Why Christians become Muslims

Sinead O' Connor

On Tuesday former Catholic Sinead O’ Connor announced her new name – Shuhada’ Davitt – and her conversion to Islam.  The Twittersphere is buzzing with congratulations (from Muslims) and scorn (from everyone else.) But enough already with the scorn: she’s a public figure with a huge talent and  a troubled mind (so often two sides of the same coin.) We should lament anyone abandoning their Christian faith, but more importantly ask what the pastoral issues are that need addressing? What does church need to learn from this?

  1. Not converted in the first place

In 2007 Sinead called herself a Christian, and that she believed in the Trinity. But her other remarks were more revealing:

“I think God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home… I don’t think God judges anybody. He loves everybody equally.”[91]

The god she believed in was the same one lots of Christians say they believe in – the non-judgemental, all-saving god. This god may be an easier sell in today’s culture, but it’s not the God of the Bible.

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 1 John 3:16-17

The God of the Bible loves everyone equally in that He doesn’t want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9); but He also teaches   that those who don’t will be eternally lost (2 Thess 1:8-9.)

A disciple of Jesus has made a a conscious decision to leave their old life behind and follow him. They take Him at his word when He says no-one will see the Kingdom of God unless they are ‘born again’ (John 3:3, 2 Cor 5:17); they know that without Jesus they are as good as dead (Eph 2:1), that only through his broken body given for them on the Cross can they receive forgiveness and eternal life (John 6:53). They know that they can never earn his love, but receive it as a free gift of grace accessed by repentance and faith (Mark 1:15, Romans 10:10.)  And they confess,with Peter,that there is ‘no-other Name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’

You can go to church every Sunday your whole life and still not get this. Do we get it? Does the person next to us? Do we love them enough to explain it to them? Are we teaching it?

2. Lack of discipleship

Our decision to follow Christ is just the beginning. We’re called to “continue to work out [our ]salvation with fear and trembling.”(Phillipians 2:12)  Will we meet with other believers to study the Bible, not giving up when we find it difficult or our church family annoying? Are we submitted to the  authority  of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16)? Are we committed to obeying Jesus commands (John 14:15) ? Are we witnessing to others (Matt 28:19)? Are we realistic with ourselves and with others about the cost of following Jesus (Luke 14:25-33)? Are we ready to be unpopular for Him, let alone suffer and die for Him (1 Thess 3:4)? And when we fail at all the above – which we will – do we have loving, accountable friendships with other believers, who will encourage us to keep going?

3. Neglected core doctrines 

Sinead O’Connor once said:

“The Christ character tells us himself: you must only talk directly to the Father; you don’t need intermediaries..”

Actually, Jesus didn’t say that. He said “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:13-14.) We pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus, whose blood has given us access to him. And it’s not idolatrous, because Jesus is God in the flesh. If our Christian friends refer approvingly to a ‘lack of intermediaries’ in this way, alarm bells should ring.

But if someone asked you to defend the divinity of Christ or the Trinity, how would you answer? When was the last time you heard a sermon on the Trinity? You might have heard some faithful, trinitarian exegesis on John 1, but how will that help you when a Jehovah’s Witness tries to persuade you that the Word, Jesus,  isn’t YHWH himself but rather his exalted firstborn creation? Or when a Muslim tells you Jesus is no more than a Prophet?

There is a huge gulf between what Christians say they believe and what they actually understand. A recent study of stated that 78% of US evangelicals agree with the statement “Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.” These are people who are hearing the Bible preached week in, week out. What has gone wrong?

Even in the mainstream evangelical church, we are in danger of preaching Jesus-lite: Jesus our Friend (mainly our friend) and Saviour, the One we know is God but we don’t know how or care to understand why this matters.  And without taking the time to look into these things seriously, we are vulnerable to our faith being undermined by those with years of training on how to undermine it. And preaching, it seems, is not enough to equip us.

4.  Disappointment with the church

Sinead O’Connor had a love/hate relationship with Catholicism.  She famously tore up a photo of the Pope in 1992 in protest against the child abuse scandals, and later got ordained as a priest by an off-shoot of the Catholic Church.  Her anger against the sex scandals never subsided – and why should it have? The Vatican still faces allegations of cover-up and dragging its feet over prosecuting the perpetrators . The Evangelical church has its own horrific incidents of abuse to face up to. It continues to be a grievous stain on the church and her witness.

But does anything in Christian Scripture condone such practices? Does Jesus? Because Christians don’t look to other Christians for advice about life, but by the only perfect man who ever lived and His inspired Word. Christians – all of us – will continually disappoint others with our weakness and laziness and hypocrisy.  That’s why we don’t preach ourselves, but Christ crucified.  And Islam has far more difficult issues with sexual abuse – read another post of ours on grooming gangs and how they are influenced by Islamic teachings here.

5. Failure to read the small print

Sinead said her conversion was “the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey.” But an intelligent theologian looks before they leap, don’t they? If she had looked, she’d have noticed Allah’s punishment for leaving Islam is death (Sura 4:89), that Muhammad had sex with a 9 year old child (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236) that Muhammad ordered his enemies’ eyes to be branded and then made them die of thirst (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 261), that spreading Islam through violent jihad is commanded by Allah (Sura 9:29), that non-Muslims should pay a humiliation tax simply because of their disbelief (Sura 9:29), that music, her livelihood, is haram (Sahih Bukhari 7:69:494), and that if she so much as draws a picture of Muhammad, let alone rips it up, she is taking her life in her hands. But who around her could and should have told her all this? Answer: the church. Because Jesus loves her and died for her to know the truth.

Is this all just a publicity stunt? Is it a fad? Does it come from a place of desperation for acceptance and belonging? Where was the church when she was thinking this through? Sinead/Shuhada’ seems pretty determined to forge her own path  in life. But we shouldn’t have made it easy for her.

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Merciful verse of the Qur’an 5:33

Merciful verse of the Qur’an 5:33.

Daniel talks to Dawah people about  s5:32 and s5:33.

Sura 5:32 (Sahih International) “Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.”

Surah 5:33 (Sahih International) “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment”

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What did Muhammad repent for?

What did Muhammad repent for?

Muslims believe Muhammad was sinless but ahadith state that Muhammad needed to ask for forgiveness and he needed to repent. Hatun and Daniel ask why? What did he do that meant he needed to repent?

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying: “By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” Sahih al-Bukhari 8:75:319

Al-Agharr al-Muzani, who was one amongst the Companions (of the Holy Prophet) reported that Allah’s Messenger said: There is (at times) some sort of shade upon my heart, and I seek forgiveness from Allah a hundred times a day. Sahih Muslim 35:6522

Al-Agharr al-Muzani who was from amongst the Companions of Allah’s Apostle reported that Ibn ‘Umar stated to him that Allah’s Messenger said: O people, seek repentance from Allah. Verily, I seek repentance from Him a hundred times a day. Sahih Muslim 35:6523

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Muhammad – intercessor or not intercessor?

Muhammad – intercessor or not intercessor?

Godwin discuss the contradictions in Islam. One hadith states that the invoker of a curse cannot be an intercessor. Muhammad invoked curses, but the hadith also states he is an intercessor..

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet said: My intercession will be for those of my people who have committed major sins. Sunan Abu Dawud 40:4721 The Holy Prophet the Intercessor of the Sinners said, “Pulpits of gold will be arranged for the Prophets and they will sit on them, and my pulpit will remain empty as I will not sit on it – but I shall stand humbly before my Lord fearing that I may be sent into Paradise while my Ummah remains behind me. I shall then pray, “O my Lord! My Ummah! My Ummah!” Allah the Supreme will proclaim, “O Mohammed! What is your wish regarding what I should do with your Ummah?” I shall submit, “O my Lord! Settle their accounts quickly!” So I will continue to intercede until I get letters to get released those who had already been sent to hell – to the extent that Maalik, the custodian of hell, will exclaim, “O Mohammed! You have not left even a bit of the Lord’s wrath among your Ummah!” (Hakim with sound chains and Tibrani & Baihaqi from Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas.)

Muhammad invoked a curse: Anas b. Malik reported that there was an orphan girl with Umm Sulaim (who was the mother of Anas). Allah’s Messenger saw that orphan girl and said: O, it is you; you have grown young. May you not advance in years! That slave-girl returned to Umm Sulaim weeping. Umm Sulaim said: O daughter, what is the matter with you? She said: Allah’s Apostle has invoked curse upon me that I should not grow in age and thus I would never grow in age, or she said, in my (length) of life. Umm Sulaim went out wrapping her head-dress hurriedly until she met Allah’s Messenger. He said to her: Umm Sulaim, what is the matter with you? She said: Allah’s Apostle, you invoked curse upon my orphan girl. He said: Umm Sulaim, what is that? She said: She (the orphan girl) states you have cursed her saying that she might not grow in age or grow in life. Allah’s Messenger smiled and then said: Umm Sulaim, don’t you know that I have made this term with my Lord. And the term with my Lord is that I said to Him: I am a human being and I am pleased just as a human being is pleased and I lose temper just as a human being loses temper, so for any person from amongst my Ummah whom I curse and he in no way deserves it, let that, O Lord, be made a source of purification and purity and nearness to (Allah) on the Day of Resurrection. Sahih Muslim 32:6297

Muhammad as a sinner: Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying: “By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” Sahih al-Bukhari 8:75:319

Al-Agharr al-Muzani, who was one amongst the Companions (of the Holy Prophet) reported that Allah’s Messenger said: There is (at times) some sort of shade upon my heart, and I seek forgiveness from Allah a hundred times a day. Sahih Muslim 35:6522

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Can invoker of curse be intercessor?

Can invoker of curse be intercessor?

Muhammad Hijab, Daniel and Godwin discuss why Muhammad is able to intercede for people when Islamic tradition teaches that you can’t intercede as well as curse people – Muhammad does both.

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Sad Sunday for Dawah team at Speaker’s Corner

Sad Sunday for Dawah team at Speaker’s Corner.

Another very common scene from the Islamic Dawah team.. run away day..

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Muslim questions but doesn’t want to hear the answer

Muslim questions but doesn’t want to hear the answer.

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Muhammad, sinner and curser

Muhammad, sinner and curser.

Hatun and Daniel question Islamic tradition on how a sinner and a curser also be intercessor? Islamic tradition teaches a curser cannot be intercessor, yet Muhammad cursed..

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: It does not seem proper for Siddiq that he should be an invoker of curse. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Abu Kuraib with the same chain of transmitters. Sahih Muslim 32:6280

Umm Darda’ reported on the authority of Abu Darda’ as saying: I heard Allah’s Messenger as saying: The invoker of curse would neither be witness nor intercessor on the Day of Resurrection. Sahih Muslim 32:6283

Abu Huraira reported it was said to Allah’s Messenger Invoke curse upon the polytheists, whereupon he said: I have not been sent as the invoker of curse, but “I have been sent as mercy.” Sahih Muslim 32:6284

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A tale of two prisoners

Free Asia BibiAnjem Choudary

On October 8th Pakistan’s Supreme Court heard the final appeal case of Asia Bibi, the farm worker and mother of five who has been in prison on death row for almost eight years. She was imprisoned under the country’s infamous blasphemy law section 295C – “defiling the name of Muhammad”  – a capital offence.

Asia had been harvesting berries when she went to get some water. When she drank from a cup also used by her Muslim co-workers, they objected on the grounds she was a Christian. In the ensuing argument, Asia said “”I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?” For this she was sentenced to death. Asia describes that moment:

“I cried alone, putting my head in my hands. I can no longer bear the sight of people full of hatred, applauding the killing of a poor farm worker. I no longer see them, but I still hear them, the crowd who gave the judge a standing ovation, saying: “Kill her, kill her! Allahu Akbar!” The court house is invaded by a euphoric horde who break down the doors, chanting: “Vengeance for the holy prophet. Allah is great!” I was then thrown like an old rubbish sack into the van… I had lost all humanity in their eyes.”

Since then her case has been through numerous appeals; her husband and children live in hiding; two politicians, Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, have been assassinated because of their support for her; judges are too afraid to be involved in her case, and demonstrations calling for her to be hanged are attended by tens of thousands. Salmaan Taseer’s murderer was praised by none other than the Imam of Glasgow Central Mosque. “A true Muslim was punished for doing which the collective will of the nation failed to carry out,”he wrote.  (He wasn’t charged with hate speech.) Another cleric, Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman, addressing a pro-blasphemy law rally, called the same murderer a ‘martyr’ – he was invited to be a key speaker at a UK anti-terrorism conference in July. Barnabas Fund tried to raise concerns with the Home Secretary about this man; they were told  it wasn’t possible to comment on “individual cases.”

This is Asia Bibi’s last chance. The verdict has been delayed – if it fails she will become the first woman to be executed under Section 295C, unless Prime Minister Imran Khan grants her clemency.

This Friday, Anjem Choudary will be released from prison after serving half of his five and a half year prison sentence for supporting Islamic State. Here are some of Choudhury’s statements, all of which are completely in line with Islamic teaching:

“Thieves would have various warnings first, and only in cases where he has stolen more than £20 of non-perishable goods from a private house would his hand be chopped off.”

“Under Sharia and under the Koran the sale of alcohol is prohibited and if one were to also drink alcohol, that would be 40 lashes.”

“All women would have to be covered up appropriately and wear the niqab or veil and so there will be no prostitution.”

“By 2050, Britain will be a majority Muslim country. It will be the end of freedom of democracy and submission to God.”

Choudary’s name has been linked to 15 terror plots: he  inspired Khuram Butt, one of the London Bridge terrorists as well Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who killed the British soldier Lee Rigby in 2013.  His influence is alive and well – we talk to his acolytes every week at Speaker’s Corner.

Because he was given a fixed-term sentence, he is automatically eligible for release half-way through this sentence. (Stricter options, for those who remain a danger to the public, such as “extended determinate sentences” are available but were not applied in the Choudary case.) And so, despite being described by the judge as “genuinely dangerous” he is being released under strict conditions; he’s not allowed outside London, his Internet search history will be monitored, he won’t be allowed to meet his jihadi contacts – at huge cost to the tax payer. Will he get round these? Why ever not? This is a man who accepts Islamic theocracy as the only true authority, not some rule of law imposed on him by the kufr.

What do both cases tell us? That a Muslim in a non-Muslim country enjoys the freedom to criticise that country’s beliefs but those freedoms are not reciprocated. That Islam breeds fanaticism and fear. The fanaticism of thousands, who think the honour of their prophet is well served by the murder of an illiterate woman asking a reasonable question; and the fear of death for anyone daring to side with her. The fanaticism that comes with one man wanting to live purely by the teaching of Allah; and Muhammad and the authorities’ fear of confronting this robustly.

How do you overcome fear? Only through trusting in the only One who has faced death and overcome. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33. And it’s because of Him we speak up, in the  hope that Muslims will become his disciples, and that “the truth will set them free.” Asia is in prison for her spirited defence of the truth about Jesus Christ; we must continue to speak fearlessly of Him in her honour, and pray fervently for justice to be done.

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No answers to tongue-sucking Hadith

No answers to tongue-sucking Hadith.

Muslims offer no satisfactory explanation to the Muhammad’s depraved behaviour with his young grandson. And they admit “it’s not OK to do that.”

Musnad Ahmad 16245—[Mua’wiya said]: I saw the prophet sucking on the tongue or the lips of Al-Hassan son of Ali, may the prayers of Allah be upon him. For no tongue or lips that the prophet sucked on will be tormented (by hell fire).

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