Did Jesus Command His Followers to be Muslims?

Sam Shamoun


Certain Muslim apologists think they have found evidence from the New Testament that Jesus preached Islam. These dawagandists believe that in one of the Gospels, specifically Luke, Christ actually commanded his followers to be Muslims. Here is the text in question:

"A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained (katertismenos) will be like his teacher." Luke 6:40

According to the Muslim polemicists, the Greek word katertismenos which is translated as "fully trained" was rendered into Hebrew as Mushlam which is equivalent to the Arabic word Muslim.

One such polemicist who employs this argument is debater and writer Ali Ataie. He states in his book that:

During the Sermon on the Mount as recorded by St. Matthew, 5, Jesus teaches his followers the "Lord’s Prayer" [sic] and then recites nine declarations known as the Beatitudes. In verse 9 he says: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God." The Greek for peacemakers, eirenopoios is derived from the word peace, or eireny. The Aramaic Pshitta Version of the New Testament based on the original Greek manuscripts renders this verse in the original language of Jesus as: Goovay hoon la’ovdai shlomo, davanaa-hi d’Aloho nethqroom. Notice the words Aloh and l’ovdai shlomo for "God" and "makers of peace" respectively. Those who make shlomo are also those who make salam, the Muslims! The words Eirenopoios, L’ovdai shlomo, and Muslimoon all have identical meanings, that is, peaceful submitters unto Aloh’s (God’s) Holy Will. The Aramaic Bible Society translated Luke 6:40 into Hebrew as: Ein talmeed na’leh al rabbo, shekken kal adam, she’mushlam yihyeh ka rabbo. The English reads: "The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect (Mushlam, Muslim!) shall be as his master."

The Gospels reveal to us the following statements of Christ:

We are told that after the resurrection of Jesus, he appears before his eleven remaining bewildered disciples in the upper room. The Gospel of Luke records his greeting as "Peace be upon you" or the Hebrew Ashalom malay chem (Also see John 20:19, 20:21, 20:26). Let the Christian hear these words come from your mouth with meticulous tajweed (pronunciation) and then say them in their Arabic equivalents: Asalamu ‘alaykum. He cannot help but to notice the similarities. Who other than Muslims continue to speak in such ways?

Matthew tells us that Jesus asked God to save him from the ignominy of crucifixion by praying in a very specific manner: "And he went a little further, an d fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39). Matthew also tells us that when the disciples heard the voice of God on the Mount of Transfiguration, they "fell on their faces, and were sore afraid" (Matthew 17:6). Also read how the Hebrew prophets prayed in exactly this manner in Joshua 5:14; I Kings 18:42; Numbers 20:6; Genesis 17:3. Who other than Muslims continue to pray in such ways? (Ali Ataie, In Defense of Islam: Refuting Christians with their own Scriptures, Chapter 3: Refuting Pauline Doctrine, pp. 105-106; source)

When Christian apologist Mike Licona addressed Mr. Ataie’s assertions:

Islam is not the only religion to preach submission to God, and Muslims are not the only adherents of a religion to seek to make peace. Another example of such a religion is, quite obviously, Christianity! And even if Jesus had used the word, "Mushlam" in His day, He used it 6 hundred years before the followers of the Qur'an even called themselves "Muslims." But in Luke 6:40 Jesus did not use a proper noun meaning "those who submit." He used the participle katertismenos, which means "being made ready, prepared, or trained. If Ali has to use a translation of a translation to "discover" that Jesus spoke of Muslims 600 years before the word described followers of Islam, the self-identity of Jesus as a Muslim is probably not there to discover. Moreover, it waters down the meaning of the term "Muslim." Otherwise, since Christians are submitting to God, Muslims should not have any problem with them for rejecting their prophet Muhammad. (Responses to Common Muslim Challenges (as posted on Ali Ataie’s web site): Grilled and Served Up to the Interested; source)

Mr. Ataie responded by stating that:

ALI: Jesus Christ (upon whom be peace) never heard the word "Christian" during his entire life. His religion was a faith of utter submission unto the Will of God. That is called Islam. In Matthew 5:9 in one the Beatitudes which is taken from the Q source document which most scholars believe was written in the 50's and therefore predates Paul, Jesus is reported to have said "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." The Greek word for "peacemakers" in this verse was ignored by Mr. Licona for obvious reasons. It is "eirenopoios" from "eireny" meaning peace.

Even Mr. Licona will have to admit that this word corresponds exactly to "muslimun" from "salam" meaning peace. The Pshitta renders the Greek into the Syriac "l'ovdai shlomo," literally "those who make peace." But the Greek "eirenopoios" is a single word and a much better Semitic equivalent (since Jesus spoke a Semitic language) would be MUSLIM or rather MUSHLAM. You see, the Christians are at a great disadvantage with respect to their scriptures – they do not have the actual words of Christ in his mother tongue but rather Greek translations of several spurious sayings that have been attributed to him by unknown persons. (Ali Ataie's Response to Mike Licona's "Responses to Common Muslim Challenges"; source)

To see how other Muslims use Luke 6:40 to prove that Jesus commanded his followers to become Muslims we recommend the following articles:


Here, we will address the assertion that the Lord Jesus commanded his followers to become Muslims and examine the overall contexts of the passages which Mr. Ataie raised in order to see whether the theology of Christ and his followers comports with the teachings of the Quran.

Muslims and Chronological Fallacies

It is apparent that Mr. Ataie and those Muslims who use this argument are all guilty of committing what is known as a chronological fallacy.

The chronological fallacy is committed whenever a person reads back into a term a later meaning or definition. In other words, even though it may correct that the term Mushlam later meant one who submits or referred to a Muslim, this doesn’t tell us whether it carried this meaning during the time of Christ, especially if we take into consideration that Mushlam is the translation of katertismenos, a word which does not include submission as one of its definitions. More on the meaning of katertismenos shortly.

The Muslims must therefore supply some evidence to prove that in the first century AD Mushlam referred to one who submits.

This in itself is sufficient to silence the Muslim assertion. Yet we will continue to show why this claim that Jesus exhorted his followers to become Muslim is simply erroneous.

The Lexical and Semantic Meaning of Katertismenos

As the readers may already know, the term Islam refers to submission and a Muslim is a submitter or one who submits.

According to the Greek lexicon katertismenos is derived from the word katardidzo, being the participle form of the term. Depending on the context the phrase can carry the following range of meanings:

katardidzo   (Strong’s # G2675)

1) to render, i.e. to fit, sound, complete

a) to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair 1) to complete b) to fit out, equip, put in order, arrange, adjust 1) to fit or frame for one's self, prepare c) ethically: to strengthen, perfect, complete, make one what he ought to be   (source)

Notice that "submission" or "submit" is not listed as a possible meaning of the term, which it would have to if the word is the Greek equivalent of or synonymous with the Arabic term Muslim.

Hence, the Muslims must provide some lexical or textual data to show that during the time of Christ either the Greek term or its Hebrew equivalent carried the meaning of one who submitted.

Does Islam Really Mean Peace?

Mr. Ataie further claims that Islam/Muslim is related to the word salam, meaning peace, and from there connects it to the words used in the Aramaic translation of the NT, particularly shlama/shlomo. Although it is true that both salam and shlama/shlomo are related in meaning, seeing that they are cognate words, it is certainly not true that Islam means peace just because it comes from the same root as salam.

The Quran nowhere defines Islam as peace, nor does it ever say that a Muslim is one who attains peace. The Muslim scripture always defines the word as submission or surrender, plain and simple, just as the following Muslim source candidly admits:

Misconception 1

Islam is `the religion of peace' because:

It might seem strange to think of this as a misconception, but in fact it is. The root word of Islam is "al-silm" which means "submission" or "surrender." It is understood to mean "submission to Allah." In spite of whatever noble intention has caused many a Muslim to claim that Islam is derived primarily from peace, this is not true. Allah says in the Qur'an (translated):

[2:136] Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered. [Arabic "Muslimoon"]

A secondary root of Islam may be "Al-Salaam" (peace), however the text of the Qur'an makes it clear that Allah has clearly intended the focus of this way of life to be submission to Him. This entails submission to Him at all times, in times of peace, war, ease, or difficulty. (Ten Misconceptions About Islam; source)

The following citations substantiate the fact that the terms Islam and Muslim do not mean peace, but submission and surrender:

Nay, but whosoever submits (aslama) his will to God, being a good-doer, his wage is with his Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow. S. 2:112

When his Lord said to him, 'Surrender (aslim),' he said, 'I have surrendered (aslamtu) me to the Lord of all Being.' S. 2:131

What, do they desire another religion than God's, and to Him has surrendered (aslama) whoso is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they shall be returned? S. 3:83

And who is there that has a fairer religion than he who submits (aslama) his will to God being a good-doer, and who follows the creed of Abraham, a man of pure faith? And God took Abraham for a friend. S. 4:125

And it is God who has appointed for you coverings of the things He created, and He has appointed for you of the mountains refuges, and He has appointed for you shirts to protect you from the heat, and shirts to protect you from your own violence. Even so He perfects His blessing upon you, that haply you will surrender (tuslimoona). S. 16:81

Turn unto your Lord and surrender (aslimoo) to Him, ere the chastisement comes upon you, then you will not be helped. S. 39:54

They count it as a favour to thee that they have surrendered (aslamoo)! Say: 'Do not count your surrendering (islamakum) as a favour to me; nay, but rather God confers a favour upon you, in that He has guided you to belief, if it be that you are truthful. S. 49:17; cf. 3:19, 85; 5:3; 6:14; 22:78; 33:35

With the foregoing in perspective we hereby challenge Mr. Ataie, or any other Muslim, to produce a single Quranic verse where Islam or Muslim means peace. If they are unable to then they must drop this line of argumentation since Islam does not mean peace and is therefore not related to the Aramaic word shlama/shlomo.

For more on this issue we suggest reading the following articles:


NT Uses of Katardidzo

In order to further show just how fallacious the Muslim assertion is we will present list of verses where katardidzo appears, and render the word as Muslim to see if this makes sense:

"Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, musliming (katartizontas) their nets. Jesus called them," Mathew 4:21

The disciples’ act of throwing their net is an Islamic act! Who knows, maybe this will encourage Mr. Ataie to start fishing more often.

"‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, "From the lips of children and infants you have muslimed (katertiso) praise".’" Matthew 21:16

God muslimed praise, so that praising is now a person who became Muslim!

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should muslim (katartizete) him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted." Galatians 6:1

Somehow, Musliming someone is synonymous with restoring a sinner.

"What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—muslimed (katertismena) for destruction?" Romans 9:22

This last text says to be Muslimed is to be destroyed! Hence, Muslims need to fear for their lives since God has sworn to destroy them.

"Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and muslim (katartisai) what is lacking in your faith." 1 Thessalonians 3:10

Paul is exhorting believers to Muslim or submit what they lack in faith to Allah.

Does it really make contextual sense to translate katardidzo in these particular texts as Muslim? We will let the readers decide.

The Theological Problems with the Muslim Position

Even if we were to suppose that Muslim is a legitimate definition of the term this still doesn’t lead to the conclusion of polemicists such as Mr. Ataie. After all, to be a Muslim according to the NT is to believe that Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Lord of all, God’s unique and beloved Son, who was crucified for our sins, died and rose again where he now sits enthroned as King of all creation. Note, for example, the context of some the passages which use katardidzo:

"To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be muslimed (katertismenoi) in mind and thought." 1 Corinthians 1:2-3, 7-10

According to the foregoing a Muslim is one who prays to the Lord Jesus, has fellowship with him, receives grace from the Father and the Son equally, and eagerly awaits the coming of Christ.

"For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? … Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for islam (katartizesthe), listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you… May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." 2 Corinthians 13:4-5, 11-14

A Muslim, here, is one who believes that Christ was crucified and raised, has the Lord Jesus living in him/her and receives blessings from the Triune God.

"To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed … And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you muslim (katartisei), firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:1, 10

To be made a Muslim according to Peter is to be in Christ Jesus, the Lord of angels and men, being united to him by faith, and believing in his vicarious death and resurrection:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time… These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:3-5, 7

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God." 1 Peter 1:18-21

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." 1 Peter 2:21-25

"But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit… and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him." 1 Peter 3:14-15, 18, 21-22

Here is another reference:

"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, muslim (katartisai) you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:20-21

Note, once again, that being a true Muslim means believing that Jesus Christ is Lord who suffered, died and rose again, and whose blood ratified God’s eternal covenant with man. In fact, one cannot be perfected or Muslimed apart from believing that the Lord Jesus died in order to redeem him/her from sin and death:

"because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you muslimed (katertiso) for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, "Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, O God."’ First he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’ (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect (teteleioken) forever those who are being made holy." Hebrews 10:4-14

This now leads us into our next section.

The Religion of Peace and Submission according to Jesus Christ

We are now going to examine the immediate context of every specific reference used by Ali Ataie to see whether Jesus’ message regarding the nature of true submission or the attainment of peace comports with the theology of the Quran and Muhammad.

Here is the context of Luke 24 which Mr. Ataie conveniently ignored:

"While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and RISE FROM THE DEAD on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached IN HIS NAME to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."" Luke 24:36-49

The first thing the reader should notice is that Mr. Ataie conveniently forgot to mention that Luke 24 chronicles some of the post-resurrection appearances of the risen Lord Jesus to his followers, something which the Quran denies since it vehemently opposes the notion that Jesus was crucified (cf. Q. 4:157).

Mr. Ataie further ignored the fact that this text emphatically says that peace is achieved when a person believes that Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of sins and was raised back to life on the third day, all of which Muhammad’s (per)version of Islam rejects.

We now turn to the passages from John’s Gospel that Mr. Ataie referenced:

"Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. You heard me say, "I am going away and I am coming back to you." If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Come now; let us leave.’" John 14:23-31


"‘Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.’ Then Jesus’ disciples said, ‘Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.’ ‘You believe at last!’ Jesus answered. ‘But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’" John 16:25-33

According to Christ, the peace that he gives to believers is a direct result of his coming to live with his followers (albeit spiritually, not physically). Moreover, since Christ has conquered the world everyone who believes in him will also conquer since Jesus is with his flock to save and protect them:

"for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God… We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5:4-5, 18-20

Christ also stated that he has the ability to personally dwell and fellowship with every true believer in the same way that the Father does, a rather explicit claim to Deity since this means that Jesus is omnipresent!

The Lord Jesus further says that he came from the Father and would return to him, an emphatic claim to preexistence, and accepts the Apostles’ testimony that he is omniscient or knows all things.

Here is the other text which Mr. Ataie sourced, albeit out of context as well:

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’ Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:19-31

The foregoing dialogue, much like Luke 24, all took place after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, an event which the Quran denies.

In this particular chapter Christ performs Divine functions such as breathing the Holy Spirit upon his followers in order to give them spiritual life, commissioning them to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, and is called the Lord God by one of his disciples without Jesus ever rebuking him for it. In fact, Christ blesses all those who, like Thomas, come to believe and profess that Jesus is their Lord and God without having to see him.

Thus, if these passages are all historically reliable (and Mr. Ataie cites them as such) then Muhammad’s version of Islam is false and he is therefore a false prophet since true peace comes from believing that Jesus Christ is Lord and God’s beloved Son who died for our sins, who was raised back to life, all of which Muhammad contradicted.

There are more problems for Mr. Ataie to contend with.

The Prayers of Christ

Mr. Ataie mentioned the Lord’s prayers in the garden of Gethsemane in order to prove that Jesus prayed like a Muslim since he asks for God’s will to be done as opposed to his own will.

It is truly amazing how Mr. Ataie could make such an assertion when the manner in which Jesus prayed thoroughly conflicts with the way that Muslims pray.

For instance, the allegedly sound ahadith warn Muslims from praying with their eyes opened:

Jabir b. Samura reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: The people who lift their eyes towards the sky in Prayer should avoid it or they would lose their eyesight. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0862)

Abu Huraira reported: People should avoid lifting their eyes towards the sky while supplicating in prayer, otherwise their eyes would be snatched away. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0863)

Now let us see how Jesus prayed, whether he prayed like a Muslim or communicated with God in a manner which directly opposes the teachings of Muhammad:

"Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all." Mark 6:41

"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.’" John 17:1-5

Clearly, Jesus is being a bad Muslim at this point since not only does he pray with his eyes open looking towards the sky, he even addresses God as his Father:

"Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.’ He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.’" Matthew 26:39-42

And also instructed his followers to do the same:

"This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:9-15

"And when you STAND praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." Mark 11:25

Addressing God as Father in prayer causes another major difficulty for Mr. Ataie.

Believers as Children of God

The other dilemma that Mr. Ataie faces is that Muhammad taught that Allah has no children since he isn’t a father, and even rebuked the Jews and Christians for claiming to be the sons of God:

Say the Jews and Christians, 'We are the sons of God, and His beloved ones.' Say: 'Why then does He chastise you for your sins? No; you are mortals, of His creating; He forgives whom He will, and He chastises whom He will.' For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them; to Him is the homecoming. S. 5:18 Arberry

And they say, 'The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous! The heavens are wellnigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains wellnigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but he comes to the All-merciful as a servant; S. 19:88-93 Arberry

The problem with Muhammad’s assertions is that the inspired prophets and apostles, including the Lord Jesus, all taught that God is a spiritual Father who indeed has spiritual children. There is a plethora of passages which underscores this point, some of which include:

"Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’" Hosea 1:10

"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son." Hosea 11:1

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1

This, once again, shows that the Islam that the Lord Jesus and the inspired prophets taught is not the same Islam proclaimed by Muhammad. Muhammad’s Islam is a perversion of the religion of submission which Christ, the prophets and the apostles proclaimed.

For more on this point see the following article: http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/serve_besides_allah3.htm

Doing the Will of God

Mr. Ataie referred to certain verses where the Lord Jesus spoke of doing God’s will, but overlooked the fact (as is his habit) that the Father’s will entails embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

For example, here is the immediate context of Matthew 7:21 in order to more fully appreciate Jesus’ self-understanding:

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Not everyone who says TO ME, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me ON THAT DAY,Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy IN YOUR NAME, and IN YOUR NAME drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" Matthew 7:15-23

What Mr. Ataie expediently failed to notice is that Jesus makes the astonishing claim that people will prophesy in his name and that he will be the One who will determine the eternal fate of a person on the Judgment Day.

To say that this is astonishing would be a wild understatement since the OT says that it is Yahweh who will determine a person’s fate on that specific day:

"Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the Day of Yahweh is coming; it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations... Yahweh utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the Day of Yahweh is great and very awesome; who can endure it?" Joel 2:1, 11

"I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land… Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side." Joel 3:2, 12

The Hebrew Scriptures further teach that God’s prophets are to prophesy in the name of Yahweh and even provides criterion to distinguish a true prophet from a false one:

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.’ The LORD said to me: ‘What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks IN MY NAME, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak IN MY NAME anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.’ You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:15-22

"Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon,’ for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. I have not sent them, declares the LORD, but they are prophesying falsely IN MY NAME, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you." Jeremiah 27:14-15

"For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you IN MY NAME; I did not send them, declares the LORD." Jeremiah 29:8-9

"And if anyone again prophesies, his father and mother who bore him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you speak lies IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.’ And his father and mother who bore him shall pierce him through when he prophesies." Zechariah 13:3

As if this weren’t amazing enough Jesus further says that he will commission prophets:

"Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing." Matthew 23:34-37

Not only will Jesus send prophets but his words also imply that he was the One who sent them in the past to gather Israel together! No wonder the apostle Peter could say that it was the Spirit of the Lord Jesus who spoke through the OT saints:

"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ IN THEM was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things." 1 Peter 1:10-12

It is rather apparent that Jesus believed that he is God since he does the very things which only Yahweh can do and further assumed that there would be prophets prophesying in his name much like there were prophets who spoke in Yahweh’s name!

The Lord Jesus further told people that God’s will is for a person to believe in his Son who would then raise that individual to immortal life:

"‘Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.’ Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’" John 6:27-29

"Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.’" John 6:35-40

With the foregoing in perspective it is rather clear that Jesus believed that doing God’s will meant to fully submit to him as the Sovereign Lord and Judge, the One who has the power to raise the dead to eternal life. Thus, true Islam is to love, believe in and worship Jesus as God’s beloved Son and Savior of the world.

Concluding Remarks

To summarize our arguments, we saw that there is absolutely no basis in the assertion that Jesus commanded his followers to become Muslims simply because a Hebrew translation of Luke 6:40 happens to use the term Mushlam.

We discussed how Muslims like Mr. Ataie are committing a chronological fallacy since they assume that the term Mushlam means the same thing as Muslim without bothering to provide any data from the time of Christ to support this assertion. It may be that this term later came to refer to one who submits, specifically to a Muslim who follows Islam, but this tells us nothing about its precise meaning during the first century.

We provided further evidence to show how unlikely this Muslim view is in light of the fact that Mushlam is the Hebrew translation of katertismenos, a word which does not refer to one who submits.

We also documented how Mr. Ataie committed the root or etymological fallacy for erroneously assuming that just because the words Islam and Muslim share the same root as salam, the Arabic term for peace, this somehow proves they carry the same meaning. The Quran nowhere defines Islam or Muslim as peace but as submission, e.g. Islam is the religion of submission or surrender.

Moreover, we argued that even if the term Mushlam did mean Muslim this still wouldn’t prove that the Lord Jesus was exhorting believers to follow the religion of Islam as propagated by Muhammad. On the contrary, the Islam that the Lord Jesus and his inspired apostles proclaimed entails believing that Christ is God’s beloved and unique Son, the Lord of creation, the Savior of the world who died for our sins on the cross and rose again on the third day.

Thus, true peace with God is only attained by completely surrendering oneself to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Otherwise, a person will continue to remain under the wrath of God:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:16-18

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live… Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned." John 5:24-25, 28-29

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Romans 5:1, 8-11

"for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:9

This means that Muhammad perverted the true religion of submission just as he distorted and garbled up much of Biblical and secular history.

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