The Heart of Islam Part 1
Since the September 11th attacks over five years ago, most of us here in America were left dumbfounded and shocked by those events. Since then we have all been told that these horrible events were perpetrated by an Islamist fundamentalist group called Al Qaeda. We were told that the purpose of this group was to fight against America and wage Jihad (Holy war) a term that most of we Americans were not aware of. What does Islam really believe? What is Jihad? Are these so called Islamic fundamentalist really fighting a holy war? Or are these just bad men who claim to be fighting a holy war for Allah, and not really true Muslims? What is the Islamic worldview?
As I was contemplating the events of September 11th this year, I decided to set out on a mission to find out what the Islamic worldview was. I started my search at the Claremont Islamic Center here in southern California and spoke to someone in their office. I told them I wanted to make an appointment with someone who could explain to me the Islamic worldview.
I soon received a call from a very pleasant fellow named Dr. Sobah. When Dr. Sobah and I met for dinner, I was surprised to see such a young good looking man in his early thirties. Dr. Sobah is the “Youth Minister” at the Claremont Islamic Center, a Sunni mosque in southern California. Before hand, I tried to do some research and come up with some intelligent questions for him about Islam, but was very surprised to learn what I did, just from my first question alone.
My first question to Dr. Sobah was who was Allah and is he Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? His answer was a resounding yes. Allah is the same God that made Adam and Eve, and guided all the prophets of old; they are one and the same. But Jesus claimed he was God incarnate, is Jesus then your savior also? That question met with a resounding no! Dr. Sobah went on to explain how the Bible, over the centuries, had been changed. He stated that the real New Testament was no longer around, that it had been changed many times, some times deliberately to suit the needs of the Catholic Church. But, he said, the Arabic Quran was reliable. It was word for word the same from its first writing until now. So who is Jesus? He was just another prophet, he said. He was not only just another prophet, but one not as great as Mohammad.
Dr. Sobah went on to say that Jesus did not even die upon the cross, much less die for our sins. Allah would never permit such a thing he said. He went on to say that Judas was the one who died on the cross. The Angel Gabriel revealed to Mohammad that when Judas came with the solders to betray Jesus, it happened in the house where they took Passover. When he came through the door, Allah transformed Jesus to look like Judas and Judas to look like Jesus. The solders didn’t even notice that they arrested Judas. He was then beaten, flogged, and crucified in Jesus’ place because of his betrayal. Jesus was then whisked away to heaven to wait the time when he will return in submission to Mohammad to conqueror the world and judge mankind.
So I asked how does someone make it to heaven? Does not the Muslim need salvation? Doesn’t a sacrifice have to be made in order to have relationship with Allah? The Muslim might make it to heaven if he follows the five pillars and his sins do not outweigh his good deeds Dr. Sobah said. But if they are weighed by Allah and the person is found wanting then that person goes straight to hell. No sacrifice is accepted by Allah because none is needed. All one must do to go to heaven is practice the five pillars, and his good works must outweigh his sins and he will go to heaven.
Wow, that is so different than Christianity! Dr. Sobah said that is because so much of the Bible has been changed.