Saturday, September 19, 2009

Balance is restored in my universe....

First off, I have to thank NoorTheNinjabi (cute name!) for giving me that link to the guidance prayer.

Second, I think God gave me the answer to my dilemma WAY faster than I could have anticipated. I said that prayer yesterday afternoon, and last night, I went to the book store (just browsing their comparative religion section, seeing what they had).

This is what I found: Jesus and Muhammad: Profound Differences and Surprising Similarities by Mark Gabriel.

The major note on this is that it was written, not as a comparison of Christianity and Islam, but as a scholarly look at the lives and teachings of the respective founders. Basically, he separated the leaders from the followers.

The author: Dr. Gabriel also related his experience growing up as a Muslim (he had the Qur'an memorized by age 12, graduated #2 in a class of 6,000 from Al-Azhar University at 18, and began teaching and leading prayers at the local mosque as an Imam. All along, he got in trouble with his teachers for asking questions about Islam. At 35, he was tortured for 15 days by the Egyptian "secret police" who had been told by the university staff that he had renounced Islam and converted to Christianity. After being released, he quit going to the mosque and turned his back on Islam (in secret). He read the Bible, which had been given to him by a pharmacist, and after reading the Gospels and Acts, he converted to Christianity. He secretly attended church for a year, but was forced to leave Egypt after blurting out the truth to his father, who immediately tried to kill him. He has two PhD's, one in Islamic History, but I forget what the other was. : )

Anyway, I read his book cover-to-cover, and it answered every question and niggling doubt in my mind.

I think that this was God's answer for me (and He sure knows I don't need any more stress in my life right now).


  1. Whoa Nelly! Must have been an amazing book to answer every question and doubt in your mind. Do you recommend it? :)

  2. Yes, I definitely do. There were a few negative reviews on Amazon, but they seemed to be mostly from the "drop the dogma and live in the present"-type crowd. His presentation was straight-forward, respectful of both religions, and the closest I've seen to non-partisan because he wasn't stating his personal beliefs, he was stating historical fact of both leaders as documented in the Koran and hadith and in the Bible.

  3. That actually sounds like a great book. I'll be looking for it sometime here. I'm glad you don't feel so torn at the moment.

  4. Hehehe, I'm glad you like it! :-P

    What did you get out of the book?

  5. That's the first i ever heard of him. I did a google search on him as your recommendation intrigued me and they can't verify his credentials on both sides of the religious spectrum. The university in FL is not accredited and he is not on the record of ever attending al azhar. What year did he graduate?

  6. Tuttie,

    He gave a chronology of his education in the back of the book. I don't remember off the top of my head, so I'll check it and get back to you. : )

  7. With a name like Mark Gabriel, it sounds like he may have changed his name after becoming a Christian. That might make it a little more difficult to figure out the deal with al-Azhar. Not to mention that under the circumstances they may have revoked his degree or something...

  8. PS This book is DEFINITELY on my shopping list as of right now :)

  9. Mark Gabriel had to change his name for personal security reasons. See more on him here: It's number 70.