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March 4th, 2018

Submitted by Abdul Momin.

Billy Graham, a very prominent American evangelist and who had close connections with several American Presidents, recently passed away.

Although I am not aware of anything negative that Billy Graham may have said concerning Islam, his son Franklin Graham after 9/11 once called Islam "a very evil and wicked religion".

An article about the life of Billy Graham appeared on MSN at the time of his death. In this article Billy Graham is said to have been "saved" after attending a preacher's sessions in 1934. He is then said to have made a "decision for Christ."

What is very interesting is how he felt after this conversion. The article states:

Returning home with a friend that night, Mr. Graham said, he thought: “Now I’ve gotten saved. Now whatever I do can’t unsave me. Even if I killed somebody, I can’t ever be unsaved now.”

While Billy Graham may never have killed anybody in his life, apparently being "saved" by Jesus saved him from eternal damnation, even if he killed someone. It seems that Jesus would unburden a Christian of his sin even if that person killed someone. However this concession or tolerance is not available to people of other faiths. 

I do not recall ever reading that Jesus made killing of humans lawful.

5 Responses to “”

  1. March 4th, 2018 at 10:19 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    It seems that the manner of someone's death has become a more important guide than how they lived their lives. This applies to the good, like Jesus, and also the bad, like those Muslims who lead criminal lives and then die as martyrs in some violent attack. Their admirers don't look at their lives to assess them, but only at their death.

    According to the Gospels, when Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”, he replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew, 22:36-39)

    The same is recorded in Mark 12:29-31, but before the injunctions about love of God and neighbour mentioned above, Jesus begins his reply as follows: “The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

    In Luke, ch. 10 Jesus gives a similar reply to his reply in Matthew, but the question he is asked is: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25)

    Inheriting eternal life is the same as the being saved mentioned by Billy Graham. Therefore, according to Jesus, in three Gospels, to be saved one needs to love God and one's neighbour. This cannot possibly be reconciled with killing someone!

    Comparing the Christian belief in atonement with the Muslim belief that if you recite the Kalima you will enter paradise, there is an interesting comment by a narrator of hadith in Sahih Bukhari, recorded right at the head of Bukhari's book of Funerals. He was asked:

    “Is not the formula ‘There is no God but Allāh’ the key to Paradise?”

    He said: “Yes, but there is no key without teeth. If you bring a key with teeth, it (the door to Paradise) will be opened for you, otherwise it will not be opened for you.”

    The Kalima is like a blank key to paradise. A person has to cut teeth into that key by his deeds to make it into a working key that can unlock a door.

  2. March 6th, 2018 at 2:56 am
    From Abdul Momin:

    In my previous post my second last sentence reads:

    "However this concession or tolerance is not available to people of other faiths."

    Implicit in this sentence is the conclusion that while bigoted Christians condemn Islam for being a violent religion just because of the actions of extremist Muslims, (Billy Graham's own son calls Islam an "evil and wicked religion"), the "peaceful" Christian faith according to one of its most prominent clergymen (Billy Graham) would save a Christian even if he killed someone. So I wonder if Hitler would still be saved, if anytime during his lifetime he professed faith in Jesus as his savior.

    In the eyes of evangelist bigots one religion (Islam) is bad and a false religion because it supposedly preaches violence, while another religion (Christianity) is good and a true religion even if one or more of its adherents commit murder. They still end up being saved. This is the contradiction that I would like to point out.

  3. March 6th, 2018 at 7:11 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    In the statements of Jesus which I gave in my comment above, the commandment to love God with all your heart and soul and mind, is a quotation by him from the book of Deuteronomy, ch. 6, v. 4 (as indicated in any cross-reference Bible). The same book of Deuteronomy says only a few verses later at the beginning of the next chapter:

    "When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations — the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you — and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." (Deuteronomy, 7:1-6)

    While Christians claim that Jesus abolished this law, in practice the thinking and attitude of Christian powers has always been moulded by instructions like the above in the Bible. Hitler was, of course, a product of the Christian environment, whether or not he was himself a Christian.

  4. March 6th, 2018 at 9:02 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    In the US there are many evangelists like Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart and others who villify Islam and consider it to be a false religion. They take advantage of whatever happens in the name of Islam at the hands of extremists. Recently I read that a strategy is being prepared for the 2020 elections in which surveys are being conducted and questions are being asked of the US population like,"Do you fear the imposition of sharia law in the US?" with a view to appeal to the Christian base. This reminds me of mullahs going to the people before the 1970 general elections in Pakistan and asking people with a Quran in one hand and a photo of ZA Bhutto in the other hand and asking people,"are you going to vote for this (the Quran) or this (ZA Bhutto)? This was narrated to me by a friend of mine.

    My whole original post was written keeping in view the bigotry against the religion of Islam in the US. Of course Jesus never abolished the law of Moses, and he was a righteous prophet of God. There is no disagreement about his true teachings.

  5. March 7th, 2018 at 9:14 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    The hostility and bigotry against Islam in the USA, mentioned by Abdul Momin, leads to another interesting point, as an aside from his main topic.

    After Ahmadis were declared non-Muslim in Pakistan, as we know the government prescribed on certain forms (such as identity card or passport applications) that anyone who indicates that his religion is Islam must declare that he is not an Ahmadi of any sort and that he believes Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be an imposter, etc. This forced many Ahmadis to accept with reluctance that they should indicate under "religion" that they are "Ahmadis", i.e., in the non-Muslim category, thus not having to sign the abusive declaration.

    Ahmadis, on this score, faced bitter criticism and ridicule from some of their Muslim friends in Pakistan who taunted them and said: You are calling yourselves non-Muslims.

    (Question: If a Shiah authority required that for a person to be a Muslim he must sign that Abu Bakr and Umar were hypocrites, would our Sunni friends sign this?)

    Now the hostility that has arisen against Islam in the West has vindicated us, because we openly call ourselves as Muslims in the West despite the possibility of facing prejudice and discrimination. When a person calls himself a Muslim in Pakistan, it is very easy to do as he faces no opposition or repercussions. In fact, he meets with social approval and acceptance. He has everything material to gain. But we Ahmadis are calling ourselves Muslims in countries where by being known as a Muslim you risk prejudice to the possible extent of violence.

    Al-hamdu-lillah, that we are calling ourselves Muslims where it is hard to do, not easy, and where we may incur worldly loss by identifying as Muslims. Thus we have refuted our critics in Pakistan who said: "You are not calling yourselves as Muslims", because we are.

    And what about those critics? I know people who, when living in Pakistan, expressed pride that they are Muslims in law, and Ahmadis are not. Then they migrated to the West after 9/11, and started worrying that if it was found out that they are Muslims they might encounter hostility. One such person had "Muhammad" as one of his forenames. He got worried that this name appears on his documents! So he replaced it by just the initial "M." This is their "respect" for the sacred name of the Holy Prophet, the respect over which they even kill people in Pakistan for "insulting" the Holy Prophet. Their love for the Holy Prophet evaporated as soon as they realized that they may have to pay a price for that love!

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