Monday, September 22, 2014

New research on contextual theology and Christian converts from Islam

Hi All,

Well, it's not light reading, but here is a new doctoral dissertation about Christian converts from Islam. The focus is on field studies of some Arab believers in the Middle East, and some Iranian congregations in the West.

The title is Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians, from the University of Edinburgh by Dr. D A Miller.

Download the PDF from his academia website, HERE.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why the rapes of the Islamic State are Hallal

I have heard people who don't know about Islam comment that the Islamic State soldiers 'rape' women, and that this is against Islam.

This, however, is incorrect. These are not men committing rape, or if they are committing rape then Allah does not mind. Specifically, slaves are part of the booy (anfal) of jihad, and we know from the Prophet himself that Allah has no problem with men having sex with their female slaves. That is outlined clearly in the Qur'an, but also in this hadith:

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 137:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
We got female captives in the war booty and we used to do coitus interruptus with them. So we asked Allah's Apostle about it and he said, "Do you really do that?" repeating the question thrice, "There is no soul that is destined to exist but will come into existence, till the Day of Resurrection."
 The Prophet had no problem at all with them men having sex with their new slaves. He was, however, troubles by their practice of coitus interruptus. For the life of me I wish more Muslims knew about the life of this man, because a lot of them would leave Islam and find a better man to follow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Part XXIV: How to Meet Your Local Muslim Neighbors

Part XXIV: How to Meet Your Local Muslim Neighbors
by Abu Daoud
Those of you who have been following our ministry for some time know that we wear many hats. One of those is consultant. Churches and ministries approach us with questions about ministry to Muslims and ask for our advice and help. One of the most common questions is, how do we meet Muslims?

Picture it: you have a group of Christians committed to praying for Muslims, they have studied some of the basics of Islam, have read a couple of books, have listened to some of my world famous lectures *;) winking and they are ready to get to work. And now what? They know there are many Muslims in their city. Where to start?

Each city is different, but here is my basic advice:

1. Shop where they shop: is there an 'international grocery store' or a place that caters to hallal food? Make it a habit of shopping there from time to time. Ask the Spirit to do something surprising before you go in and be expecting him to do it!

2. International Students: are there any ministries that cater to such students? Call your local uni and ask about hosting someone in your home, or at least showing them around town. Get off your butt and call around! You'll be surprised at what you find.

3. English: you speak the international language, and there are many international students and refugees who want to learn it, or who know it and want a conversation partner. Look around on the internet and find out who is doing this in your city and see if you can volunteer. You might now be paired with a Muslim, that is true. But praise God! Buddhists and Hindus need Jesus too.

4. Refugees: so many of the unstable regions in this world today are majority-Muslim: Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, etc. Call your local refugee settlement group and ask if you can help. Follow their rules! If they say you can't evangelize as your volunteer, then don't. But after you are done volunteering, you will have some wonderful friendships where you and your new friends decide what to talk about. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

"September Eleventh" by Penny Cagan

September Eleventh
by Penny Cagan

I could tell you what it was like to be there -
the sky black with bodies - humanity colluding with gravity -
people jumping in pairs - linked lives spent working together
in towers so tall it must have felt like heaven to sit at a desk
and watch the city transform with the light of the seasons -
the moment sealed windows were liberated with office furniture,
the moment of shattered glass
when doomed colleagues linked hands and decided to jump -
the early fall air washed with morning coolness -
the escape from the rattling of downtown, suffocating smoke, the heat -
to be a witness to all this, on the ground, not quite safe,
but spared from all but the watching,
yes, I could tell you what it was like,
but that would require the crafting of a narrative
from the singed paper raining down like confetti,
the sky blackened with terrorist graffiti,
the towers stricken, and then stricken again,
their dark shadows erased from the sky,
my clothes soaked with dust and ash -
that gorgeous autumn day - the kind that makes late August
bearable because of the promise of its crisp breath,
and the light, the pure sweet morning light
of September Eleventh,
the event that I could speak of -
if there was something here to say.

September was my favorite month
the sun suddenly different than it was the day before,
somehow gentler and sunken in the sky,
its reflection elongated against the towers,
languorous August now in retreat,
both the unease and promise of longer nights,
the new season upon us with all that it brings,
the residual memories from our school days,
the purchase of new school supplies -
the lure of a sharpened pencil,
a notebook neatly divided into subjects,
the fine lines of green graph paper,
the anticipation of unopened textbooks,
the comfort of a light woolen sweater
slung low on the shoulders,
slung low like the month itself -
hope embedded in a porous rubber eraser.

©2001, Penny Cagan

Yes, Decapitation and Crucifixion are both enjoined in the Qur'an

I'm amazed by this rhetoric of how Islamic State is not really Islamic. This is ridiculous and insensitive. Men are leaving their homes and safety for the sake of Islam as they understand it within the Islamic State.

And when the people of the IS cut off the heads or crucify those whom they consider to be enemies of Islam, they are simply emulating Muhammad, the ideal man.

Here is where the Qur'an enjoins crucifixion:

“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.” — Qur’an 5:33

And here is where the Prophet is told to decapitatet (ie, strike on the neck with a sword) those who are enemies of Islam, specifically in the context of the Battle of Badr:

[Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, "I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip." -- Qur'an 8:12

So please, understand that the men of the Islamic State have a solid argument on their side that their actions are indeed Islamic and they are merely imitating the Prophet.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Economics and Jihad

I hope this quote will give us some insight regarding the growth of the Islamic State and why people are attracted to it.

"We are at a time of Jihad; Jihad for the sake of Allah is a pleasure, a true pleasure. Mohammed’s followers used to compete to do it. The reason we are poor now is because we have abandoned jihad. If only we can conduct a jihadist invasion at least once a year or if possible twice or three times, then many people on Earth would become Muslims. And if anyone prevents our dawa or stands in our way, then we must kill them or take as hostage and confiscate their wealth, women and children. Such battles will fill the pockets of the Mujahid who can return home with 3 or 4 slaves, 3 or 4 women and 3 or 4 children. This can be a profitable business if you multiply each head by 300 or 400 dirham,. This can be like financial shelter whereby a jihadist, in time of financial need, can always sell one of these heads (meaning slavery). No one can make that much money in one deal (from hard work) even if a Muslim goes to the West to work or do trade. In time of need, that is a good resource for profit."

--Abu Ishak al Huweini

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Matthew Hanley: How Islam Set Back Western Civilization

Wow. Check this out and then read the whole article:

Pirenne stressed that the source of the Roman Empire’s vitality cannot be disassociated from its essentially Mediterranean character and orientation; that clearly remained intact for quite a while. Western trade flourished as before, connected with the great cities of the East – where prosperity, population, and learning were concentrated. The overall features of life throughout the region in 600 were similar to what they had been in 400.

It was not until the advent of Islam in the 7th century, precisely then and only then, that destruction really arrived. Recurrent Islamic raids altered the very orientation of the littoral peoples; they fled the Mediterranean and for the first time looked to the north. East was severed from West, and the previously unified Mediterranean, “having become a Musalman lake, was no longer a thoroughfare of commerce and of thought which it always had been.”

Unlike the German invaders, wherever the Arabs went they ruled. This was a dimension of their religious claims. They sought not conversion per se, but demanded subjection, creating an insuperable barrier between the conquered and the Muslims: “What a contrast between them [the Arabs] and Theodoric, who placed himself at the service of those he had conquered, and sought to assimilate himself to them!” The whole region was thereby transformed, as the Arabs ushered in “a complete break with the past.”
Egyptian papyri, which had been widespread in the West (and a solid indicator of literacy), disappeared, as did distinctive coins that were in use right up until the Arab conquest – leading to the barter system. Despite the literary and archaeological sources, however, Pirenne’s arguments were dismissed in favor of the view that Islam had been (unlike “repressive” Christianity) an enlightening force.

A brilliant and important article. Read it all HERE.