The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
Question: Who are the “mixed” people described in Daniel 2:41,43?
A Muslim’s Reply to Christianity
Christians and Muslims who learn something of one another’s religion find that a crucial issue is the nature of Jesus. The majority of Christians deify Jesus while Muslims say that he was no more than a prophet of God, a faultless human being. The doctrine of the Trinity avows that three distinct co-equals are God. In particular, Jesus is said to be God the Son, or the Son of God. As the Muslim questions details of this theology, the Christian characteristically forms a common explanation for our differences: He complains that Muslims do not understand the Trinity; that we are actually accusing Christians of Tritheism and other heresies.
"Baptism” Translated by Mohammed
The Syrians, Armenians, Persians, and all Eastern Christians, have understood the Greek word Baptism to signify dipping; hence they always administer baptism by immersion; but the Rev. Doctor Mohammed in his Al-koran has most fully translated the original word. He calls baptism Sebgatallah, that is divine dying, or the tinging of God, from sebgah, dying, and Allah, God. Herbert says, Mohammed used this compound term for baptism, because in his time, A. D. 630, Christians administered baptism as dyer’s tinge, by immersion, and not as now (in the West) by aspersion. Mohammed was a Quaker, in so far that he set aside baptism entirely; —he was a popular Christian on the other hand, for, on being asked why lie laid aside baptism, he said, “because the true divine tinct, which, is true baptism, is faith and grace, which God bestows on true believers”—Singular coincidence! The reverend Doctors of this age are more indebted to Professor Mohammed, “the distinguished Clergyman” of the seventh century, than they are aware.
Judaic and Islamic Objections to the Trinity
With rare exceptions atheists and naturalists don’t bother to criticize trinitarian doctrines, beyond the passing joke or dismissal, rightly seeing issues about monotheism generally, and about the teachings and status of Jesus Christ as more fundamental. Serious critics of trinitarian doctrines are nearly always fellow Abrahamic monotheists. Objections by Christians are discussed in the supplementary document on the history of trinitarian doctrines, section 2.2, and the supplementary document on unitarianism; here we survey Islamic and Judaic objections.
In this series of studies we will explore the beliefs of the major religions of the world, their strengths and weaknesses, and will compare them with the Bible and its teachings.
Islam and Politics
Learn how Islam has interacted with politics during its history, and how it continues to do so today. Islamist movements are in the news a lot lately, but how did that happen? John Green will point out that Islam has always been tied to political movements. Mohammed was not only a religious leader, he led an empire. So how did this lead to modern movements like ISIS? Islam has traditionally been a pretty egalitarian religion, and its scriptures value peace, so it is surprising in a lot of ways that such a violent fundamentalist movement would come out of it. What is a caliphate? What is a Caliph? Watch and learn.
Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars
Learn about the history of Islam, including the revelation of the Qu’ran to Muhammad, the five pillars of Islam, how the Islamic empire got its start, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and more. Learn about hadiths, Abu Bakr, and whether the Umma has anything to do with Uma Thurman (spoiler alert: it doesn’t). Also, learn a little about the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and how to tell if this year’s Ramadan is going to be difficult for your Muslim friends.
The Crusades: Pilgrimage or Holy War?
Learn about the Crusades embarked upon by European Christians in the 12th and 13th centuries. Our traditional perception of the Crusades as European Colonization thinly veiled in religion isn’t quite right. John Green covers the First through the Fourth Crusades, telling you which were successful, which were well-intentioned yet ultimately destructive, and which were just plain crazy. Before you ask, no, he doesn’t cover the Children’s Crusade, in which children were provoked to gather for a Crusade, and then promptly sold into slavery by the organizers of said Crusade. While this story is charming, it turns out to be complete and utter hooey.
What Do Muslims Believe About the Bible?
Muslims claim that they accept both the Jewish and Christian scriptures as holy and inspired. However, as this video explains, Muslims believe that any contradictions that exist between the Quran and the Old and New Testaments are the result of the corruption of the latter.
Review of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
The Trinity is one reason why Muslims reject Christianity. In this episode we hear how Nabeel Qureshi changed his view that the Trinity is a patently ridiculous doctrine. Issues discussed include:
Assassins, a secret military and religious order in Syria and Persia, a branch of the “Ismaelites” (q.v.) or “Shiites.” They were suppressed in the 11th and 12th centuries, but their principles to some extent survive in the Ansarians (q.v.). The secret doctrines of the Ismaelites, who had their head-quarters in Cairo, declared the descendants of Ismael, the last of the seven so-called imaums, to be alone entitled to the caliphate; and gave anl allegorical interpretation to the precepts of Islam, which led, as their adversaries asserted, to considering all positive religions equally right, and all actions morally indifferent. The atrocious career of the Assassins was but a natural sequence of such teaching. The founder of these last, Hassen ben-Sabbath el-Homairi, of Persian descent, about the middle of the 11th century, studied at Nishpur, under the celebrated Mowasek, and had subsequently obtained from Ismaelite dais, or religious leaders, a partial insight into their secret doctrines, and a partial consecration to the rank of dai. But, on betaking himself to the central lodge at Cairo, he quarreled with the sect, and was doomed to banishment. He succeeded, however, in making his escape from the ship, and reaching the Syrian coast, after which he returned to Persia, everywhere collecting adherents, with the view of founding, upon the Ismaelite model, a secret order of his own, a species of organized society which should be a terror to his most powerful neighbors. The internal constitution of the order, which had some resemblance to the orders of Christian knighthood, was as follows: First, as supreme and absolute ruler, came the Sheikh-al-jebal, the Prince or Old Man of the Mountain. His vicegerents in Jebal, Kuhistan, and Syria were the three Dai-al kebir, or grand priors of the order. Next came the dias and refiks, which last were not, however, initiated, like the former, into every stage of the secret doctrines, and had no authority as teachers. To the uninitiated belonged, first of all, the fedavis or fedais-i.e. the devoted; a band of resolute youths, the ever-ready and blindly obedient executioners of the Old Man of the Mountain. Before he assigned to them their bloody tasks, he used to have them thrown into a state of ecstasy by the intoxicating influence of the hashish (the hemp-plant), which circumstance led to the order being called Hashishim, or hemp-eaters. The word was changed by Europeans into Assassins, and transplanted into the languages of the West with the signification of murderers. The Lasiks, or novices, formed the sixth division of the order, and the laborers and mechanics the seventh. Upon these the most rigid observance of the Koran was enjoined; while the initiated, on the contrary, looked upon all positive religion as null. The catechism of the order, placed by Hassan in the hands of his dais, consisted of seven parts, of which the second treated, among other things, of the art of worming themselves into the confidence of men. It is easy to conceive the terror’ which so unscrupulous a sect must have inspired. Several princes secretly paid tribute to the Old Man of the Mountain. Hassan, who died at the age of 70 (1125 A.D.), appointed as his successor Kia- Busurgomid, one of his grand priors. Kia-Busurg-Omid was succeeded in 1138 by his son Mohammed, who knew how to maintain his power against Nureddin and Jussuf-Salaheddin. In 1163, Hassan II was rash enough to extend the secret privilege of the initiated-exemption, namely, from the positive precepts of religion to the people generally, and to- abolish Islam in the Assassin state, which led to his falling a victim to his brother-in-law’s dagger. Under the rule of his son, Mohammed II, who acted in his father’s spirit, the Syrian Dai-al-kebir, Sinan, became independent, and entered into negotiations with the Christian king of Jerusalem for coming over, on certain conditions, to the Christian faith; but the Templars killed his envoys and rejected his overtures, that they might not lose the yearly tribute which they drew from him. Mohammed was poisoned by his son, Hassan III, who reinstated Islamism, and thence obtained the surname of the New Moslem. Hassan was succeeded by Mohammed III, a boy of nine years old, who, by his effeminate rule, led to the overthrow of the order, and was eventually murdered by command of his son, tokn-eddin, the seventh and last Old Man of the Mountain. In 1256, the Mongolian prince, Hulagu, burst with his hordes upon the hill-forts of Persia held by the Assassins, which amounted to about a hundred, capturing and destroying them. The Syrian branch was also put down about the end of the 13th century, but remnants of the sect still lingered for some time longer in Kuhistan. In 1352 the Assassins reappeared in Syria, and, indeed, they are still reported to exist as a heretical sect both there and in Persia. The Persian Ismaelites have an imaum, or superintendent, in the district of Kum, and still inhabit the neighborhood of Alamut under the name of Hosseinis. The Syrian Ismaelites live in the district of Massiat or Massyad. Their castle was taken in 1809 by the Nossaries, but restored.—Chambers, Ecyclcopcedia, v. Withof, Das Rich der Assassinen (Cleve, 1765); Hammer, Geschichte der Assassinen (Stuttg. and Tub. 1818).
Sunnites, traditionists, or believers in the Sunna (q.v.); the name of the “orthodox” Moslems, as opposed to the Shiites (q.s.v.). They are subdivided into four principal sects, who, though at issue on different minor points, yet are acknowledged by each other to belong to the faithful and to be capable of salvation, and they each have a special oratory at Mecca. The first of these sects are the Hanefites, founded by Abu Hanifa, who died 150 years after the Hegira. They are emphatically called “the followers of reason,” while the other three are guided exclusively by tradition. They allow reason to have a principal share in their decisions on legal and other points. To this sect belong chiefly the Turks and Tartars. The second sect are the Malekites, founded by Malek Ibn-Ans, who died at Medina about 180 H. As one of the chief proofs of his real piety and humility, it is recorded that when asked for his decision on forty-eight questions, he would only decide on sixteen, freely confessing his ignorance about the others. In Barbary and other parts of Africa, the greatest part of his adherents are found. Mohammed Al-Shafei, born in Palestine, 150 H., but educated in Mecca, is the founder of the third sects the Shafeites. He was a great enemy of the scholastic divines, and seems altogether to have been of an original cast of mind. He never swore by God, and always took time to consider whether he should at all answer any given question or hold his peace. The most characteristic saying recorded of him is, “Whosoever pretends to love both the work and the Creator at the same time is a liar.” He is accounted of such importance that, according to his contemporaries, “he was as the sun to the world, and as health to the body;” and all the relations of she traditions of Mohammed were said to have been asleep until he came and woke them.’ He appears to have been the first who reduced Moslem jurisprudence into a method, and thus made it, from a number of vague sayings, a science. His followers are now chiefly: found in Arabia and Persia. Ahmed Ibn Hanbal founded the fourth sect, the Hanbalites., He was born 164 H., and was a most intimate friend of Shafei. His knowledge of the traditions (of which he could repeat not fewer than a million) was no less famed than was his piety. He taught that the Koran was not created but everlastingly subsisted in the essence of God—a doctrine for which he was severely punished by the caliph Al-Motasem. On the day of his death, no less than 20,000 unbelievers (Jews, Christians, and Magians) are said to have embraced the Mohammedan faith. Once very numerous, the Hanbalites now are but very rarely met with out of Arabia. On the differences between the Sunnites and Shiites, SEE SHIITES. SEE SONNITES.
The Muslim Conquest
Mary in Islam
Mary (Arabic: Maryām), the mother of Jesus (Isa), is considered one of the most righteous and greatest women in the Islamic religion. She is mentioned more in the Quran than in the entire New Testament and is also the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran. According to the Quran, Jesus was born miraculously by the will of God without a father. His mother is regarded as a chaste and virtuous woman and is said to have been a virgin. The Quran states clearly that Jesus was the result of a virgin birth, but that neither Mary nor her son were divine. In the Quran, no other woman is given more attention than Mary and the Quran states that Mary was chosen above all women:
The Quran (/kɔːrˈɑːn/kor-AHN; Arabic: القرآن al-Qurʾān, literally meaning “the recitation”; also romanized Qur’an or Koran) is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Allah). It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters (surah in Arabic), which are then divided into verses (ayah).