One of the basic arguments
raised by non-Muslims, especially Christians, against Islam concerns the
concept of salvation. They say that
in Christianity, one is saved by faith, whereas in Islam one must earn
their salvation through good deeds.
Part 1: Faith and Works
Unfortunately, many Muslims
fall into the trap of defending the position
imposed on them by these non-Muslims. This then provides the Christians
with a basis for their entire Jesus-Father-Crucifixion-Salvation framework.
They then go on to argue that salvation is a gift from God that cannot
be earned. But if the true Islamic concept is
made clear, the Christian has no basis to attack Islam.
Many times, Muslims fail to
realize that the Islamic concept of salvation
is not based upon good deeds, but is based primarily
In the dozens of times Allah
(SWT) talks in the Quran about salvation, he always states, "Those who
believe and do good deeds."
Belief is always mentioned before
deeds or works.
When one converts
to Islam, one does not do it by doing some good work but rather through
realizing and believing that there is but one God and Muhammed (SAW) is
his last messenger.
Non-Muslims may perform good
works as well, but what sets them apart from Muslims is their lack
of iman, or belief. The reason that the good works of the non-believers
are worthless in the hereafter is because of their disbelief. Unless a
person's iman or aqeedah is not correct, all his good deeds are worthless.
One of the more popular hadiths
of the Prophet (SAW) states, "All actions are based upon intentions,"
implying that the purpose, intent, or iman behind your action is what you
get rewarded for; the actual action is really a consequence of the belief.
Another hadith states,
"A man came to the Prophet (SAW)
'When will the day of judgment
The Prophet (SAW) replied,
'What have you prepared for the judgment day that you are so concerned
He replied, 'I do not have any
good deeds in my account, but I do have one thing: I love Allah and His
The Prophet (SAW) then said,
'In that case, do not worry; you will be with those whom you love.'" (Agreed
This hadith also confirms the
Islamic position of placing aqeedah and belief before actions. For example,
Allah (SWT) says in various parts of the Quran, "The believers you will
He does not say the people who
are praying are believers. It is the belief that
brings about the action, but the converse is not always true.
Another hadith of the Prophet (SAW) states, "Unless one loves Allah
and Allah's Messenger more than one's own self his iman is not complete."
2: The Bible
Another misunderstanding Muslims
often fall into concerns the Bible. Christian missionaries in almost every
discussion of the Quran assert that the Quran asks Muslims to believe in
the Bible as a revelation of God.
Many Muslims tend to fall into
this trap by saying that "we
believe in the Bible as revealed book."
Once the Muslim accepts this
fact, the evangelist can point out that the Bible contradicts the Quran
and that since the Bible has precedence over the Quran and since Muslims
are required to believe in it, it therefore logically follows that the
Bible is right and the Quran is wrong.
But the Quran says no such thing.
There is no reference to the Bible in the Quran whatsoever.
The Quran mentions the Taurat
and the Injil.
The Taurat is the book given
to prophet Moses. This is not the equivalent of the Torah/Pentateuch of
the Jews and Christians, since much of it was not written by prophet Moses.
And the Taurat is definitely not the Old Testament since the OT includes
dozens of books attributed to other prophets before Jesus.
is translated as the Gospel revealed to prophet Jesus. This is not the
New Testament. The New Testament is a collection of 4 biographies of Christ,
27 epistles of St. Paul, and other books on the lives and adventures on
the followers of Christ.
There is no record of a book
revealed to Jesus. Perhaps the closest to it are the words
of Jesus himself, which constitues less than 10% of the NT.
Therefore to say that Christians changed the Bible is an inaccurate statement,
and can cause trouble in a discussion, because the Christian can then ask
questions such as: Who changed the Bible? When exactly was it changed?
How do you know it was changed if you don't have a copy of the original?
The Bible, or at least the New
Testament, cannot be an altered copy of the Injil because it is a completely
different book. In fact, the original Bible or New Testament
(the very first one) did not correspond to the Injil, Taurat, or Zabur
in the first place. It doesn't matter how unreliably it was transmitted;
the Bible does not correspond to the Quranic Injil.
It is not that the Christians
have changed the original, but rather they have the wrong book, altogether.
The words of Christ are possibly the closest thing to the Injil. The recently
discovered Gospel of Thomas, which
is nothing but a list of sayings of Jesus, is even closer to the Islamic
concept of Injil.
Therefore, it should be kept
in mind in discussion with Christians that the Bible has not been changed,
but rather the original documents chosen as the word of God were incorrect.