Dinki Di Dawah

The musings and poetics of a revert Aussie.

Month: September, 2012

Da’wah to Christians: The Biblical concept of Prayer and Worship

According to the Bible, as mentioned in numerous passages, the method of prayer between the prophets has remained nearly unaltered and identical, from the time of Abraham (Peace Be Upon Him), then known as Abram, leading to final Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). During street missions I have mentioned this often to Christians during our dialogues, but they refute this by asking, why didn’t I see the worshippers kneeling and prostrating during Sunday prayer, during my time as a Christian? I have yet to find a reason for this, as have they, but my reply is always that I am baffled why they don’t worship as their Messiah did equally as much as I am with the fact they continue to worship him as a man-god instead.

Getting back to the point, the Bible refers to this common method of prayer through kneeling and lowering one’s face to the ground in humility, or “prostration”, beginning from Abraham (pbuh):

“And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.”  Genesis 17:3.


It is continued through the legacy of Moses and his brother Aaron, who both in several occasions during the narration of the Torah, pray with their faces to the ground in submission before their Lord:

 

Numbers 14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.

Numbers 20:6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tent of meeting, and fell upon their faces; and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.

Leviticus 9:24 And there came forth fire from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering and the fat; and when all the people saw it, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

 

The Prophet Joshua (Peace Be Upon Him):

Joshua 5:14 And he said: ‘Nay, but I am captain of the host of the LORD; I am now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said unto him: ‘What saith my lord unto his servant?’

Joshua 7:6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust upon their heads.

 

The Prophet David (Peace Be Upon Him):

1 Chronicles 21:16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD standing between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

 

The Prophet Ezekiel (P.B.U.H.):

Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spoke.

Ezekiel 3:23 And I rise and go forth unto the valley, and lo, there the honour of Jehovah is standing as the honour that I had seen by the river Chebar, and I fall on my face.

Ezekiel 44:4 And he bringeth me in the way of the north gate unto the front of the house, and I look, and lo, filled hath the honour of Jehovah the house of Jehovah, and I fall on my face. 

(Also refer to Ezekiel 9:8Ezekiel 11:13Ezekiel 43:3)

 

Finally, the Prophet Jesus (P.B.U.H.) also prayed in such a manner, also referenced in the Scripture in numerous places.

Matthew 26:39 “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will,, but as thou wilt.” (also Mark 14:35)

Luke 22:41 “He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed.”

On a similar note, when I discuss the Prophethood of Jesus and the lack of proof and self-witness of his divinity, Christians will tell me that his followers ‘worshipped’ him after his so-called Resurrection. However, after the reading the Bible in its entirety it becomes obvious that the translations use the phrases “fell”, “kneeled” or “prostrated before” alternatively and interchangeably with the word “worship”. So while the King James Version will say his followers worshipped Jesus, the Revised Standard Version will narrate that they kneeled before him as his disciples. An obvious evidence of this error of interpretation is found in the Book of Acts, when Peter, the most well known disciple, entered the home of Cornelius, a devout early Christian, and his reaction was one of reverence and submission. Several translations narrate:

Acts 10:25 “When Peter entered, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshipped him.” 

I ask the Christians, if we were to accept the Bible in its entirety as the word of God, are we to bow and worship Simon Peter, son of Jonah, as a god, simply because the same translation narrates the disciples worshipped Jesus in the same way?

Da’Wah to Christians: Slavery in the Bible and Qur’an

The Qur’an makes it clear that a person enters slavery under only one of two circumstances: they were taken prisoner during an ordained and legitimate war of jihad (only declarable by a Caliph) or that person was born into slavery due to both parents being slaves. This makes the slave trade of the European empires, and also of rogue Arab pirates throughout history, un-Islamic and against Qur’anic teaching. However the Bible here mentions how a father may sell his daughter into slavery, to be used by her new master as he will. No similar mandate is found anywhere in the Qur’an or Hadith, for it is an abhorrent teaching that goes against all common morality.

  • Exodus 21:7
    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.
  • Keluaran 21:7
    Maka jikalau seorang sudah menjual anaknya perempuan menjadi sahaya, maka tiada ia akan keluar seperti keluar segala hamba laki-laki.
 Islam is the only religion which commands its followers to give slaves the best living conditions, and even entitles them to receive sustenance from the master, which includes shelter, food, clothing, and medical attention. It is a requirement for this sustenance to be of the same standard generally found in the locality and it is also recommended for the slave to have the same standard of food and clothing as the master.

Al-Qur’an, Surah an-Nisa 4:36:

  • WaAAbudoo Allaha walatushrikoo bihi shay-an wabilwalidayni ihsananwabithee alqurba walyatama walmasakeeniwaljari thee alqurba waljarialjunubi wassahibi biljanbi wabniassabeeli wama malakat aymanukum inna Allahala yuhibbu man kana mukhtalan fakhoora.
  • Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.
  • Sembahlah Allah dan janganlah kamu mempersekutukan-Nya dengan sesuatupun. Dan berbuat baiklah kepada dua orang ibu-bapa, karib-kerabat, anak-anak yatim, orang-orang miskin, tetangga yang dekat dan tetangga yang jauh, dan teman sejawat, ibnu sabil dan hamba sahayamu. Sesungguhnya Allah tidak menyukai orang-orang yang sombong dan membangga-banggakan diri.
 Along with that, should a Muslim be in the possession of a slave of the other gender, and they wish to marry, they are perfectly entitled to, provided the slave is also Muslim in the case of a female owner. Allah (SWT) says in Surah an-Nisa, 4:25, how the believers are equal to one another in every aspect, even in marriage:

al-Qur’an 4:25

  • “And Allah is most knowing about your faith. You [believers] are of one another.”
  • “Allah mengetahui keimananmu; sebahagian kamu adalah dari sebahagian yang lain…”

 Also in contrast, Allah reminds us throughout the Qur’an of the virtue of freeing slaves, as a method of redemption from our sins and as simple charity for His favour. They also have the right to liberate themselves after a duration of work or the death of their master, which can be determined through an agreement between master and slave, and also through purchasing and freeing themselves. However, in regards to the manumission or freeing of slaves, the Bible only speaks on Israelite male slaves being freed after 6 years of service. Otherwise, they are, as the scripture says, to remain slaves forever, along with their descendants.

  • Leviticus 25:46
    You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
  • Imamat 25:46
    Kamu harus membagikan mereka sebagai milik pusaka kepada anak-anakmu yang kemudian, supaya diwarisi sebagai milik; kamu harus memperbudakkan mereka untuk selama-lamanya, tetapi atas saudara-saudaramu orang-orang Israel, janganlah memerintah dengan kejam yang satu sama yang lain.