Answers to Common Mohammedan Objections
By Catholic Apologetics
"And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which we reveal unto thee, then ask those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee." Sura Yunus 10:95
Mohammed like any honest person was in doubt concerning his claimed revelations. Although he (in his pride/ignorance?) never resolved those doubts unto his own perdition, we hope that others would not be so insincere as to continue to live in the errors of a creed, which contradicts the very law of God. Hence we hope to resolve those doubts for the honest and sincerely open minded Moslem who is seeking the truth. In this study we have set forth we hope to answer the commonly put forwarded objections of adherents to the Mohammedan creed. Most of the questions are taken from a serious of Debates on various issues while others are fictitious but nevertheless resemble those commonly put forward by Muslims who are seeking the truth.
Q. I think because we both have several things in common. We believe in the One Creator Who sent many Prophets and in Jesus as the Messiah as well as the Word of God who was denied by the Jews. Hence why do you see us so distant from your creed?
This is a False Assumption. No, we do not speak the same language when we say God, Jesus, and Prophets-- If you believe that, then we assume you believe in the trinity, in Jesus divinity, that Mohammed was no prophet, and that the Quran is full of errors.
The words God, and Prophet don’t have the same meaning for the both of us. This is a fault in logic; it is what we call False Analogy. Further if you believe in God’s Word, in His spirit and that Christ was born of the Spirit of God. Then you must accept the Trinity, since God, His Word, and His Spirit are not separable from Him. They are all one with His essence. When speaking of the birth of Christ the author of the Quran (Sura 4:177) speaks of a "sprit proceeding from God". Yet he fails to realize (blinded perhaps by his own prejudice?) that this would logically entail the incarnation of God as Man, since either you estrange the Word of God and His Spirit from Him, or you proclaim Christ to be the Son of God straightforwardly.If you reject it you are simply declaring that God is "without-Word" and without Spirit," and so you mutilate God! It is therefore evident that Muslims must confess that there is this trinity in God. For unless you confess [it], then (since you believe that the Koran is the Book of Truth) you are convicted of ascribing to God a participant.
Allah is not just another name for God! Saying there is only one God, does not automatically mean that you have singled out the right one! Would someone who worshiped Zeus alone be worship the True God? Of Course not, he would not be worship the True God any more than an infidel who worships "Allah".
Q. If Mohammed traces his lineage to Abraham through the celebrated Koreish tribe, which sprang from Kedar.Why do you stay that we have no historical claim to being the people of God?
It wouldn't help Muhammad much being a descendant of Ishmael if his testimony is false. Same thing for Our Lord Jesus Christ; even if he was from the Davidic line, if he did not fit into the other descriptions of the messiah, he wouldn't be the messiah!
If we read the testimony of Scripture in regards to Ishmael we note that he is not the son of promise, but Isaac. We read in Genesis (the First book of the Old Testament) "he (Ishmael) shall be a wild. His hand shall be against all men". This profoundly sounds like the Arabian warring tribes from which Mohammed came and simply continued with a new name. He simply called this new warring tribe of his, Islam and falsely claimed to be under God.
Long before Moslems made such a historical claim St. Paul had well affirmed that Isaac was the son of Promise and Not Ishmael. We read in his letter to the Galatians (Chapter 4:22 - 31) that St. Paul states:
"For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman and the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar. For Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is: and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free: which is our mother. . . .Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit: so also it is now. But what saiththe scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman (Gen 21:12). So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free."
Hence it is clear that Ishmael is not the Son of Promise and so it profits you no more to be a descendant of Ishmael than it does profit a Jew to claim he is a descendant of David. Even though Ishmael was Abraham's first son, God chose to fulfill His covenant through Isaac, his younger son. All the future prophets of God and the Messiah would appear only from the lineage of Isaac, the chosen son of Abraham, without any exception.
Q. All prophets from Adam to Muhammad were sent with the same message: man's total submission to Allah. Islam means submission. Hence if Mohammed preached this submission why do you say he was wrong?
We deny that every prophets before Muhammad preached the Islamic message. One of the major themes of these pre-Mohammedan prophets is that of Original Sin and the hope of a Savior (messiah); Muhammad does not accept neither Original Sin nor that Jesus is "the Savior that takes away the sins of the world."
Long before Muhammad claimed that the Angel Gabriel appeared to him, St. Paul had expressly warned the faithful saying " But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." (Galatians 1: 8). St. Paul is here warning others in advance not to be deceived by an angel, for as he points out "Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light Satan" (2 Cor 11:14). In order for Satan to appear as a good Angel is an easy work. He is the father of lies and will do all that he can to undermine the faith. For this reason even if we do concede that Muhammad saw an angel we must admit that it was truly the devil appearing as an angel of light. Since not only does it rest upon his own testimony, but it also contradicts the scriptures and all previous oral traditions which the people of God had ever received. We might compare him to a child who was told by his father not to open the door to strangers and yet in disobedience to his father did so, only to reap the fruits of that disobedience, namely by the propagation of a false creed and the damnation of his soul.
Q. Why do you reject the testimony of Mohammed and accept the testimony of the rest of the Prophets?
The answer is quite simply because Mohammed contradicted in almost every respect the testimony of Christ and all the prophets. While Muslims insist stoutly that they accept the prophets (Sura 2:136) they nevertheless contradict the very testimony of the prophets they claim to accept!
We shall list below some truths that were clearly taught by Christ and the Prophets that Mohammed and his false creed totally contradict. Although we shall supply one verse for each contradiction it should be noted that there are hundreds of other verses from scripture, which can be found in any standard Catholic Theology book, that confirm the same.
The Testimony of Christ and The Prophets vs. The Testimony of Mohammedan Creed
|Prophet||Teaching||Quote||Contradicted by Mohammedan Creed|
|David and Job||Original Sin||Psalm
1:7: "Behold I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother
Job 14:4 " Can a man be found who is clean of defilement? There is none!"
|Denied By Mohammedan Creed.|
|Jeremias, David and Christ||Eternal Happiness Consists in possessing God.||(Jer.
9:24): "Let him that glorieth, glory
in this, that he understandeth and knoweth
Psalm 72:25 For what have I in heaven? and besides thee what do I desire upon earth? For thee my flesh and my heart hath fainted away: thou art the God of my heart, and the God that is my portion for ever. "
John. 17:3: "This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God."
Matthew 22:30 "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven"
[true believers] will sit with bashful, dark-eyed virgins" Sura
Eternal Happiness is found in the Possession of eternal pleasures such as Sex, Drinking, etc which are on earth forbidden in some manner, but in their heaven are without limits.
|Jacob and all the Prophets, we indicate a few (Genesis 3:15, 49:10, Isaias 7:14; 53, Micah 5:1)||The Expectation and Hope of Messiah,||Gen 49:10 "The sceptre shall not be taken away from Juda, nor a ruler from his thigh, till he come that is to be sent: and he shall be the expectation of nations."||Denied.|
|Adam and Christ||Marriage is monogamous - Between one Man and one Woman only and Divorce is forbidden||Gen
2:24 "Wherefore a man shall leave father
and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one
Luke 16:18 "Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery."
|“It shall be no offense for you to divorce your wives before the marriage is consummated or the dowry settled” (Sura II, vs.236|
|Isaias||The Messiah shall redeem us by his sufferings.||Isaias 53:4 "Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed."||Denied.|
|David and Christ||Christ is God, the eternally begotten Son of the Father.||Psalm
2:7 "The lord said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten
Matthew 26: 64 "the high priest said to him: I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ the Son of God. Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it."
John 8:58 "Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM" - I AM is the Divine Name that God gives to himself when asked by Moses what is his name. Christ claims the same. Hence that he claimed to be God is obvious.
|Isaias, David, Daniel, Zacharias and Christ and a great number of the other prophets.||The Christ shall suffer crucifixion and rise from the dead according to his own free will.||Isaias
53:4 "We have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by
God and afflicted. . . He was offered because it was his own will"
Isaias 11:10 "In that day, the root of Jesse, who standeth for an ensign of the people, him the gentiles shall beseech: and his sepulcher shall be glorious".
Psalm 21:17 "They have dug my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones, they parted my garments amongst them, and uponmy vesture they cast lots"
Psalm 15:10 " Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; nor wilt thou give thy holy one to see corruption." - Christ rose without experiencing any corruption of the body.
Daniel 9:26 "And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his."
Zacharias 13:6 "What are these wounds in the midst of thy hands? These wounds were given to me by those who call themselves my friends"
John 3:14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that every one who believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life"
John 10:17 " because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself. And I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again"
|Malachias, and Christ||God is "Our Father"||Malachias
1:6 "If then I be a father, where is my honour? and if I be a master,
where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts."
Matthew 6: 9 "Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name."
|God is not a Father in any sense according to the Islamic Creed.|
|Moses||Use of Sacred Image||Exodus 25: 10- 20 God said to Moses " Make two Cherubim (angles) out of hammered gold ".||Use
of any Sacred Images is Forbidden by the Mohammedan Creed.
We reverence holy images as means to elevating our mind to heavenly things, yet in response to Islamic charges of Idolatry we simply point out the Islamic contradiction, since they themselves kiss the stone Kabah when on pilgrimage to Mecca. Does this make them idolaters?
|Moses||God Commanded Abraham to Sacrifice his son Isaac who was to be the son of Promise. This was to be as a testimony of Abraham's fidelity. Although he was not required to complete the act, his fidelity to the call of God was an acceptable obedience.||God
said to Abraham (Genesis 17:21)"my covenant I will establish with
Genesis 22:2 "Take thy only begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision: and there thou shalt offer him for an holocaust"
|Mohammed claimed that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael not Isaac. A clear contradiction.|
|David and Christ||It is permitted for us to drink Wine (alcohol).||Psalm
103: 14 "Bringing forth grass for cattle, and herb for the service
of men. That thou mayst bring bread out of the earth: and that wine
may cheer the heart of man."
John 2:1 - Christ's first public Miracle was to change, water to wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. This shows not only Christ's approval of it but that the Jews themselves readily drank alcohol.
|The Quran forbids it (Sura 5:90 -92) and all alcoholic drinks.|
Q. You believe in the Trinity, and yet the word is not found in your bible, how do you explain this?
We are not Protestants or Moslems, and so we reject the notion of "Sola Scriptura"- Bible alone or "The Book Alone", we hold to the deposit of the faith (those truths essential for salvation as revealed by God), which have been handed over to the Prophets and Apostle and transmitted both orally (by preaching) and in a written form (the Sacred Scriptures). In fact unlike Islam, the prophets such as Abraham followed what is classified as a Patristic religion, which the Catholic Church holds to today. We look to what those Church Father who went before us had laid down in their writings and in their practices. Hence we look to both the Scriptures and Tradition, holding to that which was taught always, everywhere and by all.
The word trinity is not explicit in scripture but implicit. Since Christ claimed to be God, and he gives testimony of the Holy Ghost as having divine attributes, it hence becomes clear that we have three divine persons and one almighty God. The fact that word is not in scripture is another proof of the Catholic religion, since we have not tampered with the scriptures to suit the times, but rather understand the scriptures in the manner that Christ had intended them to be understood, namely according to definitive understanding as expounded by the Church which He founded as an infallible guide to salvation (Matt 16:18, Matt 18:18, 1Tim 3:15).
What we mean by the word Trinity is precisely that Christ is God and that he clearly claimed to be and so He is indeed the third person of the Blessed Trinity.
It is evident that Christ is God from the fact that He asserts of Himself that which in the Old Testament is said of God alone and thereby makes Himself equal to God. Like God in the Old Testament Christ sends out prophets, seers and doctors of the Law (Matt 23:34, Luke 11:49) and gives to the promise of His assistance (Luke 21:15/Exodus 4:15). Like God in the Old Testament He is Lord of the law and in His own perfection of power he completes and changes certain precepts of the Old Testament Law (Matt 5:21) He also claims to be Lord of the Sabbath (Matt 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5). Like God of the Old Testament he makes a covenant with man (Matt 26:18, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20).
That Christ claimed to be God is also evident from the fact that He imposes obligations on His disciples, which none but God can impose on men, such as belief in His Person and of a supreme degree of love directed to Himself personally. He wishes to be Himself the content and object of faith (Luke 9:26).
For a more lengthy exposition of the Trinity from a biblical perspective see our article on: The Trinity
Q. Doesn't the Koran reject the Christian notion of the Trinity and if so on what basis should we accept this teaching?
On the basis of the Koran itself since the Koran does not reject the Christian notion of the Trinity. The problem is that the Koran doesn't contain the term "trinity" rather the literal Arabic text states: "They are blasphemers who say that Allah is the third of three" - that is of three deities/gods - which no Christian believes in. What the Koran condemns is polytheism (the belief in more than one God), which is also condemned by Christianity.
In fact nowhere in the Quran does one find the orthodox Christian position of the Trinity attacked or defined. Instead, the Quran attacks the belief that God is the third of three and therefore those who believe such must stop saying that God is three. Furthermore, the Quran defines Christian teaching on the Trinity as the belief in God, Mary and Jesus as three gods and accuses Christians of believing in Jesus and Mary as two separate gods apart from the true God. Since no Christians hold or have ever held this the pretension to reject the trinity on the basis on the Koran is not really accurate.
Secondly, the fact is that the Quran itself teaches that Allah is tri-personal in some sense since it views God's Word and His Spirit as entities that are both distinct from Allah and yet at the same time eternal and inseparable from him. For instance, God's Spirit is personal as well as the instrument through which God grants life to man and strengthens believers:
"When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance to him." S. 15:29
Man was given life by God's Spirit, implying that the Spirit is the source of life.
"She (Mary) placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent Our Spirit (ruh), and he appeared before her as a man in all respects." S. 19:17
God's Spirit assumes the form of a man and is described with masculine pronouns. This indicates that the Spirit is not just some force, but is a divine personality.
"Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity." S. 58:22 Y. Ali
Believers are strengthened by a spirit from Himself, i.e. a spirit from God. In order for the Spirit to be able to strengthen believers everywhere implies that the Spirit is omnipresent. Yet, only God is omnipresent which essentially means that the Spirit is God. This is precisely the conclusion one Muslim scholar comes to in his footnote. Yusuf Ali notes:
"Cf. ii 87 and 253, where it is said that God strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by God with the holy spirit. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger, ‘a spirit from Himself'. Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to God, God accepts it, engraves that faith on the seeker's heart, and further fortifies him with the Divine Spirit, which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature of God." (Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, p. 1518, f. 5365)
Hence, the Spirit is of the divine essence, is incomprehensible, omnipresent, personal, and the source of Life, all qualities that are true of God.
This also refutes the Muslim claim that the Spirit of God is the angel Gabriel since Gabriel is neither omnipresent nor divine. In fact, both the Quran and hadiths clearly demonstrates that the Holy Spirit is not Gabriel:
"They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men)!" S. 17:85
According to Sahi Bukhari this verse came down when the Jews questioned Muhammad on the Spirit's identity:
Narrated Ibn Mas'ud:
While I was walking in company with the Prophet in one of the fields of Medina, the Prophet was reclining on a palm leave stalk which he carried with him. We passed by a group of Jews. Some of them said to the others, "Ask him about the spirit." The others said, "Do not ask him, lest he would say something that you hate." Some of them said, "We will ask him." So a man from among them stood up and said, 'O Abal-Qasim! What is the spirit?" The Prophet kept quiet and I knew that he was being divinely inspired. Then he said: "They ask you concerning the Spirit, Say: The Spirit; its knowledge is with my Lord. And of knowledge you (mankind) have been given only a little." (17.85) Volume 9, Book 93, Number 554
Hence, Muhammad did not even know the identity of God's Spirit. Two hadiths from Sahi Muslim affirm that the Spirit is not Gabriel:
"Narrated Aisha: The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to pronounce while bowing and prostrating himself: All Glorious, all Holy, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit." Book 4, Number 0987
This tradition makes a distinction between Angels, of which Gabriel is one, and the Spirit. This indicates that Gabriel is not the Holy Spirit.
The Quran also describes the Word of God as being personal and as having a dual aspect to it.
"Then the angels called to him as he stood praying in the sanctuary: That Allah gives you the good news of Yahya verifying a Word from Allah, and honorable and chaste and a prophet from among the good ones." S. 3:39 Shakir
John is to bear witness to a Word from God, namely Jesus the Christ. Here, Jesus is the one who is the Word from God. The fact that he is a Word from God implies preexistence, that Jesus preexisted as God's Word. This point is brought out more clearly in the two following passages:
"(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah)." S. 3:45 Pickthall
According to this passage God's Word is not a mere abstraction but rather a person. This is due to the fact that the Word of God is given a personal name, Jesus. This implies that the Muslim argument that Jesus is only a by-product of God's creative command cannot be sustained. Hence, according to this one passage the Word of God is a person who shall be known as Jesus, implying that Christ is the personal Word of God come down from heaven.
"O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not ‘Trinity': desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." Y. Ali
Jesus is both the Word of God, not just a word from him, given to Mary and a spirit that proceeds from God himself. We discover that in one sense the Quran denies the divinity of Jesus and yet in other places it affirms that he is the divine preexistent Word and Spirit from God.
Muslims try to evade the fact that Jesus is the very Word of God by indicating that he is called God's Word solely because he was created directly by God's command, kun fayakun- "Be and it is." Firstly, the problem with this is that Jesus is not simply a by-product of God's command, but is the very Word of God to man. This is based primarily on the fact that the Quran clearly teaches that the Word of God is personal and became man in the person of Jesus.
Secondly, if it were true that Jesus is God's word solely because he was created by the command of God then we would expect to find Adam called the Word of God since he was also created by God's command according to the Quran (cf. S. 3:59). Yet, neither Adam nor anyone else is ever called the Word of God.
This implies that the Quran acknowledges that the eternal Word of God became flesh, two aspects (eternal - according to his Divinity and finite - according to His human nature) united in one Person.
In fact, not only is Christ eternal and finite at the same time, the Quran itself is believed by Muslims to be the eternal speech of God in book form. This would imply that the Quran also has a dual aspect, one eternal and one finite. Yusuf K. Ibish, in an article entitled "The Muslim Lives by the Quran," writes:
I have not yet come across a western man who understands what the Quran is. It is not a book in the ordinary sense, nor is it comparable to the Bible, either the Old or New Testaments. It is an expression of Divine Will. If you want to compare it with anything in Christianity, you must compare it with Christ Himself. Christ was an expression of the Divine among men, the revelation of the Divine Will. That is what the Quran is. If you want a comparison for the role of Muhammad, the better one in that particular respect would be Mary. Muhammad was the vehicle of the Divine, as she was the vehicle... There are western orientalists who have devoted their life to the study of the Quran, its text, the analysis of its words, discovering that this word is Abyssinian, that word is Greek by origin... But all this is immaterial. The Quran was divinely inspired, then it was compiled, and what we have now is the expression of God's Will among men. That is the important point. (Charris Waddy, The Muslim Mind [New York: Longman, 1976], p.14)
Therefore in light of the preceding factors, Muslims have no case against the Trinity or the Incarnation since they themselves must affirm that Allah is somehow triune as well as affirming that the Quran, like Christ, is both eternal and finite at the same time.
Hence, if Christians are blasphemers for believing that God is a triune Being or for believing that Jesus is both eternal and finite at the same time, then Muslims themselves are unbelievers. Muslims either believe that there are three distinct eternal beings, implying that there are three Gods or must admit that God is a multi-personal Being.
Q. We know well, that by the Trinity you mean that there are three divine person in the One God, however prior to the Bible what evidence do you have to support the teaching that God is a Trinity?
While we don't claim that there is any explicit evidence in the works of the prophets prior to Christ of the Trinity, there is nevertheless innumerable accounts in the Old Testament that allude clearly to the existence of the plurality of persons in God. For example God often speaks in the plural form of Himself: (Genesis 1:26) "Let us make man to our image and likeness" (Cf Gen 3:22; 11:7).
God asks through the prophet Isaias how he who bestowed on others the power of begetting was able to be sterile as He declares, "Shall not I that make others to bring forth children, myself bring forth, saith the Lord? Shall I that give generation to others, be barren, saith the Lord thy God? (Isaias 6:9).
Secondly the Angel of the lord in his manifestations is called Jahweh, El and Elohim, and reveals Himself as Elohim and Jahweh. By this it is indicated that there are two persons, who are God: One who sends, and one who is sent (Cf. Gen 16:7, Exodus 3:2-14).
Thirdly the Messianic prophecies postulate a distinction of persons in God in so far as they distinguish God and the Son of God Psalm 2:7 "The Lord hath said to me: thou art my son, this day I have begotten thee" and in Isaias (9:6) speaking of the Messiah to come says "his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the prince of Peace" and again he later states (35::4) "God himself will come and save you" (Cf. also Ps 109:1;44:7, Isaias 7:14).
Fourthly The Sapiential Books represent the Divine Wisdom as an Hypostasis side by side with God. It has proceeded from God (according to Proverbs 8:24, by birth) from all eternity, and co-operates in the creation of the world (Cf. Prov 8:22-31, Wisdm 7:22-8;8:3).
Fifthly the Old Testament frequently speaks of the "Spirit of God" or of the "Holy Ghost" (Gen 1:2, Ps 32:6, Is 11:2, Wis 1:5) which again is another clear allusion to the plurality of persons in God.
Hence In the light of the New Testament revelation (the Bible) we may well see (John 1:1, Hebrews 1:3) in the wisdom of the Old Testament a pointer to the Divine Personality of the word, which clearly sets forth the Catholic teaching of the Trinity.
Q. Since for more than fourteen hundred years has passed and not a single word of the Qur'an has been changed, why should we not regard the Quran as the standard by which to judge other religious texts?
No real proof has ever been presented that the Quran has not bee corrupted. Muslim scholars claim that the original manuscript of the Quran is still in existence. But we ask. "Where is it?" The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam comments: "One thing is certain and is openly recognized by tradition, namely, that there was not in existence any collection of revelations in a final form, because, as long as he (Muhammad) was alive, new revelations were being added to the earlier ones."
It is clear therefore, that the bones, stones, palm leaves, tree bark, etc.. , which contained some of the material which Muhammad spoke after his (diabolic?) seizures were gathered together after his death. It is also a fact that none of these things are in existence today. They have all long since been lost or perished.
The Quran is filled with contradiction (see our article on this) which Muslim scholars at are loss to explain. In fact it is impossible to establish the original text of the Qur'an and so Muslims scholars will never be able to establish a definitive version.
There is, in fact, a virtually unanimous opinion among the early historians that the Qur'an, as it stands, is incomplete. Abdullah ibn Umar, in the earliest days of Islam, was quite emphatic about this:
It is reported from Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from IbnUmar who said: "Let none of you say 'I have acquired the whole of the Qur'an'. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur'an has disappeared? Rather let him say 'I have acquired what has survived.'" (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an,p.524).
There is also evidences of whole surahs said to be missing from the Qur'an as it is today. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, one of the early authorities on the Qur'an text and a companion of Muhammad, is reported to have said to the reciters of Basra:
"We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah) Bara'at. I have, however, forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it: "If there were two valleys full of riches, for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust". ( Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.501).
Again "We used to recite a surah similar to one of the Musabbihaat, and I no longer remember it, but this much I have indeed preserved: 'O you who truly believe, why do you preach that which you do not practise?' (and) 'that is inscribed on your necks as a witness and you will be examined about it on the Day of Resurrection'." (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.526).
Further if the Torah and Injeel (the Bible) came from Allah, as the Quran claims to be, and as "Allah" says in surah 15:9" No doubt we have sent down the qur'an and surely we will guard it (from corruption)"- why should you trust this when Allah couldn't do it for the Torah and Gospel? Perhaps he is lying again-- for the third time. Philosophically, if God is truth and when God speaks he cannot lie, then here Allah just contradicted himself-- and of course Allah would know he messed up, since he is "all-knowing." Also, was the torah and injeel adulterated pre-Mohammed or post-Mohammed? Because if it was corrupted in pre-Mohammedan times, how would the Christians and Jews-- who were not in speaking terms as the Quran indicated-- agree together to change the books? Also that would ignore the fact that the multitudes of early copies of the Bible such as the Codex Vaticanus are in agreement with the multitudes of later copies of the bible. And if it happened in post-Mohammeden times, why would Allah tell Mohammed to refer to them and that Mohammed should tell the Jews and Christians to look at their Books to prove it to themselves that Mohammed was indeed who he said he was, since as you say, these books have been corrupted? Then again, if you say right away the Bible is corrupted, you pull the rug under your feet since the Quran claims it can prove itself from the Bible!
Q. How do you answerer problem of Scribal errors in your bible?
As we have pointed out both to our Islamic and Protestant opponents such a thing is not an issue for Catholics since even if we readily grant that the Scriptures in the present state have suffered some minor alterations which can be classified as (1) changes in punctuation, (2) spelling errors, (3) changes to upgrade the language in order to make it more legible to modern-day readers, and various other minor alterations etc. It makes little to no difference since we don't believe in the "Book alone" or "Bible alone" like the Moslems and Protestants. We have an infallible guide, which is the Church Christ founded and declared would endure all ages (Matt 28) and it is this Church we look to in matters of Faith and morals. Such a system as given to us by Christ not only refutes your argument but is clearly the only system that salvation history has ever know. Even before Christ the prophets like Abraham followed what is classified as a Patristic religion, that is they interpreted the sacred text they had according to the tradition they had received from those who came before them, seeing in their practice of life and oral teachings an exemplar by which to understand the Sacred text they had.
Something that is often over looked with this question is that the Quran itself is riddled with contradiction! We will site just a few (but for a lengthy exposition see our article "The Contradictions in the Quran"):
1. Heavens or Earth? Which was created first? First earth and then heaven [2:29], heaven and after that earth [79:27-30].
2.Surah 29:27 states that all prophets came Abraham's seed. But 16:36 claims that Allah raised messengers from among every people.
3. Did Jesus Die already? Surah 3:144 states that all messengers died before Muhammad. But 4:158 claims that Jesus was raised to God (alive?).
4. Could Allah have a son? Sura 39:4 affirms and Sura 6:101 denies this possibility.
5. Wine: Good or bad? Strong drink and ... are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. [5:90, also 2:219]. Yet on the other hand in Paradise are rivers of wine [47:15, also 83:22,25]. How does Satan's handiwork get into Paradise?
6.The Koran states in one section (Chapter 6) that that Abraham was neither an unbeliever nor an idolater but else where it explicitly states that he was an idolater (Surah 19:41-50. Surah 6:74).
Q. But didn't Jesus prophesy that people would worship him uselessly and believe in doctrines made by men: "But in vain they do worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).
The text has been taken out of context for if we read Matthew 15:9 IN CONTEXT we clearly see that Christ was affirming that he did require to be worship, contrary to what you have falsely assumed. We shall quote the whole text for your benefit.
Mt:15:1"Then came to him from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees, saying: Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answering, said to them: Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said: Honour thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death. But you say: Whosoever shall say to father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee. And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition. Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying: This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men. And having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and said to him: Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized? And having dismissed the multitude, he went up into a boat, and came into the coasts of Magedan. (Douay-Rheims Bible).
Hence your interpretation is absurd. Christ himself demanded that men must worship and acknowledge him in order to be saved:
"No one comes to the Father but through me" John. 14:6
"If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself" John 12:32
"I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live" - John 11:25
"Amen, amen I say unto you that he who heareth my word and believeth him that sent me hath life everlasting" - John 5:24
"If anyone loves Father or Mother more than me, is not worthy of me" Matt 10:37
Q. The Quran denies that Christ was ever even crucified (Quran 4,156), what proof could you give to the contrary?
This Quranic error on this point is too blatant, as it (the Quran) contradicts not only the testimony of the prophets who (as we have show above) foretold that the Messiah would be put to death, but it also contradicts all non Christian historical accounts which give testimony to this fact. It seems that Mohammed denied the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ because he intended to deprive the Jews of the victory they claimed was theirs in the death of Christ. However the Quran asserts that God put somebody who looked like Him on the cross in the place of Jesus. However God is not in the business of fraud, for if he had wanted to deliver Jesus from the cross, He could have done it miraculously without having to deceive and put Jesus' likeness on someone else.
What is more, the Quran is self-contradicting on this point, as in many other point (see our article on the contradiction in the Quran), for while it claims that the Jews did not really kill Jesus it also affirms very distinctly the reality of Jesus' death in the sura of the family of Imran 3:47/54 - 48/55 as it states:
When God said: "Oh Jesus, I shall cause you to die, and then shall raise you up to me".
A clear affirmation of the death and resurrection of Christ!
Let us look however at a few of the Non Christian Testimonies that confirm the historical death of Christ (the issue of the resurrection we deal with in another question).
In the year 93-94 AD we have the testimony of the well known Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in his Jewish Antiquities (18.3.3. sub sub sections 63-64) who explicitly states:
"At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one should call him a man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin. He was the Messiah [some believe this part is a later Christian interpolation]. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. For he appeared to them on the third day, living again, just as the divine prophets had spoken of these and countless other wondrous things about him. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not died out."
Another Jewish source that confirms the same is the Jewish Talmud (complete about 220 AD), which although it speaks of Christ in offensive terms, nevertheless remains as a witness to the fact of his death of the cross under Pontius Pilate.
Amongst the Pagan Sources both St. Justin Martyr (Apol. I, 35,48) and Tertullian (Apol. V, 21) affirm in their works that in the Roman archives there existed two official reports from Pontius Pilate, telling of Christ's condemnation and crucifixion. Nevertheless we have the existing testimony of a number of great Roman historians.
Tacitus, a Roman historian who lived under the Roman Emperor Trajan, writing in his Annales which he published between the year 115 and 117 AD states that "Chrestus (that Christ), the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius" (Annal, XV, 44).
We should not omit the important fact the reality of Christ's crucifixion was never denied by any Pre-Mohammed Christian testimony (of which we could give volumes of evidence).
Q. Why do you persists in rejecting the testimony of Mohammed?
Mohammed bases the authority of his testimony on himself. Who witnessed God's giving of the Quran to Mohammed?" What prophet foretold that such a prophet would come? Why did God not provide proofs, as in the case of Moses and Jesus, so that men could be sure about your prophet?"
Mohammed claimed to give you the Quran on his own authority and yet he tells you not to do anything without witnesses (Sura 2:282), Why did you not demand of him witnesses about this giving of the Quran to him by Allah, and prophecies in support of it?
No transaction of whatever is legal for you is to be done without witnesses, yet you have accepted without a witness a book you call the Quran without any witnesses!
Christ and all the other prophets appealed to a higher authority than themselves. Christ appeals to the Testimony of the Prophets, which his life was a fulfillment of, along with the astounding evidence of His miracles. Mohammed neither had any miracles nor did he fulfill any of the prophecy of the Old Testament accept maybe those which were referring to false Prophets. Christ is everything, which Muhammad is not. Muhammad is without authority, his coming was not foretold, he worked no miracles, he revealed no mysteries. Any man could do what Muhammad has done; no man could do what Jesus has done.
What is more, the testimony of the Koran itself shows Mohammed to be a revengeful, ambitious and violent man (Koran, Chapters 8,9, 36, 33 and 47) devoid of any real attribute that would distinguish a person as being a true man of God. This is confirmed by the fact that the Islamic notion of heaven as portrayed by Mohammed in the Koran is one that only a man sunken in the sins of lust could have imagined. All the Joys of heaven consist in earthly pleasures of the flesh. This debases man to a mere animal. Yet, if a number of these pleasures are considered, even by Moslem standards as sinful here on earth, how could they cease to be sinful in heaven?
Here are just a few of the Prophesies of the Old Testament Prophets that Christ fulfilled. Although there are listed, just a few, a far greater number can be found in any standard Catholic Theology textbook:
|Prophet||Prophecy Concerning||Testimony in OT||Fulfilled or confirmed by Christ in NT (bible)||Explanatory Notes|
|Isaac||The Messiah would be from the seed of Isaac of the family line of David.||Genesis 26:4 "God said to Isaac: In thy seed Shall all the nations of the earth be blessed"||Matthew 1:1 "The genealogy of Christ: . . Abraham begot Isaac. . . And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ".||Christ
is born from the line of Isaac, from which the David the great prophet
was to come and it is from this family line that we can trace the genealogy
Jer 23:5 / Matt 1:1
|Isaias||Born of a virgin||Isaias 7:14 "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son"||Luke 1:30 "And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. ... And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.||All the Evangelists attest to this fact. Further Isaias the prophet regards this birth as "a Sign", what sort of sign would it be if he was referring to any ordinary type of birth?|
|Micheas||The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem||Micheas 5:2 "Thou Bethlehem Ephrata art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel, and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity"||Matthew
2:1 "there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, Saying: Where
is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East,
and are come to adore him.
And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel. "
|See also John 7:42|
|Jacob||At the time of the Messiah a Non Judian King will be ruling over the people of God.||Jacob about to die prophesied of Juda that: "The sceptre shall not be taken away from Juda, nor a ruler from his thigh, till he come that is to be sent: and he shall be the expectation of nations." Genesis 49:10||Matt 2:1 " When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod"||Herod was a Non Judian King ruling over the people of God. See also Eusebius Hist. Bk. 1, Chapt. 6 and Josephus Flavius, Antiq. 14.1.3 and 14.7.3|
|Daniel||Time of the coming of the Messiah and his death.||Daniel 9:25 " Know thou therefore, and take notice: that from the going forth of the word, to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ the prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls in straitness of times. And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his".||Matt 2:1 " When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod"||A week of years denotes seven years, as Leviticus (25:8) indicates and thus seventy of these weeks would make four hundred and ninety years odd. From the twentieth year of King Artaxexes, when by his commandment, Nehemias rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem (2 Esdras 2). From which time according to the best chronology, there were just 69 weeks of years, which is 483 years, to the beginning of Christ ministry.|
|Daniel||The Messiah shall come before the destruction of Jerusalem.||Danie l 9:26 after speaking about the coming of the messiah, he continues on to say " And a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary"||Luke 19:43" For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee. And they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. "||In the Year 70 AD the Romans surrounded Jerusalem and sacked the temple. Josephus Flavius give a historical account of this in his works (Josephus Flavius, Wars, 6.4.5-6). Not to mention another early account is given of it by Eusebius (Hist. Bk. III; 5-6).|
|Isaias and Malachias||God shall send a prophet to prepare the way of the Messiah||Isaias
40: 3 "The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of
the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God. . . .
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall
see, that the mouth of the Lord hath poken."
Malachias 3:1 "Behold I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts.
|Matthew 3:1 " And in those days cometh John the Baptist preaching in the desert of Judea. And saying: Do enance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by Isaias the prophet, saying: A voice of one crying in the desert, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. "||St. John the Baptism himself claims to be the one prophesies about by Isaias (John 1:23)|
|David and Isaias||Kings from the east shall bring him gifts||Psalm
71:10"The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the
kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts"
Isaias 60: 6 "The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord."
|Matthew 2:1 - 12 "When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem . . . And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. "||Clearly fulfilled in the birth of Christ.|
|Zacharias||The Messiah, the King of Israel and savior will come will be riding on a colt"||Zacharias 9:9 "Behold thy King will come to thee, the just and Saviour: He is poor and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foul of an ass".||Matthew
21:1 Jesus sent two disciples, Saying to them: Go ye into the village that
is over against you: and immediately you shall find an ass tied and a colt
with her. Loose them and bring them to me. And if any man shall say anything
to you, say ye that the Lord hath need of them. And forthwith he will let
them go. .. . .And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them.
And they brought the ass and the colt and laid their garments upon them and made him sit thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees and strewed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before and that followed cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
|Clearly fulfilled in Christ.|
|Isaias||The Messiah, Shall be God who shall not only save his people from sin, but he will also heal the sick, give sight to the blind, hearing to the death, speak to dumb etc.||Isaias 35:4 "God himself will come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free"||Matthew 4:21"And Jesus making answer said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them."||The gospels are full of a great number of miracles that Christ work in proof of his divine mission, something for which neither Buddhism or Islam can give as a testimony for their erroneous creeds.|
|Zacharias||The Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver||Zacharias 11:12 "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was prized, whom they prized of the Children of Israel. And they gave them unto the potter's field".||Matthew
26: 14 "Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
to the chief priests. And said to them: What will you give me, and
I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him.
Matt 27: 3 Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients . . .And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed and went and hanged himself with an halter. But the chief priests having taken the pieces of silver . .. .and after they had consulted together, they bought with them the potter's field, to be a burying place for strangers. "
|Clearly fulfilled in the betrayal of Christ by Judas.|
|David, Isaias and Zacharias||The Messiah shall suffer death for the sake of our salvation.||Psalm
21: 7 "I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast
of the people. All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have
spoken with the lips, and wagged the head. He hoped in the Lord, let him
deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him"
Isaias 53: 3 Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows . . . But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. . . . and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Zacharias 12:10 "And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace, and of prayers: and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced: and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for an only son, and they shall grieve over him".
Zacharias 13:6 "What are these wounds in the midst of they hands? These wounds were given to me by those who call themselves my friends"
|Matthew 27:41 " In like manner also the chief priests, with the scribes and ancients, mocking said: He saved others: himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross: and we will believe him. He trusted in God: let him now deliver him if he will have him. For he said: I am the Son of God. "||See
also the following:
Psalm 40:9/Lk 22:21
Psalm 21:8/Matt 26
Q. Could you please explain why we need Christ's redemption to be saved, for could God not simply impute to us Salvation?
No. This is not only because the holiness of God and his justice demand the punishment of sin, but also because as even the Qurán admits Man has offended God by his sins in which case man remains the enemy of God until this offense is rectified. Further something that is overlooked in this regards is that when Man sins he commits and infinite offense, since the offense is not measured by the act committed but rather by the dignity of the person offended. For example we know that there is a great penalty in committing a crime against a King or Emperor than there is in committing the same crime against a common citizen. The same thing we have with God. If we acknowledge that God is almighty as the Quran does, then we can understand that in offending God we have committed an offense against and Almighty God who is infinite.
Hence this means that we have committed an infinite offense. How can we who are finite going to be able to pay back an infinite price, which is owing for this infinite offense? We need one who is infinite to pay it back on our behalf. Now this person would also have to be Man since it was man who committed that offense against God. For this reason we needed Christ to pay the price for our sins, for He alone was infinite (God) and Man and at the same time a Man without sin (John 8:46), for if he were a sinner he could have no more paid the price for our sins than any other creature. Hence it is only logical that we need the Son of God to pay for us the price of our redemption. Without which we would still be in our sins.
Without Christ we would have no way of paying back the price of an infinite offense. Hence Christ redemption is essential to our salvation.
Q. How then did the People of God obtain salvation before Christ?
They didn't obtain salvation in the sense of going directly to heaven since they awaited their deliverance from what is referred in Scripture as Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22) as no one was able to enter into the king of Heaven until the death and resurrection of Christ for by the sin of Adam the gates of heaven had been closed.
Nevertheless to answer more aptly your question those faithful who lived prior to Christ coming were saved in the same manner as we are today, namely by hoping in the coming of the Messiah, which God promised to send at the very moment that Adam had sinned (Gen 3:15). In fact St. Paul, who was a scholar of the law at the time of Christ, points out all things of the Old Law were mere shadows of what was to come, as they symbolized the New Law or prefigured it in many ways. For example circumcision is what prefigured baptism. Another is the brazen serpent, which God commanded Moses to make and lift up (Numbers 21:8) so that those who had been bitten by serpents would look upon and be healed prefigured the lifting up of Christ on the cross, so that those who looked upon him with eyes of faith would be healed from the bit of sin.
Hence the only difference between those believers who lived before Christ and those of today is that we hope in the reality of Christ redemption, they who were prior to Christ hoped in His coming and redemption as God had promised them, and in this way they were brought to salvation. Hence it still remains that without Christ there is no salvation.
Q. Since the pilgrimage (hajj - which consists of Muslims circumambulating around the sacred stone (i.e., the Ka'bah) in Mecca, had been performed by many prophets, even by Israelite prophet, because it was built by Abraham, why then do Christians not perform this pilgrimage?
Firstly this is based on false assumption that Abraham built the Kabah , contrary to what the Quran states he built no such thing and no historical proof can be given for this. However we do know that historically the Ka'aba was first used to store the idols of traveling merchants, it had some 360 pagan gods of which "Allah" was one, he was regarded as a most high god amongst the various gods adored in the Kabah. Incorporated into the walls of this Ka’aba (Khabar) is the well known black stone, which is a relic of the idolatry of pre-Islamic Arabs. The pre-Islamic Arabs used to be idolaters and worshiped the moring star and Aphrodite (often referd to as “the moon god” – hence the Islamic symbol of the crescent moon), whom in their own lanuage they called Khabar, which, means great (for in Arabic “Kabirun” means “great; either in sixe or dignity). Herodotus mentions the Arabian cult of “the Heavenly Aphrodite” but says that the Arabs called her “Alilat” [from which the name “Allah” is taken – Herodotus 1.131 cf. Also St. John of Damascus (8th Century) PG 94. 1585 – 1598 On Heresies]. Thus the only people who made pilgrimage to this place were the pagan idolaters. Muslims are simply following in their example and not that of any true prophet.
Q. Why do the Christians reject the command not to eat pork and be circumcised and other things that we Muslims practice?
This same argument is put forward by today's Jews who observe a number of the same things that the Muslims do and yet no Muslim would deny they have not the true religion, for mere external observance do not make one a true follower of God. We mention this since if we look this issue properly we will see firstly that God did not give this command until much further on in salvation history.
Before Abraham circumcision was not known, and yet Adam and his decedents until Abraham were still truly worshipers of God. Circumcision as we previously mention was only to prefigure the Christian baptism, which incorporates one into the Church, the Ark of Salvation. Hence we have no need of it. We have the reality of what it only prefigure.
As to the fact that Christians do not forbid anyone from eating various foods as the Muslims do (i.e. Pork), Christ who is eternal wisdom itself answering it this way: "And he (Jesus) saith to them: So are you also without knowledge? Understand you not that every thing from without entering into a man cannot defile him: Because it entereth not into his heart but goeth into his belly and goeth out into the privy, purging all meats? But he said that the things which come out from a man, they defile a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man."-Mark 7:18
Not only are these words clearly in conformity with sound reason, but also Christ did not hesitate to set them forth in harsh tone for the sake of the Pharisees who were present. If such foods were intrinsically evil (devoid of any possible good whatsoever) it would not be possible to eat them under any circumstance since we can never perform and intrinsically evil act even to achieve a good end. Yet even Muslims would admit that one might be able to eat pork if that were the only thing available.
The Quran itself states on this issue that: "All food was lawful To the Children of Israel, Except what Israel Made unlawful for itself, Before the Law (of Moses) Was revealed." - Sura 3 verses 93
To prove that both the Jews and the Muslims have misunderstood the precept given on this point can be shown from the fact that they have declared Pork to be "Evil". Yet if such a thing be "Evil" in and of itself, then they would be attributing the works of "evil" to God who created all things good (Gen 1:31), such a notion or understand is evidently blasphemous!
For a lengthy exposition of this question one might consider reading St. Justin Martyr's "dialogue with Trypho".
Q. What proof can you give that Christ was really raised from the dead?
In addition to information we have given above all one can hope to set forth in defense of this is to show that such testimonies as we have a morally certain as we don't claim to be able reproduce this same miracle for you! In fact we cannot give metaphysical certitude for any historical event all that one can present is a moral certitude. For example we say that that we know that George III became King of England in 1760 but there is no person today alive who was living then to verify it. It is a historical fact but fact dependent on the credibility of historical witnesses.
Applying the same principle to the resurrection of Christ we may say that He by His own divine authority rose from the dead on the third after his death on the cross. All the Apostles and Evangelists, all the early Christians attest to this fact. All of Christians of antiquity were unanimous on this point. Now either the apostles were deceived and if so by who? Or they were deceivers, and if so how?
The Scriptures tell us that it was Christ appearance to His apostle that caused them to believe in His resurrection as prior to this they all believed him to be dead. In fact even after His resurrection the Apostle Thomas protested openly that he refused to believe unless he saw the risen Christ himself, and so Christ did appear to him in the flesh affirming to him "Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed" (John 20:29). It is evident from the fact that the apostles gave their lives in testimony of this fact that they were not hoping to deceive others. In fact from amongst all the eyewitness of Christ resurrection (the scriptures tell us there were a great number who later saw the risen Christ - 1 Cor 15:6) non-ever denied it when they were subjected to do so under pain of death. If their testimony was false we could be sure that at least one would have succumbed to the various torments used to torture those who followed the Christian faith during the early persecution of the Christians by the Roman authorities.
The very fact that the dating system of entire world is based on the birth of Christ which has split human history in two, shows us that Christ testimony and claims were not that of a mere man. He was indeed God. The impact he had on the world, no other figure has had.
Its worth mentioning on this same point that Catholic Church has a well documented history of Miracles and other unexplainable occurrences that are beyond doubt true and authentic since a great number of them have even been subjected to scientific examination and have showed themselves to be beyond the explanation or powers of nature. These have served to confirm its divine origin and its divine mandate to teach all nations (Mark 16:15), this however is something lacking to Islam. It has no proof of Miracles. Mohammed never worked any. He came without any divine confirmation expecting people to believe his testimony. His proof was simply the power of his word (sword?) that is something that is common amongst all deceivers. In fact The Catholic Church, in contrast with Islam teaches her children a law opposed to the corrupt inclinations of human nature, she is a living contradict to the carnal minded religions such as Islam. Yet She continues to grow even in adversity.
For a lengthy exposition on the question of Christ resurrection see our article on: The Resurrection
Q. Why is the Bible so full of fantastic stories of the Miracles Christ worked, are these not exaggerations?
No! Anyone who reads the Gospels without prejudice sees in every page of them that miracles were one of the most effective means employed by Christ to prove to His hearers that He was their Messiah performing His divine works and giving the "signs" that Isaias had foretold, - "If I do not the works of My Father, believe me Not. But if I do them and ye will not believe me, believe the works themselves that ye may and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father" - John 10:26 (See also Matt 11, John 25:24). Now if Christ really performed those works (miracles) of healing, if He did actually raise the daughter of Jairus, and Lasarus, and the son of the widow of Naim from the dead, then he truly was who he claimed to be, the Son of God. But if He did not raise them from the dead, then since He claimed to do these deeds as proofs of His divinity, He was in truth the blasphemous impostor that the chief priests said He was. Anyone who, though really only human, induces men to worship him as God is both a conscienceless liar and a promoter of idolatry.
In considering the credibility of Christ’s miracles, we should also not forget that they were often wrought in the presence of hostile and skeptical observers. The whole ninth chapter of St. John’s Gospel is an illustration of this fact.
Miracles cannot be regarded as something accidental that is they cannot be regarded as something that can be omitted without doing essential damage to revelation. They not only authenticate the message, but also are part of that message.
Mohammed never substantiated any of his claims with a miracle as a sign of divine approval for his doctrine. On the contrary he openly admitted that he was not able to work any miracles (Koran, Chapters 13 & 17).
Unlike Christ, Mohammed never substantiated any of his claims with a miracle as a sign of divine approval for his doctrine. On the contrary, he openly admitted that he was not able to work any miracles (Koran, Chapters 13 & 17).
Note: For a far greater exposition and refutation of Mohammed's teaching and works (i.e. The Koran) is found in our article "A Scrutiny of the Koran" by Fr. Nicholas of Cusa.
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