The Christian Faith and Worship [Muslim Perspective]

As discussed in the earlier pages the Gospels do not prove conclusively that Jesus Christ (peace be on him) ever preached any new religion. In fact, his mission during his three year prophetic period was aimed at convincing the Jews that they had gone astray much from the path of God due the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes among them and that therefore they should go back to the folds of the true laws through repentance, mutual love, justice-and most of all by following the law in letter and spirit as preached by his Gospels revealed by God, which among others are highlighted in the ”Sermon the Mount” in Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7. No one can have any doubt that these had been the essence of the Law in the Commandments of the Old Testament records considered as the Five Books of Moses (peace be on him) and that those were amplified by the Gospel highlighting how committing of sins may be totally avoided by restraining ones thoughts, senses and actions in advance. Further, the New Testament records say that he used to pray in private and instruct his disciples “to pray by going into thine own room, shutting the doors and pray to the father who is in secret” (Matt. 6:6-13), and that whenever he used to preach before the Jews and his disciples, he always used to worship secretly, and alone. Is it appealing to sense and reason therefore to even imagine that this prophet of the One God could have ever committed the major sin of attribution of sonship of God to himself or oneness with God to himself or could have given himself any share in the exercise of the absolute power of God, which are acts punishable by death according to the Torah?

That until a few decades after the ascension of Christ (peace be on him) his followers had no separate place of worship and any separate identity of their own is proven from the fact that it was after the fellowship was thrown open to gentiles, mainly Greeks and heathens in Antioch, and after Barnabas had brought Paul also to Antioch that the followers of Christ (peace be on him) had been called as “Christians” for the first time (Acts 11:26). However, even after this epoch-making event about the fifth decade C.E as well as during their earlier first missionary journey, Paul, John and Barnabas “proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews in Cyprus” (Acts 13:5). In Antioch of Pisidia too the same was the case (Acts 13:16-44). However, it was because the Jews reviled and contradicted Paul that they had to turn to the gentiles as the last resort under great opposition (Acts 13:45-50) from evangelists who had come from Judea to Antioch and therefore Paul and Barnabas had to go to seek the decision of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem on the matter (Acts 15:1-5). It is seen that the ascension that developed was on the questions of throwing the movement open to all gentiles who were not circumcised, whereas the Jews were, and the eating of foods that were forbidden in the Mosaic law as being unclean. Then it was the Council of Jerusalem under the advice of James that decided to exempt the gentiles from the act of circumcision and to permit them to eat anything except what was sacrificed to the idols, blood and what was strangled, and to refrain from unchastity (Acts 15:6-29) It seems that on these very issues, and possibly more too, Barnabas and Mark had to part their ways with Paul and Silas after “there arose a sharp contention” (Acts 15:36-40). After this incident, strange enough, the New Testament does not state any reconciliation between the two groups and Barnabas and Mark also do not get even mentioned thereafter. In any case, it is clear from the above that a the beginning of the sixth decade C.E., the Christian Church, which was formed only during the last few years, had already started dividing up doctrinally into groups as the result of deviation from the path shown by Jesus Christ (peace be an him) as to how and among whom the spread of the word of God was to be directed. In conclusion therefore, it is clear that Jesus (peace be on him) and his early apostles and disciples had neither shown nor directed any way of life, devotion and worship different from the ways of the real Torah nor a separate place of preaching other than synagogues of Jews. Thus, even as per the New Testament essentially it was only the question of repentance and mending the wrong ways in accordance with the Mosaic Law in letter and spirit that Jesus Christ (peace be on him) preached during his short prophetic period aimed at the children of Israel, alone.

As seen from the foregoing paragraphs, it was because of the fact that the fellowship of the disciples of Christ (peace be on him), which originally was confined to Jews only, was thrown open to gentiles after exempting them from circumcision that a separate church including place of worship exclusive for the Christians had to be established first in Antioch. Since then, on the basis of the Pauline deification of Christ (peace be on him) in the holy alliance of the Trinity, whereby Jesus Christ (peace be on him) acts as and on behalf of God though the concept of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in granting unconditional pardon of sins to his disciples, took firm ground as the linchpin of the Christian faith and worship through an initiation ceremony called, Baptism.

It may be important in this connection to mention that during the fourth century C.E., a. dispute also existed between the Antioch and Alexandrian schools of churches on the questions of “inspiration” and “incarnation” in respect of the “divine presence through the Holy Spirit” in churches. Earlier, during the latter part of the first century itself, the followers of Christ (peace be on him) had split into two main camps, one believing in him as “the son of man with no divinity attached to him other than a miraculous prophet of God” and the other believing him to be “the Son of God,” the last spearheaded by Paul. It is a matter of critical history how this split aggravated subsequently into a confrontation between them leading to the success of the propagators of the schism whose faith and belief – “God is one in essence but three in the person of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit” and the “uniqueness of God in Jesus Christ” – had come to stay ever since for tens of centuries as the indisputable doctrine of the Church as contained in the “Declaration of Creed” to be confirmed by all devotees at the time of the baptismal initiation into the Christian church in total deviation from the acute monotheism of the covenant and laws of the Torah preached by many a prophet of the children of Israel from Moses down to Jesus Christ (peace be on them).

Notwithstanding the above, no one may ignore another fact of history that a group among the Christians called the Hypsistarians, who considered Jesus (peace be on him) as a prophet of God alone and refused to believe in the Trinity or the assignment of sonship of God and divinity to Jesus (peace be on him) also did exist up to about the fourth century C.E. They considered God not as “The Father,” but as a mighty ruler of the world, being the highest with no one equal to Him. Prior to that, as the Gospel of Barnabas proves, he and Mark along with their followers also did not believe either in the divinity of Christ or that he was the son of God. In his Gospel, Barnabas even reports that Jesus (peace be on him) admonished anyone who attributed divinity to him and that he used to impress on all that he was nothing but a messenger of God like his predecessors Moses, Abraham and others (peace be on them).

It is also found that in later years Paul of Samosata who was the bishop of Antioch, was of the view that Christ (peace be on him) was not God, but only a holy man and prophet and that God could not have become a man. Again, Lucian, the bishop of Antioch, well known for his sanctity as well as a reputed scholar who was martyred in 312 C.E., was strongly against the belief in the Trinity. He is said to have deleted all mention of the Trinity from the Church canons because this, according to· him, was a later interpolation not found in the earlier Gospels. Further on, Arius, a disciple of Lucian (250-336 C.E.) and a Libyan by birth who had a large following, also believed that “howsoever much Christ may surpass other created beings, he himself was not of the same substance his God, but was a human being as any other.” In fact, he shook the very foundations of the Pauline Church. However, in 325 C.E., Emperor Constantine, being a supporter of Christianity without himself being actually a Christian, in the interest of carrying on with his own administration, having desired to unite the different factions and particularly the two contending strong factions of Christians, one under Arius and the other under bishop Alexander, called a conference of Christians of all opinions at Nicaea. Confused, but wanting to have the cooperation of Christians, Constantine backed the larger section of them under Athanasius, who had succeeded Bishop Alexander as the head of the Pauline Church, and banished Arius from the realm. Thereafter the belief in the Trinity became the official Christian faith of the Empire and was followed by the horrible massacre of Christians who did not believe in the concept. Also, the possession of any version of Bible not authorized by the· Church became a penal offense in the Roman Empire. It is said that over 270 different versions of the Bible including the Hebrew versions were then burned. The Nicaean Council had decreed that the New Testament as it is found today was the only authorized version of the Christian Church. Nevertheless, the course of events changed when in 336 C.E., consequent on the emperor accepting the faith of his sister Constantina and Arius. Arius too was recalled but soon he was murdered. The emperor having known of the plot, banished Athanasius and his two other bishops from the empire and himself accepted Christianity of the Arius faith, whereby monotheism became the official Christian religion of the Roman Empire. On the death of Constantine in 337 C.E., the new emperor, Constantius, who had also accepted the faith of Arius, called a Christian conference at Antioch in 341 C.E. in which again monotheism was accepted as the correct Christian faith. This decision was reconfirmed by another council held in 351 C.E. at Sermium. St. Jerome, however, wrote of this in 359 C.E. that “the whole world groaned and marveled to find itself Arian.”

The mutual killings of Christians still fresh in his memory, Pope Honorius wanted in the early seventh century to find a solution to the cause of dissension and he tried to support the doctrine of “one God” because he believed that if God had three independent minds the result would be chaos. Although this concept of one God was not challenged by any for a considerable time, in 680 C.E. in another Council of Churches held in Constantinople, Honorius was anathematized, a unique act in the history of the Papacy when a pope was denounced by a succeeding pope. Nevertheless, long after this incident, in 1547C.E., L. F. M. Sozzini, a native of Siena (1525-1565 C.E.) who having come under the influence of Camillo, a Sicilian mystic, challenged Calvin on the doctrine of the Trinity, amplifying the doctrine of Arius and denying the divinity of Christ as well as repudiating the doctrine of original sin and atonement. According to him, the only object of adoration could be the one and only One God. He was followed by his nephew F. P. Sozzini (1539-1604), who published a book on the gospel of St. John denying the divinity of Jesus. With the assistance and collaboration of others like him, such as John Sigismund, the ruler of Transylvania, who was an antagonist of the Trinity doctrine, and Bishop Francis David (1510-1579 C.E.), also an anti-Trinitarian, Sozzini formed in 1578 C.E. a sect known as ”Rocovian Catechism” after the city of Racow in Poland, which was a stronghold of the faith of Arius.

Today, there are a large number of men and women among Christians who believe in only One God, denying the divinity of Christ (peace be on him) as well as the doctrine of the Trinity. However, they are voiceless and helpless under the strong power of the Church. Even Athanasius, the champion of the trinity doctrine, is reported to have said that in spite of all his efforts to mediate in the divinity of Jesus (peace be on him), his toilsome and unavailing efforts recoiled on themselves, making him incapable of expressing his thoughts, which made him pronounce, “There are not three, but One God!” From his close association with many followers of Christianity, the author of this book has found that due to similar contradictions between the faith propagated by the Church and the inherent reasoning present in the individual particularly in the educated generation of today, many an enlightened modern man does not bother much about what the ecclesiastics of the church pressure him to believe, although he himself was born, named, baptized, brought up and would even call himself a Christian.

Source: A Comparative Study of the Religions of Today by Mohammed Ali Muhiyaddin. Pg. 57-61.

How to Worship Allah During the Last 10 Nights of Ramadan

Many Muslims are unaware of exactly how to utilize the last 10 blessed nights of Ramadan. How do we keep ourselves engaged for the whole night? Won’t we get bored and burnout? Nobody really tells you HOW to worship during these nights but just mention its benefits. So I decided to write up some brief suggestions that I hope will be of benefit to you all insha’Allah. Please note that these are ONLY recommendations and you don’t need to stick to it word-for-word, rather, you can add/subtract/modify as necessary according to your own circumstances. The objective is to provide some sort of sample structure because I know many Muslims are not aware of it and don’t know WHAT to do. They start something but just end up getting bored and falling asleep.

Let’s begin.

The key thing to keeping yourself engaged in the last 10 nights of Ramadan is to diversify the types of worships that you do. If you stick to doing just one thing for too long, then you risk burning out and just falling asleep due to boredom while you should be staying awake! Thus, I suggest to compartmentalize worship during the night into the following categories:


This is the most important worship that one should be doing during the night. It is the greatest form of dhikr. The Angel Jibril used to finish the Qur’an with the Prophet (ﷺ) every Ramadan and in the last Ramadan of his life he finished it with him twice!

The early Muslims (salaf) used to strive in Ramadan to finish reciting the Qur’an multiple times in the month not just once. Imam Shafi’ used to finish it 60 times in Ramadan and it is reported about Imam Malik:

وكان الإمام مالك إذا هلّ هلال شهر رمضان يُغلق كُتبَه، ويترك مجالس العِلم ويتفرّغ لِقراءة القُرآن الكريم، ومدارسته وحضور مجالسه

“When the new moon of Ramadan would be sighted, he would close his books, leave his gatherings of knowledge, and devote himself to the Qur’an by: reciting it, studying it, and attending its gatherings.”

Now, I realize most of us don’t have what it takes to do it 60 times but we can learn something from the above on how to use the Qur’an during the last 10 nights. We diversify between: recitation, reading tafseer, listening to tafseer lectures, and anything else related to it. Devote some time to each of these activities to keep yourself busy each night. Find verses/surahs that intrigue you and go to your favorite tafseer books and delve deeper into them. Ponder and reflect over their meanings. Go to your favorite tafseer lecturer (Arabic or English) and devote some time listening to tafseer of the Qur’an. And of course, don’t forget to dedicate some time to just plain recitation in Arabic. For those who do not have any tafseer books in the house, then I make the following suggestions:

Stand in Prayer

The salah combines many different types of worship into one: dhikr, supplication, sending prayers on the Prophet (ﷺ), and recitation of the Qur’an. This is why it is an excellent choice to engage yourself with during these blessed nights as well. You can either do it yourself or with others so it’s up to you. Do whatever is easier for you. Some people feel they can focus better if they do it on their own while others feel more energetic when they join others. If you do it on your own, then don’t rush through it but just take your time and go slow reminding yourself whom you are standing before!

The Hanbali and Shafi’ scholars allow reading directly from the copy of the Qur’an in supererogatory prayers (nafl), therefore, this is another option for you if you do not have long surahs memorized. Try to read half or one full page in each unit (rak’ah) of prayer.

General Dhikr

Make use of the numerous adhkaar that are mentioned in the sunnah. You can use a book like Hisnul Muslim for this which is available to download from the web (just Google it or download one of the numerous apps for it). The key is to repeat the dkhikr over and over again slowly and really reflecting over its meaning. The best dhikr is to say:

  • SubhanAllah (سبحان الله)
  • Alhamdulillah (الحمد لله)
  • Allahu Akbar (الله أكبر)
  • La ilaha illa Allah (لا إله إلا الله)
  • La hawla wala quwwata illa billah (لا حول ولا قوة إلّا بالله)

If you kept yourself to just the above if you don’t know anything else, it would suffice! You can also add the phrases, “SubhanAllahi wabi hamdi (سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ), SubhanAllahi al-azeem (سُبْحانَ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ), which the Prophet (ﷺ) described as light on the tongue but heavy on the scales on the Day of Judgement. Just keep saying it to yourself over and over again reflecting over them.

I would also spend some time sending prayers on the Prophet (ﷺ) due to numerous virtues mentioned regarding it. You can use the same darood prayer we use in our salah or just simply say, “Allahumma Salli ‘Alaa Muhammad! (اللهم صل على محمد)”

Du’a (supplication)

Of course, this is the weapon of the believer. Spend some time sitting there and just making lots and lots of supplications for your worldly goods and especially your afterlife. I would suggest that outside a handful of du’as mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah, spend more time making supplications in your own language with your own words humbling yourself before your Maker. That is the sincerest type of supplication. Pray for yourself, your family, the ummah, and the world.

If you are one of those who are not able to do du’as on the spot, then write them down during the day and make them at night by reading them off the paper.

One of the best supplications to make in these nights is:

اللَّهمَّ إنَّك عفُوٌّ كريمٌ تُحِبُّ العفْوَ، فاعْفُ عنِّي

“O Allah, you are generously forgiving, you love to forgive, so forgive me!”

Sadaqa (Charity)

The whole point of spending the last 10 nights in worship is to catch Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a 1000 months! This means if you catch it and worship Allah in it and He accepts it from you, then it is as if you worshipped Him for over 1000 months. It’s a lifetime of worship in one night. Charity is one of the best deeds to protect oneself from the Fire as the Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned. This means if you give charity during the night of Laylat al-Qadr, then it is as if you gave it for over a 1000 months! It is multiplied. I suggest diversify your charity each night. With technology, this is very simple now. Choose a different charity each night and give something to them in these last 10 nights. Just donate and turn off the device, don’t get distracted!


The following is a suggested schedule that one can use as a guide to get an idea of how to implement the above in a structured way. You can change the duration, times, and activities according to your own needs. I’m making it below for those who have flexible hours with work and can spend the whole night awake. If you cannot, then you can still do it by either shortening the duration and activities and then going to sleep or shortening the duration and activities and doing it by waking up later at night, maybe an hour before you usually get up to eat? It’s up to you. However, please be sure to make the schedule for the night during the day so that you are prepared!

The schedule below is based on the Washington D.C. time, which is my time zone. I’m starting with Isha because before that people are usually busy with iftaar, putting kids to bed, etc. I personally prefer 30 minutes intervals because that works better for my focus but you can adjust according to yours:

10:00 PM: Pray Isha and taraweeh

10:45 PM: Make du’a (focus more in your dominant language)

11:00 PM: Make a donation to a charity

11:05 PM: Dhikr (diversity between general dhikr and salah on the Prophet (ﷺ) switching back and forth every 5 minutes)

11:30 PM: Recite some Qur’an

12:00 AM: Listen to a tafseer lecture

12:30 AM: Read a tafseer book on a selected surah or verses

1:00 AM: Rest (drink tea/coffee, snacks, but don’t load up on lots of food)

1:30 AM: Dhikr (diversity between general dhikr and salah on the Prophet (ﷺ) switching back and forth every 5 minutes)

2:00 AM: Make du’a (focus more in your dominant language)

2:30 AM: Do qiyaam and end with witr

3:00 AM: Listen to a tafseer lecture or read some tafseer

3:30 AM: Recite Qur’an

4:00 AM: Make du’a (focus more in your dominant language)

4:15 AM: Prepare for sahoor

For those who cannot stay awake all night and wish to sleep first and get up later at night, I suggest the following schedule:

1:30 AM: Make chai/coffee

2:00 AM: Recite Qur’an

2:30 AM: – Dhikr and du’a

3:00 AM: Do qiyaam and end with witr

4:00 AM: Prepare for sahoor

We should keep the following hadith of the Prophet (ﷺ) in mind which he directed towards a woman, who used to excessively engage in lots of prayers (salah), from which we learn that we should take it easy and not overburden ourselves. Do whatever you can to the best of your ability without burning out:

عَلَيْكُمْ بِمَا تُطِيقُونَ، فَوَاللهِ لاَ يَمَلُّ اللهُ حَتَّى تَمَلُّوا‏‏‏.‏ وَكَانَ أَحَبَّ الدِّينِ إِلَيْهِ مَا دَامَ عَلَيْهِ صَاحِبُهُ‏

“Do [only] that which you are able to endure. I swear by Allah, He does not get tired [of rewarding you] until you get tired and the most beloved deed to Him is whatever is done on a regular basis.”


So the above is all I had to say on this topic. If you found it beneficial and plan to use it in some way, then I ask you to make supplication for me and my family as well during these blessed nights. 🙂

I’ll end with the following report about the Prophet (ﷺ):

إذَا دَخَلَ العَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ، وأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ، وأَيْقَظَ أهْلَهُ

“When the last 10 days of Ramadan would arrive, he (ﷺ) would tighten his lower garment, remain awake at night, and awake his family.”

(Bukhari and Muslim)