Answering-Islam is a major Christian propaganda website , I checked it out a few times in the past and for some reason I felt like checking it out again , only to come across an article written by Timothy Ibrahim , then I remembered seeing this name on the list of Zakaria Botros's live testimony section , I had not doubt it was him.
Anyone who is familiar with anti-islamic propaganda will instantly see how bad this article is , how it doesn't make any sense , appeals to emotion , uses double standards and distorts facts to the highest level.
Since the author "would be delighted" to hear from us readers, I'll be happy to oblige, I hope Timothy has the ruqyy-ee (رقيّ) [English Translation:"Class"] he was speaking of in his article.
I checked out both English and Arabic versions , the Arabic version has more material to work with , I don't know why the article wasn't translated as a whole into English, never the less I will respond to both articles ,beginning with the English article on Answering-Islam , Inshalla next month I will have enough time to respond to the additions in the Arabic article on An-Naqid.
From what I understood , Timothy is trying to prove that if a Muslim wants to refine him/herself , then Christianity should be his/her choice not Islam since Christianity holds the keys to self refinement not Islam , I find this claim absurd and laughable and I will demonstrate why I think so.
It seems like Timothy forgot a very important historical fact , that civilizations throughout history had , has and will have their ups and downs , frankly I'm sick of missionaries trying to link the current status of Muslims to Islam itself , forgetting that most of them suffer from dictating rulers who sold out ,occupation ,hateful agendas from within and from afar, what surprises me is that Timothy is an Arab , he should know better than that.
Timothy quotes are in BLUE.
"Ever since I was a little Muslim boy, I heard everybody around me admonishing each other to go after “refinement”. A mother would admonish her son who acted embarrassingly, “khalīk Rā`ī خليك راقي”, which is: Be refined! "
"As Arabs, we have always admired Western countries for their phenomenal achievement in technology, liberty, democracy and definitely their “ruqyy-ee رقيّ” (refinement)."
This is surprising ! Seems like Timothy is putting his own experience and feelings and attributing it to "all arabs" and "always" ? I wonder which Arab "admired" the western world during the Islamic golden age of phenomenal achievement in technology , liberty , democracy and refinement ?
There is no need to deny that many Arabs do admire the western world for different reasons , Timothy's generalization is what I object to , personally I admire and respect anyone who has the dedication for self refinement, but I do not see the west as the example of self refinement.
"We have always hoped for something better than what was already the norm, frustrated terribly by the marginalization of the individual. In classic Egyptian movies, we have been charmed by their “refined” habits of etiquette and how a lot of families spoke French even at home, in order to cultivate higher standards of refined living. On the other hand, there was the screaming shouting of the Muslim call to prayer and people yelling at one another, which is an every day occurrence in the Muslim world."
Now I'm not ashamed to admit what I am about to say , this type of mentality is the reason why Arabs are not progressing , it's a shame to see that Timothy had (or still has I do not know) this mentality.
"Hoped" ??? Why hope ? Hope does nothing , it is actions of refinement that will refine the Arabs , many Arabs sit around doing nothing "hoping" something will happen just like Timothy did , instead of doing something to inspire refinement and a good example , watching movies and getting "fascinated" doesn't help out either.
I too see how bad the situation is , but instead of "hoping" I took action and refined myself through critically examining why this happened and seeing what I have to do and this is what Islam has taught me to do , Islam never taught anyone to sit around hoping something better will happen.
Well if Timothy doesn't like the Muslim call to prayer , then can he please contact the church next door to make them stop ringing their bells everyday ?
As if there is no shouting going on in the western world ! I hope Timothy visits New york city one day , then we'll see how "quiet" the western world is.
"Jesus Christ has come to bring refinement and elevate us as Arabs to a refined humane behavior."
I thought Jesus came to "die for our sins" not to elevate Arabs to refine humane behavior , and if that is the case ,until the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came to the Arabs how come they were still the backward , barbaric , uncivilized people they were when Jesus left them ?
"He also identified himself as “gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:29) and such was his living as people witnessed his going about doing good to all without differentiation (Acts 10:38). While some people are greedy for power in this world, Jesus simply declares that “my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36)."
I do not deny that Jesus (pbuh) was not all of this , what I object to is the "Divine Jesus" of the Old Testament , a racist "god" who has "chosen people" , sends prophets only to them and has the audacity to condemn other nations he didn't send prophets to (because he is a racist) for their idol worship ! this "gentle and humble in heart" God ordered the death of women and children and destruction of nations , where was this lovely God Timothy speaks about hiding during those times ? the Old Testament and its "God" will always be the reason why I will never accept Christianity.
Dear reader , please remember what Timothy did just now , he defined Jesus (pbuh) using what he said about himself and what the bible says about him , with this methodology in mind I will use this later on expose his double standards.
"He is not coming to set up a theocracy of Christian ideology but rather reigns by His redeeming love over human hearts"If Timothy was an atheist I would've understood why he would object to a theocracy , but Timothy is a believer in God who objects to living in a state where God and his commandments are the highest authority , and evens goes to the extent where he claims his God never tried to establish one , unbelievable.
On what basis does Timothy assume Jesus did not come to set a theocracy ? just because Jesus never reigned as a ruler of over people does not mean he didn't preach any laws to follow that can be integrated into politics and governments thus creating a theocracy of his particular ideology , for example which christian supports gay rights ? divorce ? the pro liberation of pornography ? dealing drugs ? once Jesus "reigns by his redeeming love over human hearts" by default the christian "cleansed heart" is against all of this based on what Jesus preached , and if the majority of citizens are christian they will ban these things and influence other changes in their states based on their faith , if this is not a theocracy in action what is ?
"Muhammad, on the other hand, came to rule and dominate, for he was hungry for power."
This is where the double standard hypocrisy begins.
Muhammad (pbuh) came as a mercy to all man-kind ,to spread the knowledge and worship of the one true god , if his objective was to rule and dominate because he was hungry for power , why didn't he accept the pagan offering ? the pagans offered him riches , money , women , they would've made him a king ! according to Timothy this is a "mission accomplished" , but prophet Muhammad (pbuh) refuted him 1400 years ago when he refused this offering thus destroying his claim.
Now you all remember how Timothy defined Jesus (pbuh) and his character , he used what Jesus said about himself and what the bible teaches , with this methodology in mind , I have a question to ask , how did Timothy conclude that Muhammad (pbuh) "came to rule and dominate, for he was hungry for power" based on what the Quran teaches and what prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said about himself ? the answer is clear , by his false reasoning and backwards logic , not by the same standards he applies to Jesus and expects us Muslims to follow through with as if he did nothing wrong.
Now lets apply Timothy's standards on prophet Muhammad (pbuh) , The Quran says :
"It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (Their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast Taken a decision put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)." [Sura 3:159]The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said about himself in the following narrations :
"And Verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character" [Sura 68:4]
"We sent you not (O Muhammad), but as a Mercy for all creatures" [Sura 21:107]
"Most certainly, you (people) have in the messenger of Allah an excellent pattern (of behavior)" [Sura 33:21]
"Allah has sent me as an apostle so that I may demonstrate perfection of character, refinement of manners and loftiness of deportment." [Muwatta; Musnad; Mishkat]Based on all this , using Timothy's standards I have no idea how he came up with his conclusion.
"I was sent to perfect good character" [Muwatta]
The character of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) does not fit with the character of a power hungry man as Timothy is trying to tell us , for more please consult this article over here which talks about the simplicity of the life of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) although he was the ruler of Madina and he had the Muslim treasury under his disposal , does this sound like a "power hungry man who came to rule and dominate" ?
As a side note I want to say that perhaps Timothy came up with this conclusion because of the wars fought by prophet Muhammad (pbuh) , again once you study history I have no idea how can anyone claim that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was "hungry for power" , prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Muslims did eventually pick up the sword to fight back those who are creating chaos in the land , defend themselves ,to protect the weak , end oppression , stop persecution and establish peace after God permitted them after 13 years of prosecution in Mecca , and history confirms all these motives for the wars of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to be valid , just because prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did fight in battles for these causes does not disqualify him as a prophet , belittle his status or make him a "hungry for power man who came to rule and dominate".
"Scholars of “modern” Islam run up against a wall as they reduce Islam to a mere spirituality as those of Buddhism and Christianity."
I personally do not know any of these scholars and I stand against those "Muslims" who claim Islam should be modernized , these "Muslims" never understood what Islam is to begin with, Islam is perfect the way it is , it does not need any change to fit any period of time.
"But Islam is both dogma and ideology, a Quran and a sword, faith and politics, faith and Shari’ah شريعة. Islam without the Islamic law الشريعة الإسلامية would be a mutilated religion, not the real thing; a pathetic, gutted, emaciated form of religion that has nothing to do with the real Islam that is explicitly stated in the Quran."
And...? What is the point ?
Yes Timothy in Islam we have laws and a code to follow just like all civilized , REFINED people have , this world is not a lawless jungle , and as a believer in God if I seek to find which religion is the truth and can refine me as a human being , I would expect God to reveal laws on how to be the best human being you can be , how to create the best society , how to deal with situation A , B , C...etc along with spirituality , the existence of moral , social , governmental , financial and other laws to live by in a religion (Islam for example) does not mean the religion is not true , if all I got is spirituality and no practical laws (just like Christianity) how on earth can I say this religion can refine anyone ?
"The modern movement to attempt to modernize Islam, to bring it up to the level of other faiths, forces the stripping of the core of the teachings of the Quran, leaving Islam bared."
The modern movement is trying to bring Islam DOWN to the level of other faiths.
"Islam’s basis and foundation is not about the spiritual relationship with Allah, but that of an agenda, an ideology and a political movement."
and Timothy is supposed to be a former Muslim ?
Islam is based on 5 pillars (5 year old kids know this , I'm surprised Timothy forgot them) the very first pillar is to accept there is no God but Allah and Muhammad (pbuh) is his messenger , in this pillar Muslims are required to believe in God , and one who believes in God does what ? believers in God establish a relationship with God and Islam provides and defines this relationship as submission to God, without this relationship , why would any Muslim follow the commandments ? or do anything God tells him to do ? why would a Muslim love God if there is no relationship as a basis for his/her faith ?
Yes , Islam has an agenda , an agenda of spreading the worship of the one god so all man kind can be saved , the avocation of universal brotherhood and rejection of all differences in race , color , language and nationality thus destroying the plague of racism , other "Islamic agendas" like giving charity , taking care of the orphans , feeding the homeless , creating a law that ends all poverty (Zaka) ,what a dangerous "agenda" Islam has for man kind.
Yes , Islam does have an ideology and Islam integrates itself with politics , so what ? we are clear about that and not hypocritical like Timothy is , assuming his faith has no place for ideological thinking and politics .
The fact that Islam's "agenda" , ideology and political stance are NOT in the pillars of Islam is sufficient to prove Islam is based on a spiritual relationship with God and accepting him (the first pillar) before following his commandments (other pillars) , Islam is based on the acceptance of God to begin with , not what Timothy suggested.
"The embellishment on the part of Western academic institutions has been but a futile attempt to civilize it."
So western academic institutes have been trying hard to civilize the Muslim world, not dominate it and introduce their secular degenerate ideals , yeah I believe you Timothy.
"Even if we concede Islam to be a form of spirituality amongst all these religions of the world, I venture as a former preacher of Islam to confidently state that Islam is the most degenerate form of spiritualities."
This is coming from someone who believes God loves the world so much he killed his only son to save humans from a sin they are not responsible for nor was God's "son" responsible for , this is supposed to be better than what Islam offers ?
Major Yeats-Brown says:
"NO HEATHEN TRIBE HAS CONCEIVED SO GROTESQUE AN IDEA, INVOLVING AS IT DOES THE ASSUMPTION, THAT MAN WAS BORN WITH A HEREDITARY STAIN UPON HIM: AND THAT THIS STAIN (FOR WHICH HE WAS NOT PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE) WAS TO BE ATONED FOR: AND THAT THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS HAD TO SACRIFICE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON TO NEUTRALIZE THIS MYSTERIOUS CURSE." ["Life of a Bengal Lancer"]
This is only one example out of multiple issues.
Where do we find such filthy spiritual beliefs in Islam ? is there anything more pagan and degenerate than such a belief ? imagine a religion that bases its whole theology on this belief , can such a faith provide any kind of positive spiritual growth and refinement ?
I would like to ask Timothy to please provide some examples on how Islam provides the most "degenerate form of spirituality" and to show me how Christianity provides a better alternative ?
"When we are terrified into obedience out of fear and intimidation by Hellfire, where Allah is bribed with prayer, fasting and austere practices"
Did this guy read the Quran ? did he really preach Islam ? what is this junk ?
As much as the Quran speaks about hellfire , it also speaks on paradise , did Timothy the "former preacher" forget to read those verses ?
Islam teaches that God should be feared with faith , and he should be loved , as a Muslim I obey Allah out of love for him and what he did for me , that doesn't mean that I don't have a certain amount of fear that works as a deterrent to keep me away from what is forbidden , and this is the stance of the majority of Muslims.
A few examples on what the Quran says :
"But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness that their portion is Gardens beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom they say: "Why this is what we were fed with before" for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions (pure and holy); and they abide therein (for ever)." [Sura 2:25]and DOZENS of other verses in the Quran speaking of heaven , these verses encourages Muslims to do the commandments out of love and desire to please Allah (swt) and win this paradise to be with him.
"Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth prepared for the righteous." [Sura 2:133]
"And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury: (they will be) brothers (joyfully) facing each other on thrones (of dignity)." [Sura 15:47]
The reason why I do not believe Timothy is because if he took the time to read the Quran , he wouldn't have written such a ludicrous argument, over all the Quran is balanced , it does speak about hell and it does speak equally about heaven , what the Quran is trying to convey is a message of balance between the desire to go to heaven and fear of going to hell , Timothy understood the Quranic message in a very wrong way to begin with.
Which God really gets "bribed" ? The God of the Quran who holds people accountable for their actions and their sincere submission to him by following the commandments (praying , fasting , other practices) as a measure to judge man-kind , or the God Timothy believes in , who doesn't hold anyone accountable as long as you believe he killed his son for you , which of these 2 really sounds like a bribe ?
"what is that compared to a God we meet in Christ who gently knocks at the door and simply says, “If you will let me in, I will enter”? (Revelation 3:20) If we shut the door in God’s face in the Bible, He will not fume with anger. He will simply move on in sadness (Luke 4:30) as the loss will be only ours, left behind."
I have 2 points on this :
- Timothy employs the same double standard he used with prophet Muhammad (pbuh) , but this time it's against Allah (swt) ,notice the double standard , Timothy is using what the bible says about his God (and does a poor job in it , I'll demonstrate in point #2) , so with this methodology in mind , how did Timothy conclude what he said about Allah (swt) based on what the Quran says ? In the previous response I showed how Timothy ignored verses in the Quran and never understood the message of the Quran concerning hell and heaven to begin with.
- So basically the God of the bible is knocking on my heart and if I reject him he will not be angry he will be sad , is this before or after he throws me into the lake of fire for all eternity ? what a lovely way to express sadness , throwing people into hell !
"While Jesus came to offer “life”, Islam came to offer “death”."
"Islam came to offer death" ? I would love to see how this is possible when Islam explicitly teaches the sanctity human life.
The Quran says :
"O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful." [Sura 4:29]A great verse in the quran reminding the Muslims of what Allah (swt) has revealed in the revelations sent to the children of Israel and ordaining it on them.
"Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason." [Sura 6:151]
"Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing." [Sura 5:32]and other verses , I fail to understand how Islam offers "death" when we have such clear verses about the sanctity of human life.
"Jesus spoke extensively about this rich term “life” that is almost another name for God Almighty. To believe in Him guarantees us “eternal life”, i.e. life that flows directly from God and is as eternal as God is. It is “life” that has the adjective “eternal” for coming with it. In Jesus’ statement of purpose, he defines for us the reason of his coming, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10)."
Timothy does not tell us what does he mean by "eternal life" , people gain eternal life by being saved , eternal life means going to paradise and living there , its has nothing to do with life as we know it today.
for a 3rd time Timothy uses double standards , just a while ago he accused Islam of offering "death" , where is the evidence from the Quran that Islam offers death since he is using the bible to prove that Christianity supposedly offers life ?
In further responses , we will see what kind of evidence Timothy has to offer to support this claim.
"As a Muslim, I did everything out of terror of Allah and for the sake of the Hereafter with no certainty or security about anything."
I already addressed the first part of this statement , so I will answer the second part .
Again , I am wondering if Timothy ever read the Quran or studied Islam , because here is no way this man was a former preacher of Islam.
Allah (swt) promises over and over in the Quran that believers who are sincere will be rewarded , and the promise of God is true , did Timothy skip all those verses?
I believe that salvation is conditional , no one knows weather they will die as a believer or not , so claims of being saved right now is arrogant bogus falsehood.
"But now that I am a Christian, I know that my present matters a great deal to God and I don’t have to do everything in the hope of a “prize” in the end but the present as it is matters immensely to my Lord. Christ wants to make my present life so meaningful; he wants me to live life to the full and not just pay my dues so that I might have a “cushioned seat” in a fancy train. He wants me to enjoy life and to be “fully alive” by having my life joined to His life, as we become “flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones” (Ephesians 5:32- 33). Everything in Christianity is about life and how to live it with enjoyment to the full and in the presence of God. He wants us to have life in relationship with him, not in fear of him."
As if this is not taught in Islam !
Islam doesn't impose rituals and worship all day long and doesn't allow Muslims to enjoy this life as Timothy is saying , again I am having a big difficulty accepting that Timothy was a former preacher of Islam.
If we take prayers for example , Muslims pray 5 times a day , all 5 together consumes 1 hour a day maximum , what do Muslims do with the other 23 ? they live life , go to work , pursue an education , start families , visit their neighbors ,maintain social relationships , see the world enjoy it to fullest as Allah (swt) says in the Quran :
"Say: Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has brought for His servants and the good things of His provision?" [Sura 7:32]The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said :
"Allah likes to see the signs of His favour (bounties) on His servant"Living life and enjoying in a way that is acceptable is not forbidden in Islam.
"In Islam, on the other hand, this life is to be despised since الدنيا لا تساوي عند الله جناح بعوضة i.e. “Life for Allah is not even worth the wing of a mosquito”."
We already saw how Islam does not forbid enjoying life and does not see life as a "despised" thing , but what is the deal with this grossly out of context quotation Timothy gives us ?
This hadith is speaking about what this life is worth to Allah (swt) in comparison to the life after , the key word here is "comparison" , all hadiths that compare this life to the life after speak in this context and this language, so how does this hadith and other similar hadith teach that this life is to be despised when other verses from the Quran and hadith that speak of this life with no comparison to the life after teach that we are to enjoy life ?
"Khalid Ibn Al Walid, chiefly commanding the army of Mohammad, acknowledged death as the driving force for practicing Islam. One of his famous statements calling on the infidels to convert to Islam is this: “Submit to Islam and be safe. Or agree to the payment of the Jizya, and you and your people will be under our protection, else you will have only yourself to blame for the consequences, for I bring the men who desire death as ardently as you desire life.”
This letter was written by Khalid to the Persian Governor of Mesopotamia before invading it , and the Muslim conquests to these lands were to over throw the tyrant governments who were oppressing the weak, if these tyrants accepted Islam then their reign of oppression will come an end therefore the text of the letter is valid in the context of the Muslim conquests, I don't want to go into the history of the Muslim conquests now so I will go back to the reason why Timothy quoted this letter.
Timothy is trying to show us that Muslims acknowledge death as a driving force to practice Islam , how does death drive me to give charity to the poor ? I have no idea , the quote is out of its context.
In times of war , warriors are driven by the honor of martyrdom in Islam , on a battle field a Muslim warrior does his/her best and wishes for that honor , this thinking belongs to the battlefield not everyday life , how is this different from the Christian mentality when Christians were killed for their faith in several eras as history records ? People in certain situations prefer death over life , this does not mean their religion teach that life is worthless.
"No wonder, then, when a Muslim becomes so devout in his Islamic belief, he would desire death as ardently as we, Christians, would desire life."
Bogus conclusion based on an out of context quote , and doesn't Timothy realize he just insulted his ancestors and fellow Christian martyrs with this quote ?
The history of the Coptic church in Egypt tells us about the "Era Of Martyrdom" -which was exactly before the Muslim conquest to Eypgt- in that period of time Christians were subjugated to the worse forms of death imaginable , they were thrown to starving lions , burnt alive in boiling oil , tortured , beaten to death , and Timothy wants to convince me that these heroes (Yes , I consider them heroes and I respect their dedication to their faith) were actually supposed to desire life over death ?
I repeat what I said , people in certain situations prefer death over life , this does not mean their ideals acknowledges that life is worthless.
"This has been true of Islam throughout the centuries since its ominous inception. As Samuel Zwemer eloquently put it, “From the outset it [i.e. Islam] had in it the germs of death – a neither the character of the Koran nor of its Prophet have in them the promise or potency of life that will endure.”"
I fail to see how this is true according to Islam and history , and Timothy 'till now didn't show us how Islam over all advocates death over life.
"Is it any surprise, then, that the more religious a Muslim becomes, the more somber and gloomy he looks?"
Who are these "somber and gloomy" religious Muslim ? I personally do not know any and if I get to meet a "somber and gloomy" religious Muslim one day, I will quote the following hadiths proving that such attitude is not Islamic , the more religious a Muslim is, the more joyous his/her looks should be according to the Sunnah of the prophet (pbuh).
The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said :
"Smiling in the face of your brother is charity" [Jami At-Tirmithi]Abdullah ibn haarith,radi Allahu 'anhu,said :
"I have never seen any one who smiled more than Allah's Messenger" [Jami At-Tirmithi]Jarrir ,radi Allahu 'anhu, reported :
"Since I embraced Islam Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) never refused to see me and he did not see me but with a smile on his face." [Sahih Muslim]What excuse do these gloomy Muslims have to be what they are ? I have no idea but its not Islam.
"Muslims will achieve this “ruqyy-ee رقيّ” (refinement) progress and civilization as they value the present for its worth, as a gift of God to receive from the hands of Christ, Giver of life, in that each day is a gift of the Lord and we do not have to wait till the end of life in order to realize the purposes of God. Because Muslims believe in the here and the now, believe in the sanctity of life and the autonomy of the individual instead of utilitarianism, then we can, indeed, hope for a better life in the Muslim world."
Muslims already acknowledge that life is a gift from God and do not wish to waste it for no good reason , what is left for Muslims to do in order to reach this “ruqyy-ee رقيّ” (refinement) is to start practicing Islam correctly.
Islam acknowledges the sanctity of life like I already showed from the Quran I doubt Timothy read , and I find no fault with the balance Islam teaches between individualism and utilitarianism , Islam does not teach either of those 2 extremes , but a rational mix between the both according to the situation a Muslim faces.
"To force our values on others produces nothing but hypocrites. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, as the son is on his way out of the door, we do not see the Father getting in his way and trying to force Him to do what is right. In Christ, our Maker respects our free will and He allows us to make the choice. Even when He created man in the beginning, he knew fully well that this man would some day oppose His will and fight against His design. Nevertheless, He went ahead and created man. Let us make man in our image, He said.
The first time I got the gospel of Luke in the mail from my American pen friend, it didn’t have the word “Bible” on the cover. Rather, the cover had this interesting title “Joyous News of the Greek Physician Luke” الأخبار المفرحة للطبيب اليوناني لوقا. I could not help but wonder, “Who in the world is this Luke? And why would a Greek physician take interest in me as a person?” And what type of “joyous news” would he have to share with me, Ibrahim Arafat? Finally it dawned on me, the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, the coming of God in person in Christ, is, indeed, this joyous news. That is why the apostle of the heart set free, Paul, would make it a commandment, even an order to “rejoice” always as he says in Philippians 4:4. "
I got no objection because this has nothing to do with the topic , but that doesn't mean I accept the bible verses he quoted nor do I accept the apostleship of Paul , Timothy is trying to preach his personal experience , he has a right to do so , he will do this more often since he has nothing else to say.
"As a Muslim, I have often wondered to myself why most of the “pious” Muslims came out of the mosque with frowning, gloomy looks"
I gave a response to that , and I'd like to know which Mosque did Timothy go to ? I'd love to invite Timothy over to my mosque and introduce him to some real pious Muslims.
"while everything I encountered in Christianity was always about joy. I got jealous and wanted to be like them and have what those Christians have. Their Savior, in His most excruciating moments on the Cross, lifts His eyes towards the Father and intercedes in prayer for them, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). This was the manifesto for the civilization of forgiveness, founded not by fanciful, dreamy, all-too-platonic mottos, but it cost Christ His own redeeming, saving, atoning blood. He practiced first what would be preached later on."
I'm not going to go into a huge rant about happy and gloomy Christians in relation to Christianity itself like Timothy tried to do in the case of Islam , I do not need to stoop that low , and I will not go into preaching mode because I do not need to ,but I would like to thank Timothy for quoting Luke 23:34 and for all the acknowledgments he made to its impact because prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was reported to say after he was subjected to brutal assaults and scrutiny :
"O God! Forgive them and guide them to truth, for they do not know"I agree with Timothy completely , this is a manifesto for the civilization of forgiveness, founded not by fanciful, dreamy, all-too-platonic mottos.
"It is Christ who is the actual standard for Christianity, not Caesar or Prince Charles or President Bush, for Christianity is only Christ, the person in all He said and did."
Of course he is ! no Christian wants to deal with old testament and help us Muslims understand it without using the same double standards used against Muslims.
"As a Muslim, I have always longed to live as a refined human being, like those we would see in Western media."
What kind of Muslim was Timothy ? which Muslim does not see the greatest example of ethics and refinement in prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ? what makes this worse is that Timothy claimed to be a former preacher ! perhaps he was busy watching western media , he should have been reading the Quran , books of hadith and authentic biographies instead.
"But how can that ever be when Islam is all about oppression?"
any evidence so far ? none.
"Refined people have responsible freedom as their starting point, not oppression or fear."
Islam has that , no problem.
"Allah in Islam is all about subjugation. To be a Christian happens by willingly and joyfully submitting to Christ. Allah in Islam, however, subjugates people to follow Islam."
My dumpster has less trash than this !
When a Muslim declares his Shahada (testimony of faith) , there are conditions for it to be valid like sincerity , knowledge , love...etc , where is the subjugation Timothy speaks of ? this is what happens when someone looks for refinement in western media , he/she ends up becoming the best example of ignorance , arrogance and double standard hypocrisy.
"One American brother who converted to Sufi Islam and found his “niche” there told me over the phone that Allah says in the Quran “وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَنْ فِي السَّماواتِ وَالأْرْضِ طَوْعاً وَكَرْهاً” i.e. All creatures in heaven and on earth were subjugated to Him, whether they like it or hate it (Family of Imran 3:83)."
Out of context verse and a faulty translation , lets see the context .
"Do they seek for other than the Religion of Allah?-while all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, willing and unwilling, bowed to His Will (Accepted Islam), and to Him shall they all be brought back." [Sura 3:83]the words "طَوْعاً وَكَرْه" does not mean "subjugated to him" as Timothy falsely said , it means "willing and unwilling" , the context further explains, the verses before this verse was speaking of the pagans and people of the book who rejected the revelation of God and his religion , this is the verse where Allah (swt) uses a language of wonder and challenge to question their disbelief and informs them that all creatures submit to Allah (swt).
As for who the people willing and unwillingly accept Islam , Imam At-Tabari gives us multiple meanings for it , they all agree that Muslims , prophets , angels are those who submitted willingly , but those who are unwilling could be the disbelievers on the day of judgment , the hypocrites , those who submitted to another God not knowing they submitted to Allah (swt) in a false way , and others.
I challenge Timothy to show us how Allah (swt) subjugates people into believing in him as if Sura 109 doesn't exist !
"I once said to a dear friend of mine, a former Muslim who was groomed to be a Muslim scholar, that I resent mostly in Islam that aspect of subjugation and oppression, to which he replied, “يا أخي والله محمد أجبرنا على الإسلام وما لنا من خيار وأجبرنا على دخول الجنة مكبلين بالسلاسل دون اختيار منا لذلك” i.e. “Oh brother, Mohammad forced Islam upon us and we had no choice; he forced us to enter paradise shackled in chains and we had no choice in the matter”. Actually, there is a famous hadith (tradition) narrated by Mohammad that states that, “عجبت لأقوام يساقون إلى الجنة بالسلاسل وهم كارهون” i.e. “I have marveled at people who are led to Paradise shackled in chains while they resent it”."
Timothy still didn't provide a single teaching in Islam that supports subjugation and oppression.
Note : Timothy gives us a couple of what he think is evidence in the Arabic version of this article , I will respond to that Inshalla next month.
Timothy's friend's opinion holds no water since no valid evidence has been provided , and I have a question to Timothy's friend , did Muhammad (pbuh) knock on your door one day and force you into Islam ? where do these former Muslims get this rubbish from ? How the hell did a 7th century prophet force a 21st century man into Islam ? these are all baseless rants and false rhetoric , now lets discuss the false hadith Timothy quotes.
Not only is that hadith in complete contradiction with the Quran and there is nothing to back it up , but the only scholar gave any credibility was Al-Albani , and he even didn't consider it to be authentic , he considered it a "hassan" hadith , which means it has its own minor deficiency , and this hadith is considered as one of the hadiths Al-Albani gave credit to by mistake (source).
So I can safely conclude the hadith is false based on the Quran and internal evidence from the science of hadith.
"People thrive better as they operate out of freedom, not oppression."
I agree , but what does this have to do with Islam ?
"How can we dream of a civilized Muslim world when people are stripped of the simplest of things, to choose their own actions without being stoned for it?"
I have no idea what Timothy is referring to here , but as long as the Muslim world has its tyrants and people still don't examine Islam properly , no wonder they do not have a choice in many matters , the question is where does Islam teach the limitation of choice ? and stoning those who make choices ?
The problem is that Timothy's argument is a false one , and he must rely on the current state of Muslims to support this false argument , a tactic that never works as long as Islam's pure teachings exist , I will convert to Christianity right now if Timothy can prove his imaginary Islam to be the true Islam.
"While I love purity of heart as through it I get to “see” the Lord (Matthew 5:8), I don’t want anybody to “make” me pure; I don’t want it to be the pressure of religion or society but I would rather have it develop as the fruit of the longing of my heart for the Lord whom I love and wanted to be united with. It has to come from within. In Matthew 23:25, Jesus denounced that false “show” of external morality, “You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed.”"
Another attempt to preach his faith , not that I don't mind but I just realized until now Timothy did not show us how can Christianity refine anyone.
I agree with Jesus (pbuh) , hypocrites of this nature are exactly what he said , so Timothy please work on your inside and try to write something less hateful and more into facts than this article next time.
"How can we hope for a civilized Muslim world when the woman is permitted to be beaten in the Quran (Women 4:34)?"
Yes , a law that allows a husband to strike his wife with a tooth brush 3 light strikes that doesn't leave any bruises as a last resort , how barbaric.
We all need to remember that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) never hit his wives , he encouraged Muslim to use this "barbaric" solution as an extreme last resort , its not the picture Timothy wants to paint for us at all.
For more information on wife beating in Islam I recommend Dr.Jamal Badawi's book "Wife beating in Islam" along with these articles.
"In surat Sād 38:44 in the Quran, Job is ordered by God to beat his wife, “‘Take in thy hand a bundle of rushes, and strike [your wife] therewith, and do not fail in thy oath.’"
Lets see the full story :
"Therefore, Iblis became desperate. He consulted his helpers, but they could not advise him. They asked: "How is it that your cleverness cannot work against Ayub (Job), yet you succeeded in misleading Adam, the father of man, out of Paradise?"The story gives us the reason why Job (pbuh) had to discipline his wife and how the mercy of Allah(swt) really works , Job (pbuh) did not want top hurt his wife with 100 lashes , so Allah(swt) allowed him to strike her once with grass , the word [ضِغۡثًا] does not mean "rushes" , it means "a bundle of wet grass" , how barbaric ! Job (pbuh) is beating his wife with grass.
Iblis went to Ayub's (Job's) wife in the form of a man. "Where is your husband?" he asked her.
She pointed to an almost lifeless form crumpled on the bed and said: "There he is, suspended between life and death."
Iblis reminded her of the days when Ayub (Job) had good health, wealth and children. Suddenly, the painful memory of years of hardship overcame her, and she burst into tears. She said to Ayub (Job): "How long are you going to bear this torture from our Lord? Are we to remain without wealth, children or friends forever? Why don't you call upon Allah to remove this suffering?"
Ayub (Job) sighed, and in a soft voice replied: "Iblis must have whispered to you and made you dissatisfied. Tell me, how long did I enjoy good health and riches?"
She replied: "For eighty years."
Then Ayub (Job) asked: "How long am I suffering like this?"
She said: "For seven years."
Ayub (Job) then told her: "In that case I am ashamed to call on my Lord to remove the hardship, for I have not suffered longer than the years of good health and plenty. It seems your faith has weakened and you are dissatisfied with the fate of Allah. If I ever regain health, I swear I will punish you with a hundred strokes! From this day onward, I forbid myself to eat or drink anything from your hand. Leave me alone and let my Lord do with me as He pleases."
Crying bitterly and with a heavy heart, she had no choice but to leave him and seek shelter elsewhere. In this helpless state, Ayub (Job) turned to Allah, not to complain but to seek His mercy: «"Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy."
So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them - as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us."» Surah 21: 83-84
Almighty Allah also instructed: «And remember Our slave Ayub, when he invoked his Lord (saying): "Verily! Satan has touched me with distress (by losing my health) and torment (by losing my wealth)!" Allah said to him: "Strike the ground with your foot: This is a spring of water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink." And We gave him (back) his family, and along with them the like thereof, as a Mercy from Us, and a reminder for those who understand. »Surah 38: 41-43
Ayub (Job) obeyed, and almost immediately his good health was restored. Meanwhile, his faithful wife could no longer bear to be parted from her husband and returned to him to beg his forgiveness, desiring to serve him. On entering her house, she was amazed at the sudden change: Ayub (Job) was again healthy! She embraced him and thanked Allah for His mercy.
Ayub (Job) was now worried, for he had taken an oath to punish her with a hundred strokes if he regained health, but he had no desire to hurt her. He knew if he did not fulfill the oath, he would be guilty of breaking a promise to Allah. Therefore, in His wisdom and mercy, Allah came to the assistance of His faithful servant, and advised him: «And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath." Truly! We found him patient. How excellent (a) slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!"» Surah 38:44" (Source)
I fail to see what Timothy is implying based on the evidence.
The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said :
"The more civil and kind a Muslim is to his wife, the more perfect in faith he is."
"As usual, Allah is invoked in the Quran too many times to gratify the wishes of the male, even if this is to reduce the female to such a demeaning position."
I challenge Timothy to bring me one example of a demeaned position of women in the Quran , because I can swear the bible contains the following :
- The pain of a woman during childbirth is God's curse because of Eve's transgression (Genesis 3:16).
- Women must never teach or have authority over a man, because according to the Bible, Eve sinned first and not Adam (1 Timothy 2:9-14)
- Wives must obey their husbands, like they obey God (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18)
- Women are to be silent in church as it is forbidden for them to speak in Church and they must be obedient. If they had a question they must ask their husbands because it is a shame for women to speak in Church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
- Men are the head of women just as Christ is the head of man (1 Corinthians 11:3)
- Men are the image and glory of God, while women are the glory of man (1 Corinthians 11:7)
"One has to just look in Western Medieval art and see how woman is portrayed in all of her beauty without any insecurity on the part of the male. Societies thrive as man securely allows the woman to be empowered and achieve her highest potential, fully acknowledging her individuality as a human being."
There is no religion on earth that empowered women and gave them security more than Islam , Islam gave women their rights , allowed them to pursue higher education, allowed them to start business , work...etc and acknowledges them as independent human beings.
Timothy is trying to imply that man in Islam views women as 2nd class citizens , this is false , how ever the bible gives us the perfect plan on how to make women 2nd class citizens.
So according to Timothy western medieval art that portrays women in her full beauty is something good , I guess we should acknowledge pornography as a form of liberating art as well , in fact , it empowers women !
"Christianity has made this possible as in Christ there is no male or female but Christ is all in all (Galatians 3:28)."
What can Timothy say if I quote a Quranic verse that is similar to the Biblical verse he quoted ? can he object then expose his own double standards again ?
"O Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is the believer who has Taqwa (piety and righteousness). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." [Sura 49:13]
"It is only when the dignity of the human being is fully honored, regardless how sinful and filthy this human might be, that we can, then, hope for a civilized, progressive society."
No religion did a better job in honoring human dignity and create a civilized ,progressive ,productive society more than Islam.
"Every time Mohammad was brought a woman who committed adultery, he ordered that she be stoned."
I must correct Timothy , MARRIED MAN OR WOMAN , we do not have gender discrimination in Islam , the punishment for adultery differs in Islam according to weather someone is single or married ,doesn't Timothy know this ?
If the man or woman is single then the penalty is 100 lashes , if the man or woman is married then the penalty is stoning to death.
Muhammad (pbuh) was following the law God gave , after full investigation if the charges are true then the correct punishment must take place , and these laws also work as a deterrent , I am sure we would have less porn , less AIDS and more morality if this law was implemented correctly.
so its not "every time" as Timothy said , and I still find Timothy being a double standard hypocrite , if he has a problem with following the law of God , then why doesn't he object to the old testament ? I am sure countless women got stoned in those times because of his god Jesus , where was the forgiving Jesus who allegedly saved a woman from getting stoned ? lets suppose he actually did that , he saved one women , but ordered the death of countless back in the old testament , I find this God to be a hypocrite , not a source of refinement for human beings.
"Jesus, on the other hand, would look with full compassion on the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and confront her enemies, “Which of you is without sin, let him stone her first.” Then, he gently looks at the woman and says, “Go and sin no more.”"
Again , I am only assuming this story actually happened , this story is a another well known interpolation which is not found in the earliest manuscripts .
No , I do not find the actions of Jesus here appropriate at all , in fact Jesus here has no regards to human civilization whatsoever, in civilized societies we have laws that should be followed , breaking these laws out of compassion leads to the degeneration of society and its sense of justice , we have a lot of that in the Muslim world ! this story brings Jesus out as a sinner , another question , why is Jesus NOW breaking a law he gave in the old testament (assuming he is god) ? to show compassion ? he could have not given the law in the old testament and save himself from becoming a hypocrite God.
Based on this supposed saying of Jesus, why don't we find refined Christians demanding the release of murderers , rapists , killers , thieves , drug dealers...etc ? they are sinners as well , just like the woman , and if the "sinless" one did not punish the woman , on what authority do "refined Christians" like Timothy have to punish these people in the first place ?
Christian like Timothy and other preachers quote such stories and sayings that they do not follow to throw them against non believers , how pathetic.
"Christianity keeps human dignity and elevates it while Islam in the Islamic law reduces the individual to a fly or a mosquito or a despicable nothing."
I already gave several verses that refutes this , Islam does not view individuals as a worthless low being , that is Timothy's make believe , fairytale version of Islam.
I'll add another verse to further refute this claim:
"Verily we have honored the children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment." [Sura 17:70]"As we are clothed with Christ, we look at sinners in all walks of life with deep compassion. This sinner is I. Sin is residing in all of our hearts and that is why the Blood of Christ cleanses us. The difference between me and the worst sinners is not that I am “better” or “holier” than them but that this “other” person had the chance to act out their sins while I am just guarded by and carried along by the grace of Christ."
"Christianity teaches me to escape this self-righteous attitude of Islam towards sinners and gently put myself in their shoes. Those “others”, unpleasant and sinful as they may be, are actually I."
Christianity teaches that you are evil and in need of redemption because you are a sinner who inherited sin from the first man who ate a fruit , and this is the religion that is supposed to respect human dignity and elevate humans ? unbelievable.
I find no fault in the self righteous attitude of Islam , Islam teaches man is born pure , we are not to view ourselves as evil , sinning machines whose good deeds are like filthy rags as Christianity teaches , and we should race with each other by performing good deeds and practice the best of ethics and moral to remain as pure as we can , and in Islam and Christianity , we both believe that sinners are in need of forgiveness from God weather believer or disbeliever.
No , other sinners are not me , I pay for my sins , my sins are my sins , every soul pays for its sins , other sinners are not I , and I am not other sinners , I thank Allah(swt) I do not have such a backward belief like what Timothy believes.
Which belief can really refine human beings and view them as dignified individuals ? a belief that presupposes you are evil or a belief that presupposes you are pure ?
"Arthur Rimbaud puts it beautifully, “Je est un autre” i.e. “I am the other”, the other is I. Christ fulfilled this when He, the Word of God, took on our human flesh and shared our humanity to the fullest degree, except for sin of course, and permitted us to receive his own “life” and take part in His divine nature."
I can go into a long discussion on how it's impossible that Jesus is God , that God never became a man , and God does not need to share humanity in its nature in order to be humble and support his creation , but this is not what we are discussing , again this is Timothy trying to preach.
What I find hilarious is that the alleged story of Jesus and woman Timothy quoted previously brings Jesus out as a sinner , if he was sinless then he would've stoned her according to the law of God , but he didn't which means he was a sinner , and if he was sinless and didn't stone her knowingly , then he broke the law of God thus making him a sinner.
"his is only to say that the greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that God who made man is actually fully siding with man, for man, and it delights Him that man be fully alive, not a crushed maggot or a slave as it is the case in Islam."
Well if Timothy's God is delighted man is alive how come he tried to kill them all in the times of Noah ?
This statement is pure garbage , Allah (swt) never viewed man a crushed maggot.
Submission , worship and service to Allah (swt) is not something bad , it is glory at its best , if Timothy knew how Muslims view their relationship with Allah (swt) he would've came up with something better than what all Christian haters of Islam say.
"St. Irenaeus eloquently expresses that, “Vivens homo gloria Dei; vita hominis, visio Dei.” i.e. “The glory of God is the living man and the life of man is the manifestation of God.” When we say that we want to give glory to God, in Islam this means that man is a negligible thing while in Christianity this means God’s longing for man/ woman to be alive, actually fully alive. His ego in Islam is inflated by crushing man"
Where is the evidence ? Timothy has nothing but false rhetoric and worthless comparisons.
I have already shown how Allah (swt) honored man and never neglected him , in fact if Allah (swt) wanted to crush man , why did he sent prophets ? and I challenge Timothy again to bring me some evidence for this garbage , show me how Allah's ego is inflated by crushing man.
"while in Christ God experiences Kenosis, i.e. self-emptiness, that is, He Almighty actually empties Himself of glory and takes on the form of a servant and dies for man on the cross. This is the ultimate expression of His divine solidarity with humans. He comes down all the way to their level and manifests Himself as the All-Humble God (Philippians 2:7)"
and does this make him some a better "god" ? this God is so unforgiving he can't forgive a man who ate a fruit , this God deserves death on a cross because its all his fault and I am not thanking him for it , assuming Christianity is true.
" as much as He is the Almighty, all-powerful God. People don’t have to work too hard to earn His approval but they are loved as they are, and His atoning love is all they have to receive, live by and enjoy forever."
I agree , all people have to do to win his approval is repent , and follow the commandments , it's not hard at all .
We have examined what Timothy -"former preacher of Islam- believes are key elements in the refinement of human beings , he assumed these elements do not exist in Islam , but as I have shown they exist in greater detail , Timothy used plenty of double standards and lies to conceal the glorious truth about Islam , I will repeat what I said in the beginning , I have no doubt in mind that Jesus (pbuh) preached the best of ethics and refine humane behavior suitable for the people and period he was sent to , I do not deny the ethics taught by Jesus (pbuh) in what the Christians today call the gospels and their impact , but when it comes to refining humans , no religion has taught higher ethics , standards , morals , laws and theology than Islam , no religion has a better example than prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when it comes to refine humane behavior that is suitable for all man kind , for all places and all time , Christianity might offer temporary refinement to people who never heard of Islam , but Christianity can not offer refinement to a Muslim , Islam is the pathway of refinement to a Muslim.
To all those who do not understand what I am talking about , I invite you to investigate the teachings and laws of Islam , and see for yourself why this religion is the only religion that can offer the ultimate refinement for you , me and all man-kind.