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The Quran => General Discussions => : Reader Questions January 17, 2014, 06:19:16 PM

: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Reader Questions January 17, 2014, 06:19:16 PM
Question for Joseph, Daniel, Abbsrayray, Marealta and All,

Salaam

I need to ask something important. I was born Christian.  Converted to islam five years ago after believing in quran but told I had to convert so I don't go to hell. Allah tells us in the quran that the people of the book must follow their book in order to be successful.  Does that mean I must follow the old and new testament as legislation


Say: "O people of the Scripture, you are not upon anything until you uphold the TAWRAH and the INJIL AND WHAT HAS BEEN REVEALED TO YOU FROM YOUR LORD." And for many of them, what was sent down to you from your Lord will only increase them in transgression and rejection. So do not feel sorry for the rejecting people." Sura 5/68


From a sister
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: AbbsRay January 18, 2014, 02:54:32 AM
Salaam Sister,

From my view, you being a convert it would be the Quran. There is stuff for instance in the Christian Bible that Muslims would not follow. Like eating pork. From what I know it is not prohibited in the NT, but not in the OT. Jewish people do not eat pork, but Christians say it is not forbidden to them, yet they also follow OT.  Same with Alcohol, it is forbidden in the Quran but not in the Bible.
The pilgrimage is another example and praying 5x a day, that part of Islam is the 5 pillars and it is not in the Bible.
My understanding of verse 5:68, it is for those who call themselves Christians follow the Bible, Because Christians main doctrine is the Trinity, although Trinity was never in the NT, that is the whole belief in the NT. The NT views Messiah differently than Muslims do as well.
Also, the scripture for Muslims is the Quran only, as Allah in the Quran commands all Muslims to follow the Quran Alone, this command is found in numerous verses. Example is Muslims believe in One, Unique, and Incomparable God. They believe in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions. Where the Bible has different teachings.

I hope this helps, Brother Joseph is the Wizard on this, maybe he can correct me if I misspoke...  :)

Salaam Sister,



I know that
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Zack January 18, 2014, 05:39:28 AM
Hello sister!!

The Qur'an and the Torah, Zabur and Injil are unified in its message.....or else one of the pillars of Islam is contradicting itself. Anyone who says you are going to hell because of your religious identity, whether Islam or Christian, contradicts both the Qur'an and the Former Books, where 1 Cor 7:17 commands 5 X for those of the circumcision (ie. Islam)  not to leave the circumcision, and those not of the circumcision are to be considered as a part of "The Ummah". The Bible says that is not important, living the life of submission (islam with small "i" )to God is what is important (1 Cor 7).

We need to separate Islam in name, and islam in essence. Christianity is grounded in the belief that "there is no god but God". If your religious identity is now Muslim, stay there.... and embrace the pillars of faith...... With that I have the Bible and Qur'an I read regularly. The Qur'an brings correction to those in Arabia who were practicing things contrary to the Bible, restoring the Shema which is the foundational belief of Abraham and Moses and Jesus.

Wasalam
Daniel
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: marealta January 18, 2014, 10:49:25 AM
Hello sister!

This is my personal view... I am also a sister, born into Catholic family.
 
What I believe so far, to accept Quran, is also to accept the unchanging message of God as revealed in the Torah, Psalms (Zabur) and Gospels (Injil). The message is submission to the Most High.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
Matthew 22:36-40

When the Quran address the People of the Book, it was addressing the immediate surrounding of Prophet Muhammad. But for modern day Christians, I think it is not fully correct to address them all as true 'People of the Book'. But it is also incorrect to call them disbelievers altogether, for most of them don't have the real knowledge about Quran and the message of islam (submission), and however, in essence, they do submit to God.

If one has come to the knowledge about the message of God, in my humble opinion, the real conversion took within the heart. The problems are mostly in external practices like rituals, prayers, going to church, etc. And we might not have 'People of the Book' community around us. And even if there is, we probably would make a new "millat" (way), and ended up being called heretic, haha..
So I believe, your conversion is a good thing.

As for me, I have renounced the practice of eating pork and drinking alcohol. I don't really go to church anymore, and when I do, in my heart, I didn't celebrate trinity or anything, I take it as a ritual to worship God.
I am still reading the Quran and the Bible.

I would like to know what brother Daniel thinks about that external practices issue.

Peace and love.
Alta Marea
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Mubashir February 10, 2014, 01:46:48 AM
Dear Daniel, you wrote:

".....Former Books, where 1 Cor 7:17 commands 5 X for those of the circumcision (ie. Islam)  not to leave the circumcision, and those not of the circumcision are to be considered as a part of "The Ummah". The Bible says that is not important, living the life of submission (islam with small "i" )to God is what is important (1 Cor 7)..."

I think that "for those of the circumcision" in the above verse refers to the Jews and not Muslims, who where no were in existence at that time.

Not relating to the subject, but when we read the NT we don't find Jesus eating pork or consuming alcohol.  I have always wanted to know how then, can Christians justify choose not to follow some of the OT laws which Jesus (as I understood) did not revoke?

Thanks.
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Zack February 10, 2014, 02:50:42 AM
Dear Daniel, you wrote:

".....Former Books, where 1 Cor 7:17 commands 5 X for those of the circumcision (ie. Islam)  not to leave the circumcision, and those not of the circumcision are to be considered as a part of "The Ummah". The Bible says that is not important, living the life of submission (islam with small "i" )to God is what is important (1 Cor 7)..."

I think that "for those of the circumcision" in the above verse refers to the Jews and not Muslims, who where no were in existence at that time.

Not relating to the subject, but when we read the NT we don't find Jesus eating pork or consuming alcohol.  I have always wanted to know how then, can Christians justify choose not to follow some of the OT laws which Jesus (as I understood) did not revoke?

Thanks.

Hello Mubashir,

Thank you for your response. Re your question re the changing of religious identities and 1 Cor 7:17, the purpose of the paragraph is to "Remain in the place when you were called", then it goes on to give examples. (Jew, Gentile etc. etc.) It presents a principle and gives some examples and then Paul explains "ultimately these labels profit you nothing, keeping Gods commands is what counts." ( v19). So even though it does not mention specifically Muslims, it is the principle that is being taught.

Re your second question of why Christians eat pork, in recognisizing that Jesus (and all his Hebrew followers (the Hawariyuun) followed a strict non-pork diet, you are correct. Jesus basically followed a "Halal" diet and Muslim practices today reflect much of what Jesus practiced.

Why do Christians eat pork yet Jesus didn't revoke this law....... The brother of Jesus, James, who was the "head of the hawariyuun", together with all the Hawariyuun, based upon their understanding of the Torah, made a decision at a Jerusalem Council in AD45 (Acts 15) for all those who turn to God in the Roman Empire would be accepted as a part of the "Ummah" yet  not be required to live under Hebrew law, including Circumcision and dietary laws. Instead they would live under one law of Christ, "love God with your whole heart, and love your neighbor." It was the understanding that this fulfilled the law. The application of this was if a Christian eats non halal food in front of someone who follows dietary law, he would break the law of loving your neighbor.

This became the foundation of the beginning proclamation of the message of Paul.

Wasalam
Daniel
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Mubashir February 10, 2014, 04:39:51 AM
Dear Br Daniel

You mention Paul introducing certain changes in Christianity to make it acceptable to new converts and to increase it's appeal.

Can we then not assume that he violated the commands of Jesus and rationalized his way into theology? Many people suggest that Christianity that exists today should be called Pauline Christianity and only based on selective application of what Jesus preached, taught and practiced.

We find a similar approach with Ahmedi Muslims who, through reinterpretation of Quranic verses and hadith reports justify the "reformation" of Islam through a Nabi after Muhammad named Mirza Ghulam Qadiani.

: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Zack February 10, 2014, 05:03:38 AM
Dear Br Daniel

You mention Paul introducing certain changes in Christianity to make it acceptable to new converts and to increase it's appeal.

Can we then not assume that he violated the commands of Jesus and rationalized his way into theology? Many people suggest that Christianity that exists today should be called Pauline Christianity and only based on selective application of what Jesus preached, taught and practiced.

We find a similar approach with Ahmedi Muslims who, through reinterpretation of Quranic verses and hadith reports justify the "reformation" of Islam through a Nabi after Muhammad named Mirza Ghulam Qadiani.

The problem is that it was not Paul who decided this. Paul had no say in the decision of God-fearers amongst the Roman empire not living under the Torah.  He was simply the one who communicated the decision of the entire "Ummah".... that is the decision of Jesus brother, hawariyuun, and jemaah in jerusalem as is clearly stated as follows:

"Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.  It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements..... " Acts 15

The Jews were jealous that they were no longer exclusively the "Ummah", and tried to kill Paul. The message of not living under the law did not originate with Paul. That is very clear....
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Mubashir February 10, 2014, 06:34:53 AM
Daniel, so you suggest Paul was only delivering what the Ummah at that point decided through consultation.  Those who decided to do away with The Law then believed that they did all that under the influence of  Holy Spirit.

Was Paul's role always that of a spokes person for the joint declarations of the Ummah or did he introduce certain new interpretation of teachings of Jesus on his own initiative? A quick look at Wikipedia shows:

"Pauline Christianity is the Christianity associated with the beliefs and doctrines espoused by Paul the Apostle through his writings. Orthodox Christianity relies heavily on these teachings and considers them to be amplifications and explanations of the teachings of Jesus. Others, as detailed below, perceive in Paul's writings, teachings that are different from the original teachings of Jesus documented in the canonical gospels, early Acts and the rest of the New Testament, such as the Epistle of James. Proponents of the perceived, distinctive Pauline form of Christianity, include Marcion of Sinope, the 2nd century theologian and excommunicated heresiarch, who asserted that Paul was the only apostle who had rightly understood the new message of salvation as delivered by Jesus Christ.."

My point of the discussion is that after the departure of Jesus, many changes took place in the community including the introduction of the concept of trinity, and abandoning of Law which to this day, majority of Christians do not follow. They have their reasons in theology and now I understand why.
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Zack February 10, 2014, 07:19:01 AM
Daniel, so you suggest Paul was only delivering what the Ummah at that point decided through consultation.  Those who decided to do away with The Law then believed that they did all that under the influence of  Holy Spirit.

Was Paul's role always that of a spokes person for the joint declarations of the Ummah or did he introduce certain new interpretation of teachings of Jesus on his own initiative?

My point of the discussion is that after the departure of Jesus, many changes took place in the community including the introduction of the concept of trinity, and abandoning of Law which to this day, majority of Christians do not follow. They have their reasons in theology and now I understand why.

Thanks for your response...

"so you suggest Paul was only delivering what the Ummah at that point decided through consultation.  Those who decided to do away with The Law then believed that they did all that under the influence of  Holy Spirit."

- That is what the Injil says, I am just quoting it. The facts are, if Christians are wrong in not living under the Torah,  the "Hawariyuun", referred to in the Qur'an as muslims and obedient, made a mistake in their decision to not enforce the law.
- Re the trinity, you can refer to Br. Josephs article on that. The term "trinity" was never heard of until 100 years after Paul.

If Paul preached an inherently false message, the Bible is false. If the Bible is false, then the Qur'an falls over. All the Holy Books are interrelated, all with a function.
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Mubashir February 10, 2014, 06:08:42 PM
I would, with respect , go by what Jesus preached and not what Paul came up with!

No offence !!
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: marealta February 11, 2014, 02:05:02 AM
Paul and early Jesus followers did not preach Trinity... They are Jews, and it is to them that God can not be a man. Trinity emerged centuries after them.

On Jerusalem Council, Acts 15:19-22.

And as for the four laws for the gentiles: "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood."

This verse is interestingly followed by:

“For [the law of] Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

This said that Torah is to be preached to every city, and read in the synagogues every Sabbath, just like in the early time of Torah, to be learned, together

I can't help but to conclude that they were not trying to erase the law. They were against the proselytizing ritual of the Pharisee; circumcision. Jews today do have this set of processes if one wants to be a part of the Jewish community.

Maybe just like how modern Christian use baptism as ritual of becoming a member, or syahadah in front of two witnesses in Islam tradition. They were against circumcision as a mark of proselytizing. Early church fathers said, the Law of Moses will be read every Sabbath, not forced in a day. For even Israel did not uphold Torah in one day straight. This is that yoke that should be shared together, and after Christ, you are under law not as a law, but law as a grace.

There are Messianic Jews, who hold that interpretation to Jerusalem Council found in Acts 15.

Nowadays, we see that everyone can put any belief or ideology into scriptures, it's always best to keep learning, especially to understand the message of the scriptures and their historical context..

Salam,
Alta
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: marealta February 11, 2014, 02:23:02 AM
And after I read the article by brother Joseph on how the term 'muslim' is 'hijacked', ( http://quransmessage.com/articles/term%20muslim%20hijacked%20FM3.htm ) the more I connect the dots that everyone who believe in God and the revealed words, in the history of previous scriptures are considered 'muslims' (in Quran perspective).

This actually goes well with the message of early church fathers, as understood in my previous post: the gentiles can be 'muslim', they don't have to be a Jew-born to follow Jesus, which is to follow the commandments from God, the Law of Moses/Torah.
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Zack February 11, 2014, 02:45:02 AM
I would, with respect , go by what Jesus preached and not what Paul came up with!

No offence !!

OK. Good words....That is a good goal to have.....
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: JoeShaer February 13, 2014, 07:30:08 PM
Salam dear all,

Based on my understanding from the Quran, any person who hears and encounters the message of Quran must then follow the Quran - whether they are people of the previous scriptures or not.

It is no doubt that the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) invited the people of the book into Islam. Those who refused to accept Islam were considered 'rejectors':

3:19-20 The religion at God is Islam (submission), and those who received the Scripture did not dispute this except after the knowledge came to them out of jealousy between them. And whoever rejects God's signs, then God is swift in judgment. And if they debate with you, then say: "I have submitted myself to God, as well as those who follow me." And say to those who have received the Scripture and the Gentiles: "Have you submitted?" If they have submitted then they are guided, and if they turn away, then you are only to deliver, and God is watcher over the servants.[/b]



Also, in 5:46-48 God teaches that the people of Torah and Injeel shall follow their book... However, in 5:49 God says the Quran is the scripture that 'confirms' (MUSADIQAN) and 'guards' (MUHAYMINAN) the previous books.

5:48 And We have sent down to you the Scripture with truth, authenticating (MUSADIQAN) what is present of the Scripture and superseding (MUHAYMINAN) it. So judge between them by what God has sent down, and do not follow their desires from what has come to you of the truth. For each of you We have made laws, and a structure; and had God willed, He would have made you all one nation, but He tests you with what He has given you; so strive to do good. To God you will return all of you, and He will inform you regarding that in which you dispute.


The Quran also teaches us that whoever receives the message of the Quran they will believe in the Quran. Particularly the followers of the previous scriptures will receive twice the reward if they heed the message of Quran:

28:51 And We have delivered the 'sayings' (QAWL), perhaps they may take heed
28:52 Those whom We gave the Scripture to before this, they will believe in it.
28:53 And if it is recited to them, they say: "We believe in it. It is the truth from our Lord. Indeed, we had submitted before it."




Peace,
Joe S
: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Saba February 14, 2014, 03:33:40 PM
Salaam JoeShaer

Thanks for your post ...Just a quick q then based on your view. How do you reconcile verses like 5.43 where Allah is asking them why they come to the prophet for judgment when they have their own books? and also that if they don't follow their books they are 'kaffirs' !!! - 5:44.

Where does the Qur'an say they must abandon their laws and Torah for the Qur'an? Saba  :) ;D

: Re: Do I need to 'Convert' or Can I Follow the Previous Scriptures?
: Sardar Miyan February 25, 2014, 11:13:53 PM
Salam Sister Saba, What Joe Sha is telling that the followers of Jewish & Christian faith can convert to Islam abandoning their faith. What is wrong on this?  Thanks