Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Christian - Muslim Dialogue, part 3

This is part 3 of my critique of the book, Christian - Muslim Dialogue by H.M. Baagil.

On page 9 the Muslim says, “we propagate only to those who want to listen” and “yes, there is no compulsion in religion (Surah 2:256).”

It is true that the Qur’an says, “there is no compulsion in religion” but from the time of Muhammad himself there has been nothing but compulsion in Islam. According to Ibn Ishaq, the earliest Muslim biographer of Muhammad, Muhammad personally ordered the execution of people who turned back from his religion. Islam was spread by the edge of the sword from Arabia all the way to Spain and Iraq and beyond. In fact, Muhammad’s last words were that no two religions should be allowed to remain in Arabia. If that isn’t compulsion, I don’t know what is.

On page 9 the Muslim says, “Also, Isaiah mentioned in chapter 21:13, “The burden of Arabia,” which means the responsibility of the Muslims, Arabs, of course all Muslims now, to spread Islam.”

Isaiah was written over a thousand years before Muhammad was even born. The “burden of Arabia” means “the oracle concerning Arabia.” It has nothing whatsoever to do with Muslims.

Also on page 9 Baagil quotes Isaiah 21:7 “And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels, and he harkened diligently with much heed.”

Baagil says the “asses” in this passage refer to Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey, and the camels refer to the camels on which Muhammad rode. The context of the whole chapter in Isaiah, however, has nothing to do with Jesus or Muhammad. It is about the destruction of ancient Babylon by the Medes! To pull out words about donkeys and camels and assume—entirely apart from context—that they must refer to the donkey and camel that Jesus and Muhammad rode is absurd.

On page 9-10 the Muslim then discusses how Muhammad is supposedly mentioned in the Bible. The Muslim says Muhammad was predicted by Jesus in John 16:14. The Muslim comments on this passage saying, “He (the Paraclete, Comforter, Helper, i.e. Muhammad PBUH) shall glorify me.”

But the context of John 16:12-14 says that this “Paraclete” or “Comforter" is the “Spirit of Truth.” In what sense was Muhammad a “spirit”? Earlier in John (14:26) Jesus called this “Helper” the Holy Spirit. But according to Muslims the Holy Spirit is a reference to Gabriel. So which is it? Is the “Helper” Muhammad or is he Gabriel? The fact is that neither John nor Jesus said anything about Muhammad or Gabriel.

The Muslim continues saying that Jesus “supplication in John 17:3 was: ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent.’ It is clear here that the possessors of eternal life are only the Muslims who believe in only one God Allah and Jesus PBUH as his messenger.”

Really? If it is so clear, why is it that only Muslims see it? If Jesus is referring to Muslims then why doesn’t he say so? If Jesus is referring to Muhammad then why doesn’t he say so? What the Muslim leaves out is that just two verses later Jesus continues by praying, “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5)!

This very passage the Muslim tries to use to say Jesus prophesied about Muhammad actually teaches that Jesus thought of himself as the Son of God and that he existed in heaven with the “Father” before he was incarnate! The idea of incarnation in this passage is important because the Muslim goes on to say that those who believe in Jesus’ incarnation are going to hell! In other words, the passage the Muslim used to support his position, actually teaches the very thing the Muslim said would send us to hell!

By the way, the Muslim cited this passage in an attempt to prove his point so he must be acknowledging that the passage is genuine and not corrupted by Christians.

Part 4 tomorrow or Monday.