Anthropomorphic Depictions of God: The Concept of God in Judaic, Christian and Islamic Traditions: Representing the Unrepresentable
This monumental study examines issues of anthropomorphism in the three Abrahamic Faiths, as viewed through the texts of the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’an. Throughout history, Christianity and Judaism have tried to make sense of God. While juxtaposing the Islamic position against this, the author addresses the Judeo-Christian worldview and how each has chosen to framework its encounter with God, to what extent this has been the result of actual scripture and to what extent the product of theological debate, or church decrees of later centuries and absorption of Hellenistic philosophy. Shah also examines Islam’s heavily anti-anthropomorphic stance and Islamic theological discourse on Tawhid as well as the Ninety-Nine Names of God and what these have meant in relation to Muslim understanding of God and His attributes. Describing how these became the touchstone of Muslim discourse with Judaism and Christianity he critiques theological statements and perspectives that came to dilute if not counter strict monotheism. As secularism debates whether God is dead, the issue of anthropomorphism has become of immense importance. The quest for God, especially in this day and age, is partly one of intellectual longing. To Shah, anthropomorphic concepts and corporeal depictions of the Divine are perhaps among the leading factors of modern atheism. As such he ultimately draws the conclusion that the postmodern longing for God will not be quenched by pre-modern anthropomorphic and corporeal concepts of the Divine which have simply brought God down to this cosmos, with a precise historical function and a specified location, reducing the intellectual and spiritual force of what God is and represents, causing the soul to detract from a sense of the sacred and thereby belief in Him.
“Crucial to the vitality of any religious community is its ability to attract and engage descendants and converts. By this measure, notwithstanding the proliferation of mosques and Islamic organizations, the Muslim community in America is not doing at all well.” This rather sober assessment motivates Dr. Lang to address, in this book, the alienation from the Mosque of the great majority of America’s homegrown Muslims. In Losing My Religion: A Call For Help, the author comes to terms with many of the queries put to him by Americans of Muslim parentage and converts to Islam since the publication of his book Even Angels Ask in 1977. Lang asserts that to effectively respond to the general malaise of American-born Muslims, the Islamic establishment in America needs to be willing to listen to the doubts and complaints of the disaffected. This entails engaging in open discussions on issues with which many in the Muslim community will be uncomfortable, but Lang avers that such open dialogue will be of more benefit to young American Muslims struggling with their faiths than the covert and uniformed discussions that often take place or no discussion at all. For this reason, Lang feels it is important and beneficial “to be candid and objective and not evade controversy, for to inadequately state the case for or against a specific position, especially when it challenges convention, only serves to further alienate the sceptical.” In addition to examining questions of theodicy, hadith authenticity, and moot practices within the American Muslim community, the author includes many testimonials and inquiries that make this book informative. Dr. Lang is Professor of Mathematics at The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. He is the author of two best selling works: Struggling to Surrender and Even Angels Ask: A Journey to Islam in America. Both books have been translated into other languages.
In The Cross and The Crescent, Dr. Dirks, a former ordained minister (deacon) in the United Methodist Church, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and with a doctorate in clinical psychology, reaches out to the Christians and the Muslims for an interfaith dialogue. Drawing on his seminary education and thirty years of interaction with Muslims in America and overseas, the author digs deep into the roots of Christianity to bring out obscure information that highlights what was once common between Christianity and Islam. He envisioned that, “In writing this book, I would like to touch the lives of those Christians who have not been given the knowledge that I have gained both about Islam, from my direct contact with Muslims, and about Christianity from my seminary education. I want to share with those Christians, who are willing to listen, what is so often known by their clergy and church leaders, but seldom finds its way into their knowledge of their own religion. Likewise, I would like to reach out to the Muslims, in order to help them understand the religious commonality that they share with Christians”.
Written by former minister who converted to Islam, this book expounds the commonalities and contrasts between Islam, Judaism and Christianity. An excellent book for da’wah purposes and for Muslims to gain a deeper appreciation for the two earlier faiths.
Based on the perceptions of non-Muslims, this book uncovers the truth about Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and explains the reasons for misunderstanding between Islam and the West. It also highlights the prophet’s characteristics and teachings which help to build unity and peace amongst Muslims and other communities. Data was collected by reviewing appreciations of Muhammad (SAW) made by non-Muslims across history and also conducting semi-structured interviews involving contemporary non-Muslim prominent personalities including MPs, Lords, and priests from interfaith communities and chaplaincies of some leading universities. About Dr. Lais – Having developed a career as a Career Adviser providing advice and guidance to students in education, and also achieved a PhD degree which brought me a’ National Research Award’. I have been involved in many studies conducted by universities including Imperial College, University College London and Oxford University. Noticing a literature gap in this topic, I became motivated in conducting a self-funded research and this book is its outcome. Keywords: Prophet, Muhammad, Honesty, Simplicity, Patience, Tolerance, Forgiveness, Care, Compassion, Unity.
Struggling to Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam is a very personal account of one man’s search for God and meaning in the midst of a culture that places no value on such a quest. Dr. Lang was brought up as a Catholic and educated in a Catholic school. However, one day he found that his religious belief could no longer provide satisfactory answers to his questions.
Jesus and Muhammad lived in different times and in different contexts. An absolute comparison of the careers of these two men is not a satisfactory method in understanding the similarities and differences between their teachings. This book approaches this topic from a different perspective. The time that Muhammad preached in Mecca is compared to the time Jesus spent preaching throughout Palestine. This improves the similarities in contexts between them and makes a comparison more valid. The number of similarities outweighs the number of differences when looking at the four books of the Gospel and the chapters of the Qur’an revealed in Mecca. On issues related to prayer, the Oneness of God, charity, the Hereafter and forgiveness the teachings in these two books are practically the same. A number of core theological issues surfaced in the Book of John do clash with Qur anic teachings about the person of Jesus. These differences and the possible reasons for them are explored in this book. The conclusion of this book is that Muslims and Christians have more shared values and even theological similarities than differences. It is recommended that Muslims and Christians should spend more time understanding these commonalities.”
Dr. Kasem Khaleel examines the development of genuine science through the ages and exposes its relationship to religion. Discover the real origins of mathematics, medicine, and science, while learning how to decipher fact from fiction when examining the history of the sciences.
This is the thoroughly researched response to the Christian offensive against Islam in India. This book lucidly reviews the authenticity of the Bible and succinctly summarises the main errors, distortions, and contradictions in and between the Old and New Testaments of the King James Version. Furthermore, the doctrine of the Trinity is refuted; a doctrine that Isa (AS) never taught.
This book, internationally recognized as one of the most authoritative and objective studies of the Bible, was originally written in Arabic under the title Izhar-ul-Haq (Truth Revealed) by the distinguished 19th-century Indian scholar, Rahmatullah Kairanvi, and appeared in 1864. The book was subsequently translated into Urdu, and then from Urdu into English by Mohammad Wali Raazi.
This Book Contains among four Parts as Following:
The Book of The Bible
Contradictions and Errors in The Biblical Text
Distortion and Abrogation in The Bible
The Trinity Refuted
Proof of The Divine Origin of The Qur’an and The Authenticity of The Hadiths
Arabic Version of This Book is also available
Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranvi was born in India in 1818 CE. He was a great Sunni Hanafi scholar. He learned Arabic and Persian. Later he moved to Delhi where he studied different disciplines including mathematics and medicine. Working as a Mufti and Sharia teacher, he founded a religious school in Kariana.
In 1837 the Church Mission Society appointed Karl Gottlieb Pfander, described by Eugene Stock as “perhaps the greatest of all missionaries to Mohammedans”, to Agra in Northern India, where in 1854 he engaged in a famous public debate with leading Islamic scholars.
Maulana Kairanvi’s intention in his book (Izharul Haq) was first of all to show that the Bible cannot in any way be considered as a directly revealed book. He does this very effectively by means of his voluminous and authoritative knowledge of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. He demonstrates beyond doubt that the Books of the Old and New Testaments have been altered, almost beyond recognition, from their original forms. The work is even more notable in the light of subsequent Jewish and Christian scholarship and the various discoveries that have since been made in this field which all bear out the truth of Kairanvi’s thesis.
In the wake of the manifest inauthenticity of the Bible, Maulana Rahmatullah goes on to demonstrate by contrast the indisputable and absolute authenticity of the Qur’an and the Prophethood of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.
1996 expanded and revised edition. This book examines Jesus as a prophet teaching the Unity of God, and the historical collapse of Christianity as it abandoned his teaching. The author sketches the dramatic picture of the original followers of Jesus who affirmed Unity. What emerges is that “Christianity” is the fiction that replaced their truth. A work that covers the Gospel of Barnabas, the Gospel of Hermes, the Shephard, early and later Unitarian Christians, Jesus in the Gospels and in the Qur’an and Hadith. The author clearly shows the idea of Jesus as part of a Trinity was a Greek Pagan idea adopted by early Christian mission-aries to gain converts among the Greek, and did not become a widely accepted Christian doctrine until after the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.