Islam in Wonderland

You can’t be a good Muslim if you don’t have a flare for myths and fantasies. The core one says “islam is the religion of all the prophets of God.” Muhammad’s claims are so full of holes- historically and logically- that believing them requires a wandering out of the realm of reality. Believing in islam is like having goggles on that helps you to step into a world of virtual reality where you encounter fictitious or mythical characters designed from the imaginations of a computer programmer. This is why islam can only be defended by violence. When you believe in reality and facts, you don’t need to resort to jihad.

Every history book agrees that Muhammad was the founder of islam. Before him, Islam simply didn’t exist. Muhammad himself said he is “the first” to be a Muslim (Q 6:14, 163). But Muslims know this can have a devastating effect on their spurious dynasty of a long line of islamic prophets traced back to Adam, so they twist it to say he was the first among the Arabs to be a Muslim. When his religion expanded, Muhammad himself forgot his earlier lies (liars have poor memory). He later claimed Moses said “I am the first Moslem” (7:143). What a funny book. How can there be two “firsts?”

It even gets bigger. In Sura 2:127-128 Abraham and Ishmael are presented as Arabs who built the Kaaba praying: “Our ‘Lord! Make us Muslims…” Sura 2:132 also says Abraham left a legacy to his sons and Jacob saying: “Allah has chosen faith for you, then die not except in the faith of Islam”.

Historically, the terms “Muslim” or “Islam” didn’t exist at the time these men lived. Whoever wrote the Quran must be a fraudster making up fictional speeches for Bible characters. Our Muslim friends desperately cleave to these myths by throwing about a loose argument: “All the prophets taught us to worship one God, so they are Muslims!” By this definition, anyone who believes in “one God” is automatically a Muslim. Since Jews, Zoroastrians, Sikhs and even some Satanists believe in “one God”, they are Muslims! No, this pig won’t fly. Nice try though.

Muslims apologists love to slander the Bible in their dawah lectures, books, and mosques as “porny”, a collection of fairy tales or evil, but when it comes to tracing their Islam back to solid history, they don’t go to the Vedas or Ramayana, they go to that dangerous Book, yes, the Bible. “There is islam in the Bible!” the Muslim bleats with certainty. And when you ask him where it is, they point to Exodus 40:30-31, and say “Moses did ablution.” Here is the passage:

“And he set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there, to wash withal. And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat.”

Only Moses, Aaron and his priestly sons washed themselves, not all the worshipers. And there is no way a sacrificial altar would be allowed in a mosque so you can’t say he was observing ablution.

Muslims don’t want to let go. They tell us Moses and Aaron were Muslims because “fell on their faces, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them” (Num. 20:6). But they didn’t do ablution before they bowed! Again, does the glory of God appear to Muslims as they bow to their Allah? No. So the God they prayed to is not the deity of Islam.

Others point at Nehemiah 8:6 where Ezra and the people “blessed the LORD…while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads…”
The Muslim claim this is also an “islamic” way of worship. By this definition, anyone who lifts up his hands and bows his head is a Muslim! What about the crippled, the lame who can’t bow or those whose hands were amputated by Sharia law for stealing and have no hands to raise? They can’t worship Allah- right? If Allah wants to be worshiped only by bowing and hand-lifting, why did he even prescribe that law? This argument folds upon itself on scrutiny.

As if these are not bad enough, Muslims claim Jesus too was a Muslim because he practiced ablution.”He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet” (Jh 13:5). I am still waiting to meet a Muslim who will show me where in his books the washing of the feet alone equals ablution. After that he will have take me to a mosque where the imam performs ablution (wud’u) by washing the feet of his congregants one after the other. It will be a sight worth seeing. Until then, no self-respecting Muslim should appeal to this verse again; unless he wants to shoot himself in the leg, theologically and logically.

This pathetic attempt to co-opt Jesus into a Muslim is based on Muhammad claim in the Quran that Jesus began to talk shortly after he was born saying:

“I am a servant of Allah; he has given me the book and he has appointed me a prophet…to offer salat and give zakat so long as I shall live” (Q 19:29-31)

This was an old fairy tale stolen from an apocrypha work called The Arabic gospel of Infancy. There it was alleged that “Jesus spake in his cradle and said to Mary his mother ‘verily I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Word which thou hast borne…” (Ch 1) Muhammad altered this story and changed the words of the fictional Jesus to fabricate his own mythical version of a Muslim baby Jesus (using islamic terms like “salat” and “zakat”). Such a myth maker as this man would have done a better job than Alice in Wonderland.

According to the hadith, a Muslim is one who observes all the 5 pillars of Islam- recites the shahada, prays (salat), give alms (zakat), performs hajj and fasts (ramadan) (Bukhari 1:7). Since Jesus did not say the creed, perform the salat, give zakat, perform the pagan hajj or observe the ramadan, by the islamic definition, He was not a Muslim. Muslims argue,”but he did rakat, he bowed his head the way we Muslims do.” They cite Matthew 26:39

“And he went a little further, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
Does this sound like an islamic prayer? Jesus addressed God as “My Father” in His prayer, Is Allah the Father of Jesus Christ? So how can Jesus be said to practice islam?

The Quran is full of legendary stories and recycled fairy tales, some of which were weaved into Bible characters. Take for example, the case of king Solomon. In the Quran, he is portrayed as one who is able to listen to the discussion of birds and ants:

“At length, when they came to the valley of ants, one of the ants said ‘get into your habitation lest Solomon and his hosts crush (under foot) without knowing it.” (27:18)

One wonders how Solomon was able to maintain his sanity hearing thousands of insects all around him “talking” day and night? Or how does an ant have the brains to recognise people or know they want to get crushed? Islamic scholar, Muhammad Assad has even dismissed this tale as a borrowed legend:
“This is the Quranic moral of the legendary story of the ant. The Quran alludes to many poetic legends which were associated with his (Solomon’s) name since early antiquity and had become part and parcel of Judeo-Christian and Arabian lore long before the advent of Islam.” (The Message of the Quran, Dar Al-Andalus, 1993, 578).

If all the prophets of old as recorded in the Quran were Muslims, then one wonders why Muhammad was grossly inferior to them in acts and signs. Did Allah loose his power over time? Ibrahim’s son was spared from death, but why did all of Muhammad’s sons die? Saleh pronounced Allah’s doom on the people of Thamoud and they all died, but Muhammad cursed and invoked doom and nothing happened until he had to take up his sword. Musa showed signs to the Egyptians and turned a stick to a snake and back to a stick, why couldn’t Muhammad do that to convince the pagans? Suleiman had jinns which helped to bring him wealth from the bottom of the sea, why did Muhammad had to instead resort to robbing merchant caravans to get rich? Jesus Christ raised the dead, opened the eyes of the blind and cleansed the leprous, but Muhammad could do none of these. What makes him “the greatest prophet”? It doesn’t just add up.

If all the prophets of old were Muslims, where are their books and mosques? How did they know the Qibla, salat, toilet rules and the rituals of hajj? How did they recite their shahada? Since they all came before Muhammad, it means they didn’t follow “the perfect example for mankind” (33:21), “the seal of the prophets” (33:40) and the man with “an exalted standard of character” (68:4), then their “islam” was non-existent!

The Quran says: “We sent not a Messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make things clear to them. So Allah leads astray whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases and He is Exalted in power, full of wisdom.” (Q 14:4)

If this verse is true, that every people had a messenger to teach them (islam?) in their language, which prophets were sent to the Indians? They have a wide variety of languages and their religions (Hinduism, Buddhism etc) date back to many centuries ago. Where are the books and teachings of these ancient prophets? In Nigeria, there are also different languages, when were these messengers sent to them? Where are their revelations in all these languages? What about the Aztecs and Incas, was Islam their past religion? Islam has no proofs, but blind belief in myths! Leave the myths, stick to the facts.

Dealing with Loss and Grief

“I was asleep in my dorm room when my sister called. She was frantic and crying, and said mum was in a plane crash. It took me a while to digest” says Jimmy. “It was the longest night of my life. On Sunday morning, when I later called home, my father told me they found her, but that she didn’t make it. I think at that moment, my legs buckled and the room seemed like it was spinning and I couldn’t understand it.”

A widow whose husband died at work laments: “He wasn’t sick before he left the house. He wasn’t given to fasting, so he would always eat well. We ate together before he left the house that morning. So, how did it happen? What happened to him?” Holding her baby in her arms, she cried in anguish: “He never came back. They only brought his bag home…I never knew I wouldn’t see him again. The next time I saw him was in death. Who would take care of his four children?”

These scenarios play out all over the world. We have all received news of someone’s demise before. He or she could be a friend, relative, marriage partner, colleague, church member, or a lover. We all know how we felt at that moment. “When I received news of my mother’s death, I fainted” said Tope. “I didn’t know my father, but my mother put in all her effort for me to get educated. Death took her away and my hope was gone.”

The first normal reaction to the death of a loved one is sorrow and grief. Grief is a natural response to loss, and loss comes in different forms. It is an emotional suffering one feels when someone (or something) one loves is taken away. The more significant the loss is, the more intense the grief. And the death of a loved one results in the most intense grief. Such a loss usually inflicts a wound on a person’s heart and its scars can remain for a long time.

Some Christians believe weeping over someone’s death indicates a lack of faith. But the Bible furnishes us with examples of godly men and women who wept over tragic losses. Abraham was a man of faith, yet when Sarah died, he “came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her” (Gen 23:2). David wept over his son, Absalom’s death (2 Sam 18:33). When the Lord Jesus got to Lazarus’ tomb, He wept (Jh. 11:35). When Stephen died, devout men “made great lamentation over him” (Acts 8:2). God is not against crying over a loss. Its not an indication of lack of faith

Grief has several symptoms. This includes sadness, depression, anger, social withdrawal, anxiety, apathy, loneliness, longing for who was lost, blaming of self or others and questioning of beliefs. People differ in the way they grieve, sometimes depending on culture. Some people resort to alcohol, illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs to cope with grief. The duration of the grieving also varies from person to person. According to a Medical textbook:

“Regardless of the duration of the grieving process, there are two basic goals: (1) healing the self and (2) recovering from the loss. Other factors that influence grieving are the type of loss, life experiences with various changes and transitions, religious beliefs, cultural background, and personality type” (Textbook of Medical Surgical Nursing, 2010, 105-106).

There are three main stages of grief:

1. Early reaction- this is the stage when you newly received the news of (or witnessed) the death of a loved one. It is characterized by initial shock, disbelief, denial, emotional numbness, and anger.

At this stage, there is a tendency to become angry at the doctors, the hospital, the system, the deceased one for not taking his own health seriously and even at God for taking the person away at a critical time. Stella, who lost her father reflects: “My mother was too flippant with my dad’s health and my dad was too stubborn. If he had listened to her he wouldn’t have died.” This is a normal stage of grief. A bereaved person lashes out at friends and relatives.

2. Acute grief- characterized by mood changes, guilt, self-condemnation, extreme fatigue, insomnia, appetite changes, reduced work capacity, hallucinations- feeling, hearing or seeing the deceased.

A grieving person struggles with guilt. Some blame themselves for talking harshly to the deceased; for what they didn’t say, or do for the deceased or for taking him/her to an incompetent hospital. Ayo, who lost his wife and baby laments: “The most painful thing for me is that she suffered so much before she died. She cried and bled on and on, but that did not even move [the nurses on duty]… I only took her there because that was where she had her antenatal and they knew her health history. If I had known I would have taken her to a private hospital.”

3. Levelling off period- characterized by acceptance of the tragedy, sadness with nostalgia, more pleasant memories of the deceased and sometimes with humour. This is the stage where people recover.
It must be emphasized that there is no fixed pattern of grief or time frame that everyone must follow to recover. The grieving process can be intense or shorter as the time goes by.

How to cope with grief after a loss.

I. Make a conscious determination to move on with life. That implies that you shouldn’t let others dictate to you how you must grieve. Some will tell you if don’t cry enough, you are not sorry about the loss, while some will say that you have to “be strong” in the face of a loss i.e must not cry. These are myths reinforced by cultural stereotypes. Don’t force yourself into a mould created by the society. A grieving person needs to let out that pain and the easiest way cry. Though as Christians, we shouldn’t mourn like those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13-14).

II. Do not grieve alone. The grieving period is the time to turn to family and friends for support. Don’t burn all your bridges. “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgement” (Pro. 18:1). Its dangerous for a grieving person to be abandoned by people. Even when Job experienced tragedy, his friends came around to comfort him (Job 2:11). If you are comforting a grieving person, you may not need to talk much, your presence and sympathy alone goes a long way.

When I lost a close friend in 2012, I visited her mother. She was overwhelmed with grief. As I was trying to offer some words of comfort, I sensed that she needed someone to listen to her tell her side of what happened. She had been accused of killing her daughter and had a lot of anger on the inside, but my presence assured her that someone was not judging her, and that made a difference.

III. Don’t be in haste to make any critical decision. This includes moving to a new place, selling or giving away your home or items belonging to the deceased or entering a new romantic relationship. Give yourself some time to reflect on the steps you want to take. When you are under a huge emotional stress, your sense of judgement may be clouded and you may regret some decisions later if you make them hastily. “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Pro. 21:5).

IV. Look after your physical health. Grief causes either a loss of or increase in appetite for food or sleep. If these are not checked, they can affect one’s physical health. It is normal for a bereaved person to feel disoriented and anxious, but adhering to your normal daily duties and activities can help. Have a specific time to sleep, get up, eat or do certain chores. You can combat fatigue and stress by eating, sleeping and exercising right. Avoid numbing your feeling with drugs or alcohol.

V. Find your feet spiritually. Grief makes a person vulnerable to doubting the love and power of God. There is a sort of anger that is often directed at God for not answering our prayers made for the deceased to live or for taking the person away at a critical time. A man who lost his 4 children in a building collapse cried “I thought God would even spare one of them for me. But they came to tell me that none of them is alive.” This pain leads to doubt or apathy towards the things of God.

The devil uses painful experiences to attack one’s helmet of salvation and break off one’s shield of faith. Some people can direct their anger inward and drive them to suicide. This is why the grieving period is the time to renew one’s faith in God’s Word and seek solace in Him in prayer, otherwise its easy to fall away. Look up to “the father of mercies and the God of all comfort” (2Cor 1:3) and allow the Holy Spirit, the Comforter to comfort you in your grief. Open your heart to Jesus, the Balm of Gilead to heal your pain.

There is a misguided belief that a Christian who dies from an accident, a sickness or natural disaster must have lacked faith in God or His approval to have so died. This is a myopic philosophy. The Bible indicates that accidents can happen to anyone at anytime (Eccl 9:11). As Wayne Grudem points out in Bible Doctrine, death is a reality, whether for Christians or non-Christians; it doesn’t mean that its a penalty for their individual sin. We live in a fallen world and we all experience injuries, ageing, and natural disasters (floods, violent storms and earthquakes). Although God does answers prayers to deliver Christians (and also non-Christians) from some of these effects of the Fall for a time, nevertheless, Christians eventually experience these things. Our salvation doesn’t make us immune to illness, ageing or physical death.

Death which is “the last enemy” is not yet destroyed (1Cor 15:26). Until then, all of humanity is still subject to it. While the world’s highest goal is preserving one’s own physical life at all costs, for a Christian, obedience to God and faithfulness to Him even in death is our greatest goal (Phil 1:20, Rev 12:11) (p. 351). Reflecting on this, Wale, who lost his mother to cancer said, “Even though she died when she was supposed to enjoy the fruit of her labour, I’m happy that she is no more in pains. And I’m glad that she accepted Christ as her Lord and prayed for each one of us before her death.” For a Christian, death is not the end, it is only an exit door to be with God in eternal glory.

Drawing spiritual strength from Christ during a loss is also vital because you are more vulnerable to superstitions, hallucinations and false beliefs at that period. Some people claim to see or hear the deceased – in dream or reality – and from there conclude that the dead protect the living. Many cultures also perform various rites to honour the dead, and in some cases, supposedly invoke “their spirits” to avenge their death. A lady said these to her father’s remains:
“Father take care of us as if you are alive…rest but don’t forget us and don’t sleep, don’t rest.”

These are unscriptural prayers (or concepts) that should not find a place among Christians. When a person dies, his spirit has departed either to Heaven or Hell. Its unbiblical and illogical to suggest that a person gains the ability to answer prayers or protect because he is dead. Some will say “he was my everything,” That is not true, God is our everything and He must always remain God in our lives no matter the loss. Church leaders and members should support the bereaved with God’s Word and prayer.

Finding a support group where you can talk about your loss is also helpful. You can write down what you like about the deceased and the moments you shared. You can also make an album of photographs or letters. Participate in new activities that will fill that void. You can also use your experience to encourage others. Like Valene who lost her 19 year old son to brain tumour and her husband committed suicide due to the grief. She finally overcame her pain and today has a support group to help other people heal after a loss. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). There is light at the end of a dark tunnel.