01 January 2007

West Knows Little of Islam

Again and again I am amazed and increasingly
disturbed by the near-total lack of knowledge
of Islam in the West and what little "knowledge"

there is usually turns out to be largely or
completely false.

Most would assume that the opposite would also
be the case, that is, that the Muslim world would
be largely ignorant of Judaism and Christianity.
Not so!

And the reason is simple:

Anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, who has studied
the Quran or just read it superficially or received
instruction at a basic level, knows something
about Christianity and Judaism too.

Throughout the Quran there are a great many

references to the prophets who came before
Muhammad (pbuh) and all those references are

universally respectful.

To make that clear:
Islam has absolutely no problem with the

great prophet of the Jews, Moses, and the
great prophet of the Christians, Jesus.
Both are revered -but not worshipped!- by Islam
as major prophets in a very long line of prophets,
starting with Adam, and including Enoch (Idriss),
Noah (Nuh), Abraham (Ibrahim), Ishmael, Isaac

(Ishaq), Jacob=Israel (Yacoub), Moses (Musa),
Aaron (Harun), Joshua, Ezekiel, David (Dawuud),
Solomon (Suleyman), Jesus (Isa) all the way to
Muhammad (pbuh) whom the Quran states
explicitly is the last prophet ("He is the apostle
of God and the Seal of the Prophets" 33:40).

By the way, neither is Muhammad (pbuh)

worshipped in Islam, he is revered, yes of course,
and understandably more so than all the other

prophets, but not worshipped -
in Islam worship is due only to the Creator: Allah.

However, although Islam has nothing but respect

and admiration for Moses and Jesus, Islam has
serious problems with the mosaic faith Judaism
and with Christianity.
Put simply, the Quran -and therefore Islam-

accuses the Jews of suppressing parts of and
generally corrupting the scriptures revealed

by their god Yahweh to their prophet Moses,
and Islam's only real problem with Christianity

is that the Christians worship Jesus as the son
of their god God, which Islam finds nonsensical,

irrational, illogical, impossible, preposterous,
abhorrent, blasphemous etc etc etc

(and with all of which I personally agree).

Incidentally, Jesus is never in the Quran referred

to as Christ but as Jesus and usually "Jesus, son
of Mary" (as opposed to "Jesus, son of God") and
occasionally as the Messiah.
Ultimately, Messiah and Christ mean the very

same thing: the anointed, that is, the King.

Moses, we are asked to believe,

lived around 1350 BC.

Jesus, we are asked to believe,

lived from around 6 BC to around 30 AD.

Muhammad (pbuh) lived from around
570 AD to 632 AD.

If we accept the above dates for Moses and

Jesus it will be seen that Islam is c 2000 years
younger than Judaism and c 600 years younger
than Christianity.

Looked at another way,
Judaism is now c 3350 years old,
Christianity is c 2000
and Islam is 1427.

Interestingly, Islam is therefore now about the
same age as Christianity was when Martin Luther
appeared (1483 - 1546 AD).
This is purely an observation.

I recommend to all Jews and all Christians,
and everybody else for that matter, to read the
Quran with an open mind - it will in no way harm
you and may well do you a lot of good and you
cannot help but learn something from it and not
only about Islam. Go on, do it!

From the Quran you will learn, at the very least,
that it is absolutely clear that all the scriptures
through the ages have been revealed to selected
persons (apostles - messengers - prophets)
by one and the same divinity - god - life-force -
Creator (which to me personally makes sense),
in other words, whatever else Jews, Christians
and Muslims can find to argue about, there must
be total agreement that their god is not only one
god but one and the same god, that is:
Yahweh = God = Allah.

I suspect that comes as a complete surprise and
maybe a shock to most people, Jews, Christians,
whatever - but not to Muslims.

There is another way in which Jews, Christians
and Muslims, whether they like it or not, are
inextricably linked:
The Arabic word Islam means submission, in the
sense: submission to the will of the Creator, and
a Muslim is therefore a person, anyone, anywhere,
any time, who does that.
It is inconceivable that a person who did not
submit to the Creator could be a prophet and it
therefore follows that all prophets who ever lived
have effectively been Muslims, whatever names
they may have given themselves or their Creator,
or been given by their contemporaries and history.

And by the way, the name for the Creator in

Islam was neither revealed to Muhammad (pbuh)
nor chosen by him. Allah was the name for the
chief Semitic deity long before him so was
naturally adopted.

Also, Arabic-speaking Christians call god Allah,
and the word is closely related to one Hebrew/
Aramaic word for god, Elohim.

There is more that unites than divides!

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