Friday, October 09, 2015

Am I Muslim? - Part 1

To truly be Muslim speaks less of your religious affiliation and more of your dispensation towards God. The Arabic word "Muslim" means to be surrendered or even resigned. So when Mohamed writes, "No; Abraham in truth was not a Jew, neither a Christian; but he was a Muslim and one pure of faith; certainly he was never of the idolaters [those who add gods to God]." (Koran 3:60) He is not speaking of Abraham's religion, as defined by laws, behavior, and ceremonies, but of his total surrender to God and to God's will, purpose, and commands for his life. Thus we read later, "When his Lord said to him, 'Surrender [Resign yourself],' he said, 'I have surrendered me [resigned myself] to the Lord of all Being.' And Abraham charged his sons with this and Jacob likewise: 'My sons, God has chosen for you the religion; see that you die not save in surrender [as Muslims].'" (Koran 2:125-126) Again, acknowledging here that Abraham was a Muslim because he surrendered his life, purpose, and will to God. This is what it means to be truly Muslim.

It is in this sense that, yes, I am Muslim. I not only believe in God but I am also totally surrendered to Him. He is the source of my life, every good thing I possess is from Him, and He is my only hope of righteousness and of obtaining the resurrection and eternal life to come. I am committed in my life to seeing His will and purpose fulfilled in my life. It is my daily desire that "Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) And by that I mean "in this Earth" that is my body.

Beyond this simple definition of being Muslim, there are a number of points of faith that I, as a Christian, agree with concerning those who are Muslims.

I believe in one God who is the creator and sustained of the universe; one supreme God who is all powerful and all knowing. Moses taught us saying, "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!" (Deuteronomy 6:4) There being but one God is a central tenet of the Koran. Repeatedly Muhammad tells us that there is only one God. "Your God is One God; there is no god but He, the All-merciful, the All-compassionate." (Koran 2:158) Furthermore, the Koran pronounces judgment on those who believe in multiple gods or who assign to God others beside Him. "God forgives not that aught should be with Him associated [joining other gods with Himself]; less than that [other sins] He forgives to whomsoever He will. Whoso associates with God anything [joineth gods with God], has indeed forged a mighty sin [erred with far-gone error]." (Koran 4:116)

I believe that, while God is one, He is also plural. John tells us that, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." (John 1:1-3) The Christian scriptures speak in several places of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all being God and yet God still being one. We also see that, when God first spoke, He spoke in the plural. "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.'" (Genesis 1:26) While many Muslims may disagree with this, it is interesting that God almost always speaks in the Koran in the plural. "And We have sent down on thee the Book making clear everything, and as a guidance and a mercy, and as good tidings to those who surrender [resigned themselves to God]." (Koran 16:91) This is a great mystery; God being one yet, in the one, being plural. However, both the Jewish and Christian scriptures as well as the Koran testify to the plural nature of the one true God.

More to come...
David Robison

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