One of my siblings was in the military and served overseas in predominantly muslim countries. One of the things I recall him mentioning in passing was that most of the muslims don't actually know their own religion because very few, if any have actually read the Qur'an.
As someone who was raised Catholic, reading the bible was a given. As with all Christian religions, our beliefs are from the bible. We read it. We sing it. We memorize parts of it. We refer to it constantly for knowledge, wisdom, strength, hope, lessons. We read and read the bible stories. As children we read it and draw pictures of the stories, act out the bible stories. It's just such a given that we read the very base of our faith.
I didn't understand how someone could profess to be muslim but not read all of their Qur'an. Not know all of what their own 'religion' teaches.
Of course I didn't know much about the muslim 'religion' back then. But that little tiny mention was enough to stick with me a dozen years later.
This morning I was looking up something on the internet when I came across a link on a page for an article at Crosswalks.com. It had nothing to do with what I was looking up at the time but as I clicked on the article, one sentence stood out to me and brought back the memory of what my brother had mentioned in passing from Iraq;
"She was unaware of much of what I explained to her from the Qur’an because she has not read it."
Although I was simply glancing at the article, that line made me stop. Again, I was thinking the same thing as when my brother told me similar after living among muslims for almost 10 years.
So I read a bit more;
"She is a naturalized citizen who immigrated to America over twenty years ago from Senegal with her Roman Catholic Senegalese husband. They are both “spiritual,” not religious. To her, being a Muslim is based on performing good works, meditating, fasting, and praying."
But according to the Qur’an, no true female follower of Islam can marry a non-Muslim man unless she is doing so under the auspices of taqiyya, which is Qur’an-sanctioned deceit. If not, and her husband refuses to become a Muslim, he would be killed under Shari’a law. She might be spared, although still severely punished. If she chose to leave Islam, she and her entire family would be killed.
Because she is living in America this is less likely to happen.
Islam is not a peaceful religion according to its doctrine.
Secular Muslims and especially formerly devout Islamists, cannot freely leave Islam, or deny the Qur'an or Islam, without fear of being killed. The Qur’an instructs that they be killed.
After a series of caliphs ruled over Muslims, the ulema (Islamic scholars) sought to define the Muslim existence within their immediate geopolitical context. In doing so, they divided all of humanity into two categories: Dar al-Harb and Dar el-Salam.
Dar al-Harb means, “House of War,” which includes everyone who rejects Islam, the Qur’an, Allah, and Muhammad; in essence all non-Muslims.
Dar el-Salam means, “House of Peace,” which includes everyone who submits (Isl’m) and is ruled by Shari’a law in every area of his or her lives.
Although the terms used to describe this two-fold existence are not mentioned specifically in the Qur’an, they are taught in all Islamic schools of thought.
The Sunni Hanafi School of Islamic Jurisprudence teaches that rulers of Muslim lands bordering enemy territory, Dar al-Harb, (all non-Muslim lands), are obligated to wage jihad against their neighbors.
(Now this makes sense; because in countries where muslim is the 'religion' of the greater population, they are constantly at war. Constantly killing. There is never peace.)
Contrary to the English and western meaning of peace, the Islamic definition exists only within the two-fold mindset of humanity’s condition: those who are at peace (under Islamic rule) and those who are not.
In theory, Islamic peace exists under Shari’a law. But in reality, those already living in Dar el-Salam do not experience the western view of peace. Peace does not exist for most women and children who are subjugated to extreme cruelty and abuse. The majority of Muslim women and girls, including those in America, are in arranged marriages, subjugated to FGM, and are primary victims of honor killings.
And, even under Dar el-Salam, as was the case during and after Muhammad’s life, Islamists have never stopped fighting each other. War and violence coexists with Dar el-Salam.
Most Muslims are illiterate and have never read the Qur'an.
(This is exactly what I learned from my brother... and what started this whole post actually. At the time he told me this, I found it crazy to think someone would follow a 'religion' they only knew through what they are told; not what they have read themselves, as we do in the Bible. Since then - a dozen years ago - I've learned about many so called religions that don't know their own firm doctrines, including the cult of Mormonism. They have no idea of their own 'religions' core beliefs. Not because they are illiterate, as the muslims are, but because they have been programmed to only read bits and pieces of what the LDS church wants them to know at this time. Those who actually read their own history - the truth of Joseph Smith and what a brilliant and lucky con-man he was, 'study' themselves out of their church. But... that's a post for another day!)
40 percent of the population of Muslim states falls below the poverty level. Fifty-seven Islamic countries are the world’s poorest and most illiterate. Sixty percent of Muslims worldwide are illiterate; fifty percent of Arab women cannot read.
(This is a LARGE and LONG topic and of course here on Coffee Talking I just chit chat for a couple minutes on a topic over morning coffee. Certainly not enough time to truly dig into any one topic. But obviously readers can go on to do that themselves.)
To end, I guess:
(The Crosswalk article went on to mention ministries in which Christians can support and reach out to muslims - "Christians can support ministries like Open Doors, Voice of Martyrs, or Samaritan’s Purse that are reaching Muslims worldwide, providing humanitarian aid and Bibles in their languages."
"But there is also an immediate need and opportunity in our own backyards. Because of failed immigration policies, more Muslims are in America than ever before—presenting an incredible opportunity for Christians to share the gospel.
The last chapter of the book shares testimonies from former Muslims, who after they came to America and met Christians, accepted Christ. One’s mother had sent him to a jihad training camp as a child. Another trained for the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Yet they were not beyond God’s reach.
Because of the U.S. Constitution, Muslims have the freedom to leave Islam without fear of being killed. As Christians, we have the responsibility and opportunity to point to the origin of freedom: Jesus Christ.")