Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Faith and Reason In Islam

To be a believer in Islam, one needs to believe in Allah in all His Names and Attributes, in the angels, in the divine scriptures, in the prophets, in the Day of Judgement and in predestination. Each on of these are topics in themselves, which a person should study in order to believe in them. These concepts are not Islamic dogma as such but are from Islamic sources – the revelations from Allah in the Holy Quran and the actions and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SWAS) – the Sunnah – as that was also inspired by Allah. The word “Islam” itself means submission to the Truth and these beliefs are part of the belief system that a person must submit to in order to be a Muslim.

These beliefs do not occur in a vacuum. The Quran contains many rational arguments and repeatedly asks the audience to ponder, use their reason, observation as well as their conscience to decide for oneself whether the beliefs that are elucidated in the Islamic sources make sense or not. 

“Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason.” (Quran 8:22)

“Thus, does Allah make clear to you His verses that you might use reason.” (Quran 2:242)

“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships which sail through the sea with benefits for people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every creature, and in His directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason”. (Quran 2:164)

“He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Verily, in that are signs for people who reason”. (Quran 16:12)

Umar Al Khattab (RA) said:
“The foundation of a man is his intellect, his honor is in his religion, and his chivalry is in his character.”

Islamic philosophers like Abu Hamid Al Ghazaali wrote the Revival of Religious Sciences in Islam, in which he took a rational approach logically walking through the reader to believe in each of the Islamic beliefs and practices. In his times, the scholars had become obsessed with Greek philosophy and rational arguments. Thus, he went about explaining the beliefs and practices of Islam in clear, rational arguments for his readers. In the Revival of Religious Sciences in Islam, Al Ghazzali wrote: “Reason is the source and fountainhead of knowledge, as well as its foundation. Knowledge sprouts from it as the fruit does from a tree, as light comes from the sun, and as vision comes from the eye. How then could that which is the means of happiness in this life and the Hereafter not be considered the most honored? Or how could it be doubted?” In supporting the validity of the natural sciences, Al Gazzali wrote: “As for natural sciences, they consist of examining the world of the heavens and the stars and the distinct substances that lie beneath them such as water, air, dirt, and fire, and the contingent substances such as animals, vegetation, and minerals, and the causes that alter them, transform them, and blend them. That is like the doctor’s examination of the human body, its primary and secondary parts, and the causes of change in its disposition. Just as it is not a condition of faith to reject medicine, neither is it a condition of faith to reject this knowledge.”

Ibn Sina believed that as long as Islam is properly interpreted it will be understood to be made up of an area of truth like philosophy, where a person can use his intellectual abilities to rationalize and follow logical arguments. The foundation of his theory was on the strong mutual compatibility of faith and reason. This agreed with the rational claims of earlier Greek philosophers while also being compatible with the principles of Islam. His studies in philosophy convinced him of the clear supremacy of Islam as a way of life. Ibn Rush also studied Greek philosophy and was less inclined to the belief of the mutual compatibility of faith and reason unlike Ibn Sina. In Incoherence of Incoherence, he attacked Al Ghazali's criticisms of using reason to explain religion. Nevertheless, Ibn Rushd did not think that rationality could explain all Islamic beliefs.

It is important to realize that the origin of knowledge is Allah Himself - Al Aleem – the Most Knowledgeable.

"Behold, your Lord said to the angels: I will create a viceregent on earth. They said: Will you place therein one who will make mischief and shed blood? While we do celebrate your praise and glorify your holy name. He said: I know what you know not" (Surah Baqarah V. 30).

"And He taught Adam the nature of all things, then placed them before the angels and said: Tell me the nature of these if you are right" (Surah Baqarah V. 31)

"They said: Glory to You of knowledge we have none, save what You have taught us. In truth it is You who are perfect in knowledge and wisdom" (Surah Baqarah V. 32)

In Islamic theology, it is Allah who gave humans the capacity to pursue knowledge by themselves. He taught Adam the "names" of things, implying he gave him reason to pursue independent knowledge. The Quran mentions those who use their reason and those that do not and compares them to the living and the dead or the seeing and the blind.

"Is then who does know that which has been revealed onto you from your Lord is the Truth like one who is blind? Is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition" (Surah Raad V. 19)

In fact, reason is so important that Prophet Muhammad made the pursuance of knowledge obligatory on all Muslims -- male and female. The purpose of knowledge in Islam is to know Allah, while the purpose of reason is to help one to come to the Truth. It is important to know the limitations of reason. Reason is not infallible, thus when a someone realizes that Islam is the Truth, he must submit to all of it, whether he completely understands it or not. In Western secular thought reason sits in judgement over the Truth, while in Islam reason is supposed to take you to the Truth and increase you in faith.

"Behold! Abraham said: My Lord! Show me how you give life to the dead. He said: Do you not then believe? He said: Yes! But to satisfy my understanding. He said: Take four birds, tame them to turn to you. Put a "portion" of them in every hill and call to them. They will come to you with speed. Then know that Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise" (Surah Baqarah V. 260)

The Islamic belief system is an integrated whole in which each part plays a role in supporting and enhancing the other, making complete holistic rational sense. In order to make sense of any of its parts, one needs to qualify for it. Among its qualification is the belief in its basics. Just like one can carry out elaborate proofs in geometry only after accepting certain geometrical laws to be true, the same way one can get to use reason, inductive/deductive logic in Islam after accepting the basics from the Islamic sources – the Quran and the Sunnah.

In the Islamic paradigm of reality, what is present in the unseen (ghaib) and the seen are an integrated whole. About the unseen, the Quran says:

“And He revealed unto His slave that which He revealed. The heart in no way falsified what it saw. Will you then dispute with him concerning what he saw?” (Surah Najam V. 10-12)

Events taking place in the unseen affect the events in the seen and vice versa. In order to understand the unseen, the Muslim depends on the revelation – the Quran and the Sunnah as he does not have a direct access to the unseen except through true dreams. The seen world, on the other hand, can be subjected to observation and scientific inquiry in light of the revelations. It is through the combination of faith in revelation as well as observation and reasoning in light of the revelations that a Muslim tries to make sense of the universal reality. 

It is through a continual process of studying the revelations, seeking knowledge, observation, reasoning and contemplation that a Muslim starts to get inner insights into reality while staying within the tenets of his faith. He feels ecstasy, spiritual and mental delight at uncovering truths which embellish his understanding of the complete Truth. Thus, his use of reason, enhances the conviction of his beliefs. It is this interconnected understanding of the whole system of reality that develops wisdom in him. 

“He granted wisdom to whom he pleased and he to whom wisdom is granted is granted has received indeed a benefit overflowing. But none will grasp the message except men of understanding” (Surah Baqarah V. 269) 

Prophet Muhammad (SWAS) has been reported as saying: “When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of religion.”

Thus, Islam is not a religion of blind faith. Having submitted to the Truth, one has the right to use reason in the path to understand things. A Muslim will develop an insight in to the Truth. His firasa (Islamic intuition) will make him penetrate the mysteries of this life.

Faith and Reason In Christianity

According to the Catholic church, faith without reason leads to superstition, while reason without faith leads to nihilism and relativism. Nevertheless, there is little on which the Christians can base their reason upon. Their holy books have been lost and what is available is full of errors and omissions. They are accounts from people who lived hundreds of years after Jesus (AS). The present-day Christianity is not based on the teachings of Jesus (AS) who was sent by God, but rather on the philosophies of Paul, who changed Christianity from a purely monotheistic faith for the Jews to a global religion based on superstition, pagan beliefs, Greek and other philosophies.

The use of reason, without the guidance from true revelations and without a formal method of interpretation based on the methodology from a prophet and his companions, has resulted in the Christians deviating away from the Truth throughout the centuries after Jesus (AS). The deviation in Christianity started in between the year 51-55 AD when the first convention was held which brought the surviving disciples of Jesus (AS) together in their first meeting. It agreed on the prohibition of adultery, the consumption of ritually un-slaughtered animal meat and the meat of animals that were slaughtered for the idols. Eating pig meat, dealing in usury and drinking wine were introduced in Christianity.

Paul abrogated all the teachings of Torah as he claimed that it was a curse and they needed to get rid of it. He claimed that the Messiah came to change an old era for a new one. As a result of his philosophy and the influence of Greek philosophy of that time, he had borrowed the idea of the connection between God and His creation on earth. He introduced the idea of son of God and the Holy Spirit. He also introduced the concept of salvation through crucifixion. According to this he claimed that Jesus (AS) will rise to heavens and will sit on the right hand of God and will judge humanity on the Day of Resurrection based on their accepting him as divine. Initially there was a lot of resistance to Paul’s ideas. Nevertheless, the seeds of trinity and idolatry were sown in Christianity. 

Thus, the modern Christian, does not have a genuine form on revelation present with him to base his reason on, unlike the Muslims. Where the Muslim’s faith in based on reason from the revelation – the Quran - that of the Christian is baseless. The American philosopher, Alvin Plantinga describes Christian belief thus: "Christian belief is produced in the believer by the internal instigation of the Holy Spirit, endorsing the teachings of Scripture, which is itself divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. The result of the work of the Holy Spirit is faith”. This demonstrate the fallacy on which the Christian belief is based on. Neither are their scriptures sound, nor can they be sure that what they are being inspired to is from God or from Satan or even their own thinking.  Paul argues that in fact anyone can attain to the truth of God's existence merely from using his or her reason to reflect on the natural world. Without true revelation to guide thought, how can a person know if what they are thinking is the truth or a delusion?

The fact of the matter is that most Christian belief is not based on their Scriptures but is based on the dogma and doctrines of the Church. This is especially true about the Catholic and Orthodox churches. In these churches, the followers are completely dependent on the interpretation of the religious doctrine by the clergy. A church representative said: ”‘dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery”. 

In the words of Vatican II: “it is not from sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore, both sacred tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.”

The only recourse to reason that a follower of these churches can use is to think about phenomenon based on the church doctrine. The Protestant Church is better as they have diminished the role of the clergy and encourage their followers to study their scriptures and use reason based on them. Nevertheless, their scriptures are corrupted, full of contradictions and have very little divine content in them. 

It is not surprising that in the Middle Ages, the people in Europe suffered from the authoritative role of the church on their thought and way of life. The church called scientists who used their reason to advance knowledge like Galileo, heretics and executed them. Whatever truth that was in conflict with their dogma, was knocked down. This resulted in a reaction during the Enlightenment era, in which philosophers used reason to discredit the church. They turned people against the church and developed a dislike for all religion based on their experience with the Christian church. The modern era saw the emergence of secular philosophical thought which was based on reason, replace the church doctrines which were increasingly seen as irrational. 

Made up irrational Christian concepts such as original sin, trinity, confessions to and exoneration from the clergy for personal sins, Jesus (AS) dying for the sins of man, etc. leaves an ordinary Christian no choice but to either believe in them, corrupting his thought process so that it cannot understand rationality, or to reject church doctrine and develop a free mind without any limitations. 

The catholic church tries to explain them away by the use of sophisticated terminology: “The doctrines of the Trinity and the Eucharist are beyond reason in the sense that it is beyond our finite powers to understand them, but not at all in the sense that they are inherently unintelligible; they are supra-rational, if you will, but not irrational. “

Thus, it is not surprising that secular and agnostic thoughts have penetrated modern Western society so deeply, as it became difficult to rationally use their minds while simultaneously accepting the irrational beliefs of the church. The modern West has thus indulged in the other extreme of doubting everything, even areas which are not supposed to be the realm of our minds. 

In order to try to explain the dichotomy between reason and faith in Christianity, Rev. James Brent writes:
“In sum, it takes time, teaching, and effort to learn how to integrate faith and reason. Our sins and our weaknesses make it difficult to learn to fly with both wings of the human spirit. The history of the last several centuries has moved our civilization away from an intellectual synthesis that shows us how this can be done. Finally, our contemporary culture does not teach people how to fly with both wings, and it is populated by vocal minorities who confuse people about even the possibility of synthesizing faith and reason. Is it any surprise that for nearly all people today it seems that faith and reason are opposed to one another?” 

Comparing Faith and Reason in Islam and Christianity

Both, faith and reason, have been shown to be catalyst for a person coming and staying committed to religious belief. A person may come to believe in the veracity of a religion by using rational arguments, logic and facts. Whereas another person may become convinced of a religion after reading a holy book or hearing a preacher. Such a person might believe something to be true even in the absence of a logical proof or factual argument. 

Whereas faith is emphasized by religious people, reason is the preferred tool of philosophers. Religious people believe that faith is a must and that it must be adhered to even in the absence of rational proof and reason-based arguments. Philosophers, on the other hand, discount “blind” faith. They assert that truth is based on rationality and facts rather than faith and religious teachings.

It is interesting to study a religion in terms of which parts of it requires “blind” faith, and what is the role of reason in understanding its wisdom.  Some people claim that faith and reason are complementary whereas others say that faith and reason cannot be used together. 

In a time, when rationality predominates modern study of knowledge, it is important to look at the role of reason in major religions. Let us consider faith and reason in Islam and Christianity. Both these world religions were influenced by the rational thought of Ancient Greek Philosophy. In both the traditions, theologians as well as philosophers have explained the relationship between faith and reason using their own paradigms of reality. We compare and contrast the similarities and differences in Islam’s and Christianity’s explanation of a person’s use of faith and reason to understand and grow in the understanding of their respective traditions. 

Neglecting reason and depending on religious authorities blindly leads to exploitation by the religious establishment. It diminishes the status of man as someone who cannot rationalize and discover truths independently. Rational thought is the distinguishing characteristic of man and if he abandons it, he is not fulfilling the purpose of his creation. Nevertheless, the use of unbridled reason, which is not guided by the true revelation from God and the practices of the prophets, results in conjectures, delusions and Satanic influences which corrupts man’s understanding. It results in an extreme interpretation of reality.

The history of Christianity demonstrates how the church grappled with this problem. In its early history, it had complete control over its followers thought process. The clergy were very powerful and it was the church dogma and not their books which provided the principle of reasoning. Their clergy made many mistakes in interpreting their books which were already corrupted to come up with a dogma. Their followers considered the dogma infallible. Thus, their thought process was based on a false paradigm of reality. The conclusions that they drew from it were irrational.

This resulted in a pro-reason movement during the Enlightenment era led by the Renaissance philosophers who questioned the authority of the church and discredited their dogma. This resulted in large segments of Western society adopting secular thought in order to have a true rational conscience which the church teachings did not give them. Thus, in the absence of religion, reason became their new god. As reason by itself is not infallible, this resulted in bad repercussions in society. 

Islam, on the other hand, has the revelation from God intact, in the form of the Quran. Historians and scholars agree that it is in the same form as when it was first compiled. Also, intact is the method of interpretation of the Quran and rationally seeking knowledge through it as taught by the Prophet (SWAS) and his companions. Islamic history is full of scholarship in this methodology. There is no dogma or clergy in Islam and its followers are free to study the sources of their religion and develop rational arguments based on its principles. Islam requires faith in the principles that are outlined in its sources that are from God. At the same time, they are encouraged to use reason to develop understanding and insights from the principles of their sources. Ibn Taymiyyah has written:

“Reason is a requirement for acquiring knowledge and performing righteous deeds, through which knowledge and deeds are perfected, but it is not enough on its own. Rather, it is a faculty of the soul and an ability like the ability within the eye to see. If it is connected with the light of faith and the Quran, then it is like the eye receiving the light of the sun and torch. If it is left to itself, it cannot gain insight into matters that it cannot know alone… Thus, the circumstances resulting from the denial of reason are defective, and ideas that contradict reason are false.”

He also writes: “Every reliable narration from the Prophet is the truth and confirms one another. It agrees with the natural instinct of creatures, sound reason that has been placed within them, and noble purposes. It cannot contradict sound reason, nor a noble purpose, nor an upright instinct, nor an authentic and established revelation from the Prophet.”

Whereas Islam is pro-reason, other religions, including Christianity have been shown as being anti-reason. Islam does not encourage people to become blind followers.

The Prophet (SWAS) said: “Do not let yourselves become blind followers, saying that if the people are good then we will be good, and if they are unjust then we will be unjust. Rather, make up your own minds. If the people are good then be good, but if they are evil then do not be unjust.” (Tirmidhi)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Examining Taoism from an Islamic Perspective


Taoism is major religion in China which started in the 6th century BC. It is against living a regular ordinary life. It played a role in the development of Chemistry thousands of years ago. It was established by Lao-tse who is also called Tao. He was born in 507 BC and wrote his book “The Road to Power”. He was one of the teachers of Confucius who agreed with him on certain issues and differed in others.

Taoism affected and influenced Chinese thought and also influenced the historic development of China. Later on some of Lao-tse's followers claimed that he was guided by the heavens, i.e. god. Some also claimed that they have been inspired by god.

Lao-tse is reported to have said that did not plan to write "The Road to Power" but he was asked by his students to record his thoughts and so he did so. It is a literary book that included general rules and some instructions to the ruler. It is a very difficult to understand book. Another Taoist book by Chuang Chu who explains the philosophical theory of Lao-tse. He contrasts between the heavens and human and between society and nature. It contains some stories about people that can fly and others who are not affected by natural conditions. The third Taoist book by Huang Chi Ching from the 3rd century BC. It includes some experiments on metals, plants and animal derivatives, reflective of their interest in keeping healthy and prolonging life. The fourth Taoist book is by Bao Guchu which was authored in 317 AD. It discusses some aspects of chemistry such as how to change certain metals into gold and how to prolong life using some medicines.

They view of god is that god has no voice or image. He is eternal and that all creatures have the spirit of god. They believe that Tao (Lao-tse) is the absolute existence, that he is the aim of existence of everything. According to them, he is the source of this universe and the universe came out of him. They believe in the unity of the universe in that there is no separation between the creator and the created. They believe that god is not Al Awwal, in that there was something from which god originated. Although they love god, there love for the origin of god is greater.

They have some religious celebrations one of which is Chieu which is the renewal of the commitment between the community and god. This festival is still practiced in Taiwan. They have other festivals to appoint the monks and for the births of gods.

They have some mystical tendencies. They believe that to live a clean life they must detach from all desires by creating a vacuum within them. That space for them is the real fulfillment. This leads to knowing and realizing the facts of the matter. The highest level of purification to them is when there is complete unity between the person and the Supreme Being At this stage the person reaches a condition where there is no death and there is no life.

Taoism adopts a negative perspective of the world and calls for abandonment of work and limiting oneself to reflections and contemplation of life. This leads them to live on mountains and on deserted islands. They do not accept laws, knowledge and religions having the belief that these elements have corrupted the nature of the humans. They respect long life and consider ageing as an indication of purity, holiness and reverence. One of the most important objectives for them to prolong one’s life. They believe that if the person prolongs his life for several hundred years, the person becomes eternal. This led them to self discipline and do certain exercises that causes pain to the body. They do not believe in the resurrection or accountability. They believe that the righteous will be rewarded in this life by health and long life, while the wrongdoer will be penalized in this life by disease and short life.

Taoism today is present in China, Taiwan, some areas of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The most authoritative institute of Taoism is in Japan. Taiwan is the most important refuge for Taoism.
Taoism is close to Confucianism and Buddhism from which it has adopted temples, monks and  celibacy. In 1958, it was announced that 30,000 Taoist monks were active in China. Taoism has influenced the culture of the society in China. They believe that good comes from detachment from life, isolation, forgiveness, not meeting bad deed with bad.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Examining Buddhism from an Islamic Perspective


Buddhism was founded by Siddharata Gautama who was called Buddha which means the scholar. He lived from 560 BC to 480 BC. He was raised near the borders of Nepal as a prince and enjoyed a great deal of luxury. He got married when he was 19. When he became 26, he abandoned his wife and became detached from all the luxuries to live a harsh and difficult life. In doing so, he worked on disciplining himself. After his death, his followed gathered in a large convention in 483 BC. They attempted to remove differences among them and record the teachings of Buddha. They delegated this responsibility to three monks.
  1. Kashyapa – dealt with intellectual issues.
  2. Popali – dealt with self discipline.
  3. Ananda – recorded the sayings of Buddha.

In the beginning, Buddha was objecting and opposing Hinduism. His teachings call attention to humans. He preaches a detachment from luxury., calling for love, forgiveness and good deeds.
After the death of Buddha, Buddhism became an idolatrous religion. Its follower exaggerated the belief in Buddha until they gave him the status of god.

The Buddhists believe that Buddha is the son of Allah and he is the salvation to humanity from its problems and its pain. They believe that he will carry their sins for them. They believe that Buddha was born as a result of the Holy Spirit coming to the virgin Maya. There are many similarities between the Buddhist belief in Buddha and the Christian belief in Jesus (AS).

Buddhists believe that Buddha was made known as the son of god as soon as he was born. They believe that when he was a baby he said to his mother that he is the greatest of all mankind. They say that once Buddha entered the temple and the idol prostrated to him. They believe that he will come back to this world to restore peace and blessings in it. They believe that Buddha is the only great creature who is eternal. According to them, he is the one who will hold people accountable. They believed that Buddha established a religious kingdom on earth. Some researchers say that Buddha denied and rejected faith in god.but he used to believe in reincarnation. According to Buddha all people are equal.

  1. Buddhists must abide by 8 elements to discipline themselves and overcome their desires.
  2. Straight forwardness. 
  3. To rid oneself of lust and desire before doing anything
  4. Good thinking
  5. Enlightenment
  6. Correct and straight forward belief, i.e. doing only the things you feel comfortable with
  7. Compatibility and congruence among the tongue, the behavior and the heart. 
  8. Correct life based upon abandoning desires. Life must be based on knowledge and truth
According to them sins are caused by three things.
  1. Indulgence in desires
  2. Bad intentions
  3. Lack of thinking and understanding

Buddhists are divided into two groups, i.e. the religious and the civil. The religious adhere to all
teachings of Buddha whereas the civil are selective in what they take and leave of his teachings. 

There are two sects of Buddhists. Those in the north i.e. China, Nepal, Tibet, Japan and Sumatra believe in Buddha as a god. While those in the south, i.e. Burma, Sri Lanka and Thailand.believe that Buddha was a teacher who reached a higher level of charity and purity.

There are three sections in the book of Buddhism 
Collection of laws written by Buddha
The sermons Buddha made
The Basis and foundation of their religion.

Buddhism is a very old with some similarities and borrowing from Hinduism and Confucianism. It is widespread in Asia, with some 6 million followers. One of their largest temple is in Nepal.It is  based on religious philosophy which was adopted as a religious code.

Examining Confucianism from an Islamic Perspective

Confucius was the founder of Confucianism. He was a philosopher and was born in 551 BC. Confucius did not claim to be a prophet. His followers think he was guided by godly power and inspiration. He traveled to many places. He was appointed a judge, a ruler and a prime minister. Then he began to study and isolate himself. He was humorous and searched for political appointments. He was a good speaker as well as being a musician.

Confucius wrote five books which are respected in Confucianism. In it he described the worship of god as being the essence of the religion. He believed that the earth has a god who is worshiped by majority of Chinese. The sun, the moon, the clouds, the plants and the mountains all each have gods. The angels are treated as holy as well. They also worship the spirits of the father and forefathers. They do not believe in heavens and hell, neither do they believe in the resurrection. They believe that the corpses disintegrate in the ground. A student once asked Confucius about death. He replied that they have not studied life yet, so how can be talk about death. They believe that recompense only happens only in this life. Good happens as a result of good and bad happens as a result of bad. They believe that natural disasters occurs as a result of people's sins. 

In terms of manners and morals Confucianism emphasizes the conscience that leads a person to submit to social norms and traditions. They emphasize the obedience to the parents, to the rulers and younger brother to older brother. They emphasize sincerity between friends and using kind words when talking to people. The ruler must respect the people who are worthy of respect; show kindness to relatives; treat his ministers and employees with kindness and take care of the public interest.

Although they have a class system, movement among classes is possible if people have the qualifications.

Confucianism is widespread in China. In 1949, it was removed from playing a political and religious role but it remains in the heart of the Chinese people. Its teachings are widespread in the Chinese social system. It is also active in Korea and Japan. Muslims have not really reached out to them to give them the message of Islam.

Examining Hinduism from an Islamic Perspective

The Eastern religious have similarities among them in terms of their beliefs and practices. They also have common features with Judaism, Christianity and even Islam. Of these common features is the concept of accountability and the concept of the importance of religions in the life of people. They also have differences which separate the religious traditions of the east from Abrahamic religions. One such concept is polytheism. In Eastern religions we find a god for almost every aspect of their lives. Another concept is belief in the reincarnation of the soul where it returns and lives again in the body of some other creature depending of the destiny of the person whose soul is lost. Through this process the soul experiences enjoyment or punishment. Islam was accepted by a large part of the Eastern world because they were convinced of its truth. So it flourished in India, China and other areas.. The Quran says:

“There is no one single nation but it has received a Warner”

We do not know if the origin of Eastern religions is in the from of messengers that were sent to them or whether it was innovated by the people.. Regardless, we believe that these religions are false and we do not treat these people like we treat the People of the Book.

Hinduism is a major Eastern religion found in India. It evolved through a long period of history from 15th century BC. It contains spiritual and behavior instructions. for its followers The Hindus believe in a variety of gods. It is not known how Hinduism started. The authors of its holy texts are not well known. It was reformed and rewritten several centuries before Christ. It has very many books. A book the have is called Veda which is a Sanskrit word mean which means wisdom and knowledge. The Veda shows the levels of how to develop a sophisticated mental ability. It contains supplications which lead to the belief of mixing between the Creator and the created. It also contains supplications for the priests. There is also Samarveda which are hymns that are sung during the prayers. There is the TharwaVeda which is used to repel sorcery and satanic elements. There is the Laws of Manu which was written in third century before Christ.  There are many other books like the Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc.

Although they are polytheists, to them monotheism means that when they worship a particular god, they totally devote themselves to it. They believe that every matter that has a beneficial aspect or harmful aspect, has a god for the benefit and a god for the harm. Thus, they have a multitude of gods. In the 9th century before Christ, their leaders and priests combined all gods into one god through which they claimed that the entire world came out from. They call him Bhrama. They also believe in Vishnu who guards and protects as well as Shiva who destroys. They believe that whoever worships one of these gods, it is as if he had worshiped all three and thus worshiped the one god. This is a form of trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva that they believe in.

They treat the cow, monkey, elephant and snake as holy, although the cow is more holy than other animals. They are not allowed to harm or slaughter it. When the cow dies it is buried in a religious ceremony. 

They believe that their god came and inhabited a human called Krishna. They believe in Krishna in a similar way that Christians believe in Christ. Some Muslim scholars think that the concept of trinity in Christianity may be taken from Hinduism.

Hinduism implements an ancient class system in Hindu society. The divide people into four categories:
  • The Brahmin, they believe, were created by god from his own mouth. In society they are the teachers, judges and priests. They are most superior..
  • The Kashatrya, they believe, that god created them from his arms. In society that are the warriors.
  • The Vish , they believe, were created from god’s thigh. They are farmers and traders and financially support religious institutions.
  • The Shuder are the lowest class which they believe were created from god’s feet. Their duty is to serve the other classes.

Hindus agree to submit to the class system due to religious motivation. A man from a class other than the lowest class can marry from a higher class or a lower class but not the lowest class. A man in the lowest class can only marry within his own class. A Brahmin is considered to be the best. They have the right to take as much wealth as they please from people from other classes specially those of the lowest class. They are not supposed to pay taxes. They are not supposed to be killed even if they kill. The most severe punishment for them if they kill is to have their head shaved. Even a 10 year old Brahmin is more valued in society than a 100 year old Shuder. There are very severe punishments for the Shuder. If they teach a Brhamin the Shuder will be forced to drink boiling oil. Many people from Shuder found their dignity in Islam and accepted it.

The Hindus believe in karma i.e. that this world is based on justice and there will be justice in this life or the hereafter. They take this life as a period of trial as well as a place for recompense. They also believe in reincarnation. They believe that when a person dies, only the body gets decomposed. The soul comes out and goes to get into another body. The determination of the type of the second body is based on how the person in the first body lived. They believe in the unity of the universe in that the Creator is confused and mixed with his creation. They believe that the entire universe is a manifestation of god.

The burn the corpses because they believe this allows the soul to escape and rise from the body to reach the highest level in the shortest period of time. According to them burning gives freedom to the soul from the frame of the body. They believe that the soul either rises to the highest place that of the angels or goes to people or to be reincarnated or goes to the hellfire. There is a hellfire for each sin. 

When the husband dies, his wife is not allowed to be married again. She lives in misery, is tortured and humiliation. Many wives choose to burn with their husband's corpse. They used to allow child marriages even when the children are crawling. If the boy dies, the girl was not allowed to marry again. In modern Indian law child marriages are forbidden.

The Hindus control the government institutions in India. Muslims live as minorities. There is a lot of differences between Hindus and Muslims which has led to a lot of animosity between them. This led to the creation of Pakistan in 1947 for the Muslims. Muslim minority still live with Hindus in India.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Dawah in Our Homes


Before thinking about giving dawah to others, we must learn to give dawah in our homes.

“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is humans and the stones” (66:6)

Guiding and nurturing the family unit is the responsibility of parents. They are responsible for creating an Islamic environment conducive to faith, justice, love and learning. In such a home the following features should be prominent:

The authority of the father and the respect of the mother must be maintained in the home. 

The Prophet (SWAS) said: “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them…”

The salaat at the proper times must be established. The family should try to pray at least one prayer in congregation daily. Fasting in Ramadan should be the norm and the Sunnah should be incorporated in the lives of the household. It is important to distinguish cultural practices from authentic Islam.

Every week, the family should take time out for group study and discussion. Each member can be encouraged to lead a discussion on relevant topics from an Islamic perspective.

All family members should attend the Jummah prayer, if possible as a single unit. Family members should not find the masjid an unfamiliar place that is only visited on Eids. Children should attend youth groups in the masjids.

At home, Islamic values must be reflected in the choice of furnishings, decorations, books and other materials. Get Islamic books for your children rather than giving the “Three Little Pigs” to read. Have them listen to nasheeds without music rather than pop songs. Find useful activities for them rather than making them addicted to video games and the TV.

Each family member should study those areas of Islam related to the family and relations between the sexes in great detail. Children should be sent to Islamic schools or be home schooled rather than being sent to public schools.

Parents must monitor their children’s exposure to the secular, pleasure-driven society around them. Children are bombarded with cartoons, teen fiction, rap, MTV, movies and so on. These things influence our children away from their true self. Things such as dating, disobedience to parents, drinking, fighting, lying, permissiveness and a lack of respect for tradition and hard work are being offered to our children if we do not offer them something better.

Expose your family to the wider world of Muslims. Go to Islamic conferences. Part of the benefit would be to exposed your family to a multitude of other Muslims, just like them, so that they can appreciate that they are a large community, not a minority. Travel to Muslim countries, make Hajj and Umrah with them. Send your children to Muslim youth camps and subscribe to as many good Muslim publications that you can afford.

If we take these steps sincerely, we would have fulfilled our duty to be good parents. It is Allah who ultimately guides a person.

“Indeed, you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the guided.” (28:56)

After trying our best we have no recourse but to make dua. 

Rabbana Hablana min azwaajina wadhurriy-yatina, qurrata ‘ayioni wa-jalna lil-muttaqeena Imaama

Our Lord! Grant us from among our wives and offspring, comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteousness. 

The Efforts of Evangelism and Orientalism in the Muslim World

Evangelism is an imperialist, political and religious movement that began to appear as a result of the failure of the Crusades in the Muslim world. Its objective is to spread Christianity in the world, in particular in the Muslim world. It also serves political objectives which included control of those countries where they convert people. The factors that helped them include widespread poverty and ignorance specially in the Muslim World. Western influence in these countries due to colonialism also is a big factor. The Evangelists established churches, schools, hospitals, charitable organizations and institutions which are considered Western but were practically aiding in evangelizing the host populations. The weakness in Muslim political leadership has allowed these movements to work in their hosts countries freely, or even being facilitated by Muslim government due to some political gain.

Raymond Lowe was the first person to start evangelizing after the failure of the Crusades. He learnt Arabic, traveled to Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon to debate with Muslim scholars. Another important figure in this movement is Samuel Zwinmer. He headed the evangelizing mission to Bahrain and the Middle East. He was the chief editor of the Muslim World magazine which was published in English and started in 1911. It continues to be published until now from Hartford. He entered Bahrain in 1890 and by 1894 he was fully supported by American churches. The first missionary work he did was under the cover of health. He established hospitals in Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. There is an institute established in his name in the US for evangelizing the Muslims. When he faced a lot of failure in evangelizing the Muslim world he announced the Jerusalem Conference of Evangelizing in 1935. He said to his followers “the missionary work that you have been recruited to do by the Christian countries in the Muslim countries, was not really to bring Muslims to Christianity for they do not deserve this guidance and this honor. But your mission is to bring the Muslim out of his Islamic religion in order to be detached completely from God so that he has no connection with morality which is considered the basis on which nations depend."

The evangelizing mission has been holding conventions including the convention held in Cairo in 1906, which was called by Zwimmer. He gathered Protestant missionaries to think of ways to spread the Bible among the Muslims. There were 62 participants in this convention and Zwimeer was the chair. In 1910, a similar conference was held in Scotland. 159 evangelical organizations of the world attended it . In 1911 a conference was held in Lucknow, India. At the end they distributed a document on the one side which it said “in memory of Lucknow 1911”. On the other side it said “To the one to whom that the Muslim world prostrates five times a day with humbleness and not with compassion, to the Muslim world and the Muslim communities, guide them to salvation through Jesus, the Messiah”, After that several conferences were held in Jerusalem. In 1974, a convention was held in Lausanne,  Switzerland.

The most alarming convention was held in Colorado in 1978 called the North American Compendium for Evangelizing Muslims in which 150 participants attended for two weeks. In it studies on the effects and results of evangelizing projects in the Muslim world were presented as well as suggestions on how to distribute and bring the Bible closer to Muslims. It ended with strategic plan for evangelizing that remained secret and had a budget of $1 billion. 

Some of the institutions the Evangelists built in the Muslim world include the American University of Beirut, American University of Cairo, American University of Khartoum, French College in Lahore, and many such organizations established by the American, German and English. Evangelists issue publications, videos, audios to aid them in their efforts. They establish correspondence programs between Muslims and Christians. They use broadcasting, magazines, Islamic encyclopedias, publications of the Bible, concise and attractive pamphlets for free distribution for those who ask for and for those who do not ask. They have established student houses, youth hostels, clubs, old homes, libraries, camps. They visit the sick in the hospitals as well as the prisoners in jails.

The concentration of their broadcasting stations in the most in the Muslim world. According to a 1975 study, in Indonesia they had 8,919 Protestant churches. 3,897 Protestant priests, 8,504 full time Protestant missionaries, 7,250 Catholic churches, 2,630 Catholic priests and 5,693 full time Catholic missionaries. They hoped to finish the conversion of Indonesia to Christianity by 2000. According to 1978 Compendium, there are more than 50 US missionary organizations in Kuala Lumpur alone. They had 2500+ broadcasting stations using more than 64 languages in Kuala Lumpur. There are 1,0100 missionaries groups in 38 African countries and a total of 220,000 missionaries in the whole world of them 138,000 are Catholic and 82,000 are Protestants. In Africa 119,000 missionaries spend more than $2 billion a year on evangelizing the local populations. They have their own planes, ships, and other modes of transportation. 

They believe are involved in these efforts because of the traditional hostility between Islam and Christianity as they believe that Islam prevented the spread of Christianity when it spread to the three continents in the middle ages. They have a political agenda which is to weaken the Muslims by encouraging them to be distant from Islam and thus control them.. It focuses on spreading their religion through social work and calls of women’s emancipation, human rights, etc. 

It is important for Muslims to understand the objectives of this evangelizing movement. Muslims must educate themselves about their strategies and tactics so that they can neutralize their efforts. Muslims must learn from them and apply similar tactics to spread Islam throughout the world. Muslims must also replace the social services missionaries provide in their own lands with those sponsored by Islamic organizations.

Another group of people who are very dangerous to Islam are the Orientalists The "orientalist" is literally someone related to the East. It refers to the scholarship related to the understanding of the affairs, history, languages, religion, culture and way of life of Muslim societies. This scholarship helped in the Western understanding of the Muslim world. It is aimed at helping the Western imperialism in the Muslim world.

It may have first begun at the time of Islamic state in Spain, or perhaps the end of the Crusades, or maybe event during the Umayyad Dynasty in the second century of Islam. John of Damascus is considered to be the first orientalist. He wrote two books. The first was "Life of Muhammad" and the second was "The Dialogue Between a Muslim and a Christian". His efforts was aimed to enable Christians to debate with Muslims. The most prominent orientalist, Dr Edward Said of US wrote a book called "Orientalism" which was made into a documentary called "Edward Said on Orientalism". He wrote another book called "Covering Islam". He describes Orientalism as a scholarship that is not interested in understanding or coming close to the cultures of the East. Rather it generalizes all  cultures as one culture. It was intended to support the Western hegemony over the Muslim world. He uses the theory of the French sociologist Michel Fuqeux that "knowledge is power" to prove that the Western power and ability to subdue the Muslim world was due to the scholarship of Orientalism. He cites an example when French colonized Egypt they brought scientists from all walks of life to study Egypt, whereas Egypt did not have any knowledge of France. Hence the French were successful in controlling Egypt.

From a religious point of view, Orientalism attached the sources of the Islamic belief system. Their scholarship raised the doubt about the truthfulness of the Prophet (SWAS). They claimed that the hadiths were fabricated as they were made by Muslims in the first three centuries. They wished that after the Muslims give up the Sunnah they will have only the Quran to deal with which can be interpreted in many ways. This, they hoped will break the unity of the Muslims. Also, the majority of Islamic rules from the Sunnah will disappear after discrediting the hadiths. They also crated  doubt in the authenticity of the Quran and thus weakened its authority. The wanted to remove the source of Islam. They attempted to belittle the value of Islamic Jurisprudence. They stated that Islamic law derived from Roman law. They had hoped that Muslims would have to attempt to make a new law and give up the heritage of Islamic law. They belittled the importance of the Arabic language among Muslims arguing that Arabic is unable to catch up with modern thought. They encouraged local dialects to supersede Classical Arabic. They hypothesized that Islam was borrowed from Judaism and Christianity. We realize the differences between these religions. They are there because Islam is authentic while the others have changed. Their similarities are there not because of borrowing but the three religions come from one source  - Allah. The orientalists use weak and fabricated hadiths to attack Islam although they had criticized the validity of hadith themselves. They use their institutions and resources in order to evangelize the Muslims.

The strategic objective of orientalists is to prevent Westerners to fall in love with Islam after their military attempt to destroy Islam failed. They also also have financial/commercial objectives as they realize that knowledge of the East can bring them profits. They have indirect control over the resources of the Muslim world. Politically they are motivated to weaken the brotherhood among the Muslims through their work. They had to divide the Muslims in order to control them. They follow a policy of divide and conquer which they implement by encouraging nationalism. They have pitted Arabs against the non-Arabs as well as divided the Arabs into very many different nationalities. Nationalities help weaken of the Ummah. They sponsored the growth of the local dialects and cultural practices rather than the development of religious knowledge and values as well as Classical Arabic. Western governors and nowadays Western Ambassadors learn the languages, habits and practices of the Muslims before starting their missions. Orientalists were also motivated by gathering intelligence in Muslim countries and provided advice to the enemies of Islam. Some orientalists were motivated to learn for the sake of knowledge. Muslims say that the book of Thomas Arnold - "Call to Islam” - fairly depicted Islam. The French orientalist Rene accepted Islam and lived and was buried in Algeria. He wrote books in support of Islam.

The orientalist movement have published several books, some of which are valuable to Muslims. Of these is the Mujam al Mufahris which is a dictionary of the words of the holy hadiths. It includes an index of words in the 6 authentic hadith books as well as Musnad Ad Darimi and Muwatta Imam Malik. It is published in 7 volume and is very concise and useful.

In a report of one of the British ministers to his government in 1938 wrote "war thought us that Islamic Unity is the greatest danger that the British Empire must fight against."

Muslims must realize that the movement of Orientalism has resulted in the desire and effort to evangelize Muslims, destroy the credibility of Islam. Evangelism and Orientalism work in coordination. Orientalism was based mainly in Europe, but now it is based in the US. It is supported by governments, institutions, businesses and churches. It is dedicated to serve the imperialist enemies of Islam. They work for the establishment of Israel and are able to achieve trust and credibility among the Muslim world. Orientalists are appointed in key positions in the Muslim world. There are many people who are not Orientalists but speak the language of the Orientalists and work for their goals without awareness.

In order to counter the efforts of Orientalism, Muslims must learn Islamic knowledge. When a typical Muslim takes a course in Islam in university, they are taught using books by Orientalists. His teacher is probably also an Orientalist. So he gets a distorted version of Islam and his thoughts become corrupted. Thus the Muslims must equip himself by learning true Islamic knowledge deeply. A knowledgeable  Muslim will know what the Orientalists are saying and counter their arguments. It is not useful to argue about each of their claims but it is important to discredit the authority of the Orientalist, so that people do not see him with respect. Muslim scholars should read what the Orientalists are writing. They should counter that by  presenting the truth about Islam in an attractive and easy language so that people can read without confusion. The style of writing should be such that the normal people enjoy what they read. Finally,  Muslims should carry out scholarship in the Islamic sciences that the Orientalists have monopoly over. They should fill that Islamic knowledge vacuum where only the Orientalist operate. Unfortunately not many bright Muslim minds are active in these areas.

Examining Christian Groups from an Islamic Perspective

There is a lot of variety in the groups and sects of Christianity. In this post, we look at a few briefly discussing their history, beliefs, practices and interactions with the Muslims.

"Orthodox" when used to describe a religion means straight forward and in accordance with the original teachings of the religion. The followers of the Orthodox Church are concentrated in the East. They are often said to belong to the Eastern Church. They were established after the 5th Constantine Convention in 879 AD. There are two main branches of Orthodox Christianity - the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox and the Constantine Orthodox. They differ in that the Egyptian Coptic church believes in one nature of Jesus whereas the Constantine Orthodox believe in two natures – human and divine. The Egyptian Orthodox church resisted the attempt of the Western churches to impose their authority and doctrine over them. There was so much animosity among them that it resulted in the Copts participating in the resistance against the Crusaders in alliance with the Muslims. The Egyptian Coptic Church has several directions in its ranks. There is a secular orientation in which involvement of the church in the State in modern times is considered disobedience to the teachings of their religion. There is the isolatory orientation which call for the church to only address religious affairs and isolate other aspects of life. There is the conflict orientation where Muslims and members of the church which oppose them are considered disbelievers and are to be resisted. There is the inclusive orientation which holds that the church is an inclusive establishment concerned with religious and worldly affairs and must provides solution to that. Another position assumes national responsibly to defend the country and participate with only religious affairs in some form of secularism.

The main beliefs of the Orthodox Church includes the belief in the trinity. They believe that Jesus (AS) is the Lord and the God at the same time. Greek Orthodox are an exception. They believe that Jesus (AS) has two natures and two wills. The Orthodox believe that God manifested himself in Jesus (AS) the Messiah to rid humanity from sin of Adam after him. They believe Jesus (AS) was crucified for this purpose, that he was resurrected after three days and he will be sitting on the right side of God to hold people to account. They believe that Mary was mother of God. They glorify her and treat her as holy and a saint.  They believe in the Old Testament and the New Testament. They believe in seven daily prayers which are done either individually or in a group. Their first prayer is before dawn, second on is at 9 AM, third at noon, fourth at 3 PM, fifth at sunset, sixth at sleep time and the seventh at midnight. Prayer to them is supplications in a specific form. They do not use music in their prayer services in the church. They do not have daily prayers in the Church. Fasting to them is to abstaining from food till sunset. The one who cannot fast, can fast according to his ability. Those who do not fast abstain from meat and eat only vegetables on the days of the fast. They have different levels of priesthood. Their priests practice celibacy. They believe that their religion is universal. There have been calls for the revival of Coptic language and Coptic nationalism. Some have even called for a country for the Orthodox people. 

Their religious beliefs and practices are derived from their Bible, the proceeds of the various conventions until 451 AD, Greek philosophy and various civilizations including ancient Egyptian, Indian and Greek. They are widespread in Turkey, Greece, Russia, Balkan, Mediterranean islands, Hungary, Romania and Egypt where they are 5.78% of population. Egyptian Coptic churches have been established in Libya, Algeria, Kuwait, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Syria,, Jordan, Lebanon, US, Australia, Austria, France and Kenya. 

There are various differences and similarities among the various Orthodox churches. In general, Greek and other pagan civilizations have had a great influence on the Eastern Church. There has been rivalry between them and Western churches. Due to the severe treatment they suffered from Western churches, they welcomed the Muslims due to their good treatment. This led to a large scale conversion to Islam in Egypt. Recently, the Coptic have regained strength and are very active to convert Egyptian Muslims. 

The main Western church which rivaled the Orthodox Church for a long time is the Catholic Church. It was established by St. Peter who died in 62 AD. The Catholic Church played a big role in the events in Europe. The conflict between the Church and rulers of Europe resulted in new doctrine and beliefs like the holiness of the Pope, infallibility of the Pope’s position, and also of clergy under the Pope. These changes started in the Convention of Rome in 769 AD although not all religious authorities in Catholicism are of the same opinion. The infallibility of Pope was criticized by philosophers and reformers in the West. 

The most important belief of the Catholic Church is that God is one but has three forms – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They believe that Jesus (AS) has two natures and forms – divine and human. They believe that the Holy Spirit comes form the Father and the Son together. They believe that the form of the Son is less than the form of the Father. They believe that their forms are transitional, with the Father capable of transforming into to the Son. Although they state that the three forms are separate from each other and not confused with each other, there is a contradiction in that the Father took the form of Jesus (AS). The reason for this is that in order to relive humans from the sin committed by Adam (AS). 

They treat Mary as holy. They believe that the revelation continues and comes to the Pope. It is one of the source of spiritual knowledge and religious understanding, according to them. They believe that the cross is holy. They believe in bible: the Torah, books of prophets, New Testament, the messages of the messengers. They practice confession in which they confess their sins to the clergy once a year. The clergy then forgives them and they are supposed to become sinless. They allow the delay of baptism till puberty. Divorce is forbidden among them even in cases of adultery. They believe in the holiness of the Pope and his infallibility. They consider that after death there will be a place called the "purifier". Souls that are not completely pure will be held at that place and will be punished until they are purified and then they will go to heaven.. They believe that Allah only does good and that evil is is from human beings. They allow drinking blood and eating dead animals. Catholic monks are allowed to eat fats of swine and can shave their beards. They can do prayers and supplications every day in many different ways including individually. Their fasting is on Fridays and Saturdays. It is done by abstaining from meat. They also practice other forms of fasting. The Catholic church is distinguished by the use of the Latin language, incense, images, and special calendar. The Pope manages the Churches all over the world through his assistants centrally from Rome. He has the privilege to grant forgiveness to people who seek it.

The Catholics derive their beliefs from their distorted bible, the proceedings of various conventions and other religions like Buddhism, pagan Romans, Greek and Egyptians religions. Catholics are in majority in Italy, France, Lithuania, Croatia, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, South America, Philippines, Poland, Hungary, Canada and South East Asia,. They live in minorities in US, Holland, and some African countries.

The Protestants are a sect within the Western Church. Their name derives from the word "protest" as they protested against the traditional Catholic Church and highlighted the importance of the use of the Bible and reason. They rejected all practices and beliefs in the Catholic Church which were in contradiction to the Bible. They believed that all Christians are equal before God, should understand the bible themselves and are accountable to it. 

The Protestant Church started in the 16th century by Martin Luther who was born in 1483 in Germany. He lived in a Christian environment. He could not complete his study in Law, so he studied religion instead. He made pilgrimage to Rome were he realized that the Catholic Church was not in line with the bible. They used to make money off the people by offering them forgiveness certificates. People were distant from the bible and relied on their clergy entirely for understanding their religion. He returned to Germany where he began to rebel against the messengers of Pope, He wrote 95 principles for opposition to the Catholic Church. 

Protestants only accept the text of the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament). They do not agree to the holiness of Pope and the authority of Church. They do not agree to the issuing certificates of forgiveness by the clergy. To them salvation is by the mercy and generosity of God which can be achieved by adhering to the bible and through evangelism. Every Christian can be described as a saint because sainthood is not in the person but granted by God. It does not believe in clergy or any intermediary between the people and God. It does not accept fasting which to them is abstaining from all food. There is no limit to prayers in their belief nor any adherence to certain form of prayers. Protestants can pray in any language. They do not use images and portraits in the church. They believe that the second coming of Jesus (AS) is conditional on the establishment of the state of Israel in Palestine. Their beliefs have been influenced by the Bible, philosophies of the East and the West, Zionism, Talmud and Islam.

They are found in Germany, Holland, Britain, Switzerland, Denmark, US and Scandinavia. There are several groups within the Protestants. The Lutheran who follow the doctrines of Martin Luther, The Reformed Church follow the teachings of Calvin who studied Law then divinity and was influenced by Martin Luther. Among the Protestants are many other groups including the Zionist Christians.. Jewish politics and doctrine has affected the Protestant church to a great extent.

The Maronite branched out of the Eastern Orthodox Church. They believe that the Messiah has two natures but one will. They are related to St. Maron and are based in Lebanon. Throughout history they have always been in disagreement with other Eastern Orthodox churches. They have loyalty of the Pope since 1182. They strongly supported of the Crusaders against the Muslims. In 1943, there was an accord in Lebanon between the Muslims and Christians in which it was agreed that the President would be a Maronite. They still use Syriac language & traditions in their Church. They adhere to the original language of Bible and are now closer to Catholic Church. The Maronite Church was started from Antakiyya but is now widespread in the mountains of Lebanon since 17th century.

The Jesuits are a very strict branch of Catholicism. They are very antagonistic towards Islam. They are found in Portugal, Spain, France and US. They were established by a French priest in middle ages and were very active in eliminating Muslims from Spain. They are very active is social work building hospitals and schools through which they carry out evangelism. They are involved in politics and follow the Pope. They are focused in spreading Christianity in Muslim countries.

The Mormons claims to call to religion of the Messiah and to the return to the Old Testament. They believe that the Messiah came only to save the Jews from persecution and to give them control over the land. This sect was formed by Joseph Smith who was born on 23 December 1805 in Vermont. 

They believe that the holy book contains so many books, including some that have Allah’s vision for human beings and manuscripts collected from all times from the time of Adam (AS) until the time of Jesus (AS). Their scriptures include the Old Testament, the New Testament, Mormon’s Book which is sacred record from 2000 BC to 400 AD on the American continent. It narrates the story of Jesus (AS) to the American continent. It is the cornerstone for Mormon Tradition. They claim that Joseph Smith translated Mormon's Book to English by God’s help. This book came to him through an angel called Maroni. Another book is called The book of Principles and Covenants which covers contemporary vision for the Church of Jesus Christ as it was established according to the original teaching. They believe in several other books.

They believe in the Father, the Son -  Jesus (AS) and the Holy Script. They believe that people will be held accountable for their sins not the original sin of Adam (AS). They believe that all people can achieve salvation through the Messiah by following the principles from the Bible. They believe in God (Jesus), repentance, submission to the Holy Spirit, that prophethood is continuous for the salvation of humanity, that the translation of their holy book is true and accurate. They believe that the Book of Mormon is book of God. They believe that they must submit to the rulers and follow the rules. They are allowed polygamy without any limitation for well mannered men who are financially capable of supporting more than one family. These days they practice polygamy secretly. Adultery and premarital relations are prohibited among them although people can repent when they commit them. Mormons must pay 10% of their earnings to the church. They believe that the signs of resurrection are the occurrence of turmoils, return of the Bible. triumph of the Mormon Book, building of New Jerusalem and establishment of Israel for the Jews. Historians believe that Jews have a role is establishing this sect to create divisions in Christianity. The Mormon Book is almost a copy of the Talmud.

This group is supported by Israel. This group links Zion / New Jerusalem to the American land. Mormons are found in US, especially in Utah where they are 68% of the population. They also live in South America, Canada and Europe. They distribute their books free and have a TV network of 11 broadcasting centers. They publish  magazines and newspaper. In Utah they have and advanced information center.

Jehovah Witnesses are an international, universal, religious and political organization based on secrecy of its structure and its ideology. They appeared in US in second half of 19th century. This group considers itself to be Christian as they follow the Messiah but it is known to be influenced by the Jews. Till 1931 it was called “New World Organization” and was officially acknowledged in US in 1884 with that name. It was established by Charles Russel. It was also known as “The New Students of the Bible”. Later the name was changed into Jehovah Witness derived from Yahwa which means Allah in Jewish tradition. They believe in Jehovah as God, referring to Jesus as the King of the Kingdom of God, Their holy book is the Bible which they interpret according to their own interpretation. They blindly obey their leaders and aim to establish a religious state to control the world. They are preparing people to establish the Great Jewish State. They do not acknowledge the reckoning in the Hereafter. They do not believe in the hellfire. and believe that the heaven will be in this life in their Kingdom. They frequently use the parts of the bible that encourage people to love Jews and Israel. They do not believe in the spirit and its eternal life and limit the concept of brotherhood to their own group. They fight against legal structures and practice evangelism even among different Christians.

Their headquarters is in Brooklyn, NY.  They have 158+ centers. 640,000+ members. They publish literature in all languages. They claim Christianity, support the Jews and strongly oppose Islam.