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Pure Motivation » General Discussion » Other Religions/ الديانات الأخرى » Review of the Abrahamic Religions

Review of the Abrahamic Religions

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1 Review of the Abrahamic Religions on Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:28 pm

Mila

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Beliefs about God and prophets
There are many similarities between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There is general agreement that God is the Creator, and is the God of Abraham. The concept of God is exactly the same in Judaism and Islam, as in the First Commandment The names of God in the Semitic languages are similar.



There is only One God, the Creator of the Universe, who is All-Powerful, Gracious and Merciful, the God of Abraham
Judaism -- Yes
Christianity -- Yes
Islam -- Yes

The First Commandment: One God

Judaism -- One
Christianity -- Triune
Islam -- One

The similarity of the commonly used name of God in the Semitic languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic)
Judaism --Elaha
Christianity --Alaha
Islam -- Allah

Moses is a Prophet of God, and the Torah is God's Word.
Judaism --Yes
Christanity --Yes
Islam -- Yes

Jesus is a Prophet of God, and the Gospel is God's Word.
Judaism --No
Christianity -- Yes
Islam -- Yes

Muhammad is a Prophet of God, and the Quran is God's Word.
Judaism -- ?
Christanity -- ?
Islam -- Yes


Beliefs about Mary and Jesus
In the beliefs regarding Mary and Jesus, the Islam is much closer to Christianity than is Judaism. While the Jews do not believe in Mary and Jesus, the Muslims have several beliefs that are same or similar: The Annunciation, the Virgin birth, the miracles performed by Jesus like raising the dead, the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven.

There are some significant differences, which are a topic for a separate discussion. Muslims even believe in the Second Coming of Jesus, that it will be Jesus himself, while the Orthodox Jews do not expect Jesus to be their Messiah in a Second Coming.

Mary is the most blessed woman in Creation
Judaism -- No
Christanity -- Yes
Islam -- Yes

Jesus was born to Mary by the command of God, a Virgin Birth.
Judaism -- No
Christanity -- Yes
Islam -- Yes

Jesus healed the lepers and blind and raised the dead by God's power
Judaism -- No
Christanity -- Yes
Islam -- Yes

The disciples followed Jesus and preached the Gospel
Judaism -- No
Christanity -- Yes
Islam -- Yes

God raised Jesus up to Heaven
Judaism -- No
Christanity -- Yes
Islam -- Yes

Jesus will return in a Second Coming
Judaism -- No
Christanity -- Yes
Islam -- Yes


Those who know the Bible and interpret it honestly will understand that the God of Muhammad and the Muslims is the God of Abraham, who is also the God of Adam, Noah, Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus, the One God as described in the First Commandment.



Some Christians argue that the God of the Christians is "Love" or "Loving", and that can not be the God of the Muslims, which raises some questions. Is the God of the Christians not the God of the Torah, and if so did He change Himself for Christianity, but we know that He is Eternal and His attributes do not change. In the Torah itself, God demonstrates His love for individuals, like Abraham whom He took as friend, and for nations through the guidance and mercy that He shows, balanced with punishment when it is well deserved. One of God's attributes mentioned in the Quran is "The Loving", so the Christian allegation is based on ignorance of Islam, for one of the characteristics of believers in the Quran that they are overflowing in their love for God, which takes precedence over all other loves.

Muslims do believe in the miraculous "Virgin Birth" of Jesus, but that does not make Jesus divine, for the creation of Adam was an even greater miracle, having no mother or father, and also the creation of Eve from Adam's rib. God, the Creator of the Universe, had only to command "Be!" and Jesus came into existence in Mary's womb, without a physical father, when the angel sent by God gave Mary the good news of a blessed son.



The next question to ask in trying to determine if Islam is a true religion from God is to ask whether God fulfilled His multiple promises given to Abraham and Hagar for the many blessings for Ishmael? We know that God keeps His promises. If He has not already done so, then should we expect a big surprise in the future, or perhaps a greater surprise, if He has already done so through Islam, for then Jews and Christians need to look at Islam not as some strange religion, but a fulfillment of God's promises in the Bible.

The promises were:

Ishmael will be blessed.
The descendants of Hagar and Ishmael will be so many that they could not be counted.
Ishmael will be a great nation and be the father of twelve princes.

Some of the prophecies and promises in the Bible are:

Genesis 16:9 The angel of Yahweh said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands.” 16:10 The angel of Yahweh said to her, “I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude.” 16:11 The angel of Yahweh said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction.
Genesis 21:17 God heard the voice of the boy. The angel of God called to Hagar out of the sky, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. For God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 21:18 Get up, lift up the boy, and hold him in your hand. For I will make him a great nation.”

21:19 God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the bottle with water, and gave the boy drink. 21:20 God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and became, as he grew up, an archer. 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.
Genesis 17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 17:21 But my covenant I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.”
(World English Bible translation: Book of Genesis)


The Bible effectively ends with Jesus, so there is no mention in it of how these prophecies and promises of God were fulfilled. To determine if God fulfilled His promises, one then has to look at the history of the world after Jesus. Muhammad is a descendant of Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael. He was sent by the God of Abraham to fulfill the promise and blessings given to Abraham and Hagar regarding Ishmael. He was born in CE 571, long after the Jewish and Christian Scriptures had closed, so the only reference to him, if any, in those Scriptures would be in prophecies.

God sent the angel Gabriel with the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, making him a prophet, and commanding him to preach the religion of Islam. Some Jews and Christians do not want to believe that an angel could come to Muhammad, but if God sent angels to his ancestress Hagar, and ancestor Abraham, why could not God send an angel to Muhammad?

Why are Jewish and Christian scholars unable to relate the prophecies in the Bible to Islam and the Muslims? One reason is lack of knowledge, for example, even the most learned Christian scholars can not name or identify the place where Hagar and Ishmael settled in the desert, a place that has been there for thousands of years, visited every year by millions of Muslims, who drink from the well that the angel opened up for Hagar and Ishmael. Another reason is deep denial because of the implications, for even if they acknowledge the fulfillment of the promises, they try to twist the nature of the blessings as being "material" only, which is a ridiculous statement to make. It could be said of the Greek or Romans that God blessed them with material things for they received no spiritual guidance and remained polytheists. Indeed God has also blessed the Muslims in the material sense compared to the Jews. When God sends a Scripture, the Quran, with His message, a Prophet, Muhammad, to expound the Scripture and imbues His love in the hearts of those who believe in Him, it is not just material but great spiritual blessings also, which is reflected in spirituality in the lives of Muslims. And by Muhammad, the Quran and Islam, many nations of the world over the centuries, millions of people, have been greatly blessed by the being believers and worshippers of the God of Abraham.

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