Ayman Ibrahim and Raymond Ibrahim on Islam, Jihad and Christianity

What we must know about political Islam:

Here I want to introduce you to six excellent books on Islam written by two Christian experts in the field. Most of these works are fairly recent. Both authors have penned more than three books on these topics, but these six by the pair are the ones I happen to own. I will simply give the details of the authors, then of their books, and then feature a couple of quotes from each. The two authors are not related, as far as I am aware.

Ayman Ibrahim

“Ayman Ibrahim was born and raised in Egypt. He completed two PhDs in Islamic Studies (Fuller 2014, Haifa University 2018). Since 1991, he has taught in various countries in the Muslim world and in the West at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is the Bill and Connie Jenkins Professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Seminary and director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam. He authored several books, and his articles on Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations have appeared in the Washington Post, Religion News Services, Colorado Springs Gazette, Louisville Courier-Journal, First Things, Faith Street, Charisma News, American Thinker, Evangelical Interfaith Dialogue Journal, and Ethics Daily, among others.”

A Concise Guide to Islam. Baker, 2023.

“Practically, the sharia, for Muslims, is Allah’s will and divine law for all people. Because of its linguistic connotation, the sharia—Allah’s law—is, according to Muslims, the perfect path and the best source for life. It is not only divine and inerrant but also superior to any human law and distinguished from any man-made precepts. Allah’s sharia, for Muslims, is universal—it came down from Allah and is prescribed upon every human being, Muslim or non-Muslim.” p. 16

“In Muslim historical writings, the term [jihad] is often used to refer to the military actions of Muslims against non-Muslims. Here jihad refers to fighting in Allah’s path and struggling on battlefields with religious goals, including preaching Islam in non-Muslim lands to liberate unbelievers from the darkness of religious unbelief. Thus, many Muslims, past and present, tend to describe jihad as sacred fighting for Allah’s cause. In fact, the Quran and many traditions attributed to Muhammad identify a Muslim fighter in battles as mujahid, which is a noun related to jihad that literally means ‘a striver fighter in jihad.’ In the Quran, the faithful mujahidun (plural of mujahid) are promised the great reward of paradise (janna). They are praised as better than those who sit at home instead of going to war (Q 4:95). Moreover, the Quran clearly associates jihad with giving oneself as a martyr in battle (Q 9:20, also 9:10-17).” p. 102

A Concise Guide to the Life of Muhammad. Baker, 2022.

“Most of what we know about Muhammad comes from Muslim sources written over a century after his death. Not one Muslim source can be traced to his generation, nor do we have any eyewitness testimonies from his time. Some Muslim reports were recorded several decades after Muhammad’s death, but none are extant. They were either lost or destroyed by later political leaders who sought to advance their views against those of their rivals. Nonetheless, in the second century of Islam (over one hundred years after Muhammad’s death), Muslims were the rulers in a vast region of conquered lands where most of the population was still non-Muslim. Muslim rulers—also known as caliphs—realized the need to establish a distinct religious identity unique to Islam.” p. 8

“When Muhammad died in 632, according to Muslim traditions, many Muslims abandoned Islam. Mohammad’s successor, Caliph Abu Bakr, decided to wage wars against all these ex-Muslims. The Muslim tradition called these wars the Apostasy Wars, in which Abu Bakr appears as a hero who defends Islam’s purity and fulfils Muhammad’s commands. Some of these ex-Muslims declared themselves prophets, and others refused to pay the zakat, an obligatory religious tax paid by Muslims to the Muslim ruler. Abu Bakr believed that whether one abandoned Islam as a whole or simply abandoned one of its tenets, one was an apostate.” p. 145

A Concise Guide to the Quran. Baker, 2020.

“In Islam, divine inspiration allows no room for human involvement. Muslims believe that the Quran contains the exact words of Allah and that these words were literally dictated by the deity with no human involvement at all. This concept of inspiration means that Allah communicated words and sent them down verbally; thus, the Quran must be identical in all available copies. This confuses some, as there are clear textual variants not only in Quranic manuscripts but also in the official Arabic Quran. These variants are actually allowed by the Islamic tradition itself. One problem is that the variants are glaring at times and provide completely different meanings. With these variants in mind, one may ask: Which variant contains the inspired words? Which variant reading of the Quran is inspired? Which of these is a copy of the celestial original? Above all, if Allah intended each word to be exact, as Muslims understand, why are there variants and discrepancies in the Arabic Quran after Uthman’s canonization of the text? These questions suggest that the dictation view of inspiration is problematic.” pp. 55-56

“The Quranic Jesus is honored and highly esteemed but was not crucified. He performed miracles and knew the unseen future but was a mere human who prayed to Allah and ate food. He was one of the prophets sent by Allah to humankind. He was never God or his son. Jesus did not die. Instead, another person was miraculously transformed to look like Jesus and died in his place, and Jesus ascended to heaven. While all the verses on Jesus’s death could be interpreted to affirm his death, Muslims past and present assume he was not crucified. The Quranic Jesus was simply a messenger, not a savior. In comparing the Jesus of the Quran to the Jesus of the Bible, it is evident that there are few similarities, and major differences.” p. 115

Image of Concise Guide to the Quran (Introducing Islam)
Concise Guide to the Quran (Introducing Islam) by Ayman S. Ibrahim (Author) Amazon logo

Raymond Ibrahim

“Raymond Ibrahim, an expert in Islamic history and doctrine, is the author of Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (2018); Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013); and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). He has appeared on C-SPAN, Al-Jazeera, CNN, NPR, and PBS, and been published by the New York Times Syndicate, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Weekly Standard, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst. Formerly an Arabic linguist at the Library of Congress, Ibrahim has guest lectured at many universities, including the U.S. Army War College, briefed governmental agencies such as U.S. Strategic Command, and testified before Congress. He has been a visiting fellow/scholar at a variety of Institutes—from the Hoover Institution to the National Intelligence University—and is currently a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.”

Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. Regnery, 2013.

“From one end of the Muslim world to the other, Christians are suffering under the return of Sharia. Often translated as “Islamic law,” Sharia simply means the “Islamic way” of doing things. Accordingly, wherever and whenever Muslims are in power or getting more power, churches are outlawed, burned, and bombed, while Bibles and crucifixes are confiscated and destroyed. Freedom of speech—to speak positively of Christianity or critically of Islam—is denied, often on pain of death. Born Muslims who wish to convert to Christianity out of sincere religious conviction are denied this basic freedom, also on pain of death. Christians are deemed to be less than second-class citizens by many Muslim governments and Muslim populations. They cannot get justice against their Muslim oppressors. Christian women and children are routinely abducted, raped, and forced to convert to Islam.” p. 8

“The mainstream media and the Western political establishment have shown themselves unable or unwilling to accept the admitted motivation of Islamic groups around the world – namely, the establishment of Sharia, which is distinctly hostile to non-Muslims. They are simply unable to factor ideological, religious, or existential motives into their thinking about violence around the world. Instead they see only material motives (money, land, politics, and so forth). Their almost instinctive conclusion is that Muslim violence is proof positive of legitimate Muslim grievance. These attitudes are so ingrained that they have eroded the influence of Western civilization and its capacity to act.” p. 242

Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam. Bombardier Books, 2022.

“Between especially the seventh and seventeenth centuries, an array of Muslim peoples (beginning with Arabs and Berbers, ending with Turks and Tatars), waged one devastating jihad after another on Christians. As a result, three-quarters of the original Christian world, including the older, richer, and more developed regions—namely, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Minor (now ‘Turkey’)—were permanently conquered and Islamized. Seen as the final bastion of Christianity – the final ‘infidel’ holdout – Muslims continuously bombarded Europe” pp. 2-3

“This book has been exclusively interested in examining how its eight subjects ‘stood against Islam’ – that and little more. As such, it has not tried to argue that any one of them were exemplars par excellence in all walks of life, to be extolled or emulated uncritically. Whether one wishes to see them as saints or sinners, heroes or villains, in the end they were just men—and that means fallible. Even so, without them and so many more Defenders like them over the centuries, there would not have been a West to speak of today.” Accordingly, if there is anything about them worth emulating, it is precisely their firm and unapologetic stance against unprovoked Islamic aggression—a thing which is sorely lacking these days.” p. 315

Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West. Hachette Books, 2018, 2020.

“Numerous Koran verses and canonical (sahih) hadiths portray jihad as the noblest endeavor. “Lining up for battle in the path of Allah,” Muhammad said, “is worthier than 60 years of worship.” Accordingly, whereas the rewards of the pre-Islamic tribal raid were limited to temporal spoils and came with the risk of death, the deified raid (jihad) offered rewards in the here and hereafter—meaning it was essentially risk-free—and thus led to a newborn fanaticism and sense of determination.” p. 5

“When Muslim migrants go on church-vandalizing sprees in the West – many hundreds of churches, crosses, and Christian statues have been respectively desecrated, broken, and beheaded in just Germany, France, and Austria – very few understand that this modus operandi stretches back to and has been on continuous display since Islam’s first contact with Christian civilization.” p. 296

It is hoped these brief quotes will give you a flavour for what is found in the books. And I did review the first book by Raymond if you want more information on that: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2013/05/11/a-review-of-crucified-again-by-raymond-ibrahim/

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