Category Archives: Christianity/Orientalists

THE “PARAQLEITA (COMFORTER)” IN THE GOSPEL OF BARNABAS

“Then said the priests, how shall the comforter be called? And what signs shall revealed his coming? Jesus answered the name of the comforter is ADMIRABLE, for God gave him the name when he had created his soul and place it in a celestial splendor. God said, wait O MUHAMMAD; for thy seek I will create paradise, the world a great multitude of creatures where of I made thee a present in so much that whosoever shall bless thee shall be blessed, and whosoever shall cursed thee shall be cursed. When I shall send thee into the world, I shall send thee as my messenger of salvation; heaven and earth shall fell; but thy word shall never fell. Muhammad is his blessed name. Then the crowed lifted up their voice saying; O God, send us thy messenger. O Muhammad, come quickly for the salvation of the world. [Gospel of Barnabas 97:10-17]

It is interesting seeing that the above passage from the Gospel of Barnabas was compatible with the narration reflected in the Holy Quran.

And giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me (Jesus) whose name shall be Ahmad. [Quran 61:6]

Ahmad is the second name of our beloved prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), which corresponding English meaning is Admirable. It is even more enthusiastic that the name Muhammad was clearly stated in the passage.

Even though, the Gospel of Barnabas was declared an apocrypha, but history makes it clear that the early Christians had attested to the canonicity of the Gospel, and was accepted and used by the early Christian Churches. However, we have comprehended that the banning of the Gospel of Barnabas by the church was because it contained the name of our beloved prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and described Jesus Christ in exactly the same way as the Qur’an. Through this, the incapable Christians were enticed with the dubious word APOCRYPHA.

Originally, the meaning of “Apocrypha” is “hidden or secret”, but the church is seditious to vitiate the meaning as full of doubt or not genuine. What however the meaning may be; the Bible described Barnabas as a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith (Act 11:24). And in Colossians 4:10, Paul described Barnabas Saying,
(Barnabas) “Concerning whom you receive commandments, if he comes to you; receive him”.

Here, Paul refers to the commandments of Jesus. But in objection to this Biblical testimony, the church rejected the Gospel of Barnabas, and the four gospels canonized by the Church were full of contradictions and discrepancies.

IS HOLY SPIRIT /RUH-AL-QUDUS GOD?

Even early elementary student of linguistical study, will find it easy to translate the Arabic terms ” ﺭﻭﺡ ﺍﻟﻘﺪﺱ ” transliterated “Ruh-al-Qudus”. This is simple because “Ruh” (ﺭﻭﺡ) means “spirit” and “Qudus”  (ﻗﺪﺱ) means holy, thereby, joining them together, (ﺭﻭﺡ ﺍﻟﻘﺪﺱ) “Ruh-al-Qudus” means holy spirit.

Most Christians believe that holy spirit is “part of God” in the unionism of trinity, and Jesus is “part of the holy spirit”, which make them equally God. They backed it by a claim that God is a combination of three elements: Body, spirit and soul, just as human being is; such that father was the body, holy spirit was the spirit, and Jesus the soul: a claim never found in bible.

They go further by insisting that, the spirit of God is as old as God himself. And, since God has no beginning, neither the holy spirit, nor Jesus has, since Jesus himself was from the holy spirit, and holy spirit is from God, even according to Quran.

Unfortunately, this was a late deceit initiated by enemies of Allah (God ) led by whispers of Satan the rejected, immediately after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Consider these points;

1. No such ideas as trinity or duality throughout all past prophets, all generations before the alleged crucifixion

2. Old testament and Jews, the supposed keepers of Torah, never agree to this filthy idea until this day

3. No verse in Qur’an where Allah says that “Jesus is his spirit” but rather “a spirit from him”

4. In Qur’an, Allah said he breathed (not just a spirit from him) but “his” spirit into Adam. Yet no one ever said that Adam was God!

5. In the case of Adam, Allah breathed his spirit by himself. But for Jesus, he sent an Angel messenger to breathe the spirit into Mary’s womb (as referenced on sticker below). Which spirit is closer to Allah (God)?

6. Even if Jesus might have been referred to, in Hadith, as “spirit of Allah” is normal. Because “of” in English (as in other languages) is an adjective of possession. So simply, “spirit of Allah” means “spirit possessed by Allah”. Not as Christians want to imply it mean “spirit part of Allah” taking the “OF” as “part of”

7. Spirit from Allah or spirit of Allah simply means spirit belonging to Allah, not a spirit part of Allah just like if we say a house of God. House of God means a house belonging to God, not a house part of God.

May Allah protect us from the deceivers who mislead people from the truth, Aameen!

Hajj in the Bible

Biblical prophets and the bible commands piligrims to Makkah
Let us look at the word al-Hajj itself:
ﺍﻟﺤﺞّ (al-Hajj)

Typically, the entire Arabic vocabulary, like its sisters in the Semitic linguistic group, consists of words structured from triliteral triconsonantal roots. In this case the root is Hajaj (ﺣﺠﺞ).

According to the classical Arabic lexicon Lisān al-`Arab it is defined:

ﺍﻟﻘﺼﺪ . ﺣﺞ ﺇﻟﻴﻨﺎ ﻓﻼﻥ ﺃﻱ ﻗﺪﻡ

“Purpose. As in, ‘So-and-so did Hajj unto us,’ which means he presented himself before us.”

So the general lexical meaning of the word is “intended purpose”. In the context of the Hajj, the Ka`bah within the Meccan Sanctuary is the intended destination and purpose. To list usages of this word in an Islamic context would be, for most Muslims, an appeal to the very obvious as stories of its wonder and splendor that have been related to them since childhood. However, if we peer beyond the context of Islamic rites and deep into the past, do we find this word used in the previous traditions of the Old Testament?

The answer is in the affirmative. The book of Exodus contains the following verse in reference to a Hajj in the time of Moses:

והיה היום הזה לכם לזכרון וחגתם אתו חג ליהוה לדרתיכם חקת עולם תחגהו

wa-haya ha-yōm haza lakhem li-zikrōn wa-Khagōtem otō Khag li-Yehōwa li-dorotaychem khuqat `olam taKhaguhū

“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” (Exodus 12:14)

In this verse the King James translators rendered the uninflected noun Khag ( חג) as “feast”. This word Khag is wholly cognate to the Arabic Hajj ( ﺣﺞ). Elsewhere in the verse the word Khag is inflected as Khagotem and taKhaguhū. One must pay attention to the fact that the Hebrew phonetic “kh” (ח) is the pharyngeal fricative “h” (ﺡ ) in Arabic. Also, one must note that the phonetic “g” ( ג) is cognate to the Arabic “j” ( ﺝ). So for analytical purposes in this context the verse would be rendered:
“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a Hajj to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a Hajj by an ordinance forever.”

Another verse using this root is the following:

ואחר באו משה ואהרן ויאמרו אל – פרעה כה – אמר יהוה אלהי ישראל שלח את – עמי ויחגו לי במדבר

wa-ākhar bā’u Mōshe wa-Aharōn wa-yomru el-Par`o koh-amar Yahweh Elohay Yishrael shalach et-`ami wa-yakhugū li ba-midbār

“And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go , that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” (Exodus 5:1)

The inflected word that the King James translators rendered “feast” is yakhuggū (יחגו ) which is cognate to the Arabic “yuhajjū” ( ﻳُﺤَﺠّﻮﺍ) so for analytical purposes the verse would be rendered in this context as:

“And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a Hajj unto me in the wilderness.”

This is not to suggest that Moses and Aaron went to Mecca and performed Hajj as Muslims know it today. It is merely to exemplify that a consecrated journey and pilgrimage unto God at His Temple did, indeed, precede the rise of Islam in the 7th Century CE.

An additional and astonishing dimension to this that makes the concept of lexical borrowing between the Old Testament and the Quran improbable, if not outright impossible, is found in an alternate form of the root in Hebrew, Khug ( חוג). Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius (1846) defines this word:

“ חוג To describe a circle, to draw a circle, as with compasses. Job 26:10…m. a circle, sphere, used of the arch or vault of the sky, Pro. 8:27; Job 22:14; of the world, Isa. 40:22.”[2]

Let us look at the verses he has cited above:

“When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass ( חוג) upon the face of the depth.” (Proverbs 8:27)

“Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven ( וחוג שמים ).” (Job 22:14)

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth ( חוג הארץ ), and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” (Isaiah 40:22)

Thus, this word not only means sacred pilgrimage and feast unto God in the Bible, it also means to encircle. To any Muslim this will be a striking discovery.
Semitic languages have been, since time immemorial, broad and deep systems of expression where one word’s many variant, but supplementary, meanings all coalesce to a greater understanding of that lexeme. So in this case we have a root which has a form meaning a feast, also meaning a pilgrimage, and in one form meaning to encircle! The Hajj pilgrimage, which is at its core an encircling of the Ka`bah called Tawāf, is concluded with none other than the Feast of the Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command. Borrowing all these meanings buried in lexica that did not even exist until hundreds of years after the life of the Prophet Muhammad would require no short of a Semitic linguist and Biblical scholar. It should be noted that the Bible itself would not be available until 200-300 years after the passing of the Prophet Muhammad[3]. Such lexical depth and lucidity is consistently found throughout the Quran as God has stated therein:

“And this Quran is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah (Lord of the heavens and the earth), but it is a confirmation of (the revelation) which was before it [i.e. the Torah, and the Gospel, etc.], and a full explanation of the Book (i.e. laws and orders, etc, decreed for humankind) – wherein there is no doubt from the the Lord of the Worlds” (Quran 10:37)

Psalm 84 1-6
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you. Selah
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on “pilgrimage.”
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
Let See What we have here.
Place is a Valley, in this Valley there is a blessed Well
To this Valley pilgrims make their journey and there is a Sacred House of Worship in this Valley of Baka, this Place of worship where the sacred house is at there are COURT YARDS, There are alters
and Sparows and Swallows Lodge at this location and bare their young.

There is no place in Palestine that fits this description the only place that fits this description is BACA which all the Muslims know

“The most important shrine established for the people is the one in Baca; a blessed beacon for all the people. In it are clear signs: the station of Abraham. Anyone who enters it shall be granted safe passage. The people owe it to GOD that they shall observe Hajj (Pilgrimage) to this shrine, when they can afford it. As for those who disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone.” [3:96-97]

What Is Baca?

Baca (in Psalms) and Baca (in Quran) is another name for Mecca (Makkah, Saudi Arabia) where the first house of worship on earth which was built by Abraham and his first son Ishmael and it was appointed by God for human beings. This house is the Holy Kabah to which all Muslims face while praying and go for Hajj (pilgrimage).

Hajj (Pilgrimage):

Hajj!! There is no hajj in the Bible. someone might say. Let’s see what were the Biblical prophets were doing?

[Exodus 10:9] Moses is telling Pharaoh where he is taking the sons of Isreal :
Moses answered, “Everyone! We’ll be taking our young and old, our sons and daughters, our flocks and herds with us. For us it’s “a pilgrimage festival” in the LORD’s honor.”

According to BDB Theological Dictionary the most fundamental meaning of hagag which the name Haggai is derived from is to make a pilgrimage or keep a pilgrimage feast.

The Arabic equivalent means “to betake oneself to or towards an object of reverence,” and this verb returns in the prescribed pilgrimage to Makkah: the Hadj.
[www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Haggai.html ]

Marwah mountain:

Genesis 22:2 “He said, Take now your son, your only son, whome you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah (Marwah), and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you.”

Marwah and Safa are two elevated places in Mecca where Hajar was going forth and back looking for water as the water they had finished and she was worried about the baby Ishmael from Dying due to lack of water. During and after few trips looking for water or people, Angel Gabriel hit a rock and a sprig of water flowed and then she was able to drink and to water her baby.

“Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah . So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.” Quran 2:158

The bible scholar are not sure where is this mountain located in the holy land and they are making assumptions. [ http://
bibleatlas.org/mount_moriah.htm ] sometimes they say it is in Jerusalem while there was not even Jerusalem at all this time sometimes they say it is in the south and so on.

The Maqam (Place) of Abraham:
Genesis 22:9
“When they arrived at the place (lit. Maqam) where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar ….”

Now where is that Altar in Jerusalem ?? why they did not keep it as a Holy place??? this place exist only in Makkah

“In it (Baca) are clear signs [such as] the (Maqam) standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House “ (Quran 3:97)

Pilgrimage to Mecca in Isaiah 60:1-7
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
“Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip.
Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.
All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple.

In [Isaiah 60:1] A prophecy about a Holy man (prophet) bringing the light of God to the world. This holy man would appear in a time of darkness filling the world and covering the earth, He would appear to eliminate the darkness and spread the light of God and his praises.

In [Isaiah 60:3] we read “And the Nations shall come to thy light “ and that means this Holy Prophet would arise among the nations and his Light would fill his place where the nations would come and visit.

In [Isaiah 60:4] we find the people would come from far, the sons and daughters, all would come together for the Light.
[Isaiah 60:5-6] it keeps telling us about the coming of the people from all over the world to the Light.
[Isaiah 60:7] is the clear meaning, it’s Kedar, Where its flocks and tribes would be gathered together under the light of God, “they would come up with acceptance on mine altar”. Muslims during the Hajj “pilgrimage” they slaughter the sacrifices as one of the ceremonies and Muslims all over the world share that from their places which is Eid Al Adha.

“And I Will glorify the house of my glory” and it refers to the Ka’ba in Makkah, the Sacred House for God’s glory.

And proclaim among men the Pilgrimage: they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path” [Quran 22:27]

The Way of Holiness [Isaiah 35:8]

“And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it.”

“O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram (the Sacred House) after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Quran 9:28)

The Azan (call of prayer):
Isaiah 40:3 and Mark 1:3

“A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”

The Arabian Peninsula was a deserted place. The “voice calling in the desert” here is clearly refering to the Azan.
Why Azan?

The whole verse reads “Make a path a highway for God”

The Azan (call of prayers) for Muslims is a call which tells Muslim that God is calling him. It is heard all around the world and five times a day. Moreover, hadith refer Azan as a way to Allah and to a submission to God.

 

Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses

Many Muslims receive regular visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses. The two religious groups are in constant doorstep dialogues. This booklet is an aid to the act of dialogue. 101 Questions to Ask Jehovah’s Witnesses Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to deal with Muslims. In their handbook entitled Reasoning from the Scriptures they are taught what they should say to Muslims (see especially pages 23 and 24; 1989 edition). On page 24, for example, Jehovah’s Witnesses are instructed to use the following strategy: When the Muslim says what Islam teaches, ask him to show you the point in the Qur’an. (Wait while he searches for it). When he cannot find it, he may be more willing to let you speak. This and other tactful strategies gives Jehovah’s Witnesses an unfair advantage in dealing with some Muslims who are not equipped to explain their faith. The purpose of this booklet is to correct the imbalance. I feel that just as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has taken the pains to teach Jehovah’s Witnesses on how to overcome Muslims in discussion, the scholars should likewise equip Muslims so that they should be at least equal to the task. Then we pray that God will let the discussions bear fruit. Through such discussions the truth, we pray, will become evident. Another point. Jehovah’s Witnesses come fully equipped with reading materials to give Muslims. And Muslims often accept such materials. As a result, long after the Witnesses are gone, their influence and teachings remain in the homes of Muslims. To be fair, Muslims ought to likewise present some reading materials to their visitors. Perhaps this booklet would serve as a beginning. I doubt, however, that Jehovah’s Witnesses would accept this booklet. My experience has taught me that Jehovah’s Witnesses would not accept anyone else’s literature. This I find rather unfortunate. How does one learn anything new with a closed mind? Our visitors may feel that they already have the truth and therefore need to search no more. But I think a closed attitude is a wrong one. Nevertheless, I hope that some of the Jehovah’s Witnesses will prove me wrong by accepting this booklet. I hope they will also go one step further in composing a reply to the points I make here. I appreciate feedback. So I expect, then, that this booklet will help Muslims feel more confident that they too have something to offer anyone who is prepared to examine things. Some of Jehovah’s Witnesses may still be prepared to study a different view, because they read in their Bible the following passage: Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine (1 Thessalonians 5:21). They are instructed in that verse to check things out and then to hold on to what proves good. Notice that it cannot work the other way. You cannot hold on to what is good unless you first test it out for yourself.

B


Why this Sort of Booklet?

There are many booklets that explain Islam. Some of these are really excellent materials. However, the Muslim who is involved in a dialogue at his doorstep finds himself confronted with questions those booklets are not meant to answer. This booklet will teach Muslims how to ask the right questions instead of struggling to find answers. It is a matter of reverse psychology. Respond to a question by asking another one. If Muslims can learn this technique they will be in a better position to explain themselves when they are faced with persistent questions from their visitors. Let us make it clear that the purpose of this booklet is not to attack or belittle the faith of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is only a response to writings already published by Jehovah’s Witnesses and given to lots of Muslims. One such writing is a booklet entitled The Time for True Submission to God, published 1982, in which they urge Muslims to become Jehovah’s Witnesses. Another such piece is a book entitled Mankind’s Search for God, containing a section on Islam. In that chapter the true nature of Islam is distorted, but I don’t intend to deal with that in this booklet. It is enough to note here that this book too has been left in many Muslim homes. Here I only intend to help readers to deal with such situations. Yet another example is a colourful brochure written specifically for Muslim readership. It even takes on a Muslim appearance with a picture of a mihrab (an architectural design favoured by Muslims). In short, Jehovah’s Witnesses have gone to great lengths to convey their religion to Muslims. The time is now ripe for Muslims to repay that kindness by offering them the chance to understand the religion of God. The series of questions in here are designed to help the Witnesses to think more deeply about some of the matters they may have taken for granted. The idea is to ask the right questions to help them reach the right conclusions. This booklet does not encourage a hostile attitude in dealing with people. The idea is not to bombard them with hard facts or dazzle them with puzzling questions, but rather to lead them gently to the truth. Most of the questions in this booklet may be asked of any Bible teacher, not just Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, this booklet is designed specifically for use with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although most of the points relating to the Bible apply to almost any Bible, the points are being made specifically for the benefit of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all the Bible quotations are taken from the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ own Bible. The reason I make this distinction is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own distinctive set of beliefs and this requires a different approach in dealing with them. Other Christians, for example do not need to hear from Muslims that the Bible contains mistakes. They may already know that for themselves. Now, if you go out of your way to show people what they already know they may take offence to it. With other Christians, therefore, the general approach should be to emphasize common beliefs and to explore differences in an extremely gentle fashion. Better still, you would leave aside differences and show a person the true teachings from God right in the Qur’an, God’s final revealed Book. However, such an approach does not work with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are too overly confident that their belief is the only correct one. Any attempt to lead them to something else fails unless you can first get their attention and help them to rethink their present position. Jehovah’s Witnesses feel that their belief system is rock solid because of two reasons. Firstly, because it is based on the Bible which is the inerrant Word of Jehovah. Secondly, because Jehovah guides them to the correct interpretation of that book. So, we may as well start by discussing that book if we hope to get anywhere with them.

C


How to Begin an Exciting Series of Dialogues with Jehovah’s Witnesses

If you’re like me, you see Jehovah’s Witnesses all the time busy in their door-to-door preaching work. On the other hand, if you’re not like me perhaps they knock on your door too. I have been denied such visiting rights. I have no grudge against them. I love the Jehovah’s Witnesses as fellow human beings. We are one family, all descendants of our ancestor Adam. I feel they are, despite their hard work, heading in the wrong direction. I would like the opportunity to share with them my understanding of the truth, but I am deprived of this opportunity. Some of them have in the past suggested that if I wish to teach them anything I should go to their place just as they go around teaching other people. I took this as an encouragement, but when I asked for their address they wouldn’t give any. They said I must find it as they go out and look for the homes of the people. I admire the Jehovah’s Witnesses for their sincerity and hard work for the sake of their beliefs. I also feel the same sort of compassion for them which the Caliph Umar felt for a Christian monk. He came across a monk in his cell showing all the signs of hardship that go with his monastic way of life. Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) shed tears when he saw this. When he was asked why he wept, Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) explained that according to the Qur’an some people will come on the Day of Judgement laden with good works and yet meet a dreadful end because they were on the wrong path. Compassion for this man made Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) weep. I feel the same compassion, and the same need to help Jehovah’s Witnesses learn the truth. Since they do not visit me anymore, I can only hope that if I share my information with you then you will be able to pass it on to where it is intended. For starters, if you hope to make proper use of this booklet, you need to develop the kind of compassion I described above. Even if you don’t have it, just assume that you have it and it will come naturally. That’s the power of positive reinforcement. Assume a virtue and you will acquire it. Now, with that correct attitude, begin to ask these questions of Jehovah’s Witnesses and give them a chance to convince themselves that Islam is the truth.

D


How to Lead a Conversation in the Right Direction

Jehovah’s Witnesses receive some of the best possible training on the use of psychological techniques in dealing with their prospects. They will come to you trained and prepared to succeed in every meeting. But you, with the help of this booklet, can change all that. The secret is to take control of the conversation. Let me show you how. Jehovah’s Witnesses will start by saying that they are speaking to people about the possibility of world peace, or some such matter of general interest. Then they will ask your opinion about the matter. But don’t be fooled. Your visitors are not conducting an opinion survey. They are leading you in conversation the way they are trained. If you are to get anywhere with them you have to be willing to seize control of the conversation. What you must do is reply with a question. That’s right! A question. That will certainly break the conversation out of the mould which the Jehovah’s Witnesses expect it to fit into, and help you to proceed on the track you are now being trained to follow. When they ask for your opinion and give you time to speak they are preparing you to listen to them. Psychologically, once you have spoken you will feel that just as they listened to you with patience you must now return the courtesy. You will then have to listen to them telling you what the Word of God says about the matter. By this time, your position appears weak. You gave your opinion and they reply with God’s teachings. Let’s see how we can reverse this situation. The first step is for you to realise that you don’t have to give your opinion when they ask for it. So say something like this: I am glad you asked. But I think the answer should come from God. Do you know where we can find God’s answer to our problems? There! That’s how you do it. With only a few words you’ve turned the situation around. Instead of giving your opinion you have established that their attempt to seek your opinion was a misguided one. Furthermore, you’ve put a question to them. They must now tell you where God’s answer is to be found. If they say, “The Holy Bible,” or whatever else they choose to call their Bible, you are ready to ask a whole series of questions about the Bible. Now you can really teach them something. If, on the other hand, they turn the question back to you, you have an option. Let me assure you at this point that you have nothing to lose no matter which option you choose. For example, if you decide to not answer the question you can turn the question back to them by saying something like this: Well, I was hoping you would be able to come up with an answer, especially since you specialize in speaking to people on this subject. If that doesn’t get them to speak, don’t forget that you can always ask them politely to leave you alone. You may say something like this: Since you don’t seem to have an answer for me, I would like to thank you for coming. Please come again when you have the answer. Bye for now. At this point you may begin closing the door to show your firm resolve to end the conversation. As I have said, you lose nothing with this option. You gain! You maintained control and felt confident. You felt no anger, no frustration. Privately, you were having fun putting these proven techniques to work. On the other hand, they lose. They lost time to visit you and accomplish nothing. They also lost some of the confidence they were charged up with when they left their kingdom hall. And you haven’t run out of options yet. When they ask you where you think God’s answer can be found you may reply, “The Glorious Qur’an,” if you feel confident that you can explain yourself further. Bear in mind that you can always learn more or obtain more written materials from your if necessary. Read, for example, Common Questions People Ask About Islam, or Science in the Qur’an. These will help equip you for the challenge. Now, go ahead. Do your job of spreading Allah’s message, and drop me a line to let me know how much success you are having.

E


Keep Your Cool

If you are going to really do this job right you have to stay cool. Keeping your cool is an attitude that can be developed. It starts with realising that you cannot guide the people you are trying to convince. That remains for Allah to do. Your job is only to convey the message. You may often find this task frustrating. But stick with it. Sometimes you will find it hard to understand why your visitors cannot understand your message. But persevere. Read below what Allah says: See how We make the revelations clear to them, and see how they are turned away! (Qur’an 5:75) You see? Even the Words of Allah, plain as they are, will not convince everyone. Much less the humble attempts we make. If you keep this in mind you will save yourself a lot of frustration and be in a better position to apply the techniques described in this booklet. Now, the questions given here are to be used in a particular way for maximum success. Don’t use them as sledgehammers to clobber your opponents. Use them as fly-swats to sting them a little and wake them up. In other words, use them gently. Give your visitors time to adjust to the new information you are offering them. You will open up new horizons in their thinking with the questions you ask them. Be patient with them while they take time to overcome information-shock. At first they will resist any information coming from you as being from the devil. After all, how could you know anything more about the Bible than they and their Bible teachers? So rather than give them the information in the form of statements of your own, ask them a question to stimulate their thoughts. For example, instead of saying “A is true,” say, “Suppose someone says that A is true. How would you react to that?” This shifts the focus away from you and allows your visitors to think only about the question. As they struggle to come up with an answer they will convince themselves of what you wanted them to learn. Your disposition toward them is very important. You must show them that you have compassion for them, and you really want to help them. You must avoid every chance to ridicule them or their faith. So, do not take on the attitude of a prosecutor obviously trying to tie them up in verbal knots or to prove them guilty. Take the attitude of a sympathetic news reporter who is sincerely trying to understand the case for fair reporting. Here is how this works. They say, “A is true.” They are accustomed to hearing their opponents saying, “No, A cannot be true.” But you are not their average prospect. You must rise above the situation by saying something like this, “If you say A is true, that leads me to conclude that B is also true since A implies B. Do you also believe B?” Now, if they are unable say, “Yes!” quickly, know that they are struggling to make sense of their own contradictions. There are many examples of A and B in the questions that follow. Here is another pattern. Say, for example, “Previously you told me C and I understood you. Now that you are saying D, I would also like to understand, but since C and D are opposites I cannot believe them both. How do you explain this?” Let them deal with the contradictions in their own mind. What you are doing here is helping them to save face by allowing them to think for themselves. Don’t tell them they are wrong. Show them how to believe in their own minds that they are wrong. They may agree with you and yet not admit it. Don’t worry about that. Remember that they always come in pairs. If one of them shows inclination to agree with you, the other one will report him back at their kingdom hall as one who is now wavering in his faith. Even if they both agree with you neither of them dares to make the first move to reveal it for fear of what the other may think. So both will appear to maintain their position, but you ought to be satisfied that you did your best in presenting the truth. Rest assured that Allah has imbued these persons each with a conscience. When they lie in bed at night they may remember your words and secretly affirm true faith before they fall asleep. Again, keep your discussions cool. When you ask the following questions ask them politely. The tone of your voice should reflect courtesy. Let me explain it this way. Imagine for a mo ment that you are a police officer. You have just arrested a dangerous criminal. Now, in your inner voice hear yourself saying to him, “Drop your weapon.” Do you hear the force of your voice? That’s a condescending voice — the voice of a powerful individual speaking to a powerless person. Now for an exercise involving the right use of voice for your situation. Imagine yourself at the airport. You are ready to board your flight. But you don’t know which way to find your gate number 39. So you approach a clerk and ask her politely, “Can you please tell me where I can find gate number 39?” Do you hear the sound of that question? That’s the tone you should try to maintain when asking the questions in this booklet. Practice that tone of voice with this question: “What if I show you a verse in the Bible which claims to be not inspired?” Do the same with all the other questions. May Allah help you and me, and all those who call to His way.

101 Questions

to Ask Visiting

Jehovah’s Witnesses


Five Questions to Get You Started

1 Is 100% of the Bible inspired by God?

Their Answer:

They will say, “Yes! All scripture is inspired of God.” They will also quote from the Bible where it says exactly that in Paul’s 2nd Letter to Timothy, chapter 3, verse 16 . They may then smile happily because they showed you the answer straight from the Bible.

The Truth:

The verse they show you is quoted without regard for its real meaning. Few people really ever think before they quote. If they find something that seems close to what they believe there is no stopping them from quoting it. Let us see now what the passage really means. To really understand the passage we have to know who wrote it, what he meant by it, and what he expected his first readers to understand by it. Who wrote it? Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Paul wrote that passage in a letter to his student Timothy. What did Paul mean by `all scripture’? Did he mean `the whole Bible’? Many people assume so. But Paul did not say that. He did not say, “the entire Bible is inspired.” He said “All scripture is inspired.” So, back to our question. What did Paul mean by “all scripture”? Some people may say, “But `all scripture’ means `all scripture,’ don’t you understand?” Say, “Should I understand that the Hindu Scripture, the Buddhist Scripture, the Muslim Scripture, the Christian Scripture and all other scripture is inspired by God?” They will say, “No, because Paul would not have meant all that.” But that makes us ask again, “What exactly did Paul mean?” If at this point they say, “The whole Bible,” this takes us back to the beginning of this discussion. Just say, “I feel that we are going around in a circle here. I have already shown that Paul never said, “The whole Bible.” Now you may need to help them understand that the verse they showed you was read out of context. By taking the verse in isolation, they give it a different meaning than what the author had intended. To see the proper context, let us read the verse again, this time starting with the verse that comes before it. Here are verses 15 and 16: 15 . . . from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching . . . (2 Timothy 3:15-16) Except where noted, all Bible quotations in this study are from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures; this is the Bible used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Explain to them that if they look at the previous verse (i.e. 2 Timothy 3:15) they will realise that Paul was speaking to his student Timothy about the scriptures which Timothy knew from his infancy. It was definitely not the whole Bible. The whole Bible was not yet complete. The Bible is made up of basically two sections. The first is called the Old Testament, and the second is called the New Testament. Many books of the New Testament section were written after Paul’s death. Paul was not telling Timothy that Timothy knew from infancy about books which are not yet written, was he? To show how many books Paul was not referring to here, ask your visitors to look at the Table of Books of the Bible which is shown in their Bible to wards the back. In their usual pocket edition published 1984, this appears on pages 1546 to 1547. Now look with them at page 1547 which displays a list of the Christian Greek Scriptures. In that chart the approximate dates when these books were written are shown in the 4th column. The approximate date given for the writing of 2 Timothy is the year 65 C.E. (i.e. A.D. but contemporary users prefer C.E. instead of A.D.). Now we can see that many books were written much later than that. Consider this list of Books of the New Testament together with their approximate year of authorship as given on the same chart: Revelation 96 C.E. (A.D.) John 98 C.E. (A.D.) 1 John 98 C.E. (A.D.) 2 John 98 C.E. (A.D.) 3 John 98 C.E. (A.D.) Obviously, Paul was not telling Timothy to hold on to the above books which did not exist at the time. Furthermore many other books were written too close to the year 65 C.E. for Timothy to have been familiar with them since his infancy. I leave this for you to explore with your visitors. That scripture Paul was telling Timothy about was the Old Testament, which Jehovah’s Witnesses call the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures. These ancient scriptures in the oldest form in which they exist today are written in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Chaldee languages. A problem, however, is that Timothy was familiar with that book not in its original languages, but in its Greek language translation (the translation of the Old Testament into the Greek language is called the Septuagint Version). That Greek translation was prepared about three hundred years before Christ to enable those who could not read Hebrew to still benefit from the scriptures. This is the version which the early Christians like Timothy were reading. And Paul was telling him to hold on to that book. But is that a problem? Yes! A double problem. First, the translation disagrees with the original in many points. Which should we take as the inspired book — the original or the translation? This presents a dilemma. If the Hebrew original is inspired then the Greek translation is wrong. But if the Greek is wrong then Paul is wrong to call it inspired — unless Paul thinks that a book is still inspired even if it contains mistakes. A second problem is that the Septuagint Greek version contains seven more books than the Hebrew version. These seven books are included in the Catholic Bible but not in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible. But they were included in the Scriptures which Timothy knew from childhood. And Paul said all of it is inspired. If Paul is right here, then Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong. But if Jehovah’s Witnesses are right, then Paul’s words are wrong even though they are found in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible. The truth is that neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament is 100% from God. But if you believe Paul, then you have to understand that Paul was saying only that the Greek Septuagint Old Testament is inspired. Paul did not say more than this, and it would be wrong to say you believe in the man and then put words into his mouth. Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses unknowingly do exactly that. They believe so much in Watchtower teachings that they assume those teachings must be found in the Bible. Unfortunately, the Bible often disagrees with Watchtower teachings. What we are discussing here is one example of this. Although the Watchtower teaches that the Bible is 100% inspired, the Bible says only that its Old Testament is inspired. The Bible does not say that its entire New Testament section is inspired. If Jehovah’s Witnesses chose to believe what they believe, they must realise that it is a man-made teaching. The Bible does not teach that the entire New Testament is inspired. And that is a very significant part of the Bible. Nor does the Bible teach that the Hebrew text of the Old Testament is inspired. Paul’s statement quoted above only proves that the Greek Version is inspired. But Jehovah’s Witnesses do not follow the Greek Version because they realise it would make no sense to disregard the original and follow a translation. So they rightly choose the Hebrew text. But this choice disagrees with what Paul says in their Bible! Help them out of this confusion. Tell them about Islam with love. The Qur’an says that the entire Qur’an is from Allah (see surah 3:7).

2 What if I show you a verse in the Bible that claims to be not inspired?

Their answer:

There is no such verse.

The Truth:

There are many such verses. Here is an example which will become clear after you read the following two statements found in the Bible in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “To the married people I give instructions, yet not I but the Lord . . .” (1 Corinthians 7:10). “But to the others I say, yes, I, not the Lord . . .” (1 Corinthians 7:12). Notice that in the first statement Paul claims that the Lord is speaking. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Paul was telling the truth. But how about the second statement? Here Paul is saying that the statement is his very own, and that the Lord does not say it. Would Jehovah’s Witnesses please believe Paul in this statement too? So that would mean that at least one verse of the Bible is not inspired. Then the Bible cannot be 100% inspired by God. Perhaps 99%, or 99.9% but not 100%. Agreed? There are many other examples. Some books of the Old Testament claim only to be the words of a man, while others claim to contain words of God also. Many New Testament passages claim to be the opinion of men. Check these out: Luke said: “I resolved also . . . to write . . .” (The Gospel According to Luke 1:1-4). Paul said: “Now concerning virgins I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion . . .” (Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 7:25). Paul said: “Therefore I think . . .” (1 Corinthians 7:26). Paul said: “. . . according to my opinion” (1 Corinthians 7:40). Paul said: “I certainly think . . .” (1 Corinthians 7:40). Paul said: “See! I, Paul, am telling you . . .” (Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 5:2). But some people do not want to see. Here lies the problem. To save space, and to focus on the point we are making, I have not quoted the above verses in full. But the references are given so that you and your visitors can read them one at a time from the Bible. The same result will emerge. Many verses of the Bible claim to be from man but not from God. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe these verses? If so, then how can they say that the Bible is 100% from God when the Bible itself says it is not? They may say that the fact that the writers gave their opinion does not make a difference, because their teachings agree with the rest of the Bible. This is not a good argument, for that would mean that anything that agrees with the Bible is also inspired. There fore if a Hindu writes a brief poem about the importance of charity that should be taken as inspired Word of God. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept this? Our point here is not that the opinions of men are good or bad. Paul and Luke quoted above may have been teaching even things which Muslims believe in. That does not make a difference. Many Muslim authors write about teachings which Muslims believe in. We do not call such writings inspired Word of God, do we? Instead, we must stress with our visitors that if they believe Paul they must also believe him when Paul said that he was writing his own opinion; they must also believe Luke when he said that he was writing as a result of his own resolution. Luke did not claim to be inspired to write. Look again at what he said (quoted above). The point we do make here is that human writings, no matter how good and how accurate, must not be attrib uted to God. Let us keep the Words of God separate and distinct from the words of Man. Ask your visitors to read the following verses in their Bible: “For the thoughts of you people are not my thoughts, not are my ways your ways,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Please, let us not confuse the thoughts of men for the Words of God. Notice also that the letters which Paul wrote to various churches and individuals are part of the Bible. Help your visitors to realize that the letters which the prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace, and blessings of Allah) dictated to various kings and leaders do not appear in the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the Word of God. It does not contain any human writings, not even the inspired teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) himself. The inspired teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) are found in separate books called hadith.

3 Was Paul inspired when he said that all scripture is inspired?

Their answer:

Of course!

The truth:

But how do they know? If you ask how they know that the Bible is inspired they say, “Because Paul said so.” Now if you ask how can we trust Paul on this they say “Because Paul’s words are in the inspired Bible and therefore Paul’s words are inspired too.” This is circular reasoning. It is like a witness who defends his countryman by saying, “All men from my country are honest.” Then, when you ask why you should believe the witness, the witness replies, “Because I am a man from my country.” Obviously, this circular reasoning will not convince a thinking individual. On the contrary, we have already seen in the previous question that Paul said many things as his own opinion. When he said that all scriptures are inspired (2 Timothy 3:16) he may have been right. But how can you say so for sure?

4 Did Paul know that his letters are part of the Word of God?

Their answer:

Well, y-yes (actually, not sure).

The truth:

Most people have not considered this question. The letters of Paul were collected and later made part of the Bible without consulting Paul (Paul was, of course long dead by this time). But Paul himself was quite conscious that he often wrote his own opinions (see question 2). In one case, Paul was even aware that he made an error in one of his letters which is now part of the Bible. Read the following passage: I am thankful I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. As for the rest, I do not know whether I baptized anybody else (1 Corinthians 1:14:16). It should be clear in the above passage that Paul made a mistake and then a correction. But the mistake and the correction both remain in the Bible, Obviously, we do not object to the correction, but what about the mistake? Is that the Word of God too? If you look at the passage again, you will notice that Paul made the following three statements: (a) I baptized no one else but Crispus and Gaius. (b) Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. (c) I do not know whether I baptized anybody else. The mistake Paul made is his first statement that he baptized no one else except two persons named Crispus and Gaius. Then he recalled that he had also baptized the household of Stephanas, so he made this slight correction in his next statement. But the mistaken statement is still there. Is this inspired? Paul’s third statement shows that he is not sure of the facts: I do not know whether I baptized anyone else (1 Corinthians 1:16). You see, Paul is not sure who else he baptized. He cannot remember. He knows he needs to correct his statement further by adding more names, but he cannot remember who to mention. So the first statement was a mistake. The second statement is a slight correction to the first. The third state ment is an admission that the correction is not complete. All three remain in the Bible. Are these Words of God? Show them the Qur’an: Have they not considered the Qur’an with care? Had it been from other than Allah they would surely have found therein much discrepancy (surah 4:82).

5 What happened to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians?

Their answer:

What do you mean? We have it right here in the Bible. Look!

The truth:

They don’t have it. What they show you is not the first letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians. In this very letter, Paul reminds the Corinthians that he had already written to them a letter before this one. Read verses 9 and 11 in the folowing passage from Paul’s so-called first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5: 9. In my letter I wrote you to quit mixing in company with fornicators . . . . 11. But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator . . . . Obviously, in verse 9 above, Paul is referring to what he had written in a previous letter. In verse 11, Paul is making a change to his previous instruction. Compare below the following two instructions from Paul’s previous letter and his so-called first letter:

COMPARE BELOW:

Paul’s previous instruction on this side

Pauls new instruction on this side

In my letter I wrote you to quit mixing in company with fornicators . . . . But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator . . . .

What we are discussing here is not the change in instruction issued by Paul. I have spelled out the matter in detail only to equip you to deal with anyone who tries to say that even in verse 9 Paul is referring to his current letter. Some people will try to convince you that there was no previous letter. But now you know how to demonstrate this truth to such a person. So, now, where is that previous letter? Obviously, it is lost. Now, if someone believes that Paul’s letters are the words of God, he or she has to also believe that some of the Words of God are lost forever. But will Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this? Ask them to read this Bible verse. The green grass has dried up, the blossom has withered; but as for the Word of our God, it will last to time indefinite (Isaiah 40:8). How does this reconcile with the fact that one letter of Paul has disappeared? Muslims understand that God can reveal a message and then allow it to be forgotten. But a Jehovah’s Witness does not accept that belief. They think once revealed, always preserved. So they have to deal with this question. The loss of Paul’s letter is a good indication that the recipients of Paul’s letter did not take it as the Word of God. If they did, wouldn’t they try to preserve it? Why did they let the Word of God disappear like that? Now someone may say that the rest of Paul’s letter were preserved, and this proves that the people who preserved them regarded them as the Word of God. Let us not stretch things so far. Firstly, no one knows how many other letters of Paul are really lost, and we still have no satisfactory answer for that problem. We have just stumbled upon evidence of one letter being lost. What other evidence will yet turn up? Secondly, people keep letters and other writings for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps people thought the letters of Paul contain important things. Others may have kept such letters with a view to refute the teachings they contain. We have not enough details to settle this mater, but we can safely conclude that just because someone kept some letters of Paul does not mean they took the letters as coming from God. They knew the letters were from Paul.

Show them the Qur’an: Surely We have revealed the scripture (the Qur’an) and surely We are its guardian (surah 15:9).

Gently explain to them that God protects the Qur’an so that none of it will ever be lost.

The Pagan-Christian Origins of “Valentine’s Day”

What is it and Where did it come from?

Consider Valentine’s Day, a day that after dying out a well deserved death in most of Europe (but surviving in Britain and United States) has suddenly started to emerge across a good swath of Muslim countries. Who was Valentine? Why is this day observed? Legends abound, as they do in all such cases, but this much is clear: Valentine’s Day began as a pagan ritual started by Romans in the 4th century BCE to honor the god Lupercus. The main attraction of this ritual was a lottery held to distribute young women to young men for “entertainment and pleasure”– until the next year’s lottery. Among other equally despicable practices associated with this day was the lashing of young women by two young men, clad only in a bit of goatskin and wielding goatskin thongs, who had been smeared with blood of sacrificial goats and dogs. A lash of the “sacred” thongs by these “holy men” was believed to make them better able to bear children.

As usual, Christianity tried, without success, to stop the evil celebration of Lupercalia. It first replaced the lottery of the names of women with a lottery of the names of the saints. The idea was that during the following year the young men would emulate the life of the saint whose name they had drawn. (The idea that you can preserve the appearance of a popular evil and yet somehow turn it to serve the purpose of virtue, has survived. Look at all those people who are still trying, helplessly, to use the formats of popular television entertainments to promote good. They might learn something from this bit of history. It failed miserably) Christianity ended up doing in Rome, and elsewhere, as the Romans did. The only success it had was in changing the name from Lupercalia to St. Valentine’s Day. It was done in CE 496 by Pope Gelasius, in honor of some Saint Valentine. There are as many as 50 different Valentines in Christian legends. Two of them are more famous, although their lives and characters are also shrouded in mystery. According to one legend, and the one more in line with the true nature of this celebration, St. Valentine was a “lovers’” saint, who had himself fallen in love with his jailer’s daughter.

Due to serious troubles that accompanied such lottery, French government banned the practice in 1776. In Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Germany also the ritual vanished over the years. Earlier, it had been banned in England during the 17th century when the Puritans were strong.

However in 1660 Charles II revived it. From there it also reached the New World, where enterprising Yankees spotted a good means of making money. Esther A. Howland, who produced one of the first commercial American Valentine’s Day cards called — what else — valentines, in the 1840s, sold $5,000 worth – when $5,000 was a lot of money – the first year. The valentine industry has been booming ever since.

The history of Valentine’s Day serves as a powerful lesson for Muslims. St.Valentine became a Saint trying to resist free sex. Even though there was an attempt to Christianize it, today St.Valentine’s day is gone back to its roots. No one even knows that the Church even tried to ban the St. Valentine’s Day. Rather, most people think of romance, cupid and his arrow, which are vestiges of pagan Rome.

Pagan Origins of Valentine’s Day

The first information about this day is found in pre-Christian Rome, when pagans would celebrate the “Feast of the Wolf” on February 15, also known as the Feast of Lupercalius in honour of Februata Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, Roman god of nature.

On this day, young women would place their names in an urn, from which boys would randomly draw to discover their sexual companion for the day, the year, and sometimes the rest of their lives. These partners exchanged gifts as a sign of affection, and often married.

Christian Influence on Valentine’s Day

When Christianity came onto the scene in Rome, it wanted to replace this feast with something more in line with its ethics and morality. A number of Christians decided to use February 14 for this purpose. This was when the Italian Bishop Valentine was executed by the Roman Emperor Claudius II for conducting secret marriages of military men in the year 270.

Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, so he outlawed marriage for young, single men, who made up his military. Valentine defied Claudius and performed marriages for young couples in secret. When his actions were revealed, Claudius put him to death. Another version of the story says that Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who helped Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

Valentine was arrested and sent to the prefect of Rome for this. He found that his attempts to make Valentine renounce his faith were useless, and so recommended he be beaten with clubs, and later beheaded. This took place on February 14, 270.

According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, there are at least three different Saint Valentines, all of whom are Christian martyrs of February 14. One of them is described as a priest from Rome (as mentioned above), another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and the third from Africa.

It was in the year 496 that Pope Gelasius officially changed the February 15 Lupercalia festival to the February 14 St. Valentine’s Day to give Christian meaning to a pagan festival. The holiday become popular in the United States in the 1800’s during the Civil War.

As well, Pope Gelasius ordered a slight change in the lottery for young women that would take place during the pagan festival. Instead of the names of young women, the box would have the names of saints. Men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the purpose of this was to copy the ways of the saint they had selected for the rest of the year.

Pagan Customs of Valentine’s Day 

A number of the customs connected to Valentine’s Day originate in the belief in England and France during the middle Ages, that on February 14, birds began to pair.

Fourteenth and 15th centuries’ French and English literatures make indirect references to the practice. Those who chose each other as husband and wife on Valentine’s Day apparently called each other their Valentines.

In terms of the Valentine’s greeting “Your Valentine” which today you find on a number of Valentine’s Day cards, the above-mentioned Roman priest Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself.

While he was in prison awaiting execution, he apparently fell in love with a young girl who would visit him. Before he died, he allegedly wrote her a letter, signed ‘From your Valentine,’ In terms of the virtually naked, arrow-shooting cupid character, which shoots people with its arrows to make them fall in love, this character is a vestige of Roman pagan times. Cupid was described as the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. You usually find Cupid’s picture on Valentine cards and other paraphernalia.

Islamic Perspective on Valentine’s Day

We should avoid anything associated with pagan immoral practices – We do not need to honour or celebrate the death of a Christian “saint” – Islam does not encourage flirting or suggestions of romantic relationships before marriage – Love between families, friends and married people does not need to be celebrated on a day with such un-Islamic origins.

Question: In recent times, celebration of the Valentine Day has spread, particularly among female students. It is a Christian celebration, and it is (manifested) with fully red costumes, clothing and shoes, and exchange of red roses. What is the ruling on celebrating this holiday?

Answer: Celebrating the Valentine Day is not permissible because:

Firstly, it is an innovated holiday that has no basis in the Shari’ah.

Secondly, it calls to love and passion.

Thirdly, it calls to keeping one’s heart busy with nonsense matters which contradict the guidance of the righteous predecessors, may Allah be pleased with them.

So it is not permissible that anything from the signs of that holiday takes place on that day, whether it relates to eating, drinking, clothing, giving gifts, or other than that. It is incumbent upon the Muslim to be proud of his/her religion and that he/she does not blindly follow every crier. May Allah the Exalted protect Muslims from every trial, apparent and hidden, and that He give them protection and guidance. Ameen.

Question

Some people celebrate Yawm al-Hubb (Valentine’s Day) on February 14 [the second month of the Christian Gregorian calendar] every year by exchanging red roses as gifts. They also dress up in red clothing, and congratulate one another (on this occasion). Some sweet shops produce special sweets – red in colour – and draw hearts upon them. Some shops advertise their goods which are specially related to this day. What is the Islaamic view [concerning the following]: Celebrating this day? Buying from these shops on this day? Selling – by shop-owners who are not celebrating – the things which are used as gifts, to those who are celebrating?

Response: The clear evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah – and this is agreed upon by consensus (Ijmaa) of the early generations of the Muslim Ummah – indicates that there are only two ‘Eeds in Islaam (days of celebration): ‘Eed al-Fitr (after the fast of Ramadhan) and ‘Eed al-Adha (after the standing at ‘Arafah for pilgrimage).

Every other ‘Eed – whether it is to do with a person, group, incident or any other occasion – is an innovated ‘Eed. It is not permissible for the Muslim people to participate in it, approve of it, make any show of happiness on its occasion, or assist in it in any way – since this will be transgressing the bounds of Allah: “…and whoever transgresses the bounds of Allah, he has wronged his own self,” [Surah at-Talaaq, Aayah 1]

If we add to this fabricated ‘Eed the fact that it is one of the ‘Eeds of the disbelievers, it is sin upon sin. This is because it is Tashabbuh (imitation) of the disbelievers, and a type of Muwaalaat (loyalty) to them. And Allah has prohibited the believers from imitation of them and having love or loyalty for them in His Mighty Book (Qur’aan). It is also confirmed from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) that he said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

‘Eed al-Hubb (the celebration of Valentine’s Day) comes under the category of what has been mentioned here, since it is one of the pagan Christian holidays. Hence it is not permissible for any Muslim, who believes in Allah and the Last Day, to participate in it, approve of it, or congratulate (anyone on that occasion). On the contrary, it is obligatory to abandon it and stay far away from it – in response to Allah and His Messenger, and to distance oneself from the anger of Allah and His punishment.

Additionally, it is forbidden for a Muslim to assist or help in this Valentine’s Day, or any other of the forbidden/illegal celebrations in any way whatsoever – whether by food or drink, selling or buying, production, gift-giving, correspondence, announcements, etc. All of these things are considered as co-operating in sin and transgression and disobedience of Allah and His Messenger. Allaah, the Glorious and Most High, says:

“… and co-operate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not co-operate in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah! Verily Allaah is severe in punishment,” [Surah al-Ma’idah, Aayah 2]

Likewise, it is obligatory for every Muslim to adhere strictly to the Qur’aan and Sunnah in every situation – especially in times of temptations and corruption. It is incumbent that he/she understand, be aware and be cautioned from falling into the deviations of those whom Allaah is angry with and those who are astray and the immoral people who have no fear of punishment – nor hope of reward – from Allaah, and who give no attention at all to Islaam.

It is necessary for the Muslim to flee to Allaah, the Most High, seeking His Hidaayah (Guidance) and Thabaat (Firmness) upon the Path. Verily, there is no Guide except Allaah, and no One Who can Grant Firmness except Him.

Differences Between Hadiths and Gospels

Some Christian apologists when trying to describe the Gospels to the Muslims, claim that the Gospels are much like the Hadiths, in that the Gospels were written-collected by men, and are based on the sayings-teachings of Jesus just as the Hadiths are with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them both).
But in reality there are vast differences between Hadiths & the Gospels.
The main difference between the Hadiths and the Gospels is that in regards to the Hadiths, we know who actually collected the Hadiths, and we know who passed them on, and we know who actually made the original statement that was passed on. So for example person A said something, then person B heard it and he decided to pass it on and tell other persons C-D-E, and then they passed it on to others and so forth. Basically throughout the chain of transmission of the hadith, we know who is who, we know who is passing the story, and we know from where the original story came from, there is a complete line of transmission.
This is very crucial, because it means the reports are not anonymous, the reports are coming from people we know, names and persons we can identity, we know where they lived, when they were born, when they died and so forth. Again this is very important because if you know the person, you also know if they’re reliable or unreliable, for example someone who is reporting the Hadith, a person in the chain, could have been known as a liar, as someone unreliable, someone who would make things up, and therefore we know if he is passing or narrating a Hadith that we can question the authenticity. Vice versa the person narrating the Hadith can also be known as a truthful person, someone reliable etc, and therefore we know the Hadith he passing is reliant, or it’s highly likely that it is reliant.
In the case of the Gospels, we have none of this, we literally don’t know who was passing the stories, they’re all anonymous. Even the supposed collectors Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, were not Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John! The Gospel accounts are all anonymous accounts written-collected by persons-authors we don’t actually know, and they are narrating stories-incidents from people we don’t know either, the entire chain of transmission in the Gospels is unknown and anonymous.
Basically in the Gospel account we have the source Jesus, and then we have person A-B-C-D-E passing on the stories-teachings of Jesus, but we have no idea who these sources A-B-C-D-E are, whether they’re reliable people and so forth, we literally know nothing about them. The only person who we can say with some confidence who we know about was Paul, and yet he barely wrote anything about the life-sayings-teachings of Jesus, and oddly enough in his own writings we can see that he was at odds with the actual disciples of Jesus.
So when it comes to the Gospel of Mark, and we read all these stories and sayings of Jesus (pbuh), we are reading accounts that have been passed by people we don’t know, and they were collected in a book called Mark by an author we don’t know either, though there is much speculation about who the exact author is. On the other hand when it comes to the Hadiths, when we read a story about the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), we know exactly who passed on the story and who narrated it, we have a complete line of transmission of the people who heard the saying, and who passed the saying, and who it got passed to, and we know whether these people are sound people or not.
All of this is obviously crucial, let us give an example, let’s say you heard a news story, and it’s a very big news story but there is no source, you’re not likely going to believe it are you? Especially in this day and age when there are all kind of sources-websites on the internet that sometimes report some very crazy stories, which you then find out are false, but most times you yourself know to doubt and not believe certain news stories coming from certain organizations-websites because you know they’re not reliable. And you’re also aware of organizations-websites-persons that are reliable, and so you can trust what they’re saying because you know who they are etc. So it’s very important to know your source, if you don’t know your source then as you can see you have some big issues.
Now take the same simple logic and apply it to the Gospels and Hadiths (for some strange reason people often don’t like to use this simple logic, acting like we’re dealing with some other realm), it’s important to know our sources, who we’re dealing with, who’s passing on the story, whether the person passing is it is a reliable person, or an unreliable person.
In conclusion, the Hadiths are a far more reliable and trustworthy collection of sayings-teachings than the Gospels, to put simple, in news terms, nobody would ever accept the Gospel as a source of information because it has no sources, all of its sources comes from anonymous sources, basically people we don’t know, and that my friends is not a proper source of information you can get anything from, let alone the actual teachings of God.

The Origin of the Qur’an: Demonic or Divine?

By Abu Zakariya

A popular attack against the  Qur’an is the claim that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was inspired by occult forces such as the Devil or demons. This claim is typically put forward by Christian apologists and missionaries. Now the obvious response is to point out that such an argument is self-defeating, as Muslims can easily make the same lazy accusation against the Bible. However, with this article I wanted a unique approach to refuting this claim, one that involves comparing the Qur’an to a real work associated with the occult. This is a practical approach that will highlight just how wrong such a claim really is.

ANALYSIS OF “THE BOOK OF THE LAW

Aleister Crowley was an English ceremonial magician and poet. By the time of his death in 1947, he was the world’s leading occultist. A prolific writer, he published numerous works on the theory and practice of magic over the course of his life. He is most famous for the text known as The Book of the Law. Although it was Crowley’s own hand that penned the work, he never claimed to be its author. Crowley claimed that during his travels to Egypt in 1904, a supernatural entity that called itself Aiwass made contact with him. Aiwass, described by Crowley to be a being of intelligence far beyond that of human beings, proceeded to dictate The Book of the Law directly to him over the course of three days. After this experience, Crowley identified himself as a prophet and claimed that he had been entrusted by the gods to guide humanity into a new spiritual age. He went on to found the religion of Thelema, which he based on the principles of The Book of the Law.

What makes Crowley’s book the ideal candidate for comparison against the Qur’an is that Crowley’s claims mirror that of Prophet Muhammad, in the sense that he also claimed to be divinely inspired with revelation and appointed as a prophet to enlighten mankind. Before we get into the details of The Book of the Law, it’s important to note that in Islam it is strictly prohibited to dabble in magic. The Prophet Muhammad said:

“Avoid the seven deadly sins.” People asked, ‘What are they?’ The Prophet replied, “Polytheism, magic, unlawful killing of a person, living on money from interest, usurping an orphan’s wealth, retreating at the time of battle and accusing an innocent married woman of fornication.”[1]

Be reassured that The Book of the Law is not a book of magic, but rather a book on philosophy and morality for Crowley’s religion of Thelema. Now what follows is an analysis of some verses of The Book of the Law. This will not only give us an insight into the teachings of a real occult work, but will also make us appreciate just how radically different its philosophy and morality is compared to the Qur’an:

Had! The manifestation of Nuit. [Chapter I, verse 1]

The Book of the Law begins in the name of two ancient pagan Egyptian deities, Had and Nuit. Had, was believed to be the lord of the sky and was depicted in the form of the winged disk of the Sun. Nuit was believed to be a goddess and was depicted as a naked woman covered with stars. The twin pairing of the male and female divine aspects is very common in pagan and occult religions. The praising of pagan deities occurs throughout The Book of the Law, as well as Crowley’s own personal writings. Contrast this with the Qur’an, which begins in the name of God Almighty:

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful   [Qur’1:1]

The Qur’an teaches that Allah (the Arabic name for God Almighty) is the only true God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, the One who inspired prophets such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus. The Qur’an expressly forbids for worship to be directed to anything other than Him and renounces idolatry, the worship of false gods, in all its forms. Pagan and occult religions tend to deify nature, a practice that the Qur’an rejects in the following verse:

And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon, but prostate to Allah, who created them, if it should be Him that you worship. [Qur’an 41:37]

We can see that from the very first verse, both books could not be more different when it comes to worship and the concept of God.

Every man and every woman is a star. [Chapter I, verse 3]

This is a typical example of how The Book of the Law engages with its reader. It commonly appeals to the arrogance and pride of people – in fact it encourages such traits. This is typical of occult religions, with their extravagant costumes, lavish ceremonies and elaborate rituals.

Contrast this with the Qur’an, which reprimands those who have such characteristics:

Allah loves not the arrogant, the vainglorious. [Qur’an 4:36]

Arrogance and pride are considered to be negative traits in Islam, in fact major sins. The Qur’an provides the perfect antidote for those inflicted with this disease – it humbles us by reminding us of our lowly origins:

Does man not consider that We created him from a [mere] sperm-drop – then at once he is a clear adversary? [Qur’an 36:77]

The Bible also shares a similar outlook to the Qur’an in this regard:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. [Proverbs 16:18]

The Qur’an highlights the danger of such traits when it relates the story of the downfall of Satan, whose arrogance and pride prevented him from obeying Allah’s command to prostrate to the first human being, Adam:

[Allah] said, “What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?” [Satan] said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.” [Qur’an 7:12]

Christians readers should note that the Bible also highlights arrogance and pride as Satanic traits:

How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.” [Isaiah 14:12-14]

From the perspective of both the Qur’an and the Bible, The Book of the Law  is diabolical in its methodology when it appeals to and encourages such traits, which as we can see are Satanic in essence.

Every number is infinite; there is no difference. [Chapter I, verse 4]

The Book of the Law is filled with such seemingly nonsensical statements. Here are some more examples:

The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none! [Chapter I, verse 45]

In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found. [Chapter II, verse 3]

Let’s analyse Crowley’s commentary on verse I.4:

It must be understood from the beginning that this book contains the keys of all the knowledge necessary for the operation of the Magical Formulae of the world during the Aeon which it initiates. In this very early verse is already given a Master Key to mathematics and metaphysics. On applying this to current problems of thought, it will be discovered that the long-fast doors fly open at a touch. [2]

As Crowley states, this apparently nonsensical statement is one of the keys of knowledge in his religion. Now, even if one tries to make sense of it by taking some metaphysical interpretation, there is a wider problem at hand. His new religion is supposed to enlighten mankind, but very few can grasp such concepts. Contrast this with the Qur’an, which also claims to be a guide for mankind, but whose message can be understood by everyone. It uses simple speech rather than metaphysical, and employs analogies which are universal in application in order to help us to understand its arguments.

Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known. [Chapter I, verse 10]

Secrecy is another hallmark of the occult, which operates in the shadows. Very little of what goes on behind closed doors is known to the public. Outsiders are offered glimpses in order to lure them in, but it’s only when one is initiated into the occult and rises through its ranks that one gains access to all its teachings. Elsewhere The Book of the Law states:

But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be half known and half concealed: the Law is for all. [Chapter I, verse 34]

By contrast, the Qur’an encourages Muslims to make themsleves known:

And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.” [Qur’an 41:33]

In Islam there is no such thing as hidden knowledge, in fact it condemns those who have knowledge and conceal it from others:

Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture – those are cursed by Allah. [Qur’an 2:159]

There is no secret knowledge, no requirement to rise through the ranks for access to information. Islam’s teachings are freely available to all who wish to acquire it.

Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. [Chapter I, verse 40]

“Do what you want” is the central tenet of the religion of Crowley’s religion. There are no restrictions, no rules, it is the religion of lawlessness. Do you want is the essence of Satanism, and in fact it debases human beings to the lowly position of animals, for what are animals other than creatures of desire, acting on impulse with no regard for what is morally right or wrong. By comparison, the Qur’an is not in line with the whims and desires of human beings. It commands us to do that which is good and beneficial, and forbids that which is evil and harmful. To sacrifice and forego our bestial instincts for the sake of God elevates us to a position that is higher than the angels, for angels lack free will and have no choice but to worship God. The Book of the Law commands the Thelemite to worship the self, the Qur’an commands Muslims to do what is just and right, even if it means going against one’s own self-interests:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. [Qur’an 4:135]

Even from a societal point of view, there are major problems with the philosophy of The Book of the Law. Doing whatever you want is counterproductive to a healthy and functioning society. If everyone did whatever they want, then it will result in anarchy. We can see that the origin of The Book of the Law, be it demonic, the Devil, or other than that, is only concerned with the here and now; it does not have concern for the long-term flourishing of humanity. Whereas Islam created a society that established justice in all the lands it ruled and the greatest empire the world had ever seen at the time, exactly what we’d expect if its origin is God.

Another problem with “do what you want” is that it is inherently contradictory. What happens when there is a conflict of wills among its followers? Does the will of one trump the other? The Book of the Law states that its followers, here referred to as a Kings, should not infringe upon one another’s rights:

Beware lest any force another, King against King! Love one another with burning hearts; on the low men trample in the fierce lust of your pride, in the day of your wrath. [Chapter II, verse 24]

Since compromise is in order, then it means one is prevented from following one’s own will. Suppressing one’s own will goes against the central tenet of Crowley’s religion, “do what you want”. We can see that as a philosophy it is not scalable, the more it spreads among people, the greater the chance of a conflict of wills, and thereby a forced compromise on one’s own will.

The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons! Hell. [Chapter I, verse 41]

Here, The Book of the Law takes the concept of sin as it is defined in Abrahamic religions and inverts it; to restrict oneself is a sin. Crowley makes some interesting comments on this verse in light of sex and violence:

The sexual act is a sacrament of Will. To profane it is the great offence. All true expression of it is lawful; all suppression or distortion is contrary to the Law of Liberty. To use legal or financial constraint to compel either abstention or submission, is entirely horrible, unnatural and absurd. Physical constraint, up to a certain point, is not so seriously wrong; for it has its roots in the original sex-conflict which we see in animals, and has often the effect of exciting Love in his highest and noblest shape. Some of the most passionate and permanent attachments have begun with rape. Rome was actually founded thereon. Similarly, murder of a faithless partner is ethically excusable, in a certain sense; for there may be some stars whose Nature is extreme violence. The collision of galaxies is a magnificent spectacle, after all… [3]

This is the inevitable result of the philosophy of The Book of the Lawwhen taken to its logical conclusion. There will be Thelemites who incline towards extreme acts such as rape and murder, and in his comments Crowley implies that if this be their will then so be it. Interestingly, in his commentary on later verses, he expressly forbids acts such as rape:

“As ye will.” It should be abundantly clear from the foregoing remarks that each individual has an absolute and indefeasible right to use his sexual vehicle in accordance with its own proper character, and that he is responsible only to himself. But he should not injure himself and his right aforesaid; acts invasive of another individual’s equal rights are implicitly self-aggressions. A thief can hardly complain on theoretical grounds if he is himself robbed. Such acts as rape, and the assault or seduction of infants, may therefore be justly regarded as offences against the Law of Liberty, and repressed in the interests of that Law. [4]

So here we can see that Crowley forbids acts such as rape on the grounds that it violates the rights of others. Yet in his commentary on the very next verse, he makes rape permissible on the grounds that it can produce positive results:

To bring down this doctrine to a practical rule for every man or woman by which they may enjoy, in perfection, their sexual life and make it what it rightly is, the holiest part of the religious life, I say ‘holiest’ because it redeems even physical grossness to partake with spiritual saintship, the intention of this Book of the Law is perfectly simple. Whatever your sexual predilections may be, you are free, by the Law of Thelema, to the star you are, to go your own way rejoicing. It is not indicated here in this text, though it is elsewhere implied, that only one symptom warns that you have mistaken your true Will, and this, if you should imagine that in pursuing your way you interfere with that of another star. It may, therefore, be considered improper, as a general rule, for your sexual gratification to destroy, deform, or displease any other star. Mutual consent to the act is the condition thereof. It must, of course, be understood that such consent is not always explicit. There are cases when seduction or rape may be emancipation or initiation to another. Such acts can only be judged by their results.[5]

What should we make of such contradictory reasoning? Crowley’s followers today may argue that these are only Crowley’s personal ramblings and are therefore not binding. But The Book of the Law itself makes Crowley an authority for its commentary:

My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. [Chapter I, verse 36]

In fact, Crowley forbade Thelemites from even interpreting the book for themselves, all must refer to his own writings. In the closing remarks of The Book of the Law, Crowley wrote:

All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself.

When it comes to contradictions, the Qur’an gives us an objective principle by which we can judge the origin of any scripture:

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. [Qur’an 4:82]

In other words, if a scripture is from a source other than God – whether it be demon, the Devil or other than that – then it will contain contradictions, because only God Himself is perfect and inspires perfection. This is exactly the problem that we’ve seen withThe Book of the Law and the authoritative commentary of its prophet Crowley, the presence of glaring contradictions. By comparison, the Qur’an is free of such issues, so clearly they do not share the same origin.

One final point worth discussing is Crowley’s attitude toward women. From his point of view, the natural sexual state of women is one of absolute depravity. In his commentary on verse I.41 he wrote:

…Blind asses! who pretend that women are naturally chaste! The Easterns know better; all the restrictions of the harem, of public opinion, and so on, are based upon the recognition of the fact that woman is only chaste when there is nobody around. She will snatch the babe from its cradle, or drag the dog from its kennel, to prove the old saying: ‘Natura abhorret a vacuo. For she is the Image of the Soul of Nature, the Great Mother, the Great Whore. [6]

While the reader will no doubt recoil with horror at such a view, Christians should reflect on their own doctrine of Original Sin. The New Testament claims that all human beings have inherited the sin of Adam and Eve when they ate from the forbidden fruit in the garden. Christian theologians say that as a consequence of this, mankind is considered to be in a state of “total depravity” or “pervasive depravity”, which is the inability to refrain from evil. Crowley may have put it in more vulgar terms, but both are making the same essential point, that depravity is the natural state of women.

It is only the Qur’an that speaks of mankind’s natural state in positive terms, it says that our natural disposition, known as the ‘Fitrah’, is one of Godliness:

So [Prophet] as a man of pure faith, stand firm and true in your devotion to the religion. This is the natural disposition God instilled in mankind… [Qur’an 30:30]

The Fitrah is the pure state that we are born in, and the Prophet Muhammad explained that it is outside influences such as our parents that take us away from this natural state of devotion to God:

Every child is born according to the Fitrah and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian. [Sahih Muslim]

I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go. [Chapter II, verse 7]

Here The Book of the Law mentions magic in conjunction with exorcism. The common link between the two is demons, for demons are summoned by magical ritual and banished by exorcism. The invocation of demons was a common practice of Crowley and is the mechanism by which magic works. The Qur’an strictly prohibits the practice of magic in all its forms. In fact, it is considered to be a sin that takes one out of the fold of Islam, such is its severity:

And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].” And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew. [Qur’an 2:102]

These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.

Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.

We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world. Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever. Nuit! Hadit! Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Sun, Strength & Sight, Light; these are for the servants of the Star & the Snake. [Chapter II, verses 18-21]

The Book of the Law has a callous attitude toward the vulnerable. Showing compassion to the poor and weak, who are spoken of in dehumanising terms, is said to be a vice. The irony is that later in life, Crowley himself became the very thing that these verses despise. At a young age Crowley inherited a small fortune from his father, but due to his lavish lifestyle he very quickly squandered his wealth. His final years were spent in poor health, drug addicted and penniless. One can’t help but wonder if this irony dawned on the prophet while he lay on his deathbed.

The Qur’an takes a very different attitude to the vulnerable. Compassion toward the poor and weak is considered one of the greatest virtues. In fact, every Muslim who has in their possession a certain amount of wealth is required on an annual basis to give away a small portion in charity. One wisdom behind this is that it prevents people from hoarding excess wealth and ensures that it circulates throughout society, reaching those that are in need of it.

I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this. [Chapter II, verse 22]

The Book of the Law promotes vices such as promiscuous sex, alcohol and drugs. Such ethics are exactly what we would expect of an evil source such as demons or the Devil. By comparison the Qur’an warns us against such vices and tells us not to follow in the footsteps of the Devil:

O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you. [Qur’an 2:168]

The Book of the Law encourages a lifestyle that is harmful not only to the individual but also wider society. Promiscuous sex, alcohol and drugs bring with them a whole host of issues such as disease, unwanted pregnancy, addiction and financial ruin. So the claim that such things are not harmful is absurd. From a psychological perspective, it’s interesting that The Book of the Law happens to condone the very vices that Crowley indulged in before he was a prophet. As far back as Adam and Eve, Satan has used temptation as a means to deceive man, so from this perspective The Book of the Law is devilish in its methodology.

By contrast Islam wants believers to be strong in mind, body and spirit. Anything that is harmful to the individual or wider society is prohibited. The Qur’an points out that immorality is the handiwork of Satan himself:

Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. [Qur’an 2:268]

Unlike The Book of the Law, the Qur’an does not condone the harmful vices that the seventh century pre-Islamic Arabs indulged in; it prohibited them. This shows us that the one behind the Qur’an prioritises the well-being of mankind over our whims and desires.

I am the Master: thou art the Holy Chosen One. [Chapter II, verse 65]

Such grand claims are typical ofThe Book of the Law, it frequently asserts its authority and Crowley’s prophethood without putting forward any kind of evidence or means of verification. We are just expected to blindly accept its credentials. Whereas the Qur’an puts forward objective arguments for its divine origin, for example:

Say, “If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.”   [Qur’an 17:88]

Lift up thyself! for there is none like unto thee among men or among Gods! Lift up thyself, o my prophet, thy stature shall surpass the stars. They shall worship thy name, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, the number of the man: and the name of thy house 418. [Chapter II, verse 78]

Notice how this verse glorifies Crowley, virtually deifying him. By contrast the Qur’an emphasises the humanity of Prophet Muhammad:

Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful. [Qur’an 3:144]

Prophet Muhammad himself warned Muslims against deifying him:

Do not exaggerate my praises as the Christians have done with the son of Mary. Verily, I am only a servant, so refer to me as the servant of Allah and his messenger.[7]

The Qur’an even corrects Prophet Muhammad in instances where he made mistakes, for example:

The Prophet frowned and turned away. Because there came to him the blind man, [interrupting]. But what would make you perceive, [O Muhammad], that perhaps he might be purified. Or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him? As for he who thinks himself without need, to him you give attention. And not upon you [is any blame] if he will not be purified. But as for he who came to you striving [for knowledge]. While he fears [Allah], from him you are distracted. [Qur’an 80:1-10]

What should we make of this lofty claim that Crowley’s stature “shall surpass the stars”? In light of the historical record thus far, it’s debatable as to whether this has been fulfilled. On the one hand, Crowley is revered within the world of the occult and magic. He became a cultural icon in the 1960s, with his libertine attitude to sex and drugs striking a chord with the counter-culture movement. However on the other hand, it has been over a century since The Book of the Law was first written, and over half a century since Crowley’s death, yet his religion is still not mainstream. Now if we interpret the claim that Crowley’s stature “shall surpass the stars” in light of the preceding statement of the same verse, that “there is none like unto thee among men or among Gods”, then this prophecy is an abject failure. Crowley has always had a tiny following and his impact on the world stage is negligible when compared to other religions and movements that emerged contemporary to him.

This is just one example of a problematic prophecy in The Book of the Law, it is filled with ambiguous and inaccurate predictions. We can conclude that whatever entity inspired this book, be it demons, the Devil or even Crowley’s own mind, what we know for certain is that it is not the product of a divine being. This is because divine beings have knowledge and control over the future. By comparison, the Qur’an and teachings of Prophet Muhammad are filled with accurate prophecies about the future.

What this shows is that the one who inspired the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad has knowledge of the unseen which is a characteristic of God, not His creation such as demons or the Devil. Even according to the Bible, accurate knowledge of the future is a sign that someone has been genuinely inspired by God:

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. [Deuteronomy 18:21-22]

The Book of the Law fails to fulfil this biblical standard, whereas the Qur’an more than satisfies it.

For perfume mix meal & honey & thick leavings of red wine: then oil of Abramelin and olive oil, and afterward soften & smooth down with rich fresh blood.

The best blood is of the moon, monthly; then the fresh blood of a child, or dropping from the host of heaven; then of enemies; then of the priest or of the worshippers; last of some beast, no matter what.

This burn: of this make cakes & eat unto me. This hath also another use; let it be laid before me, and kept thick with perfumes of your orison: it shall become full of beetles as it were and creeping things sacred unto me. [Chapter III, verses 23-25]

This section of The Book of the Law goes into detail about the offerings that should be made by it followers. We can see that the emphasis of the ritual is blood, the verses go into great detail in specifying a hierarchy of blood. By comparison, the Qur’an tells us that when animal offerings are made by Muslims, it’s not the blood that matters to Allah, but rather the pious act of obedience in performing the sacrifice:

And the camels and cattle We have appointed for you as among the symbols of Allah; for you therein is good. So mention the name of Allah upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy and the beggar. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful. Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good. [Qur’an 22:36-37]

Sacrificing an animal for the sake of Allah is said to be a way of showing gratitude to Him for the numerous blessings He has bestowed upon us, as well as a righteous act in feeding the poor and needy. These are the purposes behind the animal offering, the spilt blood is of no value in and of itself. It’s important to note that human sacrifice is prohibited in Islam, only animals can be offered. When it comes to the occult and pagan religions in general, rituals involving human blood have been used throughout history. We’ve seen that The Book of the Law informs its followers that human blood – be it menstrual, the blood of children, or the blood of one’s enemies – is of higher value than animal blood.

I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.

Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!

With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross.

I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him.

With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din.

Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.

Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you! [Chapter III, verses 49-55]

One of the roles of religious scripture is to highlight the falsehood of beliefs that are contrary to its own teachings. Guidance is not just about stating what is correct, but also about negating that which is incorrect. The Book of the Law  does not do this in any meaningful way. These verses mention the likes of Jesus and Muhammad, but instead of intellectually dismantling the teachings of these prophets, it instead insults them in a very petty manner that comes across as insecure. This is quite unbefitting of religious scripture, and certainly not what one would expect were its author a divine being.

By comparison, the Qur’an respectfully engages with the beliefs of those it deems to be upon falsehood. Muslims are commanded to refrain from insulting the gods of other religions:

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. [Qur’an 6:108]

The Qur’an commands believers to engage with non-believers in a respectful and dignified manner:

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. [Qur’an 16:125]

When it comes to dismantling the theology of false religion, the Qur’an uses intellectual arguments, never petty insults. The prophets of the Jewish and Christian scriptures are acknowledged as genuine prophets, and are even mentioned more times by name in the Qur’an than Muhammad himself. This is an indication that the one who authored the Qur’an and inspired Muhammad is the same entity that inspired the prophets of old like Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

CONCLUSION

To argue that the Qur’an is the product of some unknown force of unknown motives would be tantamount to invoking the existence of any unknown entity to explain anything. From this perspective, the Christian claim that the Qur’an was inspired by occult forces such as the Devil or demons is an intellectual cop-out. Everything can be reduced to absurdity by attributing it to occult forces, so this is also a self-defeating scepticism as it means that nothing can be true.

In this article we have tackled this claim by taking the unique approach of comparing the Qur’an to The Book of the Law, a typical occult work. After doing a detailed comparison we’ve seen that they share very little in common, which is contrary to the claim that they come from the same source. Not only are they opposites in terms of their theology and morality, but it is only the Qur’an that puts forward objective evidence to support its claims of divine origin. Crowley himself was a master occultist and would have had access to the same dark forces that allegedly inspired Prophet Muhammad. Yet we’ve seen that The Book of the Law pales in comparison to the phenomenon that is the Qur’an, both in terms of its content and impact on the global stage.

References.

1 – Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim.

2 – Aleister Crowley, The Law is for All, see commentary on verse I.4.

3 – Ibid., see commentary on verse I.41.

4 – Ibid., see commentary on verse I.51.

5 – Ibid., see commentary on verse I.52.

6 – Ibid., see commentary on verse I.41.

7 – Sahih Bukhari.