Remember September 11th – About the Muslims – Part 1
By Dianne E. Butts –
Next month will mark the tenth anniversary of the attack on America on September 11, 2001. In the days following September 11th, many of us were looking for answers. And we had a lot of questions.
We knew little about Muslims, what they believe, or the religion of Islam. I set out to find answers to some of my questions. And in the days following the attacks, as a writer what could I do but write? I ended up with my small book, titled Dear America: A Letter of Comfort and Hope to a Grieving Nation (still available on Amazon.com).
One chapter is a Q&A section. This month and next I’ll share some of those questions and answers.
Q: Everyone claims their religion is the true religion. How can we know what is true?
A: The Bible actually proves itself. How? First God tells us what he is going to do, then he does it.
For example, in Ezekiel, God promised to restore Israel as a nation saying, “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD” (Ezekiel 27:14, emphasis mine).
God tell us what he will do before he does it for two reasons: 1) so that we will know he is the one who did it, and 2) so when we see things going on around us, we won’t be afraid because we know God is at work bringing about his promises.
Another example is in Genesis 3:15 where God promised to send a man (the offspring of the woman) who would crush Satan. This promise was fulfilled when Jesus was born, died on the cross, and was resurrected from the dead destroying Satan’s death grip on us and paying the penalty of death for sin.
A third example is the birth of Jesus Christ being foretold in Isaiah 9 and his death being described in great detail in Isaiah 53. But here’s the kicker—the prophet Isaiah lived and wrote more than 700 years before the birth of Christ!
Only the True God can foretell these things and then see them through to completion.
Q: Who are the Muslims?
A: Muslims are the descendants of Ishmael and those who follow the religion of Islam.
God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham promising him several things: a son and countless descendants, that he would be the father of many nations, he would be given a land (the “Promised Land,” Israel), and God would bless all the people of the earth through him.
When Abraham and his wife, Sarah, remained childless, Sarah, according to ancient customs, gave Abraham her maidservant to bear him an heir. Hagar bore him Ishmael.
However, Ishmael was not the son of the promise. Later, Sarah bore Abraham a son, Isaac, and God made it clear that Isaac, the son with Abraham’s wife, was the son of the promise (see Genesis 17:18-21). Abraham’s descendants through Isaac are the Jews, God’s chosen people.
The Muslims, however, believe they are God’s chosen people descended through Ishmael, and cite their own book, the Koran. Can you now see why there is such a great conflict between these two peoples?
Q: Where did the religion of Islam come from?
A: Around 570 AD, Mohammed was born near the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. When he was 40, Mohammed claims he had a vision of the archangel Gabriel in a cave near Mecca. Mohammed wrote down the instructions he received and these writing form the basis of the Koran (also spelled Quran).
The word “Islam” means “submission,” indicating submission to Allah, the Muslim’s word for God.
Whatever Mohammed saw and received, though, was not from the True God if it does not lead followers to the True God—and Jesus Christ is God come “in the flesh.”