Joseph and Muhammad

jmb275 joseph, mysticism, prophets, religion 47 Comments

I have been fascinated by other religions! The cultures, customs, and beliefs vary wildly from religion to religion, and yet, so many have common threads, stories, and ideals.

I recently read a biography of Muhammad “Muhammad, A Prophet For Our Time” by Karen Armstrong. It was a fascinating read and I learned a great deal about this ancient prophet.

I must admit that most of my thoughts while reading the book revolved around the parallels to Joseph Smith and the early saints. Frankly, I find the similarities startling in one sense, and yet unsurprising in another. On the one hand, the similarities feel so extraordinary to me that I cannot understand how I could possibly believe in Joseph Smith’s story and reject Muhammad’s (or truthfully that I never even gave it a chance). On the other hand, this is the story of the mystics and visionaries of the world. Their methods, works, books, and revelations are very similar and the truths they bring forth have striking similarities.

Here is a list of similarities that I found while reading this biography.

  1. Muhammad, like Joseph Smith did not seem to necessarily ask for the role he eventually took on. Their journeys initiated with simple questions, desires, and events that seem ordinary, but resulted in the extraordinary. In both scenarios, these men seemed to be rather surprised by their visions and revelations.
  2. Both men brought forth inspired books given to them by an angel. Many claim that the Qur’an could be nothing if not divine based entirely on the language alone. This does not sound too unlike Joseph’s claim of The Book of Mormon being “the most correct book on earth.” One difference, however, is that Muhammad did seem to recognize more fully the importance of the Qur’an. In other words, the Qur’an was what defined Islam, as it was a compilation of the revelations Muhammad had received (not unlike the Doctrine and Covenants). Joseph, on the other hand, didn’t seem to put quite as much emphasis on The Book of Mormon, almost to the point where one has to wonder whether Joseph really understood what was in The Book of Mormon and the impact it would have. On the other hand, Joseph, like Muhammad, did seem to put a large emphasis on his revelations.
  3. Both Joseph and Muhammad seemed to slowly grow into their calling. In Mormonism, I find there are many people who ostensibly think that Joseph knew what he was doing from the get-go. In fact, revelations to both men came at spontaneous times and left the men wondering how to enact, or implement the revelation. They had to learn and grow in wisdom and understanding as pieces of their theology came to them. In short, both prophets learned and authored the concepts of “line upon line” within their culture.
  4. Both men tell a similar tale of receiving revelation. Note the similarities between Armstrong’s characterization of Muhammad and some of the descriptions of Joseph Smith receiving revelation. Here are Armstrong’s words:

    Under the inspiration of Allah, Muhammad was feeling his way towards an entirely new solution, convinced that he was not speaking in his own name, but was simply repeating the revealed words of God. It was a painful, difficult process. He once said: ‘Never once did I receive a revelation without thinking that my soul had been torn away from me.’ Sometimes the message was clear. He could almost see and hear Gabriel distinctly. The words seemed to ‘come down’ to him, like a shower of life-giving rain. But often the divine voice was muffled and obscure: ‘Sometimes it comes unto me like the reverberations of a bell, and that is the hardest upon me; the reverberations abate when I am aware of their message.’ He had to listen to the undercurrent of events, trying to discover what was really going on. He would grow pale with the effort and cover himself with his cloak, as if to shield himself from the divine impact. He would perspire heavily, even on a cold day, as he turned inwards, searching his soul for a solution to a problem, in rather the same way as a poet has to open himself to the words that he must haul from the depths of himself to the conscious level of his mind. In the Qur’an, God instructed Muhammad to listen intently to each revelation as it emerged; he must be careful not to impose a meaning on a verse prematurely, before its full significance had become entirely clear.” – pp. 56 – 57

  5. Both Joseph and Muhammad became generals (basically). While Muhammad was certainly more violent in achieving his goals, both men resorted to militias and violence to retain their rights of freedom to worship. Additionally, I think that Muhammad’s increased use of violence was primarily a product of his time and culture. It was not uncommon to raid camps, caravans, and cities merely to prove a point and gain favor with a certain tribe. In all fairness, Joseph’s violence was most often in self-defense, whereas Muhammad was clearly on the offensive at times.
  6. Both men worked fervently against their culture to bring to pass their ideals. In other words, both men seemed to be ahead of their time socially, and culturally, and dreamed of a society that many resisted. In fact, these utopian societies had similarities. Both dreamed of a society in which divisions between classes were blurred, or removed, where universal human rights were respected. Both wanted all things to be equal, and for there to be peace and harmony amongst all people. In fact, the commonalities of their desired societies seem to exist among religious leaders of many times and places, including Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama.
  7. Both pushed against cultural norms for women and instituted polygamy as part of their respective theologies. Ironically, (depending on your point of view) both men also instituted polygamy which had a tremendous effect on the cultural norms for women. In the case of Muhammad, his treatment of his many wives set a new precedent of respect that men ought to have for their wives. And Muhammad’s primary reason for polygamy was to provide care for the numerous widows created during war. Furthermore, in the Qur’an women are revered and held up as important figures in society. Clearly Joseph instituted polygamy as well although his reasons are much less clear (depending on your point of view). Whether or not this had the same uplifting effect upon women is certainly debatable and a matter of opinion, but Joseph certainly attempted to influence the culture for women by his creation of the Relief Society with a number of powers and privileges.
  8. The followers of both men were fiercely loyal, perhaps to a fault in the eyes of many. On the other hand, that seems to be what is needed in order for such religions to grow and become large movements. Both religions seemed to divide families and create intense hatred among their opponents. It seems to be a direct product of the brilliance of their respective leaders in combatting that hatred that allowed their ideas to progress to later stages of development and continue to the present day.
  9. Both men led their followers away from their original location due to persecution (“No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Luke 4:24).
  10. Both men got involved in politics and were successful. For Muhammad the politics were mostly inter-tribal, and Muhammad initially used violence (although later he used peaceful methods) to coerce the politics in Mecca and Medina to his liking. Joseph was mayor of Nauvoo, and eventually even tried his hand at the presidential elections. I wonder if this similarity is caused by being the leader of a growing religious faction, or whether the two men were just so charismatic that the “shoe fit” as it were.
  11. Needless to say, both men had many many attempts on their lives, as they both a large number of enemies, both politically, and within their own group. One significant difference is that Joseph’s enemies eventually did succeed in their attempts. Muhammad, in contrast, lived until an old age and died in the arms of his favorite wife.

Although theologically Islam and Mormonism are very different, the characteristics of their founders, and nature of the initial followers have striking similarities.

So what think ye readers? Why do you lend your beliefs/souls/trust/etc. to Joseph Smith’s claims and reject Muhammad’s? Or do you? Or do you believe that Muhammad only had partial light and knowledge (despite the fact that Islam and Mormonism are radically different)?

Comments

comments

Comments 47

  1. I have studied the Qu’ran and Islam quite a bit in the past 5 years. I read the Qu’ran, studied the Arab culture, and have learned a bit of Arabic. Also, you’ve probably read it, but there is a book, “Mormons and Muslims” that covers many issues between the faiths. I’ve also studied a number of other faiths.

    As you mentioned, there are a tremendous number of similarities between Muhammad and Joseph Smith. It truly does make you wonder how we can be so “certain” that JS visions were “true”, yet at the same time so “certain” that Muhammad’s weren’t. I think a billion people on the earth would think the opposite, that JS is the one who’s visions weren’t complete or valid. I think there are many more Muslims in the world who are sure that theirs is the “one true church” than there are Mormons.

    How do we reconcile this? I don’t know. I’ve become much more accepting.

  2. “would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth?”

    It would seem so. Could the Qu’ran and the Book of Mormon both be inspired?

  3. Re #1 and #2
    I think you both are touching perfectly on how I view the matter. As I said in the post, personally, I can’t come up with any reason for me except that I never gave Islam a shot (since I was raised Mormon). However, here are the possible interpretations that I think an orthodox Mormon would give.
    1. “Muhammad was simply not inspired, he was a fraud, or deceived.” It seems unlikely most Mormons would say this given our allowance for others to receive revelation outside of Mormonism. Furthermore, this would simply scoff at the similarities I’ve listed here.
    2. “Muhammad was inspired, his revelations were real, but he only got a portion of light.” I suspect that most Mormons would fall in this camp. It doesn’t quite work for me for the reasons Mike S pointed out above. Additionally, Islam and Mormonism are so different in practice and in doctrine, with each making very strong claims, I’m not sure how to happily resolve this view. It seems like we could apply Pres. Hinckley’s all true or all fraud idea to Islam just as well.
    3. “Muhammad was inspired, his revelations were real, Islam is valid, but I received revelation that the LDS church is the one true church. As a result while I can’t explain why I know the church is true.” This might also capture some of the more open minded Mormons who acknowledge the similarities, but still have a strong testimony.
    4. “Muhammad was inspired, his revelations were real, Islam is valid, but I stay in Mormonism because it works for me.” This is probably more typical of those who have had a faith crisis but have come to terms with their lot in life.

    In short, like Mike S, I really have no idea how to reconcile a belief that the LDS church is the one true church, with the similarities shown here, coupled with the vast differences in the two religions.

    I would really like to hear from someone who can acknowledge the similarities, acknowledge Muhammad, but still resolves that the LDS is the one true church. I would like to better understand their point of view.

  4. “would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth?”

    Alternatively, the argumentam ad martyrdom is just poor logic, because it requires us to credit every mystic who ever went to his grave without renouncing his proclaimed revelation.

    The answer is “yes, plenty of men do continue to fix their lives, their honor, and their search for eternal salvation on things they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth.”

    I believe that Joseph was a prophet in some sense that Muhammad was not. Why? Not really sure, to be honest. Probably has a bit to do with the fact that I was born in California and not Morocco. What is absolutely true, is that if an argument in defense of Mormonism (i.e., Joseph was too much of a dunce to have possibly produced his revelatory output under his own power) would also operate as a defense of Islam, then it’s an invalid argument.

  5. Great post, JMB.

    Mike S., I also wonder how one can reconcile so certainly one prophet is “true” and one is not. IMO, there are false prophets, falsifying their claims for various reasons, but I don’t know I’d put Muhammad in that category. So there could clearly be prophets of other religions (Buddha, Muhammad, some Popes) that could have received enlightenment and truth.

    I am open to these ideas, but am still trying to figure out what that means to my faith and my belief.

    I currently think that perhaps God reveals truth to these prophets (and it could be Muhammad is as valid a prophet as Joseph Smith or Abraham)…and then it is up to these prophets to then do the best they can to reveal that truth to others, or somehow institutionalize it so churches can perpetuate the teachings to the masses…and perhaps those mortal involvements in subsequent steps are what take the religions in different directions.

    Because of the way Joseph taught truths…I identify with that, have had spiritual experiences based on that, and build my faith on that. However, I don’t think others in other religions couldn’t do the same if it helps them be more righteous.

  6. My personal resolution, which is certainly not orthodox.

    There is a pattern in my studies of many religions:
    – A person is troubled with the status quo. It doesn’t satisfy their longing for “truth”
    – A period of introspection occurs, a struggle
    – A very dark period occurs in the struggle
    – This is resolved with some sort of miraculous insight, resolving their struggle
    – These teachings are then shared with others
    – They are rejected initially by the majority, but accepted by a few close associates
    – The teachings are eventually organized and codified in a book
    – The religion gets a chance to truly be established by being accepted as the de facto religion of a political entity from which it could spread

    This obviously happened with Joseph Smith (political state – Utah) and Muhammed (political state – Arabia).

    It happened with Buddha. He gave up his kingdom, wife and son. He struggled for 6 years trying different things. He struggled with Mara and finally had his insight. He taught a core group and it eventually spread. It became accepted as the “state religion” of several countries.

    It happened with Christ. He struggled to find out who he was. He went into the desert and was tempted by Satan, then started his ministry. He had a core group of apostles. Christianity finally became accepted as a “state religion” and went from a cult to a major world religion.

    It happened with Moses and Judaism

    There are other examples, but for the sake of brevity, these few establishing 3 major world religions (and one minor one 🙂 ) will show the point.

    Issues pertinent to Mormonism and my own beliefs:

    – I accept JS as a prophet. At the same time, I also accept Muhammad as a prophet. I accept Buddha as a prophet. While there are things that JS taught that aren’t other places (ie. priesthood, etc.), there are things I’ve incorporated from Buddhism that have helped me FAR more in my life and relating to the world that I absolutely never found in Mormonism. I don’t know what this makes me. I still consider myself a Mormon as I was raised Mormon and follow its tenets. But my mindset incorporates almost as much Buddhism as Mormonism. I also incorporate much of what I found in Islam to my world view. And interestingly, there are many non-LDS Christian sources that have helped me understand God and Christ much more than LDS sources. Maybe I’m a mongrel.

    – In looking at world religions and how they have expanded, they all ABSOLUTELY have room for differing viewpoints within the same umbrella. This relates to another post on-going here. Jews have different “flavors” of Judaism. Muslims have different flavors of Islam. There are 3 great schools of Buddhism. There are many different flavors of Hinduism. There are different types of Christianity. There are arguments for each of these, but in general, these divisions are founded on jettisoning “cultural” aspects of a religion in favor of retaining the “core” aspects. The world religions that have flourished are those who can be instituted in other cultures.

    I think a big problem in Mormonism and why we’re losing so many converts (up to 50%) and so many young people (up to 80% inactivity rate in young adults) is that there is not room for cultural expression in Mormonism without being looked on by the orthodox leaders as apostate.

  7. I see those patterns in religions as well.

    While the one who goes through the steps you outlined claims to come out “enlightened” and may produce documents and teachings…it seems one great influence on it being sustainable are those that come after.

    That is one critical element of Mormonism…authority to pass the office of prophet to Brigham to others down to influentials like David O Mckay and then today to TS Monson. The “living” gospel…to continue to reveal revelation for our day.

    Does Islam stress authority and continued prophets or leaders…or do they only believe Muhammad had that enlightenment and we must find “his enlightenment” if we want to be enlightened?

    It seems to me, that many orthodox believers don’t accept new ideas…but want the old tried and true messages to be preserved and unchanged…which doesn’t work for many people. But that is a bit different for Mormons. We’ll accept new teaching…if it comes from the Prophet. We are leery of changes coming from the masses of liberal thinkers for fear of apostasy by the teachings of men and women.

  8. 1 John 4:1-3: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

    Moroni 7:17: “But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.”

    Muhammad’s purported revelation denies that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God (though it does praise Christ as a great prophet.) It’s rather firm on the matter, suggesting that to believe that Christ is God is a damnable polytheist heresy.

    The only way I can avoid having these scriptures apply to Muhammad’s purported revelation, classifying it as a devilish deceit, is to understand Muhammad’s revelation as something other than supernatural — as simply Muhammad’s efforts, using his own mortal mind, to speculate about God’s nature. That gets us around the Johanine suggestion that Islam’s Christ-denying aspect is the result of a false, antichrist “spirit” — because this interpretation holds that it’s not the result of supernatural “spirit” at all. Rather, it’s just an (excusable) error in philosophical judgment.

    I have a hard time with the notion that Muhammad “received a portion of God’s light” in any special revelatory sense. I’m not persuaded that God would inspire Muhammad to deny the divinity of Christ — or that Muhammad would be unable to distinguish between the “true” revelation he was receiving, and the source of that erroneous doctrine. And if a prophet can’t distinguish between real revelation and his own mind, what hope do we lesser mortals have of telling those things apart?

  9. Thomas, great additions to the discussion.

    However, Muhammad was before Christ. So his revelations or enlightenment wouldn’t know if Jesus was the Christ or not. However, those that came after him define the Muslim teachings to not believe in Christ.

    To me it is interesting to consider Muhammad as much a prophet as Joseph Smith, however, the religions that came after are based on those prophets, but defined by others. Therefore, I can discard that religion and accept Mormonism as “true” to me, even if I accept the pattern the prophets went through could be similar and of value.

  10. #7: heber13

    I understand your point about the “critical element” of Mormonism – that of living prophets. Are we really different, though, or is it more a question of semantics? If you look at our “core” canonized beliefs, we have the BofM, the D&C, and the PofGP (+ “correct” interpretation of Bible). Since JS time, we have actually had very minimal added to what he gave us. We have a chapter praising JS. We have a chapter expanding on the hereafter. We have a letter explaining that we aren’t going to practice polygamy anymore because the government will disenfranchise us. We have a letter saying blacks can have the priesthood. But as far as “official” revelations since JS time, there aren’t really many. We have had leaders change programs, reemphasize or reinterpret various things as they thought they should be interpreted (like WofW, etc.), explain their personal views on what modesty means to them, etc., but there aren’t a lot of “new” revelations on par with JS.

    And although they have different terms for it, the other religions are exactly the same:
    – Muhammad gave us the Qu’ran. The Hadith are from other Islamic leaders who interpreted other teachings from Muhammad and the Qu’ran after that. There are various other edicts and proclamations that have also come down through the times. They don’t call them “prophets” as Muhammad was the last, but the principle is the same.
    – Buddha’s original teaching were assembled in the Buddhavacana which are close to the literal words of the Buddha. Since then, there have been hundreds of additional teachings/interpretations by enlightened leaders. Some of these texts are also felt to have been revealed by supernatural beings (ie. angels) to help us. Again, different words, but same principle.
    – Judaism’s core text are the books revealed to Moses. There have been other prophets whose writings are in the Old Testament. And many rabbis since that time have looked at, expanded, reinterpreted it, etc. in the Talmud and many other Jewish writings that have significant weight.

    So, I will again argue that in reality we aren’t that much different from the other major world faiths. They are all based upon a core set of beliefs revealed to their founders. Since then, there have been inspired leaders who have reinterpreted, expanded upon, talked about, etc. these core beliefs, but haven’t really changed them. We call our leaders prophets with all that that implies. In other faiths, however, while the titles are different, the same function has been performed by other inspired men. Sometimes these interpretations are different enough to cause a new branch, but the core is still the same (ie. all branches of Judaism still recognize Moses and his teachings, all branches of Buddhism still recognize Buddha and his teachings, etc), but there are different implementations in real life.

  11. Mike S.

    I would agree with you that Mormonism isn’t so different from the other religions, because I see the same exact patterns you so well presented above in #11.

    However, in theory and doctrine, I think we differ in the opportunity that more scripture can be found and presented…and mormons believe TSM is as much a prophet as Joseph Smith.

    I do not believe other religions claim such authority.

    However, realistically and in practice, I think you’re right. Mormons believe we can receive new teachings…we just don’t really ever see it. Others think that is heresy to suggest such… even if bottom line the religions seem to follow the same paths.

  12. #12: Agreed. We believe the prophet can receive new “official” teachings, but other than two declarations which were more announcements of policy changes some would argue were driven by societal pressures, it’s been a long, long time since we’ve actually had any “scripture” added to our canon by any prophet. So the de facto result is the same as any other religion – leaders making commentaries and offering their interpretations of the original canon revealed to the founder.

  13. #13, so with that being said…don’t you agree Mormonism could be different than other religions because we can stay “Orthodox” to follow the prophet, even if the prophet becomes progressive and changes doctrine (like polygamy).

    Other religions don’t have that option, and must create schisms to accommodate changes needed because their “Orthodox” wouldn’t accept change.

    Therefore, Orthodox Mormonism could be the only way the church would ever go, requiring liberals to just have to deal with that.

    (I can’t remember which thread I should be writing these thoughts on now…Jeffs or JMBs???)

  14. #10: “However, Muhammad was before Christ.”

    Muhammad lived 570-632 A.D. After Christ.

    Maybe thinking of Zoroaster?

  15. #10 heber 13: “However, Muhammad was before Christ.”

    Muhammad lived around 600 AD. The Qu’ran specifically talks about Christ as a great prophet, with Muhammad being the last prophet. So, he wasn’t before Christ.

    Interestingly, the Qu’ran also talks about a rejection of the three-in-one philosophy of the Nicaean creed where Christ is God, etc., in favor of there only being One God. They have dozens of names for God, praising His ultimate status and attributes. It’s actually magnificent and beautiful. We also reject the three-in-one philosophy. We differ in that we add Christ to nearly God’s level in the Godhead, while Muslims maintain that God stands alone.

    Given that, however, they must necessarily reject Christ as “divine” and instead accept him as a prophet, because elevating Christ to the “divine” status of God would make God not unique and special. It would therefore be seen as blasphemy towards God. So I would be somewhat careful in characterizing Islam as purely rejecting Christ or preaching “anti-Christ” because the reasoning is much more subtle than that. It’s more pro-God than anti-Christ in reality.

    So, again, we have much to learn from our Muslim brothers. My appreciation for God’s magnificence has grown much more through reading the Qu’ran than anything we have. It really is profound.

  16. #14 heber13

    “Other religions don’t have that option, and must create schisms to accommodate changes needed because their “Orthodox” wouldn’t accept change.

    Therefore, Orthodox Mormonism could be the only way the church would ever go, requiring liberals to just have to deal with that.”
    ————————-

    That could be one attitude of the Church, which is one I think the leadership is following. The potential downside is that people will choose with their bodies, as numbers show they are doing.

    I suppose it is one of goal. If the goal of the Church’s leadership is preservation of orthodoxy at the expense of membership, they can certainly continue to choose that. If the goal is to try to focus on “core” doctrines and try to help as many people as possible on their journey back to Christ and our Father, then perhaps they might choose a different course than what they’ve been doing.

  17. Duh. I actually had been reading about Buddhism and remembered thinking Buddha Shakyamuni was right around the same time as Lehi (600 BC)…so those dates must have been on my mind. Wrong religion, wrong time frame. Oops.

    Thanks for correcting me.

    16. Mike S wrote: “It’s more pro-God than anti-Christ in reality.”

    Thats a cool way to look at it.

  18. “Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened.” When people seek enlightenment earnestly, they seem to get it, and this is true for all of humanity, not based on your religious affiliation.

    But the other thing I think is important to consider is the stress between a revelatory event and its subsequent degeneration through time, interpretation, and extrapolation. If we assume that all these prophets had a directly inspired message at some point, those inspired revelations can be corrupted by a variety of means:
    – human misunderstanding of the one receiving it
    – human misunderstanding of subsequent believers
    – changes in context from the time of the message’s receipt that render it less comprehensible
    – opinions, feelings, personal motivations, etc., that color interpretations made by subsequent believers or leaders

    I guess that’s why Corinthians says “we see through a glass darkly”; revelation is always at least partly subjective. And yet certain themes seem to emerge time and again and have universal appeal. The trick is that those themes are understood with various nuances that different types of people find appealing. Which is why not everyone will make a good Mormon (or Muslim, or Catholic, etc.).

  19. I think the point is to not dismiss any religious leader, but to recognize each for what their mission was to the world, and to recognize who sent each. Each one has come not having the answer to every question, but enough of whatever it was God wanted taught to accomplish whatever the mission was he was sent to perform. Many times this doesn’t mean that a leader comes to disabuse us of misconceptions or untruths, but to lead us in a certain direction. And I think that many people that get off track in Mormonism forget that our leaders are sent for the same thing, not for them to know all truth. The question is whether you accept their core claims as having a special mission as the Lord’s anointed, and that eventually, all men will be presented with the choice to accept or reject the ordinances done by the priesthood. I would even go so far as to say that John Dehlin has a “mission” as a “leader” of sorts to help people know that they don’t have to leave, though this is not a calling from the Church, but a calling no doubt that he feels within himself. I have nothing to say about whether that is good or bad, passing no judgment, though I have nothing to do with it. Though I have serious reservations about things that he believes, and people that he admires and has interviewed, I acknowledge the work he has done for people that otherwise would have left. I cannot judge in this respect, because people that have left when confronted with information that he has presented were usually on their way out anyway I bet, but others have stayed. We can get all twisted up with notions of “by fruits ye shall know them” versus the fact that it is unorthodox and not the way apologists would have done it, and so on.

  20. I think a more fruitful route to reconciling Christianity and Islam (from a Christian theological viewpoint, of course) is to see Islam as a step toward Christianity from paganism, like instituting the Law of Moses in a different part of the world and a couple of millenia later. Islam will see Christianity as a step toward Islam, and Judaism will think both of the others wandered off the path.

    I think the more fundamental question we all have to ask, within the Restoration and outside of it, why do humans see only parts of God’s truth, and often in such conflicting ways?

  21. For me, I think it is important to realize we do only see parts of God’s truth through a certain prophet, and accept that is only “part”. Therefore, there is great value in studying other religious leaders or prophets to get their part too…then I can construct my story in my head on how they all enhance my faith.

    Church leaders have been very clear lately that Mormonism does not have a monopoly on truth. Perhaps the teaching is that it is claiming to have current authority…but that does not mean others don’t have more “parts” of the truth we must understand and learn from.

    Pres Monson seems to be reminding us to value the our neighbors and what they can teach us.

  22. …oh, and one more thing…

    Joseph Smith didn’t try to start with a clean slate and construct all truth from scratch.

    He clearly learned from (or borrowed) things from other religions and organizations he was exposed to.

  23. I look at the fruits, and the fruits that Islam has produced over the last 1500 years have been a mixed bag quite frankly. I don’t know a whole lot about the history of the middle east but I do know that today’s middle east is a wasteland of the most corrupt and violent regimes on this planet, where people are butchered in the name of their religion, where Jews like Daniel Pearl get their heads chopped off with a dull swords! I think the fruits of Islam are pretty apparent and I think comparing a 1500 year old religion to one that is less than 200 years old is entirely fair, if anything, we should be comparing it to Christianity itself, sure, the Christians have been pretty ruthless in their day, they’ve burned innocent people at the stake, they’ve pretty much conquered all of planet earth in the name of their religion via the European superpowers, but….look at the world today, look at the freedom we have, if it weren’t for those imperial Christians it’s very unlikely we would have them at all, and if it weren’t for them, Islam would have taken Europe and eventually the whole world, could you imagine what the world would be like today if Islam had won and Christianity had lost, I don’t even want to quite frankly!

    1. The muslims had been in Spain for over eight centuries and we never heard that the Spanish Christians were forced to change their religion or prosecuted because of their faith. Beside, the actions of the one faith’s followers do not truly represent the essence of that particular faith. Almost all religions have been manipulated to serve political and economical purposes, needless to give examples from far and recent histories.
      what we need nowadays amidst all these violent religious, non-religious, and ethnic streams of mass killing a word of coolness and openness of mind to together defeat this contagious madness which would not leave anyone on the face of our planet.
      Differing views should make us more tolerant and love each other. There’s a proverb in Arabic says: God created two similar brothers with two dissimilar essences.
      God bless you all.

  24. JD:

    I don’t buy your argument. I don’t know how much you’ve actually studied it, but Islam is a religion of peace, in much the same way that the core message of Christ is peace. Various societies implement things differently. I would argue that many of the examples you have given are economical and political in nature as opposed to the religious shield they try to hide behind.

    If you’ve read accounts of the Crusades, people went there to die as martyrs, as they expected to receive the highest award. The society at the time was into ascetics and self-denial. St Francis of Assisi wanted to go die in Jerusalem but couldn’t because of medical issues. It’s much the same as the “evil” Muslims today. Queen Mary executed many Protestants. We have Ireland. We have white supremacists. All God-fearing Christians.

    We had General Joseph Smith. We had a militia. We killed Indians and white settlers. Was it because we were Mormon? Absolutely not. Was it because we were people with passions and economic struggles and political battles, etc.? Absolutely. So blaming the morass of the Middle East on Islam is wrong.

    If you’re basing the correctness of any religious set of beliefs on it not being “corrupt” or “violent”, then perhaps we should all be Buddhists.

  25. Enjoyed the post a great deal. Thanks, JMB!

    I have often wondered where Islam went off the rails in terms of their treatment of women and the violence that some continue to espouse. That there is no freedom of thought and religion among Islamic countries. They have almost a Satanic like adherence to their rules. If you don’t follow them, you are punished.

    One other parallel is the rejection of some doctrine or thinking ( ie the Satanic verses) because someone objects.

  26. #27: Jeff

    (Sorry to post so much, but I feel strongly about it)

    We judge the Islamic “treatment of women” from Western eyes as being wrong. There are obviously societies in the Middle East which subject women to no schooling, caning, etc. But this is not true Islam. In his day, Muhammad gave women more rights than anyone else in a comparable Middle Eastern society did. And the social norms in the Middle East are more from a respect of women. Not all Muslim women wear a burka, not all wear a full face veil, and there is debate within Islam about the interpretations. In general, Muslim women cover their heads. There are also restrictions on interaction between men and women.

    We may judge that, but they look at our society with naked women cavorting on our computers and TV screens and movies, with degrading songs about women, our advertising using sex to sell things, etc. and think that we have the wrong attitude toward women. They think that we have a depraved and degenerate society that God/Allah would be displeased in. They look at us telling them how they should act towards their women and say – “What, to become more like you?”

    And within our Mormon society, we are much the same. We deny women the priesthood. We have our religious reasons for it, but from the majority of Western society, we are just as “backwards” as Muslims or other traditional faiths in that regard. We have social mores about dating ages and appropriate conduct on dates. We don’t cover our heads, but we have garments. For men, they truly aren’t much different from what we’d normally wear, but for a woman in Western society, it takes away a lot of otherwise appropriate clothing choices. Some LDS women find garments empowering, just like some Muslim women find the head scarf empowering. Others look at it as a needless religious restriction. They follow it, but find it oppressive.

    So, I’d be careful about pointing the finger with regards to women. Would “they” really want to be “us”? With regards to “violence”, please see post #26 (probably written about the same time as yours)

  27. #26: “don’t know how much you’ve actually studied it, but Islam is a religion of peace, in much the same way that the core message of Christ is peace.”

    Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, and has an ultimately individualist view of salvation. In Islam, this is less so. There is nothing in Christianity that resembles sharia — an all-encompassing body of religious law by which society ought to be governed, and which believers ought to strive to implement. The Christian quasi-theocrats of the pre-modern era were working against the grain of their religion. Muslims seeking to impose sharia are working with the grain of their faith.

    Ironically, the Islamic emphasis on collective, societal righteousness is echoed in the Book of Mormon, which records “the people” — society as a whole — lurching en masse from righteousness to wickedness and back again. This in turn parallels the quasi-theocratic government of pioneer Utah.

    No matter how many peaceable teachings a religion may have, when it is given the force of law, violence is inevitable. The coercive enforcement of religious doctrine is violence in itself.

    Doubtless Islam — like any other religion — is capable, in the hands of a person of basic good will, of being made an instrument of further enlightenment. But I do think it is less idiot-proof than other traditions, and that the objective fruits of Islamic civilization — at least post its 14th-century reactionary turn — are not just accidents of history and geography. Culture matters.

  28. I’m getting in late. Here goes.

    #1 How do we reconcile this? I don’t know. I’ve become much more accepting.

    Is it necessary to reconcile all things? Are we not able to accept that truth is subjective and always evolving? I think you are square on. Let us be more accepting and open to all possibilities. I believe that is how we find answers and solidify what our beliefs are going to be.

    #2 It would seem so. Could the Qu’ran and the Book of Mormon both be inspired?

    What a concept. We could actually have more than one inspired person and one inspired book. I do not mean this to be rude. Humans have grappled with many of these issues for centuries and will continue to do so.

    I believe we all get portions of light and truth. If we believe “line upon line, precept upon precept” is it a real stretch to think that inspiration, revelation, and light are able to work in sync?

    I’m not sure I understand the need or importance for one truth. Perhaps it is magical thinking. We think it will assist in life making more sense and being more comfortable. I trust that there are many pieces to truth. Maybe one day we will have the “big bang” and all truths as we know them will converge into one

    I would like a quiet peace inside that allows me to settle my mind and go forward the best I can every day. If that comes from JS, Muhammad, Buddha, whomever, I really do not care.

  29. Holy cow, lots of great thoughts here. I wanna address some of them.

    Re Thomas

    Muhammad’s purported revelation denies that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God (though it does praise Christ as a great prophet.) It’s rather firm on the matter, suggesting that to believe that Christ is God is a damnable polytheist heresy.

    I’m trying to understand what you’re trying to say. You are clearly addressing it from the perspective that a Christian view must, of necessity, be the correct one. I mean I suppose the NT says that since its authors were Christian (duh), and I’m not trying to say anything about the divinity of Christ, but clearly there are a multitude of other perspectives. From an unbiased POV I see no reason to assume Muhammad could not have gotten much of it right (even all of it) despite what Paul (or whoever the author was) says about Christ. Am I misinterpreting what you’re trying to say? Are you just showing that from an orthodox Mormon perspective it would not be possible to accept Muhammad as a prophet?

    Re Mike S
    I’ll say again, I think we see things the same way. After I read this biography (have yet to read all of the Qur’an) I feel much differently about Islam. Like Mike S I see politics, culture, and evil individuals who have corrupted Islam. Islam is peaceable (although there is some war justification in there which seemed to fit Muhammad’s circumstance), and Islam did much to liberate and elevate women. My impression was that Muhammad thought very highly of women, and it is of significance that many of the adjectives, and nouns used to describe Allah in the Qur’an are primarily female in origin. Islam is poorly understood, even by many Muslims, it seems to me.

    I agree that if you haven’t studied Islam at some level, you will likely not understand the nature of Muhammad’s experiences and revelations. It is then natural, but erroneous, to look to the Middle East and draw conclusions.

    Re Hawkgrrrl
    In the vein mentioned above, I think hawkgrrrl brings up a great point. Muhammad’s revelations have clearly been interpreted, corrupted, etc. etc. It might very well be that Joseph’s “glass” was just as “dark” as Muhammad’s!

    Re Firetag

    I think the more fundamental question we all have to ask, within the Restoration and outside of it, why do humans see only parts of God’s truth, and often in such conflicting ways?

    I think you bring up a good point in seeing Islam as a potential stepping stone to Christianity. Perhaps there is something to that. I also think this is a great question. For me, the question is satisfactorily answered by appealing to the elements that make up our personality, character, etc. If it’s all a fraud and there is no god, it’s easy to see why they conflict (this is the easy answer). If God exists, then I think my answer still holds as those elements color every piece of new information we try to process. I would be more surprised if there were NO conflicts/variation.

    Re Jeff Spector

    That there is no freedom of thought and religion among Islamic countries. They have almost a Satanic like adherence to their rules. If you don’t follow them, you are punished.

    Yes, this is especially odd to us Westerners I admit. I don’t pretend to understand Middle Eastern culture, and I do think that generally our concepts of human rights in the West are nearly universal in their applicability. Nevertheless, I try not to impose my ideals onto the Middle Eastern culture since I do not properly understand it. Perhaps to many over there the ends ALWAYS justify the means!

    Re Soroto
    I actually think you have a great point! I also believe that we get truth from many different sources. I think it is erroneous (and not doctrinal, nor the position of the leaders of the church) to believe that we have a monopoly on truth. Like you, I could care less where the truth came from. As the great Brigham Young has once said “if there is truth somewhere in the world, it belongs in Mormonism”!

  30. I haven’t read all of the comments, so forgive me if this has already been addressed. While there are parallels between Joseph Smith’s experiences and Muhammad’s, I think that their core teachings surrounding Jesus Christ render the two faith’s utterly incompatable. This notwithstanding the fact that many of the peripheral doctrines are also similar. As I recall Muslims hold Jesus in esteem equal or near equal to Muhammad, but they relegate his role to Prophet. They outright reject the notion of his direct sonship to God the Father, as his literal offspring, and they also reject his role in the Mormon concept of the atonement, particularly as it relates to the Christian narrative of the cross. If my recollection is correct, the Qu’ran teaches that when the sanhedren sought to have Jesus executed, God placed the image or likeness of Jesus’s face onto that of a wicked man, who the Jews then executed under the assumption that it was Christ who lay upon cross. Instead, God rescued the real Jesus and brought him into his bosom never having had to endure the crucifixion and implied suffering. Seeing as how this fly’s so abrassively in the face of the central tenet of Christianity including Mormonism, and vice versa, I have never been able to reconcile the ongoing speculations about Muhammad’s supposed Prophetic nature in light of Mormonism. If the Islamic position does not directly disqualify this relationship, then the Mormon position does.

  31. #32 Cowboy

    I understand completely your point as seen from a Mormon point-of-view. One billion Muslims, however, would think we were the abrasive and blasphemous ones by trying to equate Christ with God, who is unique, above-all, etc. They would think JS was misguided or deceived in his visions. They would accept some truth in the BofM and recognize an angel appearing to man, but would think JS was led astray. There are Muslim conversion stories as powerful as any LDS stories I have heard. There are miraculous healings ascribed to God/Allah. There are Muslims who truly devote their lives to God and trying to do His will. They have a narrative of Jesus just as we have a narrative of Jesus. They read it out of their books. We read it out of our books. I don’t know that we can simplistically disregard their beliefs just because they aren’t the same as what we were brought up to believe.

    We think they’re wrong and misguided. They feel just as strongly that we’re wrong and misguided. It makes you wonder…

  32. Mike S:

    I apparently failed to articulate that the incompatability is mutual, and for what it is worth – I actually don’t accept either religion as being “true”, so I wasn’t trying to imply religious superiority one way or another. I agree entirely with your points in #33, with one small exception. My exception comes from limited dealings I have had with some Muslims in the past. I was speaking with a Muslim individual several years ago who argued that Muslims don’t outright reject the Bible as being 100% incorrect, but rather don’t trust the Bible because they believe it isn’t 100% correct. He argued that if your holy book was subject to error and corruption, then it was likely that you would internalize error without knowing it. Instead he believed the Qu’ran to be infallible, and therefore a worthy holy book. He felt that the Bible should be thrown out completely because that is the only way to mitigate the propensity for error. I don’t personally agree with this logic, but would guess that Muslims would be inclined to approach The Book of Mormon in a similar manner.

    Back to my point in #32, despite religious similarities both religions are ultimately incompatable because they disagree strongly on the most fundamental point of Mormonism, the Divine nature of Jesus Christ. Given this, I find myself a bit confused by the need of some Mormons to draw an affinity to Islam.

  33. Jmb #31: “Are you just showing that from an orthodox Mormon perspective it would not be possible to accept Muhammad as a prophet?”

    Yes.

    From a universalist perspective, both Joseph and Muhammad could be prophets. From a sectarian perspective, their visions are mutually exclusive.

  34. Thomas:

    I agree that from an orthodox Mormon perspective there is an unsurmountable divide between Islam and Mormonism, although I don’t think there is personally.

    I think this is where the “classification” of Mormons breaks down. From an outsiders’ perspective, I am an orthodox Mormon. I have a TR. I hold various leadership positions. I went on a mission and was AP. I keep all of the superficial commandments (ie. WofW, etc.). I read the BofM at least 4-5 days per week, and have read it at least 15 times. I go to Church and all my other meetings weekly. I don’t know what I could do to be more orthodox.

    In my head, however, I am far from orthodox. I approach God using thoughts from the Qu’ran and am learning some Arabic with the goal to read the Qu’ran in Arabic before I die. I practice Buddhist meditation. I believe in karma. I have a Hindu mala for counting mantras. I study the Old Testament using Jewish commentaries on the torah with Hebrew/English side by side.

    I think there will be many more people returning to God than the 0.1% who are active LDS. Number-wise, this means that there are going to be MANY, MANY more Muslims (or Buddhists or Catholics or Hindus) in the Celestial kingdom than Mormons. Any necessary ordinances for them could be done by proxy as needed. So, at the end of the day, for the majority of the world, their paths back to God do NOT require membership in the “one true Church” in mortality, implying that their paths are equally as valid as mine, and in many societal contexts, are probably better for them anyway.

    So, in thought, I am far from orthodox. I get around this in Church by not teaching the YM that “There is one true Church” but that “Joseph Smith taught that there is one true Church” or “we teach that there is one true Church”. And so on.

    Am I orthodox or not? I think a true “orthodox” member would think that I am misguided, confused & deceived by Satan, to be honest.

  35. #36:

    “I think there will be many more people returning to God than the 0.1% who are active LDS. Number-wise, this means that there are going to be MANY, MANY more Muslims (or Buddhists or Catholics or Hindus) in the Celestial kingdom than Mormons. Any necessary ordinances for them could be done by proxy as needed. So, at the end of the day, for the majority of the world, their paths back to God do NOT require membership in the “one true Church” in mortality, implying that their paths are equally as valid as mine, and in many societal contexts, are probably better for them anyway.”

    I think I agree with all of that.

    The Catholic Church has actually incorporated something like this into the Catechism (minus the proxy-ordinance procedure). Their doctrine is that the faith a conscientious Buddhist, Muslim, or even secularist, who lives according to the divine truth they have received (and who has not neglected his duty to continue to seek truth) will likely be accounted as service to Christ. These are “anonymous Christians,” in the phrase of one of their theologians.

    This sounds like a fairly generous doctrine, and yet it has its critics — Jews, Muslims, secularists, etc., who don’t want to be saved as “anonymous Christians,” but rather qua Jews, Muslims, or secularists. “Anonymous Christianity,” after all, still implies that Christianity is objectively truer than other traditions, and some people in other traditions don’t like that.

    For me, I don’t think that criticism is itself very generous. I think “anonymous Christianity” is as far as a Christian tradition can go, and still be Christian. I want there to be Christians — just as long as I want there to be Jews and Muslims and Buddhists. The alternative — if we are to avoid giving “offense” by having the gall to believe in particularized religious doctrines — is a kind of bland, homogenized philosophical theism. Which is fine, as far as it goes, but I notice that the more people tend to that kind of thing, the more they tend not to build Gothic cathedrals or compose soul-stirring hymns. It’s kind of the Bauhaus-style minimalist architecture of religion. And I hate minimalist architecture. Never met a curlicue or a frieze I didn’t like.

    Of course, if I believe that others’ practice of the truly holy aspects of Islam (and such abstinence from its ungodly aspects as their conscientiously-informed consciences may lead them to) may be imputed as “anonymous Christianity”, it may well turn out that my own religious tradition is partly erroneous, and may be imputed as “anonymous Buddhism” or the like. I don’t believe it constitutes “infidelity to Jesus Christ” (as one prominent LDS apologist declared my thinking) to acknowledge this possibility, while nevertheless keeping and practicing my faith with all my heart. It does not diminish our ultimate assent of faith to the doctrine of the Atonement, to acknowledge the possibility that the mechanics of the salvation we hope for may be diffrent from how we understand it.

    In the end, faith is not much more or less than belief that God is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. We’ve been placed by chance or providence in circumstances where faith in Christ is the avenue to God that most clearly presented itself to us; our job is to diligently seek God and trust that he will ultimately guide us to where he wants us to end.

  36. #37: “It does not diminish our ultimate assent of faith to the doctrine of the Atonement, to acknowledge the possibility that the mechanics of the salvation we hope for may be diffrent from how we understand it.”

    I think you just pretty much summed up my feeling precisely. About a number of areas where I have difficulty accepting that we have the whole truth. It encapsulates in one sentence a very needful message. And one that should allow for not only tolerance but interest in what other faiths have to offer us in knowledge and sometimes practice.

    I’ve really enjoyed this discussion. I check in on this blog site every day but rarely comment. I often feel unqualified to put forward opionioins along with those of you who are far better versed in the subject matter. But that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment I get from these discourses. Thanks for sharing your knowledge folks.

  37. Re Thomas

    In the end, faith is not much more or less than belief that God is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. We’ve been placed by chance or providence in circumstances where faith in Christ is the avenue to God that most clearly presented itself to us; our job is to diligently seek God and trust that he will ultimately guide us to where he wants us to end.

    Love this!! Well said!

    Re dmac

    I’ve really enjoyed this discussion. I check in on this blog site every day but rarely comment. I often feel unqualified to put forward opionioins along with those of you who are far better versed in the subject matter. But that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment I get from these discourses. Thanks for sharing your knowledge folks.

    Hey, feel free to comment, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t be intimidated. Many of us act like we’re intellectual, but we all need to remember to be respectful of others regardless of how well versed they are in a particular subject. We’re all learning here.

  38. You folks are beautiful. Love the generosity, open-mindedness, the gracefully nuanced ways of embracing the paradoxes of living in an exclusive faith.

    Thomas says

    “a kind of bland, homogenized philosophical theism. Which is fine, as far as it goes, but I notice that the more people tend to that kind of thing, the more they tend not to build Gothic cathedrals or compose soul-stirring hymns. It’s kind of the Bauhaus-style minimalist architecture of religion. And I hate minimalist architecture. Never met a curlicue or a frieze I didn’t like.”

    I fear sometimes that I am slipping into this “bland, homogenized theism.” I would be interested to hear how Thomas maintains the passionate, inspiring belief in his LDS tenets, while still acknowledging that he may indeed be an “anonymous Buddhist.”

  39. #40: There should be room in any religion for personality. In the case of being an anonymous Buddhist, there is the minimalism of Zen Buddhism. There is the asceticism of Therevada Buddhism. There is the boddhisattva and more inclusive nature of Mahayana Buddhism. There is the “gothicness” of Tibetan Buddhism with the elaborate costumes, temples, and pantheon imported from Bon. Yet they all believe in Buddha, the 4 noble truths, the 8-fold path, etc. There are just different cultural onlays. Some are vegetarian – some eat meat. Some eschew alcohol. Some drink sparingly but avoid intoxication.

    In Mormonism, I think there are some people who like the more extreme interpretations of the basic doctrines – the white shirts, the endless meetings, the non-earringed/non-tattooed look, the white bread for sacrament, the Sunday dress all day, the no cola or chocolate, etc. There are others who reject a lot of the cultural baggage and cling to the core gospel. Unfortunately, there is no real outlet for folks like that in the “official” Church like there are in other religions.

    So how do I stay? I believe JS was a prophet. I believe the BofM has truth. I believe that Mormonism is a nice way to raise my family and teach them good values. I can use Mormonism to help develop a relationship with God and Christ. I believe that there are a lot of good, hard-working people who sincerely are trying to be good people. I follow the basic Mormon “rules” to keep a temple recommend. At the same time, I accept truth where I find it. I think Muhammad was a prophet. I accept Buddha. I love the Bhagavad Gita and the truths there. I teach my family acceptance and respect and perspective. I also accept that I could easily be wrong. I could be a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Catholic and still be a good person. I just happen to be Mormon by quirk of birth.

  40. Mike S. Thanks so much for expressing all that.

    I feel exactly the same way, and I believe there are many people that reach that open-minded approach to the faith. Probably more than we know in our congregations (total assumption on my part…but I just feel it is likely I’m not the only one that thinks this way).

    You said: “At the same time, I accept truth where I find it.”

    Sounds like Joseph Smith’s comments himself, when he declared the Saints’ faith ready to receive the truths of all others: “One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from where it may.”

    In that, I choose to be practice truth mormon-style…but I don’t think that means others who don’t are wrong.

  41. #40 Landandsea:

    “I fear sometimes that I am slipping into this “bland, homogenized theism.” I would be interested to hear how Thomas maintains the passionate, inspiring belief in his LDS tenets, while still acknowledging that he may indeed be an ‘anonymous Buddhist.'”

    I also sometimes feel myself moving in that direction. I try to remind myself how thrilling the basic message of the really Gospel is — that God is on our side, that life is eternal, and that how I live my life has a significance equal to anything in the universe. That basic confession of faith doesn’t necessarily require three hours of Sunday church, other Sabbath observance, temple worship, acceptance of particular scriptures as literal or figurative in the approved proportions, tithing to the Church institution, Word of Wisdom observance (with the caveat that excess and addiction may be incompatible with any genuine sense of holiness), and so forth. I try to remind myself that when I practice these uniquely LDS tenets, I am trying — in the way my culture and circumstances have inclined me — to live out the core of my faith, using the concrete expressions that human beings seem to need.

    Blaise Pascal expressed a yearning to worship “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — not the god of the philosophers.” The god of the philosophers can too easy become simply the philosopher’s own mind exalted — leading to arrogance, not humility, and stasis, not repentance. I bridle at being asked to submit to doctrines I have a hard time not seeing as human inventions — “We ought to obey God rather than men” — but at the same time, I see value in submitting my will to at least something I can’t take credit for, as a hedge against falling into the error that my own means are sufficient to grasp an eternal redemption. (Self-improvement is fine as far as it goes — but does it go far enough?)

  42. From my researches, without any religious bias at all, i would say islam and mormonism are unbelievably so ungodly. There seem to be nothing godly in what they both teach. With mormons, taught to hate fellow humans created by the God they claim to serve and worship just because they are not white skinned but “cursed”, along side other anti-god teachings, and with muslims, taught to hate people “infidels” just because they do not believe in islam, I truelly wonder if those religions really came from God.

  43. THE PERFECT HALAL MUSLIM

    And surely thou hast sublime morals

    (Surat Al-Qalam 68:4).

    Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar

    (Surat Al-Ahzab 33:21).

    Muslims believe
    that the Koran is the eternal word/laws of god to acts as a divine guidance for
    mankind about how to live a moral, righteous life. Prophet Muhammad, the
    highest perfection of human life and the prototype of the most wonderful human
    conduct in Islamic belief, emulated the guidance of Allah perfectly.

    Muhammad fantasized about baby Aisha before soliciting her from her
    father

    Sahih Bukhari 9.140 Narrated ‘Aisha:

    Allah’s apostle said to me, “you were shown to me twice (in my dream)
    before I married you. I saw an angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth,
    and I said to him, ‘uncover (her),’ and behold, it was you. I said (to myself),
    ‘if this is from Allah, then it must happen.

    Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 7,
    book 62, number 17 Narrated jabir bin ‘abdullah:

    When I got married, Allah’s apostle said to me, “what type of lady have
    you married?” I replied, “I have married a matron.” he said,
    “why, don’t you have a liking for the virgins and for fondling them?”
    Jabir also said: Allah’s apostle said, “why didn’t you marry a young girl
    so that you might play with her and she with you?”

    Muhammad, 50, marries baby Aisha at age 6

    Sahih Bukhari volume 5, book
    58, number 234

    Narrated Aisha: the prophet
    engaged (married) me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to medina and
    stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair
    fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, um ruman, came to me
    while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and
    I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me.

    …….she took some water and
    rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the
    house I saw some ansari women who said, “best wishes and Allah’s blessing
    and a good luck.” then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for
    the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s apostle came to me in the forenoon and my
    mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of
    age.

    Bukhari vol 8, bk 73, no 151

    Narrated ‘Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the prophet,
    & my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s apostle used to
    enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the prophet would
    call them to join & play with me. (the playing with the dolls & similar
    images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a
    little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-bari page 143,
    vol.13)

    PREPUBESCENT BRIDES

    Quran 65.4 “and those of your women as
    have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ‘iddah (prescribed divorce
    period), if you have doubts (about their p The most striking
    thing about his statement, however, was that it was not an apology; it was
    a logical, proud justification for preserving the death penalty as a punishment
    for apostasy. Al-Qaradawi sounded matter-of-fact, indicating no moral conflict,
    nor even hesitation, about this policy in Islam. On the contrary, he asserted
    the legitimacy of Islamic laws in relying on vigilante street justice through
    fear, intimidation, torture & murder against any person who might dare to
    leave Islam.

    eriods), is three months,
    and for those who have no courses [(i.e. They are still immature) their ‘iddah
    (prescribed period) is three months likewise, except in case of death] .

    And for those who are
    pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their ‘iddah
    (prescribed period) is until they deliver (their burdens) (give birth) and
    whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to him, he will make his matter easy
    for him.”

    Sura (65:4) lays down rules
    for divorce and sets the prescribed period for divorce. It clearly says, Muslim
    men can marry (and divorce) little girls who have not yet reached menstruation
    age. This means that Muslim men were allowed to marry baby girls. This is the
    eternal word of god. This is an eternal law of Allah. All Muslims must believe
    in this teaching. Otherwise, they are no longer Muslims but apostates of Islam.

    HOW TO THIGH

    Now let us see how thighing is practiced on a female child
    & who began this evil practice. According to an official Fatwa issued in Saudi Arabia,
    the prophet Muhammad began to practice thighing his child-bride, Aisha when she
    was 6 years old until she reached 9 years of age (Fatwa No. 31409). The hadith,
    which was quoted earlier, mentioned the prophet Muhammad started performing
    literal sex with Aisha ONLY when she reached the age of 9 (Sahih al-Bukhari,
    book 62, hadith No. 89).

    Muslim scholars collectively agree, a child becomes an
    adult, available for sexual intercourse as soon as she reaches the age of
    nine. Likewise, the Shari’a allows any of the faithful to marry a six-year-old
    child.

    According to the fatwa, the prophet Muhammad could not
    have sex with his fiancée, Aisha when she was six due to her small size &
    age. However, the fatwa said that at age six, he would put his penis between
    her thighs and massage it gently because he did not want to harm her.

    Imagine a man of 51 removing the clothes of a 6-year-old
    girl and slipping his erect penis between her thighs, rubbing her until he
    ejaculated and his semen ran down her thighs. To this day, this is considered a
    benevolent act on the part of the adult male “not wanting to harm her.” What
    harm could be inflicted upon a young girl mentally and emotionally if not a
    grown man showing her his penis and stripping her of her clothes and rubbing
    his male organ between her legs?

    Of course the twisted mind that does such an evil to a female
    child, would not hesitate to ejaculate on her body. And if this sexually
    perverted evil frame of mind committed such an act upon a child, the pedophile
    would not stop at ejaculating on her. His evil desire would go further and rape
    the child before she was a mature adult. This is exactly what Muhammad did to
    Aisha when she was yet a child of 9.

    Before she reached puberty, he began to have sex with her.
    Let us see what the fatwa said about the prophet of Islam and his child-bride,
    Aisha.“Praise be to Allah and peace be upon the one after whom there is no
    [further] prophet. After the permanent committee for the scientific research
    and fatwas (religious decrees) reviewed the question presented to the grand
    Mufti Abu Abdullah Muhammad Al-Shamari, with reference number 1809 issued on
    3/8/1421(Islamic calendar).

    The inquirer asked the following:‘It has become wide
    spread these days, and especially during weddings, the habit of mufakhathat of
    the children (mufakhathat literally translated means “placing between the
    thighs of children” which means placing the male erected penis between the
    thighs of a child). What is the opinion of scholars knowing full well that the
    prophet, the peace and prayers of Allah be upon him, also practiced the
    “thighing” of Aisha – the mother of believers ?’

    After the committee studied the issue, they gave the
    following reply: ‘It has not been the practice of the Muslims throughout the
    centuries to resort to this unlawful practice that has come to our countries
    from pornographic movies that the kofar (infidels) and enemies of Islam send.
    As for the Prophet, peace and prayers of Allah be upon him, thighing his fiancée
    Aisha. She was six years of age and he could not have intercourse with her due
    to her small age.

    That is why the prophet peace and prayers of Allah be upon
    him placed his penis between her thighs and massaged it lightly, as the apostle
    of Allah had control of his penis not like other believers’” (Fatwa No.
    31409).

    Thighing of children is practiced in many Arab and Muslim
    countries, notably in Saudi Arabia,
    Yemen, Iran, and the
    Gulf countries. Also evil practices like  altamatu’a bil almuka’aba (pleasure
    from sexual contact with her breasts), altamatu’a bil alsagirah (pleasure from
    sexual contact with a baby girl), altamatu’a bil alradi’ah, (pleasure from
    sexual contact with a suckling female infant), (Reported by Baharini Women’s
    Rights Activist, Ghada Jamshir)

    AISHA WASHING SEMEN FROM MUHAMMED’S CLOTHES

    From the Hadith of Bukhari:

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 229:

    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    I used to wash the traces of Janaba (semen) from
    the clothes of the Prophet and he used to go for prayers while traces of water
    were still on it (water spots were still visible).

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 231:

    Narrated Sulaiman bin Yasar:

    I asked ‘Aisha about the clothes soiled with
    semen. She replied, “I used to wash it off the clothes of Allah’s Apostle
    and he would go for the prayer while water spots were still visible. ”

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 232:

    Narrated ‘Amr bin Maimun:

    I heard Sulaiman bin Yasar talking about the
    clothes soiled with semen. He said that ‘Aisha had said, “I used to wash
    it off the clothes of Allah’s Apostle and he would go for the prayers while
    water spots were still visible on them.

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 233:

    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    I used to wash the semen off the clothes of the
    Prophet and even then I used to notice one or more spots on them.

    From the Hadith of Bukhari:

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 229:

    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    I used to wash the traces of Janaba (semen) from
    the clothes of the Prophet and he used to go for prayers while traces of water
    were still on it (water spots were still visible).

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 230:

    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    as above (229).

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 231:

    Narrated Sulaiman bin Yasar:

    I asked ‘Aisha about the clothes soiled with
    semen. She replied, “I used to wash it off the clothes of Allah’s Apostle
    and he would go for the prayer while water spots were still visible. ”

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 232:

    Narrated ‘Amr bin Maimun:

    I heard Sulaiman bin Yasar talking about the
    clothes soiled with semen. He said that ‘Aisha had said, “I used to wash
    it off the clothes of Allah’s Apostle and he would go for the prayers while
    water spots were still visible on them.

    Volume 1, Book 4, Number 233:

    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    I used to wash the semen off the clothes of the
    Prophet and even then I used to notice one or more spots on them.

    Mohammed heard one of his wives was leaving him, so he rushed
    home where he found her on the carpet in front of the tent with her belongings;
    he sat down beside her & said, “I heard you were planning to leave me?”

    She replied, “Yes, I
    heard your other wives saying, you were a pedophile!”

    Mohammed thinks for a minute
    or so & then responds,

    “that’s a mighty big word
    for a 6 year old child.”

    YOU TUBE

    Pedophilia in Islam , thighing children , fondling underage girls pedophilia
    – whole film

    by Hoplit300•

    What is “thighing”?

    by neotropic9•

    **Thighing**Mufakhathat

    by bigtone1979Taiwan•

    Thighing of Female Children In Islam

    by Thomas
    Ahmed•

    Child Bride in Islam.

    Sure 65:4 Mufa’ Khathat – thighing ISLAM

    by Merauder2000•

    wwwislamqacom wwwislamqacom wwwaltafsircom schnellmannorg

    Muhammad Aisha Pedophile Child Rape Muslim Marriage Law 1 Muhaddithorg

    by AwesomeIslam•

    The Qur’an and
    Marrying Little Girls

    Islam does allow you
    to marry pre-menstruating girls. The following verse is from At-Talaq (or
    Divorce). Islam’s main concern during a divorce is knowing who the father is
    (in case of a pregnancy). The waiting period is known as iddah.

    65.4 Such of your women as have passed the age of
    monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if you have any doubts, is
    three months, AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO COURSES (it is the same): for those who
    are pregnant, their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those
    who fear Allah, He will make things easy for them.

    Tafsir al-Jalalayn (Commentary)

    And [as for] those of your women who (read allā’ī
    or allā’i in both instances) no longer expect to menstruate, if you have any
    doubts, about their waiting period, their prescribed [waiting] period shall be
    three months, and [also for] those who have NOT YET MENSTRUATED, because of their
    YOUNG AGE, their period shall
    [also] be three months — both cases apply to other than those whose spouses
    have died; for these [latter] their period is prescribed in the verse: they
    shall wait by themselves for four months and ten [days] [Q. 2:234]. And those
    who are pregnant, their term, the conclusion of their prescribed [waiting]
    period if divorced or if their spouses be dead, shall be when they deliver. And
    whoever fears God, He will make matters ease for him, in this world and in the
    Hereafter.

    Tafsir Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahid

    (And for such of your women as despair of
    menstruation…) [65:4]. Said Muqatil: “When the verse (Women who are divorced
    shall wait, keeping themselves apart…), Kallad ibn al-Nu‘man ibn Qays al-Ansari
    said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is the waiting period of the woman who does
    not menstruate and the woman who has not menstruated yet? And what is the
    waiting period of the pregnant woman?’ And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed
    this verse”. Abu Ishaq al-Muqri’ informed us Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn
    Hamdun> Makki ibn ‘Abdan Abu’l-Azhar Asbat ibn Muhammad Mutarrif Abu
    ‘Uthman ‘Amr ibn Salim who said: “When the waiting period for divorced and
    widowed women was mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b said: ‘O
    Messenger of Allah, some women of Medina are saying: there are other women who
    have not been mentioned!’ He asked him: ‘And who are they?’ He said: ‘Those WHO ARE TOO YOUNG [such that they have not started menstruating
    yet], those who are too old [whose menstruation has stopped] and those who are
    pregnant’. And so this verse (And for such of your women as despair of
    menstruation…) was revealed”.

    Islamic Websitehttp://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/12667

    “And those of your women as have passed the age of
    monthly courses, for them the ‘Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubt
    (about their periods), is three months; and for those who have no courses
    [(i.e. they are still
    immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed
    period) is three months likewise…”

    Tafsir ibn Kathir (Read at your own leisure)

    http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=65&tid=54223

    SHARIA LAW:

    A FATHER CANNOT BE EXECUTED
    FOR MURDERING HIS WIVES OR CHILDREN.

    In Saudi Arabia, the human rights
    group “Women to Drive” is protesting the light sentence given a Muslim preacher
    for the torture, rape and murder of his five-year old daughter, on suspicion
    that she was not a virgin. According to various reports, it is said that
    according to sharia law, a father cannot be executed for murdering his
    children, nor a husband for murdering his wives.

    The following ruling is promulgated by orthodox Sunni
    Islam; a parent is “not subject to retaliation” (or, retribution)
    “for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” Jihad Watch
    attributes the worldwide epidemic in honor killings to the spread of Muslims
    worldwide. According to some Islamic
    scholars, honor killings predate all the major contemporary religions of the
    world, and are part of the common primitive, tribal and patriarchal prehistory
    of mankind.

    However, international surveys indicate that many Muslims
    believe their religion sanctions honor killings. The recent ruling from Saudi Arabia
    indicates honor killing continues to be countenanced by Muslim jurists in
    majority Muslim countries. As to the meaning of “blood money,” it
    pertains to paying for the economic loss suffered by the victim or next of kin.

    According to the Talmud, in the case of a loss due to
    simple negligence, it is equal to three components: (A) medical expenses, (B)
    the loss of wages, and (C) the amount a person of similar status would pay to
    avoid the pain and suffering. In the case of a loss due to criminal negligence
    short of premeditated murder, the law of retribution (“eye for an
    eye”) pertains, although the victim could exercise mercy and accept only
    blood money. In the case of premeditated murder, there can be no mercy. That there is a distinction between simple
    negligence (such as an industrial accident) and criminal negligence is made
    clear in Deuteronomy Chapter 19.

    The law of retribution is thus confined to crimes as
    opposed to mere torts; and even in the case of criminal negligence, mercy might
    be exercised. While we are on the subject of “eye for an eye,” I will
    comment briefly of what Jesus had to say. He said “whosoever shall smite
    thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39) Being
    hit on the right check is to be hit with the left or weak hand of the offender.
    It’s a Jewish idiom for being insulted. Jesus said do not return insult for
    insult, but see if an actual harm follows. In my Army days, we put it this way,
    don’t get into a pissing contest. (Somehow, I don’t think Jesus would put it
    that way.) Why even school children know this. They say, “sticks and
    stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

    Getting back to the law retribution, we could say that a
    parent is presumed to love his children and, so, in the absence of strong
    evidence, will only be held liable for blood money when responsible for the
    death of a child. If sharia law merely establishes a refutable presumption, it
    would make sense. Indeed, if you think that both revelation and reason are
    witnesses to the truth, reason would guide your interpretation of the Koran.
    This is how conservative Jews approach the Bible. We say you have to realize
    the texts come from a culture and literary style where allegory, exaggeration,
    sarcasm and humor are often employed, even where there are degrees of
    “no.” But, in Islam, the orthodox have been in charge for a long time
    now, and they almost insist that sharia law is to be followed even if it
    contradicts reason. I will conclude with a consideration of how faithful the
    Islamic scholars are the principle of restitution. As a forensic economist, I
    have numerous times offered my expert opinion to courts of law dealing with
    economic loss calculation. To be sure, I would adjust my calculation according
    to any specific information regarding the earnings potential or life expectancy
    of a particular person. In the absence of such information, I can only go by
    averages. Considering the per capita GDP of Saudi Arabia ($25,000), her work
    life expectancy (from 21 to 62), and the time value of money (at 6%), the
    economic loss suffered by the girl’s death is approximately $400,000. Not the
    puny amount $50,000 that has been reported! Those who claim they are doing
    justice are liars. And that they claim to do justice in the Name of God, they
    are damn liars! The man who killed this girl should, according to sharia law,
    be sold into slavery if he cannot pay $400,000, even if it accepted that he
    killed the girl out of a simple negligence. But, it is obvious that more than
    simple negligence was involved.

    Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family has
    intervened in the case of a leading cleric who raped and tortured his
    five-year-old daughter to death, causing outrage at home and abroad.

    Lama al-Ghamdi was admitted to hospital
    in the town of Hotat Bani Tamim
    in November with a crushed skull, broken back and shattered ribs. Social
    workers said that she had been repeatedly raped and her body burnt.

    REMEMBER
    Lama al-Ghamdi

    Lama
    al-Ghamdi a five year old child, was raped & tortured to death by her celebrity
    cleric father Fayhan al-Ghamdi.

    Lama
    al-Ghamdi’s back was broken and she had been raped and burned. She died in
    October from her injuries after seven months in hospital. Her father Fayhan al-Ghamdi,
    a prominent Islamist preacher, admitted beating her. Her mother Syeda Mohammed
    Ali, has said she will bring a case against her ex-husband.

    5Feb 2013

  44. Pingback: My Experience Reading the Holy Qur'an - Rational Faiths | Mormon Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *