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Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Are Mormons People of the Book (Ahl Kitaab)? (Also History, Racism and Polygamy)

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There is a reason why this question of Ahl Kitaab is important. But before I get to the punch-lines, I hope that by reading this snippet of information, we can increase our knowledge about this influential religious group in America.

On a personal note, my interaction with Mormons has been limited to a couple of people. At work, I was good friends with a Mormon manager, who I should also mention was a stellar guy. We especially got along well due to shared values: Mormons possess a strong family value system, and don’t drink alcohol (Note: they also don’t drink coffee or any other caffeine drink… amazing how my friend never looked sleepy!)

My other somewhat personal experience was with the right-wing loud-mouth radio host on Houston airwaves, Pat Gray, who was quite the obnoxious character (Bull O’Reilly wannabe). We communicated quite a bit via email and though he tried to be reasonable at times, it just wasn’t in his blood.

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Of course, recently, the Mormons have been in the news quite a bit. On the negative front, we have Warren Jeffs, who heads a breakaway fundamentalist Mormon sect that still practices polygamy, and who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for being an accomplice to rape. While on a relatively positive front (from a Mormon perspective), we have Mitt Romney, who has a legitimate shot at the Presidency. Right behind Giuli-“911”-ani in what is pretty much a 2-way Republican race.

Let’s start with a brief primer on Mormons and their faith:

Basics
The official website for LDS can be found here. An opposing and compelling view by an ex-Mormon can be found here. I should add that as Muslims, we are well aware of the propaganda that “ex-Muslims” wreak, so with anything “ex”, buyer beware! As for this post, I will try to steer away from that Mormons deny or is “fuzzy he-said she-said”, in order to remain as objective as possible.

The Mormon Church or the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the early 19th century. Smith believed that he was transmitted the “Book of Mormon”, a collection of writings and teachings of ancient prophets and followers of Jesus who lived in the Americas between 600BC and 421AD. Smith claimed that the transmittal occurred via the angel “Moroni”, and that Smith was enjoined to do the translation. Mormons believe that this translation by Joseph Smith, entitled “Book of Mormon” is another scriptural of Jesus Christ that is comparable to the Bible, which they also believe to be the word of God.

Pro-Bush, Pro-War & Not Pro-Muslim

An item of interest for Muslims: Utah, which is majority Mormon is also the biggest supporter of Bush and his foreign policies. It also seems, just anecdotally speaking, and from viewing some Mormon blogs and my own experience with the Houston radio-host, that Mormons have a particularly high level of distrust against Muslims (to the point of Islamophobia). This should not be surprising, since there is a generally good correlation between pro-Iraq-war support and anti-Muslim sentiment. Of course this is just my personal opinion based on what I stated is anecdotal data, and it may be possible that this may only be an entirely skewed opinion. I will be glad to stand corrected.

History of Racism
Interestingly, as Tariq Nelson has talked frequently about (here and here), Islamophobia seems to follow racism one way or the other. One does not have to look too hard to find that Mormonism has a troubling history in race-relations. In fact, it was one of the last “Christian” holdout to accepting blacks as full-members (the main LDS Church only recently- relatively speaking- allowed the ordination of blacks since 1979 as per Official Declaration 2).

In the early church, Smith is believed to have ordained a black man named Elijah Abel in 1836. But his successor, Brigham Young, initiated a policy denying blacks the priesthood. While this website by African-American Mormons gives a different slant to the race issue, there is no denial to the fact that blacks could not become priests until 1978. Religious “corrections” are welcome but when it takes 150 years and nearly 2 decades after the main civil rights movement, then it is indeed troubling especially when the racism comes straight from the main religious texts.

In this excellent Chicago Tribute article, the author talks about the teaching known as the “curse of Cain,” Mormon doctrine states that God marked Cain with blackness and cursed him so he would forever be persecuted. Several other teachings in the Book of Mormon speak of black skin as vile and evil and white skin as “pure and delightsome.” The scriptures imply God would darken the skin of people who fell out of his favor and lighten that of those who pleased him.

Young, in his “Journal of Discourses,” described “some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind” and connected them to Cain, saying “the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin.”

And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.” (2 Nephi 5:21, emphasis added)

More historical background from Wikipedia follows: After the death of Joseph Smith, Jr., Brigham Young taught that because blacks inherited the curse of Ham and the curse of Cain, they were ineligible to be ordained to the priesthood. They were also barred from participating in the Endowment or celestial marriage, or from entering the church’s temples. Many of the references which resulted in this treatment of persons of African ancestry had their origins in the Book of Abraham. The theology and teachings contained in the Latter Day Saints Book of Abraham remain today as canonized Church Scripture, though most modern Mormons now interpret those teachings in non-racist ways

During the early civil rights movement, church president David O. McKay began loosening some of the restrictions of the ban, but kept the policy in place because the council of the twelve felt a revelation was needed to change the policy
Finally, on June 8, 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball announced that while praying with the rest of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, they had received a revelation that the racial exclusion policy was to be lifted, known as the Declaration 2.

Of course, the splinter “fundamentalist” LDS group continues to stand by its racism. In 2005, the Intelligence Report published the following statements made by Warren Jeffs, President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

“The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth.”
“Today you can see a black man with a white woman, et cetera. A great evil has happened on this land because the devil knows that if all the people have Negro blood, there will be nobody worthy to have the priesthood.”
“If you marry a person who has connections with a Negro, you would become cursed.”

Persecution, Yet…

Mormons have themselves faced persecution in this country. See here. And the founder, Joseph Smith, was killed in a mob rampage.

This is what I find interesting. That these people who themselves bore the pains of bigotry and discrimination have the wherewithal to turn around and go after blacks (in the past), and Muslims (during current times). I also find some parallels to this and the Israeli state-terrorism in the occupied terrorities. In how Israelis, many of whom were affected by the human tragedy of the holocaust in one way or the other, would now turn around and impose apartheid and discrimination on another people (the Palestinians of course).

Polygamy
With regards to polygamy, mainstream Mormons renounced the practice in 1890, about half a century after its founding. This led to schisms within the movement, with certain “fundamentalists” splitting off and continuing the practice of polygamy and hence, Warren Jeffs.

We should note though that polygamy as allowed in Islam and the polygamy of Mormons is starkly different, specifically in the restrictions and regulations that the former places on plural marriages. While Islam limits a man to 4 wives, IF he can take care of them equally, “fundamentalist” or original Mormonism had no such restrictions. Furthermore, in Mormonism (as opposed to Islam where this is explicitly forbidden) a man cannot join two women who share blood ties, i.e. two sisters, a mother/sister, a woman and her aunt, etc. in marriage. Thus, a man could essentially marry 5 sisters if the opportunity presented itself.

An interesting book that claims to be an inside view of Mormonism can be found on google here. The book is aptly entitled: “Tell it All”: the Story of a Life’s Experience in Mormonism: An Autobiography by T. B. H. Stenhouse. Skip to page 468-469, and the author describes the situation of two sisters in a marriage, a widow and her child, and other “interesting” situations. In my research online, I could not find any specific regulations placing any restrictions and regulations around polygamy as practiced in the “original” Mormonism, in other words in the instructions of Joseph Smith.

The Question of Ahl-Kitaab?

Coming back to the central question of this post: are Mormons ahl-kitaab? And I hate to disappoint readers, but I am not in a position to give a conclusive answer on this, but I will provide a synopsis/background that will permit the question to be asked of the people of knowledge.

As a Muslim, I am hard-pressed to pass judgments as to the “authenticity” of the Mormon faith. However, the question of whether Mormons are really “ahl-kitaab” (people of the book) is more than an academic exercise and is important for Muslims to know. What are some practical ramifications? The two that come to mind immediately are: Can a Muslim man marry a Mormon woman? And can Muslims eat of meat slaughtered by Mormons? And by extension, for those who believe that one can eat meat in America (“ahl-kitaab” nation), then what about Utah, where the majority are Mormons?

So, let’s start off by asking: how do other Christians view Mormons? It seems that many Christians continue to use the word “cult” when it comes to the Mormons (I heard this myself on NPR). Beyond the laymen, if one were to examine the official positions of the majority of Christian sects, then the answer is that Christians do not consider Mormons to be Christians. As a side note, Romney has been advised not to equate Christianity with Mormonism to avoid increasing “tensions” with “mainstream” Christians. This article details the deep, irreconcible theological differences and points the following statements from other Chrisitian sects:

  • The Lutheran Church–“together with the vast majority of Christian denominations in the United States, does not regard the Mormon church as a Christian church”.
  • The Presbytarian Church— “Mormonism is a new and emerging religious tradition distinct from the historic apostolic tradition of the Christian Church, of which Presbyterians are a part.”
  • Roman Catholic Church— John Paul II to the question: “Whether the baptism conferred by the community «The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints», called «Mormons» in the vernacular, is valid.” The Response: Negative.
  • Southern Baptist Convention (link opens up PDF document): There is definitely no love lost from the largest Baptist organization, the Southern Baptist Conversion, which frequently uses the word cult to describe Mormons, as in this press release.
  • United Methodist Church: As United Methodists we agree with their assessment that the LDS Church is not a part of the historic, apostolic tradition of the Christian faith.

Furthermore, I do find some parallels to the Mormon movement among the Muslims. So, Qadiyanis form the perfect correlary to Mormons with respect to their place and claims to their respective larger circles of religions. In both cases, someone after the “actual Message or Messenger” claimed to possess knowledge previously hidden. In both cases, the new material delivered by the founders is to be assumed as being the word of God. And in both cases, the vast majority of Muslims and Christians disapprove of the “new religions”. If there is one issue of nearly universal ijma’a (consensus) among Muslims is that Qadiyanis are not Muslims. And in this, there is little ideological or sectarian differences in this regard, from Shias to Sunnis. It seems that a similar parallel holds among mainstream Christian sects regarding Mormons and their claimed Christianity.

Also, for instance, Bahais accept the Quran, Bible, and other religious texts, but are not considered Muslims (and Bahais are more than happy not to be labeled such). They are ALSO not ahl kitaab. So, Muslims are not allowed to marry or eat (the meat) from among the Qadiyanis or the Bahais.

If we do some simple qiyaas, it would seem that Mormons with a “new religion” distinct from the “old Christianity” would be similarly excluded from Ahl Kitaab. At least, looking at it from a very simplistic point of view…Hopefully some brothers and sisters with access to scholarly point of view can provide some clarifications. Until that clarification comes though, it would be safe to say to best avoid the situations that are considerations of dealing with the “ahl-kitaab” (food, marriage, etc.).

In conclusion, I should add that the question of Ahl Kitaab should not in any way preclude cooperation or other interfaith initiatives with Mormons. The only “Muslim” issue it affects is the fiqh related to Ahl Kitaab (marriage, meat, etc. as I mentioned), not our interactions with Mormons. In the pluralist society that we live in, our treatment of and attitudes towards other Americans cannot and should not be based on the religions of our fellow citizens. Wallahualam.

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

61 Comments

61 Comments

  1. aarij

    November 26, 2007 at 2:03 AM

    Nice article. Jazak Allah khair.

    My two encounters with Mormons:

    1. Mariott. Apparently, the owner is a big-shot Mormon and they place a copy of the Mormon Bible in each suite.

    2. After Quran Halaqah. We have a Sunday Quran halaqah at this brother’s house (one of the our teachers is working towards an ijazah). So, the Mormon da’ees knocked on the door and we invited them in. Subhan Allah, little did these two du’at from the Mormons know what they were getting into! We gave them a good dressing-down (politely, of course) and then gave da’wah to Islam and also gave them a copy of Quran each. ‘Twas a good experience.

    • bri

      February 2, 2016 at 8:40 AM

      It is sad that you feel to engage upon the subject of your eternal salvation, truth and god, you felt smuggly assured perhaps such that you did ‘right’ by dressing these visitors down. Your visitors, very young, give up two years of their lives in service to god, to spread his word through the whole world and the Lord Jesus Christ reaches out His hands. It is not their call to contend, for in the scriptures it is plain, ‘contention is of the devil’. Isn’ t there enough contention and bigotry in the world by the ‘believers who have it so right?’
      A great point in christianity, is ‘by their fruits ye shall judge them’. I have great respect for many of my Muslim colleagues I share this planet with and for their devotion to their religion, i have no respect for ignorance, especially when it gets to the level of barbarically killing people who do not accept ones faith. With 90% of terrorism coming from declared muslims, with serious issues of persecution of christians by some so called muslims, as a collective faith, you should be asking questions as to where such beliefs derive from and whether a God would really welcome such. If as I hope like many moderate muslims you see Islamic terrorists as none Muslims, great, but what are you doing about it? The article is more anti mormon than objective, it is dominated by it seems any ‘juicy’ point of controversy that can be highlighted and barely if at all touches on what I was hoping it would touch on, that is the common ground mormons share with Islam, ( Fasting, zakaat, daily prayer, daily reading and importantly practice of the scriptures, obedience and really living the religion, the list goes on). Mormons practice their religion pretty well 100% and generally do not become mormons until touched by God himself whereby a testimony is gained together with a genuine and working relationship with a loving god or father in heaven. The whole church runs on direct revelation in everything, it is not simply a case of learned leaders interpreting a book or books of scripture as most other religions are in my experience. What the author fails to appreciate is if for example we tok a snap shot in time and looked at what Mohammed was doing or saying, might it not be 100% in accordance with what you hold the angel Gabriel revealed? In other words, the koran was not revealed in a flash? With Joseph Smith, it came line upon line, here a little there a little, of course therefore critics can point to things at points in time, but here is the point, we are talking about God’s will, what we think is right and what He determines and not a consistent? In short a bit of back ground is fine, but don’t cloud the reality of what mormons really are because of a few internet searches? Let me share this as a good example of practical day to day common ground. I asked my Muslim colleague with her permission why she wore what we westerners call ‘the black gear’, that is the full dress revealing only a set of eyes. Of course to a westerner, to ask a young girl to wear that every day look excessive (like cutting hands off etc), her reply I found great, she said, ‘after this life is forever, if I know God wants me to do this and I know He will bless me forever hereafter and in this life, why would I not obey him?’ What a great response I thought that was, I shared that at church, because having what we call an eternal perspective is what we feel as believers and doers separates us from the rest of the world most of the time. as she spoke, I felt what we recognise as the holy spirit and i knew there and then, no matter how tenuous that command maybe when looked for in Islamic cannon, the obedience she observed was spot on and a great example. I am not a muslim, I never will be, i know the truth, but I also know and believe God delights in virtue and true loving and caring and obedient people and understands fully how satan got in and perverted truth, he knows and before anything perhaps, that is what is important. One day Christ will return and will set straight men’s ways, I hope between the and now, we can encourage one another in god and the things we do share, avoid feeling superior if we feel we have a few well grounded arguments against one faith or another, so no dressing down needed. healthy discussion always, but leave it there.

  2. H

    November 26, 2007 at 2:52 AM

    On Racism
    It is important to note that the curse of Cain and the curse of Ham are not limited to people of African descent, but all people who are or dark complexion. Thus the American Indians were also claimed to have been cursed, and I would imagine as a corollary so would dark peoples of south and south-east asia.
    Even though these are not official church doctrine anymore, there remains an air of disapproval surrounding race mixing and fraternization.
    Mormons do seem to tolerate marrying white Asians however, I suppose under the claim that white europeans and white asians share common lineage in Japeth.

    If we do some simple qiyaas, it would seem that Mormons with a “new religion” distinct from the “old Christianity” would be similarly excluded from Ahl Kitaab.

    I see where you are coming from with this, however this would then have to naturally extend to all those sects and groups that came after the advent of the Prophet Muhammad. As such the whole of the Protestant Reformation woul d not be considered “Christian” in that it is a very late creation.
    Tossing around the title “Heathen” for anyone that slightly disagrees with one’s particular brand of Christianity is quite common however. I doubt that the Southern Baptist Convention considers other sects quoted above to be “Christian” as well.

    Classically there was a disagreement as to whether groups that were similar to Jews and Christians were to be considered from the People of the Book.
    The Majority of scholars placed a general rule for these types of groups: If they agree with the Jews and Christians in the fundamentals of their faith concerning belief in the Prophets and Books then they are from them.

    Due to this rule many considered the Sabi’ah and the Samirah from Ahl al-Kitab, although they differed with the Christians and Jews (respectfully) in the specifics of their practice, while agreeing with them in fundamentals.

    Whether or not that applies to the Mormons or not remains to be seen, as many say that they have beliefs that are not revealed until much later in the indoctrination stage.

  3. JDsg

    November 26, 2007 at 3:42 AM

    @H: “…as many say that they have beliefs that are not revealed until much later in the indoctrination stage.”

    True; one of the “later revealed” beliefs is that humans become “gods” of their own universes in the hereafter. (Astaghfirullah!)

    This is a topic I have to tread carefully on as three of my sisters (and their families) are Mormons. ;)

    • fedayeen

      March 12, 2015 at 10:39 PM

      Mormonism is the white American version of a so called “new revelation” of Christianity (a heretical Christian sect if you will) just as Christianity itself became Eurocentric after it’s adoption as the official religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine I. This is much different than the origins of what early Christianity was as a sect of Judaism in the ancient Middle East when it spread throughout the known world to include and absorb various peoples of differing cultures and traditions. To keep this issue of ahl kitaab as simple as possible, it should apply only to those Jews and Christians who follow their previously revealed Scriptures, however flawed and erroneous, according to monotheistic tenets and beliefs. But that is not to say one must not interact with or befriend those who don’t, because after all it’s what’s in their hearts that’s most important not necessarily what they believe in, especially if they are essentially good people.

      • fedayeen

        March 14, 2015 at 8:28 PM

        Now should the inclusion of mormons as “ahl kitaab” be based on their following beliefs, which are completely alien to mainstream Christianity? most of these examples are information easily found: they believe in “baptism of the deceased”, at one time the “church” began “baptising” Holocaust victims until they were told to stop; this extends to collecting every persons birth records so that they can “convert” them posthumously. This is not to say that mormons are strange people, I mean after all there were mormons who voted for president Obama instead of Mitt “the twit” Romney but they have many rather “interesting” beliefs and practices. Quite recently, anyone in the “church” who questions the validity and authenticity of their “scared scriptures”, such as the “book of mormon” and the “book of Abraham” is immediately “excommunicated” without hesitation. And it must not be overlooked that throughout all of their “temples” they prominently display pictures of a white Jesus Christ whom they believe visited north America in the ancient past. The question is, if Muslims want others to accept that certain sects aren’t actually “real and true” Muslims, then why should it be ignored if a majority of mainstream Christians state the same thing about mormons?”

  4. MR

    November 26, 2007 at 9:53 AM

    Never met a Mormon.

  5. H

    November 26, 2007 at 12:49 PM

    @JDsg

    Do you have any links or references on that? I was under the impression that that is a Jehovah’s witness belief as well.

  6. Jettboy

    November 26, 2007 at 1:09 PM

    Mormons respect Muslims FAR more than you present it here. I would like some proof beyond support of the Iraq war. I would suggest a visit to the Brigham Young University web site for some information on how Muslims and Mormons have worked together. Any anti-Muslim feelings Mormons have are either politically inherited or against terrorists. All I can say is, if Muslims talk like this toward Mormons they are going to lose the closest thing to friends they have in the United States.

  7. Affad

    November 26, 2007 at 1:50 PM

    I actually work closely with the Mormon church in Southern California.

    While I have mixed experiences, I would say that the over all trend here in Southern California with the Mormon community is positive.

    They have hosted several events together discusses issues around morality and media perceptions- on the issue of minority community that is viewed with distrust etc.

    I think racism exists across the board in any community- and that includes Muslim. However, institutionalized racism, I think that does have a degree of consideration, yet our government was very much responsible for that and yet it took steps, still needs to do more, to distance and abolish racism within the government. We can argue on the intentions that led to it. However, again from my experience here in Southern California, if one were to develop a relationship, work closely to build confidence with leadership, then it is possible to change the views with the community and the “Church”.

    I think its possible, because that is the work I am involved with.

    On a side note, the “church” for whatever purposes (intentions are obviously to convert Muslims to Mormonism), has/was one of the biggest donors following the Pakistan Earthquack and continues to provide a lot of aid to Pakistan via Muslim NGO’s and individuals here. I happen to know a few who work with the Mormons and are Muslim community leaders. In fact Islamic Relief worked very closely with the “church” as well.

    As to the people of the book issue, I would have to say I agree with you on the conclusion in that I dont think they are, given what their faith is. But does that mean we can not work with them?

  8. Amad

    November 26, 2007 at 2:20 PM

    I believe if you open up one of the links to the statements from Christian sects above, it discusses what JDsg mentioned.

  9. Umm Reem

    November 26, 2007 at 3:32 PM

    Due to this rule many considered the Sabi’ah and the Samirah from Ahl al-Kitab, although they differed with the Christians and Jews (respectfully) in the specifics of their practice, while agreeing with them in fundamentals.

    As far as I know (with or without their agreement with Christians or Jews) Sabians are people of the Book because they are explicitly mentioned in Qur’an along the lines with Jews and Christians. They had their own Prophet and sharee’ah, wAllahu ‘alam.

  10. Amad

    November 26, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Jettboy and Affad: thank you for the comments. Affad, I appreciate your notes from personal experience.

    This is why blogs are blogs… they do not provide “final and summary” judgments… just opinions. Many times the opinions ferment discussions and open us up to comments from people who provide a different perspective from what may be prevalent or misunderstood.

    I made it clear that my own opinions were based on some anecdotal data and skimpy surveys.

    Regardless, I have added a few comments within the post to further highlight that as well as answer Affad’s question. Pls especially read the concluding points. I am glad that Affad brought up the question with regards to how the “Ahl Kitaab” issue changes our cooperation or our interactions. The answer is it doesn’t.

  11. Hamdi

    November 27, 2007 at 7:22 PM

    Here’s an intersting video (I hope it’s okay Islamically to link to that video, if not I hope someone can delete my comment), that should be taken with a grain of salt however since it is obviously biased:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy0d1HbItOo

  12. Rasheed Gonzales

    November 27, 2007 at 8:36 PM

    Whether some Christian sects excommunicate other Christian sects and expel them from the fold of Christianity, or whether they call them cults or things of the like, should not matter to us.

    In al-Mughnî, Ibn Qudâmah states, “Chapter: The People of the Book are those whose ruling is this: they are the People of the Torah and the Gospel; Allah, exalted is He, said, «Lest you say the Book was certainly sent down upon two groups before us,» so the People of the Torah are the Jews and the Samaritans, while the People of the Gospel are the Christians and those who agree with them in the root of their religion, of the Europeans, the Armenians, and others.”

    We know that the Christians, like our nation and the Jews, will divide into various sects. So long as the foundations of their beliefs are in conformity with what is known to be “Christian”, then they are considered Christian to us.

  13. Amad

    November 27, 2007 at 9:13 PM

    Rasheed, obviously you haven’t read why all the major Christian sects (not “some”) are excluding Mormons. Were you to do so, you would understand that the “excommunication” is not based on mere whims, but significant theological differences. Just like I wouldn’t want a Christian telling me how Qadiyanis are really Muslim or not, I don’t want to be in the position of sorting their theology out in this issue.

    So, please read the linked articles before jumping to conclusions. Just because someone says he is this or that doesn’t mean he is this or that.

  14. Rasheed Gonzales

    November 27, 2007 at 10:00 PM

    Firstly, where did I say their excommunication was based upon whims? In fact, where did I even imply it? What I stated was that their excommunication of each other “should not matter to us,” as Muslims.

    Secondly, who’s sorting out their theology? We’re not the ones saying who’s a true Christian or not. There are very significant theological differences between the Protestants (which include the Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians) and the Catholics; such that many Catholics will identify themselves as “Catholic” to distinguish themselves apart from “Christians” (as opposed to Protestants who will generally tell you they are “Christian” regardless of what denomination they belong to). When Protestantism first broke off from the mainstream, they too were regarded as a cult, as non-Christian heretics, etc. Their inclusion into the mainstream now does not change the significance of the differences in their doctrine and Catholic doctrine.

    With that said, these significant theological differences do not change both sects’ (and their offshoots’) status with us as being “Christian sects”; their roots are still the same: they ascribe themselves to Jesus and his (supposed) teachings and they all accept and claim to believe in the “Bible” (regardless of which version they use).

    You mention the Qadiyanis/Ahmadis; yes, the Muslim community at large excommunicates them and hold them to be non-Muslims, disbelievers. However, to the rest of the world, they are seen as an offshoot/sect of Islam, and are generally regarded as “Muslims”, regardless of our judgement of them.

    Lastly, what conclusions are you referring to that you assume I’ve jumped to?

  15. a

    November 27, 2007 at 11:29 PM

    Protestants were shunned in their early days by mainstream Christians. Time passed … and they are now part of “mainstream”.

    I don’t see how they are different from Mormons.

  16. abukhaled

    November 28, 2007 at 12:03 AM

    assalam alaikum,
    two questions,
    are the mainstream christians of today the same as those at the time of the prophet?

    and

    who are the samira and sabiah?

  17. H

    November 28, 2007 at 2:21 AM

    @ a
    The difference would be in their adherence to certain base beliefs as said above.

    @ abukhaled

    1- Obviously, a cursory overview of Surat Ali-Imran and al-Maidah shows that their base beliefs are the same.

    2- The Samira are known in English as the

    The Sabiah are said to be a monotheistic people of the ancient Middle east for more see

  18. H

    November 28, 2007 at 2:24 AM

    The links in the last comment got messed up

    For the Samira = Samaritans see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritan

    For the Sabians see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabians

  19. Amad

    November 28, 2007 at 9:39 AM

    Rasheed:

    What I stated was that their excommunication of each other “should not matter to us,” as Muslims.

    It absolutely should matter to us when there seems to be a nearly universal consensus from the Christian side (Catholics and Protestants).

    What if tomorrow the Scientologists say that they are Christians as well? Should we simply close our eyes to their rejections by Christians themslves, ignoring the vast theological differences?

    Furthermore, what about Bahais? They believe in Jesus and the Bible, why not accept them as Christians as well?

    Your argument basically states that if someone says he is a Christian, believes in Jesus and the Bible, then regardless of how the rest of his theology differs, regardless if he believes that humans become literal gods, regardless if he believes that there is a new prophet with a new message; we should still accept his Ahl Kitaab status. That is indeed a strange pronouncement.

    As I stated very clearly in my discourse, we need to ask the scholars and students of knowledge about this to further understand the proper position. I have sent forth the questions for that, and I hope others who have access can do the same.

  20. Rasheed Gonzales

    November 28, 2007 at 11:44 AM

    What if tomorrow the Scientologists say that they are Christians as well? Should we simply close our eyes to their rejections by Christians themslves, ignoring the vast theological differences?

    The Scientologists don’t claim or even exhibit adherence to the Bible. Their roots/foundations of their religion are completely different than the Christians’ roots/foundations. The Mormons on the other hand claim and exhibit adherence to the Bible and much of the roots and foundations of their sect are still in line with the general body of Christianity.

    As for vast theological differences, as I mentioned above, there are significant differences between the Protestants (of which I used to be) and the Catholics (of which the vast majority of my family happens to be). To the Protestants, the Catholics are clear polytheists for their veneration of Mary and other saints. As mentioned by “a”, there is also the fact that when Protestantism (and pretty much every other sect of Christianity) broke off from Catholicism, they were regarded as heretics and cultish renegade splinter groups.

    Furthermore, what about Bahais? They believe in Jesus and the Bible, why not accept them as Christians as well?

    Your arguement here is invalid. We also believe in Jesus and the the scriptures that were revealed to him, yet we are not Christians. We differ in our roots and fundamentals. Likewise, the Baha’is differ in their roots and fundamentals e.g., their acceptance of Buddha and Muhammad as Prophets and Messengers. They also believe in unity of religion and mankind.

    The core of their beliefs effectively make them their own religion, separating themselves from all three “Abrahamic” religions.

    Your argument basically states that if someone says he is a Christian, believes in Jesus and the Bible, then regardless of how the rest of his theology differs, regardless if he believes that humans become literal gods, regardless if he believes that there is a new prophet with a new message; we should still accept his Ahl Kitaab status. That is indeed a strange pronouncement.

    No, my argument is that if the sect’s roots and fundamentals are the same. Quite different from what you assume it to be.

  21. ibnabeeomar

    November 28, 2007 at 5:55 PM

    i think theres a big difference also in scientology and say catholics or mormons. the ‘asl’ at least is that mormons/catholics are “christian”

    scientology has nothing to do with christianity, unless they claimed that they now follow the bible or something.

  22. Amad

    November 28, 2007 at 8:31 PM

    I think you missed my point. I know what Scientologists are, at least what is known about them.

    Rather, my point was what if they say they are. And let’s even say that they start claiming Jesus and the Bible… would that make them Christians?

    No, my argument is that if the sect’s roots and fundamentals are the same. Quite different from what you assume it to be.

    “If” the sect’s roots and fundamentals… ya akhi, we ARE talking about the “IF” question.. what a cop-out! That is what I am arguing that the roots and fundamentals are not the same… and who better to ask than the major Christian sects.

    As I said before, it seems that you still haven’t taken the time to read the info. on the links I provided, yet you continue to argue semantics. So, in your next comment, tell us how the Baptists or the Catholics or the Presbyterians or the Lutherans got it wrong when they argued that Mormon fundamentals are NOT the same. IF you don’t get this line of argument or don’t want to get it, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    wsalam

  23. Yasir Qadhi

    November 28, 2007 at 9:09 PM

    Interesting comments. Really I can see the validity of both lines of argument: whether to consider them ‘Christian’ or not. And of course the two major legal implications are mentioned by Amad. It is primarily for those two reasons that this issue needs to be discussed amongst scholars.

    I personally lean towards considering them a new religion, for two reasons:

    1) They believe in another prophet. For this, they are not pure ‘Christians’, as belief in a new prophet is a fundamental part of faith, and to affirm/deny prophets is integral to one’s faith. Hence, for Muslims, it is an essential requirement to affirm the prophets that are mentioned in the Quran, and to deny false prophets such as Musaylama, Mirza Ghulam, and Bahaullah. To affirm any of these false prophets ipso facto expels one from the fold of Islam, even if all the other tenets are held. Similarly, for a Christian to affirm the validity of a false prophet is tantamount to accepting a new religion.

    2) Not as important as the first point but connected to it, Mormons believe in another revelation as well. This fact as well makes them not fully ‘Christian’ – even though we believe that the New Testament is not a pure revelation, it is based upon a divinely revealed revelation to a prophet. To affirm or deny specific texts as being of the New/Old Testament is one thing. But belief in another book is entirely a different matter.
    Belief in a particular Scripture is another factor that defines one’s religion.

    Both of these factors are supra-sectarian, meaning that they define one’s religion and not one’s sect within a religion. Hence it is my personal position that any such group cannot come under the term ‘Ahl Kitab.’

    Having said all that, I would disagree with Amad’s personal experience and assumption that Mormons are more ‘Islamophobic’ than others. Rather, in my own experience they are friendlier and more sympathetic, possibly due to persecutions they themselves have faced (as the article above alludes to). Also, Muslims find it easier to socialize with them because their morality and ethics are more at par with Islam than with other Christians.

    I live in a neighborhood where we have half a dozen Mormon families, and triple that amount of Christians. We are much closer to and friendlier with the Mormon families than the others, simply because there is more understanding, sympathy and tolerance on both sides.

    The fact that I don’t consider them ‘Ahl Kitab’ doesn’t at all affect how I interact with them.

    Yasir

    • Mehdi Sheikh

      December 18, 2009 at 11:05 PM

      Br. Yasir,

      You mention that the mormons are different because they believe in another prophet and revelation. But if you really take the history of christianlty into consideration, this point is moot, because first of all to them Jesus is not a prophet or more than just a prophet. Paul who is the real architect of modern christianity is in reallity their prophet, so the point of beliving in a different prophet also has no bearing on the determination that a group is christian or not.

      They believe that the average human beings can receive “wahy” and that is infact how their gospels came to be. The Catholic bible differs from the KJV, which differs from the Syrian Bible, etc. So it is not really strange that in the same vein another person was inspired by “god” and received a new law as far as the christians are concerned. Remember, Bush went to war because he and “god” were talking to each other and “god” told him to do so.

      The only definition of the Christian as far as the Qur’aan is concerned is that they are people who:
      1. Believe in the divine nature of Jesus
      AND/OR
      2. Believe in the Trinity

      if those two are satisfied then they are, as far as we are concerned, christians and thus Ahlul Kitaab.

  24. Amad

    November 28, 2007 at 9:23 PM

    I would disagree with Amad’s personal experience and assumption that Mormons are more ‘Islamophobic’ than others. Rather, in my own experience they are friendlier and more sympathetic, possibly due to persecutions they themselves have faced (as the article above alludes to). Also, Muslims find it easier to socialize with them because their morality and ethics are more at par with Islam than with other Christians.

    My personal, personal experience (not the radio host but the guy at work) was also very positive as I mentioned in my first paragraph. I am not sure I can extend that personal experience to a general statement but it does seem that others have had positive experience so I hope that I am wrong.

    The fact that I don’t consider them ‘Ahl Kitab’ doesn’t at all affect how I interact with them.

    Ditto. I mentioned this at least a couple of times in the post including the emboldened concluding paragraph.

    By the way, here is an interesting statement from Mitt Romney, which should give you an idea of what at least he thinks of Muslims:

    According to commentator Mansoor Ijaz: “I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that ‘jihadism’ is the principal foreign policy threat facing America today. He answered, ‘…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.'”

    “Based on the % of American Muslims”?? Are you kidding me?? Then Mr. Romney, you shouldn’t dream of being a President based on the % of Mormons (roughly twice that of Muslims)! What about % of Jews, roughly about the same as Muslims? Would that exclude them from your cabinet? What do you say of the fact that Jews have had (and have now) a disproportionate % representation in all political and legislative arenas… Mr. Romney, are you going to “fix” that as well? Or would you instead say that they are there because of their qualifications? In which case, how does that make Muslims different?

    Instead of making such nonsensical arguments, why not just admit that you have a problem with Muslims OR you are trying to marginalize a minority for the sake of satisfying your majority base?? And in that truly lies the Republican agenda.

  25. Rasheed Gonzales

    November 28, 2007 at 11:41 PM

    “If” the sect’s roots and fundamentals… ya akhi, we ARE talking about the “IF” question.. what a cop-out!

    Cop-out? Go back and read my earlier posts. This is what I’ve been saying. Their roots and fundamentals are the same. The claim and exhibit adherence to Jesus and the Bible. The Book of Mormon is argued by many to be a direct rip-off of the King James Bible. So the point about having a new revelation is kind of debatable, since in all likelyhood, the Book of Mormon is essentially the King James Bible.

    I’ve looked at the article you posted regarding the “deep, irreconcible theological differences,” and see some of the points as complete hogwash and can be attributed to differences of interpretation, and misunderstandings of expressions and terms used; I’ve seen bigger differences in theology between the Catholics and Protestants. For example, point no. 2 states that the Bible and orthodox Christians (whatever that’s supposed to mean) believe that God was never a man. Yet, in no. 3 they admit that God became flesh (i.e., a man) and came to earth in the form of Jesus.

    Throughout the article it mentions what the Bible teaches and what orthodox Christians believe, but whose interpretation of the Bible are they using? And who are these orthodox Christians? Are they going by the Roman Catholic branch’s take on things? Or what about the Eastern Orthodox’s take on things? The Protestants? Or how about the Oriental Orthodox’s. What of the Anglican’s? A combination of all five major branches? Or what about a combination of some in exclusion of the others?

    All of these groups have “fundamental” differences in their theology, but the essense of their beliefs keeps them under the umbrella of “Christianity”. Here are some of the differences between the Catholics and the Protestants. Here’s another (scroll half way down to the comparison table). It’s interesting to note that under “Attitude towards each other”, under the conservative Protestants, it says “Some consider Catholics to be non-Christians.”

    I don’t regard the differences between Mormonism and the various other Christian sects to be so vastly different as to consider it a totally separate religion.

  26. Amad

    November 29, 2007 at 10:07 AM

    Rasheed, while I left this question open to the people of knowledge, you seem to have made your mind and will argue using weak sources in order to affirm your position.

    since in all likelyhood, the Book of Mormon is essentially the King James Bible.

    That indeed is quite the leap based on what “many” believe (which is based on a link to infidels.org). Your source is weak and flies in the face of official positions from the real “many”, which is the majority of Christian sects. Again, many MAY say (assume for now) that Bahaullah’s work is a rip off of Bible or Quran, then does that change anything? It doesn’t.

    Shaykh Yasir has spoken on this matter and out of all of us, he is a student of knowledge. So, if you can locate a scholar to concur with you, we can discuss this further.

  27. YasirDhia

    November 29, 2007 at 12:41 PM

    as salaamualaikum,
    I was with br. Aarij when the missionaries visited. two young guys, calling each other by the title “elder.” They were remarkably well mannered, and humble when they were not able to answer our questions. I really commended their akhlaq.

    I asked about the trinity, and how their view differs on the issues of salvation and divinity of Isa – alayhis salam.

    Generally I extracted that they deny Allah is al-Adl, and that Allah created Isa (alayhis salam) to ‘absorb’ or ‘compensate’ for the incomplete/inadequate repentance of humans.

    Before leaving they asked if they could perform a prayer. I asked if they would invoke any name other than God? and they said no. We said, you do your prayer and then we’ll do ours.

    They then said a prayer for guidance and at the end they said.. “we ask this in jesus’ name”. I did not appreciate that.

    Our turn started with “in the name of Allah” and we recited suratul fatihah for them :)

  28. Rasheed Gonzales

    November 30, 2007 at 12:12 AM

    Rasheed, while I left this question open to the people of knowledge, you seem to have made your mind and will argue using weak sources in order to affirm your position.

    Where have I closed off the question for the People of Knowledge? As if stating what I know to be true somehow means I think we can no longer ask the scholars for their guidance and direction on this matter, or even that I cannot be wrong. Please.

    That indeed is quite the leap based on what “many” believe (which is based on a link to infidels.org). Your source is weak and flies in the face of official positions from the real “many”, which is the majority of Christian sects.

    You bring statements from churches belonging to two of the five major branches of Christianity and suddenly think you have the “majority” of Christian sects? That’s amusing.

    The link to infidels.org was for the detailed mention of evidences supporting the allegations of plagiarism mentioned in the article. Would you have rather had me link to the Wikipedia article on the topic? F.y.i., the Catholics @ Catholic Answers allege that at least parts of the Book of Mormon were plagiarized from the KJV, claiming it to be “a synthesis of earlier works (written by other men), of the vivid imaginings of Joseph Smith, and of simple plagiarisms of the King James Bible.” There are numerous other Christian and Bible study websites that allege the same thing saying that “large portions” of it were plagiarized from the KJV.

    Again, many MAY say (assume for now) that Bahaullah’s work is a rip off of Bible or Quran, then does that change anything? It doesn’t.

    It would if there were enough evidence to prove that it was a direct rip-off of either book, and if the bulk or core of what they believed in was in agreement with the roots and foundations of either religion.

    As for what Yasir mentioned regarding the belief in a new prophet and new revelation, then these are the strongest arguements against them being considered Christians. Keep in mind however, that the Christian concept of what a prophet is, differs somewhat from what we believe; “[m]any Christians with pentecostal or charismatic beliefs believe in the continuation of the gift of prophecy and the continuation of the role of prophet a taught in Ephesians 4.” So believing in another prophet isn’t as detrimental to one’s Christianity as it is to one’s Islam.

    Btw, the Seventh Day Adventists are considered a Protestant Christian denomination, and they too believe in a prophet after Jesus, a woman by the name of Ellen G. White.

  29. Rasheed Gonzales

    November 30, 2007 at 5:04 PM

    I just got word from my friend, who I had asked to ask Shaikh Khâlid al-‘Anbarî about the Mormons. The shaikh was told they believe in another prophet named Mr. Smith and he said they are still included among the 72 sects of Christians.

    I can still ask other friends to ask various other shaikhs for their opinions, if you wish.

  30. Amad

    November 30, 2007 at 8:54 PM

    salam.. Rasheed, can you pls ask your friend to take all the proofs and information found in this post and in the links, translate them into Arabic and then ask Shaikh Khalid again? One of the major problems that we face today is sending half-cooked questions to the Shayookh who otherwise don’t know anything about the situation, and then touting that answer as an authority.

    And when your friend translates everything, pls do ask him to get opinions from a variety of Shayookh.

  31. Rasheed Gonzales

    November 30, 2007 at 10:10 PM

    Wa ‘alaikum as-salam.

    I honestly don’t think the shaikh will change his opinion even if we were to present your work to him to consider. He replied that they’re from the People of the Book, was told they believe in another prophet, and still repeated the same answer.

    Plus, I don’t believe the shaikh is completely ignorant of the situation. He does visit the west quite a bit. But if you insist, I’ll see what I can do if he ends up visiting Toronto near the end of the year.

    Btw, what I conveyed was the shaikh’s opinion. You’re free to take it or reject it as you wish. You wanted to leave the question open to be answered by people of knowledge; I had an opportunity to forward the question to the shaikh, so I took it.

  32. Hood

    December 2, 2007 at 7:55 AM

    @ Yasir

    Similarly, for a Christian to affirm the validity of a false prophet is tantamount to accepting a new religion.

    and

    2) Not as important as the first point but connected to it, Mormons believe in another revelation as well. This fact as well makes them not fully ‘Christian’ – even though we believe that the New Testament is not a pure revelation, it is based upon a divinely revealed revelation to a prophet.

    Sorry but you’re wrong on both accounts. Christians have an open ended concept of prophecy, and as such for protestants anyone can be inspired. Some of them limit this to Paul, and others claim that it is merely the point to where one is filled with the Holy Ghost. Regardless, if things were the way you describe then there would be not one Christian alive today that could be considered from the people of the book, in that the majority of them if nto all of them accept Paul as a ‘prophet’ after Jesus. The fact that the Quran was revealed post-paul and during the advent of one of the major schisms in the Christian church witnesses to the incorrect nature of your above supposition.

    Similarly, with the second issue of revelation, the late collection of Christians sources, including things such as the letters to the apostles and certain books of the old testament that are not based in the revealed word to Christ are enough to invalidate your above stipulation of belief in a specific revelation based text.

    So for Mormons these two stipulations do not hold up, as Joseph Smith was claimed to be a prophet in that tradition, and the Book of Mormon, although a “new” revelation is claimed to be based on ancient tablets translated by Mr. Smith. Anyone that has read the book of Mormon knows that most of it is very much like the book of Isiah in the OT, to the point that many detractors of the Mormon faith claim that it was simply plagiarized for the sake of “new” revelation.

    The litmus test then is the proximity of their beliefs to fundamental Christian belief, as stated above in other comments.
    So it remains to be seen whether the “elohim” theory stated in the youtube video pasted above is in fact official church doctrine. If it is then there is reason not to define them as “Ahl al Kitab”.
    If however it is not there is not reason then not to consider them as such, and if you do not you would have to be consistent in that and deny that title to all Christians alive today.

  33. Moiez

    December 3, 2007 at 2:10 PM

    wow this is some juicy stuff, I love it! Until scholars come out with a verdict, they are part of the gray area which we muslims should stay away from.
    I was unwillingly watching the Axis of Evil comedy show and there was a guy whose father was a palestinian muslim and his mother was a mormon. Although Im not sure if they were practicing or not….anywho thats not the point, the point is alot of muslims are considering them Ahl al Kitab and treating them as such (when I say treating I mean marrying, eating meat ect.) because there roots seem to be the same as the Christian belief (sorry Amad but Im siding with Rasheed on this one he has the better arguement and he has proof from a scholar and Im friends with a mormon and they seem pretty Christian to me). So lets go scholars I wanna see some knowledge workin around here, Im dying to know! :)

  34. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » Mitt Romney’s Flip-Flopping…

  35. MyWadud

    December 10, 2008 at 5:02 AM

    Assalaamu ‘Alaykum wa RaHmatullaah

    I think the Sheikh should be informed that Mormons Believe…

    WARNING!. These are hard to stomach for a monotheist… Read with plenty of ‘auudhubillaah.

    1 – Trinity consists of separate beings (gods), “literal” sonship.
    as opposed to Christian version(s) of 3-in-1 and vague desc of sonship

    also they talk about a literal begetting, if you catch my drift….

    2 – They believe they will be gods themselves if they follow Church Doctrine.

    3 – They believe our creator was once a “man” and received “divinity”

    4 – They understanding, vision of “Father” is an old, bearded man, sitting with his “son” planning, discussing things out.

    5 – They (Church) add/remove from their religion as they see fit using the idea of “continuous prophecy”

    note: They are mostly exceedingly well mannered outside, yet self-righteousness (religiosity), deep rooted racism and nationalism is common. I also have reason to believe that incest has been problematic at least until recent times. It seems to me the leaders use rhetorically well constructed, yet in many ways vague speeches and answers to public. Most will remove themselves from getting into an actual especially Theological topics and proof of religion. They try to draw parallels with Islam, their (some Mormon intellectuals) treatment of Rasul Allah (sas) rate much better than Mainstream Christians (yet most of the public is completely oblivious of Islam, Muslims and Rasul). They believe their roots come from Israel in “Migration” story that recently got decisively disproved by DNA evidence after many years of it being disproved by Arts, Language, Architecture etc. studies. which forced the Church to slightly alter the introduction of the Book of Mormon which already had numerous amounts (300+) of adjustment/changes done to it from it’s first publishing anyway. They can’t prostelyze in Israel but they love and send money to Israel, hoping one day they will unite under one roof as “two centers” of the world.

    ps. I’m open to being corrected, the statements are purposefully simplified to avoid length vagueness.

  36. Nur el Masih Ben Haq

    January 17, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    -comment removed. Unrelated to subject. Pls refrain from your overt missionary work, esp. when unrelated to post.

  37. Nur el Masih Ben Haq

    January 17, 2009 at 8:03 PM

    I am sorry for whatever wrong I did. I re-read Mr. Mywadud’s explanation very well and I realized that you are right to say that my response is not that relevant. I am sorry. Wallahu aalam!!!!!!!!!

  38. molpoc

    July 13, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    It is interesting to hear that that mormons are not considered ahl kitaab and possible have anti-muslim tendencies. However, I have heard that there are quite a few Muslims in Utah. A quick google search shows that there are seven mosques in the salt lake area. Do you have any information about why that is? Why would Muslims end up in Utah?

    • MyWadud

      July 13, 2009 at 1:45 PM

      No one has, to my knowledge, has authoritatively stated whether they are or they are not considered ahl al-kitaab, this is simply posing the question, and Muslim history shows that, it is preferred to extend the title to as many as possible, as in the case of the Ottoman Empire. But given that the LDS Church is a pseudo religion, I would really like to see how a `Aalim would handle their categorization.

      There are maximum 10,000 Muslims in Utah, Comparatively that is a low number as there are approximately 9,000,000 Muslims in the US. (I guess ~17,000 would be norm per state)

      What would attract a Muslim to Utah?

      It is comparatively a more modest state.
      It is a safer environment as far as crime.
      They had no choice, as in, they were refugees.

  39. Dr. Abd Lateef Abd Fatah

    December 12, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    This is quite educative and highly inspiring. may Allah increase you in knowledge.

  40. Abu Tallib

    December 18, 2009 at 9:52 PM

    I attend Brigham Young University, a private University funded by the Mormon church. Many of my friends here Alhamdulillah, are Muslim. Why do you think they decide to come here? It is simple. I guarantee there is no other accredited University, West of Turkey, which provides an environment as suited for a faithful Muslim. Here we do not drink, we do not smoke, and our women dress modest. This is really unique.

    Apart from standards though, are we Ahl Kitaab material??? I do not think this is such a hard question! (of course I may be biased:)

    Like Muslims, we believe God sent various prophets. The prophets in Biblical times which he sent where Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. I want you to understand, that we do not believe in these prophets in a “baha’i” sense. We believe in them in the biblical sense. The record which we Mormons have of these prophets is the King James version of the bible. This is the same bible that any Christian would use. With exception to the New Testament, it is Simply the jewish Tanak in English.

    In English, we use the King James Version of the New Testament as well. This is the same version almost all Christians use. It is not different! There are not many other Christians I know, which read the bible as much as I do.

    Now, I should counter myself and bring up that we are different from mainstream Christianity in 2 ways.

    1-We believe God has a Prophet on the earth today.

    2-We have the Book of Mormon.

    Neither one of these however, should preclude us from being Al-Kitaab.

    1-The reason Christians do not believe in revelation today is not because the bible. It is because tradition. In fact, the bible says, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, save he revealth his secrets unto his servents the Prophets”. It also Prophesies of Prophets (notice that is more than one) that God will raise up to gather his people. There is no verse, no, not one, which says that there will be no more prophecy. It says only the opposite.

    2-No honest Christian believes the bible to be perfect (say as Muslims do for the Qu’ran). This is why we as Mormons believe the God has revealed the book of Mormon. It was not to reveal new doctrine, it was to confirm old doctrine…that which is already contained in the Bible. While two Christians will read one verse of scripture and get totally different thoughts, two Mormons will not. This is because we have two “witnesses”. I would challenge any of you, to find doctrine in the book of Mormon, which is not in the Bible. You cannot. An easy way to imagine this would be nailing a peice of wood on a wall with one nail. It can still spin. but if you nail it with two nails, you cannot spin it anymore.

    Kitaab is book, not tradition.

    Are Mormons beleivers of “the tradition”? no.

    Are we beleivers of “the Book”. Yes. The whole bases of our religion, is that we feel the EXACT same church which existed in the bible (we are the only church which holds the same structure as that found in the bible) is on the earth again. We are of the book.

    I love Islam, and I love Arabic (this is what I study at BYU:) There are many more points wish I would like to make, but I think I have already written to much so I shut up now. Please, reply with what you honestly think.
    salaam alaikum

    • MyWadud

      December 18, 2009 at 10:59 PM

      It seems that you “Abu Talib” (seems like a fake name for you) are a Mormon. As Muslims, we believe you have to right to your conviction, and should not be coerced, yet we also believe it is beneficial to talk about Reality and discuss matters of our Purpose in the best manner.

      Whether one believes a statue is their creator, or a non-existent comet, or an old man in some distant planet , that is their choice. Someone may believe their cookbook is divine or a book they wrote with poems and tales, that’s their choice.

      What Muslims say, is that Allah, high and exalted, (Elohim, Yahweh (Judaic) Alaha (Jesus-Aramaic)) is absolutely and uniquely One. Even Allah’s oneness isn’t like the “one” we know, it is comprehensive, exhaustive and complete and excludes everything, there can not even be a thought of another. We can neither describe nor comprehend Allah’s Reality, not even a single attribute, only talk of the revealed attributes without imagining any limits, shapes,forms or methods to them, according to our individual limits, as they benefit us. The attributes are to give us a glimpse of their reflections within our seen “world/universe” to appreciate and Love the One, thus Worship and recognize our inescapable servant-hood which is the highest status for man. As we are nothing, everything is dependent solely on the single Reality and have no existence within themselves. But the reality is dependent on nothing, at no time and no where, as even time and space are mere creation, it is mindless to think they may have any effect on Allah. Allah is above and beyond all concepts or limits, or the limits of what we may think to be limitless.

      Qur’aan, the Divine Recital, is just that, a pure blessing from the All-Knowledgeable, All-Powerful, All-Caring All-Merciful Lord Allah, upon us, unmatched, and guidance for those who have consciousness of their Lord. Some of its challenge and more information can be found on http://www.mywadud.com/ and other sites. It is silly or ignorant for someone to compare it to any other book, as it is our belief, with proof, that it is the only pure Divine text in existence and it will stay that way. Just like it’s conveyor, the Best of Creation, Beloved of Allah, Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, it is a protected seal and sufficient completion of divine revelation and prophet-hood until the judgment day.

      The part I won’t run a judgment on, because I am not qualified, and there are some interesting rulings in the history of Muslim Rulers as to who they are, is the selection of Ahl Al-Kitaab, my understanding is that Kitaab in context refers to the specific books of Moses, and Jesus, even in their corrupted form (since that’s the only forms they have) and I don’t think there is a single independent historian, textual critic, nor a Muslim scholar that would even entertain The Book of Mormon as a restoration of any of those books, since it would Islamically be irrelevant anyway, as it would be void after Qur’aan’s revelation. Plus I don’t think The Book of Mormon makes such a claim neither.

      Please visit http://www.mywadud.com/ for some basics, then feel free to post more question in this forum, as I am sure some knowledgable brothers would be willing to help you with any questions you may have. May Allah High and Exalted guide me and you to truth and preserve us on the straight path.

  41. Mehdi Sheikh

    December 18, 2009 at 10:42 PM

    Muslims (and non-christians altogether) should refrain from using the abbreviation “AD” when mentioning dates. Its the short form of the latin Anno Domini which translates to “in the year of our lord” which of course is an obvious nod to shirk.

    Use CE = Common (Christian) Era.

  42. Abu Tallib

    December 19, 2009 at 3:38 PM

    1) The name “Abu Talib” is a reference to the Prophets uncle and Guardian who never became Muslim. I used this name to emphasize that I am not Muslim, however I am an ally to Islam.

    2) My “real” name is Kevin. As I made VERY clear in my previous post, I am Mormon:) I am from Germany.

    I think either I was not clear in my post, or you misread it. To answer this question, I think it is important to stay focused on the question. Are Mormons Al-kitaab?

    To be considered Al-kitaab is not a question of Mormonisms differences with Islam. It is a question Mormonisms differences with the Christians and Jews in 600.

    I will tell you what I beleive, and I will tell you what they believed. you can contrast the difference and reason without bias whether I am Al-kitaab.

    I believe in Allah. In Mormonism, he is reverently and most oftenly referred to as Heavenly Father. By His power, were all things created, and remain in place. He wants us to progress and become more like him. To become perfect, just as he is perfect. When we come to earth however, we sin. This sin separates us from God. So God, sent his son, Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus died for our sins. He was able to do this, because God empowered him to do so. We do not believe that Jesus is God. Never will you hear a Mormon pray to Jesus. He is our brother, not our Father. There can only be one Father, and that is who we worship. We believe that Just as God empowered Jesus Christ, he empowers us. Both in this life, and in the next. With this power, we are able to serve others. By serving others, we glorify and bring honor to Allah, who we believe is our father.

    Klar?

  43. MyWadud

    December 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    Kevin, I thank you for your clear answer in this dialogue, I believe this is a very beneficial dialogue for all the parties involved and I much appreciate your sincerity. Please allow me to continue and share some of my views, God Willing, and please make sure I’m not making any fiqh claim as to whether Mormons are considered Ahl Al-Kitaab or not as only an qualified Islamic scholar could do that. But what is clear is that religions, as any sectarian movement or branch would be considered a pseudo/fake religion after the khatm(seal) of the Qur’aan and perfection and protection of primordial religion of Islaam on earth, such as the ruling for the Baha’i and Ahmadis, who were branched out from Islamic backgrounds into their own realm with “new” claims, it is highly more appropriate to consider Mormons with that category, keeping in mind, this would not mean any negative treatment towards any community, but would have affects in marriage etc. There’s NO genuine “prophet/nabi” nor “messenger/rasul” after Muhammad, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, regardless of what people claim, as in the case of Baha’is, Ahmadis, and Mormons. I hope the point is clear, inshaAllaah.

    note: Any connection that Mormons would claim with the land of Israel, from what I have studied, is not accepted by neither Jews, nor Christians of any denomination nor any independent historian, nor by scientific or literary scholars, as for the reason for the recent changes in the introduction of the Book of Mormon, and banning of missionary activities in Israel (who claims to be democratic).

    I have some questions, I will try to keep them brief and easy.

    1 – Do you believe in Allaah, in the way I described, as Allaah describes in the Qur’aan?

    note 1: Summary of some simplified points to consider… No Gender, No Form, Not in time, Not bound by space, No (literal) sons/daughters/children, No (literal) fathership, No human limitations nor anthropomorphism, No change in his being ever…, No need whatsoever, which includes need for consulting, planning, regret etc., no error, no rest, no partners in anything that Allaah does etc.

    note 2: The terms father, son, children etc. in its old-testament/Judaic usage, which in Judaism turned into a matter of self-righteousness and land/people/race-based nationalism (they gained wrath of Allaah), and in mainstream Christianity has gravely misinterpreted into being a literalistic type of pagan rooted son-ship (they went astray), was originally used, accordingly rabbinical resources as meaning, people whom Allaah/Yahweh loves, chooses because of their righteousness (not self-righteousness nor nationality, race, color, gender etc.) Thus, the Qur’aan discourages the use of the terms in the Qur’aan, due to their dangerous misinterpretation as proved in the history. Both these elements seem to exist in a unique form in the LDS schema, and in some cases to the extreme, as for the discourse on the humanification of the “Father” and literal son-ship of “Jesus”, may Allah bless him and protect him from false claims. In Islaam, Allah says “Be” and it “is”, no exceptions. Just like Adam, peace be upon him, was, without a father and mother, Jesus, peace be upon him, also was without a father, they are miracles, but unquestionably easy for Allah, because Allah does not need the means to do anything. Jesus, not even in the current versions of the Library (Bible/Bibliotech), claims his “sonship” as different from other Jews’, not a special status, his specialty is of his Messenger-ship, and its profane and blasphemous to call him a “literal” son at any length.

    2 – Do you believe in the Prophet-hood and Messenger-ship of Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, and love him? If so, then you’d believe his message, which says he’s the finality of Messenger-ship and Prophet-hood with a perfected message that will suffice until the end of time.

    3 – As a Mormon, please answer the following in order…

    a – Do you believe that Allaah is perfect, in every sense?

    b – Do you believe, as eluded in your post, the eternal progression?

    c – Do you believe, Allah, may Hu be exalted, was subject to this eternal progression?

    If so by what power and might?

    More simply put… was Allah mortal at some point? Had a beginning? Was less in anyway? Are there other gods besides?

    d – How can a “Perfect” entity progress?

    4 – It is well studied and accepted in all circles of historical and religious studies that dying, resurrecting, sin-paying god-man stories have been around long before the time of Prophet Jesus. Extremist Evangelical Christian brothers and sisters will simply shun the idea by calling these fact devils handy work, but we know, Allaah, ta’ala, forgives sins, without need for a substitute, and the method of purification is sincere and proper Repentance (Tawbah) as Allaah taught Adam, peace be upon him, and kept reminding through the pages to those who are conscious of Allaah. It is an individual responsibility and the pagan alternative would be cruel, unjust, and merciless either way we look at it.

    a – Mainstream Christian version…

    God-Man-Spirit Jesus… 3 in 1, 1 in 3, 3 but 1.

    Father comes to earth, as the Son, while still “NEEDING” “HELP” “DIRECTION” “PRAYER” from the Father, and needing sustenance from earthly people and resources. ALL SINS require “ultimate sacrifice” (ultimate “Lamb/Sheep” as misinterpreted from the Jewish understanding of Korban/Lamb Slaughter) ultimate sacrifice has to be infinite and price is “BLOOD” and “DEATH”. Let’s Assume the death story is sound…

    I – Did the Ultimate Sacrifice “DIE”? Meaning we have no “GOD”

    Answer : Of course no? the man died. Last moment, God survived, man died.

    II – Then, your “need” isn’t fulfilled for ultimate, endless sacrifice.
    Better reconsider your belief. Your sins remain accountable.

    Mormon workout…

    b – Father sent his “sinless” son, whom he loved, for us to die for our sins.

    Is it not unjust if not non-beneficial nor sensible for someone, whom is innocent, loving of his Lord and Creator, etc, to suffer for YOUR responsibility?

    Allaah forgives, without need, as Hu Wills, whom Hu Wills, by Mercy. Doesn’t need to be unjust, brutal, nor violent. We obey, when we “slip” as Adam “slipped” we repent and turn back to Allaah, and it is as if we never “slipped”. No persons sin is a responsibility of another. Everyone is accountable for their own, and have a connection with their Lord, using the Prophets, Messengers as their perfect guides and beacons.

    In the Bible, Jesus is quoted praying to be saved, which also goes against the, “willing sacrifice” rule, and later, it is quoted that Jesus’ prayers were accepted (I can get the Biblical quotes if needed, I’m in a hurry right now)

    Finally, please check out the articles at http://www.mywadud.com/ and http://mywadud.wordpress.com/

    You may start with the multi-parted “Heart to Heart” Series to get a basic understanding, and let us know if you have any questions…

    May Allaah, exalted and blessed, guide me, you and all those who seek their Lord sincerely and keep us on the straight path. May Allaah place Love and Mercy in our hearts and makes us permanent on it.

  44. Talib-ul-Ilm

    December 20, 2009 at 10:21 PM

    Kevin and MyWadud, interesting discussion going on here. I’d just like to add for clarification in MyWadud’s post that Adam (peace be upon him) didn’t “slip” in the sense that us, laymen ‘slip ‘n’ sin’. Allah (SWT) in his infinite wisdom planned for us to be tested here on Earth from the get-go, which is clear from the dialogue that is gong on between Allah (SWT) and his Mala’ikah, his Angels when they asked Him close meaning, “Why are you creating a creation that will create bloodshed on Earth?” Answer: “I know that which you do not know”. And then Adam (AS) taught the angels the names and attributes of things, etc.
    Anyways, I’m digressing.
    Prophets do not sin in the sense that we sin. We sin because we are weak, etc. but Prophets, Rasuls, Messengers, etc. they do something (not wrong) so that we can learn from them. This is evident in all of the Prophets’ lives, may peace be upon them all. From Adam (AS) eating the forbidden fruit through the mischievous whisperings of Shaytan, the then-outcasted Iblis. From Yunus/Jonas (AS) being in the stomach of a whale for 40 days due to his impatience with the people that Allah (SWT) entrusted him to convey the message of Islam.
    The examples are quite literally endless as Muslims believe in no less than 124,000 prophets sent to humankind, from Adam (AS) to Muhammad (SAW).
    Whatever they did was not a human error, it was something that Allah (SWT) made them do so that we can benefit and learn from their behavior. Lesson from Adam (AS)? Shaytan is our open enemy until the Day of Judgment and that he is cunning. He knows how to trick humanity (he’s had since the dawn of time to practice on us). From Yunus (AS)? To be patient when it comes to guiding people to the Haqq, the Truth of Islam, good things come to those who wait in essence.
    Kevin, I don’t know how the Book of Mormon is structured but I can tell you that the Holy Qur’an is littered with historical examples from our pious predecessors and prophets so that we may derive benefit.

    Kevin, Muslims don’t say “Heavenly Father’ as He is not our Father the same way that Isa/Jesus (AS) is not His son. We are not his children, we are the progeny of humanity that came in the form of the 1st Prophet, Adam (AS). He is our Lord and we are his servants. We exist solely to return to whence we came, from Paradise/Jannat. We can only achieve this by affirming our unwavering belief that He is Allah, the One, the Absolute (See Chapter 112 of the Holy Qur’an, Surah Ikhlaas), belief in all the angels, in all His creations, in the life Hereafter, Taqdeer (predestination), etc.

    Constant remembrance of Allah (SWT) is key to successfully worshiping Him.
    The idea of prayer, the 2nd pillar of Islam is not to move your body around in what seems to be odd ways. It’s to continuously remember Allah (SWT), to remember why we exist. We exist solely to worship Him because we need Him and He does not need anything nor anyone.

    So umm…ha not sure why I initially started this, but Kevin and MyWadud, keep up the interfaith dialogue, and Kevin, I’d like you to answer my question of how the Book of Mormon is structured.

    Ameen to MyWadud’s du’a. Ameen, ya Rabbul A’lameen.

    Wasalam

  45. Thane

    March 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    First of all, I am Mormon and my purpose here is not to offend, or be offended. I have been doing alot of research lately that I would like to share with the readers of this forum. In my studies of our doctrine I have found several points of interest, the first of which being that Joseph Smith Jr. himself said that the only other religion on this earth that is closest to ours is that of Islam- not what is currently known as christianity. I have also found that when the leaders of my church were asked whether or not Muhammad was a prophet of the LORD, they answered that Muhamed was visited by an angel of the LORD in order to bring enlightenment to man kind.

    I would like to think that we have more in common than just a few values and morals.

    Another interesting fact I would like to share is in regards to the Book of Mormon. Critics have called it many things, but a plagerism it is not. The biggest critique of the book is that it is horrendously written in very poor grammer and syntax. This is becuase it is almost a direct translation (in our belief) from an ancient language said to be called “Reformed Egyption”. Scholars have claimed that no such language exists. That is a moot point, becuase when the book is translated into Arabic, it is almost a perfect translation. I believe that anyone here who is able to read and fully understand both Arabic and English will come to the same conclusion (if only from a scholars stand point).

    Some of you may be asking as to why we call our selves Christians. We call our selves ‘christians’ becuase we believe we are following the Fathers only begotten son Yehashua Ha Meshiac in the way that he has revealed to us as being the correct way of doing so.

    Heres my point, we are as different from what is considered to be “christianity” as Muslims are. We believe that we practice the true form of the religion just as you believe that you do, but instead of calling our religion Mormonism after the prophet mormon, we call ourselves christian after the Son of God, our Savior and LORD Jesus the Christ.

    As for there being things that we do not teach until an individual has joined that is false. Our doctrine (including our temple practices) is available to all that have eyes in the form of the scriptures. Many even within my own church do not realise this until after they have gone through the Temple becuase they were blind to the light and knowledge the LORD was offering them, becuase they did not read their scriptures. These things are so sacred and dear to our hearts that we do not discuss them openly outside the Temple. This is why you have claims that we do not teach everything or wait to reveal what we believe until an individual has gone through the initiatory process.

    One of the things that separates us from the mainstreem is that our scriptures and knowledge is not dead. We believe in continuing revelation from God, mainstreem christanity does not. Even the Catholics dont fully believe that the Pope is a prophet, nor does the Pope claim to be one. I think this is why “christians” have a hard time accepting the Quran or the Book of Mormon as true books. They just cannot believe that anyone could have a vision of God or be visited by an angel of the LORD becuase “God dosnt do things that way anymor” as if to say that the LORD is not consistant.

    Probably the biggest thing that differentiates us from the mainstreem is what we believe to be a revealed knowledge of the Nature of God. Unlike christians who are wishy-washy on the topic with their doctrine of the Trinity or as Muslims (please correct me if I am wrong, I am not here to offend) who believe that God has no form at all, we Believe that God the Eternal Father is the literal father of our spirits and thet He has a body of physical form whos image was the template for the creation of our physical bodies and that they were almost as his body was at the time of the creation, but do to the beguiling of the adversary (Ha Shatan) Adam and Eve transgressed (not to be confused with a more serious crime known as a sin) and fell from grace. Their bodies were changed and had become mortal.

    There is so much that I think muslims would find very interesting about our faith and doctrine. And I think that to adequately answer the original question posed here as to wheather we are a people of the book, Muslims should look directly at what we believe in. Read our book known as the Doctrine and Covenants, everything and I mean EVERYTHING we belive is in that book. It is a compilation of all of the teachings of our prophet Joseph Smith and several of his successors. It will be able to answer this question of yours quite emphatically I think.

    On another note, I myself have a copy Quran and read it often. I find a great deal of what it teaches to be true although I think alot of what it teaches has been lost in translation and time. But overall, I believe it to have its orrigins inspired of God.

    In conclusion, I bear my testimony to you, that to us, it does not matter what you think of our faith, we think of all of you as our bretheren just as much as we do mainstreem christians. I love you all and know that within your hearts you are a good people. I wish you all the best in your search for enlightenment and truth, Asalamu aleykum.

    • MyWadud

      March 8, 2010 at 2:33 PM

      wa `alaykum assalaam,

      Thane, I sincerely hope you were not offended with what was said in this forum as our religion and the example of the final Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, teaches us to mind the hearts of people and be respectful to the utmost degree, even while we’re telling the truth about such matters where there may be conflict of perspective and understanding, and it is admirable and commendable that you have been reflecting and doing research and reading on your own.

      In order so that we may all benefit from this lively discussion and exchange, I would like to hear (read) your approach and understanding of the issues that I have mentioned in an earlier post instead of posting in an unrelated manner which prohibits a dialogue. Feel free to correct or put in perspective any of the mistakes that may have been made in a language we muslims can understand, or respectfully let us know the parts you do not quite understand or agree or need to get or give further clarification upon.

      So please go over the last few of messages I posted and post questions, responses, and further clarification to them so that we may have a fruitful conversation, we all know and appreciate the similarities, “be good”, “be nice” but as there are fundamental differences, we need to know about them, and come to accept each other accordingly or be open to changing our preconceived, cultural, familial notions, if we are presented Truth, as Allaah, most high, gave us brains to utilize, not only when we make money, but also recognizing higher Truths when used in conjunction with our spirit. Also, what did you think about the content under http://www.mywadud.com/ ?

      Just to make a point clear, I’ve had this type of experience with other LDS friends of mine, the conversation usually goes in a pretty similar fashion, as it vaporises into a non-conversation by my LDS friend not answering nor discussing any matter of worth or contention, but giving statements and testimonies without justification nor explanation. I have had Mormon friends (elder knowledgeable gentleman) acknowledge the oneness of Allaah, recognize the validity of that name as the name and called his God, Allaah, recognize the messenger-ship of Muhammad, sas, which would necessitate believing in his message and his finality, and that no “man” nor other creation is divine, nor share a part in Allaah in anything, thus the mistake of (including LDS) “Christian” sects and groups who include creation (servants, contingent beings) in salvation, taking rocks, statues, sages, or prophets as gods or sons of gods (osiris, odanis, dionysus, mithra, Jesus (pbuh)), in anything but (some of which like Jesus) as deliverers of sound guidance and example as prophets, but could not get himself to break from his Mormon Culture and his years he devoted to family, friends, the “the Church”, may Allaah guide him, you and I to the correct belief and sustain us in that state until our last breath. Amin.

      Also, if you’re in Utah, feel free to visit the Khadeeja mosque and ask to talk to the Imam, preferably presenting this conversation to him and asking his perspective on the subject matter, and spend some time reflecting in the mosque, you’re always welcome.

      • Thane

        March 8, 2010 at 5:37 PM

        I apoligies, the last paragraph in my previous statement was a little unfair. The goal of my post was an effort to point out some of the similarities and differences we have with muslims and mainstreem christians.

        To answer the original question of this thread, are we a ‘people of the book’, I believe this depends on your interpretation on what is ‘Christian’ or even what is ‘Jewish’. Take, for instance, the Christian Gnostics. Many of them were considered heretics and even excommunicated by the ‘orthodox’ churches of there time, but almost all christian theologins today agree that they do fit into a broad category as to what is considered christendom.

        There are alot of things that my church teaches that the Gnostics believed in and its the majority of where the contention between us and mainstreem christianity comes from (as well as the fact that we reject all of the ‘christian’ creeds and treatise that arose after the death of the last apostle).

        The Gnostics also used many scrolls that were not included in the first compilation of the Bible.

        As a member of the LDS church, we are tuaght that Joseph Smith read and used the Gnostic Gospels, and when asked why, he responded by saying that there are many truths in these books, but that there are just as many falsehoods. He also said that we were to read them for ourselves to discern the truth for ourselves in accordance to the promptings and guidance of the Holy Ghost.

        If the fact that we believe in a modern day prophet would disqualify us as being christian, would that not also disqualify catholics? Supposedly, the Pope has the authority to act on the behalf of God, which is quite similer to the authority we believe our prophet to have?

        In an effort to keep the conversation flowing, I pose a question to those here in response to the original, are Gnostics people of the book? They believed in doctrines that were considerd heretical. They used other books of scripture other than just the bible?

        If so, what would disqualify us as being classified the same way?

        Here is a good page that sums it up quite well.

        I hope it helps.

        http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=024644f8f206c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=e0710e2cbc3fb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

        As for your LDS friend, MyWudad, I am sorry to here that your conversations tend to end the way they do, I believe that this is do to the extraordinarly deep and sincere conviction of our faith that we obtain through our evergrowing relationship with God. We are tuaght from the very begining to pray to God and ask him if the the Church is True, and God answers us with a spirtual expierience either to confirm or deny, I have had such an expeirience and I would presume your friend has as well. For us our faith isnt always able to be backed up by logic or knowledge. It is a deeply felt prompting from the Holy Ghost. So when we do not fully understand something, we search our feelings and then give an answer. Unfortunately, we are human and imperfect and sometimes we misinterpret the promptings. I think this is why your friend may be clamming up. I hope this helps even if only a little

        Asalamu aleykum.

        • MyWadud

          March 8, 2010 at 6:27 PM

          I didn’t see anything wrong with your last paragraph, no need to apologize, you have the right to believe whatever you would like to believe both in this country of the Unites States and in the eyes of Islam (Al-Baqara(2):256), no apology needed.

          Although, I am starting to wonder, did you read through my posts? Because you haven’t really responded to any questions nor asked more questions about them, nor alluded to them.

          Can we really have a fruitful conversation or expect to gain any insight, if, when our notions are challenged by reason we simply cast them aside?

          Many people in the past have abused people’s spiritual feelings and attachments, uneducated and educated alike, with similar or stronger convictions than even you, by making them think they should simply “have faith” even when things are in complete contradiction with their reasoning and applying well-known psychological techniques such as anything from simple looking peer/family/social pressure/support to advance indoctrination techniques, as mind is alterable and under the hands of such experts and charismatic leaders, masses may very well think they are convinced, there are even techniques for “so called” out of body experiences by using simple relaxation methods. This has been very destructive, many men and women in the west have been abused, and some movements ended up in mass suicides. Similar extremist attitudes were clearly visible in the Crusader armies and the like as well in the past.

          What if I told you Muslims feel content, convicted, secure, and satisfied in their beliefs both spiritually and intellectually and don’t have to justify their beliefs by alluding to “Faith” because there are no contradictions between reason and Reality? It is a perfect and healthy balance of mind and spirit. Belief in reason and rationality and not have to rationalize your beliefs.

          Think about all the poor wester woman whom are beaten by their husbands yet find fault on their own

          Or victims of rape who justify it to themselves and not see its evil.

          Or people with deficient though process who push themselves to suicide while they have much to live for that they seem to not realize.

          All of these are examples of altered minds and states, well known psyche and human psychology. How can you know you’re not abused, or at least used, while sacrificing your afterlife, if you don’t use your prized asset which is the wonderful mind God gave you in conjunction with your heart and spirit?

          Why does Western religions always have to separate Science and Religion as if they were contradictory things whereas Islamic scientists of the time were very much Islamically motivated and supported as the final scripture alludes to many amazing scientific phenomena and encourage humankind to seek to get to know the natural rules and laws that Allaah has set in play for them?

    • Talib-ul-Ilm

      March 8, 2010 at 11:12 PM

      Thane, you said this earlier: “On another note, I myself have a copy Quran and read it often. I find a great deal of what it teaches to be true although I think alot of what it teaches has been lost in translation and time. But overall, I believe it to have its orrigins inspired of God.”

      I agree with your former point but with the latter I’m afraid I don’t at all.
      The Qur’an hasn’t been ‘lost in translation’, I challenge you to find any 2 different copies of the Qur’an. Guess what? You won’t. Sentence for sentence, word for word, dot for dot, the Qur’an is the same no matter where you go around the world.
      Lost in translation? Remember that the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic which has many root words that could have up to 30 different meanings depending on the context of the sentence.
      Translation? Translation doesn’t do the Qur’an justice, it’s a poor and pathetic attempt to ‘Englify’ the Qur’an for those of us (myself included) who are too lazy to learn Arabic.
      Lost over time? The Qur’an hasn’t changed in over 1400 years since the time it was revealed to our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) over a period of 23 years.
      If we want to talk about being ‘lost in translation and time’, then let’s talk about the 80 million different versions of the Bible from Hip Hop Bible to Cool Bible to Old English to New English…now THAT’S lost in translation!
      Do people in the LDS church (if at all) memorize the Book of Mormon word for word?
      Do people memorize the Bible (well they’d first have to decide if they want to memorize Rap Bible or R & D Bible but that’s besides the point) word for word?
      Do Muslims memorize the Qur’an word for word? I’m sure you can do your own research and find the answer.

      So please, you are entitled to your opinion, but back it up with fact. Otherwise, then you can’t agree with your point about the Qur’an ‘being lost in translation.’

      Oh and you can continue ignoring my questions and MyWadud’s questions for you and have a pointless discussion…OR you could answer them.

      Quite simple, really.

      Wasalam

  46. Alan Avans

    May 19, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    I am a Mormon. Perhaps not the most orthodox Mormon, but a Mormon nonetheless. I also believe Muhammad was a prophet of God and I can’t recall the day that I didn’t believe this. He was a Christian prophet. I believe the Quran is inspired, but beyond that we’d have quite a debate since it was not written in Arabic, its original was written in Syro-Aramaic, and I suspect that’s not a popular view here. Like you Muslims, I do not believe in the ‘substitutionary atonement.’ But neither do the Eastern Orthodox. More about that and why it matters later on perhaps, suffice it to say that Islam will nevertheless have to deal with the idea of atonement since it is so wrapped up in concepts having to do with reconciliation and justice, two themes every Muslim should be interested in, right? In a certain sense I wonder if both the Muslims and Mormons here have assumed too much about the fine points of each others faith. I suppose we can’t really avoid over simplifications in a forum like this, but still, I can see that folks are zig-zagging around each other quite a bit. And some of the results, in my view, are not only problematic, but downright silly.

    A lot of the silliness can be cleared away by reading the works of Henry Corbin.

    I will not dwell upon these matters at any great length, but there is a tendency here in this thread to widen the actual distance between Mormons and the larger Christian world. In reality the divide is not so great. Wedge issues have had to be specifically crafted in such a way as to draw attention to differences that are largely non-existent. But the distance you might be able to draw between the two is almost exactly the same distance you can draw between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholicism…’churches divided by the same creeds.’ I’m assuming that the Muslims here are quite aware that the Eastern Orthodox churches are definitely People of the Book. In just about every place where Mormonism is said to differ from Christianity it might be more appropriately said that Mormonism differs from western Christianity and has great affinity for that of Eastern Orthodoxy, and this has not escaped the notice of Christian scholars who are critical of Mormonism. This includes what many consider to be somewhat scandalous views, ‘exaltation’ for example which is nothing but the classic Christian doctrine of theosis, a doctrine found within Islamic schools of thought as well. Not only does Mormonism have a great affinity toward Eastern Orthodox thought, it has notable affinities with Shi’a Islam, particularly that of the Ismaili Shi’a. Both traditions, one Islamic and the other Christian, have together preserved and passed down to our day the great and precious truths once delivered to our Father Adam and preserved in the form of Jewish mysticism.

    And if I might be so bold, the LDS Church is quite insistent that its official doctrines are within the pages of its ‘standard works’ of scripture and other documents voted on by the Church. If Brigham Young gives it as his opinion that Jesus’ birth was not a virgin birth, what of it? Brigham taught many doctrines that he didn’t feel the LDS Church would accept as the doctrine of the LDS Church, and he complained mightily about it but he didn’t press it and his speculations (some of them rather good by the way and likewise made by Islamic scholars) did not become the doctrine of the LDS Church, meaning that no official document was produced with First Presidency signatures on them and then handed off to the leading quorums and conferences of the Church for a vote.

    Have a wonderful and blessed day.

  47. Jamal

    February 4, 2011 at 6:49 AM

    Salam brothers my name is jamal and im a revert to islam from pentecostal christianity :)

    There are some strong evidences against mormonism.

    1. How come angel moroni is mentioned only in the mormon scripture but not in any other scripture? Gabriel, whom God revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad through, is mentioned several times in the bible and acted as a messenger from God to many great people like Mary, Jesus, Zechariah etc. So there is clear proof for Muhammad’s claims of revelation. Furthermore Joseph Smith claimed his 65 revelations were not ALL from God, so how can we trust his claims based on this bit of info? Satan is powerful, don’t get me wrong. But not as strong as God. Muhammad recieved over 100 times as many revelations as Joseph Smith and claimed they were ALL from God as science has proved only recently. So therefore mormons are incorrect to say this Qur’an is only divinely inspired and not pure divine revelation. It even says it’s from God in Surah 4:82, answering the doubters.

    2. If joseph smith was so important, then how come he isnt prophecised in any scriptures of the world religions? Muhammad is prophecised in the Torah, Tanach, Bible, Persian Scriptures, Hindu Scriptures, Buddhist Scriptures etc. Most of them by name as well. From an unbiased perspective, the impact this man had on the world of his time and after, including today is absolutely phenomenal. He is THE CHOSEN ONE. And that’s according not only to muslims but to Thomas Carlyle(author of the book heroes and hero-worship), Hindu scholar Prof. Ramakrishna Rao, Jewish-American senator Jules Masserman, and Harvard Divinity Institute Headmaster Dr. John Esposito and many more. No-one says the same about Joseph Smith from what I know.

    3. Mormonism is illogical. Kudos for exposing the pagan trinity, but what’s the need to humanize God even more? What’s the need to worship and believe in many gods like the hindus do? Think about it, Creation becoming Creator is an oxymoron(contradictive statement). It’s like saying jimmy is hungry and bloated. Such a concept does not exist in Islam. It does in every other world religion from what I know.

  48. Behringer

    March 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Very nice , thanks a sharing.

  49. Tay

    November 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    I am very much a Mormon and I believe you should check your information. Most if his is well written but the information is wrong. I suggest looking into LSD.org for real information. My fiancé, a muslim man agrees with me, though we retain our separate religious views and will continue to do so in our future family.Thank you.

  50. Sheenaye

    September 6, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Sheenaye

    Salamualikum my fellow brothers and sister.. I am a LDS saint, also known as a Mormon. As an LDS woman, I am surprised by the comments made about the church. Before I start let me answer the original question”are we al kitaab” yes we are. Why not do we not believe in the bible do we not believe that God exists and Christ is our savior and the Holy Spirit manifest that they are who what is written in the bible. Our religion may have been erected in America but we are not an American religion. The fundementals of the church date back as far as it is biblically known.

    Secondly, We are believes of God.. Why are we different from mainstream Christianity, as a worshiper of the almighty and Christ , No we are not. We pray,worship love and serve as required of The Lord. We believe in the bible which is used by most christian sects. The KJV bible known by religious and non-religious scholars is set to be still an original translation and not revised. As found in some religions. Yes we do have three other books that work as another testament, known as the Book of Mormon, Pearls of Great price (Moses and Abrahams account of God and the prophesies of Christ, and other prophets as well as what the future holds for the children of men, who are all of us no matter the colour or race) and Doctrine and Covenants which are the accounts of Joesph Smith and the witnesses of the translation of the plates of brass which is the genealogy of Lehi and his family who left Jerusalem for the new promise land in South America, at the time had no name, and is found in the Book of Mormon. which has been academically researched by many scholars as being as close as possible and or evidently maybe the only closest record for the ancient civilization of incas or Aztecs because of the description and locations of where there civilizations were formed during the account if Lehi and his family and the generations thereafter.

    Now you or anyone can argue that. Many scholars all over the word pick and choose the flaws of a religion and seem to always pose those flaws on the LDS church or Islam.. Our church and biblical teachings focus on The Lord the books talks about The Lord, and as far as it is written and translated correctly it talks about the Lord testifying that Jesus is his son and that he sent Jesus to teach us what we need to do before we return to The Lord. And through him we will be spared because of his sacrifice, that he died for our sins and then was resurrected which broke the chains of death. The account of his death was prophesied before and after his death.

    We must understand that the teachings of the father is NOT different then like it is today. The Lord sent the savior to teach those who would follow him in the name of God. We practice the ancient way and still do because it is the way of The Lord and what is taught in the scriptures. We Mormons do not believe Christ is God, we believe he is our savior, messiah and brother whoz life was to teach,serve and then die for us.. He lives we believe he rose from the death and lives besides the Almighty.

    As for the trinity we DO NOT BELIEVE. We believe the God head is The Lord God, the savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Three personages three seperate purposes but ONE concept. So do not confuse the LDS doctrine wth that of Catholicism Protestants or derivetories of those churches. They are new according to times and excommunications. Sometimes time and ex-members erected newer churches based on the two aspects and carry on doctrines they seem to suit their own desires. If you try an say the same for our church it is not evidence shows more than those who oppose us which is more dominant than that.

    An answer to the Second question;
    The eternal progression is our reward although you hear that we believe we becomes a gods of our kingdom is true but under the direction of The Lord God. We will become like him and have immortality but not the power and authority The Lord possess. We do not receive Jannat unless we are worthy of it.. Just because The Lord sent his son doesn’t mean we are excluded from all what is required of us. We must try and endure to the end righteously.

    Terminology
    Father in heaven- is the term used by the savior in the bible and other books we have in the church and the prophets in the scriptures refer to The Lord as the father almighty and other words that refer to authority.
    Jesus Christ-is a translated in English from Jehovah and yeshua.. These are known by many.

    And thirdly,
    Polygamy and racism as it is referred to in the church has had its reasons. Let’s start with polygamy, in the times of the pioneers members were killed due to their religious belief but yet thery continued to help those in need and yet still ridiculed.. They continued and were martyred for the name of God and Christ. The LDS I stand by does NOT PRACTICE POLYGAMY anymore like the fundemental LDS practices. So the world need to seperate those historical deities.

    And as for racism we the children of Cain are written in the bible not by us so why are we ridiculed by it. Until they were given the right to priesthood and membership was a triumph. Wen in those days slavery was still mundane. So historically we can not be accountable for that. But we did accept and allow so the what I am trying too point out is that TIME CHANGES THINGS THAT NEED TO BE CHANGED according to The Lord and The Lord only given revelation to the prophet which we have today, Thomas S Monson and those who were chosen by God throughout the churches history.

    In conclusion
    The LDS church explains to the members and non members that each church does have simple truths which is the result of the apostasy every church or religion if u want to refer it too has a truth and origin which goes back to Adam eve and then those thereafter. However, if referring to Muhammed he may have been visitedby the angel Gabriel who is mentioned in the Quran but not in the bible which came before the erection of the Quran and after the life and times of Christ and the prophets after the savior. It is written in the bible of a book that will continue the teachings and doctrines of The Lord. And Joseph is mentioned mentioned in the bible by Jacob earlier in the bible and in the other books we have in our church. And as for our Islamiphobia we do not have. We respect and fellowship members of the Islam faith. we help and aid others who are in need. We are the biggest charitable organization in the world and yet we do not publicize it coz humility is apart if out standard and value. No one ever talks about that they just look at the flaws and the sects that Break off from the main church and generalize just as they do to Islam. My sweetheart is a Sunni Muslim my best friends are muslim Sunnis. And yet we have live and loved each other due to the closeness in morals value and humanity. So are we al kitaab I believe we are if we are god fearing people of the book and followers of the great and Almighty God. And why Christians hate us or exclude us I don’t know.

    So to convince me why are we excluded.. I need more evidence that we are not of the book when the bible mentions another book to be written which id’s another account of Jesus and the teachings of the father an that it does mention a Joesph given by prophesy f Joseph who wa sold into Egypt who then saved his people and then another Muhammed (pbuh) is not mentioned in the bible because it is referred to as a comforter in a form of a spiritual being not in the flesh and the spirit is the third Godhead that manifests the truth of it mentioned by all the prophets in the book. And note we are taught by the books which work together they are not plagiarized from the bible as the prophets from the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearls of great Price are referenced to the bible. I’ve read the Quran to respect the love my sweetheart has for his religion and God and we are happy to stay that way..

    And I do not want to offend anyone but stand for truth and righteousness. And to bare the testimony I have for The Lord God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and as a member if the church we move with the heart and love God to help all of those who are children of God.. Adam and Eve are our earthly parents and The Lord is our creator and I say things in the holy name of our creator and savior Jesus Christ. amen.

    I hope that she’d some light on our views and position we fight to stand. I defend my beliefs and that of my sweetheart because it is better to believe in God than nothing or paganism which is not the teachings of the father.

  51. Basit Sheikh

    January 10, 2017 at 1:41 AM

    as salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa baraktuh,

    Are jehova witnesses part of ahl al kitab?

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