How would you respond to these common claims that Muslims make with the intention of trying to show that Islam is true i.e. the one true religion
1) ‘Islam is not a religion in the common and distorted sense, for it does not confine its scope to one’s private life. It is a complete way of life and is present in every field of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all aspects of life – individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, and national and international.’
2) ‘Islam is named after the action of submitting to God’s commands and will and not a person. Other religions are often named after a person or people. For instance, Christianity is named after Christ, Judaism is named after the tribe of Juda, and Buddhism is named after Buddha. Islam is not name after Muhammad because Islam existed before him.’
3) ‘Islam in its clear and direct way of expressing truth has a tremendous amount of appeal for any seeker of knowledge. It is the solution for all the problems of life. It is a guide toward a better and complete life glorifying in all its phases God, the Almighty Creator and the Merciful Nourisher.’
4) ‘Islam is the most rational religion. It gives a clear code of life.’
5) ‘Islam is the first and the final religion of mankind.’
6) ‘Islam is the shortest and broadest road that leads to God.’
1. I am not sure what these “common and distorted” religions are that are referred to here. By this, does the apologist for Islam mean pagan or animistic religion, or is he/she talking about Christianity or Judaism, about whom the Qur’an refers to as “people of the book?” With this first question, I would agree with the truth of claim #1. Islam does deal with most major aspects of life. It is not a nationalistic or narrow religion. This does not mean that Islam is the truth or even that Muhammad is a true prophet, but I agree that the nature of Islam does fit the description in this point.
2. The fact that Christianity is named after a person is immaterial to what Christianity is. The name tells us nothing. In fact, Christianity was given the name “Christian” by outsiders, not by the participants in the religion. Christians in the first century called themselves disciples, and they called their movement “The Way.” I see no material or important point made by this rather shallow reference to who the different religions are named after. There is absolutely zero evidence that the religion known as Islam existed before Muhammad. Where? Can you provide the names? What year was it introduced, if not AD 610. This is a historically misleading statement.
3. I do not agree that Islam solves all the problems of life. For example, it does not solve the sin problem, as Islam does not provide for forgiveness of sins. It is a works-salvation religion which balances good deeds with sins. This is a false solution for the problem of sin. Its amount of appeal, I suppose, is in the eye of the beholder. I personally do not find Islam appealing for several reasons, not the least of which is the life of its founder, who was a militant leader of armies, who had several wives, who oversaw the massacre of several hundred Jewish men in Medina, and who, I believe, was a false prophet. This claim is simply a false one, although I will admit that some people do in fact find Islam to appeal to them.
4. This is a mere statement or rhetoric. What is rational about Islam? What is the basis for this claim? What makes Islam more “rational” than any other religion? Please be specific. This is not an argument but a mere rhetorical statement. Besides, what makes a religion good is not its being rational, but its being true. The basis for a religion being “good” is that it is true, not that it is logical. I do not buy the claim that Islam is more rational that Christianity, but my belief in Christ is not based on how “rational” Christianity is. My faith in Christ is based on the fact that Jesus is God, that he was raised from the dead, that he offered his life for the sins of the world, and that he is in fact God-in-the-flesh. I am not sure that all of these things are rational. In fact, that Jesus gave his life so that we could be forgiven of our sins is perhaps not really all that rational. But I am sure glad that, unlike Muhammad, Jesus offers forgiveness of sins to those who believe in and who serve him. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I AM.” Jesus claimed to be God. Again, I am not sure if this is rational, but what I am concerned about is that it is true.
5. Islam is the first religion. A clearly false statement! I can name several that came before Islam. It is the final religion of mankind? Did not the Bah’ai religion and the Sikh religion come after Islam? This is either a poorly defined claim or it is a blatantly false claim. Is this person saying that it is the best religion? OK. Saying something does not make it true. Given the extremely flawed character of its founder Muhammad, and the fact that he was a false prophet, I find the claim that it is the best religion to be based on weak ground. Jesus, who lived a sinless life, who raised Lazarus from the dead, who fulfilled dozens of messianic prophecies, and who was raise from the dead founded a much better religion. Islam is a works-based religion which offers, at best, mercy, while Christianity is a grace-based religion which offers love, which is greater than mercy. Personally, I disagree with this claim and I have good reasons for doing so.
6. What does this mean? Jesus said that he is the only way to God. He said that “no one comes to the Father except through me.” If this is true, then Muhammad is not a way to God at all. In fact, I believe that he is NOT a way to God. Jesus did not claim to be a short or easy way to God at all. In fact, Jesus said that the way to God was difficult, and that only a few find it. (Matthew 7). What is the positive aspect of being a “short” or a “broad” way to God? I am not sure what this even means. This needs definition.