|Insight into Hatred
As churches and organizations began attempting to mark the anniversary of 9-11-01 we had to ask ourselves a few questions.
Why Do Muslims Hate America?
Muslims (like Christians) reject secular modernity, with its materialism, pornography and high divorce rate. Muslim leaders have caricatured the West (and especially America) as the “Great Satan” precisely because the worldly pleasure of Western culture are luring the faithful away from the straight path of Islam, just as it lures many Christians away from a close walk with the Lord Jesus. Thus, for Muslims who feel most powerfully alienated, an attack against America can be seen as a triumph for Islamic values.
What Do Muslims Believe?
Muslims believe in Allah and that he is unique, all-powerful, gracious and merciful to all Muslims. The Islamic faith is lived out according to five ‘pillars’ that must be adhered to if one is to hope for salvation.The Five Pillars are:
1. Reciting the Creed (shahada) - ‘There is no God but Allah and Muhammed is his prophet’.
2. Prayer (salat) - At five set-times a day.
3. Almsgiving (sakat) - Both obligatory and voluntary giving to the poor.
4. Fasting (saum) - Especially during the ‘holy’ month of Ramadan.
5. Pilgrimage (hajj) - At least once in a lifetime to Mecca, known as The Hajj.
While a Muslim may observe each of these pillars there is still no guarantee of salvation. Islam is based on a religion of self-righteousness. Muslims often think about the Day of Judgment where they believe Allah (or an angel) will take a balance and weigh each persons deeds. His hope is that his good deeds will outweigh his bad deeds, but even then Allah's judgment is based solely on Allah's will - not on justice. Another interpretation is that man's deeds are written in a book and on the Day of Judgment Allah will open the book and the sum of a man's account will be placed in either his right or left hand. The only sure way to paradise is to die as a martyr during an Islamic Holy War, Jihad.Muhammed is Islam's highest prophet, but the Qur'an also speaks often of Jesus, also known as Isa. The Qur'an also refers to Jesus as Kalimat Allah, which means The Word of God. Muslims do not believe in Jesus death on the cross, His resurrection nor in His deity. Although Jesus is the second highest prophet in Islam, the Isa of the Qur'an is only one prophet among 124,000.The belief of angels and evil spirits, also known as Jinn, plays a very prominent part in the lives of most Muslims. Although the Qur'an states that 'good and evil comes from Allah', this belief is not founded in orthodox Islam but is a result of pagan religions, particularly from Africa and India, being incorporated in Islam.As with all religions, Islam incorporates rules for every aspect of life. Within the Qur'an and the Hadith's there is instruction for every detail of a Muslim's daily life.
With the above in mind, aren't we greatful to have the assurance with our Lord and Saviour. Where it would be tragic to live in a country with no freedom, it would be double the insult to be a part of a religion with no freedom as well. America is truly blessed!
The Afghan soldiers shown in the media today, were once small innocent children. Just like yours and mine. Ours have been taught love and tolerance, but theirs have not. Children learn what they live.
How Do We Pray For The Muslim/Afghanistan Nation?
Father, we come to you now, one year after the 9-11 tragedy, a time marked eternally in all of our hearts. Where some of us might want to point a finger at the Muslims and Afghanistan during this time, we have to remember the 'holy war' in which Christian's took the lives of thousands of Muslims, over a piece of land. Our focus should be on the log in our eye and not the speck in our brothers.
Give us a heart filled with love and compassion towards our Muslim neighbors. We pray that they will have a revelation of the one true God and Your loving character, unlike the fear and superstition that has come about by years of false teachings. We are praying that they will be convicted of sin and know true repentance. That they would experience Your total forgiveness and be able to forgive others as well.
God, you know that Afghanistan is one of the least reached countries of the world. There are over one billion Muslims around the world today, most of which wake up each morning with no bible, with no church, with no one to tell them of the way, the truth, and the life. We pray now for Your word to reach these people--with the prayers of only a few here tonight, we can reach many as long as we line up behind You.
Forgive us for any misconceptions we may harbor and reduce us to love, even for the Muslim community, especially during this emotional time in history. Amen.
(c) Shanna Hoskison--Sept 11, 2002