Skip to comments.Saga of a Muslim Soldier
Posted on 09/20/2009 7:30:59 AM PDT by SJackson
I have been an American Muslim for almost fifty years, and built two mosques. At the same time, the old rabbi remains one of the finest mentors of my life. And so, I have given great thought to the question: Why do many Muslims and Arabs so hate Israel and the Jews?
The basis of most prejudices is ignorance.
The ignorance of most young children stems from a lack of education, or miseducation.
Born into a Roman Catholic family in 1938, I was baptized shortly after birth, took first communion at about age seven, attended Catholic parochial school in first and second grades. I was an altar boy back when the Sunday Mass service was in Latin. We ate no meat on Friday, went to confession Saturday night, fasted until Sunday Mass and communion.
When I was eight, my older cousin Marcus, ten, moved in with my family. (The courts would determine his next steps. My uncle had deserted the family and my aunt had become an alcoholic.)
Less than a block from our Chicago apartment stood a large synagogue headed by an old Chasidic rabbi dressed in a black hat and black clothing. Long white curls draped down the sides of his face, and his white beard hung to his midsection. Bent by age, he used a cane to walk to and from his basement apartment to the synagogue across the street.
By this time, Marcus and I had been brainwashed by the Catholic school nuns to hate Jews. The Jews, they told us, persecuted and crucified Jesus defiled Catholic churches at night spread excrement on the altar urinated in the sacramental wine defiled the body of Christ by spitting at it and crushing it underfoot. They also formed cliques in banking and business to cheat Catholics and impede their efforts to earn a living.
Sometime in late January or early February of 46, we decided to punish the Jews for those horrendous acts. As the old rabbi struggled through the snow on his way home from the synagogue, we threw snowballs at him. Dirty Jew! we yelled. Christ killer! Defiler of churches!
The attack, we reasoned, was totally justifiedso the next night we repeated it.
On the third night we were outsmarted. The old rabbi had called on the assistance of a young rabbi, who grabbed us by the backs of our collars. When we tried to break loose and run he just picked us up off the ground, our feet flailing in the air.
He took us to our home. Because the old rabbi couldnt negotiate the stairs to our second-floor apartment, he waited on the street while the young rabbi took us up the stairs and knocked on the door.
Are these your boys? the young rabbi asked my father.
Yes, they are. What have they done? my father asked.
You had better come downstairs and speak with the rabbi.
My cousin and I stood silently as the old rabbi told my father how wed persecuted him. My fathers neck and face grew red and then almost purple. He apologized to the rabbi profusely, thanked the young rabbi for bringing us to him, shook their hands, and expressed his sorrow.
You dont need to worry about these two idiots ever bothering you again, rabbi. Ill take care of this, my father said.
Please dont hurt the boys, the old rabbi replied as he left. They are just boys. Boys do get into mischief.
"Office!" my father barked, ushering me into what was otherwise known as the bathroom. He lowered the toilet lid and sat upon it.
Drop your pants and get over my knee! he snapped. Now, my father was about 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighed 160 pounds, all of it bone and muscle. He had fought as a semi-professional boxer, and I doubt if anyone in history ever matched his bare-hand whipping talents. My rear end felt on fire, and I feared the beating would never end.
Then it was Marcus turn.
Afterwards, as Marcus and I stood weeping, my father poured himself a glass of beer and lit up his once-a-night five-cent cigar.
Now that Ive got your attention, he said, I am going to teach you two idiots something by telling you a true story. In the war I just got out of a few months ago, I fought Germans from the beaches of Normandy across France, Belgium, and Holland. When my squad got into Germany, looking for more enemy soldiers, we came upon what is called a concentration camp. Thats where the Nazis sent Jews like those two rabbis, and women and children just like your grandmother, your mothers, and your sisters, along with little boys just like you.
In those concentration camps the Nazis starved, tortured, and killed those poor people. They herded them into gas chambers made to look like a big shower room where they got poison gas to kill them instead of water to wash with. I saw piles of dead bodies and monster furnaces just like the one in the basement here but ten times as large, where they burned the bodies. I saw piles of those ashes so high you couldnt make them go any higher.
That old rabbi probably came here from Germany. He was one of the few lucky ones that could get out before he ended up in one of those furnaces. Hes got a German accent. Hes a man of God, you idiots. Hes probably only here alive because hes a good man and God himself saved him mercifully so he could go on teaching others about God.
Now you two know about guardian angels from your catechism classes. You are going to become that rabbis guardian angels starting tomorrow morning. You will escort that rabbi from his home to his synagogue every morning and back every night. You will prevent any other young idiots like yourselves from harassing or harming him. If anybody bothers that rabbi who is too big for you to handle, one of you will stay with and defend him as best you can and the other will come and get me and Ill handle it.
Besides that, you will shovel the snow off the synagogue property. You will dust, scrub, and mop the floors, polish the furniture, wash the windows, and do anything else that rabbi wants done. Do you both understand? he asked.
Yes sir, we answered.
Now go to your bedroom and ask Gods forgiveness for your criminal conduct. Also, ask God to forgive me for usurping his authority. I just made you two Michael and Gabriel on earth, the guardian angels of that rabbi. Oh yeah, boys, Ill be checking on your performance. If you fail in any manner, that whipping you just got will seem like nothing compared to the one youll get.
Ill never forget those instructions from my father, or that whipping. Since then, as a professional soldier Ive been shot, stabbed, and blown up. None hurt as much as that session in my fathers office.
On the first day of our guardian angel duties, my father woke us up before dawn.
It snowed last night. Grab the two snow shovels and follow me.
The synagogue stood on the corner, its sidewalks along two streets.
Get the snow off the sidewalk, ten feet past the property line on both sides. Then, get the snow off the stairs and entrance porch. Ill be back to check on your progress. Im going to eat breakfast. If you do a good job, I may even let you idiots eat some too.
The snow was ten to twelve inches deep, and in no time we were both sweating like plow horses on a hot summer day. About an hour and a half later, before sunrise, my father returned to inspect the sidewalks, stairs, and entrance area. Using an old kerosene lantern, he pointed to areas that needed more shoveling.
OK, he said when wed finished. Theres some oatmeal on the stove. After breakfast, well continue with your duties.
By the time we got to the rabbis basement apartment, daylight was just breaking.
Sorry to trouble you so early, rabbi, my father said when the door opened. I hope I didnt wake you.
No, Mr. Hill, the rabbi answered. Old men dont sleep well and they rise early.
I understand, rabbi, that as its the Jewish Sabbath, you are forbidden to work, even to turn on your lights. So the boys would like to prepare your coffee or tea, fix breakfast, anything you need.
Thank you, Mr. Hill, but the congregation has arranged for a gentile woman to take care of all that for me, the rabbi replied.
Good congregation you have. May I ask what time you leave for the synagogue? The boys would like to escort you there, rabbi. You see, they have been promoted from delinquents to guardian angels of yours to prevent any other bad boys like they used to be from bothering you.
Is that so? Very nice. I will be leaving for the synagogue in about an hour, Mr. Hill.
Good. In the meantime the boys would like to clear the snow away from your door, stairs, and sidewalk, if you dont mind. Later, after they see you to the synagogue, theyd also like to clean up inside, sweep, mop, dust, anything needed.
That is also done by the congregation.
Well, maybe next week the boys can check with the ladies and do anything they couldnt get taken care of before sunset, my father replied. The boys will be here when you are ready, rabbi. Goodbye, shalom.
From that day on, being the rabbis guardian angels was our life. Every minute we werent in school we were guarding him, cleaning, shoveling snow. After the snow stopped in April we swept the sidewalks, cut grass, etc.all subject to my fathers inspection.
In time, the duties evolved from toil to pleasure. The old rabbi became sort of a grandfather figure to Marcus and me. He helped us with our homework and fed us matzo ball soup and gefilte fish with horseradish. The congregational women also kept the rabbi well stocked with confections. Thats how I became addicted to icebox cake and coconut macaroons.
The rabbi also taught us all about the Torah. A great actor and entertainer, he would tell and act out stories of Samson and Joshua, blowing on a rams horn and swinging his cane about like a sword. An old coffee pot became the jawbone of an ass in Samsons hand, his belt Davids sling when he defeated Goliath.
Eventually, being with the rabbi became the high point of my day: I looked forward anxiously to the final bell at school so I could rush to the synagogue to see him. It was he who told me of my namesake, Daniel of the lions den, which destined me to be a man of courage and a devoted servant of God.
I remember the great disappointment I felt in mid April 1946 when the courts took my cousin from our home and put him in an orphanage. The old rabbi was heartbroken over losing one of his boys, as he had come to call us. On the day Marcus left, as the rabbi was consoling my father, he said, Mr. Hill, about Daniel. I should have said this long ago. I didnt say anything because I came to enjoy the pleasure of having Daniel and Marcus around so much that I fear I have taken advantage by not saying this. It is enough, Mr. Hill. Daniel learned his lesson within a few days after the incident. He is a good boy, a fine young man, as is Marcus. Both boys will do well in life and grow to be fine men. Please, release him from the obligations you have put upon his young shoulders to care for me.
It didnt end there. The rabbi and I spent time together until that summer, when my father moved our family to Wisconsin. He was assigned as a non-commissioned officer to supervise about sixty prisoners at a military disciplinary barracks/farm outside Milwaukee.
I never saw the rabbi again; yet, he has never left me to this day.
I became a soldier like my father. When I returned from my first combat tour to Vietnam in January 1967, I was stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia. That June the entire infantry school all but shut down to watch news reports on Israel decisively defeating the Arab armies in the Six-Day War. Americans love a winner, and the brilliance of Moshe Dayan and the Israeli army gained Israel a cheering section in the hearts and minds of the entire U.S., especially within the military.
Six years later, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, I was stationed in Germany commanding a tank company. We were ordered to overload our tanks with extra ammunition, fuel, oil, hydraulic fluid, rations and water, and drive them to the rail head. There, we loaded the tanks on flatbed railcars and sent them with two men each to Bremerhaven for loading onto a ship for transport to Israel.
I never saw such enthusiasm from my men as when they loaded and shipped those tanks. There were messages to the Israeli soldiers on every tank with all sorts of advice about that tanks little quirks and attributesthings like, Make sure the tank commander checks his coincidence frequently, especially after firing two or three main gun rounds; she heats up and the heat expansion throws off your accuracy if you dont check and adjust for the expansion, or Tends to pull to the right in soft sand, or I put extra electrical fuses under the gunners seat in case you blow any.
Bottles of wine and cognac, cookies and candy cluttered the tank interiors along with Playboy magazines. The troops felt a camaraderie with the Israeli soldiers who were to receive those tanks as strong as if they were shipping them to a sister American unit engaged in combat.
Israel did not stand alone.
Today I am known as Abdullah Al Amin.
How, you might ask, did a kid raised as a Catholic and mentored by a rabbi end up as a Muslim?
In the spring of 1958, as a 19-year-old paratrooper, I was shipped to Beirut. Syria had engineered the overthrow of the democratically elected Lebanese government, and my unit was assigned to link up with a Marine force; secure the airport, government utilities, and the press; and reinstall the legal government.
After a few months, once the Syrians were back in Syria and the legal Lebanese government running the country, I was given some time off. My first stop was a mosque in Beirut, to find out what the Azan, the Islamic call to prayer, was all about.
Regardless of what ones personal attitude is toward Muslims and the Islamic faith, most will admit that the Azan, which is sung out five times a day from a mosques minaret, is a beautiful, haunting refrain. Even Hollywood is enchanted by it; youll hear the Azan in practically any scene about the Middle East, Arabs, or Islam.
Such was the case with myself as a kid watching the Ali Baba movies. For years Id wondered what that call meant.
Inside the mosque I met an English-speaking young imam who translated the Azan for me and answered my questions about Islamic history and traditions. When we parted, he gave me a present: a two-volume set of books, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, written by Yussef Ali, which contained the Quran in the original Arabic, an English translation, and an extensive commentary.
Soldiers spend a lot of time reading, or did in those days. The Army is all hurry up and then wait for fairly long periods. I spent many an hour in my bunk reading the Quranand, from that time on, books on the history of the Middle East, Arab culture and tradition.
The Qurans teachings made more sense to me than the Catholic dogma Id been taught since childhood. I never could reconcile there being three entities in God: the Father (creator), Jesus the Son of God, and the Holy Ghost. Whenever I asked a priest or nun to explain the Trinity, the answer always came down to: It is a mystery; it is an act of faith to just accept it.
I found Islam much more logical and accessible. Muslims believe that God is the one, the only, the Creator, Master of the Universe and all the worlds, and ones relationship with God is part of ones every day manner of living. One speaks to God directly and, I believe, receives guidance in his or her mind almost immediately.
Whenever I was tempted to do something wrong, dishonest, dishonorable, or in violation of the Ten Commandments given to Moses, an inner voice spoke in my mind, chastising and counseling me toward greater self-control. You could call it conscience.
In combat, too, as a leader or commander, I often called upon Allah for aid, strength, control, wisdom, and the voice always came throughnot only in suppressing my fear, but telling me how to control the situation, where an enemys weakness existed, how to deploy my unit, what orders to give. The same was true in lifes other challenges, as a husband and father, in daily work, in relations with others.
Islam is a soldiers religiondirect, uncomplicated, rewarding for faithful obedience, meting out sure punishment for disobedience in this life and the next. And so I accepted Islam as my faith.
I have been an American Muslim almost fifty years now. I have lived, worked, eaten, slept, prayed, and fought alongside Muslims for about thirty years. I have visited mosques and Muslim communities throughout the world and have built two mosques/Islamic centers in the U.S.
At the same time, the old rabbi has remained for me one of the finest mentors of my life.
And so, I have given great thought to the question: Why do so many Muslims and Arabs hate Israel and the Jews?
Many Muslims have told me that the big contention is the establishment in 1948 of the State of Israel.
The Muslims I know do not refute the fact that, as the Torah states, God gave the land that became Israel to the Jewish tribes. In fact, the Quran contains many of the stories in the Torah and holds it to be a holy book of God.
In Islam, however, events are considered to come to pass by the will of God. Many Muslims have shared with me their belief that the Roman exile of the Jews in 70 A.D. would not have occurred had it not been part of Gods plan. They see Israel as a case of God giving the Jewish tribes the land to be Israel, but then taking it away, using the Romans as His instrument to do so. Then, after the coming of Mohammad and Islam, that land came into permanent possession of Muslims.
Using that same logic, one would have to take the position, as I have, that in 1948 Israel came to be by Allahs will. But most Muslims I know do not admit to this contradiction.
Ive also learned from the Quran why Muslims in many nations wish to wage war against Israel. In the Holy Book, there are two times when a Muslim is instructed to go to war. First, all Muslims must engage in war against anyone who attempts to prohibit another individual or group from worshiping God, whether the worshiper is a Muslim, Jew, or Christian.
The second is if somebody seizes or occupies a Muslims home or land.
Thus the entire Nation of Islam, every Muslim in the world, is obligated to go to war against Jews in possession of land in Palestine.
From my perspective, this creates an unsolvable situation.
On the one hand, Jews say, This land is mine; God gave this land to me. On the other hand, a sixth of the world population, about 1.3 billion Muslims, feel obligated by the Qurans teaching to fight until death to end what they view as occupation of Muslim lands which, in essence, means destroying the Jewish state.
Not much room for negotiation in those two opposing positions.
If only both sides followed Allahs/ Gods teachings of salam, shalom (peace), compassion, and mercy .
Many of the comments I hear Muslims make about Jews have more to do with resentment than religion. Israels military successes in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 humiliated Muslims. With a population of about 4 million, the Jewish state defeated Arab armies drawn from nations with populations totaling in the hundreds of millions.
Then theres jealousy of Jewish unity. Although Muslims are required by Islam to be one unified people, great conflicts exist among Muslim factions to the point of embarrassment.
Muslims also tell me how much they resent Jewish talent. Fundamentalist Muslims in particular, who know little or nothing of the countless persecutions, expulsions, and mass murders of Jews over the centuries, are amazed when I say that in Europe Jews were forbidden to own land and barred from trade guilds. I explain that Jews had to become financiers (the practice of money lending was forbidden by the church but open to Jews) and doctors because these were among the few ways they could earn a living.
Still many Muslims remain resentful, fearing that they will never be able to catch up to the Jews.
As a soldier, I have seen a fair amount of combat. But Ive never experienced anything like the hate I see among Muslims in response to the Arab/Israel conflict.
When a Muslim comes to hate so much that he is willing to violate the Qurans teachings in his quest for revenge, the point of no return has been passed.
The Quran says, Suicide is usurping the will of Allah. One should die the death Allah has willed and not take ones own life. To commit suicide is damnation in hell for eternity .In war you do not harm women, children, the old or any non-combatant; you do not destroy churches, mosques, synagogues or any house of God; you do not destroy crops, cattle or tear the earth asunder.
Terrorism violates these laws. When hate so consumes a person that he willingly violates the word of God, he is no longer a Muslim. Islam means submission (to the will of God). Muslim means one who submits (to the will of God). Terrorists have submitted not to God, but to hatred. Terrorists are not Muslims.
Jews and Muslims are both Gods people. Maybe such is Allahs test of both. Maybe God wants to see if we, as humans, have progressed enough to accept each other in peace.
Daniel J. Hill, aka Abdullah Al Amin, is a retired Airborne Ranger and Special Forces Captain of Infantry in the study and practice of special operations, guerilla, and insurgent warfare. A convert to Islam, he has worked with Homeland Security elements to uncover fundamentalist agents and demolition caches in the U.S. Hill planned and organized an assassination operation aimed at Osama Bin Laden, but it was called off only weeks before 9/11/01. In 1992 his daughter, Georgene Berger, converted to Judaism; she and her husband Eric Berger now belong to Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation, Florida.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
How about blatant INDOCTRINATION to hate anyone but muslims?
The Catholic Church has failed miserably in its teachings about Jesus. The proof is in the fruit from the tree (as the Bible teaches). A vast majority of them vote Democrat and consider themselves Catholics in name only (Pelosi and Kennedy are not an aberration, they are the rule). Whenever I hear of a Muslim convert, more times than not I find out that the person used to be a Catholic. There needs to be a fundamental change in Catholic education.
But his ilk are rare. The exception proves the rule. Also, he's not an Arab.
I’am so sick of the Catholic bashing. I begrudge no man his faith. Yet mine is constantly denegrated. My church taught me that the Jews are Gods chosen people. Unlike American Jews, I as a Catholic would die in the defense of Israel. Is their bad clergy? Yes. Is there bad Rabbis? Yes. Are their bad Imams? Most certainly. The saddest thing this article represents, is the authors selective ignorance with regard to his chosen faith.
I have a copy too. Though that doesn't mean I'm weak-willed enough to become a muslim.
The quran has so many "qualifiers" in it that it effectively cancels itself out of so-called "revelation" rendering it a hodge-podge.
Here the adage applies: If you want to be a muslim to serve God don't be a muslim.
Amen. I failed to mention in my post, that I do begrudge the Muslims faith (Islam). A faith based solely on intolerance. It is a fact that, where nations have a majority Muslim population, their is conflict on the borders. No exception. The Muslims in Turkey are marking Christian residences with symbols, targeting them for persecution. I say no Mosques in America, until we are allowed churches in Saudi Arabia. Or better yet, no Mosques period.
The Quran says, Suicide is usurping the will of Allah. One should die the death Allah has willed and not take ones own life. To commit suicide is damnation in hell for eternity .In war you do not harm women, children, the old or any non-combatant; you do not destroy churches, mosques, synagogues or any house of God; you do not destroy crops, cattle or tear the earth asunder. - Hill
I want to think Hill is correct but 10’s or 100’s of millions of Muslims say he’s wrong.
I find this practice absolutely foolish. Any one who follows any "Church" doctrine without question , and forgoes studying the scriptures for themselves, can easily find themselves being led by men and not of GOD.
Such was the case with Jim Jones, or the Branch Dividians, and we remember how those turned out!
Oh, the stories I could tell.
But it's not true that "a vast majority" votes Democrat. In fact, the same percentage of self-identified Catholics voted for Obama, as the overall electorate in 2008 (53%). Way, way too many, but still not "a vast majority."
Like a huge ocean liner in mid-Atlantic, the Catholic Church in America turns slowly. It has been turning noticeably back toward its own traditions for a decade. The old Jean Jadot/Pio Laghi bishops are retiring and dying; the new bishops are, in the main orthodox and good teachers.
Dig in your heels. If you're an informed Catholic, offer to teach in your parish. Pray to love. Pray and fight. Pray.
Certain people have an agenda denying that such Muslims exist at all. It is easier to have a simplicistic black&white picture.
Regardless of islam itself (which I am not defending as the "ROP"), there are many Muslims, by accident or by choice, pious or secular, who are wonderful persons.
Churchill had it right when he said to the effect that islam is a most retrogard force, which nontheless doesn't stop individual Muslims (and there are numerous) from having splendid qualities.
In the American context, any self-described Muslim who adheres to the Constitution, American values and is even willing to serve Old Glory in the frontline against the islamist terrorists is good in my book.
To the extent that Catholics have any exposure to their Faith at all -- which usually means, to the extent that they go to Sunday Mass --- they are invariably directed toward Scripture. EVERY Sunday Mass has 4 major readings (the Old Testament lesson, the Psalm, the Epistle, and the Gospel) and at EVERY Mass we pray to the Holy Spirit for understanding.
You can get a Catholic Bible at Amazon.com for one cent (plus postrage!) and no Catholic has any excuse not to have it, read it, or revere it.
Conceding --- with sorrow --- that the sermons are often pathetic, and the religious teaching in Catholic schools often shockingly deficient, still I must say that Catholics who are religiously ignorant ar so for the same reasons that Protestants, Jews, or anybody else is religiously ignorant: distraction, social conformity, and sloth.
I want to think Hill is correct but 10s or 100s of millions of Muslims say hes wrong.
And that's the enemy! For the record it's around 10-15%. Now 10-15% of 1.5 billion is a pretty big number...but 85-90%......? Know what I mean.
Sorry for forgetting to ping you on the Vietnam Christian thread. This might be of some interest, a close friend of Rick Rescorla
I could call so much BS on this guy. I wonder if he even read the koran and Bible.
What is Islam based on?
Mohammed went into “trances” and fits (like epileptic fits) when he was given the “word of God” and would shout out what he was told. These would be written down by his followers. This is the makeup of the Koran.
When Mohammed was just walking and talking and acting like “normal”, his words and deeds were written down by his followers and this went into the Hadith. Now, acting “normal” for Mohammed was taking 12+ wives (including a 6 year old when he was 51), taking slaves (including sex slaves), executing infidels, conducting raids for treasure, etc.
Now, this is where it gets complicated.
A large part of the words he spoke in trances were “taken back” by Mohammed. He determined them to be the work of the devil (thus they are called the “Satanic Verses” and these are the same verses that Mr. Salman Rushdie got in trouble for writing about).
Now, how Mohammed determined which verses were from God and which were from Satan I do not know.
Also, there were literally dozens of widely different versions of the Hadith floating around right after Mohammends death and there are large amounts of Hadith that are disputed. Now, even Mohammed could not remember what he was told by God and forgot it (those are his words as written in the Hadith) so I do not know how the powers in charge decided which was the correct version.
Also according to the Hadith, Mohammed turned people into monkeys, you can determine a child’s sex depending on whether the male or female has an orgasm first (that advice came directly from the Angel Gabriel), dogs are evil and should be killed, that the devil lives in your nose at night (and how to get rid of him in the morning), chess is forbidden, muslims have one intestine while infidels have seven, dont pray looking up or your eyes will be snatched away, that one wing of a fly is poison but the other is the cure, that drinking camel urine is good for you and I could go on.
And that Mohammed himself didn’t even know if he was going to heaven. If even Mohammed doesn’t know, what chance does the average muslim have?
And for some non-PC info, Mohammed was described as a white man.
Now, if you can bear it, to compare to the Gospels of New Testament.
Jesus was born into a poor Jewish family in an area of the world under the occupation of the Roman Empire. He would grow up to be a carpenter for the majority of his life, living quietly and humbly in Nazareth. However, for the last three years of his life he would travel throughout Palestine teaching, healing, and challenging the conventional Jewish order. Jesus was killed for basically saying he was a King and Son of God (blasphemy) by the powers in charge (Roman and Jewish). The government wanted Jesus destroyed and wanted his growing movement destroyed (as it threatened their power). If, after 3 days, the followers of Jesus proclaimed he has risen from the dead, (just as he predicted), and is truly our Savior, the High Officials would have wanted to destroy such a “myth.” They could have easily done this by producing the dead body of Jesus and saying “Your Messiah is still dead and so is your movement” or producing many eye witnesses of the dead Jesus. But they couldn’t.
So fundamentally, without education, without an army, and without money, this Jesus of Nazareth would forever change the course of human history.
The letters that make up the core of the New Testament were written by the eye witnesses of the events of Jesus or by their associates. They were written in just one generation when many other eye witnesses were still alive. They were written without collusion from other Apostles. Even if any of the Apostles wanted to “add” to the “myth” of Jesus, they would have done so in a very disjointed and easily detectable fashion. Yet, the main Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) that describe the life of Jesus are amazingly in harmony with one another and the small differences are consistent with what we would see today if four people witnessed a major event and wrote about the event apart from each other. The Gospels can be traced back to their sources and are basically unchanged from their originals.
The Bible (especially the New Testament) is the most investigated historical document in the history of the world. It has been investigated by scientists, philosophers and archeologists using technology undreamed of when the Bible was written. It is been desperately tried to be “disproved” for over 2000 years, yet, the Bible still stands as the truth.
The stories of Jesus still make sense to us today. It may be because they are true, it may be because they are based in love or it may be because they were written to tell the people of the Word of God.
PS - There are many topics that could be compared - The stories of a adulterous woman is found in both the Bible and Koran. They seem to sum up each religion.
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1-11)
There came to him (the Holy Prophet) a woman from Gamid and said: Allahs Messenger, I have committed adultery, so purify me. He (the Holy Prophet) turned her away. On the following day she said: Allahs messenger, why do you turn me away? ... By Allah I have become pregnant. He said Well, if you insist upon it, then go away until you give birth. When she was delivered she came with the child (wrapped) in a rag, and said Here is the child whom I have given birth to. He said Go away and suckle him until you wean him. When she had weaned him, she came to him (the Holy Prophet) with the child who was holding a piece of bread in his hand. She said Allahs Apostle, here is he as I have weaned him and he eats food. He (the Holy Prophet) entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and then pronounced punishment. And she was put in a ditch up to her chest and he commanded people and they stoned her. (Sahih Muslim 4206)
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:28-34)
Allah’s Apostle was asked, “What is the best deed?” He replied, “To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, “What is the next in goodness? He replied, “To participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause.” The questioner again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To perform Hajj Mubrur.”
“Believers! - wage war against such of the infidels as are your neighbors, and let them find you rigorous; and know that God is with those who fear him.” (Koran 9:124)
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