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Jesus and Muhammad Messages to the World
All the passages below are taken from Mark A. Gabriel’s* book “Jesus and Muhammad” published in 2004.
We've seen how Jesus and Muhammad spread their messages. Now we need to see exactly what these messages were. In this chapter you will learn:
WHO THEY CLAIMED TO BE MUHAMMAD: THE FINAL PROPHET
Muhammad declared that he was the final prophet that Allah would send to the world. He explained:
My similitude in comparison with the other Prophets before me is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go round about it and wonder at its beauty, but say: "Would that this brick be put in its place!" So I am that brick, and I am the last (end) of the Prophets.1
Muhammad said that he was the fulfillment of the prophecies of both the Old and New Testament about a prophet that would come. In other words, he claimed to be a prophet for whom both the Jews and Christians were waiting.
Some of the friends of the apostle of Allah said to him,
0 apostle of Allah, tell us about yourself.
He said, "Yes, I am the message of my father Abraham
and the good news of my brother Jesus."2
Muhammad also taught that Jews and Christians had corrupted their Scriptures so that references to Muhammad's coming were taken out. Modern Islamic scholars have claimed to find references to Muhammad that are still remaining in the Bible. You can read more about this topic in Appendix A.
Though he said he was the final and greatest prophet, Muhammad also stated clearly that he was human, not divine. Muhammad told the people, "I am only a man like you" (Surah 18:110). He would die like any other human being. The Quran says, "Verily you (0 Muhammad) will die, and verily they (too) will die" (Surah 39:30).
Regarding his relationship to Allah, the Quran describes Muhammad as a "slave" of Allah (Surah 2:23). Converts to Islam are described as "slaves" to Allah as well (Surah 50:8).
In the beginning Muhammad said that Allah's purpose for him was to be a "plain warner" (Surah 71:2).
But (you are sent) as a mercy from your Lord, to give warning to a people to whom no warner had come before you: in order that they may remember or receive admonition.
However, after Muhammad moved to Medina, he became more than a warner: he became a conqueror. He said in his last sermon on the Mount of Arafat:
After today there will no longer be two religions existing in Arabia. I descended by Allah with the sword in my hand, and my wealth will come from the shadow of my sword. And the one who will disagree with me will be humiliated and persecuted.3
Muhammad called for idol worshipers to leave their idols and for Jews and Christians to leave their "corrupted" faiths and to accept Islam.
JESUS: THE SON OF GOD
Jesus stated many times in the Gospel records that he was the Son of God or that God was his father. For example:
[Jesus] asked [Peter]. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven."
-MATTHEW 16:15-17 NIV
[Jesus said] Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, "I am God's Son"? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.
-JOHN 10:36-38 NIV
[The high priest said to Jesus] "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
-Matthew 26:63-64 NIV
(Other verses where Jesus referred to himself as the Son of God include Matthew 4:6; 8:29; 10:32; 11:27; 16:15-17, 27; 27: 43; 28:19; Mark 1:11; Luke 2:49; 10:22; John 3:16-18; 5:17-18, 25; 10:36; 11:4.)
Jesus said that he was the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy about a coming Messiah.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
-MATTHEW 5:17 NIV
This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.
-LUKE 24:44 NIV
Jesus' words are supported by many Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled in his life, such as being born in Bethlehem, living in Nazareth, spending time in Egypt, and details about his final days. Please see the article “Old Testament Prophecies About Jesus” for a more complete list, including references.
The Old Testament Scriptures taught that God required an animal sacrifice to pardon offenses. Jesus said that his purpose was to offer himself as the final sacrifice for the offenses of every person.
The Son of Man [came] to give his life as a ransom for many.
-MARK 10:45 (SEE ALSO JOHN 3:14 NIV)
Jesus asked people to believe his message so that they could have eternal life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
-JOHN 3:16-17 NIV
HOW TO PLEASE GOD
The essence of any religion is how humanity can have a good relationship with God. The teachings of Jesus and Muhammad were very different in this area.
Requirements to be a Muslim
Muhammad's message developed and became clearer over his lifetime. In other words, the duties required of a Muslim were not the same in the beginning of the revelation as they were twenty three years later at the end. For example, in Mecca during the early years, Muslims were not required to pray a specific number of times per day. After Muhammad's Night journey, which occurred ten years after his first revelation, prayer was required five times a day. Another example is the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj), which was not a requirement until Muhammad's ninth year in Medina.
We will look at his message in its final development. The requirements to be a Muslim were:
1. Worship Allah alone, accept Muhammad as Allah's prophet, and believe in the Quran.
2. Pray the Islamic ritual prayer at the five prescribed times per day. (In chapter 15, I will describe Islamic prayer in detail.)
3. Pay zakat (charity) to the "house of money," which Muhammad administered. Every person was required to give 2 percent of whatever kind of income he earned. The zakat was not an optional donation. Muhammad used the money to partly finance the Muslim military, support the poor, and pay for building projects. There was no word "tax" in that time, but this is really how the money functioned. There was no secular government, so the Islamic state did the only tax collection. In the present time, Muslims are living under secular governments and must pay taxes to them. So the zakat is in addition to their secular taxes. Because there is no central Islamic state, each person must choose where to give his money.
4. Fast between first prayers and fourth prayers during the month of Ramadan.
5. Make a pilgrimage to Al-Ka'ba in Mecca (Surah 22:27).
In addition to these things, Muhammad in Medina exhorted the people that Allah "loved" those who would fight hard for him in the raids and battles that the Muslims conducted against the nonbelievers in Arabia (Surahs 8 and 9).
Requirements to please God
Jesus' message stayed the same from beginning to end. He said that he was the way to have a right relationship with God. "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6 NIV).
Jesus did not have a list of requirements for his followers to meet. Instead, he simply invited them:
"Come, follow me."
-MARK 1:17 NIV
And they did follow him.
"And a great crowd of people followed him."
-JOHN 6:2 NIV
Yet Jesus did not say that following him would be easy. He warned that their lives would be in danger.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
-MARK 8:34-35 NIV
But Jesus also promised that he would not burden his followers.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
-MATTHEW 11:28-30 NIV
He asked them to obey the two "greatest" commandments:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself."'
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
-LUKE 10:25-28 NIV
In short, the requirements to be a Christian were to follow Jesus, love God, and love other people. In contrast to Muhammad, Jesus did not ask his disciples to follow laws about when to pray, how much money to give, how often to fast, or when to take a pilgrimage.
PARDON FOR OFFENSES
If you teach about how to please God, then you must also explain what happens when the inevitable mistakes are made. In other words, what are God's requirements for forgiveness? Let's see what Jesus and Muhammad said.
Allah decides whose sins will be forgiven
There is a well-known story in Islamic history about the death of Muhammad's uncle Abu Talib, who had protected Muhammad from his enemies in Mecca for many years. As his uncle lay dying,
Muhammad begged him to confess Islam, but his uncle did not. Afterward Muhammad reported a revelation from Allah, which said:
Whether you (0 Muhammad) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them---(and even) if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness---Allah will not forgive them, because they have disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad). And Allah guides not those people who are Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).
In other words, Muhammad said he had no ability to forgive someone of wrongdoing or to convince Allah to forgive.
Muhammad only said he was able to have his uncle's punishment reduced as follows:
Among the inhabitants of the Fire Abu Talib would have the least suffering, and he would be wearing two shoes (of Fire) which would boil his brain.4
On a different occasion, Muhammad said he asked Allah to forgive his mother, who had died when Muhammad was only six. One of Muhammad's servants told the story this way:
Abu Hariara narrated: "The prophet Muhammad visited the grave of his mother, and cried and cried and made all of us around him cry. Muhammad said, `I asked Allah whether I can ask him to forgive my mother, and he said no but only he gave me permission to visit her grave."5
Again Muhammad declared that he could not influence Allah to forgive sins. Through the Quran and the hadith, Muhammad taught that only Allah had the authority to forgive sins.
All offenses were not equal in Islamic theology. There were great sins and little sins. Examples of great sins were worshiping another god besides Allah; denying any of the basic beliefs of Islam, especially the five pillars; insulting Muhammad; killing people outside the guidelines of Islamic law; and slandering another Muslim while he is not present. The offender must repent before Allah, but Allah decides whether or not to forgive him. On Judgment Day the person will discover whether or not Allah will forgive him.
On the other hand, little sins could be forgiven by doing good deeds, like extra prayer, extra fasting, or extra charity. Examples of small sins are missing prayer for a day, lying, eating during Ramadan fasting, or refusing to help a neighbor in need.
In short, Allah alone decides whether a person is forgiven. If he commits a big sin, he is at Allah's mercy. If he commits a little sin, he can earn forgiveness through good works or going on hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).
Allah's forgiveness for those to fight
After Muhammad began sending out military expeditions from Medina, he received revelations about a special way Muslims could earn forgiveness from Allah---by fighting and dying for the cause of Islam. One revelation described fighting for Allah as a "trade." If you give Allah "your wealth and your lives" he will forgive your sins, admit you into paradise, and help you win your battle. Here is the passage from the Quran:
0 you who believe! Shall I guide you to a trade that will save you from a painful torment? That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives: that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in 'Adn (Eden) Paradise; that is indeed the great success. And also (He will give you) another (blessing) which you love,---help from Allah (against your enemies) and a near victory.
-SURAH 61:10-13, EMPHASIS ADDED>
Muslims further interpret this to mean that a person who dies in jihad goes straight to paradise and does not need to wait in his grave for Judgment Day.
What Jesus taught about forgiveness
While Muhammad said he had no ability to forgive sin, Jesus openly proclaimed that he had complete authority to forgive sin.
Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!" Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Get up and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." And the man got up and went home.
-MATTHEW 9:2-7; SEE ALSO LUKE 7:36-50 NNIV
When John the Baptist saw Jesus walking toward him, he exclaimed, "Look, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29 NIV). When Jesus was speaking of his death by crucifixion, he said, "This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28 NIV).
In other words, Jesus not only claimed to have the ability to forgive sins on behalf of God while he was on earth, but he also claimed that his death would function as a substitute sacrifice, securing forgiveness for all humanity for all time. One of his final statements to his disciples was this:
This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
-LUKE 24:4F-47, EMPHASIS ADDED
FATE AFTER DEATH
We know what Jesus and Muhammad taught about themselves and what they required their followers to do. Now let us compare their teachings about how God or Allah treats people when they die.
A Muslim's fate after death
Muhammad taught that after death a person remains in his grave until judgment Day. If the person was good, his grave would be a little paradise. If he was bad, it would be a place of torment (Surah 55:46-60). However, nowhere did Muhammad reveal how a person could know for sure whether he would have pleasure or torment in the grave.
As a Muslim, I was personally frustrated by this lack of information. I wondered, "Why would the god of the Quran reveal so many guidelines about earthly matters, like what to do during a woman's period, but fail to reveal how I can know whether I will be tortured or comforted when I die?"
Muhammad himself expressed concern about what would happen to him in his grave. His wife Aisha reported:
Two old Jewish women visited me in my house and said to me, "The dead in their graves are punished." I didn't believe them. After they left I went to prophet Muhammad and told him and he said, "Yes, they told you the truth; that some dead people are punished and even animals can hear their cries in the grave." From that day, every time I saw the prophet pray, he asked Allah to rescue him from the punishment of the grave.6
Muhammad taught that Judgment Day would be announced by the sound of a trumpet. Both the dead and the living would come together, driven by angels to the judgment square to be judged by Allah himself. Allah would weigh their good and bad deeds and decide who would go to paradise and who would go to hell. Until Judgment Day, a person cannot know whether he has pleased Allah. (See Surah 6:73ff, 18:99ff, 20:102ff, 23:101ff, 27:87ff, 36:48ff, 39:68ff, 50:20ff, 78:18ff.)
Muhammad himself said that he did not know what would happen to him at judgment Day. Let's look at when he made this statement. Muhammad was visiting a home where a Muslim man had died and the body was still there. A woman said to the dead body, "May Allah's mercy be on you. I testify that Allah has honored you."
Muhammad said to the woman, "How do you know that [Allah honored the man]?"
She answered, "I do not know, by Allah."
Muhammad replied: "As for him, death has come to him and I wish him all good from Allah. By Allah, though I am Allah's apostle, I neither know what will happen to me, nor do you."7
Muhammad's loyal follower Abu Bakr also spoke of fearing Allah's judgment. He said, "If one of my feet were inside paradise, and the other one were still out, I would not yet trust the cunning of Allah."8 Bakr meant that his eternal fate was a mystery until both feet were inside paradise.
Abu Bakr was nicknamed the "crying man" because he would continually cry as he prayed.9 When asked about this one time his answer was, "Every time I start to pray I imagine Allah standing in front of me and the king of death behind me, the paradise to my right and hell to my left side, and I do not know what my God is going to do to me."10
Muhammad's teachings gave Muslims little comfort when a loved one died.
Muhammad saw a woman crying at the grave of her son. He said, "Be a good believer and be patient." The woman said, "Go away because you have not lost a loved one like me." She did not recognize him.11
Let's examine Muhammad's words of comfort to this woman. He told her to be a good Muslim and be patient. In Islamic teaching, the woman's son was under the will of Allah. Nobody knows if he will go to paradise or hell; Allah decides. So Muhammad was telling the woman to accept Allah's decision, whatever it was. This wasn't very comforting to her.
Muhammad's teaching on Judgment Day works in combination with his teaching on destiny. The result is great uncertainty in the minds of Muslims regarding their fates after death:
Allah's Apostle, the true and truly inspired said, "(As regards your creation), every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for another forty days, and then a piece of flesh for another forty days. Then Allah sends an angel to write four words: He writes his deeds, time of his death, means of his livelihood, and whether he will be wretched or blessed (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into his body. So a man may do deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses, and so he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise and enters Paradise. Similarly, a person may do deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses, and he starts doing deeds of the people of the (Hell) Fire and enters the (Hell) Fire."12
Let me summarize what this hadith says so that you can understand it easily. Muhammad taught that when a person is still in his mother's womb, Allah sends an angel to write down four facts about this person's life: (1) his deeds, (2) his time of death, (3) his means of livelihood, and (4) whether he will be wretched or blessed (meaning whether he will go to hell or paradise).
Therefore, a person may do evil deeds all his life. But, if while he was in his mother's womb the angel wrote that he will be "blessed," then at the end of his life this destiny will take over and he will start doing good deeds and end up in paradise. The reverse is also true: a person may do good deeds all his life, but if the angel wrote that he will be "wretched," then at the end of his life this destiny will take over and the person will start doing evil deeds and end up in hell.
How does this apply to daily life? If you are a Muslim, you hope that Allah will accept your good deeds and admit you into paradise. But because you are taught that your final destiny is based on a word that an angel wrote before you were born, your hope is always shadowed by doubt. What if I am one of those who was destined for good deeds during my life but ultimately sentenced to hell?
Jesus' teaching on fate after death
Judgment Day was also a part of Jesus' teachings (Matthew 10:15, 11:22-24,12:36,41-42,24:31; Luke 10:14,11:31-32). Regarding Judgment Day, Jesus said:
• No one but God knows the date (Matthew 24:36).
• A trumpet will sound (Matthew 24:31).
• Angels will gather the people (Matthew 13:41).
As you just read, Muhammad described these same details six hundred years later. (See Surah 6:73ff, 18:99ff, 20:102ff, 23: 101ff, 27:87ff, 36:48ff, 39:68ff, 50:20ff, 78:18ff.) However, Jesus' teaching on judgment Day differed from Muhammad's in important ways. For example, Jesus said he would return and do the judging (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-41, 47-50; 25:31-33; John 5:22 NIV). Muhammad said Allah would be the judge.
Jesus told four parables in Matthew 24 and 25 about judgment Day, describing the criteria by which people would be judged.
Each parable calls for people to love God and love their neighbors in order to receive eternal life.
Does this mean that Jesus requires good works in order for a person to enter heaven? This is an important question that we can answer through the teachings of Jesus himself. Jesus said that faith in him is required for everlasting life: "God gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV). And Jesus also said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (John 14:15 NIV). This means that if you truly believe Jesus is the son of God, you will obey his commands. If you do not obey his commands, then you do not believe in him.
This understanding is supported by the writings of Jesus' followers. James, one of Jesus' three closest disciples, wrote, "Faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:26 NIV). He described good works as proof of faith: "I will show you my faith by what I do" (James 2:18 NIV). The Book of Ephesians states simply: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith---and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God---not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
Therefore, on Judgment Day, Jesus will look for good works as evidence of faith in him.
Regarding what happens to the dead as they wait for judgment Day, Jesus gave very little teaching. However, he did describe a scene where a rich man died and went to Hades and a poor man died and went to "Abraham's side," which was a place of comfort (Luke 16:19-31 NIV). This gives us an indication of where people who have died will wait until judgment Day. Other details about judgments for believers and unbelievers are described in other parts of the New Testament, especially the Book of Revelation.
Jesus and Muhammad had profoundly different ideas about pleasing God, forgiveness, and judgment Day. They also saw their roles as messengers of God in different ways as well. In the next chapter we will look at what Muhammad said about Jesus and what Jesus might have said about Muhammad. [79-94]
Islamic Teaching Regarding Biblical Prophecies About Muhammad
Did you know that according to the Quran, the coming of Muhammad was prophesied in the Bible?
And verily, it (the Quran, and its revelation to Prophet
Muhammad), is (announced) in the Scriptures [i.e. the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) of former people.
So why don't we see these prophecies clearly? The Quran teaches that Jews and Christians changed almost all the parts of their Scriptures that spoke about Muhammad.
They change the words from their (right) places and have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them.
- SURAH 5:13
However, Muslim scholars say, "There exists in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), even after the original text has been distorted, clear prophecies indicating the coming of the Prophet Muhammad."13
Let's look now at the Bible verses cited by these Muslim scholars. We will go chronologically through the Bible.
In the following passage God is speaking to Moses:
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.
-DEUTERONOMY 18:18 NIV
God was telling Moses that he would give the children of Israel a prophet so that the people would not have to hear his voice directly. This was fulfilled in the history of the children of Israel, for they received many prophets.
The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
-PSALM 118:22-23 NIV
Jesus quoted this prophecy in Matthew 21:42-43, indicating that he was the fulfillment.
THE COMING LIGHT
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets .... I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, and to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
-ISAIAH 42:1-2, 6-7 NIV
Again, Christians believe strongly that this prophecy refers to Jesus, who lived six hundred years before Muhammad.
HOLY ONE FROM MOUNT PARAN
God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Pagan. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth.
-HABAKKUK 3:3 NIV
The part of this verse that Muslims focus on is "the Holy One from Mount Pagan." Muslims say Mount Pagan is at Mecca, which was the birthplace of Muhammad. But in reality, Mount Pagan is not in Arabia; it is in the Sinai Desert. So this prophecy does not make reference to Muhammad's birthplace.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another
Counselor to be with you forever---the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
-JOHN 14:16-17 NIV
Christians agree that this is a reference to the Holy Spirit living inside a Christian believer. In addition, this verse says several things that are not true about Muhammad. For example, it says the counselor would be with them "forever." Muhammad did not stay with his followers forever. He died. It also says that the world could neither see or know him. But Muhammad was seen and known by many people. Finally, it says that the Counselor would live inside the people. Muhammad could not live inside anybody, because he was not a spirit.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
-JOHN 14:26 NIV
This verse clearly says that the Counselor is the Holy Spirit.
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you.
-JOHN 16:7 NIV
Again, Jesus' prophecy of the Holy Spirit as the coming Comforter is taken to refer to Muhammad [by the Muslim].
Remember, Jesus later said more about this prophecy. When he was being taken up to heaven, he said, "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:4-5 NIV). Later that promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when they heard the sound of a violent wind, saw tongues of fire, and were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4 NIV).
As you can see for yourself, these prophecies had their fulfillment outside of Muhammad. This is another indication of the weakness of Islamic doctrine about the corruption of Scriptures. [229-232]
1. The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 56, no. 735.
2. Ibn Hisham, vol. 1, pt. 1, p. 302.
3. Ibn Hisham, vol. 3, pt. 6, p. 8.
4. The Correct Books o f Muslim, bk. 1, no. 413.
5. Sahib Muslim, no. 2259.
6. Sahib Muslim, no. 1321. See also The Correct Books of Muslim, bk. 4, no. 1214.
7. The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol. 9, bk. 87, no. 145. Narrated by Kharija bin Zaid bin Thabit.
8. Dr. Haykyl, Men Around the Messenger (Cairo, Egypt: Dar AlNaha(lah Publishers, 1972).
9. The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol. S, bk. 58, no. 245.
10. Havkvl, Men Around the Messenger.
11. Sahib al-Bukhari, no. 372, vol. 2, p. 208. See also The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol. 2, bk. 23, no. 372.
12. The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 55, no. 549. Narrated by Abdullah.
13. The Noble Quran footnote to Surah 7:157
*Dr. Gabriel was born in Egypt. When he was five-years-old, his uncle, who was an Imam, worked with him to memorize 2-3 verses of the Quran in classical Arabic, almost on a daily basis. By the time he was 12 years old he memorized the complete Quran.
Dr. Gabriel's academic credentials in Islamic scholarship include:
· Bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in Islamic History and Culture from Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
· Graduating second in his class of six thousand students for his bachelor's degree. This ranking was based on cumulative scores of oral and written exams given at the end of each school year.
· At 28-years old, he was one of the youngest lecturers ever hired at Al-Azhar University. He started lecturing after he finished his master's degree and was working to finish his doctorate.
· Traveling lecturer. The university sent him to countries around the Middle East as a lecturer in Islamic history.
· As a scholar, he spent thirty years studying Islam and the life of Muhammad.
Al-Azhar University is the most respected, authoritative Islamic university in the world. It has been in continuous operation for more than one thousand years.
In addition to his academic training, Dr. Gabriel had practical experience, serving as the imam at a mosque in the Cairo suburbs.
After Dr. Gabricl became a Christian, in his mid thirty, he pursued a Christian education. His credentials in Christian education include:
· Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission in Cape Town, South Africa.
· Master's degree in World Religion from Florida Christian University in Orlando, Florida (2001).
· Doctorate degree in Christian Education from Florida Christian University in Orlando, Florida (2003).
· Induction as a fellow in the Oxford Society of Scholars, September 2003.
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