Tag Archives: the Quran

MAKING SENSE – (Part 1 of 2)

Widely acknowledged as Jakarta’s most effective and popular Governor in a generation, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian, also known as “Ahok”, was soundly defeated in a recent election. How did that happen?

Media personality, Yassim Abdel-Magied, said Islam is “the most feminist religion”. But in the forthcoming elections in Iran, more than 130 women reportedly submitted their names to be considered by the all male Guardians Council as candidates. None was selected. Don’t Islamic authorities know about their feminist side?

Liberal scholar, Shadi Hamid, a member of the highly respected Brookings Institute in the USA, surprisingly wrote, “If (ISIS) were destroyed tomorrow morning, the Islamic State would still stand as one of the most successful and distinctly ‘Islamist’ state-building projects of recent decades.” What sort of “success” does he mean?

In Australia, thirty imams reportedly signed an open letter in which they stated, “Islam categorically prohibits and denounces violence against women.” Yet at about the same time, Dina Ali Lasloom, aged 24, was on a flight to Australia to escape from her abusive family in Saudi Arabia. During a change of flights in Manila the Saudi embassy phoned the Philippines authority advising that her passport had been cancelled and they were to detain her till relatives arrived to take her back to Saudi Arabia. Witness accounts report that when her “uncles” arrived, they beat her, taped her mouth shut and wrapped her in something like a sheet, all to stop her screaming and kicking in protest. They then carried her back onto a plane bound for Saudi Arabia, in spite of her prerecorded plea that she would probably be killed there.

Didn’t the Saudis know that violence against women was prohibited?

In Australia, Reem Allouche, a teacher and Atika Latifi produced a 33-minute video explaining it was okay for a Muslim husband to beat his wife. They demonstrated how it was to be done properly. Their opinion was that it was to be regarded as a “beautiful blessing” which “promotes tranquility”. But Ed Husic, the first Muslim politician (ALP) to be elected to Australian Federal Parliament, reportedly said such practices were “not acceptable”.

Didn’t he know that one of the foremost authorities on interpreting Islam, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb, Grand Mufti of Al-Azar Mosque in Cairo, had affirmed that according to Quranic recommended practice, wife beating is permissible and necessary “to reform her”?

The video ladies asserted that “Islam is not gender biased”, but the President of the Australian National Imams’ Council, Sheik Shady Alsuleiman,  reportedly said that men do have authority over their wives, “to care for them” and further admitted that if a wife refuses to come to her husband’s bed, angels would continue to curse her till morning, that she cannot bring anyone into the family home or leave it without the husband’s permission.

When someone may bring a corrective by quoting from Islam’s sacred texts, the Quran, Traditions or Biographies of Prophet Muhammad to prove the point being made, then a Muslim apologist, such as Silma Ihram of the Australian (Muslim) Women’s Association, will often reply that people have no right to quote the Quran. That is a right reserved for Muslim scholars.

How can all these claims and counter claims be reconciled? Is one right and the opposing view wrong?

The answer is that from within an Islamic perspective they are all valid and correct. It’s just that each answer may serve a different purpose. That which seems illogical to the infidel non-Muslim may make perfect sense to a sincere Muslim.

When Silma Ihrain said that only Muslim scholars should be quoting and commenting on the Quran, this is a view widely held among Muslims. They believe that the Quran is perfect in every respect and can only exist in the “heavenly language” of Arabic. Any Quranic text apart from that in Arabic is considered to be an interpretation not a translation and therefore is unreliable. As most Muslims are not fluent in classical Arabic they must be guided by appropriate authorities. This is similar to when only priests in medieval Christianity could teach from the Latin Bible, because common people were regarded as ignorant and unqualified.

When it comes to obtaining an authoritative ruling based upon the texts of Islam there are more problems. There is no centralized authority in the Muslim world on such issues, so sometimes there will be disagreements amongst scholars as to what the correct position is.

Then there are bigger issues.

(To be continued)

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THE MIDDLE EAST AND US – PART 4 – RESPONSE

This is the fourth and final of a series of  posts entitled  THE MIDDLE EAST AND US.

Part 1 can be found at this link https://drstuartrobinson.com/2014/09/10/the-middle-and-us-part-1/

Part 2 can be found at https://drstuartrobinson.com/2014/09/16/the-middle-east-and-us-part-2-northern-syria-and-iraq/

Part 3 can be found at https://drstuartrobinson.com/2014/09/24/the-middle-east-and-us-part-3/

or by searching my home page.

The Middle East and Us – Part 4

As Christians swirling in the vortex of this super heated cauldron of confusion how do we respond?

Response

  1. Reject all personal violence, hatred and political triumphalism.

Six centuries before Mohammed, followers of Jesus attempted to make him king. He rejected their political invitation, journeyed from Galilee to Jerusalem and accepted crucifixion.[i] As Mohammed is the example of the perfect man for Muslims (Q.33:21;53;1-3), Jesus is the model for Christians. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)

  1. Refuse to fear. That is what Islamic terrorism tries to produce {Q6:80}. We live by faith not fear. Jesus said, “ I tell you my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more….Fear him who after killing the body, has power to throw you into hell.” (Luke 12:4-5)

God is still in control. If we have read the book, the Bible, we already know how all this will end. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.

  1. Develop friendships with Muslims. Don’t hate them to death. Love them to life. It’s not their fault that they have been somewhat coercively persuaded into believing a cosmic deception.
  1. Share generously with Christian agencies that are working in the current refugee crisis.
  1. Be ready to offer hospitality to any real refugees from this crisis. “Do not forget to entertain strangers..”(Hebrews 13:2)
  1. Persevere in persistent prayer.

“Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have divine power to demolish strongholds…. Take captive every thought to make it a obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

  1. Always commend Jesus in your words and deeds. If you do, amazing things may happen. You may discover what God is doing.

What God Is Doing

Undoubtedly he grieves to see what is happening. But he is not inactive.

In the troubled areas of Iraq and Syria today church planting has accelerated 5 to 10 times what it was previously.[ii] Muslims are tired of Muslims killing Muslims. They are looking for real peace, not the mirage of peace that apocalyptic Islam proclaims.

One former foot soldier recently put it like this:

“I have been a man of violence. I was a jihadist. But I observed that violence only begets violence. In my search for another way I met Jesus. He has transformed me. He is peace”.[iii]

In another area of Muslim domains, former violent jihadists have become the best Christian evangelists. Authorities are reluctant to send them to prison because that results in many other inmates becoming followers of Jesus.[iv]

“The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)

Muslims consider themselves the slaves of Allah and the harsh Law formulated in the name of this unknowable spiritual entity. People tend to become like the God they worship.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the demands of the law and freed us for a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are in need of that same deliverance more than ever. The process can quite startling.

A Muslim of Turkish Indian origin trained for 10 years in a Madrassa[v] i.e. an Arabic medium Quranic college. He wanted to become an Imam in a mosque. His preaching included the standard Muslim teaching that Jesus was not the Son of God. But that raised the question, who then is Jesus? Diligently he sifted through the 666 000 words in the 114 chapters in his Quran. He noted that the name Mohammed is mentioned 4 times but that of Jesus is mentioned 25 times.

Why would the Quran give more prominence to Jesus than Mohammed?

The Quran also mentions miracles that Jesus performed and that he brought dead people back to life. Furthermore the Quran affirms Jesus is still alive. Mohammed did none of these things and he is dead. He also concluded that the Quran identifies Jesus with the Word of God and the Spirit of God.

He went to a Muslim scholar with his difficult questions but the teacher grew annoyed and ordered him to leave.

Unable to think what to do next he prayed, “Allah, tell me what I should do”? His Quran fell open at chapter 10:94, which says: “If you are in doubt about as to what we have revealed…then ask those who have been reading the Book… ie the Bible.

So he studied the Bible intensely.

From John 1 he discovered that God created through his Word and that Word is Jesus. In John 1: 12 he read that those who receive Jesus become children of God and that a relationship is established whereby followers of Jesus are privileged to address God, the creator of the Universe, as Father! How extraordinary.

When his family learned of his decision, his father beat him into unconsciousness, stripped him of all clothing, bound him in chains, rubbed chili powder into all his wounds and body orifices and left him locked up without food and water for 20 days.

His father then returned with a large knife to finish him off. But to see if his son was still alive he proceeded to choke him. This caused the young man to gag. All he could do was to refuse to revert to Islam and to utter the name “Jesus”.

Immediately a brilliant light fell onto his forehead. Incredible energy surged through his body. His father fell back onto the floor and in so doing slashed his own chest and started to foam from the mouth. The family ran in, gathered up the father and rushed him to the hospital. In their haste they forgot to relock the door. The young man struggled to his feet, got dressed, ran outside and just happened to be picked up by a passing Christian taxi driver who looked after his needs.

His family later conducted a funeral service for their son, who in their eyes was now dead. They even prepared a tombstone with his name and the dates of his birth and “death”. They placed it in a local cemetery plot.

Thinking back to those events this man says, “On that day I really understood that Jesus is alive and he saved me. Before I was following Mohammed into an uncertain future. The penalty for our sin is death, permanent separation from God for eternity. But Jesus, who is coming back, has taken the punishment for my sin and given me life forever. All must die. It’s the only certainty we have. But I no longer fear death because of what the living Jesus has done for me and for all who believe in him.”

That’s his experience and estimate of Jesus. What is ours?

If you are interested in reading more about this subject my books including  Mosques and Miracles – Revealing Islam and God’s Grace are available for purchase at https://drstuartrobinson.com/books/

 

[i] Jonathan Borman, Confessing the Peace of Jesus in a Terroristic World. A Statement and Appeal by EMM Christian/Muslim Relations Team. n.d.

[ii] Source withheld.

[iii] Source withheld.

[iv] Source withheld.

[v] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjUXd4gW9mg

 

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