Muslims Following Jesus? But Which Jesus?

Recently, some Muslims were seen wearing T-shirts bearing an eye-catching caption, “I am a Muslim and I follow Jesus. Ask me why?” There were engaging street dawah near Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. To make good their claim, they handed out Qurans as well as the book, Jesus: Man, Messenger, Messiah written by Abu Zakariya.

The book is published by IERA (Islamic Education and Research Academy, UK), an Islamic dawah group founded by Abdur Raheem Green. This street dawah is part of their missionary initiative which included an exhibition, “Jesus – Son of Mary Exhibition held on 26 Feb 2018 at the  Selangor Golf Club, Petaling Jaya. Continue reading “Muslims Following Jesus? But Which Jesus?”

DBP Translating the Malay Bible? CLJ Needs to Get the Historical Facts Right!

*This article was published originally in The Malaysian Insight (25/11/2017): Translating the Malay Bible: CLJ Needs to Get the Historical Facts Right!

Image Above: Ruyls-Dutch-Malay-Bible 17C

Image Above: Gospel of John Shellabear Bible Originally Printed 1912 (Image from 1949 reprint)

Recently, Concerned Lawyers for Justice (CLJ) argued that the Christian community should work closely with Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka (DBP) to correct purported errors in the current translation of the Malay Bible. Suggestions to improve existing translations of the Bible is in line with the ethos of the Christian enterprise of Bible translation which is an ongoing exercise undertaken by Bible societies all over the world.

However, CLJ’s proposal to allow DBP to prepare an authoritative translation of the Malay Bible is unacceptable. The reason is because given the terms and conditions for DBP’s involvement, the proposal amounts to an illegitimate restriction of religious freedom and infringement of the autonomy of the institutions of the Christian community. It is a violation of the integrity of Christian faith as it will lead to an imposition of Islamic religious beliefs on its sacred Bible. Continue reading “DBP Translating the Malay Bible? CLJ Needs to Get the Historical Facts Right!”

FAQ on Muslim Questions – Christian Answers (Updated)


“Come now, Let us reason together, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 1:18).

Muslim polemical literature against Christianity is readily available in bookstores around Malaysia. Their polemics gain media attention when institutions of higher learning organize forums to perpetuate false information about Christianity. For example, in 2014, the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Shah Alam, organized a seminar on “Seminar Kalimah Allah & Kristology Nusantara (“The Word ‘Allah’ and Christology in the Malay Archipelago”), purportedly “to defend the dignity of Muslims in the country and also to give them an understanding as they are being confused by this issue.”
-“UiTM Warns Students About The Threat Of Christianity In “Allah And Christology” Seminar
-Gospels are ‘Fake’ as Jesus was ‘Human Slave to Allah’, Don Claims [The Malaymailonline 6 May 2014]
-Books Warning Muslims About ‘Christian Agenda’ Distributed at Allah Forum in University

Several seminar speakers were reported to have mocked at Christianity as they posed rhetorical questions that suggest the grounds for Christian beliefs are fundamentally flawed. For example, in a forum “Christianisation vs Islamization”, the speakers answered pre-prepared questions that included “Did Jesus really die on the cross for the forgiveness of sins?”, “What is the Trinity?”, “Why did Jesus cry ‘Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani’ (Aramaic for “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”) while on the cross?”

Another speaker claimed that the parts of the Bible based on his teachings should simply be called “Tales of Jesus” instead of the “Gospel”. The books in the Bible were written by Christ’s disciples such as Matthew, Mark, and Luke were considered hearsay and similarly should not be considered the Word of God. The so-called gospel is only Jesus’ words, speech, hence should not be called gospel. He asserted, “The Christian gospel is a fake gospel.”

These speakers were trying to confuse Christians with fabricated lies. Instead of clarifying confusion among Muslims, they were promoting prejudice among Muslims against Christianity. Christians are justified if they feel offended. However, they are mindful of the divine exhortation given in their Holy Book on how to respond peaceably to faultfinders, “Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:14-15).

Instead of reacting to these Muslim polemicists, Christians are more interested in reaching out to other Muslims who are sincere when they raise questions about Christianity as these Muslims genuinely believe in constructive dialog. To these sincere Muslims we would like to offer “FAQ: Muslim Questions – Christian Answers” as a modest contribution to promote interfaith understanding. Hopefully, the two FAQs given below will assure Muslim inquirers of the intellectual integrity and peaceful intentions of the Christian community.

Continue reading “FAQ on Muslim Questions – Christian Answers (Updated)”

FAQ: Jawapan Kepada Soalan-Soalan Orang Islam (Dikemas kini)

Marilah kita berperkara, demikian firman TUHAN (Yesaya 1:18)

Kesusasteraan polemik yang menyerang kepercayaan Kristian mudah didapati di kebanyakan kedai-kedai buku di Malaysia. Polemik ini mendapat perhatian media ketika institusi pengajian tinggi menganjurkan forum untuk menyebarkan maklumat palsu tentang agama Kristian.

“UiTM Warns Students About The Threat Of Christianity In “Allah And Christology” Seminar
-Gospels are ‘Fake’ as Jesus was ‘Human Slave to Allah’, Don Claims [The Malaymailonline 6 May 2014]
-Books Warning Muslims About ‘Christian Agenda’ Distributed at Allah Forum in University

Namun daripada merasa takut, umat Kristian mengalu-alukan serangan seperti itu kerana ia memberikan peluang kepada orang Kristian untuk menjelaskan iman mereka.

Tetapi dengan tulus hormatilah Kristus sebagai Tuhan dalam hidup kamu. Hendaklah kamu sentiasa bersedia memberikan jawapan kepada sesiapa sahaja yang meminta kamu menjelaskan harapan yang kamu miliki. Tetapi lakukanlah hal itu dengan lemah lembut dan hormat. Hendaklah hati nurani kamu murni, supaya apabila kamu difitnah kerana hidup dengan baik sebagai pengikut Kristus, orang yang memfitnah kamu itu akan menjadi malu (1Petrus 3:15-16).

Walau bagaimanapun, ada orang Islam yang secara ikhlas bertanya soalan mengenai kepercayaan Kristian dalam mencari persefahaman antara agama. Untuk orang-orang Muslim yang ikhlas seperti inilah kami ingin menawarkan “Jawapan Kepada Orang-orang Islam.” Semoga Allah memberkati umat Kristian dan umat Islam di Malaysia dengan persefahaman dan saling menghormati. Continue reading “FAQ: Jawapan Kepada Soalan-Soalan Orang Islam (Dikemas kini)”

Evangelical Essentials: Correcting Ill-Informed Muslim Activists and Fitnah Against Christians

Many social critics have ridiculed Azril Mohd Amin, CEO of CENTHRA for his ignorance when he called for Evangelicalism to be outlawed in Malaysia [Outlaw Evangelicalism in Malaysia, says Islamic Coalition]. Some even questioned whether Azril is intellectually competent to address the issue when he confuses and conflates such elementary terms like “Evangelism” and “Evangelicalism”.

“Evangelism” refers simply to the sharing of good news that “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19) In contrast, “Evangelicalism” refers to the trans-denominational global movement which emphasizes the divine inspiration of the Bible with its central message of Christ work of atonement on the cross, and the necessity of experience of conversion.

In any case, the ignorance displayed by Azril is easily remedied by giving a concise history of Evangelicalism which includes many distinguished thinkers and social reformers. Continue reading “Evangelical Essentials: Correcting Ill-Informed Muslim Activists and Fitnah Against Christians”

Is Zakir Naik is too Stubborn to Understand Jesus’ Claim to be God?

Zakir Naik has just challenged Christians to produce a verse in the bible where Jesus unequivocally claims to be God, and as such people should worship him. This would require a direct statement like “I am God” or “worship me” from the lips of Jesus. The challenge is either misguided or insincere.

Zakir Naik displays a simplistic mindset in failing to understanding Jesus’ teaching. His demand that Jesus gives a direct proclamation shows no appreciation of Jesus’ wisdom that is needed to address an audience that is hostile and threatening violence towards him. Continue reading “Is Zakir Naik is too Stubborn to Understand Jesus’ Claim to be God?”

Zakir Naik Exposed

Dr. Zakir Naik Makes 25 mistakes in 5 min

Zakir Naik gives the impression that he is a very learned man as he effortlessly quotes [selected] verses from the Bible. However, there is much less than meets the eye. Often times he quotes Scripture out of context in order to impose an alien teaching on the Bible, like claiming that the Bible teaches about the coming of Muhammad. I shall leave the easy task of refuting his ludicrous claims to other writers.

For the moment I invite readers to view the following YouTube episode which exposes Zakir Naik’s habit of making flippant and misleading claims (some people would call them lies). LINK – Zakir Naik Makes 25 Mistakes in 5 MinutesContinue reading “Zakir Naik Exposed”

God, Christ & Humanity: Christian & Muslim Perspectives (Part 2)

Part 2: Jesus Christ-Eschatological [Final] Prophet And Incarnate Savior: A Christian Proposal To Muslims

Muslims assert the utter transcendence of God. Divine revelation therefore takes the form of revealed commandments rather than a revealed person. The issue that separates Christians and Muslims is whether or not the claim that Jesus Christ as the decisive revelation of God compromises the utter transcendence of God. Resolving this issue requires an inquiry into the prophetic calling of Jesus. We need to ask whether Jesus ministry went beyond mere proclamation and constituted an adequate, if not decisive, act of divine salvation for humankind. Continue reading “God, Christ & Humanity: Christian & Muslim Perspectives (Part 2)”

God, Christ & Humanity: Christian & Muslim Perspectives (Part 1)

Part 1: God and Humanity in Islam & Christianity

Thesis: Ultimately, the difference between Islam and Christianity is that the former views the relationship between God and man within the field of power. The Divine-human encounter becomes a contest of strength where human submission is a matter of expediency in the face of sheer dominant power. In contrast, Christianity views the relationship as one that is moral: God, despite his sovereignty, treats human beings as persons with inherent dignity (since they are created in His image). God seeks allegiance from man based not on expediency but as a grateful response to a God who passionately cares for his welfare (c.f., pathos in Abraham Heschel’s work).  Man may fail to perceive the depths of divine pathos. Without a personal revelation from God, man can only be dimly aware of divine pathos in pale and fragmented forms, described as divine sorrow, pity, wrath, and compassion because of his psychological limitations, although divine pathos must be perfect and complete within the divine Trinity. However, these partial perceptions of divine pathos are fully revealed and experienced as divine love when manifested at the cross. Hence the glorious declaration in 2 Corinthians 5:19 – in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself. Continue reading “God, Christ & Humanity: Christian & Muslim Perspectives (Part 1)”

Penerangan Ringkas Tentang Kepercayaan Kristian

Al-Quran menegaskan bahawa umat Islam yang awal percaya kepada apa yang diturunkan kepada Ahli Kitab – Al-Ankabut 29:46

[Believers], argue only in the best way with the People of the Book, except with those of them who act unjustly. Say, ‘We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you; our God and your God are one [and the same]; we are devoted to Him.’ M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).” Yusuf Ali

Dan janganlah kamu berbahas dengan Ahli Kitab melainkan dengan cara yang lebih baik, kecuali orang-orang yang berlaku zalim di antara mereka; dan katakanlah (kepada mereka): “Kami beriman kepada (Al-Quran) yang diturunkan kepada kami dan kepada (Taurat dan Injil) yang diturunkan kepada kamu; dan Tuhan kami, juga Tuhan kamu, adalah Satu; dan kepadaNyalah, kami patuh dengan berserah diri.”


Walau bagaimanapun, ramai orang Islam hari ini menolak pengajaran Alkitab kerana salah faham. Untuk menyelesaikan salah faham mereka, kami ingin menawarkan penerangan ringkas tentang kepercayaan Kristian seperti yang berikut:




1. ‘Mengapa orang Kristian percaya kepada Tritunggal? Adakah kamu percaya kepada tiga tuhan?’
Orang Kristian tidak percaya kepada tiga tuhan! Kami percaya kepada Allah yang esa sahaja, sama seperti orang Muslim. Apabila kami berkata tentang Allah Bapa, Allah Anak dan Allah Roh Kudus, ia bukan merujuk kepda tiga tuhan yang berlainan. Seperti Islam, agama Kristian adalah agama tauhid.  Istilah “Tritunggal” tidak terdapat di dalam Alkitab, tetapi idea itu diajar di dalam Alkitab.

2. ‘Mengapa kamu berkata bahawa Yesus itu “Anak Allah”?’
Kerana Yesus menyatakan dirinya sebagai ‘Anak’ dan memanggil Allah sebagai ‘Bapa’ dan ‘Bapa-Ku’. Kami tidak percaya Yesus adalah anak Allah hasil dari satu penyatuan fizikal. Idea seperti itu bertentangan dengan kepercayaan kami, sama seperti orang Islam.

Kami percaya bahawa ‘Allah itu Kasih’ di dalam persona-Nya, dan terdapat satu perhubungan kasih antara Allah Bapa, Allah Anak dan Allah Roh Kudus, bahkan sebelum dunia ini dicipta. Yesus adalah lebih daripada seorang nabi, kerana Dia adalah 100% manusia dan 100% Allah pada masa yang sama. Apabila kami merujuk kepada Yesus sebagai Anak Allah, itu adalah satu istilah yang paling mudah untuk menyatakan bahawa Yesus sama seperti Allah, dan ini tidak pernah dan tidak akan berlaku kepada mana-mana manusia lain. Apabila kita menujukan pandangan kepada Yesus, kita mempunyai satu idea tentang Allah.

 3. ‘Mengapa kamu percaya Yesus disalib?’
Kerana itu yang diajar oleh Kitab Suci. Perjanjian Baru menyatakan bukan kerana kelemahan Allah yang menyebabkan Yesus disalib, tetapi itu adalah cara-Nya untuk menunjukkan kejahatan sifat manusia yang sebenar.  Tetapi ia juga adalah cara Allah menunjukkan betapa besar kasih-Nya terhadap manusia kerana ingin mengampuni dosa kita. Orang Kristian melihat penyaliban Yesus sebagai satu ‘korban untuk penebusan dosa’ yang terakhir dan sempurna, sehingga tidak memerlukan korban lain yang selanjutnya. Allah membenarkan Yesus untuk mati kerana semua manusia akan mati apabila tiba waktunya. Tetapi dengan membangkitkan Yesus semula, Allah bukan sahaja menampakkan diri dan identiti sebenar Yesus, tetapi juga memusnahkan kuasa kematian untuk selama-lamanya bagi mereka yang percaya kepada Yesus.

4. ‘Alkitab kamu telah dipalsukan.’
Saya tahu ini adalah yang telah diajarkan kepada anda untuk sekian lama. Tetapi adakah anda pernah membaca Alkitab?  Menurut Al-Quran, mesej yang diturunkan oleh Allah kepada Nabi Muhammad mengesahkan Kitab-Kitab Suci yang terdahulu – Taurat Musa, Zabur Daud, dan Injil Yesus. Jika semua Kitab Suci tersebut yang berada di dalam tangan kaum Yahudi dan Kristian pada zaman Nabi Muhammad telah dipalsukan, bagaimanakah Al-Quran boleh mengesahkan Kitab-Kitab Suci yang dinyatakan? Bolehkah anda memberitahu saya siapa yang memalsukan Kitab-Kitab Suci tersebut, dan bilakah ia berlaku? Mahukah anda membaca riwayat Yesus yang terdapat di dalam Injil kami? Bagaimana anda boleh mendakwa bahawa Alkitab telah dipalsukan kalau anda sendiri tidak pernah membacanya?

5. ‘Alkitab penuh dengan kesilapan dan percanggahan.’
Orang Kristian tahu tentang percanggahan yang anda dapati di dalam Alkitab kerana cendekiawan Kristian telah lama mengetahui hal tersebut.  Tetapi cendekiawan Kristian mempunyai cara sendiri untuk menerangkan perkara tersebut, malah kebanyakannya boleh diterangkan dengan mudah. Yang lain memerlukan tafsiran yang lebih mendalam lagi. Adakah anda sedia untuk mendengar penjelasan kami?

Sebenarnya ini juga boleh berlaku kepada anda. Ada orang Kristian yang mengatakan bahawa ada banyak  percanggahan di dalam Al-Quran. Bagaimanakah perasaan anda jika saya mengkritik Al-Quran?  Tetapi saya tidak mahu melakukan itu kerana saya tidak berminat untuk mengkritik Al-Quran. Jika orang Islam tidak suka orang Kristian mengkritik Al-Quran, mengapakah orang Islam berbuat demikian terhadap Alkitab?

Anda mempunyai masalah dengan percanggahan di dalam Alkitab kerana anda  membuat perbandingan di antara Alkitab dengan Al-Quran.  Anda percaya bahawa Al-Quran telah diturunkan kepada Nabi Muhammad secara langsung, dan mengandaikan Injil juga sedemikian.  Orang Kristian percaya bahawa Alkitab adalah Firman Allah, dan melalui Roh Kudus Allah telah mengilhami para penulis untuk menulis kitab-kitab di dalam Alkitab. Tetapi Firman Allah di dalam Alkitab ditulis oleh ramai penulis. Jadi bagi orang Kristian, Alkitab adalah Firman Allah dan juga perkataan manusia.  Masalah asas di antara kita berdua adalah kita mempunyai pandangan yang berbeza tentang cara Firman Allah diturunkan kepada manusia. Orang Islam percaya bahawa wahyu teragung daripada Allah diturunkan di dalam bentuk sebuah buku, iaitu Al-Quran. Tetapi bagi orang Kristian, kami percaya bahawa wahyu teragung diturunkan melalui satu peribadi,  iaitu Yesus.

6. ‘Kami percaya bahawa Yesus seorang nabi. Mengapakah kamu tidak percaya bahawa Muhammad juga seorang nabi’
Kalau kami mengiktiraf Muhammad sebagai seorang nabi seperti umat Islam, maka kami semua menjadi Muslim. Kami dengan sukacitanya menerima ajaran daripada Al-Quran bahawa Allah itu Esa, sama seperti yang diajar di dalam Alkitab. Tetapi kami tidak percaya pada seluruh Al-Quran kerana pengajarannya berbeza dan bercanggah dengan ajaran di dalam Kitab Suci kami.

Kami percaya bahawa Yesus adalah nabi yang terakhir, Kalimahtullah yang terunggul dan terakhir untuk seluruh dunia. Yesus adalah wahyu Allah yang sempurna dan lengkap di dalam bentuk manusia, dan kami tidak percaya bahawa terdapat wahyu yang lebih sempurna tentang Allah selepas Yesus.

7. ‘Mengapa kamu tidak percaya bahawa Alkitab bernubuat tentang kedatangan Muhammad?’
Ada dua ayat Alkitab yang sering dipetik untuk menyampaikan idea tersebut. Yang pertama dipetik daripada kitab Ulangan, di mana terdapat nubuatan tentang seorang nabi yang akan datang: ‘Seorang nabi dari tengah-tengahmu, dari antara saudara-saudaramu,  sama seperti aku, akan dibangkitkan bagimu oleh TUHAN, Allahmu; dialah yang harus kamu dengarkan.’ (Ulangan 18:15).  Ini tidak mungkin merujuk kepada Muhammad kerana Musa berkata nabi tersebut akan datang ‘dari antara saudara-saudaramu’, iaitu dari bani Israel.

Ayat kedua adalah pernyataan Yesus tentang kedatangan seorang Paraclete: ‘Aku akan minta kepada Bapa, dan Dia akan memberikan kepadamu seorang Penolong yang lain, supaya Dia menyertai kamu selama-lamanya.’ (Yohanes 14:16; sila rujuk juga kepada 14:26, 15:26, 16:7). Orang Kristian sentiasa mentafsirkan kata-kata Yesus ini tentang kedatangan Roh Kudus. Yesus tidak pernah bercakap tentang seorang nabi yang akan datang selepas Dia.

Sumber: Colin Chapman, The Cross and the Crescent IVP Books 2008.