And whoever does not carry his {own} cross and follow me cannot be my disciple {a true believer in me or a follower of me}. Luke (9:23)

The parallels between Christianity and Islam can sometimes be overwhelmingly amazing. And to show in a brief way a partial understanding of the Quranic statement concerning ALLAH:

Blessed be HE in Whose Hand is the DOMINION and HE has POWER over ALL THINGS found in Chapter 67 of the Quran and a part of the verse of the THRONE (Ayatal Kursi): …HE Knows what (appears to HIS creatures as) Before or After or Behind them…

Truly, nothing escapes GOD’s notice and to show this, one can use one dramatic example – the supposed crucifixion of Jesus the son of Mary (pbh).

So, we say in the Quran: “SHOULD HE {ALLAH} NOT KNOW, HE that created? And HE is the SUBTLE, THE AWARE.” Quran (67:14) which is to say that HE IS IN CHARGE and IS ON TOP OF THINGS FROM START TO FINISH!

It would seemingly be a simple operation for the Disciples to go forth and blab the exact truth about the so-called Crucifixion event by explaining logically, step by step, what happened. This would actually throw a spanner (wrench) into the works by upending what we know of past history showing that there truly is a time and a place for everything to develop according to ALLAH’s PLAN.

What is meant by this is that future souls will be placed in certain predicaments such as wars like the Crusades and they will undergo certain experiences and feelings ranging from hate to love, supposed valor and hidden motives which will result in certain consequences that will be produced for experiences in this life and what one might be answerable to in the Hereafter – all calculated in complete fairness and righteous balance that only HE (GOD) can achieve.

All of these things have had to be calculated, weighed and measured (according to Islam) or else one would be forced to say that ALLAH missed a beat and didn’t know what was happening or the results of what will be the consequences thereof. The result would be that this universe would not belong to ALLAH but that ‘lucky chances’ would be the rule of the day.

For example, if everyone understood Paul, who by the way did not believe in the actual, physical crucifixion of Jesus (1Corinthians 1:23), then there would be no dramatic confrontations with the faith that will come after Jesus which is Islam. So, history would change from what we know actually happened and this would reinforce the notion that GOD is not in control of the universe much less the fate of men.

But, in truth, ALLAH is in TOTAL CONTROL of HIS creations and rules HIS creations in complete and total fairness based on a system that HE has set in place. Do we understand these dynamics? The answer is no we don’t and we don’t need to if we actually are willing to put our trust in ALLAH and HE is the MOST HIGH, the SUPREME in SPLENDER and GLORY (the end of the Verse of the Throne).

That does not mean that we are in total darkness without the GOD-given ability to think! We can use our ‘gray matter’ to Praise our LORD in various ways and in knowing that certain signs or guideposts have been given to help man to navigate the treacherous waters of worship and belief if we could but see it!

In the Gospel of Luke we are given a clue to understanding a certain principle (not that he knew about it as this Gospel has been retouched several times from its historical original and was first written after 70 CE). The clue represents some odd happenings that will pertain to future developments of the soul.

Pay attention, therefore, to how you listen {so that you may digest what is said}. Whoever has {faith in their heart} will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has, will be taken away from him.”   Luke (8:18); repeated in Matthew (13:12) and Mark (4:25)

The same sentiment is repeated in the Quran: Q (2:257)

ALLAH is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness HE will lead them forth into Light. Of those who {have a history of} reject{ing} faith the patrons are the evil ones: from light they will lead them forth {further} into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the Fire, to dwell therein (forever). Quran (2:257)

The end result is that the deceivers become the deceived! How totally wonderful that is! Those who illegally reach for victory in their false pride and distain for the ONE GOD will be drinking their own poison in the end.

Although mankind cannot penetrate into the area of the Unseen, he should be able to figure out, by using a historical continuum, that there are ‘repeaters’ who want to dazzle the world with their corruptions. To understand this to some degree, one should know that those who have mischief in their hearts will act as pollutants to the truth. This could have been setup from the ancient past religious experiences that people were engaged in showing that there truly is nothing new under the sun!

We can only use recorded history to provide a concrete background as unrecorded history is still invisible to us. So, from Hinduism to the Egyptian Book of the Dead we can imagine what happened when we look at the beginnings of Christianity after the deaths of the original Apostles.

This requires a cyclic type of thinking such that what happened before gets to be repeated again but in a new culture with some new strategies or new hues added to the skullduggery. In other words, the players and ways and means may change but the modus operandi will not. In this cyclic performance, there will be extinction events repeated, wars of domination repeated, births, deaths and the seasons repeated, etc. in some new but still repetitive scenes much like the water cycle.

And what, for example, happened to Hinduism, the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the so-called Book of Enoch was that what is known as the priest-class who set the tone for their followers to follow. So, the patriarchs of these ways tended to ‘juice things up’ and become leaders of divergent offshoots of the original way and who claimed to ‘understand’ the ancient ways above all individuals and therefore could read into ‘coded words’ and had the responsibility to guide the ‘flock’ as it were to a more (in their opinion) productive future life, which of course is a bunch of nonsense!!!

But because of consummate jealousy (as the Quran has talked about), one could gain a one-upmanship over the competition by putting a new and unique spin on the materials at hand. In other words, by inventing new ways of understanding or mixing the old with the new (mixing the leaven with the lump) in some kind of devious cocktail, a new sect could be developed out of the old one drawing away a new kind of flock of so-called enlightened followers.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump.  Galatians (5:9)

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven works through the whole batch of dough? 1Corinthians (5:6)

And he {Jesus} charged them, saying, ‘Take heed {be careful}, beware of the leaven {the attractive falsehoods} of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod’ {the falsehoods of the worldly powers}.  Mark (8:15)

The new followers have to be a willing group but they also must have that same ‘strain of thinking’ within!!! Hence, we now can have a better idea of what ‘Aisha, Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Abu Hurairah were talking about when they gave the hadith concerning souls as troupes:

Abu Huraira reported GOD’s Messenger (pbh) as saying: “Souls are troupes collected together and those who familiarized with each other (in the Heaven from where these come) would have affinity, with one another (in the world) and those amongst them who opposed each other (in the Heaven) would also be divergent (in the world)”.  (Muslim)

That is saying nothing more than ‘birds of a feather (with the same leanings) will flock together’. All this shows is that there is a magnetic attraction for some reason which we are not fully aware of that will provide the impetus of joining such a philosophy (twisted or not).

The Quran repeats this story as does the Christian Testament in the letters of John about how people can split apart unity and go their divergent ways:

They {these deceivers} went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 1John (2:19)

And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to themout of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your LORD (postponing the penalty {due to their mischief}) until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.  Quran (42:14).

This represents a new twist but the same cycle of events. That is that ‘jealous animosity’ between one group of peoples led to a split into further groups. So, in this way the Quran is actually giving us a glimpse into what can be called ‘breakaway sects’.

This can go on to explain the dramatic outcome of the so-called Crucifixion event whereby Jesus (pbh) was NOT crucified or killed but so it was made to appear to them, thusly. This and the combination of SYNCRETISM whereby there is a merging of different cultures and hence a merging of formalized thought comes about. And because the ‘way of Christ’ grew up around the culture of the vast majority of pagans who had gods and sons of gods galore, one would think that the profane would be compromised. AND IT WAS!!!

Hence, for example, if I take Paul’s writings to be meaningful but mistake his message, I might be tempted to go with the notion that this wondrous entity we talk so much about (Jesus) could not be 100% human but must be part of the Divine as in being a Divine himself. That would explain a lot of his sayings which appear to be somewhat magical in nature (to a mind who has no common sense) and the unfamiliar NOW becomes the FAMILIAR.

To top this off, when those who work on the Scriptures are told the philosophical approach to be believed (coming from higher up authorities), we can decipher the text to make sense in our, new way. Such that the term son of man or the term the son can be interpolated to really mean (the) Son of God.

And to further get the point across, one can stretch linguistic principles to enhance our intended goals by capitalizing a letter which is not (and never was) capitalized in the scriptures. So, the son can now become the Son of X meaning we have crossed over into make-believe land and designated Jesus (pbh) as something super special which reflects on our group which in turn tells everyone that ‘we’ are the chosen way and that other philosophies are definitely wrong. Hence, our pride, which precedes the fall, has blinded us to the truth.

So, without original writings or even close to original writings  and a church being brought up surrounded by a pagan culture with strong pagan beliefs in gods and sons of gods, it is going to be a struggle to stay away from the sewer of deceits thrown up by this culture or womb for continued growth. Such is Syncretism and when combined with the notion of Entropy and the fact that part of the nature of this planet is decay we can safely say that YES, things have a tendency like water to run downhill or the clock to wind-down!

This is what we are taught in Islam just by the hadiths declaring that the Muslims will be victorious in this world up to a certain point and that point concerns the presence of the three Muslim groups being the Companions, the next generation and the next generation after them:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: “ALLAH’s Apostle said, “A time will come upon the people, when a group of people will wage a holy war and it will be said, ‘Is there amongst you anyone who has accompanied ALLAH’s Apostle?’ They will say, ‘Yes.’ And so victory will be bestowed on them. Then a time will come upon the people when a group of people will wage a holy war, and it will be said; ‘Is there amongst you anyone who has accompanied the Companions of ALLAH’s Apostle?’ They will say, ‘Yes.’ And so victory will be bestowed on them. Then a time will come upon the people when a group of people will wage a holy war, and it will be said, “Is there amongst you anyone who has been in the company of the companions of the companions of ALLAH’s Apostle?’ They will say, ‘Yes.’ And victory will be bestowed on them.” (Bukhari)

Narrated Imran bin Husain: ALLAH’s Apostle said, “The best of my followers are those living in my generation (i.e. my contemporaries). and then those who will follow the latter” ‘Imran added, “I do not remember whether he mentioned two or three generations after his generation, then the Prophet added, ‘There will come after you, people who will bear witness without being asked to do so, and will be treacherous and untrustworthy, and they will vow and never fulfill their vows, and fatness will appear among them.”  (Bukhari)

Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet said, “The best people are those living in my generation, and then those who will follow them, and then those who will follow the latter. Then there will come some people who will bear witness before taking oaths, and take oaths before bearing witness.” (Ibrahim, a sub-narrator said, “They used to beat us {on account of that} for witnesses and covenants when we were still children.”)   (Bukhari)

When one studies the historical influence that Justin Martyr had on the developing Church philosophy we can see that tenuous line between paganism and the words of Christ had become blurred. This is not a mystery as we have Justin Martyrs’ activities concerning giving proof of the so-called crucifixion by going to Jewish and Roman authorities and his ‘praise for the pagans’ in believing in a ‘divine Son of God’ concept in his ‘First Apology’. And since this started in around 147-148 CE, the philosophical push to create a way of thought concerning the concept of the so-called Trinity took on more than just root.

From this pathway comes the many adjustments, fueled by the corruption of Paul’s works, into the philosophical debates upon the meanings and even structure of the ‘Christian Works’. We don’t know how many scriptural changes were made – the Quran gives us hints about how some words may have been taken out, how some vowels can be replaced by other vowels and some ‘interjections’ may have occurred – to mention a few things.

These things are not done overnight but as long as we don’t have a ‘true copy’ of the Christian writings, it would be difficult to defend their authenticity amongst clearheaded and thoughtful people. Amongst others, one could put lipstick on a pig and then call the pig something else.

In going to the Quran, however, we do have it on the authority of GOD HIMSELF that the other Scriptures do have a good (though not perfect) standing (Quran (2:62), (2:121), (2:136), (2:285), (4:136), (5:48) (10:94) and (29:46). And to accomplish that, one needs to interpret them with a sense of wisdom and not tribal, corrupt philosophical leanings.

Hence, the smartest thing to do would be to turn towards the Quran and look at one’s own Scriptures in that light. Anyone who would do that faithfully would eventually understand that THERE IS NO god BUT ALLAH AND THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD IS HIS APOSTLE.

And this will be verified when Jesus (pbh) returns as the Messiah for the Believers. Waiting for this event to occur is the height of folly due to the following notion:

Narrated Abu Huraira: ALLAH’s Messenger (pbh) said, “The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the West: and when the people see it, then whoever will be living on the surface of the earth will have faith, and that is (the time) when no good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before.”  (Bukhari)

The event, and it has become a big one, is the reality of the Crucifixion story, or in reality, to the NON-CRUCIFIXION EVENT. How one takes it and how one lives it will partially end up being a deciding philosophical factor of one’s life.

Paul provides a little comfort in understanding: ‘No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but GOD is Faithful, WHO will not allow you {if you are truly faithful} to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it’.  1Corinthians (10:13). Believe it or not, there is a similar Islamic thought found in Quran (2:286):

On no soul does ALLAH place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray): “Our LORD! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our LORD lay not on us a burden like that which YOU did lay on those before us; our LORD! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. YOU are our PROTECTOR; Grant us victory over the unbelievers.  Quran (2:286).

So, the above Quranic passage gives us the true concept of ‘Picking up one’s cross and owning it’. When one owns it, one can begin to see how a behavioral change is needed as in recognizing the activities that are acting negatively on one’s soul. Hence, ‘know thyself’ is not an empty slogan.

When one ‘owns it’, one acknowledges the personal fault one has and tries to live with it and keep it in check as in controlling this defect. So, that is tantamount to ‘carrying ones cross and owning up to it’. Believe it or not, this is the correct concept of being crucified for the sake of GOD.

In Jesus’ case (pbh), he of no sin, went through the trials and temptations of life without succumbing to them. Therefore, in order to succeed in this task given to him by his LORD, he had to sacrifice (read as crucifying his desires of the flesh) and show that with ALLAH’s help, he could become that Messiah that the previous prophets talked about.

So, with ALLAH’s help, he took his mind, body and soul complex that every human has and submitted himself completely to ALLAH’s WILL. That is the secret of the cross! HE (Jesus) owned up to his complete humanity and total dependence on the ONE GOD and he submitted himself to his CREATOR LORD. In other words, he owned up to his total and complete humanity by having the crassness in himself purged or weened out over time and became that one we call the Messiah according to ALLAH’s PLAN.

And we are reminded of this in a hadith that talks about Adam and David (peace be upon them both) in that like Adam, being children (sons) of Adam, we sin and like Adam we forget, etc.:

Narrated Abu Hurairah: that the Messenger of ALLAH (pbh) said: “When ALLAH created Adam HE wiped his back and every person that HE created among his offspring until the Day of Resurrection fell out of his back. HE placed a ray of light between the eyes of every person. Then HE showed them to Adam and Adam said: ‘O LORD! Who are these people?’ HE said: ‘These are your offspring.’ Adam saw one of them whose ray between his eyes amazed him, so he said: ‘O LORD! Who is this?’ HE said: ‘This is a man from the latter nations of your offspring called Dawud (David).’ He said: ‘LORD! How long did YOU make his lifespan?’ HE said: ‘Sixty years.’ He said: ‘O LORD! Add forty years from my life to his.’ So at the end of Adam’s life, the Angel of death came to him, and Adam said: ‘Do I not have forty years remaining?’ He (the Angel of death) said: ‘Did you not give them to your son Dawud?‘” He (the Prophet) said: “Adam denied, so his offspring denied, and Adam forgot and his offspring forgot, and Adam sinned, so his offspring sinned.”  Jami’ at-Tirmidhi

So, throughout history, he is that SIGN to humanity of one who, by ALLAH’s Permission was allowed to conquer all and in being a servant of all, he becomes the leader of all (in his kingdom) as one can deduce from the following:

Yet it shall not be so among you {the way of the unbeliever}; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.

And whoever of you desires to be first {reach the highest places} shall be slave of all.

For even the Son of Man {I, Jesus} did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His{my} life as ransom for many.”  Mark (10: 43-45)

And in giving his life means the giving of himself over and over in accordance with ALLAH’s WILL so that he, being the First of many who were born (Paul), would succeed in showing that WAY of obedience to his CREATOR LORD. But no one can take his life. For he received this ‘gift’ from his CREATOR in that he could lay down his life only to TAKE IT UP AGAIN – John (10:18). And that shows the Believer that he had to wait upon the GOOD GRACES OF THE LORD LIKE THE BELIEVER HAS TO WAIT – in patience and hope!

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how ALLAH does make HIS signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!  Quran (5:75)

Give an example of The ONE GOD taking a person from darkness into LIGHT as stated in Quran (2:257) – ALLAH is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness HE will lead them forth into Light…

A very good example can be taken from Isaiah (pbh) Chapter 19 as this prophet talked about the same thing:

“I {ALLAH} will lead those who are blind by a way they have not known, in paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn darkness into Light before them and uneven land into plains {make straight their way of lifestyle}. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.” Isaiah (42:16).

 From this example we can take the bad one ‘Umar bin al-Khattab, the future second Caliph of Islam, who before becoming a Muslim, worshiped gods (and one of them he could eat as it was made of dates or so they say) killed his baby daughter by burying her alive and desiring and actually on his way to assassinate Prophet Muhammad (pbh).

From this low-life activity comes the CHANGE such that this is the man who was to be praised by ALLAH as to being a ‘savior and a mighty one’ in Isaiah (19:20):

And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the {Roman} oppressors, and HE will send them a savior and a mighty one, and he will deliver them {from this oppression – especially over taxation and brutal bullying}.  Isaiah (19:20)

And So It Goes!