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II. THE SUPERNATURAL

  • Old Testament
    • Adam 60 cubits tall, and mankind’s height shrinking ever since—4.543
    • Stone steals Moses’ clothes (Moses is chasing after the stone)—1.277 (apparent controversy over circumcision, and A needed to make it clear that Moses was in compliance).
    • Already mentioned his glowing face, which seems patterned on Exodus 34 (Moses).
    • Israelites lost in the desert turn into rats—4.524
  • NT: competing with Jesus?
    • Control over weather—2.55. Yet other religious figures, e.g. Tibetan lamas, evinced such powers.
    • Multiplication of water (a single pot facilitates ablutions for 80)—1.194,199,1.340
    • Miracles of the dates—3.589 (see 3.664, 3.787)
    • Heals a man with eye trouble by using spittle—4.192,253 – competing with John 9?
  • M has right to intercede on day of judgment (competing with Christ?)—1.331,588
  • Minor miracles—1.454.
    • M overcomes a demon while at prayer—1.450
    • Revelations to M from A only while he was on bed of Aisha—3.755
  • More impressive:
    • M proclaims “Allah u akbar” at birth. (In the Islamic world, the words whispered into a baby’s ears.)
    • Muhammad split the moon in two parts. Q 54:1-2.  
    • Talking cow and talking wolf—3.517
    • M saw the greatest of the signs of the Lord, a green carpet opened all over the horizon of the sky—4.456
    • Most famous is the night journey, the mi’raj. Here M saw Moses, a tall, brown, curly-haired man, and Jesus, a fair-skinned man of pinkish complexion and lank hair—4.462
  • No unambiguous miraculous claims in Q; many Muslims say that the Q itself is the one miracle M gave to the world. But wonders ascribed to M increased, just as miracles attributed to the Buddha proliferated in the centuries following his death.

III. M—REVERENCE

  • Followers wanted to do everything like M – pray, go to toilet, everything…
  • Competition for water M spat out of mouth (ablutions)—1.188
  • Companions would rub M’s spittle on their face and skin, using remaining ablution water; lower their voices and not look (constantly) at his face (out of respect)
  • Single hair of M worth more than the entire world—1.171
  • M called Savior of the World, Lord of the Universe; sinlessless of M…(despite Q 40, 41 and the H)
  • M: never regarded as Lord, at least not officially; stark contrast to Jesus.
    • Jesus accepted worship in his lifetime.
    • Walking as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6) involves a quite different sort of imitation.
    • Jesus was insulted yet he did not lash back. Insult M, and prepare for offense, and possibly rioting, imprisonment, even death.

IV. MUSLIM TEACHINGS & PRACTICES

  • Introduction
    • 1.446—no rules beyond A’s book, but ironically the H are filled with rules outside the Qur’an
    • Q2.100—abrogation
    • Doubtful things (like “hedge” of the Pharisees)—3.237
    • Schools of jurisprudence
  • FASTING
    • Muhammad said, “[Allah said], ‘Every good deed of Adam's son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward [the fasting person] for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.”
    • Fasted even more in the month following Ramadan (so ‘Aisha)—3.190. M fasted half the days of the year—3.195.
    • Tells us not to fast continuously (24 hours), though M did—3.182-188. M. claimed that A gave him food and drink while he was asleep.
    • There’s a special gate into paradise for those who fast—3.120
    • Don’t get an attitude towards those who are not fasting—3.168
  • PRAYER
    • “Wake up, wake up; prayer is better than sleep.”
    • Q: prayer multiple times daily.
    • Pray 5x/day—1.44, 1.63, 1.345, 2.478  (Different schools differ over the exact times)
    • Prayer cleanses sins away—1.506
  • How to pray
    • Ablutions first—1.194 etc – Jesus critical of (Mark 7). Dust sand for ablutions—1.334,340 etc, if unsure whether water pure or not.
    • Worshipers to avoid garlic –1.812,815.
    • Standing worth double seated prayer, which in turn is worth double a prostrate prayer.
    • Prayer garment must cover shoulders—1.355-357
    • If have flatulence, must redo prayer—1.137
    • Keep head down in presence of Imam, for fear of turning into a donkey—1.660
    • No curvature of rows—1.687 (fellowship aspect)
    • Face Mecca. Direction (qibla’) changed—1.397,392
  • Flexibility
    • Prayer times flexible—1.510-514, 602
    • Back to sleep if too groggy, as might say the wrong thing—1.211
    • Shoes. Sometimes prayed with shoes on—1.383
    • There may be acceptable delays—1.542
    • Pray in home on a muddy day—1.590
    • M shortened prayers if he heard a child crying, in sensitivity to its mother—1.675-8
  • Yet deadly serious about prayer!
    • M would burn down the house of anyone who missed prayer—1.617
    • Death for ignoring 3 warnings to come and pray
    • We rightly regard such compulsion in religion as evil. Yet I find myself convicted by those words, “Wake up…”
  • ALMS
    • Your alms on behalf of others can save them, provided they themselves would have given—2.470.
    • Hoard wealth, and gruesome things may happen to you—2.485, 1.489
    • Refusal to pay constitutes apostasy and warrants execution.
    • Islam doesn’t heavily tax the poor—2.538. Yet no welfare state! The poor are expected to work, if they can, though of course they may receive gifts from those who care about their situation.
    • Thus the following rule makes sense: No begging!—3.591.
  • HAJJ (pilgrimage)
    • Perform pilgrimage at least once in one’s life, providing health and finances allow.
    • Ka’ba--1.128. Kissing the black stone—M did—2.667 etc.
    • One may perform hajj for another—3.79
    • No pagans admitted after M’s final hajj—1.365
  • AFTERLIFE
    • Salvation
      • “None will enter paradise but a Muslim”—4.297
      • Jewish boy embraces Islam and escapes hellfire—2.438
      • Hellfire is 70x as hot as regular fire—4.487
      • Infidels (those who do not confess) are lost—weeping for dead infidel being tormented in her grave—2.375-6
      • 70,000 – 700,000 in paradise – 4.468
  • Resurrection—4.626. M will be the first to be resurrected.
    • Jesus as firstfruits (1 Corinthians 15:20,23).
    • Another hadith says all will be raised together.
  • Bridge over chasm: “……”, for purification of sins —3.620
  • Grave sins will be forgiven
    • As long as there is no shirk—2.329
    • Or suicides—even when in great pain—4.147. The action of the suicide depeats—2.446.
    • “The heights”—quote from Heaven & Hell, 158
  • First meal in paradise = caudate lobe of fish liver—4.546
  • Much emphasis on hell, but seem to be many ways to avoid it.
    • “Martyrdom” if die of abdominal disease (!)—4.82-83
    • “Martyrdom” if you die defending your property—3.660
    • If two testify of a Muslim that he has good character, he goes to paradise—2.449
    • Infant mortality (triple), parent to paradise—2.340
    • A has 99 names; learn them and go to paradise—3.894,8.419
      • But don’t get your hopes up—only 1/10 of 1% of mankind saved—4.567.
      • This means that only a very few Muslims will make it.
      • Yet this does not seem to be the conclusion Muslims draw. They have a sunnier outlook.
  • OTHER
    • Negative
      • Forbade tattoos –3.299
      • Islamic art—3.428. No silver utensils or golden rings—2.331
      • Don’t enter a house where there is a dog or a picture of a living creature—4.448. No non-working dogs allowed—3.515.
      • Alcohol forbidden—1.50, 1.80, 1.243, 3.429, 3.644
      • Don’t carry Q into hostile territory—4.233
      • No clapping (applause) -- this is for women —1.652, 3.855
      • Punishments
        • M orders the hands to be cut off a woman for stealing—3.816
        • If unmarried man has sexual intercourse, 100 lashes and 1 year of exile—3.817
        • Lascivious slave girl lashed—3.362
        • Stoning adulteress—2.413, 3.421, 3.508, 3.860, 3.886. Usually it seems to be the woman. Reminds us of John 7:53-8:11.
    • Positive
      • Memorize the Qur’an—3.144
      • Free slaves at times of lunar or solar eclipses—3.695-6
      • Animals
        • No cruelty to animals—1.712; rather, kindness—3.551-553
        • Unpack them if they are standing under a load.
        • M giving dog a drink in his shoe.