Muhammad is considered the perfect example for Muslims to follow. The Qur’an states over 90 times that Muhammad’s life – his words and actions are to be the pattern for humanity.
In Islam, the term “People of the Book” refers to Christians and Jews. They consider portions of the Bible as divine guidance, but they believe it has been corrupted. They emphasize that Muslims, Christians and Jews are brothers in the Abrahamic faith, however in order to be brothers, Christians and Jews must believe in an Islamic view of their own scriptures.
Because Islam has a dualistic nature there are verses that speak positively about Christians and Jews, but there are also verses written later that call for Muslims to make war on Christians and Jews. In Islam the verses that Muhammad received later in his revelations abrogate or rescind the previous verses.
When Muhammad began to supposedly receive his “revelations” in Mecca, the revelations came through the angel, Gabriel – an angel from Jewish scriptures. Therefore Muhammad considered himself in the lineage of Jewish prophets.
When Muhammad moved to Medina, the city was half Jewish. Muhammad saw himself as a reformer of Judaism, however Muhammad had most likely picked up bits and pieces of Jewish scriptures on the trade routes in ancient Arabia so the Jews were able to easily point out some of the contradictions in Muhammad’s revelations and their scriptures. The rabbis in Medina, quite correctly, did not accept him as a Jewish prophet. Because the Jews refused to accept Muhammad, he developed a hatred for the Jews and eliminated most of them either by death, enslavement or expulsion.
The Qur’an retells many of the stories of Moses, Noah, Adam and other characters in Jewish scriptures, but they are twisted to show that all people who deny any of the prophets of Islam are ultimately destroyed. Therefore anyone that denied Muhammad, as a prophet of Allah should be destroyed.
The early Qur’an accepts Christians and Jews, “Those who believe and those who are Christians and Jews and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and Judgment Day shall have their reward with the Lord” (Quran 2:62). But the later Qur’an states, “Make war on those who have received the Scriptures [Jews and Christians] but do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden. The Christians and Jews do not follow the religion of truth until they submit and pay the poll tax [jizya] and they are humiliated” (Qur’an 9:29).
Certainly not all Muslims wish to see the Jews and Christians destroyed, but the “People of the Book” can trace the root of the hatred against them to the rejection of Muhammad’s teachings, which were contrary to Jewish and Christian scriptures.
Pray that Muslims and non-Muslims will both begin to question a religion whose scriptures encourage hatred and the destruction of people of other religions.
Because Muslims believe Allah gave the Bible and man corrupted it, they believe most of it is abrogated (annulled) and that the Qur’an and the Hadith are the only books that are now “pure”. Fortunately in 2014 most Muslims can download a Bible from the Internet in their native language. Ask the Lord to draw them to Himself and give them an insatiable hunger to read the words of Jesus in their own language.
Muslims who have read the Bible are so touched with the sincerity and love of Jesus in our scriptures. Many, however, are afraid to read it believing Allah has cursed it. Pray that Muslims will have discernment and the courage to read the Bible and discover the truths that are contained in it.