Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

1/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Shari'a is nothing but Muhammad writ large, just as Muhammad might be said to be Shari'a writ small

Muhammad, animated by the spirit of antichrist, had the audacity to "tamper with the revelation of original sin." In so doing, Muhammad defaced the reverse side of that Gospel coin.  To Muhammad's eternal demerit, he rejected any ontological flaw in himself and in mankind arising from the loss of supernatural grace, rejected any need in himself and mankind to be redeemed and saved, and rejected Jesus as "the source of grace," the sanctifying grace which heals mankind and saves it from the tragedy it inherited from Adam.

Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Muhammad, antichrist, redemption, salvation, Jesus, original sin, original justice, sanctifying grace, Andrew M. Greenwell


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - As we discussed in our prior article on Muhammad, the Church warns  that "[t]he doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the 'reverse side' of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ." (CCC 389)

Unfortunately, Muhammad, animated by the spirit of antichrist, had the audacity to "tamper with the revelation of original sin." In so doing, Muhammad defaced the reverse side of that Gospel coin.  To Muhammad's eternal demerit, he rejected any ontological flaw in himself and in mankind arising from the loss of supernatural grace, rejected any need in himself and mankind to be redeemed and saved, and rejected Jesus as "the source of grace," the sanctifying grace which heals mankind and saves it from the tragedy it inherited from Adam.

As a result of Muhammad's errant guidance, in Islam there is no concept of "sanctifying grace," which is also known as "deifying grace" or "habitual grace."  (CCC 1999-2000, 2023-24)  Sanctifying grace is a supernatural gift, given to us by the merciful God, which makes us sharers in a manner (by participation) in God's own nature.  It is one of the most beautiful of gifts.

Sanctifying grace is what heals us of sin and saves us. It is what makes us new creatures in Christ.  (2 Cor. 5:17)   It is what makes us pleasing to God.  (CCC 1992)  In the beautiful words of the Council of Trent, sanctifying grace makes us to be even friends and domestics of God, as it takes us out of enmity into friendship, ex inimico amicus. (cf. Wis. 7:14; John 15:5)  It is what makes us holy.  It is the source of the infused cardinal virtues and theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  It is what obtains for us, through the merits of Jesus' passion and death on the Cross, eternal life.  It is what makes us adopted "children of God," filii in filio, sons in the Son.  (Rom. 8:15; 1 John 3:1)  It is what makes us "sharers in the divine nature."  (2 Pet. 1:4).  It is in fact how God makes his abode in us as temples of the Holy Spirit.  (John 14:23; 1 Cor. 6:19)  It makes us joint heirs with Christ.  (Rom. 8:17)  It is what makes any of our acts pleasing to God.  (1 Cor. 13:1-3)  It confers supernatural brightness and beauty to the human soul, as the Roman Catechism puts it.  It is, in short, the pearl of great price.  (Matt. 13:46)

It is what Adam lost.  It is what Jesus regained.

But Muhammad appears to have been oblivious to the concept of sanctifying grace.  Muhammad knew not what Adam lost.  He knew not what Jesus regained.

As Fr. Joseph Kenny, O.P. observes, "[i]n Islam there is none of the Christian 'new life,' 'regeneration,' or 'sanctifying grace.'"  The reason for this is simple.  In Muhammad's alleged revelations, there was no sanctifying grace that Adam lost as a result of his Fall (because he never had it).  As a consequence, there is no sanctifying grace that Jesus needed to regain. 

For Muhammad, Fr. Kenny states, "[t]here is only fitra, the natural man as God created him, distinguished only by piety (taqwa) or adherence by faith to the covenant (mithaq) with Adam and his descendants." 

Oh Muhammad!  How is it that you, who claimed to be a prophet, failed to hear the words of Jesus: "If only you knew the gifts of God"?  (cf. John 4:10)   How could you have been so blind to this foundational gift without which anything else is nothing?  Are you not a blind guide, leading the blind, and if the blind lead the blind, do they not fall into the ditch?  (Matt. 15:14)

In Muhammad's view, man was never a resident of a three-storied mansion of pure nature, preternature, and supernature, and was never promised a return to it after his eviction from it.  For Muhammad, man was created by God in a basement, as is, where is.  Man will stay in such a basement, and, other than an aloof fiat of forgiveness conditioned on submission to Allah and his supposed prophet Muhammad, can expect no more from Allah other than the promise of the temporal pleasures of a basement life extended ad infinitum in the Muslim Paradise (Jannah).

It follows from Muhammad's rejection of the doctrine of original sin that Muhammad failed to detect, or in some manner excused or justified, any endemic concupiscence within him (or he would have taught his followers concerning its reality). Indeed, one might recall, as we discussed in our earlier series "The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad," that Muhammad tended to match his impulses (even his lower impulses such as his desire for his daughter-in-law, Zaynab, or his Coptic slavewoman and concubine, Mariyah) with Allah's alleged will and I suppose his fitra

Muhammad had the further audacity to believe himself--one who disbelieved in sanctifying grace and its central importance in making us holy--as the perfect exemplar of humanity, al-insan al-kamil, the best of all mankind, khair ul-bashar, and the perfect model of conduct, uswa hasana.

In short, he never realized he lived in a basement, so his morals are those of life in a basement, his law is the law of the basement, as is his alleged paradise.

(If you are not convinced about basement morals, explore the Muslim doctrine of taqiyya (deception), or nikah muta'a (temporary marriages), or violence as a legitimate means of spreading the faith (jihad).)

Since Muhammad had no concept of sanctifying grace, something clearly beyond man's capacity to merit or to earn, Muhammad believed that he and by extension all humans could make themselves acceptable to God by works.  In particular, this was done by the following of a law he devised which, like Muhammad himself, had no divine warrant: the Shari'a

Shari'a is nothing but Muhammad writ large, just as Muhammad might be said to be Shari'a writ small.  Just as Muhammad is antichrist personalized, so the Shari'a is antichrist institutionalized, socialized, and politicized.

What this means, is that Islam by its own admission institutionalizes or confirms man in his original sin. 

More, in one fell swoop, Muhammad took a huge leap backward in man's relationship God: from an aera sub gratia, which the Lord so graciously initiated, back to an aera sub lege.  From an era of grace, Muhammad brought his followers back to an era of law. 

But the refusal of grace and the return to law was not a return to the law of Moses which came from God, had some pedagogical value (cf. Gal. 3:24), was a gift that is in a manner irrevocable (Rom. 11:29), and leads and testifies to Christ and is fulfilled in Christ (Matt. 5:17).

No.  Rather, Muhammad's promulgated a a law foreign to God and one which (as we have seen) leads away from Christ.  This is arguably the most antichristian kernel of Islam: the rejection of grace and the re-injection of law.  It constitutes a flight  from the Gospel, an anti-Gospel.

Muhammad's error is found in his version of the story of Adam and Eve in the Qur'an and in the Sunna. 

The Qur'an relates the story of Adam and his wife (curiously, it does not mention Eve by name) in in various places (2:30-39; 7:11-25; 15:26-48; 17:61-65; 18:50-53; 20:115-126; 38:71-88) and appears superficially similar to the narrative in Genesis.   However, it is clear that as traditionally interpreted it rejects the concept of original sin. 

The Qur'an places the first couple in  Paradise.  God commands them not to eat of "this tree," but they are tempted and tricked by the Devil (Iblis, evidently, a corruption of the Greek diabolos).  "So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: 'Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?'" (Qur'an 7:22).  They, and their progeny, are debarred from Paradise.  Importantly, Adam and Eve ask Allah for forgiveness, and they receive it, as "his Lord turned towards him, for he is oft-returning, most merciful."  (Qur'an 7:23, 2:37; see also 20:122)

There is no mention of the "protoevangelium" of Genesis 3:15 in the Qur'an narrative dealing with Adam and Eve.  There is no promise of Mary or of Jesus or of any Redeemer.  There is no "It (or he, or she) will crush your head and you will strike its heel."  In the Qur'an, Allah does not promise a Redeemer.  He forgives Adam and Eve by fiat, painlessly, without ever sullying his divine transcendence, by mere decree. 

While the Qur'anic narrative is similar to the narrative in Genesis, there is this significant theological difference.  Islam understands that the sin of Adam and his wife were personal to them alone.  Islam maintains that mankind is unaffected by the sin of Adam and his wife.  Accordingly, humans are born innocent, pure, and sufficiently free so that sin can be easily avoided by their own efforts. 

In Islam, theologically, Adam's fall means nothing.

Since man is not affected by Adam's sin, all men and women are born in a state of fitra.  As the authoritative ahadith put it:  "Every new-born child is born in a state of fitra." Sahih Muslim 33.6426 and Sahih al-Bukhari 6.60.298

Fitra is a central concept in Islam, as essential as the concepts of original justice and original sin in Christianity.  It is sometimes touted by Muslims as the doctrine of "original goodness"  or "original righteousness." 

One must remember, however, that this "original goodness" or "original righteousness" is the goodness of the man of the basement, and nothing more.  In this sense, it is not substantially different from the Catholic notion that man, though fallen, is not totally depraved.  In fact, the Qur'an recognizes that there is weakness (da'if) in human nature. 

But the entire Catholic structure is that grace builds upon nature, and that nature alone cannot save mankind.  There is no similar concept in Islam.

Fitra may be defined as the innate natural disposition which exists at birth in all human beings, the natural constitution of man.  In Islam, fitra is entirely unaffected by the sin of Adam.  In the view of Islam, therefore, human nature therefore stands in no need of redemption or cure--it requires no restoration to a state of health (salus in Latin) or salvation.  It has no need for a supernatural component, such as sanctifying grace, to complete it or to perfect it. 

Fitra includes the notion that all men are naturally born Muslim, an intellectually indigestible and highly implausible doctrine.  It seems that we are all Muslims now, and that it is only the misguidance of parents or one's social setting that spoil the nature of the child and make him a Jew, a Christian, or Zoroastrian, or polytheist, or whatever.  In other words, according to the Muslim concept of fitra, man is not predisposed to sin (as a result of original sin), but rather man is disposed to Islam (as a result of original righteousness). 

Man's obligations to Allah are therefore more a result of forgetfulness or heedlessness (al-ghafla), than the result of a fundamental absence of supernatural life and a natural life that requires repair.  Man needs only to be reminded of this negligence, and that is why the Qur'an as the divine revelation is called the reminder (zikr).

It is for this reason that Islam is often touted by Muslims as the din al-fitrah, the religion of human nature.  Muslim commentators frequently say "fitra is Islam."   The Muslim is taught to believe that Islam, including some of its more bizarre manifestations, is in perfect accord with human nature.   "'Set your face to the religion of Islam (din) in sincerity which is Allah's fitra upon which He created mankind. There is no changing the creation of Allah. That is the right religion (din) but most people know not."  Qur'an 30:30  

The notion of fitra involves the worship of one God (tawhid), but it is also strangely mundane. 

Included in the notion of fitra are the "five acts" or "ten acts" of fitra (the ahadith are inconsistent) which include: circumcision, shaving the pubes (istihdad), cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits, letting the beard grow, clipping the mustache, using the tooth-stick (siwak), cutting the nails, washing the finger joints, cleansing one's private parts with water (after defecating or urinating), and possibly rinsing the mouth.  See, e.g., Sahih Muslim 2.11.495 and Sahih Muslim 2.11.502.

It is difficult, nay, impossible, to believe the Muslim theological proposition that, if left to ourselves, we would naturally gravitate to worshiping a God with dubious credentials named Allah by hitting our heads on the ground multiple times a day to the point of getting calluses or prayer bumps (zabiba), engaging in constant ritual washing (wudu), and developing the burning penchant to shave our heads, wear white clothing, and go to Mecca to circumambulate the Ka'ba at least once in our lives. 

No, pace Muhammad, I am quite certain that that sort of stuff does not come from fitra, but rather you have to put that into a man by indoctrination. 

Apparently also, somewhere deep down within us (I must have forgotten about it or been neglectful of it and I need someone to remind me of it), there is the primordial yearning to shave our pubic hair, pluck our armpit hair, and wash our finger joints, and possibly rinse our mouths (though presumably with water, and never with beer or wine or a nice Kentucky bourbon). 

Maybe it is just my shirk is showing, but I simply cannot get myself to believe that God sent Muhammad to remind me to shave my pubic hair and pluck my armpits, and not to tell me anything about sanctifying grace.

The upshot of Muhammad's erroneous concept of human nature, of original sin, and of his ignorance of supernatural sanctifying grace is that all the Muslim ablutions, his ritual washings (wudu) tied to his bismillahs and shahadas--as impressive as they are from a natural perspective--are, from a supernatural perspective, worth nothing

They are worth nothing compared to three drops of water tied to the words, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen."  That is the foundation of the spiritual and supernatural life.

The difference between wudu and baptism is the difference between life in a basement, and life in a three-storied mansion.  It is, quite possibly (caveat! only God judges the soul of the individual Muslim who may be in a state of invincible ignorance) the difference between hell and heaven.  It is the difference between nature and supernatural grace.  It is the difference between Muhammad and Jesus.  It is the difference between antichrist and Christ.

-----

Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas and practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at agreenwell@harris-greenwell.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Middle East

Signs of desperation: Islamic State offers rewards for capture of foreign 'spies' Watch

Image of The multi-month campaign of airstrikes, led by the U.S., have been effective in harming the Islamic State, keeping them unable to operate effectively in Iraq or Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While leaders of the Islamic State have claimed that the airstrikes by the U.S. and coalition allies are ineffective, it has garnered a reaction from them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Leadership have distributed paper fliers in the north of Syria that they ... continue reading


Pakistani court rules that Christian woman will be put to death Watch

Image of The daughters of Asia Bibi, with a photograph of their mother.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A high court in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore has confirmed the death sentence of a Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy, destroying the hopes of her family that the conviction would be overturned or lessened to jail time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Syria's 1,500-year-old Christian community under imminent threat in civil war Watch

Image of Christian leaders in Syria warn of an exodus on the scale of Iraq, where the 1.5 million-strong community that lived there prior to the first Gulf War is now down to as little as a tenth of its former size.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As reported by Ruth Sherlock of the Telegraph, the Syrian town of Izraa, home one of the world's oldest Christian communities, is under threat by ongoing civil war. The area's Christian community is leaving in fear for their lives, draining a once vibrant oasis ... continue reading


Jordan's Queen Rania denounces ISIS for plunging Arab world 'back to the Dark Ages' Watch

Image of Queen Raina of Jordan says that education and job creation as being the key to thwarting the extremists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Known for her poise and beauty, Queen Rania didn't hold back in denouncing the repugnant activities of Islamic State during a powerful address to the Abu Dhabi Media Summit in the United Arab Emirates. The 44-year-old monarch spoke against the disgusting videos ... continue reading


Defense officials warn that airstrikes are not stopping Islamic State's conquest of Iraq and Syria Watch

Image of Members of the Islamic State ride a captured tank through an Iraqi city displaying their black flags.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's multi-month campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, while a major moral booster for Iraqi forces and a token gesture of support from the United States, may not actually be nearly as effective as the White House has ... continue reading


Religious extremism driving majority of world acts of terror Watch

Image of Groups with a religious agenda are attributed to the majority of incidents over the past few years, according to the author's report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Instead of making humanity more respectful of their fellow man, religion is one of the factors fueling violence and chaos in the world. Religious extremism, which disallows interpretation and those of other faiths, is the force behind the majority of the acts ... continue reading


ISIS ammo: Deadly terror group can keep fighting for two years, United Nations warns Watch

Image of One anonymous member state has provided information about

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's both a dire warning and lesson to the West when it comes to terrorist organizations.  According to the United Nations, the dreaded Islamic State, or ISIS has enough weapons now to continue fighting for two years unabated. The ironic twist? Most of ... continue reading


The long and painful war against terrorism: 2013-14 the worst years to date Watch

Image of Operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban is one of the militant groups responsible for the most deaths around the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new report has revealed that the number of people who have been killed by militants across the globe has jumped up more than 60% from 2013, reaching a record high of nearly 18,000. This death toll could continue to rise in 2014 because of the escalating ... continue reading


The United Arab Emirates just named these two American organizations as terrorists! Watch

Image of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Middle East and North Africa have been designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It came as somewhat of a shock to two Islamic groups in the United States when they found that they were recently included in a list of terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Council on American-Islamic ... continue reading


Two U.S. Islamic groups branded as terrorists Watch

Image of Both CAIR and MAS were among more than 80 groups whose designation was approved by the UAE cabinet and announced this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two moderate, mainstream Islamic groups in the United States feel as though they've been tarred and feathered with the same brush. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which describes itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter