The following explanation of basic Islam will help you to understand the foundations of the ongoing struggle in the Middle East and why our prayers are so vital.
- As Islam lies at the foundation of the present deadly conflict in the Middle East, it is very important to understand this religion in order to pray accurately. National borders are NOT the basic issue. When Jordan and Egypt controlled the West Bank and Gaza, nobody ever mentioned the idea of asking these countries to establish a sovereign Palestinian state there. What we are seeing is a religious and spiritual conflict between the God of the Bible and Islam.
- It is commonly taught that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the three monotheistic world religions, and many times it is implied that all the adherents of these three religions pray to the same God. President Clinton did much to promote this idea, elevating and popularizing Islam in America.
This is a very, very serious mistake that must be clearly exposed. . First of all it must be emphasized that Jews and Christians do pray to the same God. We share the same Scriptures. The New Testament is built upon the Old Testament and there are no contradictions between them. When the Church loses her relationship to the Old Testament and the Jewish people, she becomes an easy target for deception. Paul clearly warned about this in Rom 11:18, "Do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you." . The term "Old Testament" is misleading because it can give the false impression that these Scriptures are old and no longer valid. Yeshua himself used the Jewish expression "The Law, The Prophets and The Writings or Psalms" for these books (see Luke 24:44). Paul's statement about these Scriptures is very important, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:16). God never changes. "I the LORD do not change" (Mal 3:6). There is NO contradiction between the Old and the New Testaments. Both are absolute truth. There is ONE Bible and ONE revelation.
The same is NOT TRUE concerning Islam. They are not worshipping the same God as Jews and Christians. Let's look at the clear facts. Mohammad grew up in Mecca in Arabia, belonging to the Quraysh tribe in charge of idol worship at the Kabah shrine, containing the black stone and at least 360 idols. The word for god or idol in Arabic is "ilah." Allah was the name for the main idol worshiped in Mecca. The name was probably originally derived from the two Arabic words "al" and "ilah", meaning "the god" or "the idol." . Allah was also used as THE PERSONAL NAME among the Arabs for the moon god. Its symbol was the crescent moon found on many idols from pre-Islamic Arabia. Every year there was a pilgrimage to Mecca to worship Allah at the black stone. People were taught to turn towards Mecca several times a day. One month every year, beginning and ending with the crescent moon, was dedicated to fasting.
Mohammad built upon all of these already known forms of idol worship. The only thing that was new was that Mohammad declared the pagan moon deity "Allah" to be the only true god and forbade the worship of all the other idols in Mecca. The basic confession within Islam is, "Allah is greater [greater than all the other idols]. There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet." Professor Augustus H. Strong makes an accurate assessment in his "Systematic Theology" when he declares that Islam "is heathenism in monotheistic form."
Mohammad simply took the chief deity within the pantheon in Arabia, and made it the only god, keeping the pagan practices associated with this idol worship. This is of course in complete contradiction to the basic message about the one and true God found in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testament, where idol worship is strictly forbidden. Abraham was chosen to leave cult worship surrounding the moon god in Ur of the Chaldeans, to go to a different land, in order to give mankind the revelation about the only true God as a loving Father and Savior.
To confuse the issue, Mohammad declared that Allah is the god of the Jews and the Christians. Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus were all prophets sent by Allah. Since Mohammad's beliefs did not agree with the Scriptures, Mohammad declared that the Jews and the Christians have perverted the Scriptures. Therefore Allah has rejected them and cursed them and has sent Mohammad to replace the Bible with the Koran; and to replace Judaism and Christianity with Islam. It is the duty of Islam to subjugate and destroy the infidels, the Christians and the Jews. Islam is Satan's most powerful and successful plan to destroy true faith in the God of the Bible. . In Islam religion and politics are joined together. Allah is not primarily interested in individuals. Love is a completely foreign concept in Islam. Allah is destined to rule the world. That is the basis of Islam. Everything else is related to this goal. The world is divided into two parts, Dar-al-Salaam meaning "House of Peace" where Allah rules and Dar-al-Harb, "House of War" where the people are not in submission to Allah and Islam.
When Israel was established in 1948, it created a tremendous problem in the Middle East, not a political problem but a religious problem. The Jews had invaded the "House of Peace" turning it into a he "House of War." Hamas spokesman Ismail Abu Shanab said last week in an interview, "The Israelis should understand that their existence is the only provocation in the area." And Arafat once again confirmed, "Peace for us means the destruction of Israel." This is the only condition for peace in Islamic thinking. Islam's agenda can be seen here.
When Israel won the first military conflicts with the Arabs it was a tremendous defeat for Allah. Finally, Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran explained that Israel is a judgment from Allah for the backslidden condition of the Muslims. . THE DEFEAT OF ISRAEL, THEREFORE, HAS BECOME THE PRIMARY SIGN OF ALLAH'S PLEASURE WITH THE FAITHFUL MUSLIMS.
When Israel pulled out from Lebanon last year it was heralded as the first Arab victory in more than fifty years of conflict. It was a confirmation that Allah finally is pleased with the violent path of the Iranian backed fanatical Muslim guerilla Hezb'Allah (meaning "Allah's Party").
We believe that God today is setting up a confrontation with Islam. The war is already going on and eventually it will evolve into a full-scale regional conflict. In talking about His return and the end Yeshua commanded us to not fear but He also said that wars must come. As much as we hate to admit it, the truth is THERE IS NO PEACEFUL SOLUTION! Islam is asking for war and they will be defeated through war. From its inception Islam has been a religion of war. The word Islam that Mohammad took for his religion was used for a sublime virtue in Arabian culture meaning, "defiance of death, heroism; to die in battle." War is the language that Islam clearly understands. The following quote from ICEJ News Service explains what we are talking about.
"The Holy Koran teaches us that scaring the enemy is an important step in defeating him... Our prophet says, 'with terrorizing my enemy, I achieved a victory that can be achieved only with a one-month-march of an army.' Therefore any means that can terrify the enemy is a legitimate means," "It is impossible to say when the full war with Islam will come. It could be this month; it could be in a few years time. We do know that Arafat is planning to make May 15 this year, the anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel observed by the Arab Muslims as Al-Nakba which means "The Catastrophe", into a major day of violence and confrontation." End quote . As we fast and pray, God will humiliate the religion of Islam in the coming conflict, just like He humiliated the gods of Egypt during the Exodus 3500 years ago. God will not grant this victory because Israel is God's chosen and He will defend His own, be true to His covenant and fulfill His revealed Word. God will do it for the glory of His name.
"Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I SPEAK IN MY JEALOUS WRATH BECAUSE YOU HAVE SUFFERED THE SCORN OF THE NATIONS. THEREFORE THIS IS WHAT THE SOVEREIGN LORD SAYS: I SWEAR WITH UPLIFTED HAND THAT THE NATIONS AROUND YOU WILL ALSO SUFFER SCORN. "'But you, O mountains of Israel [80% of these mountains are in the West Bank and Gaza], will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the LORD. I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children." "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. THEN THE NATIONS WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, DECLARES THE SOVEREIGN LORD, WHEN I SHOW MYSELF HOLY THROUGH YOU BEFORE THEIR EYES'" (Ezek 36:6-12, 22-23). .
This article should not cause us to hate people, but instead to walk in truth ourselves so that we may bring others to truth and freedom in the one true God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
For Your Glory