Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Why Muhammad Didn't Die for Muslims' Sins?

First, Islam, unlike Christianity, does not teach a concept of “original sin”. Adam’s sin was his and his alone; and, according to the Qur’an (for the Qur’anic narration of the story of Adam and Eve, see: the Qur’an: 2: 30-39; 7; 19; 17: 61; 18: 50; 20: 116-17, etc.), God forgave both Adam and Eve when they turned to God in repentance; accordingly they were once again restored to divine mercy. Hence there is no concept of Adam passing on to his progeny an original sin, and therefore no need for stipulating a redeemer for such sins.

Second, as there is no original sin, every one is born into a state of fitrah, a state of natural innocence; sin is acquired later by our own conscious and willful actions. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Every child is born into a state of fitrah or natural state of innocence.”

Third, Islam teaches that God is All-Compassionate and All-Merciful; He is not bound by the rule of a blood sacrifice in order to forgive His servants. To assume that God can forgive only by accepting a blood sacrifice and therefore to state that Jesus or Muhammad died for our sins is not acceptable in Islam. Allah says: “O My servants who have wronged against their souls! Do not despair of Allah’s mercy! For Allah forgives all sins; for He is indeed Forgiving, Compassionate. Turn to your Lord repentant, and submit to Him before the torment overtakes you when you shall not be helped.” (Az-Zumar: 53-54)

Fourth, Islam teaches that every individual is responsible for his/her own salvation. Not Abraham, or Moses, or Jesus, or Muhammad can save us; they are only capable of saving themselves through God’s grace. In the words of the Qur’an: “Whoever commits a sin commits it only against himself. Allah is Knowing, Wise.” (An-Nisa': 111); “Allah does not charge a soul with more than it can bear. It shall be requited for whatever good and whatever it has done.” (Al-Baqarah: 286); “Each soul earns only on its own account, nor does any laden (soul) bear another’s load.” (Al-An`am: 164) “He who is rightly guided, it is for himself; and he who goes astray, it is to his own detriment. No soul can bear another’s burden.” (Al-Isra': 15)

Fifth, everyone, male or female, can directly approach God without any intermediary of a prophet, saint or priest. God is closer to us than our own jugular veins. Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an: “We created man, and We know the promptings of his soul, and We are nearer to him than his own jugular vein.” (Qaf: 16) “When My servants ask you about Me, tell them I am nigh, ready to answer the prayer of the suppliant when he/she prays to Me; therefore let them respond to Me and believe in Me, that they may be rightly guided.” (Al-Baqarah: 186)

So the entire concept of someone dying for our sins is inimical to the Islamic world-view or understanding of the natures of man and God. Islam beckons us all to respond to God’s message and receive His grace and salvation through faith, good works and leading a responsible moral and ethical life."


Peace be upon you all.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics

Muslims too will be shocked to learn just how much of the New Testament is forged. Leading experts in the field of ancient forgery have given the book highly favourable reviews as you can discover below (follow the link).
Few books have so effectively challenged the basis of scriptural authority in Christianity. (London Review of Books)
forgery
Arguably the most distinctive feature of the early Christian literature,” writes Bart Ehrman, “is the degree to which it was forged.” The Homilies and Recognitions of Clement; Paul’s letters to and from Seneca; Gospels by Peter, Thomas, and Philip; Jesus’ correspondence with Abgar, letters by Peter and Paul in the New Testament – all forgeries. To cite just a few examples.
Forgery and Counterforgery is the first comprehensive study of early Christian pseudepigrapha ever produced in English. In it, Ehrman argues that ancient critics–pagan, Jewish, and Christian–understood false authorial claims to be a form of literary deceit, and thus forgeries. Ehrman considers the extent of the phenomenon, the “intention” and motivations of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish forgers, and reactions to their work once detected. He also assesses the criteria ancient critics applied to expose forgeries and the techniques forgers used to avoid detection. With the wider practices of the ancient world as backdrop, Ehrman then focuses on early Christian polemics, as various Christian authors forged documents in order to lend their ideas a veneer of authority in literary battles waged with pagans, Jews, and, most importantly, with one another in internecine disputes over doctrine and practice. In some instances a forger directed his work against views found in another forgery, creating thereby a “counter-forgery.” Ehrman’s evaluation of polemical forgeries starts with those of the New Testament (nearly half of whose books make a false authorial claim) up through the Pseudo-Ignatian epistles and the Apostolic Constitutions at the end of the fourth century.
Shining light on an important but overlooked feature of the early Christian world, Forgery and Counterforgery explores the possible motivations of the deceivers who produced these writings, situating their practice within ancient Christian discourses on lying and deceit.
See academic reviews here