A theoretical dialogue between a Muslim and a Christian (part1 of 2)
Description: Discussion about God, His prophets, and His Holy books. Part 1.
- By islamweb.net
- Published on 22 Dec 2009
- Last modified on 10 Nov 2013
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Abdullah: Hello there! How are you man?
Derek: Hello! Well, how are you?
Abdullah: I’m fine and you?
Derek: I’m fine, thanks.
Abdullah: Where are you from?
Derek: I’m from L.A. (Los Angeles).
Abdullah: The land of Hollywood!
Derek: Well, that’s right. Have you ever been to L.A?
Abdullah: No, never. Why are you calling yourself ‘Black Magic’?
Derek: It’s just a nickname, man!
Abdullah: I see.
Derek: Where are you from? Are you an Arab?
Abdullah: Yes, I am from Saudi Arabia but I’m in Qatar now. What is your name?
Derek: My name is Derek. What’s your name?
Abdullah: My name is Abdullah.
Derek: What does Abdullah mean?
Abdullah: Abdullah means the servant of Allah and it is the function of each individual on the face of the earth to serve God according to what God wants from us. By the way, Allah is the proper name of God.
Derek: How do we know what God or Allah wants from us?
Abdullah: All of this is outlined in the Quran and the Sunnah (traditions and approved actions of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him). These are the two major sources of guidance in Islam. Could you please tell me more about yourself? How old are you?
Derek: I am 19 years old, black and very much interested in knowing more about Islam. First of all, what should a person do or believe in, to become a Muslim?
Abdullah: Very easy brother, you just say that there is no one worthy of worship but God and Muhammad is His Messenger, and you become Muslim.
Derek: You mean Muhammad is his apostle? But as a Christian or non-Muslim, this sentence is not enough to make it clear to me.
Abdullah: O.K. God sent Muhammad, as His last Prophet and Messenger and revealed the Quran to him as the final revelation to mankind. God said that He perfected His religion and called it Islam (see Quran 5:3). Islam means peaceful submission to the Will of God.
Derek: I see.
Abdullah: Yes, and unfortunately, most Christians don’t know or they deny that the coming of Prophet Muhammad, is foretold in their scriptures (See Deuteronomy 18:18; 21:21; Psalms 118: 22-23; Isaiah 42:1-13; Habakuk 3:3-4; Matthew 21:42-43; John 14:12-17, 15:26,27; 16:5-16). Muslim theologians have stated that the person who is described by Jesus to come after him (in the above verses) is Muhammad.
Derek: O.K. Fine, but why was there a need for another Prophet after Jesus and another revelation after the Bible?
Abdullah: All of the Prophets came to teach their peoples the Oneness of God. In the case of Jesus he was only sent as Messenger to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (see Matt. 15:24). What happened was that all of these Prophets were not well received by the majority of the people. For instance, they started tampering with the teachings of Moses and Jesus, may God exalt their mention (see Quran 2:79). That is why God sent Muhammad, with the last Message, (i.e., the Quran), to bring all of mankind back to the belief in and worship of One God, without partners or intermediaries.
Derek: Is the Quran similar to the Bible? I mean, what is it composed of?
Abdullah: The Quran came as the last code emphasizing the same pure monotheistic teachings of Jesus defending all the previous pure teachings of monotheistic beliefs and clarifying who Jesus was and who his mother was, showing that they were no more than great people.
Derek: O.K then, how can we be sure that the Quran has remained the same since the time of Prophet Muhammad, ?
Abdullah: God Himself has guaranteed that He would guard the Quran and keep it free from corruption (see Quran 15:9). Hence, the real and pure words of God are found in the Quran which was revealed in Arabic, the language of the people of Muhammad. Since then, not an iota has changed. This is unlike what has happened in the other religions. For example, if you look at the Bible you find a lot of versions; the name Bible itself is indicative of those changes because Bible means a collection of books from different writers.
Derek: But didn’t God call it the Bible?
Abdullah: God calls the Scripture revealed to Jesus “Injeel” in the Quran, for which the closest name in the Bible would be the word Gospel. The Bible was written many years after the time of Jesus in a language that was alien to Jesus -- it was Latin Vulgate, a language that he never spoke. Isn’t this strange? Interestingly, most of what was written in the New Testament was authored by Paul, who, according to James, the brother of Jesus in the Bible, had a polluted mind because he changed and contradicted most of the teachings of Jesus .
Derek: I think you know more about Christianity than the Pope does!
Abdullah: You are wrong by saying that I know more than the Pope. I have simply investigated the Bible with an inquiring mind, which is something that all Christians should do.
Derek: Is there any English version of the Holy Quran?
Abdullah: There are many translations of the meanings of the Quran. The Quran was revealed in Arabic, which means that the words of Allah are in Arabic. The translations are the words of human beings relating to the meanings of the Quran to the non-Arabic speaking masses.
Derek: How does the Quran define God to mankind or how does the Muslim perceive God?
Abdullah: God is the One and Only True God, and the Creator of all. He does not beget nor is He begotten. He is unlike His creation in every respect. He is the All-Knowing, The Powerful, The Merciful, The Irresistible, and The King of kings.
Derek: But it is somehow difficult for me to perceive God as being the same as His creatures.
Abdullah: You are absolutely right to have difficulty perceiving this, because human beings have a limited capacity. This is why God sent revelations to His Prophets and Messengers to tell us who He is. So if you want to know who God is, just read the Quran.
Derek: Christians believe that Jesus was sent for the salvation of all mankind. If this is not true, then the foundation of Christianity is faulty. Right? What do you think?
Abdullah: That’s correct. The Christians of today are following what Paul taught and also tend to follow what the priests tell them to do instead of following what Jesus said.
Derek: Kindly explain the concept of salvation through the crucifixion of Jesus.
Abdullah: In Christianity, the Doctrine of Original Sin is the reason that there is a need for salvation through Jesus’ crucifixion. However, this doctrine was invented by Paul and it is strongly negated in the Old Testament (see Ezekiel 18:20, Jeremiah 31:30, Deut. 24:16). This doctrine is an attempt to escape the responsibility of righteousness with the belief that punishment is given to someone else to release us from our burden of sins (see Ephesians 1:7, Romans 4:25, 10:9,Corinthians 15:21). In the Quran, every soul is responsible for its own deeds, good or bad (see Quran 74:38, 41:46, 3:25, 6:154).
Derek: What about the crucifixion itself?
Abdullah: The Bible says Jesus cried out in a loud voice beseeching God for help on the cross: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46) Does that sound like Jesus to you?
Derek: No, then what about Jesus’ appearance to his disciples after the crucifixion?
Abdullah: Jesus didn’t die on the cross nor was he resurrected. If he were resurrected, then he would have come to his disciples in a spiritual body. As shown in Luke 24:36-43, he met them with his physical body after the event of his alleged crucifixion. In the Quran, it says that Jesus was not crucified, but it was someone else who was made to look like him (see Quran 4:156-158).
Derek: How did the story of the crucifixion of Jesus get into the Bible then?
Abdullah: Once again, Paul was responsible (see Timothy 2:8 and Romans 5:10).
Derek: Well, I very deep in my heart, believe that God can never look like His creation nor does He do what they do. What I believe is that God is the Perfect One who is very much different from everything we see or touch. In other words, I think the writer can never look like his book.
Abdullah: You are right. There is nothing comparable to God (see Quran 112:4). The Prophets came with a very clear message to worship God alone, without any partners or intercessors. However, Paul took pagan beliefs and practices from the Romans and mixed them with the teachings of Jesus . Consequently, Paul was mostly responsible for elevating Jesus to the status of Son of God (see Acts. 9:20) and god.
Derek: Yes. Now I remember. The first Commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord.”
Abdullah: You’re right. That’s in Mark 12:29. Moreover, the Quran confirms that God is One (which means): “Say He is Allah, the One and Only (God).” (Quran 112:1)
Derek: What you are saying makes perfect sense. This is just incredible! You mean that for almost 2000 years what the Christians have been following is wrong?