The religion that originated with Muhammad has developed during the last
1,350 years into a world-wide cultural power, appearing in various and sometimes
Gamal Abdul-Nasser wanted to annihilate the new-born state of Israel to
erase the Arab's disgrace at the defeat of their war with Israel (1948/49). He
also wanted to repel the infiltration of atheistic communism and transform it
into an Islamic socialist state. He hoped to shake the Arabic people, wake them
from their lethargy, and unite them in war against Israel. Until today, Algeria,
Libya, South Yemen, Syria and Iran are influenced by the ideas of Nasser.
Khomeini had a similar concept. He wanted not only to take revenge on the
multimillionaire Shah (whose father was partly responsible for the death of
Khomeini's father), but also to reverse the influence of materialistic Western
capitalist and the penetration of Soviet Bolshevism in Persia. Khomeini was
deeply obsessed with the idea of "the kingdom of Allah" in Iran.
Consequently, the Sharia, the religious law of Islam, was imposed upon the new
state in detail. However, in the few years of Khomeini's rule in Iran, more
Muslims and non-Muslims have been tortured and killed in Allah's name than there
ever were in the long reign of the Shah beforehand.
In 1900 Abd al-Aziz al-Sa'ud tried to restore the former Wahabite kingdom
with its strong puritanistic ideas on the Arabian peninsula. In his reign even
Turkish coffee was forbidden in the area he ruled. His son, King Fahd, was
unable to cope with the responsibility and temptations of enormous wealth and
the stress that was involved in leading an oil empire in the modern world. He
became an alcoholic and had to undergo several rehabilitation programs.
Who then does represent true Islam? The Sunnites, who constitute 90 percent
of the Islamic population in the world, or the Shiites with their extraordinary
political and religious outbursts? Did the Muatazilites come nearer to the
Islamic ideal as they adopted thoughts from the Greek-Byzantine philosophy,
spiritualising their religion? Or have later generations of Qur'anic lawyers
fulfilled the basic ideas of Muhammad by forcing Islam into a rigid religion of
law? In a counter-movement the Sufis and Dervishes tried to gain devotion to
Allah through mysticism and collective trances, while the Aisawijin extolled
Jesus and his miracles in the Qur'an.
When the Mongols and the Turks stormed out of the arid lands of Asia
destroying the Arabic and Persian empires, they developed an Islam interwoven
with the Mongolian and Turkish cultures. In the West the Turks reached Vienna,
while in India an Islamic-Hinduistic piety developed under the great and wealthy
In Indonesia, the most populated Islamic country, the mixture of Islam and
animism advanced so much in certain areas, that although the government alleges
90 percent of the 160 million inhabitants are Muslims, the last election shows
that only 35 percent of the people favour an Islamic state. The mixture of
tribal customs, occult practices and Islamic ideas can hardly be labelled as
Anyone who reads excerpts of lectures from leading Muslims in the USSR will
be amazed to find that Bolshevism is praised as a development of Islam. Such
statements arise as a result of the pressure on their religion. Every sixth
Soviet citizen is a Muslim. The birth-rate among Muslims is higher than among
those of other religions.
One thousand three hundred fifty years of Islam have influenced more people
and cultures than the old Christian Occident ever enveloped. We should recognise
that Islam in itself is not a "religion" in a Western sense, that
fills and stimulates its followers only spiritually and intellectually: Islam is
much more a way of life that encompasses all sections of personal and civil
life. Many of its followers find rest and peace only where the Sharia is
impressed upon the entire social structure of the country. We should understand
that, for a Muslim, there is no separation between religion and politics. TheIslamic
State remains the unwavering goal of this religious society.
Today, 900 million Muslims live in 90 countries of the world. Half of them
are not even 20 years old. The Islamic peoples are young and aspiring - a
challenge for satiated and pessimistic Europeans and Americans. Every sixth
inhabitant of the earth is a Muslim. Twenty-five million Muslims are born each
year. Biologically, Islam is advancing while the Christian population in some
countries is decreasing.
What, then, is Islam? What is the common denominator that has kept all these
nations together in their theocentric culture? What is the invisible backbone of
Islam? Billions of dollars from oil price increases have awakened the hidden
strength of the Muslims and incited them to a third great historic offensive to
unite mankind under the banner of Muhammad.
The faith, hope and life of all Muslims is based on four fundamental
principles. Here they find the strength that drives them to holy wars and even
to self-sacrifice for Islam. With four questions we shall unfold the meaning of
- Who is Allah?
- Who was Muhammad?
- How does a Muslim relate to his Qur'an?
- What is the meaning of Al-Sharia?
Let us think about these four fundamentals of Islam according to the
self-understanding of Muslims and compare them with the New Testament. Then we
will come closer to a better comprehension of the religious culture of Islam. In
so doing we should avoid any hasty judgement: Islam is not a primitive religion.
During the illustrious time of its history Islam covered all realms of science,
law and society. It produced a vast amount of literature in which Islam was
interwoven and impressed upon all areas of this world and the next. While
Charlemagne was preparing to unite and Christianise Europe, Harun al-Rashid was
ruler in Baghdad over a glorious empire compared to which the newly formed
European state appeared very backward. As the Crusaders marched off to free the
Holy Land from the Muslim occupation, they came against a loftier culture than
they had in their homelands. They returned beaten and with a shaken view of
life. Therefore, we should not easily despise Islam, the second largest religion
on Earth. We want to reach for a deeper understanding of Islam, that we might
comprehend this great power which opposes the church of Jesus Christ.
Islam is a theocentric culture. All facets of its existence revolve around
one central point - Allah.
In the confession of faith every Muslim testifies, "There is no God
except Allah." The oneness of Allah in Islam is the eye of the
needle through which all other opinions and attitudes of God must pass. This
unity should not be confused with the union of equivalent deities. Allah is only
a single person. All other gods are nothing and, in the eyes of a Muslim,
whoever acknowledges the existence of other gods besides Allah is a blasphemer.
Whoever inquires about the attributes of Allah finds a list of his 99 most
beautiful names, 72 of which are used in the Qur'an 1,286 times. Sometimes they
contradict and even cancel each other out. As a result, the Islamic theologian
Al-Ghazali wrote that Allah is everything and nothing. He cannot be grasped by
the human mind and is greater than we can comprehend; He rules and governs all
and is the sole controller of the universe.
This is the exact meaning of the Islamic call to faith and battle, "Allahu
akbar", uttered on innumerable occasions on the lips of Muslims. This
call resounds 40 times a day over the rooftops of the cities and villages from
loudspeakers attached to minarets. It sums up the Islamic faith: Allah is
greater, stronger, wiser, more beautiful and cleverer than we can imagine; he is
more cunning than all the cunning and the best of all judges in the day of
judgement; he is totally different and incomprehensible; he is beyond all, a
distant, great and unknowable God. Every thought about him is insufficient and
false. He cannot be fathomed, only worshipped.
Islam is a religion of worship. During the five daily prayer times a
Muslim prostrates himself before Allah up to 34 times: each time his forehead
touches the ground. The bowed back of any Muslim worshipping is the visible
interpretation of the Arabic word "Islam", which means "deliverance",
"surrender" and "submission".
This unreserved devotion to Allah does not guarantee entrance to free grace.
It is part of their righteousness by works based mainly on their commitment to
the testimony of their creed, daily prayers, official fasting during Ramadan,
set offerings and a pilgrimage to Mecca. In the Qur'an, performing religious
duties is seen as paying a debt, as if it were a business transaction with Allah
(Sura al-Fatir 35:29-30). The Almighty counts quickly and precisely the good and
bad deeds of every person; he weighs all words and thoughts against each other,
and presents an error-free account on that great day of judgement.
Anxiety over the Day of Judgement, the climax of the Islamic religion,
increases the Muslim's fear of Allah. He stands respectfully before the unknown
ruler of creation, and fears the everlasting judge. No Muslim knows exactly what
awaits him on the "day of religion". A dark future lies ahead of him.
According to Islamic faith, Allah is the unquestioned ruler and despot who
reigns arbitrarily. No one knows why he leads some to paradise, or why hell is
the destiny of others. A Muslim prostrates himself on the ground before Allah
like a slave before his master, who does not know whether he will be apportioned
life or death, grace or damnation. He longs for mercy and his honest intent
to worship the only true God earnestly brings no assurance of everlasting life.
Every Muslim knows from childhood that Christians believe in three Gods. He
is constantly warned about committing this "sin of sins". The fact
that there is a Father, Son and Holy Spirit sounds like blasphemy to a Muslim
and is synonymous with breaking the first commandment: "You shall not have
any other gods before me." Anyone who confesses that there are one or two
god-like persons beside Allah commits an unforgivable sin. This coincides with
the sin against the Holy Spirit (Sura al-Nisa 4:48 and 116).
A Muslim does not know the reality of the triune God, nor does he want to
know it. He rejects it decidedly. A Muslim feels repelled when Christians try to
explain the Trinity to him. "Three cannot be one, and one is not three,"
is their stereotyped answer. Allah in Islam does not need a helper, mediator or
partner. He alone is great. No one is like Him.
A divine triumvirate could, in the eyes of a Muslim, bring the possibility
of an insurrection of one God against the other. Jealousy, ambition, hate and
criticism would be unavoidable. At the head of a Muslim country there is usually
just one ruler. Rivals are executed. In the same way Allah can only be one.
The mystery that our God is love remains hidden to Muslims. The Father loved
the Son before all time. He is not an egoist who only loves Himself. Through
Him, the "Word," He created the universe. After Jesus' substitutionary
death of reconciliation, the Father bestowed all power in heaven and on earth
into the hands of the risen conqueror. The Holy Spirit today is completing the
work of the Son in His church. Muslims see none of this. They also do not
understand that the Holy Spirit never glorifies Himself, but the Son, and the
Son continually honours the Father, who has set the Victor over sin, death and
hell at His right hand. Such spiritual relationships in the Holy Trinity are
completely foreign to a Muslim. He does not want to understand the words of
Jesus: "I and the Father are one", or "the Father is in Me and I
in Him." Love, humility and self-denial, in Islam, do not emerge as roots
of every spiritual authority. Allah is different. He is the only one exalted
from beginning to end, solitary and unreachable.
With the rejection of the triune God Islam has judged itself. Christians
recognise that since the time of Christ's appearance, the former meaning of "God"
has changed. Who really exists is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in
spiritual unity. Jesus stated in His final prayer, "We are one"
(John 17:22). Here, the plural attested to the singular in order to reveal
the secret of our God.
Islam refuses to have anything to do with the reality of our Trinity.
Muhammad stressed, "Believe in Allah and His Ambassador, and say not,
`three', refrain; it is better for you. They are infidels who say, Allah is the
third of three" (Sura al-Nisa 4:171 and al-Ma'ida 5:73).
Muhammad received a distorted picture of the Divine Trinity when sectarians
told him that Jesus had said, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart from
Allah" (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:116). This idea was rejected from the beginning by
every Christian church on the basis of the commonly held Nicene Creed (325 BC).
In spite of this refusal, Islam cannot tolerate the divine reality. Allah
alone is great, sovereign and glorious. There can be no other god beside him. He
does not need a helper. No one is like him. The entire existence of Islam
rejects the triune God.
The confession that God is a father arouses in Muslims the repulsive idea
that God would have slept with Mary and would have begotten a son. The name "father"
will not be understood in Islam in a spiritual sense, but only literally. Allah
remains the exalted one, the holy and distant God who has no personal contact
with man. The idea of Allah being a father evokes rejection and aversion in a
This is the precise point where the gospel confirms us. God became flesh in
Jesus Christ. He did not remain a distant, foreign and unknown creator, but
revealed Himself to be an intimate and loving father. God has bound
Himself as a father to each person who accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour and
The Old Testament understanding of God was deepened by Jesus' emphasis on
the name, "Father". This was the theological revolution Jesus
introduced into the rigid monotheistic faith of the Jews. But the Jews rejected
the fatherhood of God as absolute blasphemy (Matthew 26:65; John 10:33-36), just
as Islam is indignant about the reality of God the Father.
Has it occurred to you that Jesus did not guide us to pray to Elohim, to
Yahweh, to the Almighty God, nor to himself, but revealed His own personal
prayer to us? As children we can pray: "Our Father in heaven...The
Father's name be hallowed!...Our Father's kingdom come...The Father's will be
done." To deny or to empty the very name of the Father would be to tear the
heart out of the gospel. "Father" was the first word of Jesus on the
cross and it was to the "Father" that He cried out in His last
sentence. Jesus revealed the innermost secret of the essence of God to His
disciples as the basis and goal of the new covenant.
God did not remain an unfamiliar Lord whom we must address as "master".
We have the privilege of addressing our Heavenly Father in the familiar term, "you".
The Spirit of God testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.
Every sincere Christian has direct contact with God. We are not slaves,
but children of the new covenant through the grace of Jesus Christ. Muslims
pray, often more than Christians, but their official prayer consists of a
prescribed liturgy and not a direct conversation with God. In Islam all men are
categorised as slaves that were created to worship Allah. But through Jesus we
are not slaves: we are children. The door to our Father stands wide open. Our
prayer is a conversation with God straight from the heart full of requests,
intercession, thanks and worship. We have a direct line to a Father who hears us
at all times. Muslims can also cry out in their own words to Allah, besides the
five times of prescribed prayers, but these attempts at making contact are like
a call into an empty sky. A Muslim does not know whether anyone will listen and
whether his prayer will be answered. Allah is too great to bind himself to his
worshipers. A Muslim has no personal contact with God. This remains the
privilege of Christians.
Since Islam rejects the fatherhood of God, it sets itself on the road that
leads to destruction. Muslims must accomplish everything alone when preparing
themselves to give account before Allah on the Day of Judgement. Their god is an
incorruptible witness and judge, before whom there is no regard of kinship or
person. All sin will be mercilessly uncovered. It is terrible to fall into the
hands of Allah. He hardens whom he will, and saves whom he will. No one knows
exactly what Allah will decide to do with every individual. But the gospel
reveals the will of our Father to us, and we know that He desires that all men
should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. So we can approach the
Day of Judgement with great comfort, for the judge is our Saviour.
God sent His only Son into this evil world that He might reconcile all men
to Himself. Christ bore the sin of everyone and suffered the punishment in our
place. The Father did not break the holy law when He justified sinners, but
fulfilled it through the substitution of Christ's death. Only through the
crucified One did we receive the privilege to call God our Father. He has given
all judgement to his Son, who will judge in complete unity with His Father.
Everyone who believes in the Father through the Son has already been rescued
from judgement (John 3:16-19; 5:22-23).
In contrast to the other world religions, Islam rose after Christ
lived on earth. Muhammad had often inquired about Jesus and collected
information about the New Testament from Arabic Christians, as well as from
foreign Christian slaves. Waraqa Ibn Nawfal, a cousin of Muhammad's first wife
Khadija (also a distant relative of Muhammad), probably was the leader of a
house church in Mecca. Muhammad analysed the life of Jesus and accepted certain
assertions that harmonised with his system of belief. Everything he did not
understand, or that did not suit him, was renounced as erroneous or false. In
this way the Christology of Islam became limited to 93 verses in fifteen suras
of the Qur'an.
Muhammad testified in several verses in the Qur'an that Jesus was born of
the virgin Mary. His marvellous birth is not only a Christian belief, but also
an Islamic dogma. Muhammad called Jesus the "Word of God" incarnate
and a "spirit from Him" (Sura Al Imran 3:45 and al-Nisa
4:171). The difference between Islam and Christianity in the understanding of
Christ's birth is reflected in Muhammad's teaching: Christ is not "born"
from Allah, but has been "created" in Mary, out of nothing, through
the Word of the Almighty. Allah can never be understood to be the Father of
Jesus, but only as His Creator. Christ is not the Son of Allah in Islam, but
only a marvellous person, a special prophet, and an authorised ambassador of
Allah. This contradicts the faith of all churches who agree with the Nicene
Creed that Christ is "God of God, light of light, very God of very God,begotten,
not created, being of one essence with the Father."
The Qur'anic Christology shows that ideas from a doctrinal dispute over the
nature of Christ, that arose between the third and sixth century in the churches
of the Mediterranean region, had advanced as far as Mecca. Resident Jews may
also have influenced Muhammad with their rejection of Jesus' divine Sonship.
Thus Muhammad denied the heavenly nature of Christ with a cutting sharpness. In
Sura al-Ikhlas 112 we find the core of Islam in the command for the Muslim
confession, "Allah begets not and was not begotten." This phrase is
impressed upon every Muslim from childhood - God is not a father and never had a
son. In Sura al-Tawba 9:29,30 Muhammad gave a more radical argument to this
theme. He ascertained: "The Christians say, `the Messiah is the Son of
Allah.' That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers
before them. Allah kill them! How they are perverted!" With this curse
Muhammad asserts that anyone who believes that God is a father and Christ is His
Son, must be annihilated by Allah. Who can deny that this is a manifestation of
an anti-Christian spirit? In Islam a real incarnation of God in Christ is
unthinkable. In 1 John 2:22-23 and 4:2-3 the signs of the Antichrist are made
obvious: "This is the Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either... Every spirit that does
not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is
the spirit of the Antichrist."
At the beginning of 1984 Qaddafi published an open letter to the leaders of
the Christian world, in which he summarised the thoughts of Islam in a daily
Indian newspaper. We have reprinted this letter in English in the appendix. It
is a typical example of the entire Islamic Christology.
Muhammad analysed the person of Jesus. He believed in his wonderful
miracles. The Qur'an says that Jesus opened the eyes of the blind, healed lepers
and raised the dead. Muhammad reported that Jesus moulded birds out of clay,
breathed into them and they flew away. Besides that, He freed His disciples from
the observance of some difficult laws and instituted new commands. Muhammad saw
in these acts and words of Christ no sign of His divine authority and power, but
rather proof of His weakness. He said several times that Allah strengthened
Christ through the spirit of holiness, so that He could do such miracles (Sura
al-Baqara 2:87, 253; al-Ma'ida 5:110). In the eyes of Muhammad, Jesus was an
instrument in the hands of Allah, through which He revealed His greatness.
Muhammad did not understand Christ's meekness when He said, "The Son can do
nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for whatever He does the Son
also does." Jesus revealed Himself as gentle and humble of heart. Such a
spirit is foreign to Islam. One of the "99 most beautiful names of Allah"
is "the proud one". Therefore, Muhammad saw in the humility of Jesus a
sign of weakness and incapability, not recognising the source of His power and
The revolt of the Islamic spirit against God and Christ reveals itself,
finally, in the denial of the crucifixion of Jesus. In Sura al-Nisa 4:157 it
says, "We (the Jews) slew the Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, the messenger of
God - yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that
was shown to them."
Muhammad lived in Mecca in great distress, persecuted by the merchants of
his city. It was difficult for him to hear their biting ridicule about his
mission. Their threats made it clear to him: "just as the Jews killed
Christ, the son of Mary, the Ambassador of Allah, so it is possible that they
can kill you too, the troublemaker and deceiver, if you will not stop
propagating Islam. Allah did not save Jesus from the hands of the Jews and he
will not deliver you from us either." But Muhammad trusted in the
omnipotence of Allah. It was unimaginable for him that the sublime God would
allow his persecuted servant to perish. Therefore Muhammad rejected and denied
the vexation of the cross and said, "Impossible! Allah is faithful. He must
have saved His faithful Christ, even if it appeared to the confused masses that
he was crucified. It is not so that he really died on the cross, but was raised
up alive to God."
Fear and despair may have caused Muhammad to reject the crucifixion of
Jesus. He wanted to obscure the cross and let it vanish from the face of the
earth. He did not directly deny the substitutionary work of Christ, nor the
justification by grace or the new birth through the Holy Spirit, but he
nullified for his followers the basic requirement of the second and third
articles of our faith. In Islam there is no room for the cross of Christ and its
spiritual fruits. Muhammad's anti-Christian spirit denied the very core of the
gospel. Perplexingly, he testified in the Qur'an of many miracles, acts of power
and names of Christ. He also confirmed the ascension of Jesus and his existence
today at the right hand of God. But he rejected Jesus' divine incarnation, the
indispensable condition for the atoning death of Christ on the cross, and tried
to erase the hour of reconciliation of the world with God from the history of
The rejection of the death of Christ for all men is a logical consequence in
Islam. Allah does not need a mediator or substitute for men. The possibility of
the blood offering in the Old Testament that shadowed the expiatory death of
Christ has not been received in Islam. Allah is sovereign. He forgives when he
will, whom he will and where he will. He does not need an atoning "lamb".
The existence of a mediator and redeemer would diminish the majesty of Allah in
the eyes of a Muslim. He alone is great.
Thus, in Islam, there is no place for the lamb of God who takes away the sin
of the world. The consequence is that Muslims are not certain about the
forgiveness of their sins. They can read 111 times in the Qur'an that Allah is a
forgiver who generously pardons and turns himself towards the repentant, but the
impersonal Allah gave no clear sign for a Muslim to recognise whether the
forgiveness is in fact valid for him or not. When a Muslim is asked if he really
has forgiveness of sins, he can only answer, "If Allah wills!"
Whether Allah wills only becomes visible at the Day of Judgement.
This understanding shows anew that no Muslim carries in his heart the
certainty of forgiveness of sins. He lives unredeemed and stands under the
burden of an accusing conscience. "Allah does not love sinners" is
written 24 times in the Qur'an: he only loves those who fear him. Who is so
devout that he can no longer be considered a sinner? On the contrary, our gospel
declares, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John
3:16). Christ has come to seek and to save that which was lost. The Good
Shepherd prefers to leave the 99 righteous who think they do not need to repent
and seek the single lost sinner, who is searching for righteousness, until he
finds him (Luke 15:2-7). The forgiveness of God in the Gospel is valid for every
sinner; the forgiveness of Allah in Islam is possible only for his true
worshipers - even for them it is uncertain. Muslims do not know the comforting
certainty that their sins are forgiven, because they reject the crucified one,
who is the only way for us to receive God's grace and peace.
Twice in the Qur'an Allah is referred to as the "holy one". The
meaning of this name in Islam is unclear. It has probably been taken out of
Judaism and signifies the majesty and loftiness of Allah.
The Arabic word for "spirit" is closely bound to the meaning of "wind".
Just as the wind comes and goes where it wants and cannot be seen, so also the
spirit is incomprehensible. In Islam the "Holy Spirit" is understood
as a created spirit that stands at the level of angels and demons, who were all
created by Allah out of nothing. The Qur'an does not know a revelation that "God
is Spirit" or that "the Spirit is God". No one can comprehend who
and what Allah really is. In Islam the Holy Spirit is understood as the
angel Gabriel who was sent by Allah to Zechariah, Mary and Muhammad in order to
convey special messages to them(Sura Maryam 19:17).
The New Testament reveals to us that the deep piety in Islam, which
manifests itself in prayers, fasting and pilgrimage, is far from signifying the
new birth or sanctification. Jesus' word is like a sword which separates false
piety from the reality of salvation. Only "He who believes in the Son has
eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath
remains on him" (John 3:36).
Muslims get a slight glimpse of the power of the Holy Spirit in connection
with the miracles of Christ, but His power and gifts remain unknown to them. In
the culture of Islam no fruits of the Holy Spirit are found. The fruit of the
flesh reigns there (Galatians 5:19-26). We admit that Arab hospitality shames
Westerners. Their politeness, sensitivity and refined manners are appealing to
every guest. Whoever lives in the Middle East for a long period of time knows
that these virtues often serve unconsciously to build up the honour of their own
clan or are influenced by an unconscious striving for righteousness by works.
Islam is a religion that can arouse in its followers an entire life
controlled and modelled by religiosity. But the individual is not renewed in his
essence and character. After his submission to Allah a Muslim can generally
remain the same as he was before. If he had previously married several women,
his conversion to Islam is not a problem, for in Islam polygamy has been
legalised by Allah. Islam is a comfortable religion for men.
Also, if theft is not commonly practised in some Islamic countries and fewer
crimes are committed than in Western countries, it is not due to a better Muslim
character, but to a deep fear of severe punishment.
The expiatory offering of Christ for the unworthy is not very appealing to
people in an Islamic culture. Instead, the majesty and sovereignty of Allah has
become the guiding principle. The generous dictator rewards his worshipers if he
so desires. The thought of reward for good works, not devotion out of gratitude,
characterises the Islamic everyday life. Regal power, princely splendour and
legendary wealth are the principles that resulted from Allah's example. Christ,
however, has encouraged His followers to be humble, meek, poor, self-denying and
to bear the cross. Islam produces exalted and proud masters; Christ forms humble
and diligent servants.
Muhammad personally met real Christians, for he wrote, "You will surely
find the nearest of them who love the believers (the Muslims) are those who say
`we are Christians'; that is because some of them are priests and monks, and
they wax not proud" (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:82). This is a testimony by Muhammad
about Christ living in Arab believers at that time. Muhammad had seen the
spiritual "body of Christ" and testified to its existence, but had not
understood the spirit of Jesus. Christians confessed to him clearly that they
were sons of God and His beloved ones, but Muhammad sharply rejected this
statement and questioned their spiritual existence and privilege when he stated
in return, "Why then does he chastise you for your sins? No, you are
mortals out of his creating; He forgives whom he will, and he chastises whom he
will. You are nothing except created slaves for his adoration" (Sura
The spirit of Islam is opposed to the spirit of Jesus Christ in life and
teaching. Muslims do not consider themselves to be children of God and have not
received the gifts of grace, which the triune God granted to the members of His
New Covenant church. Islam rejects, through the Qur'an, Christian dogmas and
service ordinances, factors that are all essential contents of the Christian
message. Whoever is acquainted with Islam either through the practical ministry
or through a knowledge of Islamic law and theology, is forced to recognise this
religion as an antibiblical and anti-Christian power. Muslims are immunised
against the salvation of Christ. The already quoted Sura 112 is a compilation of
their revolt against God and His anointed One:
Allah begets not = Allah is no Father
and was not begotten = and is no Son,
and no one is like him = and is no Holy Spirit.
Every true Muslim knows this Sura by heart and prays it repeatedly in
silence during his five daily times of prayer. He carries these words
tenaciously like a shackle in his unconsciousness, and excludes himself from
salvation in Christ by this confession.
It is hard for us to comprehend that, in spite of its piety, Islam is not
the way to salvation, but a straight road that leads to hell. The daily
hardening of 900 million Muslims should stir Christians and drive them to
prayer. Especially when we recognise that under the cloak of Islamic devoutness
there hides a spiritual bondage and a collective obsession which, for more than
1,300 years, has defied nearly all Christian attempts at missions. In the world
of Islam the rejection of the holy Trinity is propagated a thousand times daily
from the minarets creating a continuous echo from the Muslims' repetition, "There
is no God besides Allah; Muhammad is the Ambassador of Allah."
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