Love – Christian Love, Islamic Love
From the voice of a Muslim: “All the sons of Adam are sinners, but the best of sinners are those who repent.” “My servant committed a sin and then he came to realize that he has a Lord who holds the sinner responsible and accountable, and also that He has a Lord who forgives the sins if asked for forgiveness: So let him be forgiven.” ….Allah replaces the sins with rewards once a sinner asks for forgiveness and the door of repentance is open till the moment a person’s soul leaves his body. [Sura 2:37] Then, Adam received from his Lord words, whereby He redeemed him. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful. [Sura 7:23] They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged our souls, and unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be losers.” What justifies repentance? You never know! You do what it takes but you can have no guarantee but your good opinion about him. God takes care of the inner thoughts.
A question asked, ”If Allah’s door is always open how can an apostate be subject to a death penalty?”
Question answered, “Faith is something between man & God and the recompense for that is meted out in the hereafter! According to Abu Hanifa mere apostasy would not have resulted in their execution. In Abu Hanifa’s analysis, apostasy has 2 aspects.
- It’s a religious transgression to be punished by God in the hereafter.
- It is also a political crime, likely to be followed by rebellion.
Only this latter aspect of apostasy is punished here and now.
A question asked, “How are crimes against Allah punished?”
Response: “What do you mean by ‘crimes against Allah’? Give some examples! Deviation in religious books is not necessarily a literal one. It might occur by misinterpretation, blind practice and clinging to the term ‘religion’ as an intention rather than a process (which) leads for a better life! If religions were meant only to cause wars, hatred and oppression among nations, then God’s image would be just the same as the people’s!”
In my blog (– Part 83 –) I questioned, indirectly, Allah’s love and forgiveness –
“‘Thou shall not kill’ is not on the lips of every Muslim. Allah is the best of ‘deceivers.’ (Sura 3:54) Enmity (hatred) towards those who do not believe in Allah, especially Jews and Christians, is proclaimed in the Quran. (Sura 60:4) Malice, the killing of Infidels, is prevalent in the Quran. (Sura 9:29 – “Fight those who believe not in Allah…”). Depravity is allowed as men are permitted to marry children – Muhammad the example by marrying a 9 year old (A’isha). Khomeini even announced support for pedophilia. Khomeini’s fatwa called for killing Salman Rushdie, a universal request for any Muslim to act upon his request. Muslims are God-haters, indeed, if the God is Christ or the Trinity. Yet God, the biblical God, the Trinity loves them – loves Muslims and welcomes them to join the family of true believers, those not encouraged towards hatred or deceit.
Ruthlessness is seen by those Islamists who overtly attack Christians, their churches, worshippers, and encourage others to do the same – even on Christian holy days, as justified. Approval of such practice against so labeled infidels has become obvious in Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq and other Muslim dominated areas. Not providing and insuring security for all people is when a sinful, heartless government prevails – and does so using Allah as a shield; hiding behind a religious claim.”
I do not find the unconditional love of Allah in the Quran. The closest reference to love of neighbor is Sura 4:36. It appears more a relationship of convenience than the love one would want in return, as the Bible states, “Love you neighbor as yourself” (Matt 12:33) (Blog Part 41 discusses Love Neighbor As Self) See the paragraph “What is Love” in this Blog Part 41.
An important point – While “God is great” [Allahu Akbar] is a statement of faith, affirmation and expression, “God is love” [Allahu muhibba] is absent from the attributes of God in the Quran. (see para. that follows)
A site to reference [http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Themes/love.htm] for a detailed discussion of Love from the Quran.
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A statement made in response to a discussion about the saving grace of Jesus – “I don’t need a medium between God & me to ask for forgiveness!”
Response: Jesus is not a medium, He is God, and He does not need to be asked, He accepted the punishment we all deserve for our sins (which are crimes against God), and provided Salvation for mankind, those who have faith in Him. That is something to be thankful for.
Then stated,” “Our Lord (Allah), we have wronged our souls, and unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be losers.” From Sura 7:23, “…Lord, we have wronged… and if Thou forgive us not, and have (not) mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers.” Yes, God is the one who forgives sin, but as clearly stated, we all sin, and every sin is a crime against Allah/God. Can all sins be forgiven? Can man’s sins be offset by doing good? Man has a sinful heart operating full time. With each sin of the heart and mind another follows, and if for each sin a petition of forgiveness must be sought, how is it possible that all sins are then forgiven. What if man forgets to ask forgiveness for just one sin? The Quran recognizes the original sin of Adam. Adam and Eve,”he (the devil) caused them to fall by deceit….when they had tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest….” (Sura 7:22) The ‘deceit’ may be miss-interpreted, but in truth Adam was instructed to obey God; he did not, deceived or otherwise.
Man disobeyed God; committed the crime of disobedience against Allah. This crime was punished by man having to die, eventually die a physical death. “…you shall live, and therein shall you die, and there from shall you be raised.” (Sura 7:25). Salvation is suggested; resurrection too (knowing Jesus was resurrected 700 years before any of the actual writing of the Quran) And God it is said to have sent down cover, the covering of nakedness and innocence lost. “We have indeed sent down to you clothing to cover your shame… and clothing that guards against evil….” (Sura 7:26) It is thus inferred that by human effort the sins of man can be covered. It is by works, yet that is not what God tells us. It is by faith in God alone. The covering is seen as a divine envelope, God himself providing protection, available for man to utilize, yet evil reigns and man is not fully protected especially from himself and temptation. What is missing? Piety alone will not bring Salvation to the sinner – which is all mankind.
Quoting Galatians 3:10. “All who rely on observing the laws are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “the man who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessings given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles (all mankind) through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
The devil attacks man each day, each moment of the day. Tell me that is not true!
It is said by Muslims that with Allah alone, man will be saved having lived as a believer in Allah, adorning himself with the righteousness of Allah. Is the Muslim man then commanded to be God/Allah? Sura 7:32 stating, “Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah, which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good provisions? Say: These are for the believers in the life of this world, purely (theirs) on the Resurrection day. Thus do We make the messages clear for a people who know.” Just guard against evil and make right – that’s it. Try to do that every moment of every day without help. But there is evil in the hearts of every man, in the mind, if only for an instant. That being the case the Resurrection day proposed by Muhammad and Allah will never come. Salvation cannot be assured.
As it is written, Romans 3:10, “There is no one righteous, not even one…”
So stated, “those who reject Our message and turn away from them…these are companions of the Fire….” (Sura 7:36) Who cannot at some juncture, if not daily, not sin? Everyone in the eyes of the readers and followers of the Quran can be but “unjust.” Sura 7:47 reads, “Lord, place us not with the unjust people.” Who is there otherwise? Everyone is ‘unjust.’
I am a sinner – in thought, word and deed. I could never meet Allah’s standards. I cannot meet the Trinitarian God’s standards, the God in whom I believe and hopefully have a growing relationship. How can a perfect God accept me as I am? Never. How can a Muslim meet Allah’s standards? Are they that righteous? The only one I can turn to is God, the God of the Trinity. And to Him I am most thankful that while still a sinner, still unjust, he punished a Substitute for all my transgressions to enable me to be right with God, and to be assured, having faith in the Risen Lord, understanding the sacrifice, I will be in the eternal kingdom with my Lord, Saved. He did that for all of mankind, for all that accept Jesus Sacrifice and believe.
God is just, but he must punish every sin. The punishment is death, eternal separation from God and all that is good – Unless – and that ‘unless’ has nothing to do with action on my part. There is nothing I can do to make myself acceptable. This is the Bad News.
If we remain inherently sinful His (Allah’s) forgiveness must be asked for over-and-over-and-over again. Living in our flesh-like existence we are prone to sin, even if it is a lie, and need ask forgiveness for each and every sin – have you done that?
But thru Jesus, his ultimate sacrifice, taking all sins (past, present and future) upon his shoulders, punished and forgiven (all – as if just one sin remained his physical death would be in vain) he paved the way for our Salvation. God is love. His love provided the substitute I needed to take the punishment I deserve. No one on earth could do it for me. I could not do it myself. God provided Jesus to become a man, live a perfect life, allow himself to be arrested, convicted, punished and hung on a cross. How brutal. Hanging on the cross, God the Father, took all my sins, put them on Jesus and punished Him in my place. Jesus took the wrath of God I deserve.
Buried in a tomb, after 3 days, after paying for ALL sins, he came back from the dead – never to die again. Forgiveness and the gift of eternal life with himself was provided to those who Trust him to save them from sin and eternal condemnation and to live a new life with and for him.
With Jesus Christ’s saving grace comes good works. We are able to do such good because we were saved; we are able to learn God’s truth about the right way to live. Applying that truth to their lives the disciples were able to work with others; as can you and me. Thanks be to God.
Dear Lord thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for the sacrifice made for the sins of man. The Truth will set you free. May the Spirit fill your heart with the reality of God’s gift and guide you on the path to an eternal future.
Grace and Peace,