Thursday, January 26, 2012

Muslims are taught to not confess their sins, but to hide them

Update:  Oct. 31, 2015.  No longer there, as Paul Williams has deleted his blogs twice.  He is now on his third blog.

Paul Williams wrote: (quoting Hamza Yusuf)
We must remember that if a person has done wrong his spiritual path is not severed. There is recourse. One seeks repentance with God. One should not confess or broadcast what one has done. If God has veiled one’s wrongdoing, do not tear the veil down.
There is a hadith in which a man came to the Prophet (upon whom be peace) and said “I committed a sin,” and he meant adultery. “So punish me.” But the Prophet (pbuh) turned and walked away. The man pursued the Prophet (pbuh) and told him again that he wanted to be punished for his sin. The Prophet (pbuh) finally looked at him and asked him if he made ablution and prayed. He was telling him that Islam purifies. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever does indecency, let him veil his acts with the veiling of God and let him make repentance.” He also said, “Whoever comes to our faces and admits them, then we will punish them.”
As of January 26, 2012, I am still waiting for the Hadith reference on this. (see the combox, as of Jan. 26)
This, the cultural tendency for Muslims to hide their sins, because of Islam and the external honor is more important than internal change and humility and confession of sins; is something I have noticed in 27 years of dealing with Muslims in evangelism, church planting, and discipling new believers. Muslim culture seems to teach Muslims to cover and hide their sins. This Hadith reference seems to confirm this for me as to where it comes from. But it would be nice to get the exact reference.
In contrast, Christians are taught to confess their sins to God – I John 1:9, Psalm 51:1 ff, 32:1 ff, 38:1 ff; James 5:16, Proverbs 28:13
If one has sinned against a person, they must go to them and confess their wrongdoing and make restitution (for example, pay back what was stolen, etc.) and seek reconciliation if possible. (James 5:16; Matthew 5:23-26; Matthew 18:15-20)
Yes, formal Islam does teach somewhere else that they must confess their sins to Allah; but it seems to be a general cultural tendency for Muslims to hide their embarrassing sins, and this Hadith seems to give foundation for that cultural norm. It is a human trait in other cultures also to hide one’s sin, just look at how Bill Clinton lied about his adultery and sex with Monica Lewinsky. So, I am not saying that other cultures don’t naturally hide their sins; I am just saying that Islam seems to provide religious justification for it, whereas Christianity does not.
The Bible teaches more clearly than Islam that the problems with the world are the human hearts of men, pride, selfishness, anger, lust, deception, jealousy, greed, hatred – the inner hidden motives and attitudes are the problem. Islam emphasizes the external rules and rituals and obeying authorities in society, but not the sinful attitudes in the heart. Islam’s Sharia (law) emphasizes externals and obedience and has harsh punishments and executions for certain sins. The problem with adultery is internal lust, not women not covering up enough. Granted the west has violated biblical norms of modesty and has gone too far the other way. You cannot clean your heart of pride and lust and anger and hatred by washing your hands or face or feet before you pray and then reciting a memorized prayer. God sees the heart, and the God of the Bible diagnoses the problems with the world more accurately than Islam does. Islam talks about internal sins, but not very much; it is not an emphasis. Islam takes a human trait of pride and honor and embarrassment over sin, shame (see Genesis 3 – the response of Adam and Eve to their sin, guilt, and shame) and takes that human tendency and institutionalizes covering up the problems and not dealing with internal sins. Islam lessens and denigrates the holiness of God, and makes light of it, when it boasts that man can clean up his life and work and do rituals correctly and somehow make themselves acceptable to God.
That is one reason why Sufism had to arise; because they recognized that external religion that emphasized cleaning the outside creates hypocrisy and dead rituals and internal corruption.
But there is no power of the Holy Spirit on the inside in the heart in the Islamic religion to change people’s nature. Sinners need a new heart, not a new set of rules and rituals to follow, thinking they can earn their way to get God’s acceptance, which is the height and depth of pride. (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:1-8; Ephesians 2:1-10)
Isaiah 64:6
Romans 3:9-23
Diagnosis of Man’s problem in the hearts – internal root sins.
Matthew 23:25-26
Matthew 5:22-26
Matthew 5:28
Mark 7:20-23
Genesis 6:5
Jeremiah 17:9
Proverbs 4:23
I Samuel 16:7
The whole eastern and Muslim "honor and shame" cultural tendency comes from evil human arrogance and pride deep in the heart.
"whoever is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord" - Proverbs 16:5


Paul said...
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Paul said...

you misunderstand Islam Ken.

We are encouraged to confess our sins to God alone not broadcast them to others as in Christianity. Its quite simple really. Its one of the things I love about Islam.

Furthermore, we do not need a mediator between us and God as the NT sadly teaches; no, the good news Ken is that we can pray straight towards our Creator - just as Jesus taught!

So come back to the religion of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad Ken!

Ken said...

Without a perfect and righteous and sinless mediator, you are left in your own sin, guilt, shame, bondage, hypocrisy, pride, lust, jealousy, selfishness, self-pity, and ultimately eternal hell.

Jesus Christ (Isa Al Masih = عیسی المسیح is the one mediator (I Timothy 2:5-6) , based on His ransom sacrifice and atonement, which even the Qur'an alludes to - in the story of Abraham and sacrificing his son, which was a foreshadowing of the future Messiah, originally in Genesis 22, written about 20 centuries before Muhammad. - 2000 years before Muhammad.

Qur'an 37:107 - Allah says to Ibrahim when He supplies the innocent ram to be substituted in the place of Ibrahim's son:
"We have ransomed you with a mighty sacrifice"

Ransom is the same Arabic word related to the Arabic and Farsi of the Bible in Mark 10:45 and Matthew 20:28

I Timothy 2:5-6

Hebrews 7:23-24
Romans 8:31-36
Hebrews chapter 8, chapter 9, chapter 10

Ken said...

You are encouraged to hide your secret sins, and even adultery as the Hadith that you and Hamza Yusuf quoted in a way that seems you approve of this; it seems to me, based on that Hadith, and what I have noticed about Muslim culture and "honor and shame" tendencies.

Where there is no repentance and confession - there is no salvation.

Luke 18:9-14

Sam said...

Ken, I have already refuted the oft-repeated Muslim lie that Islam has no mediator since the evidence shows that Muhammad is actually Islam's real Mediator/Savior:

Who is Islam’s Real Savior? Pt. 3a (

Who is Islam’s Real Savior? Pt. 3b (

Examining More of Abdullah Kunde’s Inconsistencies Pt. 3b (

Examining More of Abdullah Kunde’s Inconsistencies Pt. 3c (

Examining More of Abdullah Kunde’s Inconsistencies Pt. 3d (

Here is one which shows Muslims are grace worshipers:

Do Muslims Worship Allah Alone? The Problem of Grave Worship in Islam (

Sam said...

Correction. "grace worshipers" should have been "grave worshipers".

Ken said...

thanks for all the resources! it will take me a long time to work through all of your material.
But I appreciate all of your work you put into those papers.

The desire for mediators and the practice of praying at graves for dead saints and loved ones is a common human religious practice in all the other false religions of the world - yes, Islam has a big problem with that, especially Shiites and Sufis. (Roman Catholics are big into that also- shrines, prayers to Mary, saints, etc.)

I will never forget seeing hundreds of Turks and pilgrims praying around the shine and grave of Mowlana - Jalal o din e Rumi - or "Mevlana" -the most famous mystic/Sufi - his grave is in Konya, Turkey (Ancient Iconium in Acts 14). (the same guy that wrote the poetry that P. Williams gave to Nabil Qureshi in his debate.) Rumi fled the Mongolian invasions from Balkh, Afghanistan, and settled in Konya, Turkey. (At the time it was Byzantine, or "Rum", the name Muslims called all of the "Roman Empire", whether east Greek or western Latin.

I will also never forget the Tajiks and Uzbeks in Samarqand, Uzbekistan who let me come down to the grave of Timor Lang (Tamerlane) when they had prayers to him at his underground grave. It was usually locked; but they liked me because my Farsi was good and they let me accompany them.

Can any westerner imagine that Timor Lang (Tamerlane) (one of the most violent conquerers in history) is considered a holy man in heaven and can intercede for anyone on earth?

Yes, worshiping at graves is a big problem in the Muslim world.

so much so that the Wahabis who founded Saudi Arabia saw fit to change the famous grave yard in Medina of the prophets family and wives and not allow Shiite worshippers there anymore. I will have to get the exact name of that grave yard later - Jannat something. (Jannat means paradise)

Ken said...

Here is a story of the desecration of the Jannat Baqi - the cementary of some of the prophet Muhammad's family - desecration by the Wahabis/Saudis in 1925

Ken said...

Sam has documented lots of AHadith - احادیث (plural of Hadith) حدیث
that shows that Muhammad is an intercessor for Muslims! These are Sahih Hadiths.

Just an excerpt, from his part 3 of "Who is Islam's real Savior?":

According to the allegedly sound ahadith Allah will give Muhammad wasila, e.g. the status of mediator/intercessor for Muslims:

'Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As reported Allah's Messenger as saying: When you hear the Mu'adhdhin, repeat what he says, then invoke a blessing on me, for everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah; then beg from Allah al-Wasila for me, which is a rank in Paradise fitting for only one of Allah's servants, and I hope that I may be that one. If anyone who asks that I be given the Wasila, he will be assured of my intercession. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0747; *)


Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

Allah's Apostle said, “Whoever after listening to the Adhan says, ‘Allahumma Rabba hadhihi-d-da’ watit-tammati was-salatil qa'imati, ati Muhammadan AL-WASILATA wal-fadilata, wab' athhu maqaman mahmudan-il-ladhi wa' adtahu (O Allah! Lord of this perfect call (of not ascribing partners to You) and of the regular prayer which is going to be established! Kindly give Muhammad the right OF INTERCESSION and superiority and send him (on the Day of Judgment) to the best and the highest place in Paradise which You promised him)', then intercession for me will be permitted for him on the Day of Resurrection”). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Number 588; *)

This is precisely why we find scores of narrations stating that Muhammad will be the first person whose intercession will be accepted on the Day of Judgment:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: I shall be pre-eminent amongst the descendants of Adam on the Day of Resurrection and I will be the first intercessor and the first whose intercession will be accepted (by Allah). (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5655; *)

Viisaus said...

As St. Clair Tisdall, a 19th century Anglican missionary to Muslims, could observe:

"The natural consequence of all this formalism is Pharisaism, the development of hypocrisy. In their ceremonial washings and purifications, their fasts, their prayers in the streets and in public places, and many other similar practices, the resemblance between the devout Muslims of the present time and the Pharisees of our Lord's day is so striking that it has often occurred to Muhammadan inquirers when reading the Gospels with me.

Prayer and ceremonial rites, when conducted in the way we have described, have no good effect upon the heart and conscience. It all becomes a meaningless formality in too many cases, persisted in from habit and perhaps from superstition — the fungoid growth which tells of the death of true Religion in the soul of Man. "The merchant lies and cheats, — then the Muezzin's voice interrupts him: he offers up his prayer, and turns back once more to his lying. At a feast the revellers listen to equivocal songs, — they pray, and then they recover the broken thread of their subject.""

Paul said...

The Pharisees have been much maligned in the West because of the extremely distorted portrayal of them in the gospels. This has fueled the Christian antisemitism that has proved lethal for millions of innocent jews.

In my view Jesus himself was probably a Pharisee - see the scholarly evidence in Hyam Maccoby's brilliant book 'Jesus the Pharisee' published by SCM Press in 2003.

Professor Maccoby is an international authority on 1st century Judaism, and is fluent in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek.

Paul said...

What do modern scholars say about St. Clair Tisdall's work?

Here's an example of what do modern scholars say about Tisdall's 'The Original Sources Of The Qur'ân'

Commenting about Ibn Warraq's use of Tisdall's material in his The Origins Of The Koran: Classic Essays On Islam's Holy Book, François de Blois says:

The "classic essays" are of unequal value. The worst is St. Clair Tisdall's decidedly shoddy piece of missionary propaganda. The two by Mingana are not much better. It is surprising that the editor, who in his Why I Am Not A Muslim took a very high posture as a critical rationalist and opponent of all forms of obscurantism, now relies so heavily on writings by Christian polemicists from the nineteenth century.[3]

Read the excellent expose of this Victorian missionary here:

'Abd al-Hadi said...

Actually "Jannah" (the tamerbutah remains silent unless another word is suffixed to it- hence it being an "h" and not a "t") refers to a Garden, not Paradise per se, to render the word as Paradise is to assume the connotations of Paradise being described as a Garden (as taught in the Qur'an)

Ken said...

Abdal Hadi,
Thanks for the precise meaning of Jannah/Jannat; and explanation of the ending ه with the two dots above (the tamerbutah; I think) that changes when connected to another word.

In Farsi, since it doesn't have that particular grammatical issue, a lot of Arabic words just have the final ت on the end; like حیات for life, instead of حیاه

Ken said...

There is not much detail showing why Tisdall is wrong - just dismissal and calling it "polemical" and "polemic" and "shoddy".

No content or argumentation or rational.


Of course a rationalistic skeptic, atheist or agnostic is going to dismiss Tisdall.

Ken said...

What do you say about all the Sahih AHadith that clearly shows that Muhammad is a mediator; whereas Salafi and Wahabi and more stricter sects - maybe even all of mainstream orthodox Sunni Islam - say he is not a mediator?

Ken said...

Paul B. Williams wrote in his lead article up today - his intro from his debate with Steve Latham on Salvation; and calling the substitutionary atonement of Christ "morally grotesque" :

"But in the authentic teaching of Jesus to be found in the synoptic gospels (that is the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke) . . . "

Interesting the inconsistency you use with the Synoptics, because they are all negative against the Pharisees, yet you affirm them when it suits your purpose. What criteria do you use for accepting the synoptics on some issues and then rejecting them on the issue of the Pharisees?

Sam said...

Ken, Salafis do not deny that Muhammad will mediate or intercede on the last day since they affirm the sahih ahadith. What they deny is invoking or praying to Muhammad or other so-called saints for help or intercession. However, as I document in my responses to Williams' distortions, the fact is ther are plenty of sahih narrations where Muhammad taught his followers to invoke him and which they continued to do even after his death.

This is known as Tawwasul, which is something you should look into since it is accepted by all the major branches of Islam.

Paul said...

because the christology is less developed in the synoptics and closer to the historical Jesus, but they are still laced with anti-Pharisee propaganda.

Anyway, my key point is worth repeating I think:

Why the Christian Understanding of Salvation is ‘Morally Grotesque’:

Islam places great stress on God as a God of mercy and forgiveness whom the individual can approach directly without the need of any mediator or priest. God says in the Quran:

‘O My servants, who have transgressed against their souls. Do not despair of the mercy of God, for He forgives all sins, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’

(39:53). From this understanding, which was shared by Jesus, flow certain critical observations regarding the later Christian view of the necessity of Jesus’ alleged vicarious atonement.

The Christian idea that guilt can be removed from a wrongdoer by someone else being punished instead is morally grotesque. Or if we say that God in the person of God the Son punished himself in order to be able to justly forgive sinners, we still have the absurdity of a moral law which God must satisfy by punishing the innocent in place of the guilty. As the medieval theologian St Anselm wrote in his work Why God Became Man (Cur Deus Homo), ‘it is a strange thing if God so delights in, or requires, the blood of the innocent, that he neither chooses, nor is able, to spare the guilty without the sacrifice of the innocent’.

I believe the basic fault of the Christian understanding of salvation is that it has no room for divine forgiveness. For a forgiveness that has to be bought by the bearing of a just punishment, or the offering of a sacrifice, is not forgiveness, but merely an acknowledgement that a debt has been paid in full. The Cross is not a symbol of forgiveness at all: on the orthodox Christian view, it denotes the repayment of a debt, as the infinity of Original Sin is atoned for by the infinite sacrifice of God’s own temporary death. But what humanity really needs, as we look back over our long record of disobedience, is a model of true forgiveness by a God who does not calculate, who imposes no mean-spirited ‘economy of salvation’ worthy only of accountants and bookkeepers. As the Bible teaches: The letter killeth – the spirit giveth life.

Ken said...
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Ken said...

because the christology is less developed in the synoptics and closer to the historical Jesus, but they are still laced with anti-Pharisee propaganda.

Every word of all 4 gospels are gospel truth and communicate the real historical Jesus; except for the few textual variant issues, each one needing to be looked at, if you are going to bring in that issue - Dr. James White and Dan Wallace have done an excellent job of defending against that stuff.

Ken said...

Thanks for the info about Muhammad's intercession on the last day. Very interesting.

Tawwasul, by itself in Farsi, means - "to resort to" ; "to have recourse to" ; "to turn to". We pronounce it differently, "Tavasol". ( Iranians do not have the "w" sound.)


Where is a good article on the doctrine?


Paul -

Regarding the excerpt from your article you posted today; I have answered the first part of it in a new article that I just posted a little while ago.

Sam said...

Here is an excellent book on Tawwasul:

Paul said...

"Every word of all 4 gospels are gospel truth and communicate the real historical Jesus; except for the few textual variant issues, each one needing to be looked at, if you are going to bring in that issue - Dr. James White and Dan Wallace have done an excellent job of defending against that stuff."

Spoken like a true Fundamentalist Ken. But did you know that you will be very hard pressed to find a scholar anywhere who thinks John’s gospel records the actual words of Jesus. Shocked? This is because the truth about the gospels has been largely concealed from church goers by ministers and pastors who know the truth but for whatever reason do not tell their flocks. Even your own Christian scholars admit that the gospels contain errors, contradictions, myths and legends, so its really time for you to put away a child's understanding of the NT and have the intellectual courage to think like an adult.

But will you take the challenge? Btw having a bash at Islam is not part of an answer to this question.

Ken said...

If by "fundamentalist" you mean some one who holds to the fundamental doctrines of the Bible; the gospel; the virgin birth, the atonement of Christ, resurrection of Christ, inerrancy of Scripture, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, etc., no problem.

I really don't care what E. P. Sanders and James D. G. Dunn and Bart Ehrman say. Ehrman has already been adequately answered by James White, Dan Wallace, Darrell Bock, Andreas Kostenberger, etc.

Sanders has been answered in the 2 volume, very scholarly work, "Justification and Variegated Nomism", edited by D. A. Carson, Peter O'Brien, and Mark Seifrid

James Dunn is inconsistent, it seems to me, if he takes the positions he takes, and yet also claims to be a Christian and believe in the gospel and the main doctrines I have mentioned above. Frankly there are a lot of scholars in the United Methodist Camp and other liberal camps who live off the giving of people in their denomination, yet the people who give the money don't' know that their money is going to liberal scholarship. You have quoted from him a lot; and yes, I have read many of your articles and you also have been quoting him from day 1 at me.

The problem is you said he was conservative and believes in miracles and does not have an anti-supernatural bias. Since you cannot answer the questions I asked you, then it appears to me that he is just blowing smoke and showing off his erudite scholarship without any faith in the Scriptures he critiques.

Does Dunn believe that Jesus was crucified in history?

Just that one fact comes back to defeat all your arguments in using him, because he probably does; therefore since Islam denies real and obvious history; your whole argument is inconsistent and fails big time; as Dr. White likes to say, "Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument".

Does Dunn believe in the miraculous virgin birth?

Does Dunn believe in the resurrection?

You answered me before on one of these issues, that you don't know.

Amazing that he could write that many books, and yet you don't know what he believes.


I just wonder what his agenda is - ?

Well, that just doesn't pass the smell test for him, in my opinion - if he never affirms any of real Christian doctrine in his books, then his scholarship is a waste of time; and if he really does not believe in those essentials of the gospel, then he is not a Christian, and is just an intellectual unbelieving scholar, making money off his Denominations gifts by lots of people who gave their tithes and offerings to that church. He may be a scholar, but he is an unbelieving scholar, (maybe not as agnostic as Ehrman, but . . . "

if he doesn't believe in the Deity of Christ, that Jesus was the Son of God, Messiah, God in flesh, virgin born, died for sins, resurrected, etc.

I suspect their is lots of academia that are closet skeptics posing as sort of "conservative" neo-evangelicals.

I already admitted I don't have the time or money to invest in Dunn; but if scholars like the ones I have named, and others like Tom Shreiner and others at Southern Seminary or Dallas Seminary or Trinity Evangelical or Columbia Biblical Seminary or Reformed or Covenant or Westminister have taken him on in the books you recommend, I would rather spend my time reading their scholarly reviews of Dunn.

Ken said...

Paul Bilal Williams wrote:

" . . . so its really time for you to put away a child's understanding of the NT and have the intellectual courage to think like an adult."

It is you who need to put away your child's understanding of history and Islam's denial of the crucifixion, and have the intellectual courage to see that that one denial brings down all of Islam as a false religion.

Paul said...

Oh dear Ken, you just couldn't resist could you!!

I wrote "Btw having a bash at Islam is not part of an answer to this question."

The issue of your fundamentalism is for you to consider. I am not going to embark on a defence of a critical understanding of the Bible or why you should be more intellectually honest about the Bible. No.

You have made your decision and must live with it. Personally I could not throw my brains out of the window whenever I opened the bible - I need to be intellectually and spiritually integrated. I have certainly found this integration in Islam.

I think bashing Islam in the uninformed and increasingly extremist way you do (aided and abetted with the slightly unhinged Sam) does you no credit Ken and will certainly alienate any other Muslims who bother to read your comments. So in a sense you are unwittingly helping Islam by discrediting yourself without my help!

Sham-Owned! said...
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Sam said...

Hello Brother. I just wanted to inform you that we published new articles on the site today: You will find 14 rebuttals exposing the lies and distortions of Paul Williams and his cronies. So please pass them on and enjoy!

Ken said...

thanks Sam!

I hope I can find time to read all your material !

I still have not read all your other material yet ! (smile)

Ken said...

I just read through the "Grandverbalizer19"s 4 part series of his email exchange with David Wood at his site. (3 parts and a conclusion)

David Wood said he used a lot of your material - it was very good. Especially part 3 devastated the Muslim position.

In my opinion, you and David Wood demolished the Islamic arguments and evidence for their position on the Bible and whether it was corrupted or not.

GV19's conclusion was very weak; he could not overcome the evidence and arguments that you and David Wood made.

Thanks for all your work - very well done.