Part III

Life And Ministry of Muhammad



Note: The following is largely excerpted from the book "Whoever You Thought You Were ... You're A Jew!"




Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. in Mecca, in the nation now called Saudi Arabia. His father died before he was born. He was provided for by his grandfather, then later by an uncle.

It was his uncle who introduced him to the business of merchant caravans. Because of Muhammad's trustworthy and honest nature he came into the employ of Khadijah, a wealthy widow 15 years older than himself. He eventually married her, thus becoming a member of the privileged class in Mecca.

The Meccans have always regarded themselves as descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. It was Abraham and Ishmael, they believe, who built the famous cubical temple in Mecca known as the Ka'bah, home of the Black Rock. The exact details of the creation of this structure are lost literally in the sands of time - it was already ancient at the time King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem was being built.

The Ka'bah was a place of worship of the Hebrew God, whom the Arabs have always called Allah. But over the centuries, stone idols had been installed in the Ka'bah, thus violating the single most fundamental tenet of the religion of Abraham: to fear God and God only, and to renounce all forms of idolatry.

The idols in the Ka'bah depicted mythological minor deities called "intercessors", and it had long since become the habit of Arabs to pray to these idols to "intercede" on their behalf with Allah, rather than to pray to Allah directly.

The Arabs who opposed this form of modified idolatry were called Hunafa. The Hunafa fervently desired that the idols be removed from the Ka'bah and that pure worship of the One God of Abraham be restored. They were not, however, a united community, and they lacked the political power necessary to overthrow the semi-apostate ruling class.

Muhammad became one of the Hunafa, and he adopted the practice of retiring to a cave in the desert to fast and meditate for prolonged periods of time. In or around the year 610 A.D., at the age of 40, he had the first of many visionary experiences. In that year, while meditating in the cave, he was visited by the angel Gabriel, who informed him that Allah had chosen him to be His messenger.

This vision did not come about spontaneously. Muhammad had been fasting and praying in that cave for 40 days when it occurred.

Now, that number, 40, is a very special number. Forty was the number of days that Elijah spent in the wilderness before God appeared to him in a cave on Mount Horeb (I Kings 19:8). Forty was the number of days that Jesus was tempted in the desert by Satan. And forty was the number of days Buddha sat under the bodhi tree before attaining Enlightenment.

It appears, therefore, that forty are the days of purification required of a man that he may be worthy of receiving the Word of God.

It should not be presumed that a forty day fast automatically leads to enlightenment. For political hunger strikers, striving for earthly gain, a prolonged fast simply leads to death from starvation.

But Muhammad strove for far more than earthly gain. He strove for the Word of God Himself, which came to him, and has endured in the world through fourteen subsequent centuries, spreading farther and wider, and not the contrary, as time has marched on.

The Word, as spoken through the mouth of the Prophet, was recorded in the hearts and minds of his followers. Their recollections, compiled into a volume shortly after Muhammad's death, constitute the book known today as the Qur'an.

As the world has "shrunk" in the 20th century, and as Jews, Christians, and Muslims have been physically thrust into face-to-face encounters with each other in every direction in which they have turned, the time has surely come for every believing individual to consider the meaning and the message of the Qur'an, the great book of the Prophet Muhammad.


The Ministry of Muhammad


The story of Muhammad's rise to power, which was the rise of Islam itself, is awe-inspiring. Only a bare outline can be given here.

After his first visions, he began to preach to his family and friends, and later to the people of Mecca. On the whole, the people were offended. They liked their idols, they liked their alcohol, they liked their gambling, and they liked their political and social corruption. They disliked Muhammad, who preached against these things.

For many years, Muhammad was largely dismissed as an annoying fool, but when he began to obtain converts from among the wealthy and influential of Mecca's inhabitants, things took a turn for the worse. Serious persecution of his followers began to occur on a regular basis.

The cruelty became so severe that Muhammad advised those of his followers who were able, to emigrate to a safer place. The first such place was far-off Abyssinia (Ethiopia), a Christian nation where they were allowed to live in peace. Most, however, were not able to make the move, and the persecution continued, unabated.

Later, Muhammad developed a sympathetic following in a relatively nearby Arabian city, Medina, which was destined to become his new home. He began to urge his followers to sell all their possessions and to move to Medina, which they did, eventually in large numbers.

By 622 AD, the situation had become critical. The clans of Mecca, in that year, agreed that it was time for Muhammad to be murdered, and they conspired to do it cooperatively, so that no one clan could be held responsible. The possibility of him relocating to Medina only increased the anxiety of Mecca's leaders, because they correctly surmised that he would be even more of a threat to them from this new power base, where people welcomed him and eagerly awaited his arrival.

When Muhammad correctly deduced that he would be a dead man if he spent so much as one more day in Mecca, he escaped from that city, barely avoiding the clutches of his appointed murderers, and fled to Medina. The story of Muhammad's flight from Mecca to Medina, a journey known as the "Hijrah", occupies the same exalted position in Muslim theology as the Exodus from Egypt occupies in Jewish theology. It is so important to Muslims that they have declared the year 622 A.D. to be the first year of their own calendar.


Why Medina?


One might reasonably inquire as to why Muhammad was so welcome in Medina, when he was so widely hated in Mecca. The answer is that Medina was a city containing a substantial number of Jews and Christians, and they, like the Jews of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, had been expecting the imminent arrival of a Deliverer.

The scriptural basis of the Deliverer is a rather thorny issue, because some of the Old Testament passages, which Muslims now believe to have foretold the coming of Muhammad, are believed with equal fervency by Christians to have foretold the coming of Christ. We have already looked at one of these, Deuteronomy 18:15, where Moses said to the Children of Israel


"The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken".


Other Old Testament passages held to be prophetic by Islam, such as Isaiah 42:11...


"Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit; let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains."


...are less controversial. Kedar was the son of Ishmael. The Muslim interpretation, namely that this passage from Isaiah foretells the coming of the word of God to the descendants of Ishmael through Muhammad, is not particularly threatening to Christian theologists.

A somewhat more controversial passage is found in Jeremiah, Chapter II:


Thus saith the Lord:

What unrighteousness have your fathers found in Me,

That they are gone far from Me? ...

...Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord,

And with your children's children will I plead.

For pass over to the isles of the Kittites, and see,

And send unto Kedar, and consider diligently,

And see if there hath been such a thing.

(Jeremiah 2:5-10)


It sounds like the inhabitants of Kedar, at the time of Jeremiah, were more true to the ways of God than the rest of the Israelite nation!

But the real "kicker" in Biblical prophecy as regards the Hijrah was not from the Old Testament at all. It was from the New Testament, in which was seen the promise of a unique Deliverer; one who would save the descendants of Christian Arabs from the predicament into which they had been placed by the councils of the Church of Rome.

When, two centuries before Muhammad, the European Bishops had succeeded in forcing their view of Christ on the world, they had brought untold suffering upon Arabian believers in the God of Abraham. Arabia, on the whole, refused to go along with Rome, even when the threat of excommunication was carried out against many key Arab religious leaders. The net result was the fragmentation of Arab Christianity into a number of dissenting churches, all at odds with Rome and with each other.

Monotheistic religion was thereby plunged into chaos in the Middle East. Pagans and idolaters took full advantage of the situation and seized power. I am inclined to believe that it was precisely this state of moral lapse which made it possible for pagans to install idols in the Ka'bah, formerly a pure Temple of the One God of Abraham. Even if it turns out that the idols were in the Ka'bah before the Christian councils, it cannot be denied that, at the very least, the prevailing state of chaos added two hundred years to their sojourn there.


Those Arabs, such as the Hunafa, who believed in One God, were bristling with resentment, and were eagerly awaiting a Redeemer who would restore proper worship of God to the nation. In the Book of John, from the New Testament, they found a prophecy which they saw as most explicit. In John's description of the Last Supper, Jesus promised to send a "Comforter" (John, Chapters 14-16).

English translations of the original Greek versions of the New Testament interpret the "Comforter" as the Holy Ghost or the Spirit of Truth. But Muslims contend that the Greek word "paracletos", translated as "Comforter", is an incorrect word. The correct word, they say, is "periclytos", whose translation is "praised one".

Now, the Arabic way of saying "praised one" is "ahmad", which is also a common "nickname" or shortened form of the full name "Muhammad". Thus, Muslims believe that Jesus Christ prophesied the coming of Muhammad by name (Qur'an 61:6).

To this day, Christian readers of the Gospel of John know, in their hearts, that Jesus promised to send them the "Comforter", the Holy Spirit. But Muslims know in their hearts that Jesus promised to send them "Muhammad". There is surely a large difference between the Christian and Muslim points of view regarding the identity of this "Comforter".

We have a situation here which is indistinguishable from the age-old Jewish-Christian disputes over the meanings of such words as "almah" (?virgin). If fourteen centuries of Muslim scholarship has established that the Comforter is Muhammad, and twenty centuries of Christian scholarship has established that the Comforter is not Muhammad, than we, in the space of a few short decades which constitutes a human life, shall surely not learn enough to argue with either army of "scholars". It is best for us to not get involved. The significance of Muhammad's ministry is neither confirmed nor denied by anything written, or not written, in the Gospel of John.

If all this seems overly convoluted, superfluous, or otherwise questionable, that is not important to history. For the fact remains that the Arab Jews and Christians of Medina were firm in their conviction that Muhammad was the Chosen One whose coming they were eagerly awaiting.

Thus, to the Arabs, and now to Muslims the world over, Muhammad's ministry was a fulfillment of a prophecy from the mouth of Jesus himself, that God would send a Deliverer to the Arab people.


Muhammad conquers Arabia


Ironically, when Muhammad himself actually arrived in Medina, the Jews decided that he was not the Deliverer after all! The war between Islam and Judaism had begun. As you know, that war is not over yet.

Interestingly, this ancient dual role of the Jews, to keep the hope of a Deliverer alive in the hearts of men, but to refuse to acknowledge one who actually appears in the physical world, is not unlike the role they play today. It is a role which was first established in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. It was re-established in Medina at the time of Muhammad.

Thus, the Prophet had to overcome the forces of doubt even in his new home city, where his arrival had been so eagerly awaited. But Muhammad had many devoted followers in Medina, and he quickly rose up to become master of that city.

The subsequent history of the spread of Islam is too large a subject to be encompassed in this book. Suffice it to say that the Prophet achieved his dream when, only eight years after the Hijrah, his forces triumphantly re-entered his old home city of Mecca, having conquered the city by force, and through faith. The hated idols in the Ka'bah, those intercessors between man and God, were removed.

Muhammad's conquest of Mecca came about against seemingly impossible odds. He was severely outnumbered in every military campaign, and he suffered several serious setbacks and defeats, any one of which might well have ended the career of a lesser man. But the Prophet, a man of immense character and faith, was indomitable.

The momentum established during the campaign against Mecca carried Islam forward with blinding speed. Within a single year after the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad had become master of all Arabia.

Then, in the tenth year after the Hijrah, he suddenly took ill and died. He was 62 years old at the time of his unexpected death. His followers were overcome with grief, but they quickly recovered. The military campaigns were soon resumed, and his followers fought on as if the Prophet himself were leading their armies.

During the subsequent century, the world came as close as it has ever come to being totally subdued. It could only have been the hand of God Himself which stemmed the Muslim tide at either end of Europe, putting an end to the most successful and enduring imperial campaign in human history.


The Qur'an


The Prophet Muhammad had the ability to enter into visionary states, the first of which occurred in that cave in the desert in 610 AD. There were others. His sayings, which came to him during these trance-like states, were faithfully recorded later, and constitute the book known as the Qur'an.

The Qur'an is a rather large volume, encompassing, in an abbreviated sort of way, the entire essence of the Old and New Testaments. To a devout Jew or Christian, the Biblical stories sound strange or even funny. To be sure, the essential message is always there, but the dialogue seems contrived, and many of the minor details seem to have been altered.

Now, the Prophet was quite illiterate (he could neither read nor write). His rendition of the Bible was based on an oral tradition carried by word-of-mouth in the desert for centuries after the Old and New Testaments were committed to parchment. In view of this, it should perhaps not be surprising to find differences between Muhammad's Book and the older Jewish and Christian scriptures.

It would be a serious error, however, to assume that the basic message of the Qur'an is different from the basic message of the Bible, because it is not. In fact, the entire essence of Judaism and Christianity is there, and that single Book, by that single author, has sustained a huge and growing population of people for over a millennium. It is self-evident that it has successfully fulfilled all of the deepest spiritual needs of many peoples; all, that is, except one: It has not brought peace. On the contrary, the war between Islam and Judeo-Christianity is raging fiercely, and is in no way over. Something is missing.


The Message of Allah through the Prophet Muhammad


The Qur'an is a book with a single message: Fear God and God only. This message is conveyed over and over again, throughout the Book. In the course of delivering the message, a comprehensive moral and ethical code, indistinguishable in most instances from that of Judeo-Christianity, is interwoven, along with certain selected elements from the history of the Arab people.

With few exceptions, the revered patriarchs of the Qur'an are well known to Jews and Christians: Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon, and most of the other great Old Testament prophets. In addition, we find John the Baptist and Jesus. There are only a small handful of Muslim prophets who are not known to Jews and Christians, such as Hud, Salih, and Shu'ayb. Even in those cases, there is usually a genealogy which traces them to well-known personages of the Bible.

The 1400-year old war between Jews, Christians and Muslims cannot be based on the relatively minor differences between the Old Testament stories in the original book and the Qur'an. About the only really significant difference between Old Testament Mosaic Law and Qur'anic Law which I can perceive is that Muslims are allowed to eat camel meat, whereas Jews are not. This is hardly the basis for a war.


What does the Qur'an say about Jesus?


I have stated elsewhere that Jesus was the central figure in world history, whether through reverence or rejection. The mere existence of the Qur'an proves this to be true. The thing which makes the Qur'an utterly unacceptable to Jews is that it accepts Jesus as a Hebrew Prophet. The thing which makes the Qur'an utterly unacceptable to Christians is, ironically, the same thing: that it accepts Jesus as a Hebrew Prophet.

The Book emphatically declares that Jesus is a man, NOT a god, and NOT a "Son of God". To the politicians of these respective religions, these differences of opinion about the "nature of Christ" absolutely mandate a state of continuous warfare until the "enemies of the faith" are all dead.

Actually, the Gospel according to Muhammad is quite familiar in all its essential details. In the Qur'an, Jesus is described as the product of a virgin birth (Qur'an, 3:47). Mary is advised, by an unnamed angel of God who appears to her in the form of a man, that she will bear a holy son, although "no man has touched [her]". The wording of this passage may seem, at first glance, to suggest that the angel is the father, but this is not explicitly stated anywhere. On the contrary, the nature of the Virgin Birth is left unexplained. Like Adam, the Qur'an says (3:59), God made Christ from "dust".

Jesus is described by the Qur'an as healing the sick, raising the dead, and coming to affirm the [Jewish] Law (3:49-50).

With respect to Jesus' own death and resurrection, we have a 1400 year-old sore point between Christians and Muslims. Rather than speculating on the meaning of the Qur'an's report, let us read it directly:


... they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah" - But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them...

... Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise...

... And on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them.

(Qur'an 4:157-159)


Evangelical Christians who wish to discredit the Qur'an have, on numerous occasions, quoted this passage as evidence that Muslims consider the crucifixion to have been a hoax. If that were so, then Muslims would have to be included with the various Freemason-linked groups whose belief systems are based on the theory that Jesus was drugged on the cross so that he would appear to be dead (see "Yeshua Messiah-Jesus Christ"). But the Qur'an does not say this.

The text, which is reproduced above for you to personally consider, seems clearly to state that Jesus did not die on the cross, but was translated directly to Heaven, where he remains today, alive, and ready to execute Judgment on the Last Day. Indeed, his Second Coming before the Last Judgment is prophesied in the Qur'an (43:61). If that is what people wish to call a "hoax", then I pray that I myself may be a victim of just such a "hoax" when I leave this world.

According to the point of view I have expressed above, the Gospel of Muhammad does not differ in any substantive manner from the Gospels of the New Testament, excepting the non-synoptic Gospel of John. The real difference between the Qur'an and the New Testament is that the Book of Muhammad totally excludes the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Paul, wherein are stated the theories of Christ as Son of God, and of the Holy Trinity. The position of the Qur'an is sharply to the contrary. In each of the numerous instances in which Jesus' name comes up, it is emphatically stated and re-stated that he was man, not a god. The idea that Allah, who is God, would deign to have a son, is utterly rejected as outrageous blasphemy. "He [God] has no son!", is the message of the Qur'an, repeated over and over.

It should be clear, to anyone who has thoughtfully considered the Christian councils where modern Christian doctrine was forced upon the world, that Islam is the inevitable and most forceful reaction to the excommunication of key Arab and African religious leaders by Rome, two centuries before Muhammad.

This, however, does not answer the inevitable next question, which is "whose view of the nature of Christ was correct -- Rome's or Mecca's?". Or, for that matter, could it be that the "Jewish" view was the correct one?. The answer, as we shall eventually see, is "none of the above".


Qur'an Commentary


Concerning the commentaries which have grown around the Qur'an, I cannot find very much which is praise-worthy. Those which I have seen are virulently anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-white. This is astounding, since Muhammad himself was none of these things. These commentaries are filled with vicious slanders, which, strange as it may seem, are often completely at odds with the very text which they accompany.

Any Jew or Christian who can bring himself to read the Qur'an, with an open mind, will be very surprised at what he finds. Although Muhammad had many unkind words for the Jews and Christians who fought against his ministry, he always made it abundantly clear that it was only to the extent that he perceived them to have strayed from faith in God that he hated them. It was not their religion he preached against.

The situation was quite analogous to that of Jesus in Jerusalem. Although the Scribes and Pharisees regarded Jesus as the enemy of Judaism, Jesus himself always made it clear that he came to uphold the Law:


"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments,...shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19).


It was a corrupted Priesthood he was opposed to, not Judaism.

Here's what Muhammad actually said about Jews and Christians (Qur'an 2:62):


Those who believe (in the Qur'an),

And those who are Jews,

And Christians,and Sabians

Any who believe in Allah and the Last Day,

And work righteousness,

Shall have their reward with their Lord;

On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.


In the first line above, the words "in the Qur'an" are in parentheses. That is because they are not in the original Arabic text, but are presumed to be implied. This presumption is not mine, but that of the Muslim translators who translated the Qur'an into English. This verse, therefore, reveals that the Holy Prophet, in his own day, considered the Jewish and Christian religions (and the local "Sabian" religion) to be equivalent to Islam itself.

Where, then, is the scriptural basis for the rabid rantings of the self-proclaimed "Muslims" of today's media, who rail publicly against Jews, Christians, and white people in general?

(Not all the "media Muslims" are even Muslims. You can learn the atheist-Marxist truth about one such group -- the P.L.O. -- by reading their own charter).

The above quotation from the Qur'an was neither a mistake nor a casual remark. Just to make sure that the point got across, the Prophet repeated the passage, verbatim, in a later Chapter (5:69). Obviously, there is something dreadfully wrong with the way Islam is depicted on television by its spokesmen. The image projected by the media is of a religion which has decided, somewhere along the line, that its main purpose is to maintain an ongoing state of war with the Jews and Christians of the world.

And just who is the "greatest" prophet, if such a thing can possibly be measured? Muhammad says (Qur'an 2:136):


We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes (i.e., of Israel), and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to all Prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them...


This message is repeated so many times in the Qur'an that it's impossible to deny the full implication of it. Muhammad certainly did not regard himself as the "greatest" of the prophets, because he did not acknowledge that such a thing existed. But what do the commentators say? In a widely-read English translation of the Qur'an which I have studied carefully, the editor, in making a comparison of the ministries of Jesus, Moses, and David with that of Muhammad, draws the following absurd conclusion:


"In Muhammad's mission these and other characters were combined. Gentler than Jesus, he organized on a vaster scale than Moses, ...and the Qur'an has a vaster scope than the Psalms of David."


Clearly, the purpose of commentaries such as this is to subtly impress upon people's minds, particularly young minds, that Muhammad was the greatest of the Prophets, and that Judaism and Christianity are "inferior" religions. These are things which the Prophet never taught. They are lies.

Apparently forgetting that Muhammad, his 8 wives notwithstanding, had few children, and left no male heir, the commentator nevertheless manages to find fault with Jesus because he had no wives or children:


All the Prophets...except one, had wives and children. The exception is Jesus...his life was incomplete...his mission was limited...We pay equal respect to him, because he was Allah's Messenger; but that is not to say that his Message covers the same universal ground as that of Al Mustafa (i.e. Muhammad).


This clever manipulator of public opinion therefore teaches all who read his words, appended to the Qur'an where they cannot be missed, that Jesus was "equal", but still somehow inferior. All in the same breath.

Or how about this one?


"The greatest miracle in history was and is the Qur'an."


The Flood, the parting of the Red Sea, the many resurrections of the dead, the bringing forth of fire from the sky, and a host of other divine miracles, all fully acknowledged by the Prophet Muhammad himself, are thus casually dismissed by the Editor of this book as being "window dressing" for the Qur'an. This is not the word of the Prophet, but the word of the Editor.

Surely, there has developed a large discrepancy between what the Qur'an actually says, and what is said in the commentaries which have become physically attached to it. The Qur'an actually says that all religions which properly revere God are equal. The commentary says that all religions are equal, but Islam is "more equal" than the rest.

The Qur'an says that all the Prophets are to be equally revered. The commentary says that all the Prophets are to be equally revered, but Muhammad is to be revered more than the others.

The Qur'an says that all the Prophets came with the same message, but the commentary at the bottom of the page says that those messages were watery and weak, and that the only true Prophetic message was that of Muhammad.

So what is Islam? For that matter, what is any religion?

Lest I seem to have given the impression that I consider Qur'anic commentary to be more corrupt than Jewish or Christian commentaries, let me assure you that that is not the case. There is an abundance, yea an over-abundance of false, misleading, and bigoted commentary appended to every great religious work. That is because the commentators are just ordinary people, subject to human error. If they were prophets themselves, they would be writing bibles, and not just commentaries.

People must beware of all commentaries, and read them with a constant attitude of skepticism. It is far better if a religious text is read through, from cover to cover, without resorting to any commentary the first time around. The average person has a far greater capacity to see and grasp the truth than either he or his self-appointed "leaders" can imagine.


"People of the Book"


It is known that Muhammad often lamented the fact that his people, the Arabs, did not have a "Book" like the Torah or the New Testament. That notwithstanding, he believed that the "Book" by itself was not sufficient to save people from sin, and he constantly criticized people who considered themselves to be "perfected" simply by virtue of the fact that their religion had a Bible (a "Book"). Here is a passage which illustrates Muhammad's point of view (Qur'an 57:29):


...That the People of the Book may know that they have no power whatever over the Grace of Allah, that His Grace is entirely in His Hand, to bestow it on whomsoever He wills.


It should be borne in mind that since that fateful day, shortly after the death of the Prophet (who was himself illiterate), when his sayings first began to be written down by his disciples, the Muslims themselves have had a "Book". Thus, they are now also "people of the Book", and have been for 1400 years. Therefore, the above admonition of the Prophet Muhammad also applies to them, and they should bear in mind that praising the names of Allah and his Prophet Muhammad will not, by themselves, guarantee salvation of the soul.


The name "Allah"


Christian evangelists seem to enjoy discrediting the name "Allah", whom the Muslims call God. Unfortunately, the evangelists are wrong. In the beginning of the Old Testament, the name of God was "El". "El" is an English translation of a Hebrew word whose actual pronunciation is somewhere between "El" and "Ale" (like the drink). When the Name occurs as a free-standing word, it is closer in pronunciation to "Ale", and in combined forms such as "Eloheinu" (literally "our God") or "Eloheim" (a plural form of the name of God, signifying the plurality of His majesty), the pronunciation is closer to "El".

By the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the letter "L", called "lamed" in Hebrew, was regarded as itself being a name for God. In the Qumran community, swearing by "L" was a crime.

When the letter "L" is pronounced by the human mouth, there is a mandatory second syllable. It is impossible to say "L" without touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth. When the tongue is removed, there is a second syllable: "uh". Try it yourself, and you'll see: "El-uh". The "uh" may be as short in duration as you wish it to be, but it is physically impossible to say "L" without saying "El-uh", with at least a brief second syllable.

It is such a small step from "El-uh" to "All-ah" that I state, without any complex arguments requiring in-depth knowledge of the Hebrew or Arab language, that "Allah" is, always was, and always will be a form of the Name "El", which is God.

If you still doubt this, consider the English word "all". Every one of the Teutonic languages (from which arose all the Northern European languages of today) has this word. This includes the English language, where "all" is a one-syllable word. But the earlier historical forms of this word included both one-syllable and two-syllable types: eall, eal, al, alle, ealle.

You may have already guessed that I'm going to try to persuade you that "all" is somehow related to "El". But the history of the etymology of the word "all" cannot be traced back prior to 800 AD. So let us consider the meaning of the word. When you think about it, the meaning of "all", in it's most general form, is "everything". In the absence of a qualifying phrase it therefore means everything in the universe. There's only one thing which is "everything", and that's God. Repeating the phonetic argument I made earlier, you cannot pronounce the word "all" without at least whispering the suffix "uh". So when we say "all", we are really saying "all-uh", which is as close to the name "Allah" as you get short of the very Name itself. If Christian evangelists conceded that "Allah" was "everything", but still maintained that "Allah" was not God, I suppose that Muslim evangelists really wouldn't care at that point.


The Hebrew word for "all"


The modern Hebrew word for "all", if written phonetically in English, would be somewhere between "call" and "coll". Although Hebrew students today are not taught that "call" is a contraction of two words, it is most interesting to split it into two parts, "c-" and "-all". The prefix "c-" is a common preposition in modern Hebrew, meaning "like" or "as". The remaining suffix, "-all" is virtually the Hebrew name of God. Thus, the Hebrew word for "all" ("call") can be readily construed to mean "like God". Do you still doubt that "Allah" is God?

I cannot refrain from a single additional observation. The first Surah (i.e., chapter) of the Qur'an is a brief prayer which is recited daily by all Muslims. It is called "Al Fatihah", and it occupies the same exalted status in Muslim countries as the "Lord's Prayer" ("Our Father, Who art in Heaven...") occupies in Christian countries.

In the middle of Al Fatihah, the reciter of the prayer says words which, translated into English, read "To You [i.e. Allah] alone do we turn for help".

That got me thinking about the word "alone". It is interesting to note that it is a combination of "al-" (the name of God) and "-one". In the final analysis, only God stands "alone". Perhaps, therefore, the word "alone" originally referred to the fact that "God is One", a uniqueness to which we can only aspire.


Was the Qur'an intended to stand alone?


At innumerable sites within the Qur'an, Muhammad exhorts his readers to "remember" various historical episodes, usually Biblical episodes from the Old or New Testaments. The following is a sampling of such exhortations:


"And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled." (Qur'an 2:124).

"O Children of Israel...remember, we delivered you from the people of Pharaoh...and remember we divided the sea for you...and remember we appointed forty nights for Moses...and remember we gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion..." (Qur'an 2:47-53)

"And remember David and Solomon, when they gave judgment in the matter of the field..." (Qur'an 21:78)

"And remember Zakariya [father of John the Baptist], when he cried to his Lord: 'O my Lord! Leave me not without offspring'...". (Qur'an 21:89)

"And remember Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah sent to you, confirming the Law which came before me..." (Qur'an 61:6).


Since copies of Old and New Testament scrolls were not in plentiful supply in ancient Arabia, we may surmise that it was the oral tradition of the desert which he was exhorting them to remember.

Since it is nowhere stated in the Qur'an that the Bible is either corrupt, altered, or otherwise unreliable, we may surmise that the oral tradition of the desert was not preferred over the written tradition of the Bible, but was merely more available.

Thus, it cannot be maintained that Muhammad's exhortations to his followers to "remember" the ancient traditions were instructions to reject the Bible, but rather to learn it. If it had been physically possible, it is certain that the Prophet would have distributed written copies of the Old and New Testaments to every Arab, and required that their contents be mastered along with the Qur'an.

That was impossible, however, because there were no printing presses, and besides, the people were almost 100% illiterate.

The conclusion is inescapable, however, that Muhammad himself understood the entire substance of the Qur'an to be an exposition, from God Himself, of the deeper meaning of the main events of religious history, and not a substitute for the history itself.

Exactly how and when post-Muhammadan Islamic leaders succeeded in deceiving the people into believing that the Bible was corrupt, unreliable, and worthy of rejection is not clear to me, but the man through whose mouth the Qur'an came forth was not the man who did this.

As to why the Bible came to be rejected by Islam, that is easier to understand. There are found, on occasion, passages in the Qur'an which seem to disagree with corresponding passages in the Bible. None of these disagreements are of any substance whatsoever, and yet there are certain people who will insist that one Book be deemed "correct", and the other to be "in error". Since the Bible is the older Book, early Islamic leaders must have feared that the Bible would be favored by the majority of such people.

To avoid this potential embarrassment, these leaders simple dispensed with the Bible altogether. Having thus concealed certain disturbing truths, they were able to teach their children that Muhammad was "perfect", the Qur'an was "perfect", the Prophets of old were "perfect", and, by analogy, the Arabs were "perfect" also (as long as they followed the Muhammadan precepts, of course).

These, however, are all lies. Muhammad was a man, and he pounded that fact into the ears of his followers -- apparently to no avail. But no man is perfect. No book, written by the hands of men, can ever be perfect. The Prophets of old were not perfect -- some of the behaved contemptibly on occasion. And the Arabs, therefore, following in this grand tradition of imperfection, are far from perfect themselves.

Now consider this: Today's devout Muslim, who had debrided his religious reading down to a single book and its associated commentaries, will daily be reading passages which exhort him to "remember this" and "remember that"...but what is it that he is now remembering? The only scripture he has been taught to respect is the Qur'an itself. But the starting point of the Qur'an is the assumption that Biblical tradition is already known. If the Qur'an itself has become the Biblical tradition, then what is left to "remember"?

The modern-day Muslim, who rejects the Old Testament, rejects the New Testament, rejects Original Sin, and considers himself to be perfected merely by reading the Qur'an, is in error. This error can begin to be corrected by reading the Bible.

There may be one or two spots in the Bible which seem insulting to Muslims, but there are a lot more than one or two spots in the Qur'an which are insulting to Jews and Christians. And yet every militant Muslim fanatic expects the whole world to read the Qur'an, and to quietly bear his own insult. Is that same Muslim prepared to read the Bible, and to bear his own insult? How else can he obey the Prophet's command to "remember"?

Muslims claim to have deep reverence for the history of the Jewish and Christian people. In fact, they consider themselves to be the true heirs of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Therefore, the events of Biblical history are their history.

The Old Testament, in particular, is the only reliable written source of information about the greater part of Islamic history prior to the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

It is almost impossible for me to imagine that a devout believer in the Qur'an would not have a burning desire to read the Bible, so as to learn his own history. Yet there seems to be no such desire on the part of the majority of Muslims. If there is anything wrong with Islam, this is it.

There is a way for the three scriptures of the Western monotheistic world (Old Testament, New Testament, and Qur'an) to be seen as parts of a larger whole, rather than as manifestos of conflicting theologies, doomed to a state of eternal warfare. Before clicking on this link, however, it wouldn't be a bad idea to go to the Table of Contents and to read the sections on "race", and on the so-called "Eastern" religions, to see how they fit into the puzzle of religion.


























One of the most famous of all Christological prophecies is from the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14), "a virgin shall conceive". This is regarded as a specific prediction of the birth of Jesus through the virgin Mary.

The Hebrew word interpreted "virgin" by Christians is "almah", which, technically speaking, means "a young woman of marriageable age".

There are various lines of evidence, all from the Bible itself, which strongly suggest that "young woman of marriageable age" in ancient Israel was synonomous with "virgin". The argument cannot be conclusively settled, as is true of many of the very most important arguments between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

To read a more detailed account of the argument about the word "almah", see the section "Yeshua Messiah-Jesus Christ".

























The Arabic words usually rendered "Remember..." are transliterated "ith qala", which means, literally, "and say..." or "then say...".

I follow the majority of Arabic translators in interpreting these words as indicating an exhortation to "remember!".