TestingWorldviews.com

"A faith that can not survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets" - Arthur C. Clarke

"Every word of God proves true" - Proverbs 30:5, Holy Bible


The Islamic Worldview

- R. Totten - (C) 2013

Introduction

Islam is not in-and-of-itself actually a worldview. Instead, it would be classified under the theistic worldview. However, Islam is a major world religion and the perspective of such a large portion of mankind --more than 1.2 billion people-- that it warrants consideration ...though I won't cover everything that has already been considered under our "theistic worldview" article, which says, in a nutshell: the Theistic Worldview holds that: [1] God is absolutely holy, infinite, powerful and personal; [2] God created all the universe, and everything is subject to him and dependent on him; [3] When a human dies, he continues on either in heaven or in a place of punishment; [4] The basis of ethics and morality is God's nature, will and character; and [5] History is a sequence of events as God has planned it.

As a Christian writer, I commend Islam for its strong and positive points which are in overall accord with the Theistic Worldview. The word "Islam" means "peace" or "submission," and the key concept is submission to God or "Allah," as he is called. Arab Christians also often call God "Allah." -- Both Christians (and the Bible) and Muslims agree that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, holy, merciful, and sovereign over everything. Both groups agree that there is one and only one God, and that all mankind will have to answer to that morally perfect God on a final judgment day when God will judge the wicked to a just punishment.

Contrasting Views - - On the other hand, I would like to offer some constructive criticism to help people evaluate a few important contrasts in the views of the Islamic and Christian perspectives.

Concerning Scriptures:

In Islam, the Qur'an is held to be the divinely revealed scriptures, and the actual words of God, given in the Arabic language to Mohammed, who is considered to be the final prophet of Allah, who received the Qur'an from God and transmitted it to mankind. Thus, Islam is seen as a revealed religion (as are Christianity & Judaism). But regarding the Bible, Muslims generally think that though the Bible perhaps used to be legitimate and pure revelation from God, it has down through the years become corrupted --so it cannot be fully trusted now, and the Quran needs to correct the Bible.

But on the other hand, I would encourage Muslims to take the Quranic statements about the Bible much more seriously. I have even heard a Muslim (whose statement got wide press coverage) say that "the Bible is only a poor copy of the Quran."

However, do such views of the Bible agree with what the Quran actually teaches? --No. It doesn't. --Rather, the Quran actually teaches that the Bible should still be regarded as legitimate and clear revelation from God.

The Quran directly states: "No just estimate of Allah do they make when they say: 'Nothing does Allah send down to man (by way of revelation).' Say: 'Who then sent down the Book which Moses brought? --A light and guidance to man' " (Sura 6:91, italics added).

This quotation of Sura 6:91 pertains to unbelievers who say that God has not spoken by giving revelation to mankind. And what is given as proof to contradict this errant view? The Quran does not offer the Quran itself, but it gives "the Book which Moses brought ...a light and guidance to man." In other words, people --and especially Muslims-- are told to regard the first five books of the Bible (given through Moses) as prime examples of direct and clear revelation from God. -- Muslims must take this declaration seriously.

And then there is Sura 17:55, which states: "And it is your Lord that knoweth best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms" (italics, mine). -- In this quotation, the deity is directly stating that the Psalms were given by the deity himself.

This is underscored in the following citation: "Even as We produced the first creation, so shall We produce a new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfill it. Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): 'My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth' " (Sura 21:105, italis added). -- Again, the deity declares that the Psalms and writings of Moses are divine revelation.

And then, the Quran expands these declarations, as it says: "And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein" (Sura 5:46-47, emphases added). -- Here is an unambiguous declaration that the deity has sent and revealed his truth in the Gospel writings, or, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of the New Testament. Not only that, but the "people of the Gospel" are commanded to "judge" all things (and believe and obey) according to the divinely revealed truth in those Gospels. This is very strong wording which must be taken to heart by every Muslim.

And then, there is the following Quranic directive: "If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt" (Sura 10:94, emphases added). -- This is a powerful statement bringing out that the Bible (called "the Book") was known and discussed by Mohammed (as history verifies), and the deity is declaring that the Bible's origin is actually "from thy Lord," that it is "the Truth," and therefore it is authoritative for all matters of faith and conduct which it addresses. Jesus Christ also said to God: "Your word is truth" (John 17:17). This verse (Sura 10:94) requires all Muslims to "in no wise" be like any people who are "in doubt" of the Bible's divine authority.

All of this is underscored in the Gospels, by Jesus Christ, who referred to virtually the entire Old Testament (including Samuel, Kings, Job, Isaiah, Daniel and the other prophets) as being the actual words from God himself, and Jesus quoted them as being the authoritative Word of God. -- The Muslim and the Christian must see it the same way.

But then there is the idea that the Bible has been changed and corrupted. -- But this must be regarded as a false notion which is untenable for the Muslim (and everyone else).

--Why? Because first of all, the early Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible were already well established for 500 years by the time of Mohammed (therefore, the Bible cannot possibly be a copy of the Quran, because it pre-dated the Quran by so many centures); . . . and secondly, because the Quran is unambiguous about the fact that "There is nothing that can alter the words of God" (Sura 6:34; 10:64 and Sura 18:27), and it has been clearly established that the Quran strongly declares the Bible to be revealed "words of God," and therefore, the Quran is saying that nothing can substantially alter the Bible. God will protect it. This must be recognized. And the Christian would agree with this view of the Bible.

The above Quranic declarations about the Bible were made 500 years after the Bible wording was fully given by God and then copied many times. And according to the Quran, Allah watches over all words revealed from God, and guards them from corruption (Sura 15:9). Indeed, we find that the Bible has been guarded by God from corruption because there were so many thousands of copies made of the original manuscripts, and by comparing those copies we can know without a doubt what the original wording actually was (and by rejecting the tiny minority of misspellings, etc., on any particular verse in a few copies). --Thus, it is the fact that we do have the accurate wording of the Bible, which has not changed before nor since the time of Mohammed; as the Quran says the Bible was true and unchangeable at that time (in 600 AD); and, in fact, we still have the same thousands of old copies of Bible books in libraries today that existed long before the time of Mohammed.

-- Thus, it goes directly against the Quran to consider the Bible to be changed and corrupted. The notion of Biblical corruption is, therefore, anti-islamic.

And indeed, the Bible also declares the same sort of thing --in the strongest terms:

"Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens" (Psalm 119:89). -- "All men are like grass,... The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:6,8). -- "Every word of God proves true" (Prov. 30:5). -- Jesus said, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law" (Luke 16:17). And concerning his own words, Jesus declared: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

But then, what about "all the different translations of the Bible?" -- Well, actually, I wish that every Christian on earth were knowledgeable enough to read the Bible in the original languages (Hebrew and Greek), and then to be able to write their own personal translation of the Bible. Many millions of translations would not be a negative, but a positive --expanding understanding of the Bible far and wide. But still, the best translations, of course, would be done by groups of the best scholars --which is actually the situation we have right now. And having various translations is not actually a problem, because a mere translation does not alter the old textual copies we still have in the original languages (Hebrew and Greek); these ancient copies stay the same. -- Rather, having various translations helps people in their study of the Bible ...including translations in Arabic and many, many other languages.

In the final analysis, all people should rest assured that we have the original text of the Bible well guarded and not corrupted. In fact, this view is what the Quran requires of the Muslim. So I want to encourage all my Muslim friends to read, study and believe all that the Bible teaches. It really is the written truth from God. -- There are some good translations available online, such as the "NIV" and the "ESV." You can read them at:

biblegateway.com OR blueletterbible.org

. . . Please come back. - - This article is still being completed. . .




God loves you, my friend, and that's why he provided the Bible to explain the work and ministry of Jesus Christ, who came to provide the way of salvation. We invite you to investigate, by reading the Bible.

. . . To understand more about Islam in comparison with actual Christianity (which is biblical) please read several of the excellent articles at the CARM.com website.


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