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Conclusions

We have looked at all of the basic teachings of Islam and many of the basic practices. We find that all of them are clearly and abundantly taught throughout the Bible. I daresay Christianity would be hard put to find in the Bible as much justification for its teachings and practices.

The Trinity, the Atonement, the transubstantiation, ecclesiasti­cal hierarchy, Church authority, the observance of Christmas, Easter and other Christian festivals, all require amazing leaps of logic in interpretation to gain any support from the Christian Scriptures. In contrast, Islamic beliefs and practices naturally arise from the expressions of the text.

We have examined the Bible from the point of view of all five pillars of Islamic belief and practice as expressed in Sunni Islam. It is possible to justify, sometimes in the smallest detail, these beliefs and practices. The unity of God, the prophets including Muhammad, the sacred Scriptures, angels and the resurrection for the Day of judgement are all maintainable, sometimes with a very high rate of success. The practices of prayer in prostration, alms, fasting, and pilgrimage are clearly defensible from the Bible text.

The special doctrines of Shi'ism also hold true when examined from the Bible. The justice of God, divine guidance, and the middle way between determinism and free will can all be defended, although the latter has had as varied a theological history in Christianity as it has had in Islam, and many passages in both the Bible and the Qur'an could be interpreted to defend either determinism or free will. Striking parallels to the Shi'ite Imamate have been seen to exist in the Bible.

Aside from the Islamic basics, many details of faith and practice are maintained by the Christian Scriptures. Among these are many details of marriage, divorce, animal sacrifice, purity, diet laws, circumcision, purity, and even prostration on earth substance. Such things as the witness by two men or two women and one man appear. The Islamic practices of raising the hands and saying `Allahu Akbar', the expres­sions `Assalaamu Alaykum' or `Peace to you', and `in sha Allah', `if God wills', are all Biblical traditions.

The Bible not only supports Islamic beliefs and prac­tices, but does so consistently. There is relatively little in the Bible that is offensive to Muslim eyes, and most such things are offensive because they have been given a Chris­tian interpretation, or because of linguistic and cultural changes that make them less understandable than they originally were.

Islam is based, not on the Bible, but on the Qur'an, Islamic tradition, and the example of the Prophet and, in the case of Shi'ites, on the example of the twelve holy Imams.

The similarities between the Bible and Islam are explained to believers by the fact that the same God inspired both, and to researchers by the fact that both Qur'an and the Bible are products of Middle Eastern monotheism. All of the great principles of Islam are clearly evident in the earlier Scriptures as they remain in our hands today, encumbered as they may be with the ravages of time.

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