And when Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary, didst thou say to men, ‘Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah?’”, he will answer, “Holy art Thou. I could never say that to which I had no right. If I had said it, Thou wouldst have surely known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy mind. It is only Thou Who art the Knower of hidden things. (Al Quran)
Shareef Odeh also presented the Pope a letter of Khalifatul Masih V, the international leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Khalifatul Masih V (Hudhur) has described the details of his letter in his Friday Sermon of December 9, 2011.
This article also includes an invitation to the Pope written in the metaphors of his books, by Zia H Shah MD, published in Alislam-eGazette in 2010.
Allah — there is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that will intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them; and they encompass nothing of His knowledge except what He pleases. His knowledge extends over the heavens and the earth; and the care of them burdens Him not; and He is the High, the Great. (Al Quran 2:256)
Unlike the God described in Genesis, the God described in the Holy Quran tires not and does not need to take rest:
And Indeed, We (Allah) created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six periods, and no weariness touched Us. (Al Quran 50:39)
Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Consequently, sola scriptura demands that only those doctrines are to be admitted or confessed that are found directly within or indirectly by using valid logical deduction or valid deductive reasoning from scripture.
It is an essential doctrine of Protestant Christianity. Now, as we learn more and more about how the New Testament was compiled and interpolated it is becoming clear to all except the fundamentalists that the Bible is not the literal word of God and as a result is a habitat of several contradictions. Therefore, it cannot be a perfect guide to humanity.
As Christianity is losing its theological and logical basis it is time not to excel in Islamophobia but to consider Islam as a natural evolution of Christianity and consider Islam as panacea for different problems of the West and means to reintroduce spirituality in the West, the Europe and North America.
The Encyclopedia Britannica has laid down the core of my argument as it describes, Christian fundamentalism:
“The issue of biblical authority was crucial to American Protestantism, which had inherited the fundamental doctrine of sola Scriptura (Latin: ‘Scripture alone’) as enunciated by Martin Luther (1483–1546) and other 16th-century Reformers. Thus, any challenge to scriptural integrity had the potential to undermine Christianity as they understood and practiced it. In response to this challenge, theologians at the Princeton Theological Seminary argued for the verbal (word-for-word) inspiration of Scripture and affirmed that the Bible was not only infallible (correct when it spoke on matters of faith and morals) but inerrant (correct when it spoke on any matters, including history and science).”
So, if the Bible is neither infallible nor inerrant, as we will show in this and related knols, then the whole of Protestant Christianity implodes into ruins of contradictory ideas!
Islam and Muslims are not monolithic. The Muslims come with different theological, political and social views. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes in complete separation of Mosque and State and shrines religious freedom for every human being.
To those Christians, who are excelling in their Islamophobia let me suggest, to look around, read some books by Bart Ehrman, Joseph Priestly, John Dominic Crossan and Shelby Spong. Look at the empty churches in Europe and notice that Christianity, with its irrational dogma is imploding all around you. Do not rush in your zeal to destroy Islam or the Muslims, as you or your generations may soon need Islam as the only viable way to Monotheism!
Every Christian and Muslim, who is knowledgeable about commentary or exegesis of the scriptures, knows that verses cannot be interpreted in isolation and are understood in the context of their neighboring verses and ultimately in the context of the whole of the scripture. This poses a very special problem for the Bible, if all of it is not literal or even inspired word of God then how can you interpret some genuine verses in light of forgeries and hotch-potch out there? Does the presence of forgeries in the Bible make the whole field of exegesis hocus-pocus? How can you understand word of God in light of fiction and make belief without making the whole affair a joke?
A similar confusion existed in the ninteenth century in the understanding of the Holy Quran, when Muslim scholars believed that 5-500 verses of the Holy Quran were abrogated. This created a hotch-potch situation for the Quran analogous to what has always existed for the Bible. However, fortunately for Islam, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad demonstrated that not even an iota of the Holy Quran is abrogated and each and every verse of this Arabic text is literal word of Omniscient God and as such throws light on other verses of the scripture.
If you are a Christian and this state of affairs about the Bible shocks you enough then keep reading, otherwise keep your head buried in the sand of Christian dogma or try Buddhism, you are not ready for Islam! Remember the famous saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear!”
Messiah of this age, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had a revelation:
A Warner came into the world and the world did not accept him; but God will accept him and will establish his truth through powerful assaults.
[Majmu‘ah Ishtiharat, vol. 3, p. 518]
According to the Muslim understanding, all the prophets before the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had only local mission, in keeping with the facility of communications in those times. The message of Prophet Muhammad had global significance and his message was to be fully demonstrated according to the traditions in latter days at the time of second coming of Messiah. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, is the Messiah of the latter days promised by the Prophet Muhammad. The mission of Promised Messiah, may peace be on him, is to demonstrate the elegance and beauty of Islam to the whole world. He has come with a universal message to establish the Universal Brotherhood of mankind in all the continents of the planet earth.
Ahmad’s mission is universal and God’s help and succor and plan to demonstrate Islam’s elegance in the latter days has a global scope. Allah has said in the Holy Quran:
“He (Allah) it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, even if those who associate partners with God hate it.” (Al Quran 61:10 & 9:33)
God’s plan is not punishment for punishment’s sake but to lead mankind to greater truth as is apparent from numerous verses quoted in the knol from the holy scripture.
In order to distinguish between ‘natural disaster’ or ‘Divine punishment’ read a comment below with the title ‘Natural Disasters or Divine Punishment?’
To set the stage for further discussion, let us review a short verse from the Holy Quran:
Never did We send a Prophet to any town but We seized the people thereof with adversity and suffering, that they might become humble. (Al Quran 7:95)
In the first four months of 2010 alone the world has seen four major earthquakes. As I review this in 2011 the first four months this year are not any different, with calamities in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and Japan. Allah intends reformation and wants to make mankind receptive to His message, which in the final analysis will offer them greater prosperity. This Knol aims at giving a global and a long term perspective to the human condition rather than the myopic view created by 5-7 day news cycle in the Western news media.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has a nuance position about these calamities. We are always at the forefront of showing compassion to the victims and providing humanitarian aid to them. ‘The scope of this knol is not fear – gloom and doom – but hope and God’s mercy, how He guides mankind to the truth through these powerful signs.
The more we knol and learn about John the Baptist more apparent it becomes that Pauline dogma regarding atonement and resurrection of Jesus, had nothing to do with the Jewish faith or faith of John the Baptist and Jesus himself. So, this knol is dedicated to collect all the historical, Quranic and Biblical information about John the Baptist.
Since the archaeological discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1946, the word ‘Essene’ has made its way around the world–often raising a lot of questions. The discovery and subsequent study of the Dead Sea Scrolls have catapulted the Essenes into daylight.
The author of this Knol believes that many of them were the early Jewish Christians and future readings of the scrolls and further discoveries are likely to substantiate this view.
Albert Einstein said, “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” Galileo Galilei
Thomas Paine writes in the Age of Reason, “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.”
This invitation is extended to the fellow Christians with love and compassion because the Holy Quran says about them:
And thou shalt assuredly find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ to be the nearest of them in love to the believers. That is because amongst them are savants and monks and because they are not proud.
(Al Quran 5:83)
I was very happy to see the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile, in October of 2010, after an ordeal of more than two months. I noted all the international media focused on this and I wondered how wonderful our human community will become if we valued every human life regardless of race, religion or creed, with a similar zeal. I also wondered where do the human rights come from and what is the worth of an individual human life. This reminded me of a verse of the Holy Quran that declares the worth of human life to be priceless, it equates the saving of one life to the saving of the whole humanity:
“We (Allah) prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.” (Al Quran 5:33)
In what may be considered by others a self-indulgent thought, I rejoiced that the human rights and the dignity of human life, in its most pristine form, comes from the Holy Quran. It seems self evident to me that followers of other religions will not agree, some may even violently disagree, but, here I suggest a peaceful solution. I will demonstrate the roots of the human rights and the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in my holy scripture, in my comments and the links that I offer here and I would plead that the Christians, the Jews, the Hindus and the Buddhists will reciprocate the favor and make their case from their respective scriptures.
The Holy Quran not only encourages rights of others and justice but prescribes unilateral goodness even in the face of evil:
“And who is better in speech than he who invites men to Allah and does good works and says, ‘I am surely of those who submit?’ And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend.” (Al Quran 41:34-35)
I suggest the 30 articles as a matrix or yard stick against which we choose to measure our respective scriptures. Let this Knol be a purist’s pursuit to demonstrate the elegance of his or her own scripture without maligning others. Let the race begin, and do not focus on just one article of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, rather show how your scripture is in line with or better than all the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration!
Prof. William Lane Craig is an American Evangelical Christian apologist, theologian, and analytic philosopher known for his work in the philosophy of religion, historical Jesus studies, and the philosophy of time. I applaud and honor much of his work for the cause of theism, but, when he makes tall and false claims about Jesus, I need to expose him. Swoon hypothesis , which I will be arguing for in this paper, means that Jesus did not die on the cross; he only went into a coma or a swoon. In his much publicized debates with Dr. Peter Slezak and Christopher Hitchens, about existence of God, Prof. Craig cites the so called resurrection of Jesus, as proof for existence of God and claims that other explanations for an empty tomb and sighting of Jesus after crucifixion have been universally rejected. He has perhaps not read the early history of Christianity thoroughly or he would not have made such an exaggerated claim. He calls the assumed resurrection a divine miracle and a great proof for the existence of God. He suggests that belief in resurrection is based on three historical facts but completely overlooks alternative and more plausible explanations for these facts. Given his theological and doctrinal biases, he has an axe to grind. Prof. Craig highlights in his presentations exorcisms performed by Jesus, may peace be on him, as miracles and feels that in doing so he is buttressing his claims about resurrection of Jesus, but as every student of allopathic medicine knows that exorcisms, demons and witches were a creation of the medieval mind, and so is the claim of resurrection!
Unlike the 19th century physics the twentieth century physics demands that there aught to be a creator of this universe. The concept of ‘multiverse,’ is confabulation of atheist scientists to get out of this difficulty. Here is a clear and lucid challenge to Professor Richard Dawkins in which carbon is used as a general proxy for physics. The article references several recent works.
A PBS documentary
Written and Produced by Marilyn Mellowes
William Cran, Senior Producer and Director
Air date: April 6, 1998.
The documentary puts the early Christianity in the proper context of Judaism. In other words the Jews are in the middle of the discussion between the Christians and the Muslims. This documentary, in a manner of speaking, puts the early Christian history in the Quranic paradigm and broadly speaking could be considered a commentary of the following verse:
“And the Jews say, ‘The Christians stand on nothing;’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand on nothing;’ while they both read the same Book. Even thus said those who had no knowledge, like what they say. But Allah shall judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they disagree.” (Al Quran 2:114)
It is in this trilateral discussion that we can succeed in our search of finding the Truth!
For additional information see my knol, Jesus did not die on the cross:
This Alislam-eGazette has articles on the origin of human language and others on co-relation between science and Islam.
The constitution of Medina and not the Magna Carta was the first ever constitution describing a pluralistic society.
In this Google Knol I will collect the description of the constitution from various biographers and introduce my understanding based on all these different sources.
Mark Graham writes:
Muhammad’s brilliance lay in politics as well as spirituality. One of the most extraordinary events to take place during this time was the drafting of the Covenant of Medina (Sahifat al-Madinah), what some consider to be the world’s first constitution. It was a treaty and city charter between the Arabs and Jews of the city. All groups (Muslims, Jews, and non-Muslim Arabs) pledged to live in civic harmony, governed by mutual advice and consultation. The Covenant bound these varied groups into a common defense pact and stipulated that the Jews of the city were one community with the Muslims, that they were free to profess and practice their religion and that they were entitled to all the rights pertaining to the Muslims. This amazingly foresighted document was a revolutionary step forward in civil government. Despite the ultimately tragic end of Muslim and Jewish cooperation in Medina, this blueprint of interreligious tolerance would serve Islam and its subject peoples well in the future.
Mark Graham. How Islam Created the Modern World. Amana Publications, 2006. Pages 21.
According to a BBC survey, in 2007, one billion people world wide are suffering from anxiety and depression. Which world view will give you contentment and peace, Sigmund Freud’s or Carl Jung’s? This is the question, the answer of which you owe to yourself! The answer to this question may predict your future peace of mind or lack there of.
To high light the importance of this gospel some scholars have labeled it as the fifth Gospel.
The manuscript of the Coptic text, of the Gospel of Thomas was found in 1945, at Nag Hammadi. It was first published in a photographic edition in 1956. Three years later, in 1959, this was followed by the first critical edition (with English translation). In 1977 the James M. Robinson translation was first published, as part of The Nag Hammadi Library in English, containing all of the texts found at Nag Hammadi. The Gospel of Thomas has since then been translated and annotated in many languages.
The Holy Quran states about revelations to Jesus:
“Allah has sent down to thee (Muhammad) the Book containing the truth and fulfilling that which precedes it; and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel.” (Al Quran 3:4)
The Holy Quran also states:
“Say, ‘O People of the Book! you stand on nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and what has now been sent down to you from your Lord.’ And surely, what has been sent down to thee from thy Lord will increase many of them in rebellion and disbelief; so grieve not for the disbelieving people.” (Al Quran 5:69)
This Gospel may be the closest survivor of the revelations to Jesus, may peace be on him, which the Holy Quran labels as Injil. Please read this knol along with the knol about the Q document, as there are several parallels between the two:
This Gospel does not have any stories, especially no mention of trial, passion, crucifixion or resurrection. It is a collection of the sayings of Jesus, may peace be on him. This Gospel does not link salvation to resurrection of Jesus.
Many of its sayings are also present in the synoptic Gospels. The sayings in the Gospel of Thomas are shorter and pithier, so scholars argue that they may be the original sayings and as they were copied and narrated, scribes added to them and we got the longer versions.
The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke have many common themes and are therefore called the synoptic gospels. The Gospel of John was the last to be written almost 60-70 years after Jesus was put on the cross. This time delay perhaps explains why it differs from the synoptic gospels and why it paints the most exaggerated picture of Jesus Christ!
As the Christian masses are leaving theist paradigm in droves, your Holiness, your love of them and God, makes it incumbent on you and all the theists to first strive for theism and then for any particular brand, be it Judaism, Unitarian Christianity, Trinitarian Christianity or Islam, like they say in America, I am an American first and a republican or a democrat second. Tear down the walls that separate the Abrahamic faiths and open to everyone the possibility of Islam. If Christian masses cannot find comfort, peace and theism in one particular tradition let them try another tradition before they choose the abyss of atheism that you equated with Nazism.
Every day radical Muslims make headlines in creating violence of one form or the other in one or the other part of the globe. They draw condemnation of the international community and the media and rightly so. But, this also creates two illusions, one that Islam may be associated with violence and that Christianity may be a benign religion, a religion of peace and of turning the other cheek. Various authors have tried to rescue the name of Islam from this false accusation; here my focus is to portray some genuine snapshots from the Christian history of the past and more recent times. I would not have drawn my pen to expose this illusion if it was only a matter of a false image without any practical or gory consequences. But, the plans of a notorious pastor from Florida to burn the Holy Quran on September 11, 2010, remind us that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, in slightly different forms and shades. The religious European wars of yesterday can find their expression in Islamphobia today! The warnings of Heinrich Heine’s are echoing and reverberating in my ears ‘Where books are burned, they will ultimately burn people also.’ There are countless precedents of this in not only Christian history but also in Muslim history.
It is with these concerns and dangers to the global village that I tabulate the Christian violence from Crusades, to inquisitions in Spain and elsewhere, to the Greek wars of the nineteenth century, to the laws against Unitarians, to the burning at stake of the Anabaptists, to the recent violence by the Serbians, to the conversion of the Barbarians on the point of sword by the Holy Emperors, to the history of the Dark ages, the cross of Christianity drips with blood, or shall we say pours blood. In fact it could be argued that the counter-intuitive dogma of Trinity and Original Sin can only be and were established by coercion of one form or the other, and often at the point of sword!
This Google Knol is a collection of various snapshots that prepares us against the extremist right wing agenda that can take a violent turn at any moment. The Golden words of George Santayana will be repeated enough in this Google Knol, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,’ until these words can offer some semblance of competition to the repeated attempts of national television medium to portray Islam as violent and Christianity as possible benign panacea!
In the Western world, at least in the national television media, we seem to be moving from the highest ideal of individual responsibility and freedom of religion to guilt by association and tribal guilt when it comes to Islam and the Muslims, the media seems to be creating negative stereotypes of the Muslims and Islam. If we distinguish the good from the bad and moderate from the extremist and judge the Muslims by the same criteria, as we will judge a Christian or a Jew, then we will have a peaceful global village.