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ISLAM and the Abrahamic Faith MYTH

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Sacrifice of IssaacThe figure of Abraham is central to the faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam with all claiming to be descendants of Abraham’s seed. Islam states that it is just another Abrahamic faith like Judaism and Christianity and indeed replaces the two earlier faiths. This is ideal for Interfaith groups and for Islamic Da’wah as it gives people a sense of comfort knowing that Abraham features prominently in Islam along with other prophets such as Moses and Jesus. Often the Quran is sold as the final revelation from God replacing both the Old Testament and the New Testament. However we should ask ourselves the question “what does it mean to be an Abrahamic faith”? Is it in fact enough that Abraham is figured in the Quran to justify this claim? Even to the casual observer, Islam is pitted against both the Jews and Christians with increasing levels of hostility. Moreover because of Sura 3.110 Muslims believe they are the best of people, evolved for mankind, and thus expect preferential treatment when they emigrate to Western countries with a Judeo-Christian framework.
This article then examines the nature of God for the three religions and the attributes of worship to determine whether they can be classed under the title of Abrahamic faith, remembering Abraham was a man of faith, NOT faiths.
 
Who was the God of Abraham?
When Moses was at Horeb and encountered the burning bush, he was instructed by an angel of the Lord thus:
“YHWY, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation”. [Exodus 3:14-15]
Burning BushSo the God of Abraham is called WHWY only, forever!
And the Bible says that men began to call on the name of YHWY after the birth of Enoch, the son of Seth who was the son of Adam. [Genesis 4:26]

When Moses asked who he is to say God was, God said “I AM who I am”. When Jesus was preaching in the temple about Abraham, he stated “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I AM”. [John 8:58] So Jesus was referring to his divinity and that he was of ancient origins as the prophet Micah had predicted. [Micah 5:2] Jesus also claimed to be “the Alpha and Omega” in Revelation 1:8. Now WHWY means “he is or he will be” and is the third person form of “I AM”. So from Abraham to Moses and to Jesus, the name for God is WHWY and is constant. This is accepted by both Jew and Christian. However the name WHWY does not appear at all in the Quran. Allah which is an abbreviation of Al Ilah or “the God” is always given as the name of the Muslim God.
In no way can the name WHWY be the same as Allah.

Building a House for God
When Moses built the sanctuary to worship WHWY in the wilderness, God gave him very specific instructions as to the floor plan and the requirements. [Exodus 36]. The temple consisted of three parts. An inner court which connected to an inner sanctuary, called the “Holy of Holies”, and an outer court. The Holy of Holies was to house the Ark of the Covenant which Moses was to build with specific instructions. The presence of the Lord filled the Ark of the Covenant, a concept which is foreign to Islam as they believe that Allah is distant or remote.

Likewise when Solomon built a temple for WHWY on Mt Moriah over the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he was building to a similar plan. [1 Kings 6,7,8] Note that God asked Solomon, a Jew, to build a temple to God on the Holy Mountain. God did NOT ask an Arab Muslim to build a Mosque on Mt. Moriah. The Quran states that Adam was a Muslim [Sura 2.37] and also Moses was a Muslim. [Sura 7.143]

Solomon's Temple Plan

However, in 685AD the Muslim leader Abd al-Malik did construct a shrine to the prophet Mohammed on Mount Moriah after the second Temple built by Herod was destroyed in 70AD by Roman soldiers led by Titus. The Dome of the Rock as it is called was completed in 691AD and also the Al Aqsa mosque was built behind it and finished in 705AD. An interesting and not insignificant fact is that the Dome of the Rock was NOT built over the site of Solomon’s temple but some one hundred  metres to the South. Because of this, it stands in the Court of the Gentiles and is NOT holy to WHYW at all.

In 533BC, a prophecy was given to the prophet Daniel by the angel Gabriel about a structure that would be set up on the Holy Mountain.
 
From the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that desolates is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.  [Dan 12:11]
 
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the sanctuary in 586BC but it was in 583BC, the 23rd year of his reign, when the last group of 745 Jews were taken away to captivity. [Jeremiah 52:30].
 
His reign began in 606AD so his 23rd year would have been 583BC. Now the 1290 days are to be interpreted as prophetic years of 360 days. Converting to astronomical solar years we get 1271.5 years as the vision of the prophecy. Moving forward 1271 years from 583BC we get 1271 – 583 = 688AD.
 
Hence the fulfilment date becomes 688AD which was the mid-point of the building program of Abd al-Malik. Now in over 1300 years no other structure has been built on Mt Moriah so the Dome of the Rock, the shrine to Allah’s prophet Mohammed, is an Abomination that Desolates in the eyes of WHWY.
Understand this: the Temple of Solomon was holy to WHWY but the Islamic shrine is an Abomination!
 
Also the direction of prayer as set by the Qibla in Islam has no equivalent in Judaism or Christianity, further  defining the differences between WHWY and Allah.

Does the Promise come through Isaac or Ishmael?
Ishmael was born of the slave woman Hagar and is the son of the flesh whereas Isaac is born of the Spirit from Abraham’s wife Sarah who was 90 years of age. God told Abraham that he would make a great nation of Ishmael but the promise would come through the seed of Isaac. [Genesis 21]

Ishmael is considered the father of the Arabs although this is not strictly true, and of course Jacob the son of Isaac became known as “Israel”. True to God’s word then he chose Solomon a descendant of Isaac to build his temple and NOT an Arab descendant of Ishmael.
 
In Galatians 4 Paul declares to the Israelites that the children of the slave woman (Hagar) will not share the  inheritance with the children of the free woman (Sarah). Moreover, the child born of the flesh will always persecute the child of the free woman. How true that is today when you consider the hatred of Jews by Muslims everywhere. It is interesting also that the children of the slave woman who are the Muslims are the ones involved in slavery today and slavery is enshrined forever in Islamic Law.

Did Abraham sacrifice Isaac or Ishmael?

This is another area of difference between Jew and Muslim with Muslims claiming Jews have altered their text and replaced Ishmael with Isaac (because they were jealous of the Arabs). Of course, if it was Ishmael that God asked to be sacrificed, that would elevate Ishmael in God’s importance above Isaac. Islam can then claim superiority over Judaism which it wants to do.
Firstly let us consider Islamic text.
 
Abraham and IsaacThe story is contained in Sura 37:99-113.
037.099 : He said: "I will go to my Lord! He will surely guide me!
037.100 : "O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!"
037.101 : So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
037.102 : Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"
037.103 : So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
037.104 : We called out to him "O Abraham!
037.105 : "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
037.106 : For this was obviously a trial-
037.107 : And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
037.108 : And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
037.109 : "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"
037.110 : Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
037.111 : For he was one of our believing Servants.
037.112 : And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet,- one of the Righteous.
037.113 : We blessed him and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.

In the Quran Ishmael is the one who is offered for sacrifice [S37.102] as the birth of Isaac is announced later. The birth of Isaac is announced after this [S37.112] implying that Isaac was not born when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son.
 
The Bible story is of course different to the Quran.
 
In Genesis 21 when Sarah was weaning Isaac, she became jealous of Ishmael playing with Isaac so she asked Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. Abraham did this after getting God’s approval.
So the reason to send Ishmael and Hagar away was because of jealousy, which means that:
(1)    Isaac was born before God asked Abraham for sacrifice, and
(2)    Ishmael does not return as he was living in Arabia.
Chapter 22 of Genesis then describes how God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. From the text, considerable time had passed since Ishmael and Hagar had departed.
 
Muslims argue that the Jews have altered the text as it refers to the only son of Abraham. However Isaac was the only son of the promise and of Abraham’s wife. Of course, the Sa’na documents found in the mosque in Yemen and dated to around 705AD prove that the Quran has also been altered.
 
Who knows? Where is the proof that the Genesis story was altered to favour Jews?
 
The Genesis story predated the Quran by at least 1600 years and how would the Jews know that Mohammed was to be born and receive a contradictory revelation?

The Separation of church and state

We are all aware that Islam is a totalitarian system combining religion, politics and law into one entity with no separation. This is Allah’s decree.
But Judaism and Christianity are fundamentally different here with WHWY declaring they are to be different and later confirmed by Jesus when he uttered his famous statement “give to Caesar what is Caesars”.
Allah defines things as either Halal (permitted) or Haram (forbidden) whereas WHYH defines things as Holy or secular. In the Bible, God appointed prophets, priests and Kings as separate and distinct functions of office.
For example, Moses was a prophet but it was Aaron who performed the priestly duties in the temple.

Bread and Wine anyone?
Both bread and wine  were staple foods in Israel and were considered as blessings from God in Deuteronomy 7:13, 14:23. However wine is Haram or forbidden in Islam.
But what about Abraham?
 
Genesis 14 tells the story about Abraham who was successful in battle being attended to by the High Priest  Melchizedek who served the bread and wine and blessed Abraham with the words:
“Blessed be Abram by God most High, maker of Heaven and Earth”.
So wine was not forbidden for Abraham!
 
And of course, Jesus offered the bread and wine to his disciples to commemorate his new covenant at the Last Supper before his crucifixion. [Matthew 26:26-29].
 
Jesus of course to Christians was the perfect sacrificial lamb who was crucified at the Jewish Passover.
The wine represents his sacred blood, and it was the blood of the sacrificial lamb sprinkled above the door that saved the firstborn of Israel in Egypt. Islam does not recognize the Jewish Passover festival.

Did Abraham come from Ur or out of a Fire?

History tells us that Abram was born in the town of Ur but later decided  to travel to Haran where he received a calling from God.
However the Quran has an interesting account of how Allah saved Abraham after he had been thrown into a fire.
The story is given in Sura 21:51-71.
 
Abraham's Journey
 
Abraham confronts his people and his father because of the many idols which they worship. After an argument between Abraham and the people, they depart and Abraham breaks the smaller idols, leaving the larger ones intact. When the people see this they call Abraham and ask if he is responsible, to which he replies that it must have been the larger idols which did the destruction. He challenges them to ask the larger idols to find out, to which they reply, "Thou knowest full well that these (idols) do not speak!" (aya 65). He gives a taunting retort, and they then throw him into a fire. But in aya 69 Allah commands the fire to be cool, making it safe for Abraham, and he miraculously walks out unscathed.
 
There are no parallels to this story in our Bible. There is a parallel, however, in a second century book of Jewish folktales called The Midrash Rabbah. In this account Abraham breaks all the idols except the biggest one. His father and the others challenged him on this, and with an added bit of humour, which is missing in the Qur'anic account, Abraham responds by saying that he had given the biggest idol an ox for all the idols to eat, but because the smaller idols went ahead and ate, they thus did not show respect. The bigger idol consequently smashed the smaller idols. The enraged father did not believe Abraham's account, and so took him to a man named Nimrod, who simply threw him into a fire. But God made it cool for him and he walked out unscathed.
 
The similarity between these two stories is quite unmistakable. A second century Jewish fable, a folklore, and myth is repeated in the "holy Qur'an." It is quite evident that Muhammad or another author heard this story from the Jews, but because he could not read their books, though he had heard snatches of the Biblical narratives, from visiting Jews, or even his wives, he simply assumed they came from the same source, and unwittingly wrote Jewish folklore into his Qur'an.
 
In Genesis 15:7, the Lord tells Abraham that it was He who brought Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans. Ur is a place, also mentioned in Genesis 11:31. We have evidence that a Jewish scribe named Jonathan Ben Uziel mistook the Hebrew word "Ur" for the Hebrew word which means "fire." Thus in his commentary of this verse he writes, "I am the Lord who brought you out of the fire of the Chaldeans."
Consequently, because of this misunderstanding, and because of a misreading of the Biblical verse a fable became popular around this era, which stated that God had brought Abraham out of the fire.

Conclusion
Muslims are migrating to western countries in ever increasing numbers. They demand superiority even though they claim to worship Abrahamthe same God as the Jew and Christian. They believe that Allah has given them everything we own. They take over our churches and convert them to mosques. They even take over our cemeteries and turn them into Muslim only burial grounds. In the Quran, they have altered the story of Abraham, have changed the teachings of Moses with Mohammed breaking the Ten Commandments and they have distorted the teachings of Jesus. They claim that the Quran is the unaltered word of Allah and is preserved in stone tablets in Heaven. [Sura 85:21,22] However which version is in Heaven? The one completed by Caliph Uthman, or is it the one from the Sa’na mosque in Yemen or is it the version we read today?
 
It is very clear that Muslims can’t claim the moral high ground here as the Quran has obviously undergone progressive development, even to including Jewish apocryphal material from the second century.
 
Before we answer the question as to whether Islam is an Abrahamic faith, we should summarize our findings.
(1)    Both Jew and Christian worship a God called WHYH but Islam worship Allah, and WHYH is NOT Allah;
(2)    Temple worship is different and the direction of prayer is only significant to a Muslim;
(3)    The shrine to the prophet of Allah known as the Dome of the Rock is an Abomination that Desolates to WHYH;
(4)    The promise of WHYH comes through the seed of Isaac and not Ishmael;
(5)    Church and state are separated for Judaism and Christianity, whereas Islam is totalitarian with no separation;
(6)    Wine is important in sacred practices in both Judaism and Christianity and is not banned in the secular sense, but wine is forbidden (haram) in Islam;
From the above we can only conclude that:
 
1.    WHYH is not the same God as Allah, and
2.    Islam is NOT Abrahamic in the sense that Judaism and Christianity are.

Action Required
I believe it is imperative to stop Muslims from referring to Islam as another Abrahamic faith (because quite clearly it is not) and also it should be made clear that Allah is NOT the same as the God of the Bible.
Wouldn’t that liven up Interfaith meetings?


References:
Last Updated on Sunday, 25 October 2009 05:31  

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