Posts Tagged ‘Unveiling Islam’

Relearning the 5 Pillars

March 29th, 2010

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapter 7: Fundamentals (The Five Pillars)

This is the Islam I learned in high school: the five pillars, the essentials.

  1. The creed
  2. Prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Ramadan
  5. Pilgrimage

This chapter might have been a review–but it only reinforced how little I actually know about Islam. I know so little, even about the five pillars–the part I thought I knew.

For instance, did you know that Islam requires ritual ablutions prior to prayer? Did you know that petitions in prayer are frowned upon? There is no sense in Islam that Allah will stay his hand or act based on the requests of his servants. Prayer is not communication with Allah, but simply an act of ritual obedience.

Did you know that Ramadan celebrates the “giving” of the Qur’an?

Did you know that the pilgrimage means more than just traveling to Mecca? It includes a great deal of ritual, including encircling the city several times, walking several miles outside the city to a certain spot, throwing a certain amount of stones in a certain way, etc.

I didn’t. This was definitely an enlightening chapter.

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

Allah’s Nature

March 28th, 2010

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapter 6: Allah (Names of Terror, Names of Glory)

Allah (Islam’s “god”) and Jehovah (the God of Judaism and Christianity) are not the same. While they share some similarities, their differences are marked.

The Qur’an makes clear that Allah is the one and the only–but that he is NOT triune. Christianity, on the other hand, affirms one God, who is triune–three persons, one God.

According to Islam, Allah is absolutely sovereign and is the source of both good and evil. The Christian God is absolutely sovereign–but is not the source of evil.

Allah is a distant god, with no desire for a personal relationship with humanity. The God of the Bible is a personal God who pursues intimacy with humans–even to the point that He took on humanity in order to have a relationship with humans.

Allah is certainly a judge of the world–and so is the God of the Bible. But the God of the Bible is not only the judge, but the atoner of the world. Allah makes no atonement.

Allah is a god of hatred, desiring to conquer and destroy all infidels. The God of the Bible is the God of love, desiring that no one should perish but that all should come to knowledge of the truth.

While some might say that Allah is the Judeo-Christian God, they couldn’t be more mistaken. Allah is a distant, hateful, unholy god. The God of the Bible is a personal, loving, holy God. And ultimately, the difference between the Muslim God and the God of the Bible can be summed up in two words: Jesus Christ.

The Bible affirms that Jesus Christ is the God Himself, the Son of God, the Promised Messiah, the Atoner of the World, and the only way to God. Islam denies all these things. Islam does not expect a Messiah. Islam does not allow for atonement. Islam denies Christ as God and as the only way to God.

The Caners make it clear that there is no such thing as a “Messianic Muslim”. Christ is the fulfillment of Judaism–which Messianic Jews affirm–but He is NOT the fulfillment of Islam. Islam is and always has been a religion that rejects and explicitly denies Jesus as Christ. One cannot be a Christian and remain a Muslim. The two worship different gods–and the God of Christianity makes it plain that He will not share His glory.

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

Islamic Holy Books

March 28th, 2010

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapters 4 and 5: The Qur’an (Mother of Books)
and Sunnah and Hadith (The Other Books)

According to Muslims, the Qur’an is the exact, dictated revelation of Allah to Muhammad. As such, Muslims look down upon translations as being inferior–whereas the Arabic original is sacred.

The illiterate Muhammad “wrote” down the dictated “revelation” of Allah using a variety of scribes–one of whom left the Islamic faith saying that this “revelation”, far from being inspired dictation, was open to imaginative editing by the scribes. The rest of the Qur’an was kept as oral tradition until the death of several individuals with knowledge of the holy words. Then scribes set to work transcribing the oral recitations of Muhammad’s intimates.

The Islamic “canon” was determined by relatively arbitrary means. One imam gathered together all copies of the Qur’an–then a highly variable document containing the written oral tradition of different individuals–and chose one that was written in the dialect he preferred. Having chosen the one document, he burned all others and commissioned scribes to copy the chosen document to be carried throughout the Islamic world.

According to the Qur’an, the Bible is a revelation from Allah but is flawed and unfulfilled. The Qur’an regularly contradicts Scripture, for instance, saying that the Trinity includes Mary, that blood is unimportant, and that Jesus was not crucified.

Within the Qur’an, there are many contradictions–and even more odd teachings and doctrines. For example, the Qur’an is of two minds as to whether there is an unforgivable sin and what that sin consists of. On one occasion, the Qur’an states that Christians can be found in heaven, while another Surah (verse) declares that all Christians are destined for hell.

While the Qur’an is known to be the holy book of Islam, few are aware that the Sunnah and the Hadith (Sayings and Examples) are the foundation of most Islamic custom and law. It is here, in the Sunnah and Hadith, that the dietary laws, the marriage laws, the laws of cleanliness and modesty and fasting are found.

These writing contain a great deal that is adhered to today–but also contain strange superstitions (for instance, that genetic traits are passed on to offspring depending on whether the man or the woman reaches orgasm first during intercourse) and unusual prescriptives (such as drinking camel urine as medicine).

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

A Short History of Islam

March 27th, 2010

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapter 3: The Story of Islam (A Trail of Blood)

Chapter 3 gives a brief overview of Islamic history, starting with the “four horsemen of Muhammad”, the four imams under whose leadership Islam violently took over the Arabian peninsula (from AD 632-661). Next there was an age of aggressive expansion during which Islam’s military forces extended the rule of Allah across North Africa, east to China, and as far north as France (AD 661-1095). After Muslims attacked a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem, the Crusades began an era of Christian/Muslim conflict which strengthened Islam and weakened Christianity (1095-1291). After this point, Islam moved to defend themselves against Genghis Khan and the Mongolians. This was successful not because of military might but because Mongolian leaders were converted and enforced the new religion top down (1298-1515). It was then that Islam shifted from its largely offensive, conquest-driven role in the world to a more defensive position as the Turkish empire.

But the Caner brothers make clear that this defensive position is a sidenote, an anomaly in Islamic history. The goal of Islam is, and always has been, to conquer the world at the edge of a sword. Current Islamofascism is not a radical sect of Islam–but a return to what has always been Islam’s goal.

“War is not a sidebar of history for Islam; it is the Muslim duty to bring world peace via the sword….It is the duty of the believer in Jesus Christ to persuade Muslims compassionately, wait for them patiently, and pray for them earnestly.”
-Caner and Caner, Unveiling Islam, p 78

Lord, give us the grace to do so.

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

Prophet of Peace

March 27th, 2010

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapter 2: Muhammad (The Militant Messenger)

Islam encourages trust in the Koran and emulation of Muhammad’s life. Yet Muhammad himself was unsure at first whether his “revelation” was from God or a demon–his wife convinced him that it was of god. While proclaiming that the Qur’an is the exact words of Allah as received by himself, Muhammad changed the wording of the “revelation” at the suggestion of his scribe. Beyond this, Muhammad condoned and lived a violent life, took on many brides (11 in all, one of whom was only nine years old when their “marriage” was consummated), and was capricious in his judgments.

“Clearly Jesus was a far superior prophet of peace and mercy. Muhammad was ruthless in war, not considering ethical ramifications when he was caught up in the height of savagery. The only life Jesus Christ voluntarily gave up was His own. His character offers continuous, unassailable compassion.”
Caner and Caner, Unveiling Islam, page 52

The history of Islam’s founder belies the common notion that Islam is a religion of peace. Muhammad was far from peaceful, rarely merciful, and plainly immoral (even by modern standards). This stands in sharp contrast to Jesus the Christ, who staged no revolts, murdered no one, and judged no one (except by the truth of His character according to John 3:17-19). He did nothing wrong. Even His worst enemies were incapable of bringing false accusation against Him (Matthew 26:59-60). As the Caner brothers so insightfully point out, “The only life Jesus Christ voluntarily gave up was His own.” He, and He alone, is a true prophet of peace.

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

Allah and Eternal Security

March 26th, 2010

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapter 1 : Security, Politics, and Jihad

“One must love Allah in order for Allah to love that person in return. In Christianity, God loved people first in order to secure their salvation.”
-Caner and Caner, Unveiling Islam (p. 31)

According to Caner and Caner, Islam is a religion of constant fear–fear of Allah and fear of hell–but with no love and no hope for eternal security. Even the best followers of Islam have little hope of Paradise. The closest one can get to eternal assurance in Islam is to die the death of a martyr.

“The Qur’an promises Paradise to those who die in battle for Islam more certaintly than it promises salvation to anyone else.”
-Caner and Caner, Unveiling Islam (p. 36)

How my heart grieves for these who have no hope except to kill themselves on the chance that they might be saved. How my heart rejoices that I have assured eternal hope, not through my death but through that of another. How my heart grieves for those who have never experienced a God who is love. How my heart rejoices that my God is love–and has demonstrated His own love in this: in that while I was still a sinner Christ died for me.

Oh, Lord, in your infinite mercy, would you let your light shine upon those who are in bondage to Allah. Would you allow them to see and experience You and Your love. Bring salvation to that house, I pray.

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

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