I am a Christian who has begun to study a little about Islam.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I am a Christian who has begun to study a little about Islam. There are a few people who have answered some questions for me, and recommended that I come to this site. What are the most important things for me to know about this religion? Some errors in the Bible have been pointed out to me, but it is difficult for me to accept. Are there certain surahs of the Quran that I should read first for better understanding? Thank you for your assistance.
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Christian interested in islam
In the name of God, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever the Lord guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, nobody!) worthy of worship but the One Lord God Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the Seal of His Messengers.
Your Statement: I am a Christian who has begun to study a little about Islam.
Beloved Sister, may the Lord increase your quest in your noble search for the Knowledge of Truth and may He have Mercy on you and guide you to the Path that leads to His Mercy and His Forgiveness. If you strive to study the approved way of life called Al-Islam with an open heart and without prejudice, seeking only the Truth; The Lord God is our witness sister, you will find peace not only in the life of this transient and short world, but also in your eternal and everlasting life of the Hereafter.
Your Statement: There are a few people who have answered some questions for me, and recommended that I come to this site.
The Lord Says in His Holy Quran Chapter 16, Surah An-Nahl Ayat 125:
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and excellent admonition and argue with people in the best manner. Your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Way and who is Rightly guided.
The Lord Says in His Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 78:
78 And (O believers) strive in His Cause as ye ought to strive (with sincerity and under discipline): He has chosen you and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the religion of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims both before, and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to The Lord God! He is your Protector, the Best to protect and the Best to help!
Beloved Sister, when one accepts Al-Islam as his way of life, it becomes his obligatory duty laid upon him by the One Who Created to himself be a witness to the Truth from His Lord and share his knowledge with those who are willing to listen to good caution. May the Lord have Mercy on the people who have fulfilled their duty laid upon them, and helped you towards understanding the Message of the Lord Who Created.
Beloved Sister, just to introduce myself, I myself am a convert to this beautiful and Divinely approved way of life called Al-Islam. Although I was born in a muslim family, I was never taught or encouraged to understand the Revelation of the Holy Quran; but rather, our religious life revolved around the rites and rituals which the so-called priests and holy men prescribed for us. When I was invited by some good well-wishing brothers to read and understand the Message of the Quran which the Lord had revealed for the guidance of all mankind, I started to realize how far away I was from the Truth of my Lord and Creator. All Praise is due to none but the Lord Most Merciful Who had mercy on me and guided me to leave the invocation, obedience and worship of man and showed me the path that leads to the obedience and worship of none except the Lord God Alone. Its been 20 odd years since I left the religion I was born into to accept only Islam as my way of life, and The Lord God is my witness, never has there been even a moment in all of these 20 years where I have regretted my decision!
Today, I feel honored and humbled, that the like-minded brothers and sisters who initiated this forum invited me to serve in this Noble Cause of bearing witness to the Truth and inviting others to the Truth of their Lord.
Your Question: What are the most important things for me to know about this religion?
Beloved Sister in humanity, I am obviously unaware of how much knowledge you have of your religion and the Scriptures you were born into. But being a Christian, it would be safe for us to assume that you believe in the common concepts of the monoisthic Abrahamic religions (Jewism, Christianity and Islam):
- There is only One Lord and Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything that exists in between.
- The concept of (all) His chosen and appointed Messengers like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Jesus, etc.
- The concept of (all) His Divine Revelations like the Psalms, Torah, Gospel, etc.
- The concept of the creation of (all) Angels like Gabriel, Michael, etc.
- The concept of the Day of Resurrection; ie. an Inevitable Day of Justice where the righteous will be rewarded by the Lord with His Mercy, His Forgiveness and Paradise; and the evil-doers who opposed Him and His Truth will deserve His Wrath, His Anger and the Hell Fire.
- The concept of Divine Destiny; where the Lord God Alone is All-Mighty, All-Powerful, All-Wise, All-Seeing, All-Hearing, and All-Knowing; One Who has Absolutely Perfect Knowledge of the past, the present, and the future and nothing, absolutely nothing, is hidden from Him. He Alone possesses the Power to fulfill His Decrees and none in creation can frustrate His Plans and Decisions and Decrees.
Thus, my beloved sister, in real terms the most important thing, first and foremost, is to agree on the common terms and the above six articles of belief shared by all the three monoisthic Abrahamic religions.
The Lord God Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imraan verse 64:
64 Say (O Mohamed (saws)): "O People of the Book (ie. Jews and Christians)! Come to common terms as between us (muslims) and you: that we worship none but The Lord God Alone; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not from among ourselves lords and patrons other than The One God." If then they turn back say: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's will)."
The Lord God Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imraan verse 84:
84 Say (O Mohamed (saws)): "We believe in The Lord God, and in what has been revealed to us (The Quran), and what was revealed to Abraham, and Ismail, and Isaac, and Jacob and the Tribes, and in (Books) given to Moses, and Jesus and (all the other) Prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)."
Thus my beloved sister, the most important thing to know about Islam is that this religion was revealed by the Lord God in the same line of the other Monoisthic Abrahamic religions; and in its essence, the surviving Abrahimic religions of Jewism, Christianity and Islam have more similarities than differences!
If one reads or has even basic knowledge of the present-day Bible, one would realize the extent of the Wrath and the Anger of the Lord on the Jews, who believe in all the Prophets and all the Revelations upto Jesus (peace and blessings of the Lord be upon him), but in their arrogance and pride chose to belie Jesus (a.s.), and the Divine Revelation of the Gospel revealed upon him by the Lord.
It is indeed unfortunate that our Christian brethren chose to follow the exact same tradition of the Jews, in that they rejected and denied the appointment of Last and Final Messenger (Mohamed (saws)) and the Divine Revelation (The Quran) revealed upon him!
Your Statement: Some errors in the Bible have been pointed out to me, but it is difficult for me to accept.
Beloved Sister, Allah is our witness, a muslim is not a muslim unless and until he professes sincere belief in Jesus (a.s.) and the Divine Revelation of the Gospel which was revealed upon him by the Lord God! We mean absolutely no disrespect, but it is common knowledge that somewhere in the vicissitude of time, the original Divine Revelation of the Gospel which was revealed upon Jesus (a.s.) was partly lost, partly distorted, and partly destroyed; and the present-day Bible, although it does contain some of the original Revelations, has been entwined with the hands of human beings!
The non-divinity of present day available Bibles are a proof unto themselves, whereby there are the King James revised and re-revised versions, the Roman Catholic versions, or the authorized versions of the Protestant Bible, etc.! Besides, you would agree with me that the original Bible was revealed in the now defunct Aramaic language, and there is not a copy of the Bible where all the different sects of even Christianity agree upon!
But our Lord God is our witness, no matter where in the world you go amongst the 160 odd nations and the 1.8 billion muslims, you will find that there is only one Quran; preserved, read, recited, studied and followed in the same exact verbatim language as it was originally revealed upon the Last and Final Messenger of God, Mohamed (saws). The Lord God is our witness, you will not find even a single alphabet, leave alone a word, a phrase, a verse, or a chapter which is even so slightly altered or distorted or touched from its Divine Revelation!
Because humans are obviously prone to error, and there is more than enough evidence that the Bible has been altered by the vicissitudes of time, it is only natural that when men started distorting the Divine Revelation of the Gospel revealed upon Prophet Jesus (a.s.), errors were obviously made!
Your Statement (again): Some errors in the Bible have been pointed out to me, but it is difficult for me to accept.
Beloved Sister, amongst the greatest evidence of a Scripture being Divine, is that it is our ardent belief that the Creator is Absolutely Perfect and Free from making any errors. If there is even an iota of an error or contradiction, then that work cannot be attributed to the Lord God!
Beloved Sister, there are indeed many errors/contradictions in the present-day Bible. We would like to quote only a few errors/contradictions which even the most ardent believer in the Divinity of the Bible would find hard to deny or accept! Beloved Sister, our intention is not to belittle or ridicule, but only to prove a point that there is no denying that there are many obvious errors/contradictions in the present-day Bible.
Error example 1:
And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them to say: Go, number Israel and Judah (II Samuel 24)
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. (I Chronicles 21)
- Was it the Lord who provoked David, or was it the Satan?
Error example 2:
So Gad came to David and told him and said unto him, shall Seven Years of famine come unto thee in they land? Or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? (II Samuel 24:13)
11. So Gad came to David and said unto him, thus saith the Lord, choose thee:
12. Either Three Years famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee. (I Chronicles 21:11-12)
- Was it Seven Years or Three Years?
Error example 3:
Jehoiachin was Eight Years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem; and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. (II Chronicles 36)
Jehoiachin was Eighteen Years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mothers name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. (II Kings 24)
- Was Jehoiachin Eight or Eighteen years old when he began to reign?
Error example 4:
And Solomon had Four Thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen whom he bestowed in the chariot cities and with the King at Jerusalem. (II Chronicles 9:25)
And Solomon had Forty Thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. (I Kings 4:26)
- Did Solomon have Four thousand or Forty thousand stalls for the horses?
Your Question: Are there certain surahs of the Quran that I should read first for better understanding?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 185:
Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down: this Book (The Quran) is a Perfect Guidance for mankind and consists of clear Teachings which show the Right Way, and are a Criterion of the Truth and falsehood.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 89:
We have sent down to you this Book (The Quran), which makes everything plain, and is a guidance, blessing and good news to those who have surrendered themselves entirely.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 19 Surah Maryam verse 97:
O Mohamed, We have made this Quran easy, and sent it down in your tongue so that you should give good news to the pious and warn the stubborn people.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 18 Surah Kahf verse 1-3:
All praise is for Allah Alone, Who has sent down this Book (The Quran) to His Servant (Mohamed (saws), and assigned nothing crooked to it. This Book says everything directly, so that he may warn the people of the severe chastisement of Allah and give good news to the believers, who do righteous deeds, that they will have an excellent reward.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 99:
We have sent down to you Revelations (The Quran) that clearly expound the Truth, and none but the disobedient reject them.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 157-158:
Now that a clear proof, a Guidance and Blessing (The Quran), has come to you from your Lord, who can be more unjust than the one who treats Our Revelations as false and turns away from them? We will inflict the severest torment on those who turn away from Our Revelations because of their aversion. Do the people now await that the angels should come down before them? Or that your Lord may Himself come down? Or that the manifest Signs of your Lord should appear?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 10 Surah Yunus verses 40-44:
Some of these people will believe in (The Quran), and others will not. Your Lord knows these mischief-makers very well indeed. If these people deny you, say to them: I am responsible for my deeds and you are for yours. You are not accountable for what I do, nor am I for what you do. There are many among them who hear what you say, but will you make the deaf to listen to you, even though they be incapable of understanding this? Then there are many others among them who see you. But will you show the way to the blind, even though they be bereft of sight? The fact is that Allah does not in any way wrong the people, but they wronged themselves!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 44:
We sent the former Messengers with clear signs and Books, and now We have sent the Admonition (Quran) to you (O Mohamed (saws)), so that you should make plain and explain to the people the teachings of the Book, which has been sent for them,and so they should (themselves) ponder over it.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Bani Israel verses 9-10:
Indeed, the Quran shows that way which is perfectly straight. To those who believe in it and do good deeds, it gives the good news that there is a great reward for them; and to those who do not believe in the Hereafter, it gives the warning that a painful torment has been made ready for them.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Bani Israel verses 82:
We are sending down to you through the Revelation of the Quran what is a healing and a mercy to the Believers, though it adds nothing but loss to the workers of iniquity.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Bani Israel verses 89:
In this Quran, we employed different ways to make the people understand the Message, but the majority of them persisted in un-belief.
Beloved Sister, as your brothers and well-wishers in humanity, our sincere advice to you if you indeed wish to study Islam is to read the Last and Final Testament of the Holy Quran from its beginning to its end. Just as one who reads a few paragraphs or passages of a normal book, or watches a few rushes of a movie will not get an accurate idea of what the author or film-maker is trying to portray, if one was to pick and choose a few passages or Surahs of the Quran from here and there, one will get an incomplete picture of the Divine Message. The Quran is all of only 600 odd pages, and if one chooses to read this Last and Final Message in their search for the Truth from their Lord with sincerity and without prejudice, the Lord God is our witness, they will be pleasantly surprised at its clarity and wisdom of thought, at its beauty of literature, and at its absolute and perfect Truth. And why not, for indeed each and every word of this Divine Book is Revealed in Truth by Him Who is inherently The All-Knowing, All-Wise Lord and Creator of the worlds and everything that exists in between.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 14 Surah Ibrahim verses 1-2:
This (Al-Quran) is a Book which We have sent down to you (O Prophet) that you may bring mankind, by the help of their Lord, out of the dark ways (of ignorance) into the Light (of knowledge), to the Way of that Lord, Who is All Powerful, and inherently All Praiseworthy, and the Owner of whatever is in the heavens and the earth.
It is our ardent prayer and hope that the Lord God increases your quest for seeking the Knowledge of Truth and guides you to the Path that leads to His Mercy and His Forgiveness. The Lord God is our witness sister, if you take the first step towards your Lord Creator, it is His Solemn Promise that He will draw towards you in multiple steps with His Infinite Mercy and Grace.
Sahih Muslim Hadith 6499 Narrated by Abu Dharr
The Prophet Mohamed (saws) said that The Lord God, Who is Exalted and Glorious, Stated: 'He who draws close to Me by the span of a palm I draw close to him by a cubit, and he who draws close to Me by a cubit I draw close to him by the space (covered) by two hands, and he who walks towards Me I rush towards him, and he who meets Me in the state that his sins fill the earth, but not associating anything with Me, I would meet Him with the same (vastness) of pardon (on My behalf)."
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,