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Islam for Christians | Intellect In Islam

Mary Between the Bible and the Qur’an

by Yusuf Abdul-Alim | Dec 2, 2020 | Comparative Beliefs & Issues, Islam for Christians

Mary Between the Bible and the Quran

The Qur’an does not mention that Mary delivered a baby other than Jesus in her life.

The Bible does not give much importance to Mary in comparison to the Holy Qur’an which views Mary as a”Sign” from Allah: “

And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign and sheltered them within a high ground having level [areas] and flowing water”. (23:50).

It, moreover, shows Allah’s favor to her and her son (Jesus) with blessings. There is a Surah (chapter) in the Qur’an which bears the name of Mary.

Allah, furthermore, tells that Mary lead a virtuous life,

“So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, “O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.” (3:37)

“And [mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds”. (3:42)

On the other hand, there is few mention of Mary in the Bible except in gospels and in one incident in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts, 1:14).

Mary is mostly mentioned in the gospels in the contexts of giving birth to Jesus :

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke, 1:38). (Also see Acts 1:14).

A full account of the story is as follows:

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”… Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. So the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.… Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.… He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David,… and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”… “How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”… Look, even Elizabeth your relative has conceived a son in her old age, and she who was called barren is in her sixth month.… For nothing will be impossible with God.”…(Luke, 1: 26-37).

The account of the incident is also mentioned in Matthew as follows:

“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” (Matthew, 1:25)

The bible mentions that Mary was engaged to Jesus Joseph the Carpenter. It, moreover, claims that Jesus was his son:

“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?” (Matthew, 13:55).

Such verses goes against facts and the miraculous nature of the virgin birth of Jesus and her chastity. The Qur’an, on the contrary, the Qur’an tells a virtuous biography of Mary and her righteous upbringing:

“But when she delivered her, she said,”My Lord, I have delivered a female.” And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, “And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah].” (3:36).

It does not refer that Mary was engaged or married to anyone. The miraculous birth is mentioned as follows in the Qur’an:

“[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah].” (3:45)

“And mention, [O Muhammad], in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east. And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man. She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of Allah.” He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy.” She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?” He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.’ “So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.” But he called her from below her, “Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates”.(19:16-25)

The Qur’an condemns the Jews for their accusing of Mary of committing adultery:

“And [We cursed them] for their disbelief and their saying against Mary a great slander,”(4:156). The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers”. (4:171).

“And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient”.(66:12)

But the Qur’an does not mention that Mary delivered a baby other than Jesus in her life. According to the Bible (Matthew, 1:18,), Mary delivered her baby when the Holy Spirit came to her “(Luke, 1:35) and, however, delivered babies other than Jesus later (Matthew 12:46, Mark 6:3, Luke, 2:7, John 7:5). It gives contradicting narrations as regards to Jesus and whether he was the son of Joseph the carpenter and had brothers other than Jesus or not.

The Bible, claims that Jesus was the Carpenter’s son son:

“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?” (Matthew, 13:55).

Refuting such contradiction, Christians badly construed the meanings of such text as follows to mean:

  1. The father of those brothers is Joseph the fiance of Mary
  2. They are the sons of Mary or the sons of her daughters.
  3. That they are brothers of Jesus whom Mary gave birth.
  4. That one of them claimed that Mary was his mother and Joseph was his father
  5. That Mary had children before she gave birth to Jesus or after.
  6. Or that those mentioned were born or died before the death of Jesus.

As to the texts which mention brothers to Jesus, they are as follows:

Explainers to these texts claimed that the word “Brothers” does not necessarily  mean brotherhood in lineage in Jewish culture and that the Aramaic and Hebrew languages support this. However, the text denotes otherwise in which the phrase “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” is intended to identify Jesus.

Soucre Link Jizya Between Christianity and Islam, Historical Facts

by Yusuf Abdul-Alim | Dec 2, 2020 | Comparative Beliefs & Issues, Islam for Christians

There should not be doubt that Islam is the religion of moderation, tolerance and peace. History witnessed the tolerance of  Muslim leaders with the people of lands where war was broken with them and the Muslims.

This is further supported by the fact that many people of conquered countries by Muslims, after testifying to the tolerance of the Islamic message, converted to Islam freely and became supporters of the cause of Islam. There are lands, especially in Asia, which were opened by Muslims without bloodshed, for the citizens of those countries were influenced by the truthfulness and kind dealing of Muslim merchants.

“Is it right to pay the tax to Caesar or not?” …..Jesus replied, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”(Matthew 22: 16-22)

Under the light of the clash of civilizations, we encounters voices unjustly condemning the Islamic  stand as regards to Jizya (i.e. An amount of money taken from non-believers) to distort the image of Islam and diminish its value. The enemies to Islam, claimed that Islam imposed such tribute on the people of the book to burden them and persecute them.

To clear out such misconception one, should have a proper understanding of the concept of Jizya in Islam not in the context of the black history of the Roman persecution of Jews and Christians when they were forced to pay tributes, taxes or tithes.

Jizya was not an Islamic innovation. Islam is not among the religions, which imposed taxes on the heads of nations defeated in wars unjustly and without restrictions, Dr. Al-Saqqar says,

“The New Testament conveys the prevalence of such practice, ‘After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes–from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.’ (Matthew 17: 24-27).

The Bible also tells that the prophets took the tribute (Jizya) as Joshua practice with the Canaanites: ‘…But the Canaanites dwelt among the Ephraimites on this day, and served under tribute.'(Joshua 16: 10).

According to Jesus, Christians should not break the laws of Judaism, ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.’ (Matthew 5: 17). According to the Bible, moreover, Christ orders his followers to pay the tribute to the Romans, and he hastened to pay it, They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for the tax.” They brought him a denarius. and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.” (Matthew 22: 16-22) (see Matthew 11/19). The New Testament considers the tribute to the sultans as s legitimate right, and even makes it a religious duty!, ‘Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 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 you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.'(Romans 13: 1-7).”

The Roman civilization, praised by Europe, set the worst example for the concept of tribute (Jizya) when they mixed it with unfair taxes on the weak people.

Historians reported that the Roman empire had many financial important resources such as customs, mines, taxes and fields for planting wheat and pastures. They were hired from the companies represented in tithes-collectors who were supported by the government to collect them. They were noblemen who, unjustly and increasingly  practiced the levy of taxes in the name of the government. They confiscated the properties of debtors and even sold them as slaves “(A. Al-Kurdi, Khutat (plans) of Al-Sham, Kurd Ali c 5 p. 47).

In its view of this concept, Islam does not leave mankind depend on human heinous practices emanating from misguided passions, but it tackles it in accordance with the rules of mercy, benevolence while preserving the sovereignty of the State of Islam and imposing its prestige.

First of all, Islam defines the kinds of people from whom the Jizya should be taken. Jizya is a general provision with exceptions. It is a means to the imposition of the sovereignty of the State of Islam and is resorted to only after the introduction of Islam to people of defeated lands.

When there was a difference upon the approach by Muslim leaders opening the land of Smarqand where the people was not given the choices of reconciliation with conditions or fighting, the people of Smarqand complained to Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz who ordered that a Muslim judge should consider the complaint. The judge ruled that:

First, the exile of Muslims from Smarqand. Second: Compensating the people of Samarqand in exchange for the damage caused to them by the entry of Muslims to their lands.

Third: Invitation of the people of Smarqand to Islam, and if they did not accept Islam they would be given the choice of either reconciliation or fighting. However, the people of Smarqand waived their complaint after touching the tolerance and good spirit of Islam”. (A. I. Al-Mat’ani, The tolerance of Islam in the call to Allah and human relations as approach and biography, , Wahba Library, p. 158.

Dr. Al-Saqqar says,

“Allah has commanded Muslims to take the Jizya from those only able to fight, as stated in the Qur’anic aya: ‘Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizya willingly while they are humbled..’ (9:29). Al-Qurtubi stated that there is a consensus among Muslim scholars that Jizya should only be taken from those only able to fight, including free adult men, not women, offspring, slaves and mad people or very old people. The amount of money taken was very few that many people could pay it. It did not exceed one dinar per year at the era of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and four dinars at the time of the Ummayad Caliphate (state) per year. Caliph Omar sent to leaders ordering them not to impose Jizya on women, children and that only those male adults should pay it)”.

Once the leader of Egypt advised Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz not to exempt those who convert to Islam from paying the Jizya, but the devout Caliph refused, saying: “Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a caller (to Islam), and did not send him as a tax-collector!”.

Islam warns against injustice to Mu’ahadin (those given a pledge of peace and protection by the Islamic State), Dr. Al Saqqar says:

“Allah, in his scripture, and the Prophet, command benevolence to the people of Jizya. Islamic Sharia prohibits doing injustice to them and also mal-treatment to them. The Qur’an urged dealing kindly with peaceful Jews and Christians (Ahlul Kitab): Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes -from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers. “(60:8-9)

The word kindness is a translation to the Arabic word “AlBir” which denotes the highest degree of benevolence and good treatment.

Such bir is required even when dealing with parents and considered as an indication of good morals as stated by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Safwan reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Beware, if anyone wrongs a  Mu’ahad (one given a pledge of peace), or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall plead for him (Mu’ahad) on the Day of Judgment. And said: “Whoever killed a Mu’ahad (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by Muslims), shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling) (i.e. s/he would not be admitted to Paradise at first).

References

Al-Saqqar, Jizya in Islam.

A. Al-Kurdi, Khutat (plans) of Al-Sham, Kurd Ali.

Soucre Link The Holy Spirit Between Christianity And Islam

by Yusuf Abdul-Alim | Dec 2, 2020 | Comparative Beliefs & Issues, Islam for Christians

For centuries, Christianity had an exaggerated look at the noble position of the Holy Spirit, angel  Gabriel (May Allah’s Peace be upon him). We, even, see many Christians who do not know who was the Holy Spirit!

The names of the Holy Spirit abound in the Bible. Its attributes, even, shared some of the divine attributes of God! In his book (The Holy Spirit and our relationship with It), Dr. Sameh Morris, a priest, claims that the Holy Spirit is:

  1. A hypostasis which is equal to the Father and the Son because Jesus said,

    “Go and make disciples of all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew, 19:28).

    Christians infer that the phrase “in the name” refers to a trinity (three in one).They moreover support such claim by what Paul mentioned in 2Corinthians (14:13),

    “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”.

    They claimed that the association of the name of the Holy Spirit with God in one context means being equal to Him!

  2. A creator! And Creates! They cite the words of Job:

    “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4).

  3. And Psalms(104:30):

    “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground”.

  4. A One who gives Life. Christians support such a heinous doctrine by Paul’s words:

    “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you..” (Romans 8: 11).

    And the words of Christ to Nicodemus:

    “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 6:3).

  5. sanctifies life (1 Corinthians 6: 11).
  6. Everywhere! (Psalm 139: 7-10).
  7. Knows everything! (1 Corinthians 9: 9-11).
  8. Makes Miracles! (Psalm 72:18).

Such exaggerated view of the Holy Spirit, Gabriel peace be upon him, is different from the moderate Islamic view of It. In Islam, Gabriel is only  an angel who was sent by God Almighty Allah to inspire Prophets with revelation and support them. He should not be elevated to any divine position or rank where he be a partner to Almighty Allah.

Gabriel, being a spirit by name, does not mean that such a characteristic is specific to him, for all other creatures are  spirits of God in the meaning that they all are created by him Almighty.

God specializes Gabriel with such name “spirit” to elevate his rank among creations and show his honor and virtue, and distinguish him from other spirits. It should not be understood that Gabriel is a spirit of God in the meaning that he is a part of Him or partner to Him.

In Islam, Gabriel is called “Ruh Al-Qudus” (i.e. Purified Spirit) and Al-Ruh Al-Amin (i.e. Truthful and Honest Spirit). He is not “holy” as Christians claim.

The reason that Gabriel was called “Ruh (spirit), as al-Jayyani, puts it, “Because souls are revived by him as the bodies are given life by spirit”.

Al-Razi, claims that he was called so because he was made of a spirit. Others said that he was called so because he brought the religion with which souls revive and live. Others claimed that he was only created as a soul without body.

He was called “Al-Amin” because he was very honest in delivering revelation to prophets and powerful in the execution of the commands of God.

In the Qur’an Gabriel is given many names and attributes which do not deem him as god or elevate him to divine positions that which he does not deserve. He was described as the “One So Powerful and One of sound Shape” (53:6). 

Gabriel is the best of angels who so honest and powerful in delivering revelation to Prophets without shortcoming. He was also described as

“A noble messenger [Who is] possessed of power in the accompany of the Owner of the Throne (God, Allah), Secure [in position], Obeyed there [in the heavens] and Trustworthy”.(81:21/Also see 81:24)

Allah tells about his mission as a messenger delivering revelation to Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him),

“And indeed, the Qur’an is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds. The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down”(26:194)

He called “trustworthy” because he was of good manners and was the best of angels and being entrusted with revelation to  prophets and others

He was so strong that he turned down the city of the People of Lot who denied the message of Prophet Lot. He is near to God seizing a highly position among other angels

Once the Prophet saw Gabriel as having six-hundred wings. In his journey to Jerusalem, while accompanied by Gabriel, the Prophet said that “Gabriel made a great hole in a great stone and grasped the great animal Al-Buraq (which carried them up to the sky) with only one finger!

In Islam, Gabriel is called “Ruh Al-Qudus” (i.e. Purified Spirit) because he was created from purity or he was perfect in purity.

He was, moreover, called “spirit” because body cannot live without spirit for he carried the revelation which was the spirit for all people.

One may perceive the Christian confusion as regards to the concept of creation. The hands of the “Holy Spirit” does not create; it should not exceed the mere direct execution of God’s command of creation. The Creator is only Allah Almighty who says,

“Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.” (21:22)

It has been said that such “ruin” in creation may lead to a conflict and contradiction where two gods have two conflicting commands of either giving life or not.

Allah addressed Jesus to remind him of the blessings he conferred upon him saying,

“O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, “This is not but obvious magic.” (5: 110). 

The repetition of the phrase “with My permission” alludes to the fact that Allah is the only creator and Jesus did not create and his acts were mere execution of Allah’s commands.

__________________________________

Ibn Uthaymeen, Sharh Thalathat Al-Usul.

Ibn Hajar, Fatah al-Bari.

Sameh Morris, Holy Spirit And Our Relationship to It

Soucre Link Welcoming Strangers

by Yusuf Abdul-Alim | Dec 2, 2020 | Common ground, Islam for Christians

Welcome Sign

All divine religions order welcoming and showing hospitality to strangers and prohibit mistreating or oppressing them

Indeed, all divine religions order welcoming and showing hospitality to strangers and prohibit mistreating or oppressing them. According to such religions, doing good to the strangers is considered an act of righteousness.

The Old Testament commands justice and love for the strangers, including giving them food and clothing. We read the following verse: “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.” (Deuteronomy 10:18)

Again, the Old Testament orders good treatment and love for strangers. Moreover, it forbids wronging, mistreating and oppressing the strangers. We read the following verses:

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)

“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21)

The New Testament also encourages hospitality to strangers. In the New Testament, we read the following verse: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)

Under Islam, a stranger is referred to as “Ibn Al-Sabil” (wayfarer) who is paid a lot of attention by Islam. The Qur’an considers that it is an act of righteousness to give money to a wayfarer.

We read the following verse:

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler… (Al-Baqarah 2:177)

The Qur’an orders doing good to wayfarers. We read the following verse:

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler… (An-Nisaa’ 4:36)

A wayfarer was entitled to a share in the war booty. In the Qur’an, we read the following verse:

And know that anything you obtain of war booty – then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler… (Al-Anfal 8:41)

A wayfarer was also entitled to a share in the Zakah expenditures. In the Qur’an, we read the following verse:

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. (At-Tawbah 9:60)

Prophet Muhammad urged Muslims to give money to the wayfarers. Abu Said Al-Khudry reports that the Messenger of Allah said: “This money is green and sweet. It is a good companion of the Muslim who gives from it to the orphan, the needy and the wayfarers.” (Ahmad)

According to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the one who denies a wayfarer his surplus water is one of three persons at whom God will not look on the Day of Judgment.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Glory be to Him) said, “There are three persons whom Allah will not look at on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them and theirs shall be a severe punishment. They are: 1- A man possessed superfluous water, on a way and he withheld it from wayfarers. 2- A man who gave a pledge of allegiance to a ruler and he gave it only for worldly benefits. If the ruler gives him something he gets satisfied, and if the ruler withholds something from him, he gets dissatisfied. 3- And a man displayed his goods for sale after the `Asr prayer and he said, ‘By Allah, except Whom none has the right to be worshipped, I have been given so much for my goods,’ and somebody believes him (and buys them).” (Al-Bukhari)

According to Islam, a wayfarer is entitled to alms even if he is rich enough. The Messenger of Allah said: “Alms are not lawful for a rich person except in the cause of Allah, or to a wayfarer or a poor neighbor who is given alms and so he gives you a gift or invites you.” (Abu Dawud)

_________

References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Sahih Al-Bukhari

3- Sunan Abu Dawud

4- Musnad Al-Imam Ahmad

5- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

Soucre Link Honoring Parents

by Yusuf Abdul-Alim | Dec 2, 2020 | Common ground, Islam for Christians

Children with their parent

All divine religions order honoring parents as an act of gratitude

In fact, all divine religions order honoring parents as an act of gratitude and promise great reward for kindness to parents both in this world and the Hereafter. Besides, they prescribe severe punishment for those who are undutiful to their parents or at least foretell their ensuing suffering and aberration.

In the Old Testament, we read the following verse: “Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)

Also in the Old Testament, we come across another verse which states that the one who curses his father or his mother will go astray. We read the following verse: “If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.” (Proverbs 20:20)

Moreover, the Old Testament prescribes the death sentence for smiting one’s parents. We read the following verse: “And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.” (Exodus 21:15)

The New Testament orders children to obey their parents in everything for this pleases God. In the New Testament, we read the following verse: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” (Colossians 3:20)

The New Testament promises those who honor their parents that they will have happy, long lives. We read the following verses: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)

The Qur’an frequently orders kind treatment for parents. More than once, the Qur’an commands children to do good to their parents. For example, we read the following verses:

And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah; and to parents do good…” (Al-Baqarah 2:83)

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good… (An-Nisaa’ 4:36)

Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and give to parents good treatment…” (Al-An`am 6:151)

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and give to parents good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” (Al-Israa’ 23-24)

Reflecting on the above verses from the Qur’an, we find out that the order to honor parents is placed second to that to worship Allah alone without associating anything with Him. This pinpoints how important dutifulness to parents is. In all of the above verses, the duty towards parents is considered the most important duty towards human beings.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) included kindness to parents in the deeds most liked by Allah. `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) reports: “I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘Which deed is most liked by Allah?’ He replied: ‘Prayer at its appointed time.’ I (again) said: ‘Then what?’ He replied: ‘Kindness to parents.’ I (again) said: ‘Then what?’ He replied: ‘Earnest endeavor (Jihad) in the cause of Allah.’” (Al-Bukhari)

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Sahih Al-Bukhari

3- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

Soucre Link Prohibition of Blasphemy

by Yusuf Abdul-Alim | Dec 2, 2020 | Common ground, Islam for Christians

Blasphemy in the Abrahamic religions

All divine religions prohibit blasphemy and consider it a sin which cannot be forgiven.

In fact, all divine religions prohibit blasphemy and consider it a sin which cannot be forgiven. A believer should avoid even the situations which are more likely to lead to blasphemy.

The Old Testament forbids blasphemy. We read the following verse: “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.” (Exodus 22:28)

The New Testament tells us that blasphemy is an eternal sin which can never be forgiven. We read the following verse: “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:29)

In Islam, even indirect blasphemy is prohibited. For example, Islam prohibits Muslims from insulting pagans lest they should insult God. In the Qur’an, we read the following verse:

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah , lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do. (Al-An`am 6:108)

According to the Islamic scripture, God considers that the allegation that He has taken a son to Himself is blasphemy. We read the following Qudsi hadith:

“The son of Adam disbelieved Me and he had no right to do so. And he reviled Me and he had no right to do so. As for his disbelieving Me, it is his saying: ‘He will not remake me as He made me at first,’ though the initial creation [of him] is not easier for Me than remaking him. As for his reviling Me, it is his saying: ‘Allah has taken to Himself a son,’ while I am the One, the Everlasting Refuge. I begot not nor was I begotten, and there is none comparable to Me.’” (Al-Bukhari & Al-Nasa`i)

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Sahih Al-Bukhari

3- Sunan An-Nasa`i

4- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

Soucre Link


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