Lies, dam’d lies and taqqiya

Yesterday the government announced new counter-terrorism measures: a mandatory 14 year jail term for convicted terrorists, more imams to de-programme the radicalised and a polygraph test for those eligible for parole.

While none of the above will work, because none of it gets to the root of the problem, it’s the last one that is the most crazy bananas. Why, suddenly, is a cheap-trick, gotcha-useless bit of tech, ditched even by Jeremy Kyle, suddenly considered useful by Her Majesty’s Government in catching dangerous criminals?

Lie detectors measure physiological changes in a person in response to questions. If your heart rate increases, your respiratory rate increases, if you touch your nose, fidget etc etc, poly says: you’re lying. Or are you? Did you just have a cup of coffee? Are you distracted by last night’s Love Island? Are you angered by being hooked up to a polygraph machine to prove your innocence? They are notorious for false positives. And false negatives too – we’re all very skilled liars when we want to be, and can mitigate our physiological responses if we want to get off the hook that badly. Mind over matter. But surely it’s better than nothing, says the government, in its throw-the-kitchen-sink-at -it approach to dealing with the terrorist threat.

Except there is something available that is far cheaper, far more obvious and has a decent chance of being effective if anyone would just have the cojones to try it. Introducing the very simple, two-step DCCI de-radicalisation programme! Step one: identify the issue.  Ask what the motivation is behind an Islamic terrorist’s desire to lie through their teeth? Step two: destroy the thing that motivates them.

Step one. What motivates an Islamic terrorist to lie? Answer: the objects of their worship and adoration above all other things, even life itself, Allah and Muhammad. According to the Qu’ran, Allah is a deceiver:

“and they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed against them: and Allah is the best of schemers” (Sure 3:54)

The tafsir of Khashf Al Asrar translates it as “and they deceived, and God deceived, and God is the best of deceivers,” ‘deceive’ being closer to the Arabic, makr. The context of this verse is the crucifixion of Jesus.  In other words, Allah made the crucifixion look like it happened when it didn’t really, deceiving Jesus’ own mother and generations of Christians. (Wow. Big lie.)

Muhammad also sanctioned lying. On one occasion he allowed his followers to lie in order to assassinate an old ally.  Sahih Bukhari 5:59:369 states:

Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (falsething (i.e. to deceive Kab).” The Prophet said, “You may say it.” […] When Muhammad got a strong hold of him, he said (to his companions), “Get at him!” So they killed him and went to the Prophet and informed him. 

He did so again in revenge for someone who had written a mocking poem about him:

Then he composed amatory verses of an insulting nature about the Muslim women. The apostle said-according to what ‘Abdullah b. a1-Mughith b. Abu Burda told me-‘Who will rid me of Ibnu’I-Ashraf?’ Muhammad b. Maslama, brother of the B. ‘Abdu’l-Ashhal, said, ‘I will deal with him for you, O apostle of God, I will kill him.’ He said, ‘Do so if you can:(…) He said, ‘O apostle of God, we shall have to tell lies.’ He answered, ‘Say what you like, for you are free in the matter.” (Life of Muhammad, Guillaume, p367)

Are Muslims supposed to lie too? Yes they are. For example, the Qur’an commands them not to take disbelievers as friends (Sura 3:28). This being impractical sometimes, Ibn Kathir elaborates: 

believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.” Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, “The Tuqyah (lie) is allowed until the Day of Resurrection .” 

Tirmidhi 4:1:1939 writes that there are three conditions under which it is permissible for a Muslim to lie, one of which is “during war.” And in Islam, there are only two states to inhabit: the dar al-Islam (the house of Islam) or the dar al-Harb (the house of war.) Which one do you think the likes of Usman Khan considers Britain to be?

Stage One complete. Stage Two: ask Muslims the question, if their god deceives, and their prophet deceived, how do they know they are not being deceived too? Even Caliphs like Abu Bakr feared the deception of Allah, even if they had one foot in paradise. Can they live with such dreadful uncertainty? Or is there an alternative God, and an alternative Prophet, Priest, King and Saviour?

The Bible teaches consistently that lying is sinful. The 9th commandment says to ‘not commit false testimony against your neighbour’. The Bible says it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18) and calls Satan ‘the father of lies’ (John 8:44.) Christians are exhorted not to lie to each other, because have ‘taken off’ our old self (Colossians 3:19.) Jesus makes it even simpler in Matthew 5:36:

“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

But Jesus goes further than just telling his followers to tell the truth. He embodies the truth, He is the truth:

“I am the the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 3:16)

And, that true freedom comes from believing in him and following him:

“Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Imagine freedom as new birth, total cleansing from sin, full forgiveness made possible by Christ on the Cross. A liberation for the heart irrespective of the presence of physical walls. Imagine if a message like that was received by all the wannabe Usman Khans in prison. Until they hear it, they’ll be dreaming of their liberation the Islamic way, with 72 virgins and thinking how they can convince a machine that they really, really have changed. (Promise.)

What is Allah’s shin?

What is Allah’s shin?

Hatun asks Islamic Dawah Team, what Allah’s shin, which Muslims will recognise him by? (Remember) the Day when the Shin shall be laid bare (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) and they shall be called to prostrate (to Allah), but they (hypocrites) shall not be able to do so. s68:42 Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: … When there remain only those who used to worship Allah (Alone), both the obedient ones and the mischievous ones, it will be said to them, ‘What keeps you here when all the people have gone?’ They will say, ‘We parted with them (in the world) when we were in greater need of them than we are today, we heard the call of one proclaiming, ‘Let every nation follow what they used to worship,’ and now we are waiting for our Lord.’ Then the Almighty will come to them in a shape other than the one which they saw the first time, and He will say, ‘I am your Lord,’ and they will say, ‘You are not our Lord.’ And none will speak: to Him then but the Prophets, and then it will be said to them, ‘Do you know any sign by which you can recognize Him?’ They will say. ‘The Shin,’ and so Allah will then uncover His Shin whereupon every believer will prostrate before Him and there will remain those who used to prostrate before Him just for showing off and for gaining good reputation. These people will try to prostrate but their backs will be rigid like one piece of a wood (and they will not be able to prostrate). Then the bridge will be laid across Hell.” We, the companions of the Prophet said, “O Allah’s Messenger! What is the bridge?’ He said, “It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (Hooks like) a thorny seed that is wide at one side and narrow at the other and has thorns with bent ends. Such a thorny seed is found in Najd and is called As-Sa’dan. …Sahih al-Bukhari 9:93:532

Find us on YouTube and Facebook.

Reclaiming martyrdom

Libyan martyrs
courtesy of the Catholic Exchange

It’s inevitable that the meanings of words evolve according to how society uses them – what’s interesting is what this says about society’s preoccupations. The sexual revolution changed the definition of ‘gay’;  our cynical postmodern weariness is changing the meaning of ‘virtue’, and so on. So it is with ‘martyr’. What is a martyr these days? A passive-agressive completer of menial tasks or a religious fanatic, bent on paradise, happy to blow themselves up and their enemies with them.

This is a fair enough definition – of Islamic ‘martyrdom’. Islam teaches believers to slay and be slain, that jihad – fighting in Allah’s cause -is the greatest of deeds, and that dying this way is so good you’ll want to come back to life just to do it all over again:

Qur’an 9:111—Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain.

Sahih al-Bukhari 2785—Narrated Abu Hurairah: A man came to Allah’s Messenger and said, “Guide me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” He replied, “I do not find such a deed.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 2797—Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet said, . . . “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is! I would love to be martyred in Allah’s Cause and then come back to life and then get martyred, and then come back to life again and then get martyred and then come back to life again and then get martyred.”

But because of our society’s woeful religious illiteracy, most people think that’s how Christians who are serious about their faith end up too: fanatics who slaughter people in the name of God. Twisted? Yes. But how did we end up in this situation? Why has the concept of Christian martyrdom been so successfully erased from public consciousness? Maybe because in the West, apart from some notable exceptions we don’t want to die for Christ anymore. We want full churches (who cares if they don’t teach the Bible), paid clergy in jobs for life, inclusive communities, uplifting meetings and guitar-led worship. What would Ridley and Latimer make of it all? Most of us – Biblically conservative Christians included – daren’t pipe up on social media in defence of Biblical truth, let alone go to the stake for it.

Then you hear stories from other parts of the world that bring us to our knees in  awe of the power of Christ in people’s lives and weeping in repentance for our own lukewarm love for our Saviour. Here is one, courtesy of Barnabas Fund from a couple of days ago:

“Pastor Stephen was asleep at home with his wife and two daughters in Darfur, Sudan, when six masked Islamists burst in, during the early hours of 2 March. They asked why he had continued to preach about Jesus, after they had warned him several times to stop. Stephen had a powerful evangelistic ministry and the day before had led 56 Muslims to Christ. Stephen‘s answer to the Islamists was simply to tell them about the Lord. The attackers tied up the family and chopped off their limbs until they died. Stephen, the last to die, sang “Hallelujah Hosanna” throughout it all. At their funeral, the powerful preaching caused another 214 people to give their lives to Christ. Praise God for the faithfulness of Stephen and his family and pray for all who have become Christians because of him, that they may glorify God by their lives and – if need be – their deaths.”

Martyrdom in Christianity is about laying down your life for the sake of Christ. It has nothing to do with ‘slaying others.’ You don’t do it for a better reward, but as a gift to the One who has given us more than we can ever possibly give Him back. Because of Pastor Stephen and his family’s faithfulness to the end, hundreds of people will now live eternally with Jesus.So let’s stop calling Islamic martyrdom ‘martyrdom,’ when it is a parody of martyrdom. Let’s call it what it is – jihad-inspired violence and terror.

One day, if we’re in Christ, we’ll meet Pastor Stephen face-to-face – and Latimer and Ridley and Cranmer and Stephen and the Apostle Paul and countless other brave Christian martyrs. What will we talk about? What we learnt at our last women’s conference? Whether Matt Redman was right to re-work “It is well with my soul?” Whether we were Calvinists or Armenians?

We pray for our Christian family in these countries, of course. But we pray too – God change us. Shake us out of our timidity and complacency with tears of repentance. May we never read these accounts, shrug our shoulders and carry on as before. And who knows what the consequence might be of a church that said- and meant – “to live is Christ, to die is gain?” (Phillipians 1:21)

Hugh Latimer was onto something with his (alleged) last words before going up in flames:  “Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.” Are we worthy torch-bearers of this flame today? Or are we slowly extinguishing it one compromise at a time?

What’s the benefit of 72 virgins?

A Christian asks; what’s the benefit of 72 virgins?

s 56:35-37: We have produced the women of Paradise in a [new] creation. And made them virgins, Devoted [to their husbands] and of equal age

Tirmidhi 3:20:1663: the Messenger of Allah said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head – and its gems are better than the world and what is in it – he is married to seventy two wives along Al-Huril-‘Ayn of Paradise, and he may intercede (save) for seventy of his close relatives.” (from hell) (Hasan)

Find us on YouTube and Facebook

Islamic Paradise

Islamic Paradise

Hatun and Daniel investigate what Islamic Paradise looks like, including some delightful ahadith:

Tirmidhi 3:20:1663: the Messenger of Allah said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head – and its gems are better than the world and what is in it – he is married to seventy two wives along Al-Huril-‘Ayn of Paradise, and he may intercede (save) for seventy of his close relatives.” (from hell) (Hasan)

Ibn Majah 5:37:4337: the Messenger of Allah said: “There is no one whom Allah will admit to Paradise but Allah will marry him to seventy-two wives, two from houris (heavenly wives) and seventy from his inheritance from the people of Hell, all of whom will have desirable front passages and he will have a male member that never becomes flaccid (i.e., soft and limp).” (a promise of a private part that is hard while having sex with 70 women from hell)

Rev 22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Find us on YouTube and Facebook