“Doubt is a sin. Allah will not be pleased with you. You just need to believe!” an Imam told a troubled Muslim who came to him, “Just take the Quran at face value.”
Georges Houssney opens the video with the story of this Moroccan young man. On his extensive travels throughout the Muslim world George has met hundred – even thousands – of Muslims who have been told the same thing: to be a good Muslim you must not question Islam.
Dr. Cynthia, another frequent presenter on this channel, has met the same response. For example, when a Fulbright Scholar, now internationally famous Ph.D. “Madam X”, stayed with her for a week. Besides exploring the region and discussing plans for the future, Dr. C asked her some challenging questions about Islam, for example on women’s rights. The response was, “In Islam, we are told not to question our religion.”
Somehow, despite training in the USA with its system of open inquiry and critical thinking about everything, Madam X’s brain was so programmed by Islam that she became unable objectively inspect it. As a result, Madam X has been teaching Islam, culture, and Arabic all over the Western and Arab Worlds, presenting at high level international conferences and commenting television without having taken time to seriously evaluate the religion that she is promoting.
Sometimes, however, this approach backfires, as it did with a Sudanese student. He wondered why he must pray in Arabic. He spoke several languages; surely a true God could as well. His Imam forbade his questions on this and other topics. Yet he and his friends talked about them. One friend wrote a poem questioning Islam, and as a result was killed. “If Islam were true, it would not need to protect itself like this,” thought the student. He kept on questioning and eventually found the truth in Christ.
What then is the reason for walling off questions? The Quran has various passages that discourage inquiry, such as 5:101, which says not to ask if it would cause you to doubt. Western Muslim apologists try to deny that is what the passage means, yet that is how it is practiced throughout the Muslim world.
In contrast, the Bible applauds inquiry. In the New Testament, or Injeel, in Acts 17:11 we learn of a group of people in Berea, Greece, who were skeptical of the gospel when it was first preached to them. So, they searched the prior scriptures every day to confirm if the gospel message were true or not. Because of this they were called more noble than other groups that did not research.
And friends, the fact that the Bereans searched the scriptures points out that:
- Questioning the truth of what we are told is important.
- The prior writings of scripture were available.
- They confirmed the gospel message, since the Bereans believed after examining them.
- They were not considered corrupt, as Islam claims in order to support its different message.
- God purposely kept them free of significant changes so that they could be one of the 3 major proofs of who he was that Jesus gave in John chapter 5, of the Injeel.