Why do Muslims think the Holy Spirit is either Mohammed or the angel Gabriel?

I have been thinking about the claims I see many Muslims making about the Holy Spirit or Advocate of God, identifying him with either Mohammed or the angel Gabriel. I believe the Bible verse that Muslims most frequently quote in reference to Mohammed is John 14:15-17, where it says “If you love me, you will … Continue reading Why do Muslims think the Holy Spirit is either Mohammed or the angel Gabriel?

Did the prophet Jesus consider any food forbidden?

Many have suggested to me that Jesus advocated the same food laws as Mohammed and Moses. The gospel of Mark, however, tells another story: The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The … Continue reading Did the prophet Jesus consider any food forbidden?

Speaking of Jesus in more Arabic ways

I have been finding it interesting to explore how the greetings and affirmations of the New Testament authors sound when phrased in a more Arabic ways. Consider these examples: Salam to all of you who are in al-Masih (1 Peter 5:14) Mercy and salam to you from Allah our Father and from Ar-Rabb Isa al-Masih. (Romans … Continue reading Speaking of Jesus in more Arabic ways

Practicing reconciliation between Muslims and Christians

As a moderator of the The Christian-Muslim Interfaith Bridge it shouldn't be any surprise that I'm interested in how we practically practice (yes, I know I'm verging on tautology) reconciliation between Muslims and Christians. Recently I came across these comments in Peace-Building by, between, and beyond Muslims and Evangelical Christians by Mohammed Abu-Nimer and David Augsburger (Editors): … Continue reading Practicing reconciliation between Muslims and Christians

Hot under the collar over dress codes?

There have been some vigorous debates over dress codes lately but I have to ask, what would a universally acceptable dress code even look like? In some (sub)cultures full body coverings including face coverings are mandatory for all. In some (sub)cultures clothing is optional. Two extremes on a spectrum. In my own culture jeans and … Continue reading Hot under the collar over dress codes?

Interpreting the Quran more carefully

There are many verses in the Quran which, at face value, seem quite hostile to Jews and Christians, sometimes violently so. However, if I have learnt anything from my interactions with Muslims it is that we need to interpret the Quran more carefully. And that means contextually. Problem is, the Quran itself provides no narrative … Continue reading Interpreting the Quran more carefully

What are the five pillars of Islam?

If you know nothing else about Islamic ritual and practice make sure you know this. These are known as the five pillars of Islam. Shahadah: declaring there is no god except God and that Muhammad is God's Messenger Salat: ritual prayer five times a day Zakat: giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and … Continue reading What are the five pillars of Islam?

Who do archaeologists think built the Kaaba?

Something had always puzzled me. Why do Muslims consider the Kaaba so sacred when it functioned as a pagan temple before Mohammed conquered Mecca? So I asked some Muslim friends. They informed me the Kaaba held the status it did amongst Muslims because (according to their history) it was built by Ibrahim and Ishmael in … Continue reading Who do archaeologists think built the Kaaba?

Why is female circumcision practiced by some Muslims and not others?

Female circumcision is widely associated with Muslims in Western consciousness, but in truth the practice of female circumcision varies widely between different Muslim communities. Why is this? Well, I came across an intriguing explanation for this in "The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom" by Mark Durie. Mark writes: "The modern distribution of female circumcision … Continue reading Why is female circumcision practiced by some Muslims and not others?