Home›Christianity›What did Gary Wills, a Harvard scholar & devout Christian, find when he studied the Qur’an? A book that heralds one God, that affirms Jewish/Christian revelations, & that loves humanity.
What did Gary Wills, a Harvard scholar & devout Christian, find when he studied the Qur’an? A book that heralds one God, that affirms Jewish/Christian revelations, & that loves humanity.
Interesting. I am glad Gary Wilkins hit on one of the foremost reasons I am a muslim. The very concept of God in Islam is an amazing reason for its divine origin. It is not enough maybe, but it remains a good one.
Speaking as an Orthodox Christian, i have no particular animosity towards your faith or your prophet. Our s stance is one of mildly interested indifference. We do not hold to the views of the Evangelical and Protestant schismatics, that Mohammed was some sort of paedophilia endorsing, scimitar wielding, war mongering ghoul of the desert. This is clearly untrue.
For much of its history Islam has protected Orthodoxy, particularly from the depredations of the Latins in the 15th and 16th centuries. As in the words of Patriarch Macarios III Zaim, of holy and blessed memory ‘God perpetuate the empire of the Turks for ever and ever! For they take their impost, and enter no account of religion, be their subjects Christians or Nazarenes, Jews or Samaritans; whereas these accursed Poles were not content with taxes and tithes from the brethren of Christ.’
On the other hand we cannot, in good conscience, see Mohammed as the most perfect human being in existence or the seal of prophet-hood. There is only one truly and utterly pure and perfect individual, Our Lord Jesus Christ. There can be only one truly world spanning brotherhood of faith, namely the Church. During the decades prior to the rise of Islam the middle east was positively awash with self proclaimed prophets, from the Persian revolutionary mystic Mazdak, the Jewish writers of texts such as the Apocalypse of Zerubbabel and the monks of the great desert Lavras preaching that the time of doom had come.
The Eastern Roman Empire under Emperor Heraclius, of blessed memory, were locked in a death struggle with the forces of Sassanian Persia under Shah Chosroes II, the accursed of God, causing widespread devastation and chaos. Many genuinely believed that the End Times were at hand. From my perspective Mohammed was part of this same tradition, and Islam was a consequence of the unstable time in which it arose.
I cannot claim to comment on the Quran, since i am not well versed in its exegesis. The same could be said of the Holy scriptures, we must admit that the saintly fathers, of blessed memory, knew the word of God better than we ever shall. All i can say that those areas that uphold peace and the pursuit of Holiness, i view with polite approval.
God love you
Nice quote Tobias Bellhouse:
‘For much of its history Islam has protected Orthodoxy, particularly from the depredations of the Latins in the 15th and 16th centuries. As in the words of Patriarch Macarios III Zaim, of holy and blessed memory ‘God perpetuate the empire of the Turks for ever and ever!’
Being neutral I can apply the same reasoning to Jesus(as), the Messiah and revolutions against Rome such as Simon bar Kokhba. Many of that time thought the End Times were at hand as well.
Political instability does not disprove Prophethood.
Dear Mr Stewjo004
Hello again, I trust that you are well. Regarding my statement on the nature of your prophet, you are right, political instability does not disprove prophethood, but it does place it into an appropriate historical setting in order the we may understand it. Christ indeed taught of the end times, but in very specific terms. According to him and his apostles, he would sit on the divine throne as the Judge the living and the dead of all time. This is in principle, not unlike the Qumranic text known as 11Q13, or Melchizedek scroll.
The middle east at the time of the rise of Islam was in a state of turmoil, with the two great empire of Eastern Rome and Sassanian Persia throttling one another to death in a series of terrible wars. Times of difficulty have a curious habit of giving rise to individuals claiming the position of prophet or seer. The concept of itinerant holy men receiving divine or angelic communications was a remarkably common concept in the wilder portions of the Eastern Roman Empire. This can be displayed by the many infancy gospel texts and various apocalypse texts floating around in this decidedly diverse theological atmosphere. Many people, from desert anchorites to urban rabbis, claimed to receive visions from an Angel of the Lord. Mohammed could be seen as another example, albeit a particularly successful example, of this same principle.
God love you.
P.S Having recently read the excellent book ‘After the Prophet: The Epic story of the Shia Sunni split’ by Lesley Hazelton, which i would truly recommend since it was quite fascinating, it does strike me as remarkable that almost all of the great early Caliphs such as Uthman and Ali, died in violent circumstances such as assassination or civil war. This in turn would cause centuries of bloodshed and chaos between the followers of Ahl al Bayt and the partisans of ahlus sunnah that has perceptibly worsened over the course of the previous decade . Any thoughts ?
Once again God Love you all
PPS How does one put you tube music videos on this blog. I have seen them before but have never managed myself, how does one do it. Let both nasheed and monastic chant be savoured.
God Love you
Sorry to bother you again. May i ask what you think of that most controversial of recent Islamic teachers, Mohammed ibn abdul Wahhab ? Some, specifically the clergy of Saudi Arabia ,adore him with a passion, others hate him and refer to him as a warmongering heretic? Its all one to me, but i am simply rather curious.
God love you.
Yes as I said the exact same principle you’re applying to Muhammad(saw) can be applied to Jesus(as) if not more so with the Essene and Qumran communities, as well as the expected End Times it doesn’t make a rational argument for rejection of Muhammad(saw). There was no reason for Muhammad(saw) to claim prophethood and he had a remarkable reputation prior to doing so with no known goal of ever trying to obtain leadership.
As for your next question, I’m sure Lesley Hazelton tried her best but I have never seen a Non-Muslim get our history correct (ESPECIALLY THIS). They either make a lot of assumptions or leave out important pieces of information for understanding. If you’re interested in the First and Second Civil Wars Dr. Ali Sallabi’s books on the life of Uthman(ra) and Ali(ra) go over this subject.
I hate when people talk as if Sunni/Shia is a 50/50 spilt like Catholics and Protestants. Shia are a VERY small minority that just gained more momentum in the last 300 years. They have generally been small closed off cult-like communities barring a few notable exceptions.
To begin Sunni do not reject Ahlul Bayt nor do they believe Ali(ra) was wrong so that in and of itself is incorrect to call Shia “followers of Ahlul Bayt”. From a political standpoint, most Muslims are “Shia” in the sense that Ahlul Bayt was right during the First and Second civil wars. The problems with the Shia is based on the majority of the Shia’s made-up concepts and giving human’s God’s attributes. If Shia said stuff like: “I believe Ali(ra) should have been the Caliph after the Prophet(saw)” cool just a minor issue. Saying he has control over all the atom’s in creation not so much. As for the Early Caliphs martyrdoms that is how humans are even after God sends the revelation. All it is is basically watching the quality drop among the people from the Prophet’s(saw) generation to ours.
Finally, regarding Sheikh Abdul Wahab (rh) a LOT of Muslims don’t understand the situation and a lot of people tell lies about him. Basically, why he was so controversial is because:
1. He stopped a lot of idolatrous practices people were doing in Arabia. For example, people used to go to this tree the Prophet(saw) sat under and would pick up dirt and rub themselves down with it or think praying to the tree was a good thing. So he had cut it down, so people were like: “Oh he must hate Islam!” etc. Pretty much ANYBODY who has studied in the field known as Aqeedah” (not just Saudi Arabia) gives him the stamp of approval. it is only laymen or people with “aqeedah issues” who don’t like him.
2. His alliance he made with the Saudis but again politics wise he didn’t care he just wanted to stop the idolatry they were doing. Again people not understanding this claim he was a British agent and other random crap like that.
Overall, great aqeedah scholar.
You said “If Shia said stuff like: “I believe Ali(ra) should have been the Caliph after the Prophet(saw)” cool just a minor issue.”
There are some Muslims who are Shia like that. They are called Zaidis. And they are in Yemen. They are in a way closer to Ahlus Sunnah than Shia.
I’m familiar Zaidis and yes they are Muslims. I just said “Shia” because it’s more recognizable to Non-Muslims. The “Twelver” Rafidah is who most Non-Muslims think of when they hear Shia. When I’m referring to the kuffar of Iran I call them “Rafidah” as they rightfully deserve. However, you are correct there are many sects and beliefs among them (which is also why Hazelton’s book is incorrect in her notion about the first fitna and it affecting modern politics.)
We twelver Shias are not Kuffaar.. we believe in the Shahadah just like every other Muslim believes in it.. Just because the Wahhabi mindset does not understand Wilayat ul Takweeniyah (which is not accept by every single Shia scholar by the way) does not mean that Shias are out of the fold of Islam.. If a 12er Shia scholar says that the Imams had power to do such and such Karamah, it is with the understanding that they ONLY could do such things with the permission of Allah (SWT).. JUST like how Jesus (AS) fashioned a bird out of clay and it came to life, with the permission of Allah, certain pure and blessed figures were given permission by Allah to do certain Karamah.. Now if one believes that the Imams did such acts INDEPENDENT of Allah’s permission and power, then THAT is 100% shirk and that is what the Ghulaat extremists believed in and they were cursed by our Imams for believing in such things..
This article explains it better than I have:
@ Laymen Shia
I never said Shia are kuffar. I said twelver Rafidah are and there is a difference between the 2 statements. This is shirk Al Asm wa Sifaat because you are giving Allah’s attributes to the creation. All these statements in the article you listed are shirk:
Allah’s alleged saying: “Oh my servant, obey me till I make you like myself.”
(Contradicts Surah Ikhlas)
…obey my command so that I make you eternally alive so you will never die. I tell a thing to be and it is. Obey me so that I make you as such, where you tell a thing to be and it becomes so.
(This is false as Allah says every soul shall taste death.)
But let’s highlight this passage in particular to prove the kufr.
“By grace of their (the imams) existence, the creation receive their sustenance and the sky and the earth remain stable.”
I can show this to any Christian on this site and they will say the same about Isa(as). Actually their books do say this about him. Please explain the difference between these statements that some kafir made up and attributed to Allah:
1In the beginning was the Word (Isa), and the Word was with God… 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)
It’s all extremism of venerating the righteous the only difference is the names and numbers. Again I am not saying you are a kafir because you didn’t know yet but I have no issue calling any of the “Ayatullah” as such. Isa(as) did not “command all the atom’s in creation”. He performed a miracle for the people to prove he was a prophet like the many before him. Rafidah call upon the Ahlul Bayt(as) to do things for them. This is all shirk plain and simple. Even the pagan Arabs knew that Allah is the ultimate source they just called upon things with Him to get closer to Him. Kufr, whether it takes the form of the Pagans, Jews, Hindus, Christians or Rafidah, is the same thing as it’s all one religion. Sometimes just going back to basics is enough. What seems more likely:
Allah sent the Qur’an to the Prophet(saw) to then give his cousin the power to control creation by His will?
People went to the extreme in venerating a righteous servant of Allah?