Question # 6/16/2003.0:12:26 PDST
Here are some basic questions (& answers) for our reader - (detailed questions/answers below):
Hello, I been studying Islam a long time and if you can successfully answer my questions, I'll convert right now.
1. If God is in charge of everything, then why is Catholic is the most widespread religion in the world, and not Islam?
(NOT TRUE - according to the Catholic Church: http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/486)
2. Why did God let most of the people think Jesus die on cross for sins?
( NOT TRUE - Non-Christians make up over 75% of the world's people - Who ALL Do Not Believer Jesus died on the cross)
3. If God is Fair and Just, then why does the one who doesn't hear about Islam and dies, goes to Hell forever?
( NOT TRUE - All people who believed in God, as One God and submitted themselves to His Will without making any partners in worship - will go to Paradise - even if they never heard of Islam, Allah, Quran or Muhammad, peace be upon him)
4. If everything is by God's Will, then it means we have no options and we are going to be punished (or rewarded) for what Allah made us do, right?
( NOT TRUE - We always have choices and that is what we will be asked about (read this whole article to better understand)
5. God created everything just to find out who is bad or good? Isn't this a bit far fetched?
( NOT TRUE - God Created everything - SO WE COULD SEE for ourselves on the Day of Judgment, just how much we DO NOT DESERVE His Mercy, yet all receive it, except those who rejected the truth in this life)
6. And what about people in the jungles who never knew Islam should be rewarded or punished?
7. You say that Allah "guided" you? Maybe it is all in your head.
( NOT TRUE - It is ALL IN YOUR HEART - But that doesn't happen UNTIL YOU USE YOUR HEAD!)
So far no Moslems scholars been able to answer each question and convince me. But if you can, then I am ready to convert. But let's face it - you probably can't.
Answers in Full Details
Thank you for your questions.
Bismillah Rahman Raheem
1. If everything happens by the will of God, why is Christianity the most wide spread religion in the world?
Please note the above statements, particularly #3.
Your question contains a false statement in it. Christianity is divided into a number of major groups: The Catholic Church has confirmed publicly that Islam is the largest religion in the world.
Also, Catholics, who do not accept that other sects are also going to Paradise; Orthodox (Greek Russian), also do not accept that other groups are going to Paradise; Protestants (divided into hundreds of groups), all do not accept that each other are correct. Muslims comprise approximately one in four or one in five people on the earth. Christians are very close to this number, in spite of the exaggerated numbers being offered by western sensus takers.
But regardless of the statistics today, we know that throughout history Judaism, Protestantism or Catholic not the largest religions on earth.
It was not until in the last few centuries that the Catholics and Orthodox were able to propagate their various forms of Christianity by force at the point of a sword (remember the Crusades, Inquisition, American, Mexican and South American conversions?) or a gun (Turkey, Bosnia, Kosovo, India, Russia). So, let us remember that Christianity has not always been amongst the top number in terms of population.
We can begin with Abraham, peace be upon him. We would all have to agree that the religion of Abraham, peace be upon him, was not popular during his life, as he and his wife were the only ones following it and they had to leave his home land due to persecution for their beliefs. At the time of Moses, peace be upon him, the religion of God for those people (the Jews) was not the most popular, was it? Pharaoh told everyone that he was God to them.
Now we can look to the time of David and Solomon, peace be upon them. Did you notice that the pagans were outnumbering them when David was a boy and threw the stone at Goliath? And even though Solomon, peace be upon him, had big armies, there is no way that all of the Jews together could have equaled the number of Chinese Buddhists living to the east of them. True?
Then let us come to Jesus, peace be upon him. Did he have the largest number of followers during his lifetime? Not at all. They were so outnumbered at the garden of Gethsemene that he ordered his companions to put down their swords after they had cut the ear off one of the servants of a priest. True? Why? Because they were severely outnumbered. When they were trying to put Jesus, peace be upon him, on the cross were his followers outnumbered and unable to stop them or not?
Hinduism happens to be one of the largest in the world today, immediately after Islam. So, what would that indicate according to the way you are asking your question? If the Muslims of India (200 million) and the Muslims of Indonesia (400 million +/-) converted to Hindu (I hope they don't), then Hinduism would be the largest religion. On the other hand, if the Hindus of India (one billion) became Muslims, then Islam would be greater than Christianity by over 50%.
What would all of that mean to you or I? Since when do we consider something being right or wrong just because a lot of people do it?
What we should be concerned over is not how many people are attracted to a belief, but rather whether or not the Almighty Creator Himself, would accept it.
2. Why did God allow ever so many people to think Jesus died on the cross? And I've read some Christians say the "deception" of the Quran is that it says Jesus didn't die for them, if you could read Isaiah 42, in the OT, it says things like "he endured pain for us, our sins are gone through him," Can u answer this please?
Again, I would call your attention to #3, above. You are assuming that "so many people think Jesus died on the cross." But in reality of the six or seven billion people living on earth, a minority not a majority carry this belief. Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Taoists, Native Americans, aboriginals of Australia and millions more do not believe any of that.
Then you refer to the Quran with the term "deception." That is based on what? Let us examine two things and compare for ourselves here and now.
First, the Quran means the "exact recital of words" from the angel Jibril (Gabriel in English) to Muhammad, peace be upon him. Does it still exist today? Do all Muslims all over the earth agree that there is only one Quran and that it must be in Arabic in order to be the real Quran? Have over 10,000,000 (ten million) Muslims memorized it exactly, word for word, line for line, letter for letter and jot for jot? Do all Muslims know how to pronounce at least a few of the words and phrases from the original Arabic language? Do Muslims know how the words were pronounced and what they meant at the time that the words were revealed to prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him?
In other words, can the Muslims produce their Book in some form that is agreeable to the majority of people on earth as being the "Book of the Muslims?"
Second, does the Bible exist today in a similar form to the Quran? Is there an original in text? Is there a consensus amongst the majority of all Christians that the Bible came in English? Do all Christians use the same Bible? Can you hear it recited exactly the same in England as you hear it in Russia, or Spain, or South America, or Germany? Is the Catholic Bible (73 books) exactly like the Protestant Bible (66 books)? Are there different versions of the Bible in different languages? Are any two exactly alike? Have millions of people memorized the Bible? Thousands? Hundreds? Even one? In the original language that was spoken by the prophet, that it was revealed to? Can you rely one hundred per cent on each and every single word and you know how it was pronounced by the one it was revealed to?
As regards your _expression "endured pain for us" it so happens that our prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, told us that all of the prophets that came with this message of worship to only One God, without any partners, did suffer and that he did suffer the most. So, what would be your point in this line of questioning? We agree that Jesus, Moses, Abraham and all the prophets, peace be upon them all, did in fact, suffer very much in order for us to know the "Plan of Salvation by Submission to Allah in Obedience to Him, in Peace" (Islam).
3. What will really happen to, e.g., a Christian, who never heard about Islam, and they died, like billions of people have; will they go to hell just because they didn't believe in Muhammad? If Yes, how is that fair?
Allah tells us in the Quran that He never punishes a nation until after He has sent a messenger with the clear message of "Worship your Creator and Sustainer alone without partners."
The Quran does not tell us that everyone who didn't believe in Muhammad, peace be upon him, is going to Hell. The Quran tells us that Allah created us in a test, here on earth. The test is to see (for us to see) who is the best in worship of Allah. The translation more or less, says, "Allah has only created you to worship Him." [Quran 51:56]
He also tells us that, He does not forgive anyone to set up partners with Him in worship, but anything less than that He can forgive.
Notice too, in the Quran that Allah gives many examples of people who lived before Muhammad, peace be upon him, that did go to Paradise, because they believed in the current prophet that had been sent to them and obeyed God and their prophet. That is the meaning of "Islam." A person who never heard of any prophet, yet they believed in God as the Creator, Sustainer of them and the universe and tried to worship Him according to whatever Allah let them know, it would be up to Allah to know what is in their hearts and what is in their minds and He is their ultimate Judge, and this is one of His Attributes or beautiful names, "Al Hakeem" (The Judge).
He also says that He does not punish for what people do not know or what is beyond their control or ability. In other words, He is most Fair. And that also happens to be one of His beautiful Names and Characteristics, "Al-Adil" The Just.
What about your question, if reversed and turned around?
Suppose you asked a Christian the same thing about their religion, what would they say?
I have of course, spoken with many preachers and priests and they have all indicated that in Christianity if a person did not acknowledge "Jesus as their savior" they would go to Hell.
Is that fair? Think about it.
4. Why should we do what God says to do? We didn't ask to get created, why should we listen to God? And if its to be thankful that he DID create me.....why do I have to thank him SO SO MUCH, Ramadan, 5 daily prays...?
You don't have to. There is nothing anywhere in the universe that says you have to do what God wants you to do. There is absolutely no compulsion in religion with Allah. That should make some people feel great. And it is true.
Allah does not force anyone to thank Him, worship Him, obey Him or even acknowledge Him at all. It is up to the individual.
However, there is something called "Divine Justice" and everyone will see, one day, everything that they have done while on this earth. There will be a Day of Judgment or a Day of Reckoning. That is promised in the Bible and the Quran. Without doubt, everyone will see an atom's weight of good they have done on that Day and every single atom's weight of evil that they have done, will be seen on that Day.
None will escape the Judgment of Allah. All of us will be rewarded (or punished) according to our intentions and our actions. This is a promise from your Lord.
Please take some time to read the Old Testament and the Quran. See for yourself, that the biggest sin was in false worship of created Gods. And then think for yourself and pray to Almighty God, the God of Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus, and Muhammad, peace be upon them all, and ask Him to guide you to the truth about this subject.
5. So God created this WHOLE UNIVERSE, just to see...who is good...and who is bad...and then destroy the universe...and rewarded each accordingly (??) seems a bit far fetched?
This is not the teaching of Islam. We do not accept that Allah is trying to see how things are going to happen.
He already Knew everything before He created anything. He put us all here in a test to show us, for us to see, not Him, what we really are and what our attitude really is.
On the Day of Judgment, who do you think will be our Judge? Allah the Almighty One God. But who will be our prosecuting attorney? Ourselves. That is right. We will all be caused to bear witness against ourselves by disclosing what we did while we were here on this earth.
And did we offer any appreciation or thanks to Him? Or did we follow our own vain desires and cause mischief in the earth. Did we take advantage of others? Did we cheat, lie, steal, hurt, corrupt, murder, polute while we were here? Or did we try to make things better and did we do our best?
Only He Knows and we will suddenly all remember on the Day of Judgment, but what will it avail us then? It will be too late.
6. what will happen to all the people even today, and definitely throughout history who live in the jungles etc., and lived there life just doing what ever they wanted? why should I have to pray 5 times a day and all these other things living my life SO strictly when they didn't? How is that fair? Will they be judged according to the Quran and sunnah, if so...how were they to know eating pork is haram, having sex without marriage is haram, drinking alcohol is haram...???
Again, as I have already mentioned above, these things would not be a factor for eternity in Hell.
This is only for those who understood the message. And even then, if a person did do these things but then turned to Allah in sincerity and honesty with the commitment to never again do these things, he would be forgiven.
7. How do you know its not all in your head that "Allah lead me to Islam," etc.; because there's millions of people who say "Jesus lead me to Christianity" etc...and you would say , but no...he's just a man, he cant do anything ONLY GOD CAN...if so, then why does God FOOL these people into hell or disbelief -- why??
Prove this one for yourself.
Just pray directly to the God that Jesus prayed to; His Lord and your Lord, His God and your God. Open your heart and mind and be ready for whatever comes.
This is what every single person did who came to Islam, and there are thousands, who all say they did this and it happened to them.
I know - I'm one of them.
Allah guide you (and all of us) to all truth, ameen.
Good luck in your studies and if your seriously looking for truth - here it is - Laa elaha ilallah, Muhammad Rasoolullah (there is no 'god' to worship except One Almighty God (Allah) and Muhammad is His messenger (as was Jesus, Abraham, Moses, Solomon and all other prophets of God (Allah).
Any good is from Allah the mistakes were from myself.
May Allah guide all of us to His Truth, ameen.
Salam alaykum - Yusuf Estes
National Muslim Chaplain
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Answers are from Sheik Yusuf Estes, National Muslim chaplain. American born former Christian, a student of many excellent scholars, he does not claim to be a scholar and only offers assistance to provide accurate authentic information in easy English to questions about Islam Muslims.