(Continued from page 423)More on Dhimmis - and Jizyah!
Dawah and Jihad
There is, of course, Islamic history and tradition that explains the jizyah ('protection money') verse:
"Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah alone or pay us the Jizyah tribute tax in submission. Our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says: 'Whoever amongst us is killed as a martyr shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever survives shall become your master." (Bukhari:V4B53N386)
And the exact wording of the Qur'an makes it clear how this is to paid: "... pay Aljiza with humiliation."
Clearly the intention was to degrade the dhimmi, (aka thimmis) and designate to them a lower caste in the society. How did this happen? Imagine if any Western country made you stand in a humiliating public ceremony in the course of which, as a non-believing tax-paying dhimmi, you were physically struck in the act of paying your tax - as happened in many Muslim controlled lands. The document confirming you had paid would then be placed round your neck to be worn in public continually as an identifying mark of dishonour but would enable you to travel to other Islamic-controlled areas or countries - suffering continual abuse from Muslims, of course, but avoiding paying further tax for that year!
Umar (aka Omar), the second caliph, was known for the Omar covenant which expressed such hostility toward Christians and Jews:
The necks of thimmis (Jews and Christians) are to be sealed when collecting the Jezzieh (tax imposed on Jews and Christians). The method of sealing is to bind the necks of the person with a collar. In it is a piece of lead, stamped with the amount of his payment. The collar is not to be broken until the payment is completed. This is in accordance to the Qur'anic verse 'Until they pay the Jezzieh by an upper hand, may they be subjugated (humiliated)'... And if the person was a Jew, he must wear on his shoulder a red or yellow banner, so he is recognized as a Jew. And if the person is a Christian, he needs to wear harsh clothes, with a large pocket in the chest area like women. As for Christian women, they must wear shoes with different colors, one black and the other white. And if a Jew or a Christian goes into a public bath, he must wear an iron, copper, or lead-made collar around his neck, so he can be identified from Muslims. Never a Jew or a Christian can build houses higher than a Muslim. They are not to crowd public roads but need to use narrow alley ways and small streets. They are not to be saluted, nor can their graves be extended beyond the surface of the ground. (The Omar Covenant, Faqeeh Al-Muluk, Volume 2, pp. 124-136)
Another tradition, that is continued to this day in Islamic countries (e.g. Egypt) and regularly reported on by 'persecution watch' organisations, is the prevention of thimmis from renovating their churches and synagogues, even when those sacred places need maintenance for safety reasons. This is coupled with specific 'building regulations' that allow mosques to be constructed and legally legislated with local and government authorities while preventing the similar construction, positioning, and legislation of thimmis buildings of worship!
The ultimate aim is clearly to make life miserable for the thimmis and force them into conversion. But, worse, non-thimmis - who could not or would not pay the tax - were summarily executed. If you were lucky you would be beheaded, but many were crucified or died by similarly horrendous tortures.
Should we be glad that, as thimmis, at least we wouldn't be killed, unlike the thousands who wouldn't convert to Islam and were murdered when Islamic armies invaded (see our page)?
Following Muhammad's Example
Muhammad was clearly consumed by a deep sense of dawah (propagation of the faith by calling people to embrace Islam) and his unquenchable zeal for spreading Islam has left a lasting influence upon his followers. Among the many uses of the term dawah in the Qur'an the one with the most potent and far-reaching implications in connection with the external mission of promulgating Islam is the concept of jihad (Sura 8:74,75; 9:44). From the beginning, dawah was associated with military conquest, the justification for which is clearly laid down in the Qur'an (2:69; 2:190; 2:217; 2:256; 3:103; 8:39; 8:61-62; 25:52; 61:9). Thus, the importance of the propagation of Islam was ingrained in the consciousness of Muslims by the sword as well as the word and was therefore not a matter of choice, but an integral part of spreading Islam for devout Muslims.
Anyone trying to claim the Prophet of Islam never taught or encouraged spreading Islam by the sword should note that the hadith tells us that Muhammad's own soul yearned for martyrdom for the cause of Islam. Abu Hurrairah, a companion of the prophet and respected traditionalist said, 'I heard the prophet say: "I would not remain behind an army that fights in the way of Allah … I love that I should be killed in the way of Allah then brought to life, then killed again, then brought to life, then killed again" (ref. Muhammad Ali, A Manual of Hadith, NY, Olive Branch Press, 1977, pp. 261-2).
Ibn Umar quotes Muhammad as saying: 'I have been commanded that I should fight these people [non-Muslims] till they bear witness that there is no god but Allah and keep up the prayer and pay Zakat (i.e. charitable giving, alms). When they do this, their blood and their property shall be safe with me except as Islam requires, and their reckoning is with Allah'' (ibid. p.265)
Other quotes from the Hadith include these thoughts or actions:
Narrated Abdullah: Allah's Messenger said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that I am His Messenger, cannot be shed except in three cases: in Qisas (equality in punishment) for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims." (Al-Bukhari, 9:17)
Narrated Ali: "Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah's Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, wherever you find them, kill them, for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection. (Al-Bukhari volume 9:64)
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshiped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah." (Al-Bukhari 1:387).
Muhammad said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshiped but Allah." (Al-Bukhari 4:196)
Muhammad also said, "Know that Paradise is under the shades of the swords." (Al-Bukhari 4:73)
Muhammad said, "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." (Al-Bukhari 9:57)
Muhammad said, "No Muslim should be killed ... for killing a Kafir (infidel)." (Al-Bukhari 9:50)
Muhammad said to the Jews "The earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land (the Arabian Peninsula), so, if anyone owns property, he is permitted to sell it. " (Al-Bukhari 4:392)
Muhammad's last words were: "Turn the pagans (non-Muslims) out of the Arabian Peninsula." (Al-Bukhari 5:716)
Muhammad once was asked: What is the best deed for the Muslim next to believing in Allah and His Apostle? His answer was : "To participate in Jihad in Allah's cause." (Al-Bukhari 1:25)
Muhammad was quoted as saying, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshiped but Allah." (Al-Bukhari 4:196)
Muhammad also said, "The person who participates in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed)." (Al-Bukhari 1:35)
It is clearly impossible for you to try and reconcile the idea of jihad with the command in the Qur'an that: 'There is no compulsion in religion' (2:190). The idea of jihad as a literal warring, physical struggle against the enemies of Islam is clearly regarded as normal among the increasing number of fundamentalists who are actively calling for the religion to go 'back to the fundamentals'(ar. usuliyah - ref. Shi'ite sect in Iran which paved way for Ayatollah Khomeini and his fundamentalist binding use of fatwa).
'Jesus, too, speaks of Violence and Swords!?'
After Muhammad's death, Abu Bakr (632-634) became the first caliph. But Umar (634-644) succeeded him after two years, and spread Islam in most of the Middle East, including Arabia, Iraq, Persia, Syria and Egypt, by conquering with the sword. Umar was replaced by Uthman (644-656), who governed for some twelve years during the peak of the Islamic expansion into Armenia, Cyprus and North Africa.
A series of uprisings began during Uthman's rule, and a new period of schisms and civil wars started with his murder. Ali (656-661), who was the cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad, succeeded him and became the fourth and last of the al-Khulafa al-Rashidoon (the rightly guided caliphs). Ali inherited the political and religious repercussions of Uthman's murder. After a series of civil rebellions, Ali was killed with a poisoned sword by a member of the dissenting Kharijite sect, which had seceded from Ali's ranks.
So, when you reference the use of violence as '... Crusade-like ...' you are showing your anti-Christian bias. As we have pointed out, the Roman Catholic church does not preach a Biblical Jesus or Biblical Gospel and is therefore a cult and, far from being a source of genuine Christian teaching. History shows that it was Rome that initiated the 'Crusades' and we can agree that it was certainly no better than Islam. But a more correct term would be Islamic Jihad-like, since that violent method clearly came about 450 years before the first Papal Crusade!
JESUS WARNED THAT THOSE WHO ACCEPTED HIM WOULD SUFFER PERSECUTION AND VIOLENCE FROM OTHERS
You write: 'I will tell you that Jesus too speaks of violence and swords because as much as there is love in God, there is equally anger towards mankind. So when Islam speaks of violence, it is not uncommon or unjustified. You've obviously read the old testament and there is quite a great deal of violence there as well.'
TCE: Your inference is that Jesus spoke approvingly of 'violence and swords' in some way. This is utter nonsense and it is easy to prove from the context of His Words that He warned about those who would use violence and 'swords' against his disciples - and what they would need in the world.
Perhaps you have never looked carefully at the life of Muhammad. It is not by accident that the sword (or purported sword) of Muhammad [Topkapi Sarayi (Palace), the legendary home of the Ottoman sultans, houses the sword in 'The Prophet's Relics Room']. There are also wide reports - approvingly spoken of on many pro-Islamic web-sites - of a total of nine swords which belonged to Islam's prophet. Notice immediately that, by contrast, there is absolutely no evidence that Jesus ever had any kind of sword that could be displayed. And, in fact, we have clear Biblical evidence that He would never have required the use of a sword during His ministry on earth (see below)! But we have the clear Islamic historical record that Muhammad personally led 66 military campaigns. He attacked caravans and innocent Jewish encampments. Many innocent men, women, and children were slaughtered. In order to determine whether or not "Islam is a religion of peace/no more violent than Judaism/Christianity" we should consider the historical record to find what the likely response would be of those attacked by Muhammad's army, e.g.:
the people of the seventh-century Quaraysh caravans;
the Jews in and around Medina in approximately A.D. 620;
the inhabitants of Mecca in A.D. 622 (the first city overrun by Muslim armies);
We are used to Muslim's claiming that Muhammad was only "defending" himself. There may have been some situations in which this was the case, but did they come after he had first shown aggression to provoke retaliation? Certainly there were many more cases in which he attacked - often slyly and without warning.
When his Medina converts were unwilling to support his violent acts, Allah quickly revealed a verse to the prophet which commanded them to fight:
Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not (Sura 2:216).
With this command, and after several failed attempts, the first success came during Nov-Dec, 623 A.D., at Nakhla during the period of Orma (lesser pilgrimage) to Ka'ba (aka Kabah). In order to avoid alarming the approaching caravan, the Muslim raiders shaved their heads to give an impression that they were returning from the pilgrimage and could not be hostile. Once the caravan came with the reach, they fell upon it and killed one man, captured two, but one was able to flee. They returned to Medina with their booty and prisoners. However, it was the last day of Rajab - a sacred period in the Arabian custom during which fighting and violence were prohibited. This breach of a centuries-old sacred custom, which was devoutly respected by the people of entire Arabia, created a great dissatisfaction amongst the citizens of Medina including the Muslim converts. The Prophet initially tried to distance himself from the blood-bath but quickly retrieved the situation by quickly receiving a 'revelation of convenience' from Allah which justified this blood-shed during prohibited time:
They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein (Sura 2:217).
With this command, the fighting, killing and the booty were made halal. This blood-bath was also very meaningful for the Islamic faith, being the first raid which brought them booty (wealth) of which the Prophet kept a fifth as his share, the remainder being distributed amongst the raiders and the two prisoners being exchanged for ransoms.
We will, in time, consider in detail the difference between this Muslim action and subsequent covering 'revelation' with the way in which the God of the Bible dealt with king Saul's disobedience in 1 Samuel 13-16.
As we may have pointed out elsewhere, the September 11, 2001, attacks which killed more than 3,000 is the same number of Christians who are killed somewhere on the globe every 7 days! 160,000 Christians every year, or one person every 3 minutes, are killed simply for following Jesus. Many of those are killed in Muslim countries, due to Muslim laws, based on the Qur'an. No other major world religion has, as its written corpus, such clarion calls for the deaths of Jews and Christians.
In spite of Islamic violence, Christians are not to retaliate, although self-defence is proper if there is no other workable solution ('18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone' - Romans 12:18; cf. Hebrews 12:14). Briefly put, defending one's family, spiritual brothers and sisters, neighbour(s) - and even nation (under attack by a totalitarian aggressor seeking its destruction) is proper by the same token (Ephesians 5:25; Luke 10:27-37; Matthew 46-48):
Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbour as yourself.'" 28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbour?" 30 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?" 37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Matthew 5:46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 "If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Also note that Muslims harassed and threatened in the United States - and the West generally - are rarities and usually at the hands of contemporary pagans (see our section on the true spiritual state of the USA - as revealed by Barna's statistics). Mosques and Muslims are not targeted by orthodox Christians - and it is not even too common for Christians to evangelise ('witness') to Muslims - certainly in the UK! It is clearly wrong for Muslims to be harassed in non-Islamic countries - but it is equally wrong for Christians to be harassed in Muslim countries. Christians are called to be 'good neighbours' to Muslims - how can you love your neighbour as yourself if you offer him no assistance in emergency, or if he is under attack? To stand by, or walk away, would be similar to the ways of the Pharisees in Luke 10. If only Muslims always reciprocated.
We do wonder why Muslim organizations and leaders living in non-Islamic countries are relatively silent regarding the human rights violations - directed at Christians and other religions - that occur daily in Islamic nations. If Islam were truly a religion of peace, then non-Muslims held captive simply for differing religious beliefs would be released from Muslim jails, and government officials and religious leaders in Islamic countries would apologize for the Islamic persecution, incarceration, and imprisonment of Christians and those of other faiths!
It would not even be useful to argue, as some do, that the 'majority of Muslims are peaceful.' All the available evidence does not suggest that a "majority" (which would be approximately 600-700 million Muslims) is peaceful. Clearly there is a difference between "Muslims" and "Islam" and many Muslims, as individuals, are peaceful and peace loving. But that is not to say that Islam, as a religion, is inherently peaceful because, clearly, it is not. The evidence shows that, in most countries where Islam is in the majority, or striving to dominate the country (more than 90% of all armed struggles in the world today involve Islamic forces!), there is little 'peace' by the Western definition of the word. People of the West think of "peace" as more than the absence of war - it also involves freedom of conscience, freedom to make decisions, freedom of movement. To fundamentalist Islam, "peace" is the Muslim shari'a law ruling all the world and controlling all non-Muslims (as described earlier)! These are two very conflicting definitions of "peace."
Old Testament - 'God's Holy War'!
By contrast, the truth is that Jesus warned that those who accepted Him would suffer persecution and violence from others - even from their own family - but His teaching and actions were always that peace and love were directed at others (yes, even enemies!). e.g.:
Matthew 10:21 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Matthew 10:34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn " `a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - MT 10:36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' MT 10:37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. MT 10:40 "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
Notice that He talks of his disciples losing their lives for accepting Him (never are they told to bring His kingdom with the sword!). And how 'a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' Many Muslims who have become Christians have experienced this persecution and even been killed by their own families:
Mark 13:5 Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. MK 13:9 "You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. MK 13:12 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
The peace Jesus brings is for those who accept Him as Lord and Saviour - for those who reject Him will persecute Christians just as Jesus described (and just as Islam and the Roman Catholic Church has done):
Luke 12:49 "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
Exactly this has happened when a member of a family has accepted the Biblical Christ and their Muslim, Hindu, or Roman Catholic family (etc.!) have turned against them in hatred, even killing them:
John 14:25 "All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 16:31 "You believe at last!" Jesus answered. 32 "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. JN 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Another reason we know Muhammad is not 'the Counsellor' (and even Muslims would have to admit that he was a sinner and never 'holy') is that he never brought 'peace' but a sword.
The following describes the peace that the gospel the apostles preached worldwide brings:
Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favouritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached - 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. AC 10:39 "We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen - by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." AC 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
In the Book of Romans, the apostle Paul explains the whole problem of sin, summarising the difference between the unsaved (all those who refuse to accept the Biblical Christ as Lord and Saviour) and try and make themselves righteous by keeping laws and regulations:
Romans 3:9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. Ro 3:10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; RO 3:11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. RO 3:12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." RO 3:13 "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." RO 3:14 "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." RO 3:15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; RO 3:16 ruin and misery mark their ways, RO 3:17 and the way of peace they do not know." RO 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." RO 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. RO 3:21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Only those who have surrendered their whole life to the Lord Jesus Christ can know the peace of a Spirit-controlled life:
Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
Jesus did not tell His followers to fight when the Roman invasion He prophesied came, but instructed them to 'flee':
Luke 21:20 "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. … LK 21:34 "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
The apostle Paul affirmed Jesus' teaching that His disciples had another way - the Jesus Way of laying down your life and suffering persecution rather than rely on violence, or retaliation:
Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
And, indeed, Islam has slaughtered Christians like sheep - all over the world!
Paul repeatedly makes the Jesus Way clear in the Book of Romans:
Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. RO 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. RO 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." RO 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This is how Christians are to behave before authorities governing nations (and why the apostle Peter was wrong to strike the ear of Malchus (Matthew 26:51 - see later in more detail), not because it was self-defence, but because he was resisting the lawful authorities and God's will):
Romans 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. RO 13:6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. RO 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. RO 13:11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
When you refer to the Old Testament 'violence' you will never find God's people instructed to force their faith on others with the sword - the Book of Hebrews gives a brief summary of the range of difficulties the Hebrews encountered in their great journey of faith and overcame in the power of their God:
Hebrews 11:29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. HEB 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. HEB 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. HEB 11:32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated - 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. HEB 11:39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Miracles and Islamic Conquests?
We will consider the Old Testament record of 'God's Holy War' in more detail in another place but, for now, consider the difference between the Qur'an and the Old Testament which obviously has some commands to kill others. No honest Christian can deny that. But no honest orthodox (definition: 'straight, correct, right') Christian could ever justify killing their unbelieving neighbours today using these Old Testament texts or any New Testament text. None! Why? Because the Old Testament message was to present a very specific function of God's chosen people, Israel, and the major message of 'be separate' - and therefore they were definitely told: 'do not intermingle or inter-marry' etc. The nations around Israel were so corrupt that God knew they would certainly corrupt His chosen people, therefore He warned them to stay separate - and even used Israel as an instrument of punishment and destruction against these demon-worshipping nations of Canaan through the use of the sword and to ensure Israel stayed separate. Israel was never commanded to take over the entire world and kill all who resisted (as Allah commanded Muhammad), but was given a specific land because of the extreme evil and demonization of its people. Israel was never commanded to "convert" anyone, much less with the sword, but to kill them all because God deemed that necessary and just.
God promised the land of Canaan to Israel but delayed giving it to them because the people were not yet evil enough to justify their destruction, as we find clearly stated: "The iniquity of the Amorites [i.e. Canaanites] is not yet full" (Genesis 15:16). Deuteronomy 2:31-37 pertains to the destruction of the Amorites and we can see that God was with them in this:
31 "And the Lord said to me, 'See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to possess it, that you may inherit his land.' 32 Then Sihon and all his people came out against us to fight at Jahaz. 33 And the Lord our God delivered him over to us; so we defeated him, his sons, and all his people. 34 We took all his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city; we left none remaining. 35 We took only the livestock as plunder for ourselves, with the spoil of the cities which we took. 36 From Aroer, which is on the bank of the River Arnon, and from the city that is in the ravine, as far as Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us; the Lord our God delivered all to us. 37 Only you did not go near the land of the people of Ammon - anywhere along the River Jabbok, or to the cities of the mountains, or wherever the Lord our God had forbidden us.
Even though women and children were killed (perhaps 'kind-hearted' Muhammad would have sold these into slavery) this was the will of God (as stated earlier, in another place we will look at the result of king Saul's disobedience in such matters). Notice that verse 37 brings up another point: they were not to attack people 'wherever the Lord our God had forbidden us.' The Bible makes it clear when Israel were disobedient and ignored God's command about warfare - they lost the battle! Straight after the triumph at Jericho, when the walls of fell down as God commanded (Joshua 6) and they 'utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword' (6v21), they were defeated at Ai (Joshua 7) when one man and his family disobeyed and took plunder that was 'banned' by God:
10 So the Lord said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. 13 Get up, sanctify the people, and say, 'Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: "There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you." 14 In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the Lord takes shall come according to families; and the family which the Lord takes shall come by households; and the household which the Lord takes shall come man by man. 15 Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.'" 16 So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17 He brought the clan of Judah, and he took the family of the Zarhites; and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18 Then he brought his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 Now Joshua said to Achan, "My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me." 20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, "Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it." 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day." So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. 26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor (Achor means 'Trouble') to this day.
This pattern was repeated by other unfaithful people, such as king Saul (1 Samuel 13-16) who lost his kingdom because of his repeated disobedience. Also notice that God proved He was with Israel in these battles by the supernatural help He gave them, e.g. the fall of the walls of Jericho, or the destruction of the coalition of five Amorite kings (Joshua 10):
5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they and all their armies, and camped before Gibeon and made war against it. 6 And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, saying, "Do not forsake your servants; come up to us quickly, save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the mountains have gathered together against us." 7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. 8 And the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you." 9 Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly, having marched all night from Gilgal. 10 So the Lord routed them before Israel, killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them along the road that goes to Beth Horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the Lord cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword. 12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: "Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon." 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.
The 'Lord fought for Israel' - even causing the 'sun [to stand] still, and the moon [to stop]' and 'the Lord cast down large hailstones from heaven on them ... [so] There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword'. If you read Joshua 9 you find that the Gibeonites came under the the protection of God because they cunningly deceived Israel in this way:
1 And it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side of the Jordan, in the hills and in the lowland and in all the coasts of the Great Sea toward Lebanon - the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite - heard about it, 2 that they gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel with one accord. 3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, 5 old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. 6 And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us." 7 Then the men of Israel said to the Hivites, "Perhaps you dwell among us; so how can we make a covenant with you?" 8 But they said to Joshua, "We are your servants." And Joshua said to them, "Who are you, and where do you come from?" 9 So they said to him: "From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the Lord your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt, 10 and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan - to Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth. 11 Therefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, 'Take provisions with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, "We are your servants; now therefore, make a covenant with us."' 12 This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is dry and mouldy. 13And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey." 14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord. 15 So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them. 16 And it happened at the end of three days, after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours who dwelt near them. 17 Then the children of Israel journeyed and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjath Jearim. 18 But the children of Israel did not attack them, because the rulers of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel. And all the congregation complained against the rulers. 19 Then all the rulers said to all the congregation, "We have sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel; now therefore, we may not touch them. 20 This we will do to them: We will let them live, lest wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them." 21 And the rulers said to them, "Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers for all the congregation, as the rulers had promised them." 22 Then Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, "Why have you deceived us, saying, 'We are very far from you,' when you dwell near us? 23 Now therefore, you are cursed, and none of you shall be freed from being slaves - woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God." 24 So they answered Joshua and said, "Because your servants were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; therefore we were very much afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing. 25 And now, here we are, in your hands; do with us as it seems good and right to do to us." 26 So he did to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, so that they did not kill them. 27 And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, in the place which He would choose, even to this day.
the Gibeonites had 'heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai ... that the Lord your God commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you';
Israel was deceived because 'they did not ask counsel of the Lord.'
Israel had to honour their covenant because they feared God's 'wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them';
the Gibeonites suffered only the punishment that they were 'cursed ... none of you shall be freed from being slaves - woodcutters and water carriers';
And Chapter 10:6 tells us how 'the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, saying, "Do not forsake your servants; come up to us quickly, save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the mountains have gathered together against us." 10:8 tells us 'the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you' - so, despite the Israelites foolishly making this covenant without 'ask[ing] counsel of the Lord', the God of Israel honoured the covenant and performed two miracles which prove He was with them - despite their foolishness which would come back to haunt them over many years - and to this day!
We mention this for these reasons:
the God of Israel showed mercy, even to evil people who He knew would prove a thorn in the flesh to Israel, because He is a covenant keeping God (Exodus 34:10: 'Then the LORD said: "I am making a covenant with you …";
if you read on to Chapter 11 you will find how God led Israel further and they took Southern, then Northern, Palestine - and this is why artefacts of Israel's long occupation of the area is massively supported by archaeological finds - despite the proven deceptions being practiced by the Palestinian Authorities on the Temple Mount in our day (e.g. we know the diggings from their illegal excavations of this ancient site have been smuggled out of Jerusalem in trucks and dumped on rubbish tips which archaeologists have found and sifted to retrieve yet more evidences of Israel's long history in Jerusalem);
Notice this huge difference between Muhammad's conquests with the sword and the vital occurrences revealed time and time again in the Old Testament accounts:
Exodus 34:10: '… Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you. 11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
God had promised that He would 'drive out' these evil nations by 'wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you.' so the many miraculous defeats of the enermy, such as the fall of the walls of Jericho and the hailstones that destroyed the Amorite kings, were witnessed by the surrounding nations;
The Gibeonites gave the miraculous crushing of the enemies of Israel as the reason they cunningly deceived Israel into breaking this part of God's instruction:
Exodus 34:12 'Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you.'
And how Israel has lived to regret their disobedience in this matter!
Hadith Accounts of Miracles
Anyone reading the Qur'an alone will discover scant and dubious evidence that 'Allah' ever miraculously delivered the armies of Muhammad (e.g. Sura 105 - The Elephant [Al-Fíl]):
105.1 Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant ? 105.2 Did He not bring their stratagem to naught, 105.3 And send against them swarms of flying creatures, 105.4 Which pelted them with stones of baked clay, 105.5 And made them like green crops devoured (by cattle) ?
Indeed, they will not easily discover that Muhammad led his followers into 66 battles, let alone the defeat inflicted by the Meccan army headed by Uhud (Muhammad had predicted victory but was struck in the mouth by a sword, lost several teeth, and almost died).
How did this defeat occur when the Qur'an prophesied that Muslims would be victorious at home and abroad (e.g. Sura 30:1-5 - The Romans [Ar-Rüm]):
30.1 Alif. Lam. Mim. 30.2 The Romans have been defeated 30.3 In the nearer land, and they, after their defeat will be victorious 30.4 Within ten years - Allah's is the command in the former case and in the latter - and in that day believers will rejoice 30.5 In Allah's help to victory. He helpeth to victory whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Merciful. 30.6 It is a promise of Allah. Allah faileth not His promise, but most of mankind know not.
This hardly convinces anyone that the book is of divine origin for, unlike the Christian Bible which makes very precise predictions many hundreds of years in advance [e.g. precisely predicting that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), and that He would be pierced for man's sins (Zechariah 12:10)] the prediction that Muslims would be militarily victorious is unimpressive, especially considering Muhammad's massive army!
The victories also fail to pass the 'prophetic test' since little time passed between the prediction and fulfilment and, in any war between two protagonists, there is usually only one winner - and in those days it was most likely to be the leader with the largest force! Conversely, Gideon's Army defies this fact and clearly points to another source of the victory!
Any claims to the miraculous in Muhammad's work have been added posthumously - by his own admission he never performed a single miracle (when asked why he did not perform miracles as the other prophets did, he responded that the Qur'an was his miracle - Sura 29:48-50):
29.48 And thou (O Muhammad) wast not a reader of any scripture before it, nor didst thou write it with thy right hand, for then might those have doubted, who follow falsehood. 29.49 But it is clear revelations in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge, and none deny Our revelations save wrong-doers. 29.50 And they say: Why are not portents sent down upon him from his Lord ? Say: Portents are with Allah only, and I am but a plain warner.
Yet we find his followers guilty of the most obvious hagiography in their attempts to make him look like, at least, a feeble impression of the Lord Jesus Christ when they add invented miracles to the known historical life of their 'prophet';
Biblical Tests expose Muhammad!
Contrary to the Qur'an the hadith contains literally hundreds of miracle stories of Muhammad - which, of course, contradicts the Qur'an which has no record of such miracles (consistent with Sura 29:48-50). Rather, the Qur'an portrays Muhammad refusing to do miracles (Sura 3:181-84; 4:153; 6:8-9). Why should anyone believe the 'miracles' contained in the hadith when the Qur'an denies that Muhammad performed miracles? The Qur'an is claimed to be infallible and accurate, so how can Muslims ever give credence to the traditions over the Qur'an on this matter?
Another factor concerning many of these miracle stories is their similarity to the legendary stories of Jesus contained in the New Testament apocrypha, which we know were written long after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Such apocryphal accounts are striking in their lack of authenticity when compared to the historically verifiable documents of the New Testament. Armed with this evidence orthodox Christians recognise that the Muslim traditions bear a very strong similarity to the nature of the apocryphal books and their authenticity is therefore just as doubtful as the apocryphal books.
Muslims also make great claims for the superiority of Muhammad as a prophet but rarely comment on the mistakes he made, both in 'prophecies' of this kind (where defeat resulted), or in 'flip-flop' doctrinal statements, such as the abrogated 'Satanic Verses' that utterly contradicted his supposedly immaculate revelations on the nature of the 'One True God' who was suddenly re-joined by the three goddesses! In direct apposition to Muhammad's rambling, inaccurate revelations of this kind the God of the Bible made sure His people had clear guidance on the factors that would ensure they would never have an excuse for following other 'gods' or allowing false prophets to mislead them by including these specific verses. Many false prophets were to arise in Israel, like Hananiah in the days of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 28), deceived by the Devil into believing they were true prophets of God, so God laid down the test of a true prophet to enable the people to distinguish between true prophets and false. True and false prophets would be distinguished by these tests:
Deuteronomy 13:1 "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,' 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counselled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you. 6 "If your brother, your mother's son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end), 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. 9 "But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 "So you shall stone him to death because he has sought to seduce you from the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 "Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you. 12 "If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that 13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' (whom you have not known), 14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword. 16 "Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt. 17 "Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers, 18 if you will listen to the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all His commandments which I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 18:9 "When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. 10 "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 "For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. 13 "You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 "For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so. 15 "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 "This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.' 17 "The LORD said to me, 'They have spoken well. 18 'I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 'It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. 20 'But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' 21 "You may say in your heart, 'How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' 22 "When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Note: these tests in Deuteronomy 13 and 18 utterly expose all false prophets, including Muhammad who was:
guilty of trying to send the Jews (and anyone else who would listen!) '… after other gods (whom you have not known) [to] serve them' (Deuteronomy 13:2,6,13);
guilty of ' … speak[ing] a word presumptuously in [God's] name which [God] ha[d] not commanded him to speak, … speak[ing] in the name of other gods ['Allah' and his three daughters!], that prophet shall die' (Deuteronomy 18:20);
guilty of 'speak[ing] in the name of the LORD, [a] thing [that] does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22);
Note that, utterly damningly for the Muslim cause, Muhammad claimed that Jewish and Christian scriptures had predicted his coming (e.g. Qur'an 7:157; cf. 61:6):
'Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear. Then those who believe in him, and honour him, and help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him: they are the successful.
Muslim apologists seem to believe the strongest "prophecy" about Muhammad is found here in Deuteronomy 18. They seem oblivious to the irony that Deuteronomy 18 proves conclusively that Muhammad cannot possibly be a prophet. Nevertheless, by appealing to the Bible to bolster their belief in Muhammad, Muslims have inadvertently agreed with the clear conclusions drawn from these verses! Deuteronomy 18 has served as the foundation of Islam's "Argument from Biblical Prophecy," used by generations of Muslims to try and prove that Muhammad was a true prophet and the popular A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam uses Deuteronomy 18 as its primary evidence that the Bible speaks of Muhammad. Author I. A. Ibrahim states:
The Biblical prophecies on the advent of the Prophet Muhammad are evidence of the truth of Islam for people who believe in the Bible …In Deuteronomy 18, Moses stated that God told him: "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account." (Deuteronomy 18:18-19)
Ibrahim goes on to argue that Muhammad fulfilled this prophecy in numerous ways. Such claims have been amply refuted elsewhere, but we cannot ignore the fact that Muslims have obviously granted that Deuteronomy 18:18-19 is inspired by God since they regard it as a miraculous prophecy. Therefore, logically, they cannot ignore the neighbouring verses which prove Muhammad to be a false prophet! Since a passage regarded by many Muslims as divine revelation goes on to show that a person who either (1) delivers a revelation which God has not "commanded him to speak," or (2) speaks "in the name of other gods" is a false prophet, then this clearly means that Muhammad was a false prophet, since he did both through the Qur'an, both in his presentation of Allah as 'the God' and when he delivered the infamous "Satanic Verses."
(Continued on page 425)