Catholic and Muslim Similarities
In this study, I have found a tight relationship with Catholicism. Muslims are following similar practices of Catholics in fighting off the demonic world. For example:
The Use of Holy Water —
• Catholics believe there is power in the water that is blessed by a priest or the pope.
• Muslims believe that the water from the Zamzam well in Mecca has super natural power to it.
The Use of Shrines and praying to the Dead –
• Muslims will travel great distances to visit the tombs of dead Muslims who were related to Muhammad, in hopes that by touching, kissing, or embracing it they may receive some sort of blessing or power over the Jinns.
• Catholics will do the same. My parents are Baptist Church planters in Ireland and while I was visiting them in Droghada I also visited the cathedral. On the left hand side of the cathedral is a glass chapel with a glass alter. On this alter there is a glass box which contains the mummified head of Oliver Plunkett, the Archbishop of Armagh. Today, thousands of Catholics will pray to the dead, like St. Olie (Oliver Plunkett) believing that the dead will give them some kind of power or blessing just like Muslims.
Compare the Penance of some Catholics with the Shi’ite practice of Ashura -
Self-flagellation is practiced in both Catholicism and Islam. To pay for ones sins, they must persecute their body. This is a sad sight to behold but the greater crime is that Muslim fathers will take the blades to their own toddler boys and cut their child’s scalp.
The Veneration of Mary – the Mother of Christ -
Perhaps the only other religious group in the world that venerates Mary as much as the Catholics will be the Muslims. There are many shrines to Mary to which both Catholics and Muslims will undertake long pilgrimages.
For example, in Portugal we have the famous shrine to Mary in Fatima where both Catholics and Muslims will worship and pray. It is also important to note that the town of Fatima in Portugal is named after Muhammad’s favorite daughter ‘Fatima.’
Other examples are:
• The Catholic Rosary and the Muslim prayer beads
• The head coverings – Notice how the Muslim Hijab and the Catholic Habbit look very similar.
• The Catholic Purgatory and the Muslim ‘al-A raf’
• Use of Relics
All of these things have nothing to do with scriptural Christianity and scriptural Islam.
Pirs – Practitioners – Holy Men – Saints – Shrines
We have been talking this week about the Demonic world of Islam. Today we are going to address the Muslim use of Shrines – Relics – ‘Pirs’ — Practitioners which are used to ward off the Evil Spirits that are troubling Muslims.
The picture above is a man chained to a shrine. In the same picture, you will a young child, kissing the tomb. It is common that if a person has a mental illness, they will chain them to a shrine or a tomb of a holy person, sometimes as long as 40 days, in hopes that some miracle power of the dead saint will be passed on to the ailing person.
Muslims will flock to these shrines by the masses to rub, kiss and embrace these holy shrines so that they might gain power and protection from the Jinn – Demons. I have learned that there is a certain day that is they day to pray to or travel to the shrines and that is Thursday. Thursday is the day you go to the shrine, and Friday is the day you go to the Mosque.
In the Islamic world, the Kafir are called the Saturday people and the Sunday people. Who traditionally worships on Saturday’s? — the Jews . Who traditionally worships on Sunday? — The Christians.
The Muslims are the Friday people, the Jews are the Saturday people and the Christians are the Sunday people. But now we add Thursday to the Folk Muslims, the ones who practice animism.
Now it is important for me to stress that not all Muslims practice this. Although it is practiced in every denomination of Islam, it mainly practiced in the Shi’ites and the Suffi denominations.
Some Muslims will say this is not taught in the Qur’an and many Sunni Muslims will treat Shi’ites and Suffis and heretics and say they are guilty of Shirk (making the departed saints, partners with God.) Some Suffi Muslims have destroyed some tombs of departed holy men or saints, when the Shi’ites or Suffis were using them to worship God. In fact, in the middle ages, if my understanding is correct, they Suffis destroyed the actual tomb of Muhammad which is about 100 km North of Mecca. They did it because some Shi’ites were worshiping Muhammad through his tomb. The tomb and shrine has since been rebuilt and many who travel to Mecca for the Hajj (The pilgrimage that every Muslim is obligated to do at some time in their life), they will travel to Muhammad’s tomb believing his tomb will give them some kind of spiritual blessing.
Also in Mecca, there is the famous well called the Zamzam well. Tradition tells us that when Hagar and Ishmael were about to die in the wilderness for lack of water, Hagar ran seven times between the two hills; There are different versions of the tradition from this point: Either Ishmael that kicked his heel into the ground and water sprang up, or it was the Angel Gabriel that showed up to kick the ground.
Many Muslims believe that the water is ‘Holy Water’ and that it has healing properties and when Muslims prepare to return from the Hajj back to their homes, they will buy Jerrycans, five gallon containers, and take the Zamzam water home with them. Missionaries have witnessed airport’s baggage claim conveyors filled with these Jerrycans as Muslims are returning home from the Hajj.
Muslims will go to Pirs — That is spelled P.I.R. or Practitioners to either get a spell placed on someone or if they need something divined to them. For example, to find out what the sex of their baby will be when it is born, or to find out who is responsible for something bad happening to them.
A Pir may do a number of things to divine this information. One thing that is popular is to take the prayer beads. Muslims have something very similar to the Rosary but it will have 99 beads. Each bead for the 99 names of God. To divine who might be responsible, they will take a name of a likely suspect. The Pir will give some kind of encantation, he will then pick up the prayer beads and randomly select a bead and work his way backward to the beginning saying, Yes, No, Yes, No for each bead. If he lands on ‘No’ at when we gets to the beginning of the prayer beads, then they go onto the next suspect and repeat the process.
Another way they might do this is to take a napkin and a fresh egg. They will place the egg inside the napkin and a list of names is collected as suspects, and when a name is called, the PIR will twist the napkin. Upon each turn, the napkin will get tighter and tighter and eventually, the egg will break. The name that is mentioned when the egg is broken is the culprit.
The PIR sounds a lot like a Witch Doctor doesn’t it. This is the use of the occult, mysticism and superstition and the Muslim world is riddled with these practices. If you have not noticed, some of these things we have talked about is not exclusive to the Muslim world but also in some parts of the Christian world. More on that in the next broadcast.
Jinns are spirit beings that may either be good or may be bad. Jinn is where we get the word Genie, like the Genie in the lamp. We in America can all remember the comedy TV show – — “I dream of Jeannie” - Where an Astronaut (Larry Hagman) stumbles upon a mystical bottle that contains a female Genie (Barbara Eden). Or perhaps you have heard of the mythical tale of Aladdin and the Genie.
BTW, did you hear the story about the Ahmad the Arab that fell off his camel and hit his head on something hard underneath the sand?
He brushed away the sand and uncovered an oil lamp. He rubbed it and out popped a Genie.
He said, ‘You know the drill, you get three wishes. But I know you and I know that you hate your neighbor. So everything you ask for, I will perform it, but I will give a double portion to your neighbor.”
Ahmad being filled with excitement hastily wished for 1,000 camels and pfoof, he got a 1,000 camels but his neighbor got 2,000 camels.
Ahmad was upset but out of his greed he quickly wished for a 1,000 chests of priceless gold and jewels. And ‘Bam’, He got them but his neighbor got 2,000 chests filled with priceless gold and jewels.
Ahmad thought carefully before his third and last wish. He then demanded for the Genie to beat him half to death. (lol)
As a devil or a Jinn, which most often an evil spirit, can take up residence in ones nose, Jinns can be anywhere. Therefore, Muslims do not spit for they might spit on a Jinn. They even give their family members fake or pseudo names as Jinns can hear. So if, your brother had good fortune befall him, let’s say he is able to buy a goat. That goat will provide milk and wool and therefore some small measure of prosperity to his family. You would not want to spread that news that your brother had this good fortune as a Jinn might hear it and decide to bring harm to you. So you would use a ‘pseudo’ name to confuse the Jinns, thus protecting your family from Jinns.
Generally speaking, Jinns are demonic creatures that Muslims live in constant fear of. Now, let’s keep this in context with Muhammad’s life. Muhammad was living in a culture that worshiped idols and many believed that these inanimate objects of wood or stone contained power. Their superstition was strong, and if anyone had fallen into misfortune, say poor health, or their milking cow stopped giving milk, or a their baby died, then they would want to know who was responsible. Is God judging them for a sin, or did someone cast an evil spell on them.
This still goes on in many Muslim cultures.
This brings me to the EVIL eye.
The Evil Eye is also known as the Envious Eye. When someone, perhaps a cousin, nephew or a neighbor becomes envious of you or for some reason want to bring harm on you, They may go to someone who has power with the Jinns to cast an evil eye on you. It is believed that you can have a curse on you.
These powers are great and real as many Muslims experience these dark powers working against them. This keeps Muslims in fear. Some will go to the Imams for answers and protection. However, many fight the evil Spirits with Pirs — Practitioners that will break the spell. We will talk about them a bit in tomorrow’s Broadcast.
Most of this activity is the fault of the prophet Muhammad as he taught these things and they are even in the Qur’an.
“The evil eye is a fact.” Bukhari vol.7 book 71 no.636 p.427, and vol.7 book 71 no.827 p.538. See also Bukhari vol.4 book 55 no.590 p.386
“…The influence of the evil eye is a fact.” Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 24 no.5426 p.1192. See also Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 24 no.5424-5427 p.1192.
Cures for the Evil Eye — Relics — Muhammad’s hair.
However, Mohammed’s hair was a cure for the evil eye. Bukhari vol.7 book 72 no.784 p.518
When Mohammed got his hair cut, his companions wanted to catch every lock to preserve it. Mohammed generously had it distributed among the people. Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 7 no.2991-2994 p.656-657
Incantation cures the evil eye.
Ibn-i-Majah vol.5 no.3510,3511 p.41; vol.5 no.3512 p.42
- Usual incantation may be the Fatiha — Reciting the First Surah
- Repeating Allahu Akbar
Mohammed used incantation against the evil eye and poisonous reptiles. Ibn-i-Majah vol.5 no.3525 p.48
Mohammed gave ‘Aisha an incantation to cure the evil eye Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 24 no.5445,5447-5450 p.1196
The Last two suras (113 and 114) of the Qur’an were given against the evil eye according to Ibn-i-Majah vol.5 no.3517 p.41
Warning from Scripture:
The Evil Eye is nothing more than the work of the OCCULT –
Pr 23:6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
Prov 16:30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
After taking a class last week on the ‘Spirit World of Islam’, I have come to discover that many Muslims are practicing a type of Islam that is mixed up with animism, and superstition.
I guess this should not be a surprise as Islam was born out of idolatry, animism and mysticism.
Let’s define some terms here that we might not be familiar with:
Animism is the belief that souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology.
Mysticism is a conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences.
With Mohammad being raised as an Idolater and coming from the line of a famous pagan Priest – Qussay Ibn Kilab, paganism and worship of Idols would run deep in his world view. This background would have instilled fetishes into his early life, as that was the culture of his day. (A Fetish is the attribution of religious or mystical qualities to inanimate objects, known as fetishes.)
Amulets were worn as good luck charms to ward off evil spirits and would bring them good fortune.
Now, if what I am saying is true. Then we would be able to see superstition and animism slipping into the Qur’an and the Traditions of Muhammad.
One of the key tenants of Islam is the Salaat — The Daily Prayers. There is also another practice that accompanies the daily prayers and that is the ritual cleansing. This is called ‘Ablution’ or the Arabic word is wudhu .
There are Nine things every good Muslim is to ritually cleanse before he prays and they are to be done in this order:
- Hands — Start with the Right hand including the wrist — 3 times then to the Left hand.
- Mouth – suck in water and rinse out — 3 times
- Nose – sniff in water and rinse out — 3 times
- Face –Wash face from Hairline to jaw and ear to ear – 3 times
- Beard – Wash beard and run wet fingers through as a comb – only once
- Arms – Wash right arm from fingers and to include the elbows – 3 times then to the left arm
- Head — With wet hands and start at the hairline and wipe backward to the nap of the neck only once.
- Ears – Clean the ears with the wet tips of the index finger and then with the thumbs rub the back of the ear from bottom to top.
- Feet — Wash the right foot and ankle 3 times and then wash the left foot.
Let’s go back to the nose. In the Traditions of Muhammad, he taught the following:
“Abu Huraira reported: The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said. When any one of you awakes up from sleep and performs ablution, he must clean his nose three times, for the devil spends the night in the interior of his nose.” Sahih Muslim –Vol 1,462
This is not a remote teaching. As we find others report this same tradition from Mohammad.
“We should believe that Satan actually stays in the upper part of one’s nose, though we cannot perceive how, for this is related to the unseen world of which we know nothing except what Allah tells us through His Apostle.” Bukhari vol.4 book 54 no.516 p.328.
“Sniffing water up your mouth and nose drives the sins out of the mouth and nose. ” Ibn-i-Majah vol.1 book 1 no.282 p.163.
This must be done an odd number of times …..
“But be sure to cleanse your nose an odd number of times.” Ibn-i-Majah vol.1 book 1 no.406 p.228
Satan does not just effect your nose…
“Blowing your nose and menstruating are acts of Satan.” Ibn-i-Majah vol.2 no.969 p.87.
If that’s not bad enough we also learn…
“yawning is from Satan” according to Bukhari vol.8:242 p.157
So imagine what you have been told as a Muslim. You believe Muhammad to be God’s prophet and he teaches you that at night, a devil takes up residence in your nose. To get him out, you have to clean your nose out with water, three times. Missionaries in Muslim countries have remarked on the awful morning noise that comes from their neighbors as they blow their noses vigorously to exterminate or could I say, exorcise a demon out of their nasal cavity.
This sounds funny to us in the West, to a people who are not overcome with superstition and folklore, but in the Muslim world, this is real to them. Fears abound and millions are enslaved to the idea that they have to clean the devil out of their nose with this morning ablution.
The Good News is that Muslims can be freed from this hopelessness and fear. In Christ, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, God makes his children to be over comers of the spirit world.
1Jo 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
We have power over the enemy
Lu 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
More on this tomorrow.
I am firmly convinced that Mohammad invented this religion, Islam, with the aid of demonic help. A rational man cannot say that Mohammad was getting revelation from the same source that the Holy Bible came from. There are too many contradictions between the Qur’an and the Holy Bible and their end goal is not the same. The Bible directs me to worship a God that is three in one. The Qur’an directs me to worship a God that does not have a son nor is that God a father. I believe one came from a heavenly ‘revalator’ and the other, the Qur’an, came from another source.
On the surface, it would seem that the Qur’an forbids Muslims to interact with the demonic world; for example, pray to the dead, divine the future, dabble with the occult, etc…. Yet upon careful examination of the Qur’an and the Sunnah we see that doors are left open to engage in this.
Most of the demonic activity is not what academics classify as “formal” or “high” Islam but rather seen more in “popular” Islam. The “popular” Islam means what is commonly practiced by Muslims world wide. It is estimated that 70-75% of the Islamic world is riddled with “spiritual’ or rather ‘demonic’ practices. Muslims will often wear amulets (talisman) to protect them from evil spirits (Jinns). They will often seek out holy men to break spells or cast spells on their enemies. They seek out ‘diviners’ to tell them the future or find out who is responsible for something that brought them misfortune.
Last week, I sat under the instruction of Dr. Larson, studying the ‘The Spirit World of Islam.’ It exposed me to vast schisms within Islam and how many Muslims are living in fear of the spiritual world. Dr. Warren Larson, a professor at the Zwemer Institute, discusses this with me in today’s broadcast. From his long experience in missionary work with Muslims, he addresses the superstition that plagues Muslims. I will be addressing more about Islams acquaintance with the ‘Spirit’ world in tomorrow’s broadcast.