Why Be Muslim?

The Qur’an states:

Surah 5:47
Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.

If, as a person of the Gospel (a Christian), I judge by what Allah has revealed to me in the Gospel, and as a result of this, I judge that Jesus is God, I accept that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and I reject false prophets Jesus said would appear after Him, etc., am I not doing what Allah has commanded of me?

The Qur’an also states:

Surah 5:68
Say: O people of the book! You have no ground to stand upon unless you stand fast by the Torah, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.

I am commanded by the Qur’an to stand fast by the Bible - a book which Muslims claim has been corrupted! Clearly, the Gospel could not have been corrupted at the time that Muhammed received this “revelation”; otherwise, the Qur’an is commanding me to stand fast by a corrupted book! Muhammed died in 632 AD, and gospel texts dating from much earlier are still in existence. Therefore, if the text we have today is the same as the one Muhammed must have in mind when he commands us to “stand fast by the Gospel”, why am I wrong for rejecting the Qur’an in light of Jesus’ warning that false prophets would appear ((Mt. 7:15)?

:shrug:

Jesus said:

Matthew 10:24
The student is not greater than his teacher nor a slave greater than his master.

But who was Muhammad’s teacher? At one point in his life, when Muhammad was struggling with doubts about the revelation he received from Allah, Allah directed him to inquire of those to whom Allah has spoken previously: the Jews and the Christians:

Surah 10:94
But if you (O Muhammad) are in doubt as to what we have revealed to you, ask those who read the book before you; certainly the truth has come to you from your Lord. Therefore, you should not be of the disputers.

Thus, Allah sent Muhammad to learn at the feet of the Jews and the Christians who had received the Word of God before him. Muhammad checked with the People of the Book to see if his message lined up with the Word previously delivered in the Torah and the Gospel.

But then we have to ask: Why would Allah send Muhammad to submit his teachings to people who were followers of a corrupt text? :shrug:

The bottom line is that during Muhammad’s own lifetime, the Bible was used to judge the doctrine of the Qur’an, and the People of the Book judged Muhammad - not the other way around - because the student is not greater than his teacher.

Except - you are forgetting the part about their version of Supercessionism on us - or rather their belief that we and Jews corrupted the true commandments of the Lord.

They see themselves as the true inheritors of the Laws and Will of the Lord, since in their eyes we no longer follow the Lord properly.

what accounts for this might be the source of Muhammad’s ideas of what constitutes a true Christian or Jew. In our case, he may have had contact with the Ebionite Christian Community.

By this logic, if they are the norm, the rest of us are schismatic heretics - and hence open game for conversion to Islam

Marshall Taylor, PhD discusses the insufficiency of Islam with an insightful analogy:

The Analogy of the Bow and Arrow

Muslims are also said to “adore the one true God.” Thomas Aquinas would agree with this by adding a clarification.

One can “adore” in two ways.

First, one can adore rightly be adoring the right object (Trinity) and adoring in the right manner (approved liturgy, sacraments, approved prayers and forumalas). This would be the adoration that Catholics offer to the glory of God.

Secondly, one can direct adoration in the right direction but not understand the target. For example, if you shot an arrow down range but your had poor eyesight and could not see the target, then you might shoot in the right direction without seeing the destination. You shot the arrow at the proper target but you don’t see, know, perceive, or understand the target. Moreover, in this case, the bow would be too weak to get the arrow to the destination. The arrow would fall short.

This “blind archer with a weak bow” is Islam. They shoot their arrow in the right direction (toward the “God of Abraham”), but they do not understand the target and their bow is too weak because their bow lacks the power of grace.

So the Muslim “adores the one true God,” just as a blind archer “shoots at the one true target.”

Yet the Catholic “adores the one true God,” as well-practiced archer who can see the target and has a powerful 70 pound bow stringed with grace! Through Christ, our adoration is carried to heart of God.

Why Muslim adoration is insufficient

Through Christ, our adoration is made perfect and well-pleasing because Christ is the perfect and divine High Priest by virtue of hypostatic union that unites His divinity to His assumed humanity.

Mohamed’s Quran explicitly denies this truth:

They do blaspheme who say: “God is Christ the son of Mary.” They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no God except one God Allah. If they do not desist from their word of blasphemy, verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. Christ the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him.” Quran, Sura 5:72-73, 5:75

So Muslims should be recognized as “further along the path” than other non-Christians, but their rejection of the Trinity and their rejection of Christ as the Son of God means that their “arrow of adoration” cannot reach the intended target.

This is why Christians must be charitable witness of the Son of God, and we must continue to fund and send missionaries into Muslim nations. They profess to have the faith of Abraham, but they do not possess the fullness of God’s message for humanity.

Taken from:

Muslim Worship in the Catechism
By Dr. Taylor Marshall
taylormarshall.com

Can this also mean this is arguably an extremist ideology since it comes without proof . Rather than tracing the truth of such an allegation through tradition (passed down of the events of how corruption took place) ?

MJ

I have asked this elsewhere and none of the Muslims answered, but what evidence do they give for the corruption of Christian belief, for example? Muhammad tells believers of the 7th century, to look in the Gospel. So how could Christianity be corrupted at that point? Or when do they think it was corrupted and what evidence do they have for this? When was it supposedly not corrupted?
If the Gospel predicts that Muhammad would follow Christ and that the new religion Islam would be established (as I’ve heard it said from Muslims), why wouldn’t Islam make an effort to preserve and promote the New Testament?
Christians did that with the Old Testament because we did say that the OT predicted Christ and His Kingdom. So, the Old Testament has always been highly valuable to us.
I hope some Muslims will join this thread and participate in the discussion.

To me it seems to be just an assertion with no evidence to support it.
The Quran would need to show what, supposedly, was corrupted. But the Quran tells Christians to learn about Allah and his messenger from reading the Gospel.
That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Yes, that’s a huge problem.

Muhammad was supposedly going to give a greater teaching than what Jesus had. But Muhammad didn’t even know what Jesus’ teaching was and had to learn about it. Even then, he didn’t explain why Christians supposedly needed another prophet.

Absolutely. (Sorry I altered further my quote).

Under say a court of law it fails the test from the get go. Islamic " tradition" has lot of explaining to do. And if taught from youth there likely be anger why we Jews or Christians corrupted our beliefs so we seem anti Islam.

MJ

To date I’ve never seen a chain of argumentation that fulfills what you are asking for.

Usually, the Apologist on the Muslim side will simply devote time to criticizing the textual errors found within the New Testament and the Masoretic/Septugaint versions of the Old Testament. He/she will contrast this with the relative coherence of the Qur’an.

The other issue of course is that real Christianity is whatever version that was encountered by Muhammad. I think a good historical case can be made that it was a derivation of the Ebionites.

So if Prophet Muhammad says that is real Christianity - than us, the Orthodox (Eastern or Oriental), the Protestants, and the Assyrian Church of the East are all measured against that standard.

After all, from their mindset, Muhammad is a Prophet, whereas we are confused human beings.

Yes. Btw I think it makes us look we have an axe to grind. But we’re trying to make sense out of it that’s all.

MJ

They’re more than welcome to. But really it should follow from the traditional analysis from the time of the entry growth of Islam say 690 a.d.

MJ

But that actually shows you how wide the gulf is between both groups.

“It should follow from the traditional analysis” implies a set of criteria.

The other group in this interaction has a different set of criteria.

So I guess u can say we aren’t arguing over just facts… We are arguing what -constitutes- admissible evidence.

We don’t even share the same standard…

Yes, I’ve seen that also. But that is self-refuting because the Quran references the New Testament as a valid source.

The other issue of course is that real Christianity is whatever version that was encountered by Muhammad. I think a good historical case can be made that it was a derivation of the Ebionites.

So if Prophet Muhammad says that is real Christianity - than us, the Orthodox (Eastern or Oriental), the Protestants, and the Assyrian Church of the East are all measured against that standard.

That is a good point, although I had never heard that about the Ebionites. Their doctrine would be a good foundation, viewing Jesus only as a prophet and not divine. But I wonder if they were still influential through the 7th century. Their teachings may have been picked up by Nestorians and Iconoclasts – some combination of Christian heresies.
Now, as you say, Islam may claim these as true Christianity. And that’s reasonable, up to a point.
What would be required is some historical evidence of what they’re claiming. Where can they reference Christian teachings (Ebionite, Nestorian or any) that Muhammad accepted as “true Christianity”? We have the writings of the Fathers which condemn those heresies. So, perhaps in a negative sense, Islam could say “we follow the teachings that were condemned by the Fathers”.
That is somewhat reasonable, except how can anyone reference what those teachings were, and therefore how can Islam validate that claim?
If I want to know what “true Christianity” is, from the Islamic perspective, where can I find it?

After all, from their mindset, Muhammad is a Prophet, whereas we are confused human beings.

True and there is a somewhat magical sense to things. Muhammad was a prophet and God supposedly told him all the truths needed. So, when Muhammad says that Judaism and Christianity were corrupted, no further evidence is needed.

That seems true.
If the standard of evidence is “the prophet said it and therefore it is true”, then all discussions are circular and we can’t move forward.
If, however, we use a historical or scientific method to understand what Christianity actually is, or what it was at the time of Muhammad - and compare Quran against what is known about that era, that would be a shared standard where we could learn and grow from.

The one argument I’ve seen recently is just that Muhammad must have been a prophet because the Quran is a miraculous book. It is said to be a work of beauty and genius and that is enough proof needed to know it is divine. Again, there is almost no way to discuss that point.

I have interest in many religions but for some reason I find Islam completely uninteresting and unappealing.

One thing I have enjoyed is the comparison of Islam and Mormonism.
It would not seem that they would be similar but it is surprising to see what is in common.

That’s kind of the point i’m making.

All faiths require you to buy into a set of first principles which may not be verifiable. We may give logical justifications for why our first principles are correct, but in the case of the Abrahamic faiths it usually devolves down to the authority of a person or a book.

The interaction is pointless, but continues because theres always a population within any religious body that feels the need proselytize.

This isn’t true for all religions though - Judaism doesn’t proselytize for instance. And in my neck of the woods so to speak, American Christian and Middle Eastern Muslim proselytization tactics violates a kind of social norm that runs against the grain of what society considers to be polite.

Sure. A book that may be examined very carefully to determine whether its authors are reliable, credible and so forth. Not many religions can stand up to the kind of scrutiny that Christianity can weather with flying colors.

The interaction is pointless, but continues because theres always a population within any religious body that feels the need proselytize.

In the case of Christianity, this is probably because Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations. So, there’s that.

But that’s kind of the point. Our selling point is our Historicity - but that’s our selling point.

I’ve encountered various faiths who put emphasis in some other aspect of their religious tradition.

I’d compare it to buying a car. We might put emphasis on the Manufacturer, others might put emphasis on the Engine, the Model, or whether or not its possible to… “pimp my ride out” if i might use a bit of American slang i just learned recently.

And some might not want to drive a car at all.

In the case of Christianity, this is probably because Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations. So, there’s that.

Ahh, but my point is about the way you do it.

So in America you can get things like
**
Young Man Preaching The Gospel at New York Subway **
youtube.com/watch?v=BLEIjZBmmCw

And that jives completely with your protections regarding freedom of speech and the ability to access the public sphere.

Take a society like Japan for instance, where formalized rules of politeness wouldn’t necessarily allow you to just launch into a discussion about how Jesus Christ is your lord and savior.

Well that and the practical realities of

People stuffed onto a train in Tokyo, Japan (train stuffing Tokyo
youtube.com/watch?v=E7kor5nHtZQ

In other words - want to evangelize these people?

Than recognize the conditions on the ground are different from what you deem as the norm and adapt accordingly.

Because if you try to emulate a Semitic-style prophet crying out at the top of his/her lungs , you are liable to turn off people to the Gospel (or in the case of our Muslim counterparts, the Qur’an) in certain places.

I’d compare this to how to Eat Chocolate.

Some people like to get hit with a big bar. Others need it chopped into small breakable bites. And others would just like their chocolate in the form of Coco. :wink:

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