Jeremy Corbyn and Modern McCarthyism

Corbyn Question TimeMany people seek to detract from Jeremy Corbyn’s intended Labour Manifesto that re-emphasises Labour roots and its principles and objectives. It is these ideas that propelled him to Leadership in the face of Tory-lite traitors who were trying to paint the Labour movement in the glittering colours of the new functional society being run by ICT oligarchs programming the minds and aspirations of our next generation of consumers/automatons/national citizens.

In order to do so McCarthyism has risen its ugly head reviving intra-sectarian conflicts within the Marxist roots that keep the Red Flag Flying.

I have to admit that intra-sectarian politics doesn’t particularly interest me as once it might have done (when I was at Uni).

When someone accuses a person of Stalinist leanings, the immediate opposition to that idea is Trotskyism (or Leninism). To those who do not espouse either Stalinist contained and institutionalised two-step revolution (and the dictatorship of the vanguard – or first step) or to the Trotskyist state of permanent working class revolution in the face of Capitalism through the will of the masses and its democratic expression, the two terms tend to equate with Left Wing Totalitarianism and Left Wing Democracy.

Mixing into these terms the words ‘Kremlinite’ or ‘Russophile’ simply obfuscates their meaning and their practical expression.

Because Corbyn held certain anti-war stances that called for non-intervention when Putin began his expansionist policies during his second term (after the interregnum) does not mean he supported Russia. It meant he felt that British intervention would not make matters better and may even threaten the security of our nation.

I read Jeremy Corbyn’s statement concerning the Ukraine and Russian intervention. In that statement, he said that only 15% of the Russian population supported Putin in his plans to annex the Crimea and that:

“We should oppose any foreign military intervention in Ukraine, as that would only succeed in that country reliving its traumatic past as a battleground where Russia and Western Europe vie for supremacy.”

Obviously, by the tone of the article, he meant NATO (and therefore our) intervention in particular, but it also includes Russian intervention.

His so-called Anti-NATO stance I actually agree with, since it focusses on NATO’s, or should I say, the US led coalition of force’s, intervention in Iraq (which Tony Blair dragged us into), and the drone attacks on targets in Pakistan. In fact, the intervention of the US led coalition against terrorism in these countries, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere has led to the rise of ISIS, the internationalisation of Al-Qaeda and more terrorism rather than less. And I think Jeremy Corbyn sees that clearly.

Those suggesting Corbyn is a Russophile, like Donald trump, accuse Corbyn of supporting Russian bombing of Syrians as peace.

Nowhere have I seen any such statement by Jeremy Corbyn. Rather, I see the opposite. He is against the UK sending in the RAF and adding to the bombing already taking place by Syrians, Russians, Turks and the USA. He said, and I quote,

“We have condemned all bombing in Syria, including Russian bombing, and continue to do so.”

The nearest statement he made to tacitly refusing to shoot at Russians was in a statement on Syria where he asked,

“Does he (Cameron) believe that more military forces over Syria could increase the risks of dangerous incidents, such as the shooting down of a Russian military aircraft by Turkish forces this week?”

Jeremy Corbyn is accused of denying the genocide of  Muslims in by Serbian Christians in Bosnia:

Actually, I did come across a motion he voted for concerning the killing of  ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, but nothing on Bosnia. He supported a motion based upon a report by John Pilger that decried UN intervention in Kosovo because of the negative impact bombing Kosovo had on its people and infrastructure, not because there was no mass killing of Muslims in Kosova. The report confirmed mass graves of 2,788 people.

I cannot find any evidence that Jeremy Corbyn ever supported the notion of Serbians slaughtering Bosnians.

There is an obscure connection I discovered made between the UN ruling that denied Serbian genocide and John Pilger’s article on Kosovo. This is a connection made by commentators, not an advocacy for the UN ruling by Corbyn after the war crimes of the Serbians became clear.

I am not a blind partisan of Jeremy Corbyn, although I admire him greatly, just as I do Bernie Sanders on the other side of the pond.

Blind partisanship is not the reason I support Jeremy Corbyn and his Manifesto. Rather, it is his earnest intention to de-privatise services, invest in primary and secondary education, strengthen the NHS and increase the say of the working population in how this country is run that has me behind him. The recent review of his policy towards Brexit and the call for bringing the popular vote into the final equation (which may end in reversing the decision) is just the icing on the cake that has dissuaded me from the Lib-Dem anti Brexit campaign (which might have persuaded me to tactically vote against the Tories in its absence).

I admit I am not deeply into Corbyn’s background in intra-sectarian politics, but I think it is largely irrelevant. Shouting “Stalinist” and “Kremlinite” when referring to him smacks of McCarthyism and a desire to derail his ‘back to Labour roots’ movement on behalf of the Tory-lite inheritors of Tony Blair’s era of Labour domination.

Smoking: A Social Poison

mjibalyMuhammad al-Jibaly

Copyright © 1996 by Al-Qur’an was-Sunnah Society of North America

All Rights Reserved.

Editorial Note

This (below) is the essay of Sheikh Muhammad al-Jibaly, and does not originate from me. I have made minor editorial corrections where words have been misspelled or spelled in American English. In the latter case, I have given the British English spelling with British English conventions of punctuation. I have added (ﷻ) in the place of (T) when it was used after Allah’s name and (ﷺ) instead of (P) after mentioning Allah’s Messenger, the Prophet of Islam.

Ben Royston

Contents

  1. Introduction
    1. Discovery of Tobacco
    2. Smoking among Muslims
  2. Definition
  3. Evidence for the Prohibition of Smoking
    1. Harm to the Deen
    2. Harm to the Human Body
    3. Harm to the Mind and Will Power
    4. Harm to the Environment
    5. Harm to Property
    6. Moral Decadence
    7. Evil Substance
    8. Resembling the People of the Fire
    9. Bad Example
    10. Hostility Toward Good People
    11. Low Self-esteem
  4. Scholars’ Verdict
    1. Warnings
  5. Treating the Disease of Smoking
  6. References
    1. Footnotes

Introduction

Discovery of Tobacco

Tobacco was discovered by the Spanish sailors on the American shores at about 1500 CE (900 AH). Since its discovery, the epidemic of smoking has continued to spread all over the world. In our times, one seldom finds a house not afflicted by it.

As early as the Seventeenth Century, the European countries realized the dangers of smoking and fought against it Laws were ordained in England, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, and other countries, prohibiting smoking and punishing violators.

Nowadays, the Western countries continue their attempts to protect their peoples from the harms of smoking. They employ media means, ordain laws and regulations, and apply other methods to discourage people from smoking. Because of that, the rate of smokers has declined to a certain degree in those countries.

Smoking Among Muslims

Smoking was introduced to the Muslim countries by the Europeans around 1000 AH. Its spread among the Muslims was similar to that in the West. The unfortunate fact, however, is that in the Muslim countries, no similar measures were exerted to protect the people from it. To the contrary, the media continues to adorn smoking and encourage people to do it. This caused the epidemic of smoking to continue to spread in those countries to such an extent that it has become hard to control.

Smoking has become the rule, and abstaining from it the exception. Often, people look with astonishment and disdain at a person who when a cigarette is offered to him, declines to smoke explaining that he does not smoke.

Offering cigarettes to the guests has become among the first rules of hospitality. Anyone who does not offer them to his guests or insist that they smoke would be violating the ethics of hospitality and generosity!

Furthermore, some of those who pretend to represent the Deen are among the worst addicts to smoking. When they are reproached or reminded of their vice, they respond by providing weak excuses to justify it in the name of Islaam. They slyly remark that there is no clear text prohibiting smoking. Therefore, they conclude, smoking is not prohibited, but is only makruh (disliked). By this, they provide a poor excuse for the ignorant, and establish a very bad example for others.

Many Muslims have been influenced by such statements, falling into the snares of addiction to smoking. This is observed all over the world. A striking example is that all American airlines now prohibit smoking, even on most international flights; on the other hand, for Muslim airlines, one travels in a near-suffocation state, even on short trips, because of the high number of smokers.

Thus, it becomes incumbent to write an article which provides evidence concerning the ruling of smoking in Islam. We hope that this will benefit our Muslim brothers and sisters; and we ask Allah (ﷻ) to accept it from us as a sincere deed for His pleasure.

Definition

Smoking refers to the action of lighting a cigarette, a pipe, a cigar, a water pipe, or any other object made from tobacco or materials of similar effects. The object is then sucked on with the lips to extract smoke. This smoke is inhaled into the chest and then exhaled from the nose and mouth as a thick white smoke. “Smoking” is now used to refer to the action of producing this smoke in English, Arabic, and other languages.

Evidence for the Prohibition of Smoking

There are many reasons, any one of which sufficient to rule smoking prohibited. Most importantly, it is harmful in numerous ways. It is harmful to the Deen, health, environment, family, brotherhood and social relations, property, etc. The following sections will briefly outline some of its harms and evils.

Harm to the Deen

Smoking spoils a person’s acts of worship and reduces their rewards. For instance, it spoils the prayer, which is the pillar of Deen. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

Whoever eats garlic or onion, let him avoid us and our masjid, and stay in his home. The angels are surely hurt by things that hurt the human beings (1)

Those with clean and undefiled fitrah (nature) have no doubt that the smell emanating from the mouth of a smoker is worse and more foul than that from the mouth of one who ate garlic or onion. Thus, a smoker is in between two options, either to harm the praying people and the angels with his foul smell, or miss the prayer in jama’ah (congregation).

Smoking also spoils fasting. Fasting is very hard for the smoker. As soon as the day is over, he hastens to break his fast on an evil cigarette instead of sweet dates or pure water. Even if he fasts through the month Ramadan, a smoker is reluctant to fast on other days. Thus. he loses the great reward of those who fast even one day in Allah’s way.

Harm to the Human Body

No one can deny the harm of smoking to the human body. The medical evidence for this is well established and overwhelming. Because of this, the law in the United States and many other countries requires including a warning on any smoking advertisement.

Smoking contains poisonous materials, such as nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, arsenic, benzopyrene, etc., that the smoker swallows in small proportions. Their harm accumulates with time to result in a gradual killing of the human organs and tissues.

The hazards of smoking to the health are hard to enumerate. Cancer, tuberculosis, heart attacks, asthma, coughing, premature birth, infertility, infections in the digestive system, high blood pressure, nervousness, mouth and teeth diseases, etc., are among the many health hazards that have been strongly linked to smoking.

These diseases may not appear all at once, however, a smoker is most likely to suffer from some of them, and his suffering increases as he grows older. Furthermore, statistics have established that smokers’ age is, on the average, ten years less than other people’s.

This is sufficient to prohibit smoking. Islam prohibits any action that causes harm to oneself or to other people. Allah (ﷻ) says (what means):

﴾Do not kill yourselves, Allah is indeed merciful to you.﴿ (2)

﴾Do not cast yourselves, with your own hands, into destruction.﴿ (3)

And the Messenger (ﷺ) says:

No harm may be inflicted on oneself or others. (4)

The feet of a human being will not depart, on the day of Judgement, from his standing before his Lord, until he is questioned about five things: his lifetime – how did he pass it, his youth – how did he used it, his wealth – where did he earn it and how did he spend it, and how did he follow what he knew. (5)

Whoever consumes poison, killing himself with it, then he will be consuming his poison in the hellfire, and he will abide in it permanently and eternally. (6)

Harm to the Mind and Will Power

Smoking is harmful to the human mind and reason. An obvious demonstration of this is that one who is addicted to it passes through periods of severe craving, making it hard for him to think, concentrate, solve a problem, or do any important matter until he smokes.

When one smokes, his muscles slacken, and he passes through a brief period of delirium that curtains the thought. His digestive system is also affected, causing him frequent nervousness and trembling of the hands. He passes through periods of excitability, inhibition, and insomnia.

Thus, instead of being Allah’s slave, a smoker becomes a slave to his cigarette. He develops a weaker control of his sense and reason. The faculty of reason, clear and unobstructed, is one of Allah’s great bounties on people. He (ﷻ) praised it in numerous places of the Qur’an; and He called on people to use it to see the truth and obey Him in a better way. Allah wants of the believer to be strong and capable of controlling the reigns of his desires. He (ﷻ) said (what means):

﴾AIIah wants to let you into His mercy, whereas those who follow the desires want you to drift far away (from the right path).﴿ (7)

Harm to the Environment

A smoker emits his poisons in the faces of his companions, wife, children, and the environment. It is well established that second-hand smoke is almost as dangerous as first-hand. Thus, whether they like it or not, a smoker’s associates are forced to inhale the smoke and be themselves smokers as well.

In addition to the poisons normally carried in the smoke, if a smoker has a contagious disease, such as tuberculosis or influenza, his exhaled smoke and coughing carry the disease to those around him.

Furthermore, a smoker irritates people by the foul smell and poisonous nature of his smoking. If they suffer from asthma or allergies, they are forced to move away from his vicinity. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbour. (8)

Thus, smoking constitutes a definite harm to other people; this is prohibited, as was indicated in the hadith cited earlier.

Also, a smoker is certainly a bad companion to sit with, as is depicted in the following hadith:

Verily, the example of a good companion and a bad one is like that of a perfume merchant and a blacksmith: As for the perfume merchant, he would either grant you (some perfume), or you would buy (some perfume) from him, or (in the least) you would get a good smell from him. And as for the blower of the bellows (ironsmith), you would either get a foul odour from him, or he would burn your clothes. (9)

Harm to Property

A smoker wastes his wealth on that which harms and has no benefit; he will be asked about his wealth and how he spent it, as has been cited in the hadith earlier. His wealth belongs to Allah, so how would he dare to waste it in disobedience to Him? Allah (ﷻ) says (what means):

﴾And do not entrust to the imprudent ones the possessions that Allah has placed in your charge… ﴿ (10)

﴾And do not waste (your resources) extravagantly. Indeed, the squanderers are the brethren of the devils…﴿ (11)

And the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

Allah hates for you three things: gossiping, begging, and wasting money. (12)

Furthermore, there are numerous cases of burnt carpets, furniture, and even complete houses and establishments that have resulted from this disastrous vice.

Moral Decadence

Smoking is a form of moral decadence. It is most spread among the low-class immoral people. It reflects blind imitation of the non-Muslims. It is mostly consumed in bars, discos, casinos, and other: places of sin. A smoker may beg or steal if he does not have the money to buy cigarettes. He is ill-mannered with his friends and family, especially when he misses taking his necessary “dose” at the usual time.

Evil Substance

Smoking involves the consumption of an evil substance (khabeeth). It has a foul smell, foul taste, and is harmful to the body. This is sufficient to: prohibit it, because Allah (ﷻ) says (what means):

﴾ (The Prophet) who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right, forbid them the doing of what is wrong, make lawful to them the good things of life, prohibit for them the evil things, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were (previously) upon them.﴿ (13)

Resembling the People of the Fire

A smoker inhales the smoke that does not give him any nourishment. This is similar to the action of the people of the Hell-Fire who eat harmful thorny plants:

﴾No food will be there for them but a poisonous thorny plant, which will neither nourish them nor still their hunger.﴿ (14)

Bad Example

A smoker, whether he likes it or not, makes of himself an example for his children and others to follow. He leads them to commit this evil. Actions sometimes have a stronger effect than words. Thus, even if he advises them or forbids them from smoking, his partaking of it provides them with a strong excuse to do it.

The problem is worse when the smoker is of known piety or knowledge. In such case, his harm becomes more emphasized, because more people take him as guide and example, and are thus lead astray by him. This multiplies his sins and increases his burden.

Hostility Toward Good People

The majority of good people avoid smoking and stay away from smokers. Therefore, a smoker would be forced to stay away from them – at least while he smokes. He puts himself in a selective exile, creating a spiritual distance and hostility between him and the good people, and a closeness to the evil people. The effects of this become more apparent and acute with time. Note that this applies equally to any sin that a person commits, small or large.

Low Self Esteem.

A smoker despises himself because he feels that a little cigarette is controlling him. Realizing his weakness before desires, this creates in him a feeling of defeat in the face of hardships.

Scholars’ Verdict

Since smoking became known to Muslims, all of the great scholars who have the capability of Ijtihad (deriving verdicts in new situations) agree to its prohibition. Thus, there is no value for baseless opinions, conflicting with this, provided by self-proclaimed lesser scholars.

Warnings

In discussing the subject of the prohibition of smoking, there are some important warnings that need to be mentioned:

  1. As indicated before, the prohibition of smoking is not restricted to cigarettes, but applies as well to other objects that have similar effects such as cigars, pipes, water pipes, chewing tobacco or sniffing tobacco, etc.
  2. The reasons mentioned above for prohibiting smoking apply as well, and more strongly, to various types of drugs and hashish such as marijuana and -tat. These materials have additional problems such as causing drunkenness, death, madness, etc.
  3. The prohibition of smoking is not restricted to consuming it, but applies as well to offering it to people, sitting with those who are smoking, or selling it. All of this involves helping people commit sins, which is prohibited, as Allah (ﷻ) says (what means):

﴾Help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sinning and transgression. And fear and revere Allah; verily, Allah is severe in punishment.﴿ (15)

Also, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

Indeed, when Allah prohibits something, he prohibits eating its price. (16)

Treating the Disease of Smoking

Only few of those addicted to smoking are able to stop it. The reasons for this are many, among which are the following:

  1. The addictive nature of the poisonous substances contained in it.
  2. The smokers are not totally convinced of its prohibition.
  3. They do not have a strong determination to refrain from it.

The following are some suggestions to help a person stop smoking:

  1. Rely on Allah sincerely, with full determination not to return to smoking, in compliance with Allah’s command:

﴾When you decide on a certain course of action, place your trust in Allah.﴿ (17)

  1. Stop immediately instead of claiming it is best to do it gradually. The gradual approach is the way of one who does not trust his determination and the will power that Allah has granted him. Let the example be taken from the Sahabah who, as soon as Allah’s command reached them regarding alcohols:

﴾Will you not then desist?﴿ (18)

they immediately poured out all the alcohol that they had and said, “We desist our Lord, we desist!”

They did this despite the fact that alcohol has a greater addictive power over those who drink it.

  1. Avoid the bad company of smokers and smoking environments that are full with the smell of smoke.
  2. Change the food diet by abstaining from foods and drinks that would entice the craving to smoke such as spices, meat, tea, and coffee; and eating a lot of vegetables and fruits.
  3. Use medically tested and established procedures to help stop smoking, as directed by physicians, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc.
  4. Expel the secret whispers of Satan who continuously dictates to the human being that he is weak and incapable of refraining from sinning, as Allah (ﷻ) says (what means)

﴾It is but Satan who instils (into you) fear of his allies; so do not fear them, but fear Me if you are (truly) believers… ﴿ (19)

﴾Fight then against the allies of Satan; indeed, Satan’s guile is weak… ﴿ (20)

References

“The Ruling of Smoking” by Muhammad bin Ibraaheem (r)

“The Ruling of Smoking” by `Abdur-Rahman Bin Naasir as-Sa`di (r).

“The Ruling of Smoking” by `Abdul-`Aziz Bin ‘Abdullaah Bin Baaz.

“The Ruling of Smoking” by Muhammad Bin Salih al-‘Uthaymin.

Hukm ul-lslami fit-Tadkhin by Muhammad Jamil Zinu.

Hukm ud-Dini fil-Lihyati wat-Tadkhin by ‘Ali Hasan al-Halabi.

“Smoking and Its Effects on Health” by Dr. Muhammad ‘Ali al-Barr.

Footnotes

  • (1)    Al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Jabir and other Sahaabah.
  • (2)   An-Nisa’ 4-29.
  • (3)   Al-Baqarah 2:195.
  • (4)   Recorded by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah from Ibn `Abbaas and `Ubaadah; authenticated by al-Albaani and others.
  • (5)   Recorded by at-Tirmithi and others from Ibn Mas`ud and AbO Barzah , authenticated by al-Albaani.
  • (6)   Al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Jaabir
  • (7)   An-Nisa 4:27.
  • (8)   Al-Bukhaari.
  • (9)   Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
  • (10) An-Nisa 4:5.
  • (11)  Al-lsra’ 17:26-27.
  • (12) Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
  • (13) Al-A’raf 7:157.
  • (14) Al-Ghaashiyah 88:6-7.
  • (15) Al-Maidah 5:2.
  • (16) Recorded by Ahmad and Abu Dawud from Ibn `Abbas; authenticated by al-Albaani.
  • (17) Al-‘lmran 3:159
  • (18) Al-Maa’idah 5 91
  • (19) Al-`Imraan 3:175.
  • (20) An-Nisaa’ 4:76.

Similarities in the Prayer and Fasting of the Prophets of Christianity and Islam

offering-two-rakahs-of-shukr-ok

Preamble

The final two challenges that Kornelius Kuku Palete Masiku presented to Muslims were to produce a verse in the Quran that proves Muhammed ﷺ fasted like Jesus fasted, and also another that proved he prostrated to Allah. The second challenge was followed by a comment on Jesus and prostration. I think he was inquiring about Jesus prostrating to his Lord in the Bible and/or Quran. I want to deal with both these topics. Let us begin with fasting.

The Fast

In the Quran, there are several verses that order Muslims to fast and specify how long they should fast and when. They also helped to define the daily period of fasting and its relaxation at night. I will allow them to speak for themselves about the fasting of Muhammed ﷺ and those who follow him. These verses lie between verses 183 and 187 in Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow).

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ  فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ  وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ  فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ ۚ  وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous – a limited number of days. So, whoever among you is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. And for those who can afford it, a ransom of feeding the poor. And whoever volunteers better – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ  فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ  وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ  يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ…

The month of Ramadan in which was sent down the Quran for guidance to mankind and (clear) proofs of the guidance and the criterion (al-furqan). Whoever witnesses from you the month then he must fast it. So, whoever among you is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah wants for you ease and does not want hardship for you, and for you to complete the prescribed period and for you to magnify Allah to what he guided you and for you to be grateful…

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ  عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ  فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۚ  وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ  ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ  وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ  تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ  كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ.

It is allowed for you on the nights before fasting to approach your women; they are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So, now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct from the black thread to you. Then complete the fast until the night. But do not have relations with them as long as you are cloistered (in a state of retreat) in the mosques. These are the limits of Allah, so do not approach them. Thus, does Allah clarify His verses to mankind that they may become righteous.

The gospels of Matthew and Luke record that Jesus fasted for 40 days, like Moses, and Mark records that he went out into the desert without mentioning his fasting.

 After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. (Matthew 4:2)

This is not the fast of Muslims in general, though it is possible that the Prophet ﷺ sometimes fasted the night, as well as the day. Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ forbade his Companions from observing fast without interruption (Saum al-Wisal).

One of the Muslims said: “Messenger of Allah, you yourself observe Saum Wisal.”

On hearing this, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked: “Who among you is like me? I spend night (in a state) that my Allah feeds me and provides me drink.”

When they did not agree in abandoning the uninterrupted fast, the Holy Prophet ﷺ also observed this fast with them for day after a day. They then saw the new moon and the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: “If the appearance of the new moon were delayed. I would have observed more with you.”

And he did this by way of warning to them as they had not agreed to refrain from observing Saum Wisal. (Sahih Muslim)

Jesus also mentioned, along with praying and charity, how not to fast, in Matthew 6, and spoke a parable comparing the sincere supplication of a tax collector to the prideful fasting and tithing of a Pharisee in Luke 18:12. The Pharisee mentioned that he fasted two days a week, which would customarily have been Tuesday and Thursday. This, of course, does not mean fasting is not recommended. In Matthew 9:15, Jesus says, in reply to a question posed by John ben Zakaria’s disciples,

“How can the attendants of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast.”

Of deeds, the Prophet ﷺ said that every deed is by intention. He also said pride ruins the deed as it is for other men’s eyes to see – a form of seeking reward from men for an act of worship. In Islam, that means polytheism – the unforgivable sin if one dies without repenting it. It is for this reason Jesus speaks critically of the Pharisees whom he sees as hypocritical. Jesus says in Matthew 6:1:

Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

He also says (Matthew 6:16-18):

When you fast, do not be sombre like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that your fasting will not be obvious to men, but only to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The reason for fasting, praying and giving in charity (sincerely) is given in Matthew 6:19-21

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Prayer

Let us now move on to praying, and establish the attitude of Jesus to it, and whether he prostrated to his Lord. In Matthew 6, he said:

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.

But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6: 5-6)

He also taught the Lord’s prayer, which is prayed to “The Father” (not directed at “the Messiah” or “the Son”), after giving this advice.

The one to whom prayer should be directed is reiterated when Jesus raise Lazarus, the brother of Martha. The relevant verses are in John 11:38-44.

Then Jesus, loudly murmuring to Himself again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.  “Remove the stone,” Jesus said.

Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Him, “Lord, he’s already stinking. It has been four days.”

Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

So, they removed the stone.

“Jesus loudly murmured.” The word used, here, to describe the kind of utterance means “snorted angrily.” One has to ask why Jesus was angry (deeply moved). Was it out of pity? Vexation? Righteous wrath? Or was he praying, supplicating with emotion? Perhaps his next words give a clue.

Then Jesus raised His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You heard Me. I know that You always hear Me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so they may believe You sent Me.”

He prayed to be overheard, asking for a miracle only God could provide as a sign of authority as His messenger.

 After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth.

Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.”

He proved his point, but even this miracle did not change the stubborn hypocrisy of the Jewish elders.

The position of prayer mentioned in Matthew 6 is standing, but other positions were adopted by Jesus himself. At the Garden of Gethsemane, Luke says he knelt to pray to God.

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and he fell to his knees and he prayed. And he said, “Father, if you are willing, let this cup pass from me; however not my will, but yours be done.”

And an Angel appeared to him from Heaven, who strengthened him. And as he was in fear, he prayed urgently, and his sweat was like drops of blood, and he fell upon the ground. (Luke 22: 4-42)

Matthew says he prostrated,

Matthew26 38-40: Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with me.”

 And he went a little beyond them, and fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping.

And said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with me for one hour?”

Standing, bowing, kneeling and prostration are all positions used in Salat – the Muslim prayer. This type of prayer was enjoined on the mother of Jesus in the Quran when she was ordered to join the priests of the synagogue in prayer.

وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ وَاصْطَفَاكِ عَلَىٰ نِسَاءِ الْعَالَمِينَ يَا مَرْيَمُ اقْنُتِي لِرَبِّكِ وَاسْجُدِي وَارْكَعِي مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ.

And when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer].” (Quran 3:42-43)

Jesus acknowledged he, too, was enjoined to prayer and compulsory charity.

قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا.

“Indeed, I am a servant (worshiper) of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer (Salat) and compulsory charity (Zakat) as long as I remain alive.” (Quran 19:20-31)

Prostration is implied by the word Salat, along with the positions we have already mentioned.

لَّن يَسْتَنكِفَ الْمَسِيحُ أَن يَكُونَ عَبْدًا لِّلَّهِ وَلَا الْمَلَائِكَةُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ۚ وَمَن يَسْتَنكِفْ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيَسْتَكْبِرْ فَسَيَحْشُرُهُمْ إِلَيْهِ جَمِيعًا.

Never would the Messiah disdain to worship Allah, nor would the angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He will gather them to Himself all together [For Punishment]. (Quran 4:172)

As for Muhammed ﷺ, he and his followers are described by Allah as prostrating and bowing.

 مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا ۖ سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِم مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ ۚ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ ۗ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا.

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating, seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers – so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward. (Quran 48:29)

He is also ordered to start the established prayer with his family at the beginning of his mission.

وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ وَاخْفِضْ جَنَاحَكَ لِمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَإِنْ عَصَوْكَ فَقُلْ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ فَإِنْ عَصَوْكَ فَقُلْ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْعَزِيزِ الرَّحِيمِ الَّذِي يَرَاكَ حِينَ تَقُومُ وَتَقَلُّبَكَ فِي السَّاجِدِينَ.

And warn, [O Muhammad], your closest kindred. And lower your wing to those who follow you of the believers. And if they disobey you, then say, “Indeed, I am disassociated from what you are doing.”

And rely upon the Exalted in Might, the Merciful, Who sees you when you arise and how you move with those who prostrate. (Quran 26:214-219)

He is reassured of his status as God’s messenger ﷺ and his nightly duties in Quran 76:23-26:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ تَنزِيلًا فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلَا تُطِعْ مِنْهُمْ آثِمًا أَوْ كَفُورًا وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَاسْجُدْ لَهُ وَسَبِّحْهُ لَيْلًا طَوِيلًا.

Indeed, it is We who have sent down to you, the Qur’an progressively. So be patient for the decision of your Lord and do not obey from among them a sinner or the ungrateful. And mention the name of your Lord morning and evening and during the night. Prostrate to Him. And exalt Him a long night.

Finally, as a final sample of what he was told to do about prayer, he was commanded to establish a cycle of daily prayer after his night journey and ascent.

أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا

Establish (stand up in) salat at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station. (Quran 17:79-80)

Conclusion

Did Muhammed ﷺ prostrate like Jesus prostrated? They prostrated the same way, it appears. Did Mohammed ﷺ fast out of pride or for the sake of Allah? He did it for Allah and told the people, like Jesus did, that fasting out of prideful display was useless. Did he fast continuously at any period of his life? Hadith say it was an early practice of his. Did he fast 40 days in a row? It is not mentioned in the Quran that he did, but he was ordered to fast the 30 days of Ramadan. He also suggested fasting six more days after Eid al-Fitr or any time of the month following Ramadan (Shawwal) to gain the reward of fasting the year. So, if the challenger intends that Muhammed ﷺ follow Jesus’s practice in the Gospels, he will have to be disappointed. However, did Jesus pray and fast like Muhammed ﷺ? From the evidence, it shows that he did.

The Preservation of God’s Word

 

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The Completed Religion

Kornelius Kuku Palete Masiku wants Muslims to produce verses from the Quran that prove God will preserve the Quran just as YHWH said he would preserve His word in the Bible. Who promises to preserve the words of the Bible? Who promises to preserve the words of the Quran? Is the Word of the Bible complete? Is the Word of the Quran complete?

Allah says in Quran 5:3

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.

During the Prophet ﷺ of Islam’s last farewell sermon at Arafat, he said,

“No doubt, your blood and your properties are sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours (the Great Day), In this month of yours (Dul Hijja), In this town of yours (Makkah), till the day you meet your Lord. No doubt! haven’t I conveyed Allah’s message to you?”

They said, “Yes.”

He said, “O Allah! Be my witness.”

So, It Is Incumbent upon those who are present to convey it to those who are absent because the informed one might comprehend it better than the present audience, who will convey it to him. (Sahih Bukhari)

The End of Times

Let us now address Matthew 24:35, which Kornelius holds up as proof that the Gospels preserve the words of Jesus perfectly. The context of the statement in that verse is Jesus’s prophecy of his second coming. In Matthew 24:32-36, Jesus says:

Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.

What is near? The second coming of Jesus.

Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Indeed, his words never will pass away, especially as they will be expanded upon

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father.

Jesus confesses his ignorance of the day of his second coming, and the end of days. However, he tells some of the signs.

Matthew 24:24-30

For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible…

Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the son of man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

What does Islam say about the End in connection with Jesus?

A Sign of The End

First of all, Allah says in the Quran that Jesus will be the sign of the end.

وَلَمَّا ضُرِبَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ مَثَلًا إِذَا قَوْمُكَ مِنْهُ يَصِدُّونَ…

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلْنَاهُ مَثَلًا لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَلَوْ نَشَاءُ لَجَعَلْنَا مِنكُم مَّلَائِكَةً فِي الْأَرْضِ يَخْلُفُونَ وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ فَلَا تَمْتَرُنَّ بِهَا وَاتَّبِعُونِ ۚ هَٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ.

43:57  And when the son of Mary was presented as an example, immediately your people laughed aloud…

43:59-61 Verily, he [Jesus] was not but a servant upon whom We bestowed favor, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel. And if We willed, We could have made [instead] of you angels succeeding [one another] on the earth. And indeed, he [Jesus] will be a Sign [that you know] of the Hour [being nigh]. So, be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path.

He also says something that may also refer to his second coming and its associated events in Quran, 27.82:

“And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust), We shall produce from the earth a Beast to (face) them: it will speak to them.”

Knowledge of The Hour

Concerning knowledge of the hour, Allah says in Quran 31

“Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone).”

The Messenger ﷺ of Allah confirmed this in a conversation he had with a shadowless man in front of his companions whom he later said was the Angel Gabriel Angel Gabriel come to teach them their religion. The man asked,

And when will the hour come?”

The Messenger of Allah replied, “The one being asked does not know more than the one asking.”

In the continuation of the hadiyth, the Messenger ﷺ of Allah described a number of signs of the end.

The man (the Angel Gabriel) then said, “Tell me about its signs.”

He answered, ‘The slave-girl shall give birth to her master, and you will see the barefooted, scantily-clothed, destitute shepherds (of black camels start boasting and) competing in constructing lofty buildings. (And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah). The Prophet then recited: “Verily, with Allah is the knowledge of the Hour.” (Muslim & Bukhari)

In another hadiyth, the Messenger ﷺ of Allah is reported to have prophesied of the beast:

‘The first of the immediate signs (of the Hour) to appear will be the rising of the sun from the west and the appearance of the Beast before the people in the forenoon. Whichever of these events happens first, the other will follow immediately.’ (Saheeh Muslim).

And quite a few of the celestial and earthly tribulations.

 “The Hour will not come until you see ten signs: the smoke; the False Messiah; the Beast; the sun rising from the West; the descent of Jesus son of Mary; the Gog and Magog; and three tremors – one in the East, one in the West, and one in Arabia, at the end of which fire will burst forth from the direction of Aden and drive people to the place of their final assembly.” (Ahmed)

He ﷺ also prophesied Jesus’s descent upon the wings of angels,

“Allah will send down the Messiah son of Mary. He will descend to the east Damascus, near the white tower, dressed in the two yellow garments, with his hands resting on the arms of two angels.” (Muslim)

Many other signs were prophesied by Jesus in the Gospels and by Muhammad ﷺ in authentic hadiyths., but what we see coincident here is the peculiar behavior of the heavens, the coming of the false Messiah descending on the wings of angels and his appearance being the sign of the hour.

The Spirit of Truth

Muhammed ﷺ confirms the words of Jesus about the second coming. He also confirmed much of what Jesus did and said, including being lifted up into the heavens alive to Allah. This chimes with what Jesus prophesied about Muhammed’s coming and his message. He said in John 16:12-15,

I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it.

However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and he will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you.

The “Spirit of Truth” refers to the Paraclete (Comforter, Advocate), mentioned earlier in this chapter and the two previous ones.

Two things are of note, here.

  1. The words of Jesus are NOT complete (You cannot hear it now).
  2. But will be completed by the “Spirit of Truth” whom “the Father” will send down (John 14:16 & 26).
  3. For an explanation of what Jesus means by “The Spirit” will “take from mine” to disclose to them is that “what belongs to the Father is mine,”, one need look no further that John 14:24 & 31

“The word that you hear (from me) is not my own, but it is from the Father Who sent me…” and “I do exactly what the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”

In other words, when the “Spirit of Truth” speaks not on his own, but only what he hears (from God), and declares what is to come, he will only be doing what Jesus himself does/did.

The Unaltered Word in the Scriptures

Kornelius wanted proof that the Quran said YHWH would guard the scripture (Quran) claiming that He said he would in the Bible. Shall we check who it is that guards the words of God according to the Bible? Who guards the actual words of the Gospel, Torah and other books. Is it fallible human beings? Or God?

Jeremiah said to the Jewish elders who twisted words to glorify themselves,

“How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of Yahweh is with us’ when, behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it (the law of Yahweh) into a lie?”

In the Quran, Jesus says,

وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ

“And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you.” (3:50)

Because

كُلُّ الطَّعَامِ كَانَ حِلًّا لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ إِسْرَائِيلُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تُنَزَّلَ التَّوْرَاةُ ۗ َ

“All food was lawful to the Children of Israel except what Israel had made unlawful to himself before the Torah was revealed.” (3:93)

I think not God, according to these passages. What fallible men?

Witnesses from The New Testament

The end of the John’s Gospel reports,

“This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who has written them down. And we know that his testimony is true. There are many more things that Jesus did. If all of them were written down, I suppose not even the world itself would have space for the books that would be written. (21:24-5)

I see that he did not write everything down, and that it is the testimony of the writer, not a guarantee from God or his Prophet, Jesus. Is there anywhere in the Bible promising the verses are preserved? What about the end of the Bible, the Book of Revelation 22:18-20?

I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen.

Come, Lord Jesus!The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

Well, John the Divine added to it, did he not, with that final prayer. He writes that the one who testifies is, by intimation of the prayer, “Lord Jesus.” But wait, the beginning of the Revelation starts,

“This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show His servants what must soon come to pass. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw.”

So, it is the written testimony of John the Divine from an angel from God as was revealed to Jesus, the Messiah, some years after he was raised to God.

However, John reiterates that this is the word of God and (also) the testimony of Jesus Christ. Then he begins,

“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and obey what is written in it, because the time is near.

John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia:”

So, again, this is the word of a man, John the Divine, claiming a prophecy from Jesus through and angel.

I think Paul made a similar claim in Galatians 1:11-12 and elsewhere:

“For I certify to you, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not devised by man. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”

One of the first things he says about that revelation, in 1 Corinthians 15 (the other place he claims to have “seen Jesus Messiah” after “the resurrection”) in verses 24-28 is:

As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ the first fruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him.

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power. For he must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet…

For “God has put everything under His feet.” Now when it says that everything has been put under him, this clearly does not include the One Who put everything under him.

And when all things have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will be made subject to Him Who put all things under him, so that God may be all in all.

So, in these verses, Paul says that Jesus will be made subject to God at the end. He cannot, therefore, be the King of the Kingdom of God. The One Who rules is God Himself.

It seems, again, that The Revelation does not guarantee the four Gospels, for it is what John the Divine writes long after Jesus has gone, and it is in conflict with Paul’s account of The End. Besides, it claims no alteration only for itself, the letter written to the Churches of Asia, not of the Gospels, Acts and other Letters or the Old Testament.

Reliable Versus Unreliable Keepers

The Quran, which is from God, however, does guarantee the revelation that He gave to Muhammed ﷺ just like Jesus guaranteed the true word he preached would remain unaltered in Matthew 24.

So how is the Word of God guaranteed? The Quran has something to say on this subject. In Surah 85:21-22, Allah says,

بَلْ هُوَ قُرْآنٌ مَّجِيدٌ فِي لَوْحٍ مَّحْفُوظٍ.

But this is an honored Quran [inscribed] in a Preserved Tabled. 

In Surah 56:77-80, Allah says,

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ كَرِيمٌ لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

Indeed, it is a Noble Quran in a well-protected Register; none touch it except the purified: A revelation from the Lord of the worlds.

And in Surah 15:8, Allah says,

مَا نُنَزِّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَمَا كَانُوا إِذًا مُّنظَرِينَ  إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ.

We do not send down the angels except with truth; and the disbelievers would not then be reprieved. Indeed, it is We who sent down the Reminder and, indeed, We will be its guardian.

We see here that Allah does not guarantee that every word written down by men and written in the physical book will always be accurately transcribed. Scribes make mistakes. But He guarantees the Quran is preserved in His Tablet and that He will guard its remembrance (on Earth). So, any mistakes that are made in its writing or recital will be corrected spotted and corrected, and if anything is lost, it will be found.

Moses also expressed the idea that the Torah is preserved. In Deuteronomy 31:26 he says to the Levites,

 “Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may remain there as a witness against you.”

The physical book he had written down was left to the Israelites in a safe physical place as a witness against their desire to thwart it. It is a witness to the original Law, which indeed is called the Furqan, which is preserved with God. Yet God does not guarantee the preservation of the Law with the people (and indeed the ark of the covenant was lost and never found again at the second exile). Moses knew his people. He accused them,

“For I know your rebellion and your stubbornness; behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the LORD; how much more, then, after my death?”

Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth to witness against them.

If the heavens and the earth can be called s a witness against the Israelites, the preservation is somewhere in the heaven and the earth, right?

For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.”

Far from guaranteeing the Torah will be kept pristine by the Israelites, Moses guarantees they will somehow corrupt it, and its truth will only be revealed as a witness against their fidelity in keeping it after it is so corrupted the people were led completely astray.

Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete.

The challenge is answered. Indeed, Allah guarantees the preservation of His revelation (to Muhammed ﷺ) but does not guarantee that the Israelites will keep their Law pristine.

Muhayminaan – Dominant Measuring Tool for Allah’s Decree

Jesus does guarantee the Law will never change in the Gospels and elsewhere, and he prophecies that a prophet after him will teach the whole truth and bring the former scriptures back into line. He says,

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا ۚ لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (6:115)

The Verse in which Jesus reminds us of Deuteronomy 31 is Quran 5:44

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ ۚ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا لِلَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُوا مِن كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُوا عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاءَ ۚ فَلَا تَخْشَوُا النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ.

Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto. So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers.

And Allah promises a return to His true message is in Quran 5:48 through referring to the revelation given to His messenger ﷺ.

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ ۖ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۚ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ.

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and dominant criterion over it. So, judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so, race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.

The dominance Allah gives what He revealed to Mohammed ﷺ is how Christians and Jews should measure the degree of Truth there is in what came down to them.

So, where is the Word of God preserved most reliably? Judge for yourself.

The Abrahamic Covenant of Circumcision

Abraham_and_his_men_begin_to_circumcise_themselves._Etching_Wellcome_V0034231-e1440043441862.jpg

Abraham and his men begin to circumcise themselves. (Wellcome Library, London)

Kornelius Kuku Palete Masiku challenged the Muslims to produce a verse of the Quran commanding believers to circumcise. He also stated that Jesus was circumcised and fasted. We believe he did, just as every prophet did. However, it must be pointed out that the Gospel accounts are third party – reports of the events, rather than statements by Jesus.

The Quran, on the other hand,  is directly from God through his medium, Muhammed, and therefore contains no third person statements about Muhammed, may Allah praise him. The best I can do here is to quote direct commandments of God and back those up by Authentic Hadeeth.

  1. Although circumcision is not mentioned directly in the Qur’an, it is mentioned indirectly in verse 16:123:

“Then We inspired you: ‘Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the upright in Faith’.”

We know his religion included circumcision partly because of the Torah, which the Quran upholds except where it corrects it, and partly through hadiyth which confirm the covenant of Abraham.

  1. Genesis 17

Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, He (Who) Is (Yahweh) appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God (El) Almighty. Walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.”

Abram fell on his face, and God (Elohim) talked with him, saying, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations.  No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God (Elohim) to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your wherein you dwell, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Elohim).”

God (Elohim) said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus, shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God (Elohim) had said to him. Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. All the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

  1. From authentic hadiyth we know, concerning the covenant, The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah praise him) said:

“The Prophet Ibrahim circumcised himself when he was eighty years old and he circumcised himself with an axe.” (Related by Bukhari, Muslim & Ahmad.)

4. As for the legal ruling, The Messenger of Allah (may Allah praise him) said,

“Five are the acts quite akin to fitrah: Circumcision, clipping or shaving the pubes, cutting the nails, plucking or shaving the hair under the armpits and clipping (or shaving) the moustache.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

And, as reported by Abdullah Ibn Jabir (r.a.) and his wife Aisha (r.a.), he set an example by

“performing the Aqiqah (birth sacrifice) of al-Hasan and al-Hussein (the prophets grandsons) and circumcising them on the 7th. Day.” (al-Bayhaq & Tabarani)

5. As for Jesus, it is related by the synoptic gospels that

when the eight days until His circumcision had passed, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He had been conceived.

(this contradicts Matthew, who said he would be called Immanuel)

And when the time of purification according to the Law of Moses was complete, his parents brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord and to offer the sacrifice specified in the Law of the Lord. (Luke 2:21-24).

  1. Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioned three opinions in Tuhfat al-Mawlood concerning the circumcision of the Prophet (may Allah praise him). He said that there are different opinions on this matter:

1 – That he was born circumcised

2 – That Jibreel circumcised him when he split open his chest

3 – That his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttaalib circumcised him according to the Arab custom of circumcising their sons.

  • Support for the first opinion is only from weak hadiyth and goes against nature. Being born that way would be a defect and. if Allah gave our prophet attributes of physical perfection and made him of fine lineage, how can we entertain the idea that he was born circumcised?
  • The second opinion is supported by what is termed a hidden witness hadiyth – that is, the author is unknown. As such, it should be thrown out forthwith.
  • The third opinion is supported by known custom. Ibn Qayyim reported in Zaad al-Ma’aad that the historian, Ibn al-Adeem said in refuting Kamaal al-Deen ibn Talhah, who was of the first opinion:

“It says in some reports that his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib circumcised him on the seventh day.”

He also opined that this seems to be the correct view and closest to reality as this was the custom of all of the Arabs in accordance with the covenant of Abraham.