In Whose Name have you Come?

Something I wrote to a Muslim friend, part of a much larger apologetic work.



Dear Abed,



Peace be with you.



Now when a man and a woman are married to each other in the mystery of the Crowns, as it is called in the East, or in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, as we call it in the West, they become one flesh before God. In the same way, though we are sinful and enemies of God, though we bring shame upon him by our ignorance and disobedience, we may be saved by being united to the Messiah. For Noah’s whole family was saved from God’s judgment upon the whole earth; but Noah alone among them was righteous. And when God wanted to destroy the tribes of Jacob, Moses who alone among them was humble, and he interceded before God, and God relented. He relented for the sake of this one man who was humble and who was a friend of God. And when the first apostles (mursaliin or hawarriyuun) of Jesus went to the pagans, they found a God-fearing man name Cornelius. Cornelius believed in the Gospel, but his whole household was saved and entered into the Kingdom of God that day; and that day they were baptized as Jesus had commanded.



So there is only one person who does not have a debt towards God and that is Jesus, only one person who has not brought shame upon God’s holy name. Now in Islam some people say that the prophets gain the benefit of being immune from sin after they receive their calling. But before they receive their calling they are not immune. So even the prophets who lived upright lives did sin at times, and as such showed that they needed to repent and confess their sins to God, asking for forgiveness and mercy on the day of judgment.



But there is one man in all of history who did not bring shame upon God’s name, and that is Jesus. And Jesus has entered into the fullness of God’s light and glory because he alone was obedient to God’s commands. So it is in his name that we approach God when we ask for mercy or forgiveness. These concepts are indeed present in Islam, but they are flawed. For will you come before the throne of God in your own name? You, a sinner and enemy of God? And when you come before his throne what will you say when the Judge asks why he should forgive you? Will you say, for the sake of Mohammad? “But Mohammad is there next to you asking for mercy. So how can you come in his name?” God will answer.



I will be there by your side on that day friend, for you and I are the same. And the greatest prophets will be there and the most reprobate sinners will be there too. And we will see on that day that all of our righteous deeds are like menstruated rags before the purity and holiness of God.



So what will you say? Will you say I kept the pillars of Islam without any flaw, I kept them perfectly? Who can say such a thing? In that day the Qu’ran itself will testify against you and reveal that your obedience was not flawless.



And on that day the Torah and the Injil will testify against me as well friend. But the difference is this: I will plead with God and say, I am not here in my own name, but in the name of the single person who obeyed you: Jesus. I believe in his name and am baptized into his wife, the Church. Will you Almighty God deny the one who obeyed you a wife for eternity?



And God will say, if you came in your own name, or of some other man, then you would receive what you deserve. But Messiah will surely bring his bride into Paradise. And so it is that we who follow Jesus have a hope for the day of salvation. If you plan on coming to God in your own name, or the name of some other sinner, on the day of judgment, then beware. Prepare your answer as to why God should even allow you to plead your case.



If I came to this Kingdom’s king in my own name I will not even be given a hearing. If I come to him as a representative of the President of my own country, then I will be received generously and with great honor. And so it is with God.



Peace.


Abu Daoud

Comments

SocietyVs said…
Good letter. Thanks for even more insight - this is revealing a lot of what I need to know in dialogue.
Abu Daoud said…
I wish you the best in your dialogue. I do want to encourage you to remember that there is no substitute for genuine love, which is a virtue that the Spirit gives and grows in us, by our Father's grace.

You already know this, but it is good to be reminded from time to time.

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