Responding to Christianity's Critics

Love, and Why I am not a Muslim

Discussing the subject of God with Muslims is absolutely amazing. They possess such a devotion to God, they believe so firmly in his goodness, so strongly in his beauty—it truly is a wonderful thing. In our love for God we are like brother and sister; the Christian and the Muslim. The manner in which the Muslim loves God more than life itself so completely resonates with me. It’s as if they speak the very words I feel in my heart. Often this common ground we share is overlooked, but with all honesty, this is something that both Christians and Muslims should make a point of appreciating more fully.

As the supreme object of our devotion, God is entitled to the best—and only the best—that we have to offer. Such that our individual life should quite literally be a living sacrifice for his glory; an offering for his pleasing. Excellence is what is fit for God. Excellence in prayer, excellence in worship, excellence in love. “Love”, this is exactly the point I wish to stress. Namely, what type of love is fit for God? In some way the question is rather simple seeing as the answer undoubtedly is, “the highest form of love”. Yet what is the highest form of love? This question is a rather important one for surely God would not settle for anything else. Before I continue, it would be best to quote from the respective holy books of Muslims and Christians. The careful reader will discern the answer therein.

“They shall have coverings of Fire, above them and covering (of Fire) beneath them; with this Allah does frighten His slaves: “O My slaves, therefore fear Me!” Those who avoid At-Taghut(false deities) by not worshipping them and turn to Allah in repentance, for them are glad tidings; so announce the good news to My slaves…”  — Surah 39:16-17 Hilali-Khan

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. — John 1:12-13 NIV

If at this time, the language has not caught your eye, than you haven’t read the above carefully enough. That said, perhaps another example is in order:

“Verily! My slaves (i.e the true believers of Islamic Monotheism), you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.” — Surah 17:65 Muhsin Khan

“Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD. — Jeremiah 31:20 NIV

At this time, I’d like to ask the reader once more, “what is the highest form of love?” The answer lies in how our respective holy books ask us to approach God. The Qur’an advocates a strict master-servant relationship while the Holy Bible paints the picture of a parent-child relationship. Of the two, which truly is the highest form of love? Ideally, does the love of the servant for his master exceed the love of a child for their parent? The unbiased individual will undoubtedly agree with the statement that the love of a child for their parent is exceedingly higher than the love of a slave for his master and as such exceeds the slave-master love in excellence.

Now if we believe that God deserves only excellence in worship, prayer, and love, how is it that God would ask for anything less than the best? How can Islam claim that the only thing fit for God is excellence and yet command it’s adherents to give to God something that is so unworthy of his being? Sure the Christian and Muslim can wax poetic on the beauty of God, his loving-mercy etc., but when all is said and done, the Muslim does not love God as the Christian does. The Muslim is satisfied with giving God something far less than the best—and indeed the Qur’an itself doesn’t count Allah himself worthy of the highest form of love that man can give to God.

At this point, the Muslim may try to object (and I sincerely welcome them to) yet if they believe that the Qur’an is the very word of God, then wouldn’t the description of the Muslim’s relationship with God be binding and the very thing that they should aspire to? If the Qur’an consistently calls Muslims the slaves of Allah then does it not follow that they are to behave like slaves to him in all ways? If so, does that not mean that they are to love him just as the slave loves his master? And as we’ve seen the love of a slave for their master cannot compare to the love of a child for their parent and is almost counterfeit when compared against this true and wholly genuine form of love.

As a Christian, I firmly believe that what I give to God has to be the best and that my Father is not satisfied with something as counterfeit and hollow as the love of a servant for his master. In this respect, Islam dishonours God by claiming that he is satisfied with anything less than the most I can give. Yet one must ask themselves, is this outcome really unexpected given the fact that the Qur’an, the supposed continuation of the Old Testament and the New Testament, lacks the greatest commandment? Is it not strange that the greatest commandment—a commandment that is repeated over and over again throughout the Old and New Testament—is nowhere to be found within the Qur’an?

He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'” — Luke 10:27 NIV

It is interesting to note that Jesus, in the above, makes a distinction between loving God with one’s strength and the other manners through which one must love God. A slave can only love their master with their strength (out of duty) while the child loves their parent with all their heart, their soul, their strength, and their mind. The child can’t help but to love their parent and as such their love is true. The slave, on the other hand, possesses a love that is inherently foreign to themselves and as such their love pales in comparison to a love that stems from a family relationship.

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4 responses

  1. Love – And why I am not Christian,

    I went to a catholic school for the duration of 4-5 years. I read the bible, sometimes ‘faithfully’ other times ‘curiously’ but never once did it occur to me that my colleagues were evil or vile. I respected their beliefs, many times in ignorance I even followed their ‘faith’. I went to Church during Easter and Christmas, bowed before the cross of Christ, and often times felt ‘endowed’ with a ‘empty-like’ spiritual feeling — little did I know about Jesus in Islam.

    Singing and listening to music while in a place of worship has never been my thing, but at the time it seemed nice. I am glad that I experienced this ‘Christian’ life. It was towards the end of my years in secondary school that I picked up a interest in Islam, out of embarrassment mostly. Throughout my years in my catholic school we were taught about the Bible, Jesus and Christian history. We often watched films, and some students would ‘tear up’ at the torture and humiliation the Jesus of Christianity went through. These images deeply effected me, how sad it was for someone to go through all that, and why? Of course I knew why in Christianity, but I could never accept a God that allowed his own son to be nailed to a tree/cross.

    Religious Education was often boring, and to make it interesting our teachers tried their best to have interactive lessons with us. Once, our teacher asked “who is Muslim?” and I looked around, and there it was — me and another student with our hands up. I knew I was “Muslim” because Mother often told me that “Allah loves those who cherish his resources” or something to that effect. She asked “where was Mohammed born?” Uh oh. Me and the other student looked at each other out of embarrassment, not knowing what to say – Saudi Arabia? In the end one of us said Mecca and the other Medina.

    This had little effect on me at the time. I wasn’t bothered by the fact that I didn’t know where Mohammad was born, or who he was for that matter. It didn’t matter. Why did religion even matter? I was facing so many things as a teenager, being told by my closest friend that if I was Muslim or Iraqi she would not be my friend because some her family was American. That was enough to make me feel different from everyone else – 9/11 did not make it easier for me in a catholic school. I didn’t have an Identity, not as British, Iraqi, Kurdish, or even Muslim. One thing I knew for sure, that being born is not something to be ashamed of!

    In my physics class, a ‘evangelised’ Christian ‘colleague’ asked me in the most harshest and rudest possible way, when we were talking about religion — “Who is Mohammad? He was a milkman, that’s who!” he said. My response was not out of faith because I didn’t know who Mohammad was. It was out of dignity. Let’s just say, the reason why Emanuel was thrown a chair at was because of that comment. I didn’t get suspended, and my parents never found out because I was a ‘prefect’.

    I could not be happier that this was my experience. I had every opportunity to be a Christian, a non-Hijabi, and above all a Muslim. I found Islam on my own – with the will of the Lord Allah. Today, when I came across this post ‘Love, and why I am not a Muslim’ I felt obligated to share my experience of how I begun reading about Islam. It was this comment that bothered me; “The Qur’an advocates a strict master-servant relationship while the Holy Bible paints the picture of a parent-child relationship.”

    The Qur`an on it’s own, without any commentaries is about 300 pages. In it we find so many verses, and incidents, but it would be naïve to select 2 and use it as a demarcation between the God of the Qur`an and that of the Bible as this Christian makes it out. The sad part is that the article started out decently, but ended miserably. God is the master of everyone, and humans are his servants. There is nothing more humble than proclaiming yourselves as the servant of God — this is how humility will reach our heart, and you know what, look at how the Lord Allah responds to our proclamation;

    Abu Harayrah narrated that Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah the Almighty said:
    “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.”

    July 26, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    • If I could just quickly comment on the point of the master-servant relationship: I believe that what I have written is not incorrect. If the Qur’an is the verbatim word of God and if God only uses the term of slave to describe our relationship towards him than is it not correct to say that the Qur’an advocates a strict master-slave relationship? On that note, you use a hadith to prove that the Qur’an advocates something more than a master-slave relationship (although on that note the hadith did not prove this claim to be true) when I specifically spoke of the Qur’an. I may come off as rather insensitive (I think) but it honestly isn’t my intention. I mean every single word that I say but I say no word in order to purposely offend. Once more I realize that my words may offend and I do stand by them, but it is not my goal to offend.

      The remainder of your comment is quite sad in that I am sorry that you had such a bad experience with “Christianity” and/or “Christians” but as far as it goes for a refutation of my post, it leaves much to be desired. I could very well write a similar post entitled “Terrorism, and Why I am Not a Muslim” to a better effect than that of your comment.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:08 PM

  2. Pingback: For Ruwayda, Whenever I Find Her « God Omnipotent

  3. Pingback: Forgiveness, and Why I am not a Muslim « God Omnipotent

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