Mohammed was the prophet, that in their view there no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet, and in the five pillars of Islam. They will all agree on the basic things. Others will add other things about Ali and so forth, but they all agree on the basic things. The Wahabbists will not accept anything that goes beyond 950 A.D., but they’ll still agree on the five pillars, the five pillars of Islam.
We know that there are people who are culturally Muslim. They’re Muslim because of culture, upbringing, social background, but may not be Muslims by way of personal faith; it’s their culture. In the West we see much of this nominal Islam and its growing. The same is true in Christianity. Most people who say they are Christians are Christians by culture and not by personal faith. I would encourage my Muslim friends to realize what is true of Islam is also true of Christianity – not everyone who says he's a Muslim is really a Muslim by way of personal faith, some of them are only Muslims by way of culture. In Christianity that same thing is true, and in secular society even more so; they are Christians by way of culture.
I don't speak for those who are Christians by way of culture, I speak for those who are what we call “born-again” Christians, those who are Christians by way of conviction – general faith – much as a Wahabbist, a Wahab would speak by way of conviction, that he believes in Islam.
And so I’ve read the Quran and I’ve read the Hadith, I’ve talked to a number of Muslims, and I’ve been from one end of the Muslim world to the other. Over the years I’ve been to Morocco, I’ve been to Egypt, I’ve been to Jordan, I’ve been to Turkey, I’ve been to the Persian Gulf, I've been to Brunei and Malaysia and the Far East. I’ve seen Islam in Africa, I've seen Islam in the Middle East, I've seen Islam in the Far East, I've seen Islam in Britain and in America. I’ve seen it in its Western form, its African form, its Middle Eastern form, and in its Asian form. I’ve been to a lot of Muslim countries; I’ve been to a lot of them. I'm not completely ignorant about the religion or faith of Islam. I don't speak Arabic very well, but I do speak some Arabic, and I’ve lived in the Middle East for a number of years. And so in listening to what Muslims have told me – some of them have been people that have been business associates of mine, people that I’ve done business with in the tourism industry in Egypt and Turkey, people that I’ve had good friendships with, working relationships with, people who themselves disdain fundamentalism. people who are against terror because it’s destroyed their businesses and forced them to put people out of work. The tourism industry was vital to the economies of countries like Egypt and Turkey, and because of Islamic fundamentalism when tourists stopped coming out of fear, foreign-exchange disappears, tax revenues disappear, jobs disappear,
I know that not all Muslims are terrorists. I know not all Muslims agree with the fundamentalist agenda. We could make the argument that Islam has been hijacked by fundamentalists who have that agenda and that people will say the moderate Muslims need to take it back. You could make that argument, but I'm not dealing with that argument, I’m simply dealing with my own questions about your religion. So have al-katab and al-quran, the Bible, and the Quran.
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