Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

“. . . Islam is the fastest growing religion. Demographers predict that one out of every four human beings will be Muslim in 24 years. If demographics is power, then the world is tilting toward a Muslim century.”  [1]

~ Jeremy Rifkin, the well-known American economist. He is the author of The Age of Access and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington.

We cannot exhaust the hundreds of thousands of individuals who revert to Islam in this book. If I attempt to profile all the reverts, I would obviously appear in Guinness World Records for writing the most voluminous book in the world – for which I have no intentions. If America alone, the NBC News report that 20,000 Americans revert to Islam each year, 75% of them are women and according to St. Petersburg Times “Every year, about 20,000 people in the United States convert to Islam, in addition to those who convert in prison . . . .”[2], then how do you expect us to profile all these 20,000 converts without being overcome by exhaustion and boredom. It is also reported that, “religion experts say Islam is the second-largest religion in the United States . . . . Islam has 5 million to 6 million members, followed by Judaism, with approximately 4.5 million . . . . And Islam is believed to be the fastest-growing religion in the country, with half its expansion coming from new immigrants and the other half from conversions.”[3]  And in Christianity Today:

Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in America, and the massive number of African-American converts—in prisons, colleges, and inner cities—is a key factor. There are more than 2 million black Muslims in the United States, and if current trends prevail, that figure will continue to swell.[4]

And then we read elsewhere that:

Increasing numbers of Latinas are converting to Islam, for love, faith and, some say, a sense of respect . . . . The American Muslim Council, based in Chicago, estimates that there are more than 200,000 Latino Muslims in the United States . . . . Mariam Abassi, vice president of the Da’wah (outreach) program at the center (i.e. The North Hudson Islamic Educational Center, in Union City, N.J.), said about 500 members of the center are Latino converts.[5]

The mind is further boggled reading that, “Islam has become the No. 1 non-Christian faith in Quebec*, as in Canada as a whole.”[6]Elsewhere, we find that “Figures from the 2001 Canadian census released yesterday by Statistics Canada show that the number of people claiming to be of Muslim faith increased by 128.9 per cent to 579,640 in the decade beginning in 1991, making Islam the fastest growing religion in Canada.”[7]

And in Britain, according to The Times, “. . . Unprecedented numbers of British people, nearly all of them women, are converting to Islam at a time of deep divisions within the Anglican and Catholic churches.”[8]An article which appeared in The Sunday Times on 22 February 2004 stated that, “…more than 14,000 white Britons have converted to Islam after becoming disillusioned with western values, according to the first authoritative study of the phenomenon.”[9]On the other hand, British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith confirmed that more than 50,000 are converting to Islam each year.[10]It is further estimated that “. . . anywhere between 10,000 and 50,000 people a year convert to Islam in the UK . . . .”[11]And Rose Kendrick, a religious education teacher at a Hull comprehensive and the author of a textbook guide to the Koran says: “Within the next 20 years the number of British converts will equal or overtake the immigrant Muslim community that brought the faith here”[12]With such a burgeoning number of converts, it is of no shock to learn that the Queen of England has converted a room at Windsor Castle into a prayer space for Muslim staff.[13]Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and one of the principal official residences of the British monarch. Should people neglect the words of Anjem Choudary who was speaking at a meeting in London? Choudary, the Muslim preacher, without equivocation and circumlocutions, said: “It may be by pure conversion that Britain will become an Islamic state. We may never need to conquer it from the outside.”[14]

What about this scaring report from The Times:

The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in just four years, according to official research collated for The Times. The population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society, the research by the Office for National Statistics reveals. In the same period the number of Christians in the country fell by more than 2 million. Experts said that the increase was attributable to immigration, a higher birthrate and conversions to Islam during the period of 2004-2008, when the data was gathered.[15]

And within a span of around two or three years, “Some 3,000 to 5,000 Italians have converted to Islam from Catholicism in recent years,”[16]

On 26 July 2005, United Press International reported, “Islam is becoming an increasingly popular religion in Belgium, with some four hundred converts last year.”[17]De Standaard is a Flemish daily newspaper published in Belgium. In an article published in 2004, De Standaard reported that “400 Belgians each year convert to Islam in the great Mosque of Brussels”[18]

And according to Swissinfo, “Around 30,000 women in Switzerland have converted to Islam, according to a recent report by an organization for Muslim women.”[19]

Moreover, an Interior Ministry-sponsored study on Muslim life in Germany revealed that:

. . . In Germany, some 4,000 people converted to Islam between July 2004 and June 2005. The study, which was financed by the Interior Ministry and carried out by the Soest-based Muslim institute Islam Archive Germany, reveals that the number of converts increased four-fold in comparison to the previous year . . . .[20]

The Jerusalem Post dated 23 January 2007 report: “As many as 100,000 French and British citizens have converted to Islam over the last decade, according to a new book by an Israeli historian.”[21]The figures have been cited by Hebrew University Professor Raphael Israeli in his book The Third Islamic Invasion of Europe.

In 2000, the French Ministry of the Interior estimated the total number of people born into Islam as 4.1 million and converts as about 40,000.[22]And the 2006 issue of The Washington Post states: “Estimates vary on the number of Islamic converts in the country (i.e. France) — from 30,000 to 100,000 . . .”[23]

Do you come from a land Down Under (i.e. Australia)? Then, you better run, you better take cover because we have heard ABC Local Radio reporting:

As the Government tries to find a ways to prevent Muslim extremism in Australia, the number of people converting to Islam is increasing. Queensland’s Islamic community says its numbers have more than doubled in recent years, and it now boasts more than 15,000 followers, including those who’ve turned away from other religions such as Christianity.[24]

And on 18 November 2003, the Syndey Morning Herald featured an article on the phenomenon of conversions in Australia. It reported that:

Islam is among NSW’s (New South Wales) fastest growing religions, with the growth strongly driven by disenchanted Catholics and Anglican . . . . Yet, Islam is among NSW’s fastest-growing religions, the numbers of adherents increasing by 40 per cent since the 1996 census when 102,288 nominated themselves as Muslim. Its growth is not solely the result of Sydney’s status as an immigration centre and the higher birth rates of Arabic-speaking families. Against all expectations, Australian Christians, including Catholics and Anglicans, and agnostics are finding Islam an answer to their spiritual voids . . . . Why would Christians convert? A University of New England academic, Laurence Tamatea, says Islam is attractive because of its universal message, its sense of community, sense of belonging, of a brotherhood and sisterhood.[25]

In Australia, there are a group of people known as the Aborigines, the majority being Christians, converted by European settlers. However, the BBC reporting about them reveal that:

Many have embraced the religion (i.e. Islam) for spiritual reasons, while others insist it gives them a way to escape the oppression suffered by the country’s indigenous population . . . . A small but growing number of young Aboriginal men are now turning to Islam, and it is now estimated there are 1,000 Aboriginal Muslims in Australia, including new recruits and descendants of mixed marriages.[26]

If we take a safari to Africa, we would find that Africa is not only a predominantly Muslim continent but also “. . . most experts agree that Islam is spreading faster than any other faith in East and West Africa.”[27]According to World Book Encyclopedia, Islam is the largest religion in Africa, followed by Christianity and on the authority of Western Journal of Black Studies (2005), the Muslims comprised of 45.1% of the population while Christians  were 36.9%.[28] But what is worth observing is that “A recent report by a Christian organization, Frontline Fellowship, which spearheads the growth of Christianity in Africa, indicates that Islam is growing at a fast rate in this impoverished continent . . . . It says Islam is growing twice as fast as Christianity in Africa.”[29]

And why shouldn’t Islam be accepted by Africans when it is widely known that “Islamic values have much in common with traditional African life: its emphasis on communal living, its clear roles for men and women, its tolerance of polygamy”[30], whereas Christianity as a way of life is much in conflict with most of African traditional values. Little wonder then to hear Reverend Benjamin Kwashi, the Anglican bishop of Jos, Nigeria say: ‘’The Muslims are winning — they have won. Islam is growing very fast. For many Africans, it makes more sense to reject America and Europe’s secular values, a culture of selfishness and half-naked women, by embracing Islam.’’[31]

Another illustration is that in Madagascar 17, 500 of Intimor tribe reverted en-masse[32]

The Washington Post reveals the phenomenal growth of Islam even in Rwanda:

. . .  Since the genocide, Rwandans have converted to Islam in huge numbers. Muslims now make up 14 percent of the 8.2 million people here in Africa’s most Catholic nation, twice as many as before the killings began . . . . Many converts say they chose Islam because of the role that some Catholic and Protestant leaders played in the genocide . . . . In contrast, many Muslim leaders and families are being honored for protecting and hiding those who were fleeing . . . . “I know people in America think Muslims are terrorists, but for Rwandans they were our freedom fighters during the genocide,” said Jean Pierre Sagahutu, 37, a Tutsi who converted to Islam from Catholicism after his father and nine other members of his family were slaughtered. “I wanted to hide in a church, but that was the worst place to go. Instead, a Muslim family took me. They saved my life.”. . . . “If it weren’t for the Muslims, my whole family would be dead,” said Aisha Uwimbabazi, 27, a convert and mother of two children. “I was very, very thankful for Muslim people during the genocide. I thought about it and I really felt it was right to change.”[33]

The 2002 January  edition of  The Christian Science Monitor carried the title:  “In South Africa, many blacks convert to Islam” writing therein that “Islam is growing in South African communities, offering a haven from social vices, an ethic of charity for the needy, and social reform.”  The paper mentioned that, “The faith (i.e. Islam) is attracting both poor shantytown dwellers who appreciate Islam’s emphasis on charity, and young intellectuals attracted by the faith’s focus on lifestyle and social reform.” And it is estimated that in Soweto alone, there were 10,000 converts to Islam as in 2002.[34] Independent Online is a wholly owned subsidiary of Independent News & Media, a media organization based in Dublin, Ireland with interests in 22 countries on 4 continents. The Newspaper writes:

Black South Africans, drawn to the Islam practised by African immigrants, are converting in growing numbers and slowly changing the face of religious affiliation in the overwhelmingly Christian country. “The numbers have gone up dramatically if you look at the census figures . . . there is massive growth especially in the (black) townships,” said Dr Shamil Jeppie, an expert on Islamic history in Africa at the University of Cape Town . . . . But an estimated 75 000 Africans are now Muslim compared to fewer than 12 000 in 1991 during apartheid white rule, according to research by the Human Sciences Research Council, a government-funded institute.[35]

To get exhaustive conversion rate of my own country Kenya is equally hard. However, I got the privilege of accessing the records of the converts from Jamia Mosque Reverts Center in Nairobi. The center would offer a certificate of reversion to Islam to those who reported their conversions at its Center. Each certificate would detail important information such as the name of the person, the adopted name after conversion, date of conversion, sex and National Identification Number of the revertee, two witnesses, serial number of the certificate, signatures, e.t.c. The duplicate of the certificates would usually remain with Jamia mosque Reverts Center. Readers should note, however, that the data I got from Jamia Mosque Reverts Center is not representative of all converts to Islam in Kenya. The data represent only those reverts who reported their adoption of Islam at Jamia offices in Nairobi. It is emphatically assumed that most of these converts reside in or in close proximity to Nairobi and it is worth noting that of all the eight provinces in Kenya, Nairobi is the smallest province in terms of area. From the data, in a period between 1990 to 2009 (i.e. 20 year period), the number of people who embraced Islam in the Nairobi area is 10 923. The provided  table shows the number of converts from the year 1990 to 2009.

If you go to Singapore, you will read: “. . . About 500 people here convert to Islam each year. That has been the average since the 1990s, said the Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore.”[36]Brunei Times report a greater number of ethnic Chinese enquiring about turning to Islam, with a greater number of Indonesian Chinese embracing Islam in the month of Ramadhan, every year.[37] And in a different edition, it reports that a total of 109 people became Muslims in the Tutong District from January to 22 December 2008.[38]

Then, there is Israel News reporting that:

According to statistics from the Population Administration, 2006 will be a record year for Israeli Jews joining the Muslim religion. In the past few years, the number of conversions to Islam was relatively stable at 35 per year, but over 70 conversions were expected this year. In 2003, 40 Jews converted to Islam; in 2004 the number dropped to 27; and last year it stood at 33.[39]

Remarkably, in 2004, thirty-seven Korean soldiers converted to Islam ahead of their late July deployment to the Kurdish city of Irbil in northern Iraq. The Chosun Iblo Korean News Agency stated that:

. . . at noon Friday, 37 members of the Iraq-bound “Zaitun Unit,” including Lieutenant Son Hyeon-ju of the Special Forces 11th Brigade, made their way to a mosque in Hannam-dong, Seoul and held a conversion ceremony”.[40]

Citing why Islam attracted them, one of these Korean soldiers said: “I became a Muslim because I felt Islam was more humanistic and peaceful than other religions. And if you can religiously connect with the locals, I think it could be a big help in carrying out our peace reconstruction mission.”

The world-famous journal The Economist stated that “Russia’a fastest-growing religious group is its Muslims.”[41]Professor Paul Goble is the Vice Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities at Concordia-Audentes University in Tallinn, Estonia, and he is unquestionably a leading specialist on ethnic minorities in the Russian Federation. He said that within the next several decades Russia will become a country with a Muslim majority.[42]

Within most of our lifetimes the Russian Federation, assuming it stays within current borders, will be a Muslim country . . . .  That is it will have a Muslim majority and even before that the growing number of people of Muslim background in Russia will have a profound impact on Russian foreign policy. The assumption in Western Europe or the United States that Moscow is part of the European concert of powers is no longer valid . . . . The Muslim growth rate, since 1989, is between 40 and 50 percent . . . . By 2015, Muslims will make up a majority of Russia’s conscript army, and by 2020 a fifth of the population.

Goble says that in 1991 there were about 300 mosques in Russia. However, in 2006, it rose to 8,000. The number of Russians going on the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca each year has jumped from 40 in 1991 to 13,500 in 2005.

Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. In a village in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu live a group of people referred to as Dalit. They are of South Asian descent traditionally regarded as untouchables or of low caste, who have been told by the upper castes of India that they are less than human. Cases of oppression, injustices, and ill-treatment against the Dalits are rampart. The Dalits thought Islam could be a solution to their sufferings.  At this point, it’s worth-noting that Islam scripturally crashes all types of racism, ethnicity, tribalism or supremacy based on color and birth. Hence the verse: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [Q 49:13] and as Christians talk of the Last Supper of Jesus, Muslims talk of the Last Sermon of Muhammad.  The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad included this important clause: “All mankind is [descended] from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab. A white man has no superiority over black nor a black over white, except on account of piety and good deeds.”[43]Furthermore, Qur’an Chapter 49 verse 10 “The believers are but brothers. . . .” places belief in one God as the assimilating agent, and not race, wealth, nationality or popularity. No sane person can hesitate following a Prophet who said, “You are not better than people with red or black skins unless you excel them in piety.”[44] Arnold Toynbee, a historian who believed that revival of religion is one of the keys to the salvation of Western civilization admitted that Islam can extinguish racial discrimination:

The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding moral achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue. The forces of racial toleration, which at present seem to be fighting a losing battle in a spiritual struggle of immense importance to mankind, might still regain the upper hand if any strong influence militating against racial consciousness were now to be thrown into the scales. It is conceivable that the spirit of Islam might be the timely reinforcement which would decide this issue in favor of tolerance and peace.[45]

Despite other Dalits embracing Islam in previous occasion, news went that an entire village desired to revert to Islam:

All Dalits in the village intend converting to Islam,” said the local panchayat president, Murthy, at S Keezhapatti. “The upper castes don’t respect us and untouchability is a curse when it comes to eking out a living,” he explained. As he pointed out, “If a Dalit opens a tea stall, caste Hindus stay away. But if he converts to Islam and opens the same tea stall, they come to the same place, to the ‘bhai’s tea stall’. There is no untouchability then.” It is not the illiterate among the Dalits who feel that way. Even a post-graduate from the village says that conversion is the only way out to ‘’buy social respect”.[46]

For those who would like to work in Saudi Arabia or Arab countries and those who have friends/relatives in such countries will be thrilled to read from the Middle East’s leading English language daily Newspaper Arab News dated 20 May 2006:

As many as 4,200 expatriates of different nationalities have embraced Islam as a result of the activities of Islamic Education Foundation (IEF) in Alhamrah in the past 10 years, according to a press statement issued by IEF. About 40 percent of the converts were women, it said.[47]

Islamic Education Foundation (IEF) is supervised by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Propagation and Guidance. It is reported that in UAE, expatriates have converted to Islam, majorities are from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and a few from Western countries. One of the news sources disclose:

The total number of those who have embraced Islam in the United Arab Emirates has reached the 10,000 mark, and a new center is now being built in which there would be four classrooms for men and a similar number for women, a lecture hall, administrative offices, and it is expected that it will also open branches in various other emirates of the UAE. Most of these converts embraced Islam due to efforts exerted by the Sheikh Zayed Center for New Converts.[48]

Let us pose for a moment. I am sure you have personally witnessed a case of conversion to Islam, either in your family, in your village/town/college or on the media. That is if you socialize with mankind and you are neither living in Mars nor Venus.

However, we should know that there are those converts who, due to one reason or the other, opt to remain anonymous. Only God knows them. They may be performing Islamic rituals in secrecy (and some doubt if Obama is a Christian). We cannot get the statistics of these undercover Muslims. Just like in Makkah before it was conquered by Muslims, there were some Muslim converts living in anonymity with the unbelievers of Makkah. Muhammad and his companions were heading to Makkah. Had a fight taken place between Muhammad’s party and the Makkans, they might unwittingly have killed some of those Muslim converts, not known to them as Muslims, and thus suffered the anguish of shedding Muslim blood. Hence the verse:

And if not for believing men and believing women (i.e. converts to Islam) whom you did not know – that you might trample [i.e., kill] them and there would befall you because of them dishonor without [your] knowledge – [you would have been permitted to enter Makkah]. [This was so] that Allah might admit to His mercy whom He willed. If they had been apart [from them], We would have punished those who disbelieved among them with painful punishment. [Q 48:25].

Thus, getting the statistics of all Muslim converts is very hard due to the cases of those who don’t report their conversions. Fact: there is a rising tide of converts flowing to Islam. Period. To profile all these converts would require a voluminous encyclopedia.  The point is home. That Islam is growing faster than any other religion. We anticipate a credible Muslim body which would come up with a yearly-based volume(s) profiling notable converts to Islam besides giving statistics on conversions. Probably, every country profiling her notable converts. The title might read something like 2009 Converts to Islam: Profiles of Notable Kenyan Converts. For America, they would have something like 2009 Converts to Islam: Profiles of Notable American Converts.

{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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FOOTNOTES

[1]. Rifkin, Jeremy. “Dialogue is a Necessity.” The Guardian 13 Nov. 2001.

[2]. Wiener, Jocelyn (Times Staff Writer). “Young, Female and Muslim.” St. Petersburg Times 7 Oct. 2002.

[3]. Arnett, Elsa C. Knight-Ridder News Service.

[4]. Ellis, Carl. “Conversations: Carl Ellis on How Islam Is Winning Black America.” By Edward Gilbreath. Christianity Today 3 April 2000. Vol. 44. No. 4.

[5]. Conci, Pilar. “Latina converts look for answers in Islam.” Columbia News Service 27 May 2008.  Another article on Latina conversions to Islam see; Armario, Christine. “US Latinas seek answers in Islam.” The Christian Science Monitor 27 Dec. 2004.

* Quebec is a province in the central part of Canada; the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking  population; it is Canada’s largest province by area (nearly three times the size of France or Texas and its second-largest administrative division; it is the second most populous province, after Ontario.

[6]. Shepard, Harvey. “Islam Thrives in Quebec.” Montreal Gazette 14 May 2003.

[7]. Galloway, Gloria. “Muslims Outnumber Jews in Canada.” Toronto Globe and Mail 14 May 2003.

[8]. Berrington, Lucy. “Why Are British Women Turning to Islam?” The Times 9 Nov. 1993.

[9]. Hellen, Nicholas and Christopher Morgan. “Islamic Britain lures top people.” The Sunday Times 22 Feb. 2004.

[10]. Roznama Jasarat (Pakistan) 22 May 2008. Also see Rupee News (New York) 20 July 2008.

[11]. Smith, Robert. “Islam will be dominant UK religion.” Gulf Daily News 10 March 2004.

[12]. Berrington, Lucy. “Why Are British Women Turning to Islam?” The Times 9 Nov. 1993.

[13]. Sayed, Ruki. “Queen opens Muslim prayer room at Windsor Castle.”  Voice of the Mirror 30 Sept. 2006. Page 8. Also see: “Queen sanctions first ever Muslim prayer room.” Daily Mail  29 Sept. 2006.

[14]. France, Anthony and Vince Soodin. “We need more Muslim babies … then we can take over Britain.” The Sun 13 Sept. 2008.

[15]. Kerbaj, Richard. “Muslim population ‘rising 10 times faster than rest of society.” The Times 30 Jan. 2009.

[16]. Baker, Luke. “Rome’s envoy to S. Arabia converts to Islam.” Reuters 26 Nov. 2001.

[17]. “Islam on rise in Belgium.” United Press International 26 July 2005.

[18]. “Islam in Belgium.” De Standaard 20 Nov. 2004.

[19]. Berthoud, Jean-Michel. “Putting their faith in Islam.” Swissinfo 14 March 2005.

[20]. Ackermann, Lutz. “Angst-Ridden Germans Look for Answers — And Find Them in the Koran.” Der Spiegel 18 Jan. 2007. <http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,460364,00.html&gt;

[21]. Lefkovits, Etgar. “Islam converts change face of Europe.” The Jerusalem Post 23 Jan.2007

[22]. l’Islam dans la République” (Haut Conseil à l’intégration, Nov. 2000, p.26)

[23]. Whitlock, Craig. “Trial of French Islamic Radical Sheds Light on Converts’ Role.” Washington Post 1 Jan. 2006, A01.

[24]. Millar, Lisa. “Number of Islamic converts increasing.” AM. ABC Local Radio. 27 Aug. 2005.  08:06:10 < http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2005/s1447377.htm&gt;

[25]. “Converts in the houses of the Lord.” Syndey Morning Herald 18.  Nov. 2003.

[26]. “Aborigines turn to Islam.” bbc.co.uk  31 March. 2003 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2902315.stm&gt;

[27]Onishi, Norimitsu. “Rising Muslim Power in Africa Causes Unrest in Nigeria and Elsewhere.” New York Times Also see: Kaba, Amadu Jackay. “Spread of Christianity and Islam in Africa: A Survey and Analysis of the Numbers and Percentages of Christians, Muslims, and Those Who Practice Indigenous Religions,” Western Journal of Black Studies. Vol. 29, no.2, 2005, p. 561.

[28]. Kaba, Amadu Jackay. Western Journal of Black Studies. Vol. 29, No.2, 2005. p. 561.

[29]. Jomo, Frank. “Islam making in-roads in Zambia.” newsfromafrica.org 19 July 2006. <http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_10733.html&gt;

[30]. Onishi, Norimitsu. “Rising Muslim Power in Africa Causes Unrest in Nigeria and Elsewhere.” New York Times 1 Nov.  2001.

[31]. Onishi, Norimitsu. “Rising Muslim Power in Africa Causes Unrest in Nigeria and Elsewhere.” New York Times 1 Nov.  2001.

[33]. Wax, Emily. “Islam Attracting Many Survivors of Rwanda Genocide.” Washington Foreign Post Service 23 Sept. 2002.p. A10. See <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53018-2002Sep22.html&gt;

[34]. Itano, Nicole. “In South Africa, many blacks convert to Islam.” The Christian Science Monitor 10 Jan. 2002.

[35]. Bell, Gordon. “Islam is spreading among black South Africans.” Independent Online 14 Nov. 2004. <http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=139&art_id=qw1100423885802B264&gt;;also see Paz, Reuven and Moshe Terdman. “Islam’s Inroads.” The Journal of International Security Affairs Fall 2007, No. 13.

[36]. Zainol, Vivi. “Singapore: 500 Convert To Islam Every Year.” The Straits Times 22 Nov. 2003.

[37]. Rosli, Sobrina. “More people embrace Islam during holy month.” The Brunei Times 30 Sept. 2007.

[38]. Begawan, Bandar Seri. “109 embrace Islam in Tutong.” The Brunei Times 24 Dec. 2008

[39]. Palter, Nurit. “2006: More Jews converting to Islam.” Israel News 13 July 2006. <http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3274735,00.html&gt;

[40].“Ahead of Iraq Deployment, 37 Korean Troops Convert to Islam.” The Chosun Iblo Korean News Agency 8 June 2004.<http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200405/200405280041.html&gt; Also watch their conversions on this link (s) <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awhV2zNo5LM >

[41]. “Russia’s Muslims: A benign growth?” The Economist 7 April. 2007. p.25.

[42]. “Analyst Predicts Muslim Majority in Russia Within 30 Years.” voanews.com 28 Feb. 2006.

<http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2006-02/2006-02-28-voa77.cfm?CFID=105873012&CFTOKEN=97671586&jsessionid=6630ffca3635a655cac662261fe3b18643c5 >; Also see Choudhury, Salah Uddin Shoaib. “Russia becoming a Muslim state!” Asian Tribune Mon, 22 May 2006.

[43]. Musnad of Imam Ahmed # 19774; Also see AlMubarakpuri, SafiurRahman. ArRaheeq AlMakhtum (The Sealed Nectar). 1st ed. Riyadh: Maktaba DarusSalam, 1995. p.460.

[44]. Mishkat Al-Masabih, 5198 and transmitted by Ahmad.

[45]. Toynbee, Arnold J. Civilization on Trial. New York: Oxford University Press, 1948. pp. 205-206.

[46]. “Dalit villagers in Madurai to take to Islam” rediff.com 16 Jan. 2001. <http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/jan/16satya.htm&gt;

[47]. P.K. Abdul Ghafour. “4,200 Embraced Islam Through IEF Programs.” Arab News 20 May 2006; Also see P.K. Abdul Ghafour. “New Muslims on the rise in US after Sept. 11.”  Arab News 3 Nov. 2002.

[48]. “Converts in Emirates.” Islamic Voice March 1999.

Maybe figures would speak louder than statements.

As quoted in the World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world:

“. . . Christianity has experienced massive losses in the Western and Communist worlds over the last 60 years. In the Sovient Union, Christians have fallen from 83.6% in 1900 to 36.1% today. In Europe and North America, nett defections from Christianity—converts to other religions or to irreligion — are now running at 1, 820, 500 former Christians a year. This loss is much higher . . . .”[1]

According to a Christian magazine, The Plain Truth,[2]with its source books being the World Almanac and Book of Facts 1935, Reader’s Digest Almanac and Yearbook 1983, it acknowledged that in a span of fifty years (1934 – 1984):

From the figures given in that magazine, if we pick only three religions, it would appear as follows:

Shedding light on the unparalleled Muslim revival, the article which appeared in The Plane Truth in 1984 stated that, “In contrast to declining church memberships in the West, news reports would have told you of an opposite trend in the Moslem world. Islam would become the world’s fastest-growing religion . . .”[3]and truly as predicted, Islam is now the fastest-growing religion.As a matter of fact, the Vatican admits that Islam has overtaken Catholicism, “For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,” Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Formenti who compiles the Vatican’s yearbook said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population – a stable percentage – while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.[4]

Moreover, The World Christian Database (WCD) and its print predecessor the World Christian Encyclopedia (WCE) has reviewed religious populations around the world and released results of their investigations at various times. Refining from the tabulation of their results, to compare and contrast Islam and Christianity, the yearly growth rate percentage would be as follows:

[References for the figures provided see: Barrett, David B., George Thomas Kurian, and Todd M. Johnson. 2001. World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions in the modern world. New York: Oxford University Press. p 4. Also see “The List: The World’s Fastest-Growing Religions.” Foreign Policy 14 May 2007.]

Talking about other non-Christian religions, the author of WCE’s stand is: “. . . we may believe those religions false or inadequate and may attempt to win them to faith in Jesus Christ . . . .”[5]Hoping that the data on these ‘deviant’ religions provided therein are objective and not manipulated in an attempt to win them to faith in Jesus Christ, we shall use it for our analysis. The World Christian Encyclopedia gives the number of both Muslims and Christians in 1900 and in 2000. The population of Christians in 1900 and 2000 were 558 056 332 and 2 019 921 366 respectively and that of Muslims in the same years were 200 102 284 and1 200 653 040 respectively.[6]

A simple formula for calculating a percentage Growth Rate (or Percent Change) between two different periods is given as follows:

Using the figures provided by the WCE, let’s calculate the Percentage Growth of Christianity between 1900 and 2000.

After calculating, the percentage growth of Christianity become 262%

Using the figures provided by the WCE, let’s now calculate the Percentage Growth of Islam between 1900 and 2000.

After calculating, the percentage growth of Islam become 500%

Still, Islam is leading with 500% Growth Rate whereas Christianity has 262% Growth rate. In 1997, statisticians at the US Center for World Mission stated that Christianity’s total number of adherents is growing at about 2.3% annually.[7]According to Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance Islam is growing at about 2.9% per year which is faster than the total world population which is increasing at about 2.3% annually.[8] Extrapolating from the past Islam’s growth trends, no difficulty should be encountered, then, in accepting that Islam will unquestionably surpass all religions of the world. On October 2009, Kenyan newspaper The Standard emerged with an article entitled: “one in every four is a Muslim as followers hits 1.57 billion worldwide.”[9] This figure was revealed by Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in a report which is billed as the most comprehensive of its kind. If in 2000, according to the The World Christian Database (WCD), the Muslims were 1.2 billion worldwide and 9 years later (i.e. 2009) Pew Forum concluded that Muslims had reached 1.57 billion worldwide, what will be the world Muslim population in the next 50 years? Time will tell.

{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}
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FOOTNOTES


[1]. Barrett, David B. World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world, AD 1900-2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.p. 7.

[2]. Stump, Keith. W. “A Crucial Half Century of Religion.” The Plain Truth Feb. 1984 p.11.

[3]. Stump, Keith. W. “A Crucial Half Century of Religion.” The Plain Truth Feb. 1984 p.20.

[4]. Richard Owen. “Islam overtakes Catholicism as world’s largest religion.” Times 31 March 2008; also see Kington, Tom. “Number of Muslims ahead of Catholics, says Vatican.” The Guardian 31 March 2008; “Muslims outnumber Catholics.” PRESS TV. 30 Mar 2008 < http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=49503&sectionid=3510212&gt; ; Rizzo, Alessandra (Associated Press Writer). “Muslims More Numerous Than Catholics.” ABC News 30 March 2008; CBS News 30 March 2008.

[5]. Barrett, David B. Preface. World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world, AD 1900-2000. By Barrett. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

[6]. Barrett, David B. World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world, AD 1900-2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.p. 6.

[7]. Greg H. Parsons, Executive Director, U.S. Center for World Mission, Pasadena, CA; quoted in Zondervan News Service, 21 Feb. 1997.

[8]. Robinson, B.A.  “Growth Rate of Christianity & Islam.” religioustolerance.org. 6 Nov. 2001. <http://www.religioustolerance.org/growth_isl_chr.htm&gt;; Also see Khan, Arshad. Islam, Muslims and America: Understanding the Basis of Their Conflict. Algora Publishing, 2003.p.29.

[9]. Gorski, Eric (AP Religion Writer). “One in every four is a Muslim as followers hits 1.57 billion worldwide.” The Standard 9 Oct. 2009. Also see Greene, Richard Allen. “Nearly 1 in 4 people worldwide is Muslim, report says.”CNN 8 Oct. 2009; <http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/07/muslim.world.population/index.html&gt;; Beaumont, Peter. “One in four people is Muslim, says study.” Guardian 8 Oct. 2009; Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. “Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population.” 8 Oct. 2009.

“Oh God! If you save me I will work for you.”

~ Exclaimed Cat Stevens when his leisurely swim off the coast of Malibu turned into a nightmare. He was busy drowning.

21 of July 1948, Steven Demetre Georgiou who would later be known by his stage name Cat Stevens was born to a Greek Orthodox father and Swedish Baptist mother. “I was born to a Christian family which revered money and I did the same, I felt in admiration for singers to the extent that I made of them my supreme god , then decided to become one of them. I ended up becoming one of the biggest Pop stars, and media made of me an icon, bigger than life itself and will live forever.” He said.

Cat Stevens is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and philanthropist. He had been a pop star since his teens. Under the name “Cat Stevens”, he has sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. The world famous British pop singer used to earn sometimes more than $ 150 000 a night. Cat Stevens had everything most people aspire to achieve: fame, talent, wealth, good looks, and strong magnetism towards the opposite sex, yet he felt something was seriously missing. Living a fast-moving pop-star life, Stevens for once, received a call to spiritual awakening.  He became very ill with tuberculosis and a collapsed lung. Consequently, Cat Stevens got hospitalized for a long period, an experience that made him search for the meaning of life.

In 1976, Stevens received yet another call to spiritual awakening. This time, at the coast of Malibu, California, where he nearly drowned. He shouted in the bid to conform with the constant calls, “Oh God! If you save me I will work for you.” This near-death experience intensified his long-held quest for spiritual truth. Cat Stevens had looked into other spiritual formulas including Buddhism, Zen, and I Ching, Numerology, Tarot cards and Astrology. He writes:

My quest for truth continued in parallel with my artistic career, till the day when a friend of mine who came back from a trip in the East told me that he found serenity inside a mosque which he didn’t in a church, which led me to shift my interest to that religion and bought a translated Koran. At last I found answers to my questions: Who I am? Where I come from? And what is my goal in Life? Through my several readings of this holy book, I concluded that there is only one God with whom we can communicate directly without any interference.

It was the Qur’an that gave him the peace he was searching as he says, “. . . I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur’an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) we will be successful.”

He further states:

Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur’an; it asks you to reflect and reason….When I read the Qur’an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt the only answer for me was the Qur’an and God had sent it to me.

He formally reverted to the Islamic faith in 1977, and took the name Yusuf Islam in 1978. After reverting to Islam, Yusuf Islam denounced his pop career calling music un-Islamic, auctioning his guitars and gold records and used the proceeds for Islamic charities. He even urged record companies to stop stocking his music, some of which he viewed as “immoral”. Talking about the need for dropping out of music, he said, “. . .  I had another agenda to fulfill; I had to learn my faith and look after my family, and I had to make priorities.”

Estimating in January 2007 that he continues to earn approximately $1.5 million USD a year from his Cat Stevens music, he decided to use his accumulated wealth and continuing earnings from his music career on philanthropic and educational causes in the Muslim community of London and elsewhere such as supporting orphans in Bosnia. In 1982, he and other concerned Muslims were troubled to see their children not getting proper Islamic education in Britain. Hence they founded the Islamia Schools’ Trust, a registered British charity which led to the opening of a Muslim primary school in London the following year and secondary schools later.

Yusuf Islam was famed for publicly endorsing the death sentence issued by Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie in February 1989. “Salman Rushdie, indeed any writer who abuses the Prophet or indeed any Prophet under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death,” he said at the time, stating the punishment for blasphemers required under Islamic law.  Showing that blasphemy is a capital offense according to God’s standards, he said; “If you ask a Bible student to quote the legal punishment of a person who commits blasphemy in the Bible, he would be dishonest if he didn’t mention Leviticus 24:16.” The verse reads: “And whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.”

Yusuf Islam has been given several awards including 2004 Man for Peace Award presented by Mikhail Gorbachev for his dedication to promote peace, the reconciliation of people and to condemn terrorism; (2005), Honorary Doctorate by the University of Gloucestershire for services to education and humanitarian relief; (2007), The Mediterranean Prize for Peace in Naples, Italy; Honorary Doctorate (LLD) by the University of Exeter (10 July 2007), in recognition of his humanitarian work and improving understanding between Islamic and Western cultures.

He lives with his wife, Fauzia Mubarak Ali, and five children in Brondesbury Park, London and spends part of each year in Dubai. In response to those who take black-sheep’s of Islam as the benchmark for its truth, Yusuf Islam said:

It will be wrong to judge Islam in the light of the behavior of some bad Muslims who are always shown on the media. It is like judging a car as a bad one if the driver of the car is drunk and he bangs it into the wall. Islam guides all human beings in the daily life – in its spiritual, mental and physical dimensions. But we must find the sources of these instructions, the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet. Then we can see the ideal of Islam.

Websites:

www.mountainoflight.co.uk

www.yusufislam.com

www.yusufislam.org.uk.

Contact Information:

Mailing address

2 Digswell Street,

London N7 8JX,

United Kingdom.

 

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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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[References: Islam, Yusuf. “My Journey from Cat Stevens to Yusuf Islam.” Mountain of Light, 2001; Islam, Yusuf.  “Questions for Yusuf Islam.” By Deborah Solomon. The New York Times 7 Jan. 2007; Craig R. Whitney. “Cat Stevens Gives Support To Call for Death of Rushdie.” The New York Times May 22, 1989; Brown, George. Cat Stevens: The Complete Illustrated Biography & Discography. George Brown, 2006; Islam, Yusuf. “Yusuf Islam.” an interview by Nigel Williamson. Billboard magazine 25 Nov. 2006; Paphides, Pete. “Notions of Islam.” The Times 6 July 2007; “Cat Stevens-one man, two identities.” The Sydney Morning Herald 24 Sept. 2004; Schwartz, Stephen. “Why Yusuf Islam was turned away from the United States.” The Weekly Standard.  22 Sept. 2004; “Cat Stevens becomes Yusuf Islam.” video.google.com 16 Feb 2006. <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6157965900354777626&gt;;”Prince goes pop to praise school.” bbc.co.uk 10 May, 2000. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/743894.stm>%5D

“If tomorrow is judgment day

And I’m standing on the front line

And the Lord asks me what I did with my life

I will say, I spent it with you”

~Whitney Houston, “My Love Is Your Love” Lyrics

“Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.” So said Isaiah Berlin. It is an act of prided ignorance not to bother about the purpose of life. How ignorant are those who think life is about hanging out with friends, making babies plus making money. And to enjoy oneself then die. That’s all. Or do they think life is to eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. If Nokia was made by Nokia Manufacturing Company for a specific purpose – for communication – and it comes with a manual, it is only ignorant people who assume God created them for no purpose and without a manual. If the Nokia phone dies, or gets out of supply, the Nokia Company can easily remanufacture the same phone. Smart guys know that the One who created man is able to bring him back after his death. “And it is He (God) who begins creation; then He repeats it (i.e. repeat the creation), and that is [even] easier for Him.” [Q 30:27. Also see Q 86:8]. Immanuel Kant, the German writer and philosopher (1724-1804,) foresees a greater drama-packed Judgment Day as he says:

The drama of this life is not complete; there must be a second scene to it, for we see the tyrant and his victims without seeing justice being executed. We see the conqueror and the subjugated, without the latter finding any revenge. Therefore, there must be another world, where justice will be carried out.[1]

Research In Motion (RIM), is a Canadian wireless device company that is credited for developing blackberry smartphone. Imagine watching an interview in which the CEO of RIM has just been asked the question, “why did you invent blackberry?” I am 100 % confident that whatever response given by the CEO, it won’t include such answers like “I don’t know” or “there is no specific intention for manufacturing such a device, but we are still figuring out what made us develop blackberry.” If that is the case, why do the simpletons keep on saying that God created man for no purpose?

Whether it’s made in Japan, made in China, or made in Kenya, the fact is that we are surrounded by things humans have made with their own hands. The intelligent would ask: Why did man make those things? To the uncomprehending fools, the answer is “pass/ I don’t know” while the extremely smart will say man made things to perform some specific function for us. By illustration he/she will mention that we make houses to serve as a shelter, cup to serve us tea, blow drier for glorifying our hair. Others make weird-looking gadgets to serve them emotionally and otherwise. If we make things to serve us, the brilliant will know that God made us to . . . .

It is the habit of the ignomorus to worship other than the One God. “Say, [O Muhammad], “Is it other than Allah that you order me to worship, O ignorant ones?” And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate [anything] with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.  Rather, worship [only] Allah and be among the grateful.” [Q 39:64 -66]. Will Moses be provoked to anger when he comes to our modern-day worshipping places and see the varieties of idols? What will Moses say to modern-day worshipers of Idols? God narrates how the Israelites were saved from Pharaoh but along the road, they started to exhibit ignorance. “And We (God) took the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea; then they came upon a people intent in devotion to [some] idols of theirs. They [the Children of Israel] said, “O Moses, make for us a god just as they have gods.” He said, “Indeed, you are a people behaving ignorantly. Indeed, those [worshippers] – destroyed is that in which they are [engaged], and worthless is whatever they were doing.” [Q 7: 138-139]. The Arab idolaters had 360 Gods, in Hinduism they have 330 million Gods, the Christians have three, ‘covalently’ bonded as one! (Even though simple mathematics tell us that if you place one apple next to two apples it sums up as three apples!). This leads us to wonder, “. . . are many different lords (gods) better or Allâh, the One, the Irresistible?” [Q 12:39]. I am tempted to borrow some few lines from, “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Now, when Jesus was asked which was the first commandment of all, he answered, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” [Mark 12: 29]. Is it possible that, by choosing the word “one”, Jesus never meant just one but more than one? Suppose Jesus really meant three, why didn’t he bother to interpret it so clearly lest others be confused.  After all, Jesus is so good in parables in that he can just give an analogy of the egg and say, “God is three in one just like the yolk, the white and the shell are three parts of the same egg.” Jesus can also say, “Don’t you think of water! It can exist as liquid, solid, and gas. Confused are those who don’t imagine the three parts of the apple: the skin, the meat, the core, for all the three parts makes one apple!” On a serious note, how can a good teacher like Jesus refuse to elucidate the Trinity doctrine? Jesus taught us how to pray, what to do to enter the kingdom of Heaven, how to . . . I mean he taught his disciples many things but why on earth didn’t he teach the nature of God? Or maybe he taught the concept of Trinity in secrecy! But this contradicts his principle of transparency: “Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.” [John 18:20]

Indeed, many are unaware and will even be shocked of the existence of the following statement in Encyclopedia Britannica:

Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema (The Judaic profession of Monotheism) in the Old Testament: “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The earliest Christians, however, had to cope with the implications of the coming of Jesus Christ and of the presumed presence and power of God among them . . . .[2]

Let us analyze what Tom Harpur concludes about Christianity and Trinity. By the way, Tom Harpur is Canada’s renowned spiritual author, journalist, and TV host who is also listed in U.S. Who’s Who in Religion, Canadian Who’s Who, and the most recent edition of Men of Achievement, (Cambridge, England). It was said of him that: “If Harpur’s research and reasoning was the stuff of which sermons were made . . .  churches wouldn’t be empty.” In his best-selling book, For Christ’s Sake, Harpur writes:

What is most embarrassing for the church is the difficulty of proving any of these statements of dogma from the New Testament documents. You simply cannot find the doctrine of the Trinity set out anywhere in the Bible. St. Paul has the highest view of Jesus’ role and person, but nowhere does he call him God. Nor does Jesus himself anywhere explicitly claim to be the second person in the Trinity, wholly equal to his heavenly Father. As a pious Jew, he would have been shocked and offended by such an Idea. Over the last decade or so, I have talked as long and as frequently as possible about these particular doctrines with intelligent lay people and clergy of all denominations , and I have found widespread confusion – in itself bad enough. But there is worse to come. This research has lead me to believe that the great majority of regular churchgoers are, for all practical purposes, tritheists. That is, they profess to believe in one God, but in reality they worship three . . . .[3]

According to a 2002 survey conducted in Britain by Christian Research, a quarter of Anglican priests stated that they did not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity.[4]And according to Pastor G. Reckart and David Olsen, “The Trinity Doctrine is one of greatest lies in the world today. Its roots can be clearly traced back to Babylonian mysticism, the teachings of nimrod, even into Jewish kabbalism itself!”[5] Sometimes we wonder what do people really understand when they read texts. Because Harper’s Bible Dictionary clearly states that “The formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the NT.”[6] And the New Catholic Encyclopedia says that Trinity is a “. . . product of 3 centuries of doctrinal development . . . .”[7]  These are references written by their Christian scholars yet the laity persists in believing in the Trinity. Well, this is indeed embarrassing to the brain.

Jesus once talked to a woman saying, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father. . . .” [John 4:21] and he did not include the Son and the Holy Spirit. In John 4:23 Jesus said “. . .the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.” Sincerely speaking, these verses show that worship must only be directed to what they call the Father and neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit. Even after reading Isaiah 45:14:“God is with you alone, and there is no other; there is no god besides him” still some think there is one God surrounded by two other Gods! I mean even after reading verse number 18 of the same chapter where God clears the confusion by saying “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” Still some think there are two more others? This must be a mathematical miracle.

Those who fear ignorance more than they fear death and those who don’t lack the most common of senses would wonder, “If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! but glory to Allah, the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!” [Q 21:22] and “. . . (if there had been many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified be Allâh above all that they attribute to Him!” [Q 23:91] “They have no knowledge— those who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.” [Isaiah 45:20]. What do you think will happen if you are caught by your jealous wife, kissing another woman? And assuming that this short-tempered, easily-pissed wife of yours is carrying a gun! And people don’t even care when the Bible states: “for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” [Exodus 34:14] According to the book of Hosea, the reason why Israel was destroyed is because the people of Israel had started worshipping Baal, a god of the Canaanites. “Going after other gods, for Hosea, is like a woman going after other lovers, leaving her husband behind.”[8] If that is the case, then what will be the fate of Christians who, in the analysis of Tom Harpur, “. . . profess to believe in one God, but in reality they worship three. . . .”? And you may want to imagine what a husband would do if he discovers that his wife is having a love-affair with two other men!

Others claim that God-son (Jesus) died! There is a bigger fear than terrorism, a greater danger than global warming in that anyone with a strong intellectual capacity would declare that the world is at peril shall the other Gods (God-Father and The Holy Spirit) decide to commit suicide. If a God-Son can decide to die, why can’t the rest hang themselves? Such “God’s” can do anything. Ignorance kills and knowledge saves lives. This reminds me of a story we were told when I was young. There was a guy called Abunuwas. He went to his neighbor to borrow a cooking pot and the neighbor lent him. After some few weeks, Abunuwas returned the cooking pot to the owner. To the surprise of the owner, there was another smaller cooking pot inside the one Abunuwas brought. “Why are you returning two pots yet I gave you only one?” the owner asked. “Oohh, I forgot to tell you,” responded Abunuwas, “During the period I had your cooking pot, it one day gave birth to the smaller one so I decided, with all fairness and honesty, to return both the mother and the baby.” The neighbor was delighted to hear that his cooking pot gave birth to another pot while in the custody of this ‘stupid’ man! Abunuwas went back home. Another day, Abunuwas came to his neighbor to borrow the cooking pot again. Hurriedly, the neighbor handed the pot to him, hoping that maybe it will give birth to twins. But this time Abunuwas stayed for long and did not return. The neighbor got worried and decided to go to inquire from Abunuwas. “Why haven’t you returned my pot Abunuwas”, he asked. Abunuwas started to cry. And he continued crying. Until the neighbor felt sorry for him and asked what had happened. In a sad sob, Abunuwas replied, “I have bad news, I am bereaved. The cooking pot you gave me, it died!” Abunuwas told him to accept the decree of God and forget about the dead pot that has already been buried. “No way, how can a cooking pot die?” the neighbor furiously asked. “The same way…” Abunuwas said, “the cooking pot gave birth, its time of death has also reached. There is nothing I can do about it”

So if the Christian God can have a son, he can one day die as well. I don’t know what will happen if this Christian God dies before we die! Muslims say it is outside the parameters of ‘Godship’ to do un-Godly things. God can do anything save absurdities (like God becoming a man or God dying or God splitting Himself into three Gods, or God begetting a son without a wife, or God creating a stone heavy for him to lift!). The way we can’t say Brother John gave birth to baby girl the same it is illogical to say God became a man or died. To say that God became a man or has splitted Himself into three is as saying God is not really God. Prophet Muhammad taught Muslims whenever they leave their houses to supplicate to God saying: “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from misleading or being misled or oppressing or being oppressed or from being ignorant or bearing the result of ignorance[9]Woe to those who don’t seek refuge from ignorance.

In a 1999 article of the Daily Express which predicted the leading trends which would be visible in the new millennium, A.N. Wilson, the best-selling biographer of Jesus, acknowledges the simplicity of Islamic creeds (including the strict monotheism of the Muslim God), devoid of incomprehensible mythologies. Such simplicity would be responsible of attracting many to Islam:

Islam is a moral and intellectual acknowledgement of the lordship of God without the encumbrance of Christian mythological baggage in which almost no one really believes.  That is why Christianity will decline in the next millennium, and the religious hunger of the human heart will be answered by the Crescent, not the Cross.[10]

Abraham was a friend of God and at no time did the friend of God acknowledge ‘three-in-one’ Deity. Abraham worshipped one God. If we want to imitate the behavior of the winners such as Abraham, then we should shun Trinity Doctrine and we would surely become friends of God. Okey. I think any human being reading this book should have known the purpose of life.* To avoid taking things for granted, I will let William Ellery Channing, an American moralist, clergyman and author (1780-1842) tell us the purpose of life. He summons:

We do, then, with all earnestness, though without reproaching our brethren, protest against the irrational and unscriptural doctrine of the Trinity. “To us,” as to the Apostle and the primitive Christians, “there is one God, even the Father.” With Jesus, we worship the Father, as the only living and true God. We are astonished, that any man can read the New Testament, and avoid the conviction, that the Father alone is God.[11]

Even Satan was reminded by Jesus about the purpose of life:  “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”[Matthew 4:10]. If we fast-forward to the Day of Resurrection, we would still find Jesus reiterating the purpose of life. The Qur’an brings that episode:

And [beware the Day, i.e. the Day of Resurrection] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?’ “He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. [Q 5:116-118]

In simple terms, worship means abiding by the do’s and don’ts of God. Worship can as well be defined as obedience to God by following that which He ordered in His scripture and upon the tongues or example of His Messengers. Maybe a good definition of worship is in the Biblical verse, “For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” [I John 5:3] Ibn Taymiyah, a great scholar defines worship as “a comprehensive term covering everything that God loves and is pleased with – whether sayings or actions, outward or inward.”[12]In this line, Muslims believe that even making love to your wife is an act of Worship because such an act pleases God.[13]In contrary, to have sex with other than your wife is not an act of worship. Also working in the way God desires (i.e by not engaging in interest, bribery, cheating e.t.c.) is worship. Being kind to your parents is worship because God instructs you to “. . . be dutiful to your parents. . . .” [Q 17:23]

We should remember that when God says “do this” then that thing has numerous benefits to man and when He says “don’t do this” it’s because the prohibited thing is harmful to man. For example, God says don’t take alcohol. Why? Because “. . . their sin is greater than their benefit. . . .” [Q2:219] and if its benefit isn’t outweighed by its harm why would they mandate health warning in alcohol ads. When we read the command of Allah, “Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine. . . .” [Q 5:3] we may want to ask: Did Allah prohibit pork because it contains large amounts of cholesterol and lipids thus responsible for obesity, hypertension and heart attack?; or the prohibition was due to the fact that pig is known to harbour parasites as well as bacteria and viruses . . . that means pigs are a breeding ground for influenza and habours parasites like Taenia solium, Trichinella, Taenia Trichuriasis?; or did Allah outlaw pork because pig consumes its own excrement even if it is bred in very clean and hygienic conditions?; or maybe because of its anatomy for the pig cannot be slaughtered at the neck because it does not have a neck? Muslim scholars assert that God’s commandments entail something good He wants us to acquire or something bad He wants us to stay away from.

What was my point? Oh yes, I wanted to say that worship is a broad concept which encompasses almost all activities of man. In Islam, worship is not restricted only to mosques, fasting the month of Ramadhan, hajj, charity, sacrifices, e.t.c. To smile can as well be worship. And when we say the purpose of life is to worship God, it doesn’t mean that we should abstain from the pleasures of the world. God Himself says in the Qur’an “. . . and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world . . . .” [Q28:77] He also said “So eat of the lawful and good food which Allâh has provided for you. . . .” [Q 16:114] Muslims have the conviction that Muhammad is number one worshipper on earth. However, it is interesting to note that the best of worshippers (i.e. Muhammad) also said “What I like (most) of your world is three things: women, perfume and prayer, which is the dearest thing to my eye.”[14]

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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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REFERRENCES:


[1]. Al-Qarni, Aaidh ibn Abdullah. Don’t be Sad. 2nd ed.  Riyadh, International Islamic Publishing House, 2005. P.143.

[2]. The New Encyclopedia Britannica. Vol. II. 15th ed. 2002. p 928. And according to the Dictionary of the Bible: “The Trinity of God is defined by the Church as the belief that in God are three persons who subsist in one nature. The belief as so defined was reached only in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and hence is not explicitly and formally a biblical belief.” [See McKenzie, J.L Dictionary of the Bible. 1995. p. 899]. For more evidences on the falsity of Trinity please see: The Encyclopedia Americana.1956. Vol. XXVII, p. 294L; Legasse, P. The Columbia Encyclopedia. 2000. p. 2885; The New Catholic Encyclopedia. 1967. Vol. XIV. p. 295 & 299; Hastings, J. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. 1951. Vol. XII. p. 458; Henderson, I. Encyclopedia International. 1969. p. 226; Douglas, J.D. The New Bible Dictionary. 1962. p. 1298; Brown, Colin. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. 1932. Vol. 2 p. 84; Metzger, B.M & Coogan, M.D. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. 1993.p.782.

[3]. Harpur, Tom. For Christ’s Sake. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1986. p.7.

[4]. Petre, Jonathan. “One third of clergy do not believe in the Resurrection.”Daily Telegraph 31 July 2002.

[5]. Pastor G. Reckart & David Olsen. “Examining the Trinity: Unmasking the Roots of the Trinity Doctrine.” apostolics.net <http://www.apostolics.net/notrinity.html&gt; Last retrieved 25 April. 2009.

[6]. Achtemeier, Paul J. (General Editor). Harper’s Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper and Row, 1985. p. 1099.

[7]. New Catholic Encyclopedia. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America, 1967. Vol. 14. p. 295.

[8]. Ehrman, Bart D. God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question—Why We Suffer. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2008.p.44.

[9]. Tirmidhi 3427 and was authenticated by Sheikh Albany in Tirmidhi 2725 and in Ibn Maajah 3774.

[10]. Wilson, A.N.  “The Dying Mythology of Christ.” Daily Express 21 Nov. 1999. Also see Wilson, A.N. “The Poisoned Chalice.” Guardian 25 Nov. 2000.

* For those who want more convincing arguments on our purpose of life are kindly invited to read a short article entitled the “The Big Questions.” written by Dr. Laurence B.  Brown, MD. The article is freely available in many internet sites. For easy access, just visit Dr. Brown’s website: <www.leveltruth.org> and go to articles section to pick the “The Big Questions” article.

[11]. “Unitarian Christianity” Sermon given by William Ellery Channing. It was delivered at the Ordination of Rev. Jared Sparks in The First Independent Church of Baltimore on 5 May 1819. See, <http://www.channingmc.org/channingspeech.html&gt;

[12]. See Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa 10/149.

[13]. Muslim Bk. 5, No. 2198.

[14]. Al-Nasa’i and Ahmad