Flag bearer of Arianism, Dieism and Unitarianism: Concentrating on the commonalities between the Abrahamic Faiths–The Arian influences on Islam, the Muslim influences on Martin Luther, Locke and Jefferson
By Akhbar Navees
A woman would throw garbage from the rooftop on the Prophet Muhammad every day in Mecca. One day when he noticed that no garbage was being thrown on him, he inquired about her, and discovered that she was sick. He prayed for her and gave her solace and comfort. She was so impressed, that she gave up her pagan rituals and converted to Islam.
During one of his trips, the people threw stones at him so much so that he was all bloodied. Upon his rescue by his supporters, he prohibited them from any action and requested God to forgiven them
An older Christian woman Khatija hired the young Mohamed for trade.She was so impressed by his integrity in conducting her business affairs so honestly and profitably that that she asked him to marry her. He remained faithful to her ’till her death. She was his companion, advisor, partners in life and one of the first converts to Islam.
While praying, his nephews Hasan and Husain would climb on his back. He would never scold them or admonish them, instead he prolonged his prayer in while prostrating.
Muhammad was known by the pagans of Arabia as “ameen” the honest one, “sadiq” the truthful one, long before he received revelation and even afterwards. He was offered, money and kingship to give up his message of “one God”, but he refused and continued to preach the message of Abraham. These are the stories I grew up with. This is my image of my prophet. This is the image all Muslims think of when we think of our prophet.
I have tried to define Islam in Christian and non-religious terms. Michael Baigent, Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Bible and the Naag Hamdi texts not withstanding, there is historical precedence in understand the message of Muhammad in the Christian context. This commonality will help us understand the message and therefore Islam and Muslims. UNDERSTANDING the genesis of the religion will help us understand each other and this will help us gain understanding of world events. Once we have understood Muhammad in the Christian context, then it is much easier to understand Jesus in the Muslim context. The founding fathers of America, the American Deists have already done that in many waysThe hordes are not coming. They have always been here. There is nothing to fear from Muslims who are like Unitarians or like Jefferson or Madison.Muslim tradition uses Peace be Upon Him (PBUH) every time we mention the name of Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Abraham or any of the other Biblical/Quranic prophets. I have left this out to make it more palatable to non-Muslim audiences
We can either demonize the other religion or work on building common ground. As Westernized Muslims, we can and should discuss the infallibilities of Muhammad the man. Muhammad was fortunate enough to be born in one of the power centers of an affluent Arabia which owed its prosperity to becoming the hub of trade and commerce. Affluent and powerful, he did not have to take on the entire Arabian peninsula and preach monotheism and a civl code of justice. He did not have to upset the equilibrium. He was part o fhte establishment and his tribe was all powerful. He like Abraham chose to eliminate idol worhip and clear the Kaaba of all idols. He was a man and not a God. My research of his entire life shows me a MAN OF COMPASSION, INCLUSIVELY and MAGNANIMITY. This opinion is based on his entire life and teachings. I have so many stories that it would take volumes of paper to print. This image of Muhammad is also my core belief and my personal relationship with Muhammad the MAN. Muhammad’s life spans many decades. The religion was not based around his personality, but around the prophets of the Bible. He even called it “Deen e Ibrahimi” or the religion of Abraham. A cult would have died out in a year or so. It has now been 1400 years and the religion is growing. There must be something in the religion and the message.
Muhammad and Islam have faced defamation from the first day the declaration of the “shahadah” (submission to the will of God) was made. Muhammad’s entire life has been defined by many authors. The definitive works on the life of the prophet were written centuries ago and new ideas are but summaries of the books: These were Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat e Rasul Allah and Ibn Khatir’s Siratul nabi.
A new PBS documentary on Muhammad created by Alexander Kronemer who regularly writes on the interfaith site belief.com came out a couple of years ago. It should be available in the library and on PBS. It is based upon Karen Armstrong’s book titled “Muhammad.” She thinks of it as a gift to Muslims. She however needs to update her book on in light of the latest research on Banyu Quaraza. Karen Armstrong and Martin Lings are a few of the current authors that talk about Muhammad. I read Karen’s book ten years ago when it first came out.
MUHAMMAD IN THE CHRISTIAN CONTEXT:
The status of Muhammad has to be understood in the context of Christian Dogma and Christian beliefs of “inerrancy”, “infallibility” “inspiration” and the liberal interpretation of the Gospels. The discussion of the status of Jesus Christ has always been a topic of discussion between Christians. In many ways the discussions of Jesus Christ and the theological differences between Islam and Christianity are essentially a discussion about the so called heresies of Arias and Eusebius of Caesarea that germinated in the city of Antioch. This has been prolifically elucidated by Thomas Jefferson in his “Jeffersen Bible”. Many churches have taken a liberal approach to the interpretation of the Bible and consider it inspired or infallible.
ARIANISM WITHIN THE FOLD OF ISLAM INFLUENCED LUTHER’S PROTESTANT REFORMATION AND THE RENAISSANCE: Historically, Arianism was a majority opinion among Christians, but this began to change when Emperor Constantine intervened on behalf of and Trinitarians. However Emperor Constantine in order to preserve the empire wanted to combine existing trinatirian concepts within Rome and married them to Christian beliefs. Arius, a Libyan by descent, was brought up at Antioch, a center of Christian learning. He became the Bishop of Nicomedia, took part (306) and was made presbyter of the church called “Baucalis,” at Alexandria. He opposed the Sabellians, who were committed to a view of the Trinity which denied all real distinctions in the Supreme.
Constantine’s sister and Eusebius worked on the emperor to obtain reinstatement for Arius, and they would have succeeded, if Arius hadn’t suddenly died – by poisoning. Arianism regained momentum and survived until the reigns of Roman emperors Gratian and Theodosius, at which time, St. Ambrose set to work stamping it out. However that was not the end Arianism.
Arianism survived until 381AD in the Western Roman Empire and then thrived in the Easter Roman empire and other areas until the 7th century. After that Arianism went underground. Evangelists sent to the Germanic peoples converted the Goths to Arianism. When the Germanic people entered the Roman empire they entered it as Arians and used this form of Christianity to differentiate themselves from the Romans. The Germanic peoples were Arians. Arianism did not die even then.
The flag of Arianism laws carried by “The Brethren of the Common Life”, who were a medieval lay group dedicated to Bible study and education. They were persecuted, fled their native homelands and were scattered all over Europe. They are by many account held responsible for the renaissance.
ISLAM’S INFLUENCE ON MARTIN LUTHER: Martin Luther’s schooling included the Latin school at Mansfeld, a year at a school in Magdeburg (run by the Brethren at Eisenach). In his 15th year, Luther made valued older friends and was influenced by Arian ideas. Luther’s ideas led to the Christian reformation. Here are some of the positive things said by Martin Luther about Muhammad and Islam:
From this book, accordingly, we see that the religion of the Turks or Muhammad is far more splendid in ceremonies—and, I might almost say, in customs—thanours, even including that of the religious or all the clerics. The modesty and simplic-ity of their food, clothing, dwellings, and everything else, as well as the fasts, pray-ers, and common gatherings of the people that this book reveals are nowhere seenamong us—or rather it is impossible for our people to be persuaded to them. Fur-thermore, which of our monks, …Martin Luther
In 1532 facing the threat of the Turkish invasion, the Emperor agreed to a truce with the Protestants in the Religious Peace of Nürnberg. Facing the Turkish invasion Luthers’s ideas changed. Bernard Shaw also had a lot of good things to say about Islam.
…the ‘Bull’ of Pope Innocent III causing the massacre of 20,000 men, women and children (Albigenses) in France and the nailing of Martin Luther’s 95 questions on the Church door in Germany, it stretches a long period in between. The European society passed through a massive reform during this time. The reform movement of Peter Waldo of France, John Wycliffe of England, Jan Hus of Bohemia (Czech), Girolamo Savonarola of Italy, Michael Servetus of Spain, Ulrich Zwingli of Switzerland, William Tyndale of England and hundred others must have influenced Bernard Shaw to lean heavily towards the fairness of early Islam – the Islam that Pophet Muhammad once preached.
In addition to Suleriman, Charles was threatened by the pope, the king of France, and even some of his own princes! Suleriman, in opposing Charles V, helped the Protestants militarily and financially. God thus used the Moslem nation to provide opportunity for the Reformation to grow in Germany and in the rest of Europe.
Rumis influences: For Mevlana, a human being is made up of REASON ( knowledge, thought, conscience, maturity), LOVE ( emotions, poetry, music) and SPIRIT ( life, motion, whirling). It is very unlikely to find the three clamped to each other in theory and meaning in such a way in any other system. As a result, this approach created an ecolé, namely “Mevlana’s Whirling Dervishes”, and it has had great influence on people for centuries. Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, one of the humanists of Renaissance in 16th century, Martin Luther and Sebastian Frank, who translated some of Mevlana’s poems, Rambrandt(artist-17th century), Beethoven (composer-18th century), Frederick Ruckert, Joseph von Hammer, Johann Volfgang von Goethe(writers- 19th century) , Prof R. Nicholson and Prof Arbery of Cambridge University(20th century) and Heins Meinke (poet), Prof Helmuth Ritter and Anne Marie Schimmel of Bonn University (orientalists- 20th century) are some who were influenced by Mevlana’s philosophy.
ISLAM AS “HETRODOX CHRISTIANITY”:
John of Demascus actually calls Islam Hetrodox Christianity. John of Damascus is called the first apologetic of Islam and a detractor.
According the Wikipedia “John of Damascus (Latin: Iohannes Damascenus or Johannes Damascenus also known as John Damascene, Chrysorrhoas, “streaming with gold”—i.e., “the golden speaker”) (c. 676 – December 5, 749) was a Melkite monk and presbyter. He was born and raised in Damascus but died (in all probability) at the monastery of Mar Saba, southeast of Jerusalem.”.In his book the “Heresies of Ishamail” he pretty much defines Islam in the light of Arianism and what he defines as Nestorianism. Nestorius (c.386-c.451) was a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia in Antioch and later became the Patriarch of Constantinople. He preached against the use of the title Mother of God (Theotokos) for the Virgin Mary and would only call her Mother of Christ (Christotokos).
John of Damascus in today’s light would not be considered an apologetic of Islam. I would consider him a proponent of Islam since he ties Islam to a kind of a Gnostic Gospel. He called all gospels divinely inspired. It is fascinating to see the link between Islam and Christianity. If we read Arianism and Nestorianism, and Unitarianism in conjunction with what the Archbishop of Canterbury says, it paints a picture of immense interaction between Islam and a much closer relationship than generally accepted.Fletcher in his book “The Cross and the Crescent” lists a lot of commonalities between Islam and Christianity and informs us the Syriac Christian Churches felt liberated when the Muslim took over the Holy lands. In all Muslims lands taken over by Muslims from Christians, the number of churches built went up phenomenally. The Syriac and Coptic Christians were closer to “Unitarians” and the heterodox Christian doctrine of Nestorianism. From a Christian perspective These were all the “heresies” that eventually got purged by Emperor Constantine and got included into Islam
MUHAMMAD THE REFORMER: Muhammad was a reformer in a sea of paganism. His message was the purest form of monotheism that exists in the three Abrahamic religions. He had married a Christian woman by the name of Khadija. When Muhammad got his message from God he was referred to Khadija’s unlce Waqaba who was a Monophysite Christian. Waqaba informed Muhammad that the voices he was hearing was from God and there is prophecy in the Bible about someone like Muhammad. Some critics claim that Muhammad was influenced by a Nestorian monk Bahira (George or Sergius) who met the boy Mohammed at Bostra in Syria and claimed to recognize in him the sign of a prophet.
MUHAMMAD’S MESSAGE RESONATES WITH THE DISENCHANTED CHRISTIAN ARIANS: With the Arian Goths in decline, the land was hungry for the purest form of monotheism. He was taking Arabia and the world back to monotheism. He pointed out the excesses of the synagogue just like Jesus had done 600 years earlier. Muhammad also tried to reform the established church just like Martin Luther did a thousand years later. Muhammad was extremely successful because the pagans and the progeny of Arians accepted the new monotheist message. Islam spread like wildfire.
Quran [5:82] ..And you will find that the closest people in friendship to the believers are those who say, “We are Christian.” This is because they have priests and monks among them, and they are not arrogant. [7:159] Among the followers of Moses there are those who guide in accordance with the truth, and the truth renders them righteous.
[5:46] Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous.
[5:47] The people of the Gospel shall rule in accordance with GOD’s revelations therein. Those who do not rule in accordance with GOD’s revelations are the wicked.
[2:62 & 5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
CHRISTIANITY AT THE TIME OF MUHAMMAD: The “Christianity” and “Judaism” that existed at the time of Muhamamad was pre-reform Catholicism and Pre-Orthodox type of Judaism. It was very different than the Christianity and Judaism that exists today. The Christianity was probably based on the he scriptures called Diatesseron and the Catholic Epistles or Peshitta.
Since the Qur’ân talks about a Gospel, it would suggest Diatesseron more than Peshitta. Muslims consider the Quran to the 3rd and Final Testament and also think of the Torah and the Bible as Holy Books The Diatesseron was one of the earliest (AD 165) compilations of the Christian Bible. Tation’s Diatesseron is based on the Arabic version, itself a translation from the lost Syriac.Bible. It was complied iIn the second century, well before the `canonical’ gospels took their present form, Tatian took the four gospels (now included in Emperor Constantine’s approved Bible) and one or more Gnostic and Judaic one harmonized account of the life of Christ, the Diatessaron.
Tatian eliminated duplicated passages, deleted or reconciled contradicting verses, and harmonized parallels. Tatian’s Diatessaron became the standard gospel among the Syriac-speaking Christians of Syria and Mesopotamia up till the fifth century. Its text spread from China to England, and may be Iceland, and became one of the oldest witnesses to the gospels. Most Middle Eastern churches consider this the original Old Testament.
Arabic Translation: Two manuscripts of an Arabic translation of the Diatessaron exist (the Borgian and Vatican MSS). This translation is (in super- and sub-scriptions to the Borgian MS) said to be a translation made by Abu’l Faraj Abdulla ibn-at-Tayyib (d.1043) from a Syriac version of Tatian’s Diatessaron into Arabic. The Syriac exemplar on which he depended was written by Isa ibn Ali al Motatabbib (d. 873) who was a pupil of Honain ibn Ishak. In other words we are at least one translation (maybe two) away from the original Diatessaron, and several copyings
The principal Syriac translation of the Old Testament was carried out by Jews or Jewish Christians during the first two centuries AD. These are known as the Peshitta.By the beginning of the 5th century, or slightly earlier, the Syrian Church’s version of the Bible, the Peshitta (‘simple’ translation) was formed. For the New Testament it represented an accommodation of the Syrian canon with that of the Greeks. It contains 22 books – all of the present New Testament except: II Peter, II John, III John, Jude, Revelation of John. For the eastern part of the Syrian Church this constituted the closing of the canon, for after the Council of Ephesus (431 CE) the East Syrians separated themselves as the Nestorians.
The Peshitta, lightly revised and with missing books added, is the standard Syriac Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition: the Syriac Orthodox Church. Most Middle Eastern churches consider this the original Old Testament..The Quran is the word of God. The Hadith is the sayings of the prophet, so the Hadith is similar to the Bible. Christian Arab Kingdoms of the Ghassanids and Muntherits became the powers controlling the Arab Peninsula from Syria as far south as Yemen and Oman, and from Iraq as far south as the Arab Sea. The other Christians near Muhammad were the Nabatians.
The Nabateans were settled in northern Arabia and by the 6th century BC, they moved to what is now Jordan where they formed their state and kingdom. Petra, their capital, was a trading center between Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea.
ARIANISM IN MODERN TIMES: Today Arianism survives in the works of John Locke, Isaac Newton, Milton Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. Archbishop Dimitri of the Orthodox Church in America has identified Islam as the largest descendant of Arianism today. There is similarity in Islam’s teaching that Jesus was a great prophet, but very distinct from God, although Islam sees Jesus as a human messenger of God without the divine properties that Arianism attributes to the Christ.
Islam sees itself as a continuation of the Jewish and Christian traditions and reveres many of the same prophets.Non-Trinitarians claim the roots of their position go back further than those of their counterpart trinitarians. Some ancient sects, such as the Ebionites, said that Jesus was not a “Son of God” but rather an ordinary man who was a prophet, a view of Jesus shared by Islam. The doctrine of the Godhead, as mentioned by Jefferson according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is similar to Arianism
JOHN LOCKE and MILTON INFLUENCE JEFFERSON ON UNITARIANISM & DIEISM:
Thomas Jefferson was in touch with John Locke and heavily influenced by John Locke. In fact when Thomas Jefferson wrote the “Jefferson Bible” he mentions that he has been in touch with all major philosophers of religion in Europe. In 1700 Locke resigned from the Board of Trade and devoted himself to Biblical studies and religious meditation. He had carefully studied the Gospels in preparing his “Reasonableness of Christianity.” In researching the Epistles of St Paul, he applied the spirit of the Essay and the ordinary rules of critical interpretation to a literature which he venerated as infallible. The work was published two years after. A tract on Miracles, written in 1702, also appeared posthumously. John Locke’s “The Reasonableness of Christianity” is described by Samuel Bold.
Subscription controversy—the doctrinal dispute aroused by the spread of Arianism. Under the commonwealth, Socinianism (represented by Paul Best and John Biddle), Sabellianism (by John Fry), Arianism (by John Knowles, Thomas Collier and Paul Hobson) and universalism (by Richard Coppin, John Reeve and Ludowicke Muggleton), had been alike banned and persecuted. The intolerant attitude of both presbyterians and independents was continued after the restoration; and to this was now added the rigour of the re-established English church. To Richard Baxter, not less than to John Owen or to Stillingfleet, the Socinians were on a par with Mohammedans, Turks, atheists and papists.
But, in spite of persecution, the discrete strands of varying anti-Trinitarian thought remained unbroken. Gilbert Clerke of Northamptonshire, a mathematician and, in a sense, a teacher of Whiston, Noval of Tydd St. Giles near Wisbech, Thomas Firmin (Sabellian), William Penn, Stephen Nye (Sabellian), William Freke (Arian), John Smith, the philomath, of St. Augustine’s, London (Socinian), Henry Hedworth, the disciple of Biddle, and William Manning, minister of Peasenhall (1630–1711) (independent), form a direct and unbroken, though irregular, chain of anti-Trinitarian thought, extending from the commonwealth days to those of toleration—not to mention the more covert but still demonstrable anti-Trinitarianism of Milton and Locke. With the passing of the Toleration act of 1689, the leaven of this long train of anti-Trinitarian thought made itself strongly felt. It first appeared in the bosom of the church of England itself, in the so-called Socinian controversy. In 1690, Arthur Bury, a latitudinarian divine, was deprived of the rectorship of Lincoln college, Oxford, for publishing his Naked Gospel. The proceedings gave rise to a stream of pamphlet literature on both sides. In the same year, 1690, John Wallis, Savilian professor of mathematics at Oxford, was involved in a controversy with a succession of …anonymous Arian and Socinian writers (among them William Jones) by the publication of his Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity briefly Explained. Simultaneously, Sherlock’s Vindication of the Holy and ever Blessed Trinity, although directed against the same group of writers, called forth another outburst of pamphleteering from quite another quarter, South leading the attack with his Animadversions upon Dr. Sherlock’s Vindication. The first portion of the anti-Trinitarian literature produced in this triangular contest is collected in The Faith of one God Who is only the Father (1691). In the ranks of dissent, the same controversy manifested itself in the disputes which wrecked the independent and presbyterian “happy union” and, contemporaneously, it appeared in the baptist body.
BAPTIST MATTHEW CAFFYN UPHELD UNITARIANISM: In 1693, Matthew Caffyn, baptist minister at Horsham, Sussex, was for a second time accused before the “Baptist General Assembly” of denying Christ’s divinity; and, when the assembly refused to vote his expulsion, a secession took place, and the rival “Baptist General Association” was formed. In the same year, the anti-Trinitarians published a Second collection of tracts proving the God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only true God (1693). The tenth, and last, tract in this volume was a reply to South’s Animadversions on Sherlock’s Vindication.
PRESBYTERIAN JOHN HOWE DEFENDS UNITARIANISM:: In the following year (1694), the presbyterian John Howe entered the field with his Calm and sober Inquiry directed against the above tract, and, to make the fight triangular, Sherlock replied to South and Howe together in A Defence of Dr. Sherlock’s notion of a Trinity in Unity. The anti-Trinitarians’ Third collection of Tracts, which followed immediately, was a reply at once to Howe, on the one hand, and to Sherlock, on the other.
SOCINIAN CONTROVERSY: JOHN SMITH, LOCKE AND NEWTON DEFENDED UNITARIANISM:This first Trinitarian or so-called Socinian controversy, practically, came to an end in 1708. It received its deathblow, in 1698, by the act for the more effectual suppression of blasphemy and profaneness, which remained on the statute book till 1813. With the exception of John Smith’s Designed End to the Socinian Controversy (1695), the whole of the anti-Trinitarian contributions to it had been anonymous (both Locke and Sir Isaac Newton are supposed to have contributed under the cover of this anonymity); and, with the exception of Howe, no representatives of the professed dissenting denominations had joined in the fray. It is therefore to be regarded, primarily, as a church of England controversy, in which the churchmen had weakened the Trinitarian cause by a triangular and virtually conflicting defence: Sherlock versus South versus Tillotson and Burnet, and all four versus the enemy. The agitation which the controversy produced among the dissenters was mainly reflex, and is apparent more in their domestic quarrels, noted above, than in their published literature. But, disproportionately small as was the dissenting share of the combatants in mere point of literature, the intellectual ferment which ensued in following years showed itself more in the bosom of dissent than in the life and thought of the church of England.
PRESBYTERIAN THOMAS EMLYN SELF DESCRIBED UNITARIAN English Presbyterian minister and writer who first publicly adopted the name Unitarian todesignate a liberal, rational approach to God as a single person (as opposed to Christianbelief in the Trinity). He was was tried at Dublin, in 1693, for publishing his“Humble Inquiry into the Scripture account of Jesus Christ”, an Arian response to Sherlock’s “Doctrine of the Trinity.”
CRITICISM OF MUHAMMAD: His popularity in the world of Islam and elsewhere has attracted a barrage of criticism on his personality, his message and his life. Heretic Christian monk, false prophet, warrior, womanizer, and cruel are some of the major themes of criticism rained on this man whose popularity has continued to grow around the globe. Obviously his message is resonating with humans and his criticism is not being heard. He never proclaimed that he was starting a new religion. He always insisted that this was the original faith of Abraham and vociferously proclaimed one God, the God of Abraham, the god of Jesus and the God of Noah. E remained faithful to the love of his life Khadija for more than 20 years ‘till his death. He married slves to liberate them and old widows to provide them comfort in dieing. Most of his marriages were at the end of his life, not during the youthful years. He took the advice of Khatija nad Ayesha and considered them partners in his life and in Islam. Like King David, Muhammad could have chosen to become king of Arabia. Instead he established covenants with the Christians and and his “Mishaq e Medina” was a constitution that established an ummah of Jews and Muslims. Arabia had about 50,000 people of which only about 20,000 or less were able bodied men who could wage war. A smaller subset of this number actually formed the army that within 50 years of the death of Muhammad brought Morocco to Indonesia. Obviously it was not the sword that brought this vast area under the sway of the color green….it was the message of Muhammad, a message of love, affection, compassion and one of equality and justice. Islam was not spread by the sword. The largest Muslim populations in the world in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India constitute more than 80% of the Muslims. None of these populations are Arab and none of these people were ever conquered by Arab armies.
REJECTING DOGMA IN THE SPIRIT OF ECUMENICAL HARMONY: . Dogma creates problems If we move away from dogma we find the power of ecumenical harmony. Based on my research on the Church’s adherence to “infallibility” and “inerrancy“, we can surely find common ground in our beliefs. Our belief is similar to the Christian belief as researched by Pagels and discussed in the Da Vinci Code (Naag Hamdi Texts and the Lost Gnostic Bibles). In the broad spectrum of today’s Christianity, Islam is closest to the Unitarians, the flag bearers of Arianism. We are also close to the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and other liberal churches who are willing to work with Muslims. The Pope has declared that Islam is an Abrahamic faith and that belief in Islam qualifies a soul to enter heaven, a thought described by Moses Maimonides in his Epistle to the Yemenites in the 12th century. There is a book that is a must read for all Da Vinci Code fans, and those who are interested in real history. Michael BaIgent of “Holy Blood and Holy Grail” fame, in his latest fact based historical book “The Jesus Papers“, traces the roots of the violent Jewish (Sakari, Pharisee, and Zedoc) insurgency against the Romans and links the insurgency to Judas (Mathew 2:22, 2:23), and also to Jesus Christ. Schoenfeld’s “Passover plot” also discusses this insurgency against the Roman occupiers of Judea (later reamed Palestina) and how the Jewish Sakari used to use their daggers for assassinations. An overwhelming body of evidence ties Jesus to the insurgency in Judea, and this may have been the main reason to put him to death. The Roman backlash ended up with the Jews fleeing to Masaada and them committing mass suicide. As a result of the Jewish insurgency, in and around 70 AD, Jewish Jerusalem was totally destroyed by the Romans and renamed Aelia de Capitolina. It was the Romans that would display the bodies of their enemies along Roman roads. Titus used Jews for entertainment.After the destruction of the 2nd temple around 70 AD, the despised Roman emperor, Herrod killed thousands of Jews and displayed their bodies for everyone to see. The reverberations of this type of morbid activity live to this day. The conflict between the Jews and Romans has left its mark on history and some of our Middle Eastern problems still ooze of those historical events. Around 130 AD, the Jewish zealot leader and Jewish insurgent leader Shimon bin Cockba was captured by the Romans. His body was displayed as a trophy. The Roman emperor Hedrian, after destroying Judea, renamed it Palestina. The creativity of the jailers were used to try every human trick in the book to try to get useless and insignificant information about the zealot movement out of poor and innocent Jews. Titus used his Jewish prisoners for routine torture and perverse tactics, like throwing live Jews in front of animals. Martin Luther, the Protestant reformation and the Jewish reformation came centuries later, and achieved the same type of reformation in destroying the unyielding/tyrannical power of the Pope/Rabbi/Vatican. The Luther reformation was aimed at those who remained with the Church
FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE USA
Sir Isaac Newton, Jefferson, Adam, Franklin and others used these Unitarian ideas and are today called “Deists”. The founding fathers of America were Deists whose ideas very similar to those expounded by the Arians, Unitarians and Islam. John Locke (influenced by Ibn Tufail), James Madison and Benjamin Franklin (friends of the most famous Unitarian Joseph Priestly), Thomas Jefferson (who also owned a coy of the Quran), Isaac Newton (who wrote extensively in defense of “Arianism” “A Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture“), Milton were all Unitarians in some form or another. These Deists had ideas about Jesus which were FAR from the dogma and their ideas were very close to those that we have in the Islamic faith. Jefferson actually wrote a Bible free of “dogma“. The USA is truly a conglomeration of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and those expounding a clash of civilizations are simply hate mongers. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin were too enlightened to be bogged down in dogma. They gave u our glorious constitution, and Jefferson even gave us a Bible. Using these documents there is a lot of hope ecumenical harmony in the USA which will surely reverberate back to South Asia and the Middle East.The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon) said: “On the Day of Resurrection I
will intercede and say,
‘O my Lord! Admit into Paradise (even) those who have faith equal to a mustard seed in their hearts.’” Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadith 600
Today, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, the fastest growing religion in Europe, and the fastest growing religion in America. 4 out 5 Western coverts are women. This phenomenon has to understood in terms of sociology not pulpit propaganda.
*Peace Be upon Him (PBUH). I have deliberately not used this to make it easier for Non-Muslim leaders. SWW.May God forgive me if I have transgressed and may God show me the right way.
The Reasonableness of Christianity as delivered in the Scriptures. 1695. French trans. 1740; Dutch trans. 1729; German trans. 1733.A Vindication of The Reasonableness of Christianity, … from Mr. Edwards’s Reflections. 1695.A Second Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity. 1697.A Letter to the Right Reverend Edward Ld. Bishop of Worcester, concerning Some Passages relating to Mr. Locke’s Essay of Humane Understanding: in a late Discourse of his Lordship’s in Vindication of the Trinity. 1697. Mr. Locke’s Reply to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Worcester’s Answer to his Letter. 1697.Mr. Locke’s Reply to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Worcester’s Answer to his Second Letter. 1699.A Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians, etc. 1705.Posthumous Works. 1706.
“Conversation between a Saracen and a Christian” John Damascus “Concerning Heresy” (peri aipeseon) – The last chapter of this part (Chapter 100) deals with the Heresy of the Ishmaelites. Differently from the previous ‘chapters’ on other heresies which are usually only a few lines long, this chapter occupies a few pages in his work. It is one of the first Christian polemical writings against Islam, and the first one written by a Greek Orthodox/Melkite. John Damascus Medieval Christian Perceptions of Islam; A Book of Essays by JOHN TOLAN on 5 pages Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Islamic World (Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England) by Katharine Scarfe Beckett on page 41, Back Matter (1), and Back Matter (2) Saracens by John V. Tolan in Back Matter (1), Back Matter (2), and Back Matter (3) Popular Dictionary of Hinduism by Avril Powell on page 30, and page 32 John of Damascus on Islam: The ‘Heresy of the Ishmaelites’ (Hardcover) by D.J. Sahas Misquoting Jesus : The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman Lost Scriptures : Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament by Bart D. Ehrman When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the
Last Days of Rome by Richard E. Rubenstein God Against the Gods : The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism by Jonathan Kirsch Whose Bible Is It?
A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages by Jaroslav Pelikan An Humble Inquiry into the Scripture Account of Jesus Christ (1702)
Thomas Emlyn American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation (Hardcover) by Jon Meacham (Author)