Note: This article was written as part of my answer to a Christian calling himself “AIbrahim”, who raised the issue of Muslim converts to Christianity as “proof” for the truth of Christianity as well as denying that Christian reverts to Islam were even “practising Christians”. Below is the reproduction of that dialogue, with some modifications to suit the topic.
(In response to my challenge for him to back his claim of “hundreds of Muslims leaving Islam” with facts and figures)
- It is hard to get those figures because all Muslim background believers are VERY security conscious
Or is it because that there are NO such figures to begin with? Anyway, I’m not trying to deny that there are Muslims leaving Islam. God has given free will to humans and they are free to reject truth or falsehood at their whim and fancy. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion, truth stands clear from error”.1 A person who leaves Islam is thus exercising that free choice and no one will shoulder the results of such a choice but himself. But you should not be accusing Islam of things that can be found in your own Bible (in the Old Testament), i.e. the killing of apostates.2
- Regarding the ‘Christians’ who are becoming Muslims, most of those who do so have never practiced their faith.
Maybe you’re right, but I’m not a judge of what they did or did not do when they were Christians before they finally decided to, alhamdulillah, become Muslims. Anyway, what I had in mind when I first wrote the paragraph above are Christian priests and scholars. Or maybe you wish to deny that these people were “practicing Christians”?
- They are just nominal Christians because they were born in the western world.
I’m not denying that there are nominal Christians who revert to Islam, but these are not the only group of people accepting Islam. On the contrary, there are many Christian scholars who accepted Islam. A good example is the Christian Professor Abraham Phillips, who was a missionary to the Muslims in Egypt. He first studied the Qur’an in detail to shake the Muslim belief and convert them to Christianity. But after 5 years, he reverted to Islam and changed his name to Ibraheem Khaleel Ahmed and have since written several books on Islam and Christianity, among them a book titled AL-MUSTASYRIGUN WAI MUBASSYIRUN FIL ALAMIL ARABI WAL ISLAM, which I own.3
Why am I telling you this? To show that there are unbiased Christians out there like Abraham Philips who, despite their deep Christian background, seek the truth and recognize the truth when they see it. And they are certainly not “nominal Christians”, as you like to allege.
- Many convert for business reasons or because they want to marry a Muslim.
So do these “former Muslims”. Most of these Muslims who were “saved by Christ” never had a deep study of Islam and were simply nominal Muslims. Their Islamic knowledge and practice is minimal, and/or come from Muslim families where the parents themselves do not care about Islam. It happens. However, I have never heard of an imam or an Islamic scholar converting to Christianity, but there are many cases of Christian scholars and priests reverting to Islam.
In the end, anyone who reverts to Islam from Christianity deal a bigger blow for Christianity, not the “Muslims” who convert to Christianity. Why? Because from the two, it is Christianity which has the easier, more seductive path to salvation, i.e. emotional appeal (believe in the crucifixion and you will be saved!) when compared to Islam, which is based on intellectual integrity, i.e. emphasizes both faith and deeds to attain salvation (and therefore is much “harder” than Christianity). So why do former Christians take the “hard way” instead of the easier path? That is a question you should ask yourself. Maybe the answer is in what J.G. Vos, a Christian, said:
There is nothing in Islam to lead a man to say, “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death”? or “I know that in me; that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.” A religion with reasonable attainable objectives…does not give the sinner the anguish of a guilty conscience nor the frustration of trying without success to attain in practical living the requirements of an absolute moral standard. In brief, Islam makes a man feel good, while Christianity necessarily first, and often thereafter, makes a man feel bad. The religion of the broken heart is Christianity, not Islam.4
And only God knows best!
Here is a reproduction of an e-mail I received from a Brother commenting on this article, who decided to keep himself anonymous. May God reward him with something better, insha’allah.
I read your article and agree. The strongest Muslims I know are all converts from Christianity, and many of them were strong Christians before. I found the Christian’s comments interesting. Was he Evangelical or Pentecostal, because when I was still a Christian, everybody talked about “faith” and being filled with the “holy spirit.” They always said “if don’t have faith you won’t get the holy spirit.” I always asked how do I get this faith? I was told that I had to “spend time reading God’s word and praying for the Holy Spirit or Jesus to come into my life and then I would feel him.” So I tried it, but got depressed, because the more I read “God’s word” the more logic was telling me that the Christian doctrines were unsupported and the only thing that seemed like the Holy Spirit was telling me that Islam was the truth.
I am always told by Christians that Christianity must be true because of two things: the complexities of its doctrines, like the Trinity, which I could think of a thousand arguments against, and its emotional appeal, the crying God on the Cross feeling the pain of man’s sins, which confused me, because I thought if man was so incapable of doing right, and that if God had to die, why would man still have to accept his death. What I mean is, if Jesus died for all sins, then he surely must have died for the sin of unbelief and how is it possible for the post- resurrection man to still be born sinful. I then concluded that most of this “faith” was built on nothing more than emotion. Christianity gains most of its converts from the poor and the dispossessed by using this emotional appeal, preaching a god that is suffering with his people, is wholly good but some how let evil come into the world, man can have guaranteed salvation, and that God have totally got rid of the law allowing people to “live in the spirit.”
Ismail Al-Faruqi and Shabbir Ahktar both talk about this and use it as part of their basis for Muslim-Christian dialogue. I think this is why Christianity has failed in many places, because of its almost totally sentimental nature. I have seen places where Christianity failed, like the American ghettos where lawlessness reigns. Islam provides law and structure, and because of this Islam comes in full force and does the most amazing reforms. I finally feel that the faith I was lacking in Christianity is in Islam, and its built on something stronger. I’ve read almost every anti-Islamic book you could name and it had only made my faith stronger. I am not married yet but it is a shame that when I do I will have to fend off Christians’ favorite attack: “You just became Muslim for the women.”