Muslim Orphans
19 August 2010
As we have seen from my recent book reviews of I Dared to Call Him Father and The Torn Veil, when these two women discovered that God, the creator of the universe, was also their Heavenly Father, this revelation astonished and delighted them deeply. And this reality filled a profound inner emptiness in their hearts.
While we in the West, with a culture built upon Christian principles, may take this concept for granted, and think that it's no big deal, Muslims have no such tradition in their ideology. Such a thought — that Allah is their Father — is shocking to them. In fact, the Qur'an actually teaches AGAINST such an idea. The Qur'an uses the word "father" more than 100 times, but NEVER ONCE does it refer to Allah. But the Qur'an does contain 12 warnings against the concept that Allah has begotten a son, which is intrinsically tied to the concept of Allah as Father. You can read the verses for yourself:
2:116  10:68  17:111  18:4  19:35  19:88 
19:92  21:26  23:91  25:2  37:152  112:3 
The explanatory notes of Yusuf Ali make the meaning of these verses even clearer:
It is a derogation from the glory of Allah — in fact it is a blasphemy — to say that Allah begets sons, like a man or an animal does. The Christian doctrine is here emphatically repudiated.... A first step towards the understanding of Allah's attributes is to clear our mind from superstitions, such as that Allah begot a son.... false ideas of Allah degrade religion in supposing that Allah begot a son.... The belief in Allah begetting a son is not a question of words or of speculative thought. It is a stupendous blasphemy against Allah.... It is destructive of all moral and spiritual order, and is condemned in the strongest possible terms.... This verse refers to the Trinitarian superstition that Allah has begotten a son.... All such superstitions are derogatory to the glory of Allah.... To suppose that Allah has a son ... is to have a low idea of Allah.... This verse negates the Christian idea of the godhead, "the Father", "the only-begotten Son", etc.
These verses from the Qur'an and this commentary clearly illustrate the prevailing Islamic doctrine that calling God "Father" is considered extremely blasphemous. And according to the Islam and blasphemy article on Wikipedia, "Blasphemy in Islam is any irreverent behavior toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs that Muslims revere. The Quran condemns such behavior, and Sharia provides penalties for blasphemy. Where Sharia pertains, the penalties for blasphemy can include fines, imprisonment, flogging, amputation, crucifixion, hanging, or beheading."
Of course, one reason Islam considers this so blasphemous is because they imagine that Christians believe the silly and perverted story that God the Father, Mary, and Jesus make up the Trinity, and that God the Father married Mary, had sex with her, and she gave birth to Jesus. Only the devil could have invented such a disgusting lie! It goes without saying the Christians totally reject such a belief. So the rejection of God as Father by the Muslims is built on a lie in the first place!
No wonder the word "dared" is in the title of Bilquis Sheiks's I Dared to Call Him Father book! In the face of such stiff penalties, it takes a lot of courage for a Muslim to break free from the bondage of centuries and proclaim God as his or her Father. Why is Islam so against this concept?
While part of the answer lies in Islam's origin as a demonic deception (a fact which I have covered extensively in previous articles), as well as Satan's desire to promote incorrect perceptions of the true God of the Bible, I think that part of the answer also lies in the beginnings of the Arab people, as recorded in the book of Genesis in the Bible.
I've already covered this in-depth in a couple of my previous articles, but for the sake of our discussion I will briefly summarize the relevant points here. First of all, from my article Enmity and Reconciliation:
It seems to me that Ishmael's wildness, anger, violence and hostility have their sources in these two issues:
  • Abraham's rejection of Ishmael; although Abraham loved him, he sent Ishmael away from him to live in another land.
  • God's rejection of Ishmael for His covenant plans, even though He still loved Ishmael as a person and blessed him and his descendants.
I believe that these two rejections which Ishmael experienced wounded him so deeply that they have had a major influence on shaping the ethnic and cultural identity of the Arabs up to this very day. The Arabs hate the Jews, and one of the reasons is because the Jews have the Father's blessing. And because of the Arabic beginnings of Islam, this poisonous hate of the Jews, which started with Ishmael and continued with Esau, has become a common passion of Muslims, whether they are ethnic Arabs or not.
And from my article God and Israel:
Abraham is DISOWNING Ishmael! In the culture of that day, the firstborn was highly honored, and practically always received the main inheritance. But in this case, Abraham sends away his firstborn, Ishmael, no longer to live with Abraham as his son, no longer to be disciplined as a son, no longer to receive the inheritance. Abraham is no longer investing his time and energy into Ishmael, to train him and discipline him as a son. For all practical purposes, Ishmael was DISOWNED. Ishmael was totally out of the picture, and was no longer reckoned as one of Abraham's sons. Unfortunately for the Arab Muslims, who are so proud that they are descendants of Abraham, this is a reality that they would be loath to acknowledge.
Ishmael, the father of the Arabs, was rejected by both his human father, Abraham, disowned of his inheritance, and sent to live far away in another land. He was also rejected by his Heavenly Father, who chose to use Isaac for His covenant plans rather than Ishmael. As I wrote previously, I believe that these two rejections which Ishmael experienced wounded him so deeply that they have had a major influence on shaping the ethnic and cultural identity of the Arabs up to this very day, and thus the teachings and belief systems of Islam.
Ishmael, rejected by both his human father and Heavenly Father, became an orphan, both physically and spiritually. And his Arab and Muslims descendants have yet to recover from this fatherless condition. Deep in the heart of every Muslim is the heart of an orphan, crying out for his lost Father. I believe that this is a primary source for the Qur'anic rejection of Allah as Father.
But enough of the bad news. The good news is that from the beginning to the end, the Bible — both the Jewish Old Testament and the Christian New Testament — reveals God to be a Father. And not a harsh, demanding, unloving Father, but a kind, tender-hearted, compassionate, loving Father of the highest degree. There are too many Scriptures to quote them all here, but we'll take a few minutes to look at some of the highlights:
You saw how Yahweh your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. (Deuteronomy 1:31)
Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. (Deuteronomy 32:6,18)
I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever. (1 Chronicles 17:13,22:10b)
I will proclaim the decree of Yahweh : He said to me, "You are my Son ; today I have become your Father." (Psalm 2:7)
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. (Psalm 68:5)
He will call out to me, "You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior." (Psalm 89:26)
As a father has compassion on his children, so Yahweh has compassion on those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:13)
Yahweh disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Proverbs 3:12)
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
But You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; You, O Yahweh, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Your name. (Isaiah 63:16)
Yet, O Yahweh, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation. I thought you would call me Father and not turn away from following Me. (Jeremiah 3:19)
They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's Father, and Ephraim is My firstborn son. (Jeremiah 31:9)
A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a Father, where is the honor due Me? Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? (Malachi 1:6a,2:10a)
This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name..." (Matthew 6:9)
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will Your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11)
...for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:20)
All things have been committed to Me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:27)
And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and He is in heaven. (Matthew 23:9)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
A time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. (John 4:23)
Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:19)
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on My own; but He sent Me. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:42,44)
In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)
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." (John 14:23)
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15)
There is but one God, the Father, from Whom all things came and for Whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all things came and through Whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters," says Yahweh Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:18)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:23)
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! (1 John 3:1)
I may have quoted a lot of verses, but I left A LOT more out! Needless to say, the Bible is overflowing with the revelation of God as Father. To find our more about God as Father, be sure to read this excellent article: The Father Heart of God by John Dawson.
The very good news for the Arabs and Muslims is that even though Ishmael was disowned by Abraham, and excluded from the promises by God, they can still become partakers of the promises to Abraham by faith in Isa (Yeshua, Jesus). Through Isa, they are restored to sonship, can become heirs of Abraham once again, and can dare to call God their Father. Muslims no longer need to remain spiritual orphans, crying out to their Father. For God the Father has been hearing their cry, ever since He heard Ishmael crying under a bush in the desert so long ago (see Genesis 21:14-20). As Isa promised:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (John 14:18,20,21)