In the early 1980s, three brothers— all serious, devout Muslims and the sons of a leader in the Islamic faith—surrendered their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. “We did not ‘switch religions,’” they wrote. “The blood of Jesus Christ saved us. . . . It was God’s gracious act of redemption.”
Their father disowned them. “It could have been worse,” they wrote. “According to hadith 9.57, all three of us brothers should have been killed.” They did not see their father again for 17 years until four days before he died in 1999. And he died a Muslim.
Today Ergun and Emir Caner are Christian professors of church history and theology and authors of an extraordinary book titled Unveiling Islam (Kregel Publications). It is chock-full of historical information concerning Muhammad and the Islamic faith and brilliantly illuminates the irreconcilable differences between Christianity and Islam.
Muhammad vs. Jesus
At age 40 Muhammad began having convulsions through which he claimed he received revelation from God through the angel Gabriel. However, he was “deathly afraid” of the source of the revelation and thought he was demon-possessed. His wife convinced him otherwise.
“Muhammad’s doubts are troubling,” wrote the Caners, “for what major prophet doubts the source of his prophetic revelation? . . . Certainly no major prophet in the Bible attributes God’s revelation to demons.”
Muhammad made holy war, or jihad, incumbent on Muslims. In 627 he ordered 800 helpless Jewish men in Medina beheaded on the edge of a trench, “a procedure that occupied the entire day and went on far into the night. . . . Jesus did not command the murderous crusaders,” the Caners said. “Muhammad was ruthless in war. . . . The only life Jesus Christ voluntarily gave up was His own. His character offers continuous, unassailable compassion. Muhammad was both erratic and hostile to those who would not follow him.”
He killed critics for speaking their minds, ordered the severe beating of a woman to retrieve information from her, had sexual relations with a child of nine. He was a ruthless general and raided caravans merely for financial gain to expand his movement. He even broke the rules of engagement when he fought during a sacred month.
He “seldom gained conversions except through coercion”; depended on his own good works to get to heaven; commanded Muslims, “Fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them” (surah 9:5); and sparked the Qur’an’s teaching that commands the execution, crucifixion, mutilation, or exile of anyone who fights “against Allah and His Messenger” (surah 5:33).
Unlike Christianity, Islam has no concept of a personal relationship with God. And Jesus’ emphasis on love is completely foreign to Islam: “Love is never part of the equation—the religion depends upon a sense of duty and a desire for payback,” the Caners said. Whereas the Bible teaches, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Mt. 5:44), Muslims are taught to hate Allah’s enemies, as does Allah; and the Qur’an promises Paradise to those who die fighting for Islam.
Fight to the Death
The Qur’an teaches followers to fight until Islam dominates the world:
Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah, —whether he is slain or gets victory—soon shall We give him a reward of great (value) (surah 4:74).
Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: Feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan (surah 4:76).
Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) (surah 9:5).
Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them(surah 9:14).
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya [tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued (surah 9:29).
But the Apostle, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: For them are (all) good things: And it is they who will prosper (surah 9:88).
O ye who believe! Fight the Unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: And know that Allah is with those who fear Him (surah 9:123).
Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): Thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): But if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the way of Allah, —He will never let their deeds be lost (surah 47:4).
Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure (surah 61:4).
He it is Who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the true religion, that He may make it overcome the religions, all of them, though the polytheists may be averse (surah 61:9).