An Open Letter to Muslims

Dear Muslim Friend,

In an age when most people do not believe that Truth exists or that it is worth their time and effort to seek it, the mere fact that you have sought us out on the internet reveals that you want to know the Truth. The Truth about who and what God is and how to find acceptance before Him.

The Truth is important because it sets us free from ignorance and superstition. And, once free from these things, Truth can then set us free from the fear of death and bondage to sin.

We too share the same desire and love of the Truth that you have. Let us then search for the Truth together as fellow travelers on the road of life.

Religious Truth Claims

All religions make Truth claims, i.e. they all claim to tell us the Truth about God, man, salvation, and the universe. Yet, they do not make the same claims. One religion may claim that man is God or that the universe is God while another religion may claim that man and the universe were created by God and we are not God or gods at all. One religion may claim that there is only one God while another religion may claim that there are millions or even billions of gods.

Obviously, the religions of this world make different Truth claims. In fact, they contradict each other on almost every point. This is a sad but true fact of life that we both already understand and believe.

Yet, we all know people who claim: "All religions worship the same God." How foolish! How naive! The Hindu who worships millions of gods and goddesses is not worshipping the Allah of the Muslims. The Christian who worships one God in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is not worshipping the Allah of the Muslims either. Each religion makes its own unique claim about the nature of deity.

What Is A Religion?

By definition, a religion is a world view that tells us what to believe and how to live. It is composed of ideas, i.e. doctrines, and values, i.e. morals. A religion wants us to accept certain ideas as the True explanation of all that is. Intellectual assent to these ideas is what constitutes "faith."

But a religion not only wants our intellectual assent that certain ideas or concepts are true, but it also wants us to obey a list of commands and prohibitions. In other words, religions expect us to obey its laws and observe its rites and rituals.

Is Islam A Religion?

Is Islam a religion? Of course it is. It puts forth various ideas which it claims to be the Truth and it demands that all men believe them. It also demands that all men obey its laws and observe its rituals.

Common Ground

In order for us to dialogue, we have to begin with ideas that we both accept as true. The common ground that we have is the truth that "Islam is a religion." Do you accept that statement? We do. It seems self-evident to us that Islam is a religion. If you do not accept this first point, then the rest of this letter will be a waste of time.

Question #1 Is Islam a religion?
Yes ____ No____

Islam's Truth Claims

Since we all agree that Islam is a religion, then we must also agree that it asks us to believe certain ideas or concepts as the truth. These ideas are its Truth claims. In other words, the teachings of Islam are either true or they are false. There is no middle ground. They are either one way or the other.

Question #2 Does Islam put forth various teachings that it expects us to accept as the Truth?
Yes____ No____

Blind Faith Will Not Do

Truth claims should not be accepted by blind faith. The issues are far too important for us to make a "leap into the dark" and just believe something because we were told to believe in it by our parents, some religious leader, the state or our culture.

If we are all supposed to maintain whatever religion our parents taught us, then no one should convert from it to any other religion. But no one really believes this. Hindus accept converts from other religions just as Muslims do. As a matter of fact, people are changing religions all the time. We personally know Muslims who became Christians, Christians who became Jews, Hindus who became Buddhists, etc. Some people go from one religion to another as easily as they change cars.

Question #3 Do you know of people who left the religion they were raised in and converted to a different religion?
Yes____ No____

People can and do change their religion. This is simply a fact of life that we must all deal with. Our own children may leave our religion and convert to another religion. It happens all the time. Only a fool would deny this.

Why would someone convert to another religion? Some people change religions because of marriage. They fall in love with a person of a different religion and they give up their religion to marry that person. It happens all the time.

Other people change religions due to coersion such as threats of violence or bribes of money, sex or political advantage. If you change your religion because someone threatens to kill you if you do not accept their religion, this is not good. If you convert to a religion in order to obtain money, sex or a job, this is not good either.

The only moral reason to change your religion is on the basis of the Truth. If you find out that your former religion was not telling you the Truth, then you should leave it. To continue to believe in a religion that you know to be false is to live an intellectually dishonest life.

If you find that another religion is telling you the Truth, then you should be willing to join it no matter what the price or consequences. To find and follow the Truth is the only way to get to ultimate reality.

The issue is thus reduced to whether you really care about the Truth. To believe in a religion for any other reason than the fact that it is the Truth is to cheat yourself. Convenience, habit, upbringing, fear or greed do not constitute a sufficient basis for belief in any religion. Something is not true simply because you believe it. You should believe in something because it is true.

Question #4 Is your desire for Truth so strong that you would be willing to leave your present religion if the Truth led you to do so?
Yes ___ No___

This is where the "rubber meets the road." This is the ultimate test of your character and love of the Truth. If you are not willing to follow the Truth if it leads you to leave your present religion, then you do not really care about the Truth. If your attitude is, "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up," then you do not really want the Truth at all.

If you feel that you must blindly follow what your parents taught you until the day you die, then you will never know if what they taught you is really true or a lie. Why? For you it is irrelevant if it is true or a lie. It doesn't really matter to you. You were born a Muslim and you will die a Muslim. That is all you care about.

How sad to live your entire life without ever seeking the Truth. To have a closed mind that will not accept anything that contradicts what you want to believe. An unexamined faith is a worthless faith. It is no better than no faith at all for it comes from prejudice and ignorance instead of the joyous search for and the acceptance of the Truth.

Question #5 Could Islam be false in its teachings and rituals?
Yes___ No___

This question lays all the cards on the table. "All things are possible." This means that you must accept the fact that what you have believed all your life could be a lie.

If this is not even a possibility to you, then why pretend that you want the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth? A deep commitment to finding and following the Truth regardless of where it takes you is the only attitude consistent with intellectual honesty and integrity.

Face it, Islam could be a false religion. Two thirds of the people on this planet think so. Are you even open to this fact of logic? If not, then why are you reading this letter? It is addressed to open minded Muslims who are willing to examine the evidence against Islam with objectivity and intellectual honesty.

Question #6 Are you willing to examine the Truth claims of Islam?
Yes ___ No___

Question #7 Are you willing to entertain the possibility that Allah is a false god, Muhammad a false prophet and the Qur'an a false book?
Yes___ No___

If you react to these questions by getting angry, what does this reveal about you? Are you open or closed to the Truth? If Islam is false, why in the world would you want to continue to believe in it?

If you are still with us at this point, hopefully you feel the same as we do: There is nothing more important in this life than the Truth. It is worth whatever price we have to pay. We will follow it wherever it leads us.

The Importance of Questions

How can we test the Truth claims of Islam to see if they are true or false? By honestly seeking the answers to crucial questions we can find out if Islam is true or false. Remember, the Truth is never afraid of the light of research.

The following questions require you to think objectively about Allah, Muhammad and the Qur'an. Don't just answer them off the top of your head without doing any research. Cheap answers will always cheat you out of the Truth. Instead, go to a library and look up the answers in encyclopedias and dictionaries. Find history books on Arabia and on Islam that answer these questions. We found them. So can you.

Crucial Questions

1. The Qur'an refers to people, places, things, and events which are nowhere explained or defined within the Qur'an itself.
True____ False____

2. These things were not explained because it was assumed that the people hearing the Qur'an already knew of them.
True____ False____

3. Some passages in the Qur'an would be unintelligible without recourse to pre-Islamic history.
True____ False____

4. All Islamic scholars use pre-Islamic history to explain parts of the Qur'an.
True____ False____

5. Thus it is both legitimate and proper to use pre-Islamic history to explain the Qur'an.
True____ False___

6. Yusuf Ali does this when it comes to such things as the she-camel, the elephant army, the twelve springs, the youths in the cave, the blind man, and many other things found in the Qur'an.
True___ False___

7. Mecca was a pre-Islamic pagan center of worship.
True___ False___

8. The kabah in Mecca was a pagan temple filled with 360 idols.
True____ False ____

9. Archeologists have found three other ancient kabahs in Arabia.
True___ False ____

10. The pagans prayed by bowing down toward Mecca several times a day.
True___ False___

11. They made a pilgrimage to Mecca.
True___ False____

12. When they got to Mecca, they ran between two hills.
True____ False____

13. They ran around the kabah seven times.
True____ False___

14. They kissed and caressed a large black stone on the wall of the kabah.
True____ False___

15. They sacrificed an animal.
True___ False___

16. They threw a magical number of stones at a pillar of the devil.
True___ False____

17. They held their public meetings on Friday instead of Saturday or Sunday.
True___ False____

18. They fasted during the day and feasted at night for one month.
True___ False____

19. The pagan fast began and ended with the moon in its crescent phase.
True___ False____

19. They gave alms to the poor.
True___ False____

20. They performed ritual washings before prayers.
True___ False____

21. As one of their washings before prayer, they snorted water up and then out of their nose.
True___ False____

22. They cut off the hands of thieves.
True___ False____

23. They forbade marrying sisters.
True___ False____

24. They forbid the eating of swine flesh.
True___ False____

25. In pre-Islamic Arabian genealogies, Ishmael is nowhere mentioned as the father of the Arabs.
True___ False____

26. Abraham, the father of Ishmael, was not an Arab.
True___ False____

27. Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, was an Egyptian and not an Arab.
True___ False____

28. Since his mother and his father were not Arabs, Ishmael was not an Arab.
True___ False____

29. Ishmael could not be the "father" of the Arabs because they already existed before he was born.
True___ False____

30. According to the historical and literary evidence, Abraham and Ishmael lived in Palestine.
True___ False____

31. They never lived in Mecca.
True___ False____

32. They never built the kabah.
True___ False____

33. They never established the rituals connected with the kabah such as the pilgrimage.
True___ False____

34. According to Arab history, the kabah at Mecca was built by Kosia, the pagan great-grandfather of Muhammad.
True___ False____

35. The title "Al-ilah" was used by pagan Arabs in reference to one of the gods worshipped at the kabah.
True___ False____

36. The word "Al-ilah" was shortened into "Allah."
True___ False____

37. The moon-god was called "Al-ilah" and then "Allah" by some Arab pagans in southern Arabia.
True___ False____

38. Al-lat, Al-uzza and Manat were worshipped by the pagan Arabs as "the daughters of Allah."
True___ False____

39. Muhammad's father lived and died as a pagan and yet the word "Allah" was part of his name.
True___ False____

40. Yusuf Ali points out in his translation of the Qur'an that the moon was worshipped as a god by pagan Arabs.
True___ False____

41. Many of the pagan rituals associated with the worship of Allah and his daughters were incorporated into the Qur'an and are now part of Islam.
True___ False____

42. The religion of Islam has adopted the name, the rituals, and the crescent moon symbol of the pagan Arab moon-god.
True___ False____

43. Some of the material found in the Qur'an can be traced back to pre-Islamic pagan Arabian religions.
True___ False____

44. Infidels are recorded in the Qur'an as saying that Muhammad took old wive's tales and myths and put them into the Qur'an.
True___ False____

45. The Qur'an warns against asking questions about Islam because if the answer are revealed, you will lose your faith.
True___ False____

Concluding Remarks

We have discussed together some very important issues which touch upon the origins of the rituals and beliefs found in the religion of Islam. The burning question that confronted us was whether Islam was created out pre-existing pagan rituals and beliefs or was it revealed from heaven.

After studying the standard reference works on Islam, we must conclude that the rituals and beliefs of Islam are clearly earthly in origin, i.e. they were not brought down by Gabriel to Muhammad. The question of origins is the key to whether Islam is true or false. Your willingness to research this issue is an indication that you really do care about the Truth. Thank you for caring.

The Problem Of Sin

While the issue of the origins of Islam is an intellectual question that can be answered only by research into the historical evidence, there is another issue that confronts us all. Regardless of your religion, there is the inescapable fact that we have all failed to live up to our religious convictions. Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, etc, it doesn't really matter. We have all violated whatever moral standards we have adopted.

This means we have to find a way to be forgiven or cleansed of our sins. Why? If you believe in an afterlife and that there is a hell to escape and a paradise to gain, how can you gain entrance into heaven?

Two Problems We All Face

Our problem is twofold. First, our hearts are prone to evil. Thus we find it very easy to feel lust, jealousy, hatred, anger, and greed. Even when we try to be good, our own heart will betray us.

Question: Do you admit that your heart is prone to evil?
Yes____ No___

Second, God is keeping a record of all our evil thoughts, words and deeds. He will hold us accountable for these evil on the Day of Judgment. On that Day we will have to face the reality of our own failures and sins.

Question: Do you recognize that you will be held accountable for all your sins on the Day of Judgment?
Yes____ No____

How can you change your heart and clear your record in heaven? In order to come before a holy God with acceptance, you have to do these two things. Well, how are you going to do them?

Will Good Works Do The Job?

Some people think that if they do good deeds that this will change their hearts and clear their record. But can good works really change anyone's heart? We tried it and found that no matter how much good we did, evil was still present in our hearts.

Question: Haven't you found this true of your own heart?
Yes___ No___

No matter how many good deeds you perform, your heart still has evil thoughts and motives. No, doing good deeds will never stop your heart from thinking or feeling evil things.

The same problem confronts us if we think that we can erase the divine record of our sins by doing good deeds. How many good deeds are necessary to balance out our bad deeds? It all depends on whether you are thinking of the evil that God sees or the evil we see in ourselves.

When we look at our own lives, we all tend to cut ourselves some slack. We like to think that we are not as bad as some and better than most. We don't come off so bad as long as we compare ourselves to other people.

But what if we compare ourselves to a holy and righteous Deity? If we think in terms of all the sins that an all-knowing Deity sees and hears us do, we do not come off so well. Our sins are like the sand on the seashore- too many to count!

Question: Can doing a few good deeds really clear away the mountain of sin that is against us?
Yes___ No___

Question: Haven't you found it true that even when you do a good deed, you had evil motives such as pride?
Yes___ No___

Question: Can evil motives cancel out a good deed?
Yes___ No___

When we give money to be seen of men, this cancels out the good deed. Thus good deeds will never change your heart or clear your record.

A Mediator Needed

Since we have sinned, we are not allowed to come into the presence of a holy God. But if we cannot go to God for forgiveness, how will we obtain forgiveness? If good deeds will not work, how will we ever enter paradise?

What if someone went before God on our behalf? What if there was a mediator who could intercede on our behalf?

Question: Wouldn't a mediator solve our problem with sin?
Yes___ No___

Now, such a mediator must be sinless and without blame. Otherwise, he could not go before a holy God either. The mediator must be as righteous and as holy as God Himself or he cannot stand before God.

Even if this mediator could enter God's presence, how could he clear the record of all our sins? He would have to pay off our debt to justice somehow. One obvious way is for him to take upon himself the punishment due to us. In other words, in order for us to escape the fires of hell, he would have to smother the flames of hell in his own bosom.

This mediator would have to be the bridge between heaven and earth and between God and man. A mediator who is not quite God or not quite man is a bridge broken at either end. We need someone to represent God to us and us to God. This mediator has to be both God and man at the same time or salvation is not possible.

The Gospel

Have you ever heard the word "Gospel"? What is it all about? It is a word which means "good news." What is the good news? The good news is that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. He did what we could not do. He entered into the presence of God on our behalf to obtain forgiveness for us.

How could he do this? On what basis? He bore our sins and iniquities in his own body on the cross. He died for our sins according to the Gospel. This is why salvation is a gift of God's grace.

Jesus paid the price for our salvation. Thus God now offers us eternal life free of charge. We become a Christian by simply asking Jesus to be our Mediator -- our Savior -- our Redeemer. You don't become a Christian by joining a church, getting baptized or doing some other good deed. No, salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. He brings us into the very presence of God.

Question: Haven't you ever wondered why the God of Islam seems so distant -- so far off?
Yes___ No__

Without a mediator, God is far off and distant. A distant God is only feared, not loved. He is unapproachable and seems far away.

Question: Don't you see the need for a mediator to pay off your sins and clear your record?
Yes___ No___

Question: Does Islam offer you a mediator to take away your sins?
Yes___ No__

Question: If Islam has no mediator and no atonement, does it have any gospel, i.e. good news?
Yes___ No___

The End Of The Matter

Dear Friend, Islam leaves you high and dry with no way to deal with the corruptions of your heart here on earth or the record of your sins in heaven. It does not build a bridge between you and God. It does not have a mediator who is both God and man. With no Savior and no atonement, it can never give you any sure hope of heaven.

But all these things are found in the Gospel. Stop right now and ask Jesus to be your Mediator. Ask Him to come into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Receive forgiveness through His atoning work. Pray this simple prayer.

Lord Jesus, I ask you to reveal Yourself to me. Save me and cleanse me of my sins. Pay off my debt to God. Come into my heart and save me from hell and make a home in heaven for me. I acknowledge that you are the Son of God and that you died on the cross for me and rose from the dead on the third day.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you have become a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus has now cleared your record in heaven and the Holy Spirit will now come into your heart to deal with the corruptions found in it. God is no longer distant and far off. He is your Father and you are his child. Welcome to the family of God! Contact us so we can share your joy.

Truth Seekers
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Newport, PA 17074

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