A Note From The Author
In writing this book, I have found myself in a difficult position for more than one reason. On one hand, I would like to share with you the reader a little bit about myself – my experience with Christian/Muslim interfaith dialogue and the story of how I came to write this book. On the other hand, I have with good reason, determined not only to use a pen name but also to share as little personal information as possible.
On any given day, I receive one or perhaps several e-mails from Muslim friends from all over the world. Most of these e-mails are very nice and include personal information as well as portions of ongoing theological discussions that we are usually having. This is a delight for me and I truly enjoy and value these friendships. Unfortunately, not all of the e-mails that I receive are pleasant or friendly. While the following e-mail was not the only death threat that I have received, it was this one in particular that caused me to begin practicing quite a bit more discretion in my interactions with Muslims in the context of interfaith dialogue. (The portions in [brackets] I have added for clarity):
…Allahu Akhbar!! [Allah is the greatest!!] Yaaaa Allah!! [Oh Allah!!] I will chop off your head! May Allah damn you and your whole family. May you and your whole family all rot in hell forever. I want you to know that all Muslims call upon Allah to damn you and put you in hell. I will personally kill you. I will personally kill your family. You will die a very slow and painful death Inshallah [by the will of Allah]. Ameen, Ameen, Ameen [Amen, Amen…]. Allahu Akhbar!! Allahu Akhbar!! Yaaaa Allah!
It was not only the nature and the intensity of this threat that caused me to take it seriously, but also the perfect punctuation, spelling and sentence structure. There were no indicators that this threat came from outside of the country.
Now I have to admit, I have no idea specifically what motivated this particular threat. I am not sure specifically what I said or did that incurred such a strong reaction. Of course, when speaking with Muslims, my normal practice is to speak equally as straightforwardly about everyone’s need for a savior as most of my Muslim friends likewise speak very straightforwardly about our lack of a need for a savior. Seems reasonable to me. But apparently for this great sin, I received this threat to my life and to the life of my family. While threats of this sort are certainly not uncommon in many parts of the world, it still amazes me that merely sharing my beliefs could incur such a strong reaction. In any case, for obvious reasons, for the safety of myself and my family, I have chosen to remain anonymous with regard to this book. I trust that you understand.
Nevertheless, in order to establish a measure of credibility with the readership, I will simply say that the information in this book comes from a person who is not only well versed in the Islamic source materials and the sacred literature that is quoted throughout this book, but who also, as noted above, has extensive experience in interfaith religious dialogue with Muslims. The information that you will read has been researched in an exhaustive fashion. To convey an accurate and complete picture of Islamic doctrine and belief, I have not only utilized nearly every book available in English on the subject of Islamic eschatology, but also articles beyond counting as well as the interviews of hundreds of Muslims about their specific beliefs about the last-days. My purpose here was not merely to present a book which would educate Christians; I also wanted to write a book that any Muslim – even if they disagree with my conclusions – would appreciate for both its honesty and its use of quality references. While I’m quite sure that due to the nature of this book, very little will go unchallenged by Muslim apologists, I have written this work knowing that any reader who looks up the sources can see for themselves that what I have written is an accurate representation and overview of Islamic teaching and belief. I have also striven to be as non-sensational as the subject matter allows. I have personally read many overly sensational works on the subject of prophecy and I do not personally value this approach.
The other primary reason that I had a hard time writing this book is that it is, to some degree, a polemical work. While I am not above writing a book of this nature, if at all possible, I would far rather avoid it altogether. While I do believe that polemics have a completely valid place within the landscape of Christian/Muslim interfaith dialogue, I am also aware that love will win far more souls into God’s Kingdom than a hundred intellectual reasons. As Samuel M. Zwemer, the Apostle to Islam – a true forerunner among Christian missionaries to Muslims of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century related, "After forty years’ experience – sometimes heartbreaking experience, of sowing on rocks and of watching the birds pick away the seed to the last grain – I am convinced that the nearest way to the Muslim heart is the way of God’s love, the way of the cross." 1 I fully agree. I would far rather be involved in the type of relationship with Muslims that consists of mutually beneficial dialogue and genuine friendships rather than engaging in polemics which are by their very nature negative to a degree. Indeed, this book contains much information about Islam that is negative. In fact much of it is outright disturbing. Nevertheless, I felt a very strong mandate from the Lord that this book needed to be written and this information made known. The primary purpose of this book is to warn – both those within and those outside of the church walls.
I also want to stress very strongly that the purpose of this book is by no means to "bash" Muslims in any way. While the premise and the points of this book are indeed a strong charge against the religion of Islam, this should not be interpreted in any way as therefore being an attack against Muslim individuals. Like any other religion, Islam is not monolithic and not all Muslims believe or agree with everything that is contained in this book. This point cannot be stressed enough. Many Muslims are very wonderful and peaceful people. We must never categorize anyone according to the particular group that they belong to but rather we need to get to know people personally, one individual at a time. As such, because of the frightening and rather disturbing information about Islam that this book contains, I strongly encourage you at the outset to spend some time in prayer and ask God to protect you from any negative feelings, fears or prejudices that the human heart is so prone to, and instead to touch your heart with His heart for Muslims. Perhaps you will, like myself, fall in love with these who God so eagerly desires to adorn with redemption, transformation and His beautiful garments of salvation. And if you are a Muslim, I pray along with you, that through the ancient prophecies analyzed in these pages, truth would become manifest and that God will guide you to the straight path.
- Samuel S. Zwemer, editor Roger S. Greenway, Islam and the Cross: Selections from "The Apostle to Islam", (Phillipsburg, P&R Publishing, 2002), p. 56
© 2009 – 2011, Matt. All rights reserved.