Thursday, September 5, 2013

Part 5: The Uniqueness of Jesus in Contrast to Muhammad

With the rise of Islam in many parts of the world, and with many Muslims coming to the United States, it is important to note that there are some major differences between Muhammad, the founder of the world religion known as Islam, and Jesus of Nazareth.  In the posting, I want to be fair to my Muslim readers, but at the same time, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, which is something that my Muslim readers do not and yes, even refuse to see.

In this posting, I will share my understanding of who the Prophet Muhammad, what he did to forward the Muslim faith and then share how Jesus of Nazareth is superior to Muhammad. If you are thinking that I am going to ridicule Muhammad or make the Islamic religion look stupid, you are going to be very disappointed. It has been said by one, that if you and I can make a religion look absolutely ridiculous, chances are we have not understood it. So in this posting, I will be showing the utmost respect for Muslims as people despite the fact that I do not accept the teachings of the religion.  That being said, let's dive in shall we?

Who Was Muhammad?

Mohammed was born in Mecca in A. D. 570 and died in or around A. D. 632. His original name was  Abu’l Kassim, and he was orphaned at an early age.  After the death of his parents, he was raised by his uncle, who took him on many long journeys with trade caravans.  At the age of  twenty-five, he married his employer, quit working, and spent time meditating and reflecting on life.

When he was forty, he began having visions accompanied by violent convulsions during which he received his revelation from Allah.  As anyone can guess, people saw and heard of his experiences and began to ridicule him. Due to difficult times of ridicule and persecution, he and his followers fled Mecca to Yathrib, which he renamed Medina. This event was the official beginning of Islam.

The following ten years of his life were marked by almost constant fighting to gain new converts and new territory for his religion until the city of Mecca was finally won.  His writings are called the Qur'an, which he claimed were dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel.

What About Muhammad's View of Jesus?

It is it widely agreed on that as the founder of Islam, Muhammed, would agree with Jesus and Moses that God is one, that He created the universe. In fact there is a great amount of agreement over the events of the first sixteen chapters of Genesis, to the point where Hagar was cast out from Abram’s house. After this the split comes with the Bible focussing on Issac as being the son of the covenant, while Islam concerns with the events of their forefather Ishmael. 

May I add something here? The beginning of Islam is NOT found in the Bible. Muslim apologists attest that the coming of Muhammad was prophesied in the Bible.  There is no real foundation for that truth claim either.   

Moving the to the teaching of Muhammad, it can be summarized as followed in five cardinal teachings: 

1. "Allah" is the one true God.

2. Allah has sent many prophets, which include Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus of Nazareth. All these prophets were great, but Muhammad, in the heart and mind of the Muslim, is the last and the greatest of all the prophets.

3.  The Qur'an is the supreme religious book, and takes place over the Law, the Psalms, and what is called the Injil (the Evangel or Gospel of Jesus).

4.  There are many intermediate beings, angels, between God and human beings. Some of these beings are good and others are evil (jin).

5. Each man's deeds will be weighed on the scales in order to determine who will go to heaven or to hell in the resurrection. The way to gain salvation in Islam includes reciting the Shahadah several times a day ("There is no God but Allah; and Mohammed is his prophet”), by praying five times a day, by participating or practicing a month of fasting each year (Ramadan), by almsgiving, and if it is financially possible a pilgrimage to Mecca (known as the Haj).

Many well meaning Muslims believe these major teachings for their faith. However they are missing something key. No one can keep whatever commandments that are put before them perfectly in order to appease the coming judgment before a holy divine Lawgiver. In Islam I have to ask my Muslim readers and others, who takes care of your sin or your transgressions you commit before God? This is why I believe Jesus offers a superior message and way in many areas.  Let me summarize them for us.

Jesus v Teachings of Muhammad

Jesus offers a superior message in many respects:

Jesus offers a better way of salvation:  Unlike the God of Islam, the God of the Bible has reached out to us in a special way by sending His Son to earth to die for our sins.  Muslims deny this very thing, but there are plenty of secular, as well as sacred writings that defend this point.  Muhammad offers no sure hope for salvation. He offers only guidelines for how to work our way into Allah’s favor.  Jesus Christ provided all that is needed to get us to heaven in His death. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

Jesus offers a superior life:  Muhammad spent the last ten years of his life at war.  He was a polygamist, exceeding even the number of wives (four) he had prescribed for his followers.  It is reported that he also violated his own law by plundering caravans coming to and from Mecca, some of whom were probably coming for their pilgrimage.

Jesus offers superior miracles:  The stories of Muhammad moving the mountain and his military conquests do not compare to the miracles of Christ. Too many to list here in this post, Jesus' miracles reflected His very nature, that He is God in human flesh. The evidence of Muhammad's miracles are neither as early in his life, nor are the accounts of them from direct eyewitnesses. There is no inherent goodness and compassion toward a downcast or person in need in any of Muhammad's miracles. In Jesus' miracles we see Jesus reaching out to people in need of healing, need of life, and needing to see God.  But none of Muhammad's miracles can compare to the greatest of all the miracles that Jesus performed. . . the miracle of His resurrection from the dead. The power and uniqueness of Jesus' resurrection stands far above any miracle done by Muhammad or TV preacher; for in the resurrection of Jesus we see sin, death, and hell conquered, and our hope and justification for a holy, loving and just God.

Jesus offers superior claims:  Mohammed never claimed to be God. Jesus affirmed His claim to be God. The doctrine of the Trinity, which explains how Jesus can be God, is misunderstood by Islam as polytheism.  Mohammed only claimed to be a prophet, but Jesus claimed to be God.  Not only did he make that claim, but He proved it by rising from the dead.

I hope you have enjoyed this series and that it has helped you understand the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as being superior to all the popular religious founders and teachers of the great (quantitatively speaking here) world religions. 

I am thinking of another series along this line detailing out the pagan copy cat myths that are coming in the face of Christianity and the life of Jesus. Many secular scholars are claiming that Jesus is a copy cat messiah. Is this true?  No, but that is another posting or series coming in the future.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this series. If you have a question that you would like answered on this blog or on my YouTube channel, please send me an email and I will be more than happy to discuss it with you.

1 comment:

Dale Wickizer said...

Thanks,Rob! Great write-up.