Rebuttal to Dallas M. Roark's Article "The Real Difference between Islam and Christian Faith"

 

By

 

Bassam Zawadi

 

 

Dallas M. Roark's article could be located here.

 

 

Dallas said:

So much of what I read from Muslims involves the goal of destroying credibility for Christian faith. There is much written by Christians to refute Muslim claims. [sic]

For the moment, let's not go to either option. Let's just look at the real issue of what is going to happen to you and me when we die.

My Response:

 

 

How can we ignore the two options momentarily when the outcome of the debate exchanges determines the real issue (of what is going to happen to you and me when we die)? How are we going to know what is going to happen to us if we don't know the truth? One crucial way to know it is by seeing whose claims are stronger and accepting them as true.

 

 

Dallas said:

 

 

Often Muslims are discouraged from asking questions about ideas in the Qur'an that bother them. One should not question Allah!

 

 

My Response:

 

 

Dallas is not making himself clear here as to exactly what kind of questions are Muslims discouraged to ask.

 

There are certain questions that Islam discourages or even forbids from asking such as

 

"Who created Allah", how did Allah create the universe from nothing? I refuse to believe it unless I know how!" etc.

This kind of way of thinking is discouraged since this causes the person to have doubts in his faith. He is asking about things, which he will never get the answers to until he meets God Himself.

 

However, the Muslim is otherwise not only encouraged but obligated to seek knowledge and how can this be done besides asking questions about things that one does not know or understand?

 

So Dallas has to make himself a little clearer about what he means here.

 

 

Dallas said:

 

 

In Islam Allah is viewed as a far off distant God, a being to be feared, who is always ready to punish wrong doers.

 

 

My Response:

 

 

Yes Allah is a being who is to be feared, but that does not mean that He is ONLY to be feared. We also have love for Him and put our hope in Him.

 

As for Allah being a "far off distant God", well it depends on what Dallas means over here. If he means that Allah in His essence is far away, then this is correct. Orthodox Muslims don't believe that Allah is everywhere in His essence. Rather He is outside the universe.

 

But if Dallas means far away in the sense of God having a relationship with His creation and by His knowledge, then this is wrong. The Qur'an seems to teach something to the contrary of this assertion...

 

 

Surah 2:186

 

When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.

 

Surah 50:16

 

It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.

 

 

 

 

Yes Allah is ready to punish wrongdoers and is also ready to reward the doers of good. So what is the problem exactly?

 

 

Dallas said:

 

 

Do you know where you are going? There is no assurance whatever [sic] offered in Islam concerning where you will end up. I have heard Muslims say that they are doing good works, trying to live a life pleasing to Allah, but Allah offers no peace, no assurance that they will avoid hell. Their good deeds may never be enough. If you are a woman it is more hopeless.

 

 

My Response:

 

 

Dallas is seriously distorting what Muslims believe now. First of all, Allah does not break His promise...

 

 

Surah 3:9

 

"Our Lord! Thou art He that will gather mankind Together against a day about which there is no doubt; for God never fails in His promise."

 

 

 

And Allah has promised the Muslims paradise...

 

 

Surah 4:122

 

But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, - we shall soon admit them to gardens, with rivers flowing beneath, - to dwell therein for ever. God's promise is the truth, and whose word can be truer than God's?

 

 

Now the issue here is not whether God will keep His promise to us or not. The issue is something else.

 

The reason why Muslims say they are not sure that they are going to heaven is mainly for two reasons.

 

1st reason:

We are not sure if we are going to become corrupt people later on in the future and stop practicing our religion properly. We do not know the future. 

This same concept is found in Christianity...

 

 1 Corinthians 15:2

2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

 

Notice the condition that Paul puts. He says IF. Meaning it is possible for some one to leave the faith that he is currently in. How many people claimed to be Christians before and have left Christianity? How do you know you won't be one of them as well? You do not know the future.

Similarly, Muslims believe that we are going to heaven IF we stick firmly to the teachings of Islam and adhere to the laws set by God. But since we don't know for sure whether we will be successful in doing so, we say inshallah (if Allah wills) that Allah keeps us on the straight path in order to go to heaven.

 

2nd reason:

Us Muslims find it too arrogant to come and say, "we are saved, we are going to heaven". Us Muslims are humble people. We say "inshallah (by Allah's will) we are going to heaven" in order to remind ourselves that everything is under God's control and that we must continue to put our hope in His Mercy.

This attitude of "we are saved in Christ, no doubt about it" can possibly influence the person to lay back and relax and not to be seriously consistent in serving God since the person believes that he has already received what he wants.

Dallas said:

 

 

You see, Islam is a religion. Religion involves doing things, saying prayers, keeping rituals. However, Christian faith is not a religion but a restored relationship.

 

 

My Response:

 

 

I find it interesting to see how Dallas says that Christianity is not a religion. He says that religion involves doing things.

 

So does that mean that in Christianity you don't have to do anything? (isn't belief in Jesus as lord and savior and serving him considered doing a thing?)

 

Dallas also says that religion consists of saying prayers, so does that mean that in Christianity you don't say prayers? (Don't Christians say their prayers in church and didn't Jesus teach 'the lords prayer' in Matthew 6 to his disciples?)

 

It's ironic how Dallas says that Christianity is not a religion.

 

The rest of Dallas's statements are just empty words of preaching. He continues to beg the question that Christianity is true and that we should follow it simply because it appears to be easier than following Islam.

 

Well this is one Muslim who isn't convinced.

 

 

The debate continues...

 

 

 

 

 

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