Seven Lesson Sunday Morning Sermon Series on Islam
"The Prophets" Sermon Series
Who do they say Muhammad is?
What would you say if I told you the Koran was written by 12 women who handed the manuscripts to a real man name Muhammad, who claimed God revealed it to him? Muslims would reply, "We know this is not true because of the vast amount of historical data we have to confirm that Muhammad wrote the Koran."
What would you say if I told you that Muhammad was a Christian who was baptized at age 16 by immersion for the remission of sins after his confession of Jesus as the divine son of God. That he attended church every first day and had communion weekly just like the church of the first century? And that he spent 35 years as a missionary preaching Christianity in Spain? Muslims would reply, "that is ridiculous for you to suggest Muhammad was a Christian. All of world history says Muhammad was a Muslim, founder of Islam."
What would you say if I said that Muhammad was a Christian Prophet but after he died, his followers started the Islamic religion, named him their founder, burnt all the history books that said otherwise and rewrote a new world history that we have in our possession today?
What if a Muslim walked into a Church of Christ and told you that Jesus was a Muslim who did not die on the cross or raise from the dead, but that the Christian religion was invented by the 12 apostles all of which was based upon myth.
Yet that is exactly what Muslims teach.
The suggestion that Jesus was a practicing Muslim is as outrageous to Christians, as the suggestion that Muhammad was a Christian missionary.
Muslims claim that Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible:
"'I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him." (Deuteronomy 18:18) (Jesus Christ)
""I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." (John 16:12-13) The comforter or Holy Spirit that came on Pentecost in 33 AD.
Muslims claim Mohammed never sinned, but the Koran says otherwise: Sura 47:19, 48:1-2, 33:36-38
I. Muslim viewpoint: Muhammad and Josiah: 2 Kings 22:8
If Muslims were to chose a Bible Character who represented Muhammad, they would pick Josiah of 2 Kings 22:8
An original monotheism is corrupted into polytheistic Idolatry
Josiah: Paganism and Idolatry was the religion of the day.
"The sons of Israel ... served idols, concerning which the Lord had said to them, "You shall not do this thing." ... They rejected His statutes and His covenant ... They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him." (2 Kings 17:6-20)
Muhammad: Muslim writers comment:
Muslim writer, Sayed Razwy says in his book, The State of Religion in Pre-Islamic Arabia, "Idol-worshippers or polytheists: Most of the Arabs were idolaters. They worshipped numerous idols and each tribe had its own idol or idols and fetishes. They had turned the Kaaba in Makkah, which according to tradition, had been built by the Prophet Abraham and his son, Ismael, and was dedicated by them to the service of One God, into a heathen pantheon housing 360 idols of stone and wood." (A Restatement of The History of Islam & Muslims, Sayed A. A. Razwy, Muslim, The State of Religion in Pre-Islamic Arabia, p19-20 1997)
The three principal idols of Pagan Arab idolatry were the goddesses Lat, 'Uzza, and Manat. Opinions differ as to their exact forms : one version is that Lat was in human shape, 'Uzza had its origin in a sacred tree, and Manat in a white stone. They all represented God in female form." (The holy Qur'an, text, translation and commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. 1872-1952, First published in 1938, 1973 ed., p. 1445, footnote 5095, commenting on 53:19)
"had put an idol called Habal on the roof of the Kaba. This was one of the chief deities of the Quraish before Islam. It is said that there were altogether three hundred and sixty idols in and about the Kaba and that each tribes had its own deity (Muhammad The Holy Prophet, Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (Pakistan), p. 18-19.)
Restoring the long lost faith
2 Kings 22 records: "Now in the eighteenth year of King Josiah ... Hilkiah the high priest said, "I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD.". ...\When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, "Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us. ... He did away with the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah ... who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and to the moon and to the constellations and to all the host of heaven. ... He also broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the temple of the LORD ... He broke in pieces the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherim (2 Kings 22)
Muslim writer, Isma'il Al Faruqi said, "The first convert was Muhammad's wife, Khadijah. She became convinced, even before Muhammad, that he was indeed a prophet. Other relatives and friends began to believe in him also, and a nucleus community was formed. The Arabs, whose traditional faith was pagan, denied the unity and transcendence of God as well as the Day of judgement. At first they reacted to the new teaching with scorn.But Muhammad and his companions stood firm. Then the unbelievers countered with public abuse, slander, and persecution. (Islam, Isma'il R. Al Faruqi 1984, p13-14)
Internationally renounced, expert court witness for Islam, James Beverly said, in his book, Understanding Islam, written in shortly after Sept 11, said, "By January 630, however, Muhammad triumphed, took control of Mecca, and destroyed the idols in the Kaba. Medina continued to be his home base. He led military campaigns in northern Arabia, and returned to Mecca for a final pilgrimage in early 632. [After being poisoned by a Jewish woman] He was in poor health at the time, traveled back to Medina, and died on June 8 of that year, in the embrace of Aisha, one of his many wives." (Understanding Islam, James A. Beverly, p 12, 2001)
Cleaned Jewish temple of Idols: 23:4,6-7
Cast out false priests and pagans: 23:5
Destroyed false worship: 23:8,10-15,19
Restored the ancient re-enactment ritual of the Passover: 23:21-23
Cleansed the Kaba of Idols
Killed the pagan priests
Destroyed the religion of polytheism
Restored the ancient re-enactment rituals of the pilgrimage.
Josiah restored the ancient Jewish faith of Moses based upon the Bible. Muhammad restored the original Muslim faith of Abraham but had nothing to point back to except Myth.
Josiah could tangibly point to an unchanged book, that had been revealed 1000 years beforehand. Muhammad had nothing tangible, like the law of Moses or historical to point back to except historical Arab myth and faith that he was a prophet of God.
From a Muslim point of view, Muhammad was the last and greatest prophet of God who restored the long lost faith of Abraham to the pagan Arab people.
II. Humanists viewpoint: Muhammad and Jeroboam of 1 Kings 12:25
If humanists were to chose a Bible Character who represented Muhammad, they would pick Jeroboam of 1 Kings 12:25. In the humanist view, neither Jeroboam or Muhammad were primarily motivated by religion, but good old economic and political power. The humanist would say that Muhammad used religion as a basis to expand economic trade and keep military control in the hands of the Quraysh Arabs of Mecca.
1 Kings 12:25 says, Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. "If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah." So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt."He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense." (1 Kings 12:25-33)
From a Humanists point of view, both Muhammad and Jereboam started a whole new religion for the sole purpose of securing their own political power.
III. Economists viewpoint: Black stone and Artemis: Acts 19:23-36
Muslims believe that the Black stone is a meteorite that fell, by divine providence at the foot of Adam, and he built it into the kaba, in Mecca.
Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington DC said, "The Holy Mosque in Makkah is the most revered place of worship for Muslims around the world. ... Many believe it was erected on the original site of a sanctuary established by the first Prophet, Adam. Embedded in the corner of the structure is the Black Stone, a meteorite used by Abraham as a foundation stone. This stone, although respected as the only surviving object from the original building, has never been worshipped and has no special sanctity or power." (Makkah And The Holy Mosque, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington DC, website)
A group of honest Muslim youths asked their Muslim teacher Sheikh Sha'rawi, "What is the wisdom of kissing the meteorite?" He answered 'The kissing of the meteorite is a firm practice in Islamic law because Muhammad did it. You must not ask about the wisdom behind that because this rite is (an expression) of worship in spite of the obscurity of its wisdom" (Sheikh Sha'rawi, "Legal Opinions", part 3, page 167).
Artemis: Acts 19:23-41:
"About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing huge business profits to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. "You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. "Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence." When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia. And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him. Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater. So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together. Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" After quieting the crowd, the town clerk *said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from heaven? "So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash. (Acts 19:23-41)
From an economists viewpoint, Muhammad used religion to secure economic trade for the Meccian area.
IV. Historians viewpoint: Muhammad and Pharaoh Akhenaton
If historians were to pick a historical character who represented Muhammad, they would pick Akhenaton. Both Muhammad (600AD) and Pharaoh Akhenaten (1400 BC) were sincere men of faith who although raised pagan, converted to Monotheism at a later age, being exposed to monotheism from outside sources. Having seen the vanity of polytheism began to profess monotheism. We see a "something old, something new" theme in both religious founders.
M. J. Afshari, said, "That Islam was conceived in idolatry is shown by the fact that many rituals performed in the name of Allah were connected with the pagan worship that existed before Islam.And today, millions of Moslems pray towards Mecca, where the famous revered black stone is located. 1.Before Islam Allah was reported to be know as: the supreme of a pantheon of gods; the name of a god whom the Arabs worshipped; the chief god of the pantheon; Ali-ilah; the god; the supreme; the all-powerful; all-knowing; and totally unknowable; the predeterminer of everyone's life destiny; chief of the gods; the special deity of the Quraish; having three daughters: Al Uzzah (Venus), Manah (Destiny), and Alat; having the idol temple at Mecca under his name (House of Allah).; the mate of Alat, the goddess of fate. 2.Because the Ka'aba, the sacred shrine which contains the Black Stone, in Mecca was used for pagan idol worship before Islam and even called the House of Allah at that time. 3.Because the rituals involved with the Islamic Pilgrimage are either identical or very close to the pre-Islamic pagan idol worship at Mecca. 4. Because of other Arabian history which points to heathen worship of the sun, moon, and the stars, as well as other gods, of which I believe Allah was in some way connected to. This then would prove to us that Allah is not the same as the true God of the Bible whom we worship, because God never changes." (M. J. Afshari, Is Allah The Same God As The God Of The Bible?, pgs. 6, 8-9)
Allah is, "The creator god of Islam. Perceived in pre-Islamic times as the creator of the earth and water. Named by the prophet Muhammad as the one true god and given a hundred names or epithets in the Qur'an, ninety-nine of which are known to mankind and accounted on the rosary beads". (Encyclopedia of Gods, Michael Jordan, Allah)
Rom Landau, in his book, Islam and the Arabs, said "Although idolatry was the prevailing religion in early Arabia, the idea of One Supreme God was not unknown to the Arabs. Jews and Christians, of course, professed monotheism" (Rom Landau, Islam and the Arabs, 1958 p 11-21)
"monotheism among the Arabs must have been due mainly to Christian and Jewish influences.' The Arabs had many opportunities of contact with Christians and Jews." (Muhammad at Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, 1953, p 23-29)
First Encyclopedia of Islam, says, "The [pagan] Arabs, before the time of Muhammad, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called Allah" (First Encyclopedia of Islam, E.J. Brill, 1987, Islam, p. 302)
Allah: Arab. for God: if from earlier Semitic languages (e.g. Aram.. alaha), perhaps the God (Arab. al ='the'). Before the birth of *Muhammad, Allah was known as a supreme, but not the sole, God. Muhammad became aware, early in his life, of conflict between religions and of contest, therefore, between 'gods'. From his experience in the cave on Mount *Hira (with possible influence from *banifs), Muhammad saw that if God is God, it is God that God must be: there cannot be division of God into separate or competing beings." (The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, 1997, Allah)
Encyclopedia Britannica says, "A principal public celebration of the Arabians was an annual pilgrimage, in which tribes who shared a common bond of worship of a deity at a specific sanctuary would reunite there. A pattern of ceremonial procession around the baetyl [the sacred stone] was common, and this pattern may be seen in the surviving Islamic custom of the pilgrimage to Mecca. Processions played a great part in ritual, and divine images were sometimes brought out of the sanctuary and carried in them. Another practice that left its influence on Islam was ceremonial abstinence. The South Arabian festival of Halfan was a moratorium on the use of weapons. Certain times were specified for fasting and abstention from sexual relations. Burnt offerings and sacrifices were common. Some inscriptions mention numbers of animals sacrificed as high as 30 to 40. Sacrifices sometimes took place in a pilgrimage context, following the ceremonial procession around the baetyl [the sacred stone]; the blood of the animal victim, or in some instances milk as a substitute, was placed on the altar or baetyl. Incense and libations also were used. (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979)
Historians liken Muhammad to Akhenaton, since both chose one god, from among hundreds of pagan gods, to be their one monotheistic god.
What Muhammad and Akhenaten had in common:
Both were born into cultures who worshipped hundreds of pagan gods.
Both were strongly influenced by the monotheism of other religions. Jews and Christians.
Both banned the worship of all other pagan gods but the one god.
Both retained the name of the gods which the general population were familiar with: Aten was known to the pagans who predated Akhenaten, and Allah known to the pagans by name who predated Muhammad.
Both retained pagan practices and concepts in their new found monotheism.
Both employed symbolic logos to represent their gods: solar disk with sun rays. Although Muhammad my not have directly adopted the crescent moon symbol, it was adopted shortly after his death.
Both made themselves the highest human representative on earth for their gods. High priest and Muhammad the last and greatest prophet.
Neither men performed any miracles or displayed any divine powers as both Moses and Christ and the apostles did when Judaism and Christianity were begun. Akhenaten and Muhammad were a prophets without supernatural power.
How Muhammad and Akhenaten differed:
Akhenaten's chose a lower ranking god "Aten" to be his highest god, whereas Muhammad chose "Allah" who, although not the most popular god, was considered to be a top ranking god.
Akhenaten's religion was one that did not require faith as it worshipped the visible sun as god. Muhammad's religion does require faith as it worships the one true invisible god.
While Muhammad continued to worship Allah, in same temple (Kaba) before and after his conversion to monotheism, Akhenaten created a new temple in a new city for the old pagan god. The symbols and rituals of Islam are re-enactment rituals borrowed from the Bible with a grotesquely distorted mythical twist. Akhenaten is clearly superior, for like Judaism and Christianity, Akhenaten realized that a new religion needed unique symbols and meanings. Muhammad failed to come up with anything new, but heavily plagiarized other religions and local myths.
Akhenaten tolerated some other religions to be practiced under his domain. Even Muslims agree that Muhammad murdered those who hindered the spread of Islam.
From a historians point of view, both Akhenaten and Muhammad were sincere converts to monotheism, who felt they were chosen by God to proclaim his message to the world.
VI. Theologians viewpoint: Muhammad and Joseph Smith
If theologians were to compare the rise of Islam to another world religion, they would chose Mormonism.
Both were visited by an angel. Joseph Smith was visited by the angel "Moroni" and Muhammad by Gabriel. Galatians 1:6-9 says, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed."
Both were given visions.
Both were told that no true religion existed on the earth.
Both were to restore the long lost faith as the one true religion. Islam makes claim that Adam and Abraham were Muslims, a claim that is as ridiculous as it is undocumented from either history or archaeology. Mormons make the unsubstantiated claim that the church in the first century were Mormon.
Both wrote a book inspired by God.
Both claimed to be illiterate and used this fact as proof the book was inspired.
Both claimed the Bible, though originally inspired, was lost, altered, corrupted and unreliable.
Both claimed their holy book was the most correct and perfect book on earth.
Both claim that the version of books (Qur'an and Book of Mormon) we have in our hands today are identical to what the prophet revealed and that parts are not lost, altered and corrupted. Of course the proof that these claims are invalid is found in two books. The Mormon claim is proven false by a book called "3913 Changes to Book of Mormon" by Sandra Tanner. The Islamic claim is proven false by a book (In Arabic language) called, "Making Easy the Readings of What Has Been Sent Down" by Muhammad Fahd Khaaruun. Both books show that the copy of the book of Mormon and the Koran used today is different from what was originally used when each religion was started.
Both claimed to be a final prophet of God.
Both were polygamists who had many wives.
Both borrowed from paganism/polytheism. Muhammad incorporated that polytheistic moon god called "Allah" and "Allah's three daughters" into Islam. Basically Muhammad chose Allah from within 350 known gods that were worshipped in Arabia and proclaimed the moon god to be the greatest and only God. Smith borrowed from a doctrine called "pyramidology" and the Masons and other magic systems.
Both received "after the fact corrective revelations" from God. Muhammad at first prayed 5 times a day towards Jerusalem, like the Jews, but God corrected this, by having Muhammad start praying towards Mecca(He also retracted the Satanic verses). Although Smith claimed God told him Polygamy was OK, he later retracted the divine instruction just before the US government was about to clamp down. Likewise, although Muhammad revealed in the Koran that a man can have only 4 wives, he had many more than this, as a case of special exception.
From a theologians point of view, both Islam and Mormonism, may be the result of demons who portrayed themselves as angels of light.
Thank you for your time.