Friday, November 23, 2012

An Open Letter: A Cordial Invitation to the Pope Benedict XVI

Very interesting...


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An Open Letter: A Cordial Invitation to the Pope 
Epigraph: "In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. Say, 'He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Independent and Besought of all. He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.'" (Al Quran 112:1-5)
Pope Benedict XVI

Source:  Alislam-eGazette, December 2010.  Alislam-eGazette is a monthly publication of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, with a subscription of more than 40,000.
Prologue: As the Pope tries to convince the world of the truth of Christianity, we felt it is our responsibility to invite him to Islam.
BBC reported on November 21, 2012 that the third and final installment of Pope Benedict's biography of Jesus is published.  One million copies of the book, Jesus of Nazereth: The Infancy Narratives, have been printed in eight languages.  It analyses the gospel narratives from the birth of Jesus to his presentation in the temple at the age of 12.  The book is signed "Joseph Ratzinger Benedict XVI", meaning that it is an academic work, rather than papal dogma that cannot be contradicted.  Pope Benedict reaffirms the importance of the Christian belief in the virgin birth, that Jesus was not conceived through sexual intercourse but through the Holy Spirit.  He argues that it, together with the resurrection, are "cornerstones of faith" because they demonstrate God's power over matter.  But he debunks several Christmas traditions, including the year of Jesus' birth, which the Pope argues was miscalculated by a monk.  Another sacred cow he tackles is the presence of animals at the birth in a stable in Bethlehem.  He argues there is no evidence in the Gospel for that, but says images of oxen and donkeys have become such a staple part of the Nativity that they are now accepted.
Below, we have reviewed several of the Pope's previous books, so we can extend him an invitation to Islam, in his own paradigm and in terms, in which he perceives reality.  We believe that it will be useful for him or at least for the other 1 billion Catholics, God willing.  The authors will be very happy to meet him personally in Rome and present these materials face to face, if he so chooses and extends an invitation.  In the mean while, every one has access to these materials, through the internet.  Let me take the liberty of making a suggestion to our Christian readers, read on, and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon's advice, "Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider."
In the beginning, we have also included a short book by the Muslim Messiah, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which is now established in 200 countries of the world.

Fountain of Christianity
By Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
You should also consider that it is God's eternal and established law that He forgives in response to repentance and penitence, and hears the prayers of His righteous servants which are offered by way of intercession. But we never observe in the Divine law of nature that 'A' hits his own head with a stone and this cures the headache of 'B'. We are, therefore, at a loss to understand how people can acquire inner purification through the suicide committed by the Messiah. Is there any law or philosophy which can make us understand how the Messiah's blood could have cleansed the inner impurities of other people? Our observation is, in fact, opposed to this principle, because, until the time when the Messiah decided to commit suicide, we find an element of righteousness and godliness among the Christians. After the crucifixion, however, their carnal passions burst forth like a river which breaks its banks and inundates the land.
There is no doubt that even if this suicide on the part of the Messiah was deliberate, it was quite needless. If he had, instead, spent his life in preaching and exhortation, he would have done a lot of good for God's creation. But this act did not serve them in any way. Yes, if the Messiah had indeed come back to life after his suicide, and had ascended to heaven before the very eyes of the Jews, they would surely have believed in him. But, as things stand, the Jews, and all reasonable people, consider the Messiah's ascension to be no more than a fable.
To read the whole booklet, click here

Christianity: A Journey from Facts to Fiction
By Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad
He examines the doctrines of Christianity in light of reason and logic. He puts his conclusion on the back cover of his book in the words of a Christian theologian, Søren Aabye Kierkegaard:
"It is not the business of any Christian writer or preacher to dilute Christianity to suit the general educated public. The doctrine of the incarnation was to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, and so will it always be, for the doctrine not only transcends reason; it the paradox par excellence; and it can be affirmed only by faith, with passionate inwardness and interest. The substitution of reason for faith means the death of Christianity."
What Kierkegaard could not foresee is the information age with millions of websites. It will be hard to hide behind the veil of 'faith' and run away from reason and rationality. It is self evident that faith cannot be divorced from reason. If man needed faith alone, any cult would be as good as any religion and all human affairs will completely collapse.
For more click here

A Cordial Invitation to the Pope Benedict XVI to Islam
By Zia H Shah MD
Human memory leads to the illusion-of-truth effect, meaning that we are more likely to rate those statements true that we are familiar with, regardless of their veracity. As such familiarity impairs judgment and prevents people from noticing, let alone accepting the obvious limitations in their views. The Pope Benedict XVI and the Christian readers appear to be the victims of such familiarity. That is why they are unable to readily appreciate the excellence of Islam over Christianity, with respect to unadulterated concept of One God. In the preface to Edward Gibbon's History of Christianity, we read: "If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians . . . was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief." If what Gibbon says be true we have all the reasons to try to shed our illusions and biases and carefully examine Christianity and Islam side by side. So, let me suggest to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI , at the very outset, to read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, "Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider."
Jesus did not become god until the last canonical gospel, the Gospel of John. Almost 60-70 years had passed since Jesus was put on the cross. The first two generations of the committed believers had died. More and more pagans were joining Christianity. The stage was set to elevate Jesus to divine status. However, the earlier gospels, Mathew, Mark and Luke, known as the synoptic gospels, as they are similar to each other, were written earlier and did not exaggerate Jesus' status, as much. The very contrast between the synoptic and the non-synoptic Gospel of John should be an epiphany to any open minded Christian and especially to you sir, the leader of more than a billion strong, Catholic Christians. Several reasons can be outlined for reading the four Gospels separately and independently rather than conflating them. Here, let me present one simple reason before we move on with the rest of the discussion. When the Gospel of Mark was written, the author meant it to be an independent testimony, as for 15-30 years there was no Matthew, Luke or John. It was an independent book and not an addendum or appendix to anything else!
Any mention of Jesus' divinity even in the gospel of John is also only implicit and not explicit and there are many verses in John as well from which lack of Jesus' divinity can be argued. Nowhere in the Bible, has Jesus taught the disciples to worship him!

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'One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshipers': Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

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