Islam/The word Christian came from foes
All Prophets from Adam to Muhammed (pbut) were sent
with ONE message, that is, the total submission of mankind to
Allah (One God). This submission in Arabic is called Islam. Islam also means Peace, peace between the Creator and His creatures.
Unlike the names Judaism and Christianity, this name Islam has been given by Allah, the Creator Himself, as mentioned in Surah 5:v3: of the Qur’an: “This day have I (Allah) perfected your religion for you and completed MY favour upon you, and have chosen for you Al-Islam as your religion and as the way of life”.
Neither the name Judaism nor Christianity is found in the Old Testament or New Testament of the Bible, and not even in a Bible dictionary.
No Israelite prophet mentioned the word Judaism. Jesus never
claimed to establish Christianity on earth and never called
himself a Christian.
The word Christian is mentioned only three times in the New Testament. The first time by pagans and Jews in Antioch about 43 A.D., long after Jesus had left this earth.
Read in Acts 11:26: “...And the disciples were called Christians
first in Antioch.”
Later by King Agrippa II to Paul in Acts. 26:28: “Then Agrippa
said unto Paul, almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
So the name Christian was first given by foes rather than friends!
And finally by Peter in his letter to comfort the faithful in I
Peter 4:16: “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be
The first Muslim on earth is not Prophet Muhammed, but Adam (pbut).
Islam as a way of life had been revealed to all prophets from
Adam to Muhammed (pbut). Thus Islam is the way of life for all
humanity. In chapter 3.V.83, 84 of the Glorious Qu’ran Allah
states: “Seek they other than the religion of Allah, when unto
Him submitteth whosoever is in the heavens and the earth,
willingly or unwillingly, and unto Him they will be returned.
Say: We believe in Allah, and in what is revealed to us and what
was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes,
and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses, Jesus, and the
Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one
and another amongst them, and to Allah do we bow, and submit
our will (in Islam).
Will you follow your enemy (paul) rather to your Creator?
Peace to you! Thank you for your message. You wrote:
Neither the name Judaism nor Christianity is found in the Old Testament or New Testament of the Bible..
While these names do not appear in the Bible the concept of them is quiet clearly taught throughout its pages. Similarly, the Muslim Creed, known as 'Kalimah' does not occur in the Quran. The whole sentence is put together from two different Surahs. Muslims call Allah 'El Adl', meaning 'the Just', 'El Wajid', meaning 'The Inventor or Maker', 'Edh Dhur', meaning 'The Harmful', etc. based on the list of the 99 names of God. However these words are nowhere found in the Quran but Muslims still accept these attributes as belonging to God. (see 'The Muslim doctrine of God', by S.M. Zwemer, American tract Society, 1905, pages 39-45)
The words you mentioned are not necessary for being right with God. Contrary to what you said, the first Christians were called by Saul, who later became Paul after his conversion, 'those belonging to the way':
Acts 9:1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
I must admit to you that I hesitate to use the word 'Christian' today because so much evil happened in the name of so called 'Christianity.' (e.g Crusades, gay priests, etc.) I prefer to call myself a follower of Jesus according to the Bible. They are defined by the fact that 'they all believed at the core message of Jesus Christ: He died for their sins at the cross, rose to life at the third day, and promised them eternal life. (1 Corinthians 15:1-5) As a result the Holy Spirit indwelled and enabled them to obey Jesus, out of thankfulness that they were saved, loved and accepted. Now they were impowered to love God and their neighbours (=everyone who is in need. At the centre of their life was not a book, but a person, Jesus Christ, the living word of God.'
Jesus himself defines a follower of his in these words:
Mat 7:21 Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in.
Mat 7:22 On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, "We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles."
Mat 7:23 But I will tell them, "I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!"
Mat 7:24 Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock.
Mat 7:25 Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock.
Mat 7:26 Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn't obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand.
Mat 7:27 The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash.
Mat 7:28 When Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were surprised at his teaching.
Mat 7:29 He taught them like someone with authority, and not like their teachers of the Law of Moses.
In Surah 5, Al Ma'idah, verse 48, the Quran is spoken of as confirming the Scripture that was before it and as a watcher over it. The Arabic meaning of the word "watch" (Muhaimin) can also be rendered "one who safeguards", "stands witness", "preserves" and "upholds". This clearly contradicts the view that the revelations given to the prophet of Islam allegedly abrogated the Bible! If this were the case there would be no need to confirm the Torah and the Gospel or even to watch over them in such a determined way.
In Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verse 106 the principle of abrogation is explained: For every revelation that is abrogated something better or similar is substituted. If this verse would refer to the abrogation of the Gospel through the Quran it would mean that the teaching of the former book would be inferior or at least similar to the latter one.
The essence of Christianity consists of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is totally rejected by Islam. (See also 1 Corinthians 15:14) The Bible teaches that through faith in Jesus' work the assurance of forgiveness of sin, of eternal life in God's presence through grace (God's undeserved favour) is available to everyone! He who puts his faith into practice by obeying what the Gospel says will benefit from all these blessings.
Surely this wonderful teaching can not be called inferior or similar to the doctrines of the Quran! There we read about how people may get forgiveness from God mainly through their good works and, if He is willing, by His mercy. Paradise will be a place where God is absent. In Surah 76, Al Insan, verse 5 and Surah 56, Waqi'ah, verses 35-38 we read that what was forbidden on earth will be legal (drinking of wine, and having sexual relationships with many virgins). The prophet taught a real and literal interpretation of these sensual delights in heaven. (See Sahihu Muslim, Mishkat book 23, chapter 13) It normally can only be entered after having spent a long time in hell first. Furthermore, the minority who says the principle of abrogation given in Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verse 106, applies to the Bible will be left without guidelines as regards to their own book. They will have to depend on a later, unsure historical development about the code of abrogation in order to deal with otherwise contradictory passages.
In Surah 58, Al Mujadilah, verse 12, the believers are commanded to give alms before a private consultation with the Messenger. In verse 13 they are told that it is no longer necessary. In Surah 33, Al Ahzab, verses 50-51 Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) is allowed to marry and divorce an unlimited number of women. In verse 52 he is prohibited to continue to do so. In Surah 73, Al Muzzammil, verses 2-4, the prophet of Islam is commanded to spend about half of the night in prayer and reading of the Quran. In verse 20 of the same Surah this is changed into what is easy for him and those who followed his example.
I agree with you that,
THE MESSAGE OF GOD STAYS ESSENTIALLY THE SAME FOREVER
Christianity has got its roots firmly established in the Jewish teachings of the Old Testament and agrees in principal with the following areas: God reveals his plans for the redemption of the whole world in the Jewish Scriptures also known as Torah and Zabur by Muslims. There we learn that a sovereign Creator chooses people, families, tribes, and eventually the Jewish nation out of which the Messiah was to come, to bless the whole world. In no case the selection took place according to their goodness alone, but most importantly because they respond to God's love by faith, a simple trust that what he said he would do.
Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." (quote from Gen 15:6) Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." (quote from Genesis 12:3, 18:18, 22:18) So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (Galatians 3:6-9)
The law was not given to the Jews so that they could become God's chosen people by keeping its commandments. Rather it was to enable them to express their gratitude towards God for the fact that they were already chosen. The law taught them about God's perfect and holy standards and at the same time created an awareness of their own sinfulness. The moral part of it, mainly expressed in the 10 commandments of Exodus, chapter 20, kept them away from descending into the detestable practices of the surrounding nations. The ceremonial part of the law, the regulations regarding sacrifices, offerings, washings and food also separated the Jews from all the other nations of idol worshippers. Most importantly it reminded them that salvation was not based firstly on what human beings do but on God's ultimate provision in terms of the animals to be sacrificed in a unique, divinely ordained way. The writings of the prophets also contained in the Old Testament make it clear that the ceremonial law was only a shadow (Hebrews 9:1-10) of things to come:
You have no desire for an offering or I would give it; you have no delight in burned offerings. The offerings of God are a broken spirit; a broken and sorrowing heart, O God, you will not put from you. (Psalms 51:16-17, see also 1 Samuel 15:22, Hosea 6:6, Isa, 1:11-15, Micah 6:8)
The prophet Isaiah announced that sacrifices and offerings for sins pointed to the coming Messiah, the redeemer.
'Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed..... For he was cut off from the land of the living....He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence,... After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied;...' (excerpts from Isaiah 53:4-11)
Once the Messiah had come, the ceremonial law which had granted exclusive access to God for the Jewish nation only would become fulfilled in him. From that time onwards the way to the temple, symbolizing God's presence, would be granted to all nations by faith.
'This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of the LORD'S temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.' (Isaiah 2:1-3)
The identity of the Messiah (Hebrew 'anointed one', Greek 'Christ') is the only area of disagreement between the two faiths. While the Jews are still waiting for the one who according to the Bible would deliver Israel from its enemies and eventually establish a worldwide kingdom, the Christians have accepted him in Jesus. We can find out which position is more systematically consistent by looking at the following facts. They are verified in detail on our web page (see end of booklet) and are found in the articles mentioned in brackets hereafter. Alternatively, these articles can also be ordered from us free of charge.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is not doubted by any serious historian today. (See, 'Death and Resurrection of Jesus explained to Muslims')
He fulfilled numerous prophecies, such as the one above, through his life, death and resurrection in remarkable details. (See 'What the Bible says about your future.' It also explains why the Jews rejected Jesus)
The claims Jesus made to be equal with God, to forgive other people's sins, etc., are outrageous and shocking, especially in the light of Jewish thought. Either they were given by a complete lunatic or by someone who indeed spoke the truth. There is no middle way. To think that he was just a good moral teacher, another prophet is simply no option. The records we have of him make the first hypothesis unacceptable.
As for the moral aspect of the law, Jesus explained the full meaning of it. (see Matthew 5-7) These perfect commandments are still valid, but again only as a means to show gratitude that Jesus saves from sins, not to gain forgiveness. Those decrees can only truly be observed through the help and forgiveness of him who ultimately fulfilled every aspect of them.
May I ask you a question? If someone was able to convince you that Islam is wrong would you be prepared to leave it and follow that truth, no matter what the cost? If your answer is no, then you cannot truly follow God who is truth, because you think it is more important to be in line with your community.
If, however, you answer yes, then I would like to offer you a free and easy six lesson Bible correspondence course to find out about it from a follower of Jesus, rather than Muslims. Then you can make up your own mind freely. God promises that those who search him with all their hearts will find him.
Would you be interested in that?