I heard from an Ex-Muslim from Saudi Arabia that he grew up thinking the West is so morally corrupt because their Bible is corrupt. He also grew up believing he was part of an elite group. His biggest misunderstanding was that he assumed children are born Christian if they are born into a Christian family. That concept is not present in the Bible at all.
My children are not Christians, and I have told them that plainly and clearly. I am teaching them about my faith, and how it looks to follow Jesus as Savior. But following Jesus will be their choice – and theirs alone. They will be accountable to God for that choice. My four year-old tells me to my face she does not want to follow Jesus, and at times, I can’t stop wondering if I am doing something wrong.
I sin by comparing myself to other mothers. I sin when I compare her to other cute little children on Facebook that have accepted Jesus into their hearts by age five. I know I am a human who constantly thinks about random issues. The issue of Conversion to Christianity took me, somehow, to the requirements for a Hajj Visa.
I know I will never be able to visit Makkah because I am not a Muslim. The reason for the prohibition for non-Muslim visitors relies in Quran 9:28, which states pagans are unclean. That is one version. A more reasonable version states that Saudi Arabia does not promote itself as a tourist destination. We have to understand that Makkah is a holy place where Muslims worship their Creator. Visiting Makkah as part of Hajj is a uniquely religious experience for Muslims – and Muslims alone.
I decided to research into what a new Muslim woman would have to do in order to visit Makkah. Several things need to happen. First, of course, she would have to recite her Shahada. She might be able to do this in the comfort of her house, but in order to be recognized as part of the Muslim community, she has to recite it at least once in a public setting – Muslims and an Imam.
Then, her religious leader would give her a certificate stating her new faith. This certificate has to be notarized by an Islamic Center in order for her to apply for a Hajj visa at the Saudi Arabia Embassy. The certificate does not make her a Muslim, but she needs it if she wants to visit Makkah. Also, she cannot travel alone, but needs to be accompanied by a marham. If she is above 45 years old, she can travel alone or with a group, but she would still need a notarized no-objection-to-travel letter from her husband, her son or her brother.
All these are requirements that I can reasonably understand. What I do not understand is why non-Muslims are taking risks going to Makkah when the Saudi Arabia Embassy Official Website clearly states that you might be subjected to death penalty if caught infringing their laws. Why would you risk your life for this? People are doing crazy things on the internet these days.
WHERE AM I GOING WITH THIS INFORMATION?
Becoming a follower of Jesus does not look that way. A Christian is never asked to show anything to anyone, but he does have some credentials. The New Testament teaches that the proof of your TRUE conversion is the fact that you are indwelled by the Spirit of God. Anyone can say he is a Christian, but if he does not have the Spirit of Christ in them, then he does not belong to Christ.
In the other hand, if the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives in YOU, then that same Spirit will give YOU life. You are born again. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus. You cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless you are born again. You can become a new creation and a temple of God because now God lives in your body. That same sinful body – the seat of all your evil passions and desires – becomes alive in the service of God.
I have read Romans 8:9-11 countless times, and I had never seen this. Once you have the conviction in your heart of Jesus being who He says He is in the Bible, and truly confess that with your mouth, you are given eternal life. You are assured of your salvation. This, of course, is by God’s grace alone – trough faith.
As a Christian, I am possessed
I have not done extensive research on The Trinity yet, so I am not going to pretend that I can explain what took theologians centuries to develop- and are still trying to develop. But we have always had YHWH in Heaven. When you read the Gospels, you see Jesus – on Earth – claiming to be YHWH. And before He ascended into Heaven, Jesus assured His followers that they will be inhabited by a sacred pneuma – the Spirit of YHWH.
This is the Spirit of Truth that the Gospel of John talks about – not Mohammad. You need to keep on reading the narrative on the Book of Acts to understand the events that took place in Jerusalem, and how this Jesus’ Movement exploded. This Spirit possessed the apostles, and gave them incredible power. Read the whole book, it is quite interesting. Anyway, my mind takes me to random places. This indwelling by the Spirit of God made me think about demon possession.
Muslims cannot deny the possibility of being possessed by jinns. According to Quran 51:56, Allah created them. I personally do not agree with Allah creating demons, but that is one of the many differences between our theologies. Even Mohammad’s neck muscles were twitching with terror as he had his first encounter with an angel who pressed him so hardly, he could not bear it anymore.
Mohammad was afraid something might happen to him. He became so sad that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains. Of course, we can debate forever whether this was the Archangel Gabriel or not. Whenever Gabriel appears in the Bible, He always says DO NOT BE AFRAID. Gabriel told this to the Prophet Daniel. Gabriel told this to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Gabriel told this to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.
I will yield to my Muslims. Maybe it was Gabriel who appeared to Mohammad. But Mohammad’s fear denotes the possibility of possession by a jinn. This is coming from Sahih tradition. It is very likely an authentic hadith. But even if it is a weak hadith that cannot be trusted, real people wrote about these things. Whether we have seen or not these demons in action does not make these demons less real.
Stay with me.
Jesus casted out demons in Mark 5:1-20. That biblical account alone freaks me out whenever I remember the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose. A Legion, in the Roman army, was about six thousand men. I do not know how many demons were in this man, but this narrative shows me the authority that Jesus had over these demons – they begged Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs.
If possession is not enough, Islam also allows for Evil Eye. Muslims guard themselves from it by reciting ruqyah, washing off the effects of envy by pouring water on a person affected, or wearing evil-eye necklaces. I respect all this. I am talking about it because the power of evil in one’s life is real. I personally reject the idea of Allah letting you be affected by Evil Eye, because I am looking at this through my Christian eyes. Christians cannot be demon possessed. But I guess we have to agree to disagree on that one.
My point is this: NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ALLAH.
As a Muslim, one of Allah’s creations – jinns – might actually posses you. On what basis then, do you reject the mere possibility that Allah – the Creator Himself- cannot posses you if He so wills it?
I understand that Tawheed does not even let a Muslim consider the crazy idea of Allah rejecting His majesty by becoming a human being in Jesus. Allah does not have and does not need to do that. I agree whole heartedly. Allah does not need to save anyone from anything. But when Muslims question the Theology of the Trinity, aren’t they putting Allah in a box? Aren’t they limiting what Allah can and cannot do? When Muslims reject the Trinity, aren’t they saying that just because they cannot understand Allah’s will, then Allah does not have the power to exercise that will?
Does Allah have the power to become a man if Allah so wills it? Absolutely. And Allah is everywhere at all times. He is not limited by our time and our space. If He so willed to walk on Earth, could He still be in Heaven at the same time? Absolutely. And after having accomplished His own purposes on Earth – whether we humanly understand them or not – is Allah able to literally posses YOU, and make your own body His own resting place? Absolutely.
My questions are not based on our ability to understand these things. Our human reasoning is limited by our own human reasoning. My questions do not rest on Allah’s desires or Allah’s needs. Allah does not need anything, nor does He need anyone. Allah is self-sufficient and self-existent. He has always been One. But being One does not limit Him to one place and one place only at any particular point in time.
IS ALLAH POWERFUL ENOUGH TO INDWELL YOU?
The answer is YES! If you are a Muslim, I am not asking you to embrace the Trinity. I am only asking you to open your mind to the possibility of Tawheed not being the only reality. In other words, do not label Christians as polytheists based on your own understanding of the Theology of Tawheed. Granted. Maybe Tawheed is easier for you to grasp, but Tawheed is also very complex. Watch this debate if you want to.
If you are Muslim, at the very least, try to understand that Christians do not worship three gods. Allah is ONE. Let’s give each other grace. Let’s continue the dialogue 🙂