Monday, September 10, 2007

My Letter to Muslim Law Student , 19, in Egypt

Hello, Mohamed,

[My blog response on Mohamed's website --link to it is on the right side of my blog page.]

I am a lowly woman, a grandmother and a Christian, in America.

I believe the Bible is an accurate historical account of God's involvement with man, his highest creation.

I believe that Jesus Christ was sent from God to save us from our sins. Our deeds need not be weighed on the scales of good and evil. We can know we are saved for eternal life with God because of what Christ did on the cross.

He is the Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His life outweighs our sins on the scales. When Abraham went to sacrifice his son out of obedience to God, God provided a lamb in place of the child for the sacrifice.

In Jesus Christ, God provided the lamb for the world --all our sins. We are no longer under the curse of death and the burden of our sins. We are not going to be weighed and found wanting--as to whether our deeds were good or bad. Instead, Jesus paid the debt for our sins--and we choose to be as good as we can out of love and obedience to Him. We agree with Him and His Word about the definition of right vs. wrong.

You said you believed the Old and New Testaments as well as the Koran--but the Koran changes the story of Jesus --and says Jesus did not die for our sins and rise from the dead. Yet the whole New Testament is very convincing. The first Christians believed this very thing --and were willing to die for this truth--because many of them had witnessed His miracles, His death and His resurrection. They knew Jesus was more than a prophet.

Then Mohammad (blessed be His name, you would say) says HE, himself, is the greatest prophet --that HIS written version of Jesus' life and ministry should be believed --even though he was not there and he himself did not rise from the dead.

Why should you believe Mohammad instead of those who wrote as eye witnesses about Jesus, the true Prince of Peace --who never told anyone to "kill the infidel." Who never referred to Christians as swine and Jews as apes --which references were recently found in new Saudi textbooks for Muslim school children.

I heard the fellows on your blog [see my blog list links at the right] challenge you to denounce the 9/11 tragedy and Osama. Did you do that? I don't think you did.

[Today, Mohamed, did criticize murder of civilians on his blog.]

You just continued to defend Islam and denounce bad Muslims generally.

I think you would rightly fear reprisal from other Muslims if you name Osama as a bad man and denounce the events of 9/11. Am I right about this? I suspect there is much to fear in your own mosques --from fellow Muslims.

Did you deny that many Muslims DO oppress women according to Koranic teaching? that women do not have drivers' licenses in Saudi Arabia, is that true? that Iran is doing more than defending itself --but oppressing its young people and women terribly. (see this week's Newsweek? magazine--an article by an Iranian woman reporter.)

Iran would use the bomb to annhilate Israel; their leader threatened Israel in a speech. He denies their right to exist. So does Palestine.

I don't think Iran is just interested in self-defense --I think they are dangerous to the world if they have nuclear energy.

We, on the other hand, are not. Granted we shot off the first A bombs and ended war with Japan--whose military leader wanted to keep fighting --but after the bombs, the emperor surrendered. They did attack us first. They were not going to quit. It was against their sense of honor to surrender. They were very cruel to our prisoners of war, forcing them to march to their deaths. It took those A bombs to stop them.

I think america would be very reluctant to use such bombs again --but some are so weary of the middle east and their hatreds --they say to make the whole area into a parking lot. I don't say that. It's not right to say that. It's not CHRISTIAN to say that. But the whole world is getting weary of Islamic terrorism and wishes the rest of the peace-loving Muslims would have peace with each other and take care of their own criminals.

Nice to meet you. I wish you well in your studies --and hope you will open your mind to discuss these issues I raise.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Mohamed said...

Hi Madam barb,

Thanks for your comment on my blog.

Here you are my reply on this kind letter.

Firstly; as for my belief concerning to Prophet Jesus. I believe in him as a great prophet sent by Allah to guide people to the right path, to invite people to follow the true religion, to worship the One true God, to be peaceful and have best ethics. But I don't believe in him as a God or son of God. Yes, he had amazing miracles but all by Allah.

In addition; I don't believe that he was put on the cross to salvate me. Instead, I believe -away from my Islamic religion- that every one is responsible for his own deeds, every one will one's deeds will be weighed whether good or bad, every one will be retributed for his good deeds and punished for his bad deeds. In Qur'an it's clear; ".. Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear of burdens can bear the burden of another. .." 6:164 I think that by this belief in Salvation then every one can do any thing, and sins as he like because there is no punishment, he is salvated.

Who said that Prophet Muhammad ordered Muslims to kill infidels?!! Please provide evidences. And what about this monkeys and pigs?!! That's true that Qur'an mentioned the story of the Jews who had disobey Allah's orders so they had been metamorphosed into monkeys and showed the good Jews who obeyed Allah who rescued that punishment, but it never said that all Jews are monkeys. As for Christians, no, there is no description of them as pigs or monkeys. If you know the link of that Saudi textbook, please I need it.

I'm so disappointed that an old woman like you who may read much and have much experience would think about Islamic community like that. No, a mosque is a place for the pray and a place for Muslims to gather and meet 5 times a day, a place to strengthen ties among Muslims. A mosque also is a place to teach Islamic principles, to teach Fiqh. To teach how to help the poor, how to work hard, how to be faithful. It's not a place to fear or to oppress others or to shut mouths or to restrict freedoms.

Yes, may be they don't drive in Saudi Arabia, and that's not good, and I refuse that. But they drive in Egypt, Bahrain, Algeria, Emirates ... etc. What about Amish in America?!!! And is that the only thing you know about Muslim community?!!! Don't you know that they pay the Zakat to help the poor and to help who can't to marry ... etc?!!! Don't you know that their social ties are very strong?!! Don't you know that Qur'an order Muslims to be peaceful in war times?!! Don't you know that Prophet Muhammad ordered Mojahedeen in their wars not to kill a child, woman, priest, injured?!! Don't you know that Prophet Muhammad said that the best of Muslims is the best in ethics?!! Don't you know that Qur'an and the prophet order Muslims to deal kindly and justly with non-Muslims?!!! mmm I don't think that your media tells you about that, it only presents Qaeda, 9-11 and tells that this is Islam.

Dear Barb, the image of Islam is so corrupted in the West, because of many reasons; one of them is bad examples of Muslims like Bin Laden and Zawahri who commit their crimes against innocents under Islam name, and one of these reasons of this corrupted image is the Western media which intense on these bad examples and represent them as the only Muslims. Dear Barb, if we really need to change this corrupted image we should cooperate, we should have open minds and early before that we must have the real intent to reach the knowledge about true Islam. (See my post; 'Why don't we discuss?!!')

If you are intersted about my point of view about 9-11, you may need to check my last post; 'Why an innocent be killed?!!'.

Thanks for your letter again.

Mohamed (Muslim law student) ;)

Barb said...

I appreciate your response.

From an 8th grade Saudi text used in Wahabi schools around the globe: "As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."

What is Ibn Abbas?

The web address to the whole Washington Post article:

I don't know how to make a link -sorry. So just cut and paste the above into your web browser and you'll see what I'm talking about.

I don't mind their texts that say your religion is the one true religion. Because I believe my religion is the one true religion. And we can still discuss these things and be friendly. Tolerance is NOT agreement --it is getting along with one another in spite of our disagreements.

What is more serious to me are the passages of text books that say Muslims cannot be friends of non-Muslims.

Christianity says we are to love God, neighbor as much as self, brother (family) and enemy. We are not to fellowship with those walking in darkness --but this means that we can't (in our youth especially) choose bad friends if it means we will get into trouble with them. It doesn't mean that we can't be friendly to and kind to and even loving to people who are in darkness.

Say, I'm not an "old lady." Just a 60 year old grandmother. I've got to be 80 to be old, I think.
: D

Barb said...

Why would you think that Mohammed was a greater prophet --he who did no miracles, greater than JEsus who did the miracles?

Yes, Jesus' power is from God, His Father. The New Testament says that jesus is God's only begotten son. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life."

Mohammad comes along and says something different. How do you know his source of inspiration did not deceive him and thus, you--and make you think that you only can save yourself --when from the beginning, there was a lamb sacrifice offered by God in substitution for the child of Abraham. And so JEsus is offered in substitution for us as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He died, so that we could have life --just as Abraham was given a lamb so his son could have life.

we have moral responsibilities as God-followers/believers, but we don't save ourselves. God saved us with the sacrificial lamb, jesus Christ, who is described in Isaiah 53, "led to his death like a lamb to slaughter" "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities (sins.)" Isaiah 53 prophesied Jesus' death long before He actually came.

Why would the first century Christians die for the Resurrection story--except that they really DID see the REsurrected Christ?

why did Mohammad change the original story about Jesus?

Maybe he didn't. Maybe the angel of light, Lucifer, Satan himself inspired Mohammad's visions. Didn't Mohammad himself question that, as I recall?

Mohamed said...

Madam Barb,

I think that's true that we can befriend with each other. And this freindship don't oppose with differences in points of view. Actually I have an agnostic friend from America, she is a 67 years old woman from Port Orchard, Washington. We are friends for about two years till now, and we don't meet in the same place in many cases, but we are still friends.

Yes, you are still a young woman, 60 years isn't that much ;) We say in Egypt; 'Youth exists in heart'

I'm busy now, so I prefer to postponed arguing about your Christian belief to another time. I'll be happy to discuss it.

Thanks again for your comments on my blog.


Barb said...

I understand about being busy--especially for students.

mud_rake said...

I'm so disappointed that an old woman like you who may read much and have much experience would think about Islamic community like that.

Well, Mohamed, we who know the 'old woman' are not one bit surprised by that.

She has posted fairly awful things about Islam and Allah on my blog. She has no tolerance for any 'religion' except fundamental Christianity.

Not just Christianity, but only HER kind.

Intolerance is her trademark.

Barb said...

Don't worry about ol' Mud Rake here. He's just miserable --and I'm sorry to say, but when it comes to me, his word is not to be trusted. I have tolerance --I just don't believe the other religions are true and taking people to Heaven. And you probably think Islam is the only path to paradise --which is a tenet of Islam, I believe. And you and I can get along fine debating these differences.

As for criticism of Islam, you already have heard it all, I'm sure. And some of those things have already come up between you and me.

mud_rake said...

As for criticism of Islam, you already have heard it all, I'm sure. And some of those things have already come up between you and me.

So, barb, did you tell him he's a fool for praying to Allah? Did you tel him Allah is a false God but YOUR God is true and faithful? Did you tel him that he's going to Hell if he doesn't convert to Christianity? Did you tell him that only the BLOOD of Jesus can 'save' him from eternal darkness?

I hope you scared 'the hell' out of the young man. You are always so righteous and loving.

Barb said...

I try to never tell even a fool that he's a fool--beyond quoting scripture that says, "The fool has said in his heart, 'there is no God.'"

which is not Mohamed's claim. he believes in God as Allah.

Jesus warned us not to call people fools as in "thou fool!" though He Himself must have been sorely tempted.

I don't mind telling Mohamed that I think his prophet Mohammad was a false prophet, however, because Mohammad's angel source changed the New Testament's very significant claims of Jesus and his followers --regarding faith in Him being the path to Heaven.

If Mohammad had been greater than Jesus, God would have raised HIM from the dead and given HIM power to do miracles --but such was not the case, so like you, Mohamed believes in a human Jesus with no divinity and no resurrection--just prophet status though he does believe in the miracles.

I'm rather certain our Mohamed here probably believes that Islam is the only way to Paradise --and this is NOT a contentious claim between us --or rather, while we disagree on the path to Heaven, we can still talk about it without disrespecting each other's intelligence or personhood because we don't agree. He makes a case on his blog for Islam as a truly kind, peaceful religion

but He does believe Allah's love is conditional--He loves us IF we are good. We say God's love is unconditional this side of death--that He doesn't want anyone to perish--and that there is no way we can be good enough to merit salvation with a holy righteous God

--but Christian doctrine says there is a point in Christianity where God punishes for eternity if we will not repent and believe in His gift of Jesus Christ. Islam also believes in Hell for people who do not believe in Islam --but they also believe Heaven is dependent upon their own deeds --and Jihad.

Mohamed here says he disagrees with the type of Islam that would justify 9/11 or killing of innocents --that the citizens (like the children) are not guilty even if Muslims think our government is.

However, fundamentalist Islam WILL justify, by their scriptures, the killing of non-Muslims --which Mohamed denies at this point --as an act of JUSTICE because citizens of the west ARE guilty sinners by their lifestyles.

If Christians only had the Old Testament, we might think war against evil people who are Hell-bent anyway would be justified --that the children were going to grow up as evil as their parents (the Molech worshippers who sacrificed their children, e.g.) --

but Jesus gave hope for the unbelievers --all the Gentiles could also be "children of God" "chosen of God" --if they would follow Christ. At the time, Jews thought this was blasphemy because they had the special relationship with God, through the covenant with Abraham.

With Jesus comes a new covenant for all who believe in Him--the covenant of His blood which washes away our sins --to be brought up against us never again. DELETED from God's computer of records --where every thought and deed of every human are recorded --unless we accept the sacrifice of the Lamb for those sins--and then they are erased from our history.

We both agree that non-believers of our respective religions are Hell-bent --the Muslim prophet Mohammad said it about those who do not follow the Koran who do more evil than good --Jesus said it about receiving and believing HIM and trusting in His righteousness for salvation. Jesus says we WILL live lives of compassion and be forgiven for our failures when we love and trust Him and repent of our sins. Mohammad says our good deeds will be weighed against our evil ones.

However, as we have seen, some branches of Islam teach that killing the unbelievers is JUSTICE and that Allah rewards those who kill the evil-doers and unbelievers --such as Christians, Muslims, agnostics and atheists.

The U.S. is seen as the Great Satan for our exporting of hedonistic pursuits, immodesty, feminism, abortion, porn, sex clubs, sexual immorality, alcohol, etc. (Never mind Muslims who grow the poppies for drug use.) And we orthodox Christians will agree with Muslims that God DOES want us to be modest and moral people --but the righteousness of Christ is not to be a burdensome yoke upon people as it is in countries of the burka.

As He said, "Come ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest....My yoke is easy; my burden is light." Jesus considered the Pharisees oppressive in their legalism. I'm sure He would see the Iranian authorities the same today for their oppression of women regarding coverings. And Mohamed here might agree.

We will have some common ground --though he will think I must accept Mohammad as the greatest prophet to gain paradise --and convert --I will think he must believe in Christ to gain Heaven.

But I will certainly not be calling Mohamed a fool for being devout about the religion in which he was raised.

Mohamed said...

Hello Madam Barb,

As for your Christian belief that Jesus came to wash our sins, it's not accepted for many reasons;

First; it opposes the concept that every one is responsible for his deeds whether bad or good. I'm not responsible for your deeds, I'm not going to be punished or retributed for your bad or good deeds. I accept the concept of the sacrifice (lamb) which was instead of Prophet's Abraham son, but a lamb is an animal, an animal won't be asked in the Day of Judgement, but a human will be asked. There is a difference.

Second; it invites for negativity. You say that by the belief that Jesus came to be crossed for us removes our sins, I think that this lead to the result that no one have to work or do good deeds because he is washed out of his sins only through this belief. In Islam belief is important and comes first, but belief alone isn't enough, this belief must come with work. I believe that Allah is the One God and that He sent Qur'an for me and that Islam is my religion, is it enough?!!! After this belief will you set in your home and say that I'll enter paradise with that belief?!!! No, that's completely wrong. Belief is assured by work, you believe then you work. And in every time you find belief is mentioned in Qur'an you'll find that work comes after it. But in your Christian belief only the belief that Jesus came as your salvator is enough to have eternal life (enter paradise) opposes the concept that you must work by yourself to be rescued from fire and enter paradise.

Third; there is no text in Bible which explains that, I don't find a text showing that Jesus is going to be the sacrifice or that he is the lamb which will be instead of us.

I too believe that Israel has no right to exist. If we approved on its legality, then any group will be able to invade lands of others, kill and destroy, steal and declare a state and then be legal. This is briefly what Israel did. I ask you here a question and hope that you be able to answer it (3 Americans before you weren't able to answer it) How you see Israel?!! What do you think about the way of declaring it?!! Jews came from every where of the world to Palestinian lands, they started to kill children, destroy homes, then they lived in homes of Palestinians who were evacuated to streets, then ... Israel is our state. Do you see it the same way or by another view?!! And if you have another view; how you see millions of Palestinians have been killed or evacuated?!!!! I hope that you be able to answer not like the other 3.

I support you that those misguided Muslims must understand Islam rightly and understand the reality of Jihad. I said it before; teach them before fighting them. But for pity, Muslims in these times aren't in their power, they don't make their roles rightly, the concept of ".. inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong.." which exist in Qur'an and Sunna isn't be done well now.

If we Muslims are divided but we aren't like Christians do. We all approve on one concept of God. Allah is One and there is no God but Him, He has no wife and no son. Christians don't have this one concept. You know; when Prophet Muhammad was alive two groups of Muslims fought, he was so angry then and said; 'You're doing that when I'm alive?!!! Leave it, it's stinky'. No Muslim is happy of what happen. And I think that there is outer parties who make it hotter and hotter. Who knows?!!

It's the pleasure that we discuss together your belief. If you're interested in that I'll be happy.


Barb said...

First of all, Christians agree that "... as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26

But we are "saved by faith, and not works, lest any man should boast."

Jesus also said of HImself, "I am the vine, you are the branches....the branches that bear not fruit, will be cut off --and burned..."

So He is confirming what you believe, that our lives should reflect the goodness and works of God.

He also said in Matt. 5:16 -- "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

On the other hand, the thief on the cross, beside Jesus, was a bad man in his deeds--but He believed in Jesus -- and admitted his own guilt and Christ's goodness --and for that, Jesus said he would be with Christ that day in paradise.

God can save anyone He wants to save and for any reason. He promises to save those who repent of their sin and believe in His name--i.e. believe that He is the Savior. And our faith should produce good fruit.

But it is not our goodness that saves us --our goodness is the fruit of being saved, the evidence of it. But our goodness is not good enough. Jesus is the only one who was good enough to be the sacrifice for our sins.

Jesus said, "All your righteousness is as filthy rags." "There is none righteous, no not one." "All have sinned and come short of God's glory."

He illustrated this when He said that a man commits adultery even when he lusts after another woman --in other words, he was telling the righteous Jewish Pharisees that, though they kept the law, they violated it in their hearts --and thus could not call themselves righteous. He said they were like whited sepulchres filled with dead man's bones. And to one who came to ask him how to be saved, He said, "You must be born of the Spirit --born again." God renews us and wipes away all our sins. Jesus died so His blood would atone for our sins.

John the Baptist said of Jesus, "Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Scholars believe He was sacrificed at the same time of the day when the Passover lambs were sacrificed n the temple for the remission of the Jews' sins. Jesus' sacrifice was for the sins of everyone in the world.

and while we believe that we need only to believe in Christ in order to be saved --if we ARE saved, we will seek to do good; it is the evidence of our faith --as you say of yours. We needn't fear that our good deeds are being weighed against our bad ones. We do not live in fear of the scales of judgment --we want to do good because He loves us and we love Him.

God's Holy Spirit, promised by Christ, is given to the believers and helps them to overcome temptation to sin. Jesus said He enters into the believer --so that "it is not I, but Christ, who lives within me." "Behold I (Jesus) stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and will open the door, I will enter and fellowship/dine with him."

As for a wife of God, there is no Christian, bible-based religion which says God has a wife --the Catholics call Mary, the Mother of God, because she is the mother of Jesus who is God's Son --but no one calls her DIVINE --though Catholics almost elevate her to that position with people praying to her, etc. The protestant (non-Catholic) Christian churches, the evangelicals, do not call Mary the Mother of God the Father --or His wife --but she is a fully human person who found favor with God and was chosen to be the vessel through whom God would send His only begotten son --but the Bible does not call her a God or the wife of God --nor do the Christian churches (except Mormonism which is not based on our Bible but on the BIble PLUS the Book of Mormon which is one man's writings --as your Koran is based on the Old Testament PLUS one man's writings)

About Israel later....I need to do some research.

Barb said...

Apparently, the Mormons believe that God had many wives and that Jesus and Satan were his sons. That's not what the bible says--just Joseph Smith says that in His Book of Mormon.

it's interesting that both Mohammad and Joseph Smith extend their religious texts from the Bible --Smith using more of it than Mohammad did --and both of them claimed to be inspired by angelic visitor. Interesting to me that Lucifer was an angel of light --and is the devil. I do believe that both Mohammad and Smith were deceived by Satan --and both have millions of followers today who do not believe what the Bible says and what the eye-witnesses said about Jesus Christ. Mormons believe we can all become gods, as i understand it.