The Editors of the Islamic Bulletin have decided not to publish the remaining four questions that Tony Poldrugovac asked in the previous issue due to the fact that when his first question was answered, he came back with 15 other ones.
We find Tony's questions to be argumentative in nature and therefore, we have decided not to respond to any more questions. However, we have sent Tony's original questions to Ahmed Deedat, the famous Islamic scholar, who undoubtedly, answer him better than we were able to.
Peace Be Unto You - JOHN 20:19
This is in response to your letter which was received via The Editor of The Islamic Bulletin.
At this hostile stage of human existence, when at times clouds of stormy war can be felt hovering above; your endeavor to comprehend the relationship between our two faiths is truly commendable. However your questions reflect a strong sense of firmness as if you have arrived at the absolute truth that the Bible is the undisputed authority.
The scientific method of inquiry emphatically insists that persons should investigate matters of belief personally and that none should adopt any opinion without due consideration and rational proof. Religion demands the same:
"Say! 'Produce your proof if ye are truthful.'" (Holy Quran 2:111)
"...The first of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." (Jesus - MARK 12:29)
Let's discuss the reliability of the Bible in the court of conscience. Prof. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri in his book, Islam and Christianity wrote:
"The criterion on the basis of which the sanctity of any revealed Book is critically evaluated comprises three elements:
1. Genuineness: The first requirement for assessing the correctness of a Book involves an analytical probing of the fact that the present complexion and condition of the Book is the same in which it was delivered by the founder of the religion himself. This primary investigation automatically leads to a secondary investigation, which may be more conveniently formulated in the form of an interrogation: Had the founder, of a religion himself given any Book to his followers in his life-time or not. If it is positively established that a revealed Book was given by the founder to his companions and followers, then the second question acquires greater urgency. Our main concern focuses on the fact whether the book, which is followed by the followers, is the same or not. If the answer is in the affirmative, the book is considered genuine; and if either of the questions is answered in the negative, then the Book is nothing but a clumsy piece of spurious propaganda.
2. Authenticity: If it is historically proved that the Book was given by the founder, and it has come down to the present generation of his followers in its original form, then the Book requires another critical examination to establish its bona-fides. The critical inquiry may be framed in the form of another question: Has any change or modification occurred in the Book or has it survived the vagaries of change and remained unmutilated. If it is proved that the Book has gone through a process of change and alteration, and various conflicts, errors and contradictions have been introjected into its contents, then it is absolutely unauthentic and unreliable and no amount of reconditioning can restore its original texture. But if it has resisted change and, remained uninterpolated and inviolate, it will be considered an authentic Book.
3. Integrity: The third angle of approaching a revealed Book is to decide whether any external material was included in it, or any internal material excluded from it during the process of its compilation. If the presence of these inclusions or exclusions is established, the Book will lose its integrity and at best can be described only as a tampered piece of revelation. But if it has remained intact and has survived the fluctuations of taste and temperament, its integrity shall be above board. It will qualify as integral form of exposition inspite of the prejudice-oriented criticism of its adversaries. Thus, in the light of the three-fold criterion, we can safely conclude that with the sole exception of Qur'an, the Holy Qur'an Book of Islam, none of the religious books possesses the characteristics of genuineness, authenticity and integrity."
With regard to the validity of the Bible keeping the above hints in mind, I request you to study my book: 'Is the Bible God's Word?', a copy of which has been enclosed for your study.
Listed hereunder are a few issues that require clarification:
Yes, Islam teaches that 'God is all powerful' and 'majestic' from whose Oceanic Being the system of existence springs. Even so He would not do anything ungodly - as the Creator He would never assume the form of the created. Note well!, the Holy Qur'an, the Universe even Jesus (PBUH) came into existence by the divine will of God! Only a sick or untrained mind or both would accept the theory of the incarnation of God:
"How then can man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a women? Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight? How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?" (JOB 25:4-6)
Islam advocates the concept of the evolution of religion and religious thought. It should be noted that Muslims accept the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to be the last of the Divine Messengers and the Holy Qur'an as God's final revelation. Since divinely instituted messengers appeared before bearing a divine set of instructions, thus the Holy Qur'an invites our attention to those fundamental truths. These basic truths can only be determined using the Holy Qur'an as the blueprint. For example the Holy Qur'an states:
"Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God." (Holy Quran 4:171)
If a Christian were to refute or doubt the above Qur'anic concept, then they are requested to consult their scripture for conformation, here one is bound to find remnants of a divine message:"Nevertheless I must walk today and tomorrow, and the day following: For it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem." (Jesus - LUKE 13:33)
Inspite of this request for one to turn to the Bible for conformation, the book as a whole still remains a corrupted and unreliable source: "How can you say, 'We are wise and the law of the Lord is with us'? But, behold, the false pen of scribes has made it into a lie." (JEREMIAH 8:8-10)
Christians consider the alleged crucifixion and the subsequent doctrine of atonement significant. Yet this concept is contrary to Biblical teachings: "The soul that sinneth, shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." (EZEKIEL 18:20)
Similarly sight JEREMIAH 3:30, DEUTERONOMY 24:16, 2 CHRONICLES 25:4 and 2 KINGS 14:6.
Surely, Jesus (PBUH) being a beloved servant of God would not be humiliated: "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: his body shall not remain all night upon the tree but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; for he that sin hanged is accursed of God. That thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for and inheritance." (DEUTERONOMY 21:22)
The latter Biblical verse highlights the Jewish belief which Jesus considered significant and eternal: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one little shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the lest in the Kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven." (MATTHEW 5:17-19)
For your edification, the doctrine of atonement would be of no value for a certain type of sin: "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." (MATTHEW 12:31-32)
If the doctrine of atonement is genuine then Jesus would not have uttered the words quoted above, because belief in atonement is said to bring about absolute remission of sins. Allow a fresh air of reason to enter your mind. Please! Consider the advice of Jesus to a rich young ruler pertaining to salvation. MATTHEW 19:21
Wishing you well and everything of the best.
Yours in Humanity,
Durban, South Africa
The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186