And many false prophets shall rise,
and shall deceive many. (Matt. 3:8)
Islam, or the worship of Allah, is the fastest growing religion in the world today, with over a billion followers world-wide. It is important for all of us to know what Islam really is, how it got started, and where it stands today.
Islam was started by Muhammad, some 600 years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sources on Muhammadís life agree that he was born about 570 CE in the city of Mecca in Arabia. His father died just before he was born, and his mother died when he was six. Muhammad was then brought up by first his grandfather, then his uncle. He later worked mostly as a merchant, and was married at age 25 to a woman some 10 to 15 years his senior. At age 40, discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection. This was where he received his first revelation, in the form of a visit from the angel Gabriel.
He began this religion worshiping what he called the 'one true god', whom he called 'Allah'.
History shows, however, that 'Allah' was the name of the moon-god worshiped by pagans long before Muhammadís time. Specifically, among the 360 tribal gods worshiped by the Quraysh at Mecca, one was called 'Allah'. The meaning of this name is from two words: "Al" meaning "the", and "Ilah", meaning "god". Thus, the name Allah actually translates as "the god". This is important because at the time, long before Muhammad began Islam, there were 360 gods worshiped by the Quraysh. Allah was the chief among these.
In fact, Muhammadís own father was named ĎAbdullahí, meaning Ďslave of Allahí.
Muhammad hated the idolatry and immorality that abounded during his time, but created his false religion based on many of the same pagan practices of the ancient worshipers of the moon-god Allah. He incorporated as well as basic theological elements of both Christianity and Judaism, according to his own often inaccurate understanding. He could neither read nor write, so his understanding of Holy Scriptures was subject largely to his own ideas and interpretations.
Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. (Deut.†4:39)
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. (Isa.†46:9)
Muhammad also gave the world the Qurían, or Koran, which he claimed replaced the Holy Bible. This work was passed down orally by Muhammad, who could neither read nor write. It was transcribed later by his followers, and includes his own thoughts and 'revelations', some of which are in direct opposition to the Holy Scriptures. Besides the Qur'an, Muhammadís life and traditions are also upheld by Muslims, in a work called the "Hadith", which supplements the Qur'an.
It is important to remember, this took place some 600 years after the death and resurrection, so the Holy Bible was already complete at that time, not to be changed or added to in any way. The Scriptures tell us:
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deut. 4:2)
This is repeated in Revelation†22:18-19:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
God has given us all the revelations we are going to have, and all we ever need. His word is perfect and infallible; why would He ever replace it with something less?
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (II Tim.†3:16)
Any religion whose founders claim that they have received a new revelation from God or His angels that replaces the Holy Bible is a false religion. This would include the Jehovahís Witnesses, the Mormons, and the Unification Church (Moonies), as well as Islam.
No, my friend, while false religions abound, the truth is that there is but one true God, and His name is not Allah. He has a plan to redeem a lost world, through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Tim.†2:5
This is one of the main characteristics of all false religions: they deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Thus, they teach a doctrine of works for salvation. In every false religion, the believer must somehow earn their own salvation by gaining their god's approval; they must try to satisfy their god by their own good deeds, whether that means helping the poor, healing the sick, or killing the infidel. The Muslim must earn salvation by following the "Five Pillars of the Faith."
There are those who claim Islam is a "peaceful" religion. In the Arabic language, the very word "Islam" means "surrender" or "submission". Muslims have a very strict law, called Sharia, which proclaims severe punishment, even up to death, for apostacy, which they interpret as denying Allah, or blasphemy, saying anything derogatory about Islam or Muhammad. How very different from the teachings of Jesus, who taught:
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven." (Mt†5:44-45)
Those religions, like Islam, that say that Jesus is not Godís only begotten Son are proved false by Godís own word. He wants everyone to know that Jesus is above everyone else, above all other religions and religious leaders. God Himself highly exalts His son:
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Bible teaches that there is only one way to the Father, and that is through Jesus, His only begotten Son.
Jesus is the Christian's redemption, and atonement. He is the one and only way to eternal life, which we call salvation. He did for us what we could never do for ourselves.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor.†3:11)
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Rom.†3:24)
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thes.†5:9)
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John†14:6)
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts†4:12)
Yes, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. Many, many people are obviously searching, and Islam seems to give them an outlet for their pain, their disillussion, their dissatisfaction with life. But Islam is a false religion. There is only one true God, and His name is not Allah. I urge anyone who is searching, anyone who feels drawn to or has been indoctrinated in any false religion, to turn to the one true God. They will find He is a loving God, who promises this:
But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
So What's The Difference? ©1967, 1979, & 2001 by Fritz Ridenour; Regal Books, Ventura, CA