Click PDF to see a printable tract version.
Following the attack on America on September 11, 2001, there was a never-ending chorus of voices from government, academia, and the media assuring us that the Islamic terrorists who attacked the Trade Towers and the Pentagon were not representative of “true Islam.” All manner of spiritual leaders assured us that Islam is a “religion of peace,” and that Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews. Well, what about it? Let’s begin with some historical background.
An Historical Perspective on Islam
Muhammad, the man who dictated the Koran and gave birth to Islam, was born in Mecca in the Saudi Arabian peninsula in AD 570. His father died before he was born, and his mother died when he was six years old.
Throughout his life, Muhammad was illiterate. Until the age of 25 he worked in caravans. During his extensive travels, he met many Christians and Jews, and picked up bits and pieces of both Judaism and Christianity. His life was radically changed at the age of 25 when he met a wealthy widow 40 years old who fell in love with him. Muhammad lived a life of leisure from that point on.
Fifteen years later, Muhammad had a visitation from a spirit. Supposedly, this spirit told him he was called of God to be a “prophet” and an “apostle.” It is interesting to note that there was no tradition in Arabian religions of either prophets or apostles. These terms were obviously used by Muhammad to appeal to Jews and Christians.
Muhammad continued to have spirit visitations. They would throw him into a trance, and his utterances during the trances were written down by scribes. These statements became the Koran, but they were not compiled until after his death. When they were compiled, they were not organized either chronologically or by subject matter. The result was a jumble of disorganized and often incoherent sayings which are frequently contradictory. For example, the Koran gives four conflicting accounts of Muhammad’s call to be a prophet. The call was from —
(1) Allah (Suras 53 & 81— Sura means chapter)
(2) the Holy Spirit (Suras 16 & 26)
(3) angels (Sura 15)
(4) Gabriel (Sura 2).
At the time Muhammad received his initial visitation, there were over 300 gods being worshipped in Mecca by pilgrims who came there each year to pray at the Ka’aba, a small cubic building that housed a black meteorite and effigies of the various gods. One of those gods was Allah, the moon god. Muhammad decided to proclaim that there was only one god—and he selected Allah as that god. That’s why the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam. He also proclaimed that he was the prophet of Allah.
Initially, Muhammad expected both Jews and Christians to receive his new revelation. Thus, early passages in the Koran speak admiringly of “the people of the Book.” These are the passages that Muslims in the West love to quote in their effort to prove that Islam is a tolerant religion. An example is Sura 5:82 which says, “You will find that those who are nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] are those who say, ‘We are Christians.”
But when Jews and Christians rejected Muhammad, he turned fiercely against them; and later passages in the Koran have a different tone. Muslims are not to take Jews and Christians as friends (Sura 5:51); they are to fight against them until they either submit to Allah or pay a special tax (Sura 9:29); and Jews are referred to as “apes and swine to be despised and rejected” (Suras 2:65,66 & 5:60).
The people of Muhammad’s own tribe, the Quraysh, also rejected him. In response, he gave in to the temptation to appease his tribe by announcing that it would be okay for them to worship the three daughters of Allah— named Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat. This declaration led to the infamous “Satanic verses” of the Koran which were later deleted as Muhammad reverted back to monotheism. Muslims have tried ever since to cover this up.
The opposition to Muhammad in his hometown of Mecca continued to grow until he was forced to flee 250 miles to Medina where his message was received. The Islamic calendar dates from this year when Muhammad fled to Medina and found a receptive audience, resulting in the formal establishment of Islam as a religion. It was the year AD 622, and that date represents year one of the Muslim calendar, which is a lunar calendar. The year 2000 is the year 1421 in the Muslim dating system.
After the death of his wife, Muhammad married at least 11 other women. He also took several concubines. He married one girl who was only six years old and had sexual relations with her when she was nine. According to the Koran, only the prophet could have unlimited wives. All other Muslim men are limited to four (Sura 4:3). Muhammad died June 8, 632 in Medina at age 63. He left no successor, and Islam soon broke into warring sects such as the Shiites and the Sunnies.
The Spread of Islam
All of those who survived Muhammad took up the sword, as directed by the Koran, and devoted themselvesto advancing Islam through military might. The resulting spread of the religion was phenomenal. Within a century, Islamic forces had conquered Saudi Arabia, the entire Middle East, Central Asia, and large parts of India. The armies raged through Egypt and across North Africa.
In AD 710, the Islamic armies crossed the Straights of Gibraltar and quickly conquered most of Spain and Portugal. They almost conquered France, but were miraculously defeated at the Battle of Tours in AD 732. Their influence in Spain lived on for a few more centuries before they were slowly driven back to North Africa.
A second powerful attempt to subjugate all of Europe was made 900 years later when the Turks began to expand their empire. They took Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and parts of Romania and Hungary. By 1683 they had reached the gates of Vienna, where once again the Western forces won a miraculous victory against overwhelming odds. After this second attempt to conquer Europe, Islam fell into a state of depression and stagnation until it was awakened in the 20th century due to: (1) The great wealth amassed due to the discovery of vast reservoirs of oil (2) The re-establishment of the nation of Israel (3) The placement of US Armed Forces in the Middle East in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait (4) The encroachment of Western culture into the Muslim world.
The Cultural Nature of Islam
The encroachment of Western culture into Muslim countries seems trivial to Westerners, but that is because of a failure to understand that Islam is a cultural religion that deifies seventh-century Arabian culture. Westerners tend to view religion as something intensely personal and private — not cultural. Christianity is “supra-cultural” in that it allows people to live, dress, and eat in accordance with their culture. Not so with Islam. In Islam there is no “secular realm” that is free of religion. Islam regulates every area of life to the point that religion, politics, and culture are inseparable. Islam is thus fueled by a subtle form of racism in which seventh-century Arabian culture is imposed upon all other cultures. Here are some examples of the cultural nature of Islam:
Political Structure— The tribalism of seventh-century Arabia is the political structure sanctioned by the Koran. The chief has absolute authority. There is no concept of civil rights. This principle is reflected today in the reality that all Islamic countries are ruled by dictators, and civil liberties, like freedom of speech and religion, do not exist.
Prayer— A Muslim is required to pray five times a day toward Mecca. This is a symbol of the underlying cultural imperialism that lies at the heart of Islam. What if all Russian Orthodox throughout the world were required to pray toward Moscow? Or, if all Roman Catholics were required to face Rome when they prayed? Such requirements would imply a cultural attachment to prayer.
Pilgrimage— A Muslim is required, despite the hardship and cost, to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia once in his lifetime.
Dietary Laws — The only foods allowable are those that were acceptable in seventh-century Arabia.
Women— What an illiterate, nomadic tribeswoman wore in the desert in seventh-century Arabia is what Muslim women today are forced to wear! The plight of women in Islamic countries is despicable. They can be kept prisoners in their homes, cannot appear in public without a covering, are usually denied the right to vote, and are often denied anything more than a rudimentary education. In strict Islamic countries, women are generally treated as subhuman. Sura 4:34 says, “Men are their managers. .women who are rebellious — admonish them, banish them to their couches, and beat them.”
Punishment —Cruel and unusual punishment is practiced throughout the Islamic world. Incarceration without due process is common. Punishments often include torture, the cutting off of body parts (hands, ears, and tongues), the gouging out of eyes, beheading, and public flogging — all representative of seventh-century Arabian culture. The Koran specifically commands that those who disobey Allah are to be tortured (Sura 8:12-14). Time magazine presented this chilling summary of the “moderate” Islamic nation of Saudi Arabia (p 62, Oct 15, 2001):
Despite the modernization that took place after the discovery of oil reserves in 1938, Saudi Arabia remains a land where rigid religious and traditional values are strictly enforced. Cinemas and discos are outlawed; men and women are separated in banks, schools, and fast-food restaurants; women must wear veils and are forbidden to drive. Public decency police known as muttawa comb shopping malls searching for women whose loose scarves reveal a curl of hair and forcing store owners to shut at prayer times. Unforgiving Saudi justice is on view after the main prayer every Friday, when a swordsman beheads blindfolded murderers, sorcerers, drug smugglers, and other criminals in Riyadh’s “Chop-chop Square.”
The Spiritual Nature of Islam
Islam is a typical “works-salvation” religion centered around a false god. Its fundamental tenets deny the heart of the Christian gospel, revealing its demonic origin.
The Koran—Contradictions abound in Islam’s holy book. For example, Allah created everything in “the twinkling of an eye,” “two days,” “four days,” “six days,” in “a day equaling 1,000 years,” and “50,000 years” (Suras 7:54; 10:4; 32:4,5; 41:9,10,12; 54:49,50; 70:4). Six different time periods!
The Koran contains many scientific errors. A crude example is found in Sura 18:8-86 where it says Alexanderthe Great followed the setting of the sun and discovered that it went down to the waters of a muddy spring!
Many Arabian fairy tales about genies are in the Koran. The book is also full of historical errors. It presents Mary the mother of Jesus as the sister of Moses (obviously confusing her with Miriam). The flood is placed in Moses’ day, and one of Noah’s sons refused to enter the ark and was drowned. The Koran also pictures Abraham offering Ishmael as a sacrifice in Mecca, whereas the Bible has Abraham offering Isaac on Mt. Moriah in the area that would later become the heart of Jerusalem.
God— The Koran asserts that the god of Islam is the God of Christians and Jews (Sura 29:46). Nothing could be further from the truth. Allah is presented in the Koran as an autocratic ruler who is aloof and arbitrary (Sura 5:40). Allah is unknowable whereas the true God is knowable (2 Tim 1:12). Allah is impersonal; the true God is personal (I Peter 5:6,7). Allah is unitarian (Sura 4:48) whereas the true God is trinitarian (2 Cor 13:14). The Koran says, “Believe in Allah and say not ‘Trinity.’ Cease! It is better for you! Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son” (Sura 4:171). Allah is capricious (Sura 2:284), whereas the true God is trustworthy. Allah is never presented as a god of love — which is the essence of the nature of the true God (1 John 4:7-16).
Jesus — The Koran denies that Jesus was the Son of God (Sura 112:2,3). It also denies His atoning sacrifice by claiming that He never died, but a substitute died for Him on the cross (Sura 4:157). He was translated to heaven, like Enoch, where He will remain until He returns to kill all pigs, destroy all crosses, and convert the world to Islam. Jesus will marry, reign 40 years, and then die and be buried next to Muhammad in Medina. The Koran pictures Jesus as nothing more than “an apostle of Allah” (Sura 4:171).
Sin— There is no concept of sin in Islam and therefore no need for forgiveness. Shame replaces sin. Everything is a matter of honor verses dishonor. Islam doesn’t view man as needing redemption; he only needs some guidance so that he might develop the inherently pure nature with which the Creator has endowed him. If he will be faithful in his prayers, almsgiving, and fasting, God is likely to overlook his failures and usher him into Paradise.
Ethics — The situation determines the appropriate action, not a standard of right and wrong. Al Ghazzali (1058-1111), one of the greatest Muslim theologians, wrote: “We must lie when truth leads to unpleasant results.” The Koran also sanctions revenge: “If anyone transgresses… against you, transgress likewise against him” (Sura 2:194),
Salvation—Islam is a religion of “works.” Favor with Allah comes by the five pillars of the faith:
(1) Reciting the creed that there is one god, Allah, and his prophet is Muhammad
(2) Praying five times a day toward Mecca
(3) Giving alms to the poor
(4) Fasting from sunrise to sunset one month a year during the month of Ramadan
(5) Making a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Another way to reach Paradise is to die fighting for Allah (Sura 3:157). Islam is so works oriented that it teaches that good deeds cancel bad ones (Sura 11:114). In direct contrast, the Bible teaches that it is impossible to earn salvation, for it is a gift given “freely” by God’s grace and received by faith in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:8-10; Rev 21:6).
Heaven— The Islamic Paradise is a place of sensual pleasure consisting of gluttonous feasts and endless sexorgies (Suras 52:17-24; 55:54-56; 78:32-34),
The Intolerant and Militant Nature of Islam
One of the most controversial issues regarding Islam concerns whether or not it is a militant religion. Muslims in the West argue that it is peace-loving. Westerners who have experienced it in the Muslim world argue that it is inherently intolerant and militant. The Koran preaches intolerance toward other religions: “Take not Jews and Christians for friends.. .He among you who takes them for friends is one of them.. .Keep your duty to Allah” (Sura 5:51,55,57). Extreme intolerance is commanded for those who do not submit to Allah, “their punishment is …execution or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet, from the opposite sides, or exile from the land” (Sura 5:33).
The Koran is also intolerant toward any person who rejects the Islamic faith or converts to another religion. Such persons are to be executed (Sura 9:12). It says in the Hadith (the oral tradition of Muhammad’s sayings), “Whoever changes his religion, kill him” (Hadith 9:57). This is practiced in all Islamic fundamentalist countries today. Regarding militancy, the Koran commands it: “Fight and slay the pagans.. .slay them [the unbelievers] wherever you find them” (Suras 2:190-193,216; 9:5).
Muslims living in Western democracies try to defend Islam by quoting Sura 2:256, “There is no compulsion in religion.” This lonely verse in the Koran was written before Muhammad was rejected by Jews, Christians, and his fellow Arabs — before he fled to Medina and started responding in hatred to all his detractors. Islamic teachers argue that this verse was later abrogated. The bottom line is that infidels must embrace Islam or face death.
Muslims sometimes counter by pointing to the intolerance and violence that have characterized both Jews and Christians at certain times in their histories. They point to the slaughter of the Canaanites by the Jews, and to the Crusades in the Middle Ages. They thus accuse Jews and Christians of being hypocritical in attacking the intolerance and violence of Islam today. Regarding the Jews, this argument ignores the fact that God used them as an instrument of His judgment against the Canaanites, just as He later used the Assyrians and Chaldeans to punish the Jews (Gen 15:16; Lev 18:24,25; Deut 9:5). He never told the Jews to conquer the world for Him; He commanded them to treat aliens with justice (Lev 19:17,33; Deut 27:19); and love their neighbors as they loved themselves (Lev 19:18).
Regarding the Crusades, they were an aberration in Christian history based upon perverted Catholic doctrine and not upon any biblical injunction. In contrast, the intolerance and violence that have characterized Islam throughout its history are firmly rooted in the Koran.
How vastly different are the ghastly commands of Muhammad to the loving commands of Jesus Christ! Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.. .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.. .All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.. .Love thy neighbour as thyself… This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you (Matt 5:39,44; 7:12; 22:39; John 15:12), Muhammad went forth to conquer for Allah with the sword; Christ sends forth His own in peace appealing to the hearts of men through the preaching of the gospel, relying on the power of God’s Spirit alone.
The Imperialistic Nature of Islam
From its inception, Islam has been committed to what it calls jihad— a word meaning holy war. It is the duty of Muslims to subjugate or destroy “infidels” — the term the Koran uses for all non-believers. Muslims see the world as divided into two regions — those areas controlled by Islam, called Dar al Islam (meaning the House of Islam) and those called Dar al Harb (the House of War). The Koran commands Muslims to fight non-Muslims until they exterminate all other religions, leaving Islam as the one and only religion in the world (Suras 2:193 & 8:39). Muhammad said, “Fight with the people until they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah” (Hadith 4:196).
Muslims are ordered to terrorize non-Muslims: “Strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah and your enemies” (Sura 8:60). Allah says: “I will instill terror into the hearts of unbelievers. Smite them above their necks and smite all their fingertips off. It is not you who slay them, it is Allah” (Sura 8:12,17). The Koran guarantees Paradise to those who fight for Allah (Sura 4:74). It promises instant Paradise for those who die in battle (Suras 9:111 & 47:5,6). Martyrs are promised a sensual and luxurious life in Paradise (Sura 52:17-22). According to Al-Ohazzali, one of Islam’s greatest teachers, when a martyr reaches Paradise, he “will marry 500 companions, 4,000 virgins, and8,000 divorced women.” The Islamic Paradise is just the kind of place that adolescent, unmarried men, isolated through their lives from the opposite sex by rigid cultural standards, would die for.
The murderous imperialistic nature of Islam is clearly revealed in the sermons delivered weekly throughout the Muslim world. Consider the following excerpt from a sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi that was broadcast live over Palestinian television on June 8, 2001. Referring to a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that had killed 21 Israeli teenagers the week before, he praised the terrorists: Blessings to whoever waged jihad for the sake of Allah… Blessings to whoever put a belt of explosives on his body, or on his son’s body, and plunged into the midst of the Jews, crying, “Allahu Akbar!” Praise to Allah!
Then he expressed the imperialistic aims of Islam by issuing warnings to nations that would be “erased:” Allah is almighty.. .We must prepare the ground for the army of Allah that is coming according to [divine] predestination…Allah is willing for this unjust state of Israel to be erased. The unjust state, the United States, will be erased. The unjust state, Britain, will be erased.
From a sermon delivered October 13, 2000, by Dr. Ahinad Abu Halabiya, also carried live on Palestinian television, he proclaimed that the true terrorists are the Jews “who must be butchered and killed, as Allah the Almighty has said.. .Fight them wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them… and kill those Americans who are like them — who stand by them.” And as an incentive to carry out these murderous acts, he added: “0 brothers in belief…the beautiful bride has a costly price and dowry… Our bride is Paradise.. .the cost is that we fight in the path of Allah, and kill and be killed.” Keep in mind these are quotes from sermons!
Muslims are deceived by this satanic, false religion. Islam’s god is Satan in disguise. The Koran is not inspired by the God of the Bible. It is a jumbled mess of contradictory statements that are unscientific, unhistorical and unbiblical. Muslims reject Jesus as the Messiah and deny His atoning sacrifice. Islam is not another path to God by which one can obtain eternal life. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said; “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).
– Adapted from the writings of Dr. David R. Reagan