Truth About Muslims

The Truth about Muslims Podcast equips listeners to think critically about media, Muslims, and the mission of God. Since 9/11, people are asking “What is really going on in the Muslim world?” “Is the media giving us the whole picture?” “Do we have reason to fear?” As Christians, “How should we respond?” Join hosts, Trevor Castor and Howard Ki in exploring what God is doing in Muslim ministry and how he is using missionaries throughout the Muslim world. You can listen on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music or YouTube.

Episode 141
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Forces of Natural Representation in Folk Islam 
Jul 24, 2024 | Runtime: 15m | Download
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Forces of Natural Representation in Folk Islam  Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on the forces… Read More

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Forces of Natural Representation in Folk Islam 

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Forces of Natural Representation in Folk Islam 

Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on the forces of natural representation in Folk Islam during a CIU course. Here, Larson presents the natural representation of forces in Folk Islam, such as the Black Stone of the Kaaba, the Dome of the Rock, Morghe Rebat, and the White Stone, how these affect the concepts of God, and how Christians should respond.

Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Forces of Natural Representation in Folk Islam.


33 has to do with natural representations, and this is not the only one. It’s just the start of them. We will be talking this time quite a bit about stones and, natural representations talking about stones quite a bit, but there is some missiological stuff too, application, you know, coming as as always, at the end. Not as always at the end, but here in this case, we’ll be talking about it in the very end of the lecture. This is unit 3, of course.


We’re talking about forces, and so through thinking about, you know, the various representations, why Muslims, think that that these particular objects are so powerful. One of them we have talked about a lot, and that is the black stone, right there in the corner of the Kaaba. And when Muslims go there on the pilgrimage, I mean, goodness sakes, if we mentioned it once, we’d mentioned it half a dozen times that, they really want to go on the pilgrimage to, well, this is certainly one strong motivation. Let’s put it that way. And not the only one, but, one strong motivation to touch the black stone, to to kiss it, to embrace it.


And so in that right in front of that black stone, you can see pictures of people pushing and shoving, and, and some of them are just raising their hand. They can’t they don’t dare to get close to it. Of course, the danger there of getting trampled. So if you’re a little short like Zaccheus was, or old and feeble, you would certainly want to be hanging on to somebody who is big and strong because people do get trampled together to to death in that in that place because they all want to touch the black stones. So you’ve got millions of people circling around, to touch, that and kiss it as they go around.


I mean, how whatever you can do. I mean, get get this the blessing. Now another blessing another, rather, another stone we’re talking about is the Dome of the Rock, and that is in Jerusalem. We really have a hard time, don’t we, figuring out why that is such a special place to Muslims. I mean, they are not about to give it up, but, of course, the Jews aren’t either.


And so when you think of Israeli Palestine Israel Palestine tension, the real problem there is in East Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock, and it’s a very sacred place. I mean, I can’t help but but think that there is some of this spiritual, mystical, magical stuff going on in the Dome of the Rock, that, that has to do in other words, that strong poll, why why Muslims are not willing to give up Jerusalem. Now I’m not arguing. I’m not saying that the Jews are the only ones who have a, a place in Israel. I’m not I’m not arguing for that.


I believe, in a sort of a two state solution. I wouldn’t say like one republican candidate did here several months ago that, Palestinians are an invented people, which I think is a big mistake. They are not an invented people. But I’m I’m just saying that, the Dome of the Rock is extremely precious, to to Muslims, and I can’t help but believe that some of the very thing reasons we’re talking about is here. One of the things is that Muslims have the idea that, Muhammad’s the the beast he was riding as he touched down in Jerusalem right there in the dome of the rock.


He put his foot down and there is an imprint there, before he took off and went on the second half of the journey. Now I don’t know. I’ve never seen it myself, but, the stone, you see the dome of a rock. And now on a small less, of course, well known or publicized place is Moray Rabat. I hope I’m pronouncing that right.


Not a a big place, and, in fact, I couldn’t even find it on the map. But, in northwest is if I understand Afghanistan, There allegedly is the handprint of Fatima. Who is Fatima? Well, she’s the daughter of Muhammad, the wife of Ali, and there, the hoof prints of Ali’s horse, dudul. Now I have I doubt very much that, Ali’s horse ever went to Afghanistan.


After all, he died in Iraq, but but, this is the this is the thing that legends are made of, and that’s in Morghay Rabat. Now it’s not the only place. In Herat, which is also in Afghanistan. If you look at the map, it’s right over to the east. I’m sorry.


Yes. When I say east, I I mean that it is it’s really Western Afghanistan. If you look at the map, it’s right, next to to Iran. That’s a mistake there. There is a also a special place there.


But, in the north, very much north of, Afghanistan is. There’s a tradition there that the throne was stone was thrown from the mountain, and so women pray that their sons would become strong, and they would be so men go there and try to lift it. Now the these various special places in Afghanistan sometimes hard to find, but, nevertheless, there they are. They’re they’re they’re small, but never in Afghanistan, you’d think that that was such a strong place. You know, the Taliban have been there and been on power.


But, nevertheless, in these settings, there are strong, I guess, traditions and strong folk practices. Now this is, a little bit of a missiological stuff here. Now we we could talk to of other places, but some missiological stuff here is, when you work with, Muslims, knowing the folk concepts, you know, we have to keep in mind that Muslims will, they think the our Bible is a holy book, and so sometimes illiterate people will buy it thinking that, you know, if they put it on their shelf, good luck up high, it’ll bring them good luck. They have no intention to read it. In fact, probably can’t read it, so we have to be aware of that.


I’m not saying we shouldn’t get rid of Bibles and sell Bibles and get rid of the scripture. Just be aware of the fact that Muslims have these views. Now another question for us is is it right should we say every time a new baby is born? Let’s remember that, Muslims do this to to prevent any evil, harm, danger that would come to the baby. So is the the little formula that would prevent any harm coming from envy or evil spirits.


So, you know, you might think of saying something else that is not, that particular thing, but giving praise to God and then explaining, what you mean by it. You’re not, preventing any magic, but you are, you know, declaring that god, in fact, has given this little one and, and you trust you trust him. Another thing is too when you study the bible with, Muslim converts I know that I’ve studied the bible with Muslims, former Muslims, and they were sometimes it seemed to me that really what the only emphasis is is to memorize it but not to think about it. Of course, this is the oftentimes, this is what they do in the schools too. So you you really want to work with on Muslims is to not only memorize the word, but to think deeply and apply it personally to to Muslims.


I can remember one fellow who came with us, and for 2 years, he just seemed like he gave nothing but irrelevant answers, but we kept drilling and trying to get him to think and think and think. And finally, after 2 years, then he sort of took off and started to think through, apply the scriptures, and, certainly, it was a discipling you know, it was just a a great moment when that came. So this is what we have to think of given the background of Muslims, but there are other stones too, other stones, that, well, that that you know, around the Muslim world. One is a white stone in Iran. It bears Imam Ridah’s handprint.


Who is he? He was a great spiritual leader in in the history of Iran, and it has him it’s it’s it’s apparently, his hand is embedded in the wall. Now you didn’t ever see this, and so I’ve got on here. Remember the DVD, mysticus Iran, which we show in class, but it’s an amazing video. And, apparently, in another situation here, there’s a white stone because the imam put milk on it.


Mothers without enough milk for their baby would go there and would hope that they would then be able to have enough, produce enough milk for their baby. Nishapur is where Ali tied his horse, and there’s a lot of devotion to that spot. There are other stones too like the agate. In Yemen, it’s red and bright and powerful, cut his beads along bars, and it brings merit. It rids travelers of annoying beggars.


You see, if you have that, then the beggars won’t pester you, which they often do, protects from action, shuts up false witnesses, keeps from you from wanting anything or anything in need. If it’s heated and rubbed in the eyeball, it, it cures eye disease. So interesting, is it not? Turquoise, a magical power in that stone that makes the wearer happy. And and and and when you wear that, you’re never in want.


It rest the eyes. Ali apparently wore that to win battles. Unfortunately, he didn’t win them all. If you know history, Ali lost some battles and so did, his son, Hussein, grievously, for which the Shiites have been mourning for 1500 years. So those are, that’s the turquoise.


Another one is the stone is the serpentine. It cures poisonous stings. Well, I I suppose like, the sting of a scorpion or something like that and would protect from dangerous beasts. And jade cures travelers’ thirst. Wear it under the clothes to protect from the evil eye.


So you don’t see these things often, do you? But they’re there. Now, or or protect, you know, from the the the baby’s colic. You know? Kids’ little ones are always getting colic, and they cry and cry because of their tummy ache tummy ache.


So then the jade would help. Black stones. There’s a great awe for the power of the black stone, and evildoers are turned into a black stone. Now example here, the tune of Bibi Sharbanu, who’s the wife of the 12th imam, near Tehran, and the rule here is that only women can enter. If a man enters, he’s in trouble and allegedly wounded and became stone.


Now let’s think just a little bit of missiology here before we wind this up. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus talked about stones, and he did it more than once? We don’t have to turn to all of them, but, they’re all the same, Matthew 21, 42, Mark 12 10, and Luke 20 17. It says that he is the head of the cornerstone, Mark 24. And, you know, you said he says you’ve rejected the the the one that you’ve rejected has become the head of the cornerstone.


So I think it’s a powerful thing to preach on, you know, something like that, because stones will connect. Not that we’re giving magical think magically power this, but we need to find things that connect with our audience in the Muslim world. Shells, the Bedouin use jewelry to for to protect against the evil eye. Water is also used for magical purposes, and remember that when Muslims do their ablutions, this is this is part of it. In other words, cleansing from spells.


Now bread, boys, according to the tradition that they were playing football with bread and they turned into monkeys. Now metal is an iron box with tiny Quran is the Koran pieces and other with tiny Quran is the most powerful. Remember we talked before about iron and certain of the, evil spirits. Iron cures weak eyes or cures deafness, hemorrhoids, and the steel is beneficial, silver, gold, lead, and so on. So, interesting stuff.


Is it not?


Episode 140
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 2)
Jul 24, 2024 | Runtime: 16m | Download
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 2) Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on the… Read More

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 2)

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 2)

Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on the fetishes and charms in Folk Islam during a CIU course. Here, Larson presents the uses of fetishes and charms in folk Islam for mechanisms of protection (e.g., physical elements), using the Qur’an as protection.

Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 2).


In 32 lecture, the, the the ongoing topic is has to do with fetishes and charms, the objects that we’re so on. And I, thought I would just read a little story from one of my former students in Chad. He says, last Tuesday, we picked up our vehicle and, and drove it back to our homes to our home city. Soon as we pulled in the yard, one of our guards asked Tim if this was our new vehicle. As soon as Tim said yes, the guard proceeded to fake spit, see, along the vehicle doors.


He explained that this would keep the car from accidents and that Tim should give him a gift, a gift of narcotic leaf that he likes to chew as payment for his service. The next day, another man explained to Tim that everyone throws a big party when they buy a new car. They slaughter a slaughter a goat so the people come and eat the meat and pray for swift safety on the road. Later that day, Tim asked our house helper about this party idea, and she further added that the people also break an egg on the new car for good luck. See?


And Tim tried to say that we trust in god, not a broken egg, but the house helper quickly responded, of course, but you also break an egg. Now I’m not sure exactly what she meant, but, see, they they can’t quite understand us, can we? In other words and and when we’re working among Muslims, even I suppose some of the things that we do could be misinterpreted, so we have to, to, to watch our step. Not that we live on pins and needles, but that we’re just just be aware of the worldview and be aware of some of these things, before we even get there. Tim and Jen are trying to fit in here, but, in that country, but, you know, it is difficult.


I shouldn’t have said Chad. It’s not Chad, and I won’t mention what country it is. But, let’s continue on then as to what Muslims do for protection. Well, in provision, the provision, that is often used is the verse 2255. You see?


This is a great, great verse for protecting yourself from, you know, harm, and and this is called the throne verse. Surat Al, not Surat, but the ayah ayah al Kursi. Kursi is the word for throne, also the word for chair. Ayah al Kursi 2 and 255, and it’s a long, long verse. It says, who can intercede, as but but as he permits, you know, you see, that’s always the the the the the, know, the camel gets his head in the the tent through that as he in other words, as he god permits.


But in the middle of the verse, it says, except as he his throne doth extend. That’s the throne verse. Gotta remember that, you know, in Islam, god is king, isn’t he? He’s not father. He’s king, and it’s a good thing to be king.


I mean, god is king. There’s no question. But, the the fact that god, you see, is king, he’s sitting on his throne, and, so, we use that verse as a protective charm. See? Another one is writing, reciting the 2nd Sura, which is called Baqarah.


It’s a long, long Sura, long, long chapter. It’s called the heifer. You wonder might wonder why that is these why they’re given such names. Others would say the cow, but remember that something in that chapter mentions the heifer or the cow or something like that, and so that’s how the sutta got its name. One idea is that if you recite the second sudah at night, it gives all his protection from jinn until the morning.


Well, you would also be interested in having some kind of, you know, chronic reading to forgive your ancestors. And the deterrent to diseases is 113. Remember, we, just read that a minute ago, 113 and 114 in the last, lecture. Power to counteract psychic affliction. You know, mental disorders are are troubling in the Muslim world and troubling to everyone, particularly when you think of the fact, of the trauma.


Think of the trauma that’s going on in Muslim circles right now. Great trauma has occurred in Afghanistan and now Syria and people and children. In other words, you know, psychic affliction is is a horrible thing. What do Muslims do? Oftentimes, they are turning to the Quran in their desperation, but what a, you know, what a hopeless thing to do, to turn to the Quran, to something like that for help and healing.


In other words, it’s, it’s you you you pray that god would would bring real hope, the hope of the gospel through to Muslims who are so troubled by, the things that are going on. Now a morning recitation, remember that that’s what Quran means. Quran is Iqra, the the recitations, so that’s really what it is and, you know, Muslims, they memorize it and recite it. A morning recitation of 94, that’s surah 94, the name of which is Al Shar, would, would be, helpful, or another name for that Sura, and sometimes these Suras are given 2 names. It’s another one is al inshara inshara inshira, rather.


What does it mean? Well, it means expansion of the breast. If you look, and I wanted to take you back to the introduction here in, Yusuf Ali. He says this short Surah, that is now the introduction to 94, and they have a you know, he gives an introduction to each chapter. This short Surah gives a message of hope and encouragement in time of darkness and difficulty.


It was revealed to the holy prophet soon after the last Sura, al Duha, whose argument it supplements. And the father the prophet’s mind and heart had indeed been expanded and purified. The burden which pressed on his soul had been removed, and his name exalted in this world and the next. For this, the righteous man, there is no trouble. Now what it had this goes back to the history and and, Muhammad said one time, according to the tradition, Angel cut him open, took out a black spot, and they call that the expansion of the breast.


So I guess that’s why it is considered to be a, a a suit of hope, al Shar or al inshira. Now, excuse me. Another one is 105 and that’s called alphyl, the elephant. Gotta know a little history here too, because, in the year that Mohammed was born, that is 5/17, supposedly. There was an army coming up from the south to make war against Mecca, and, they were traveling on elephants.


And then, according to traditions and so on, the legend, some birds came along and disrupted the whole party and so the whole thing fell through. So so but that’s mentioned in the Quran 105, and so, possibly, that’s the reason because, you know, if god can do something like that, he can obviously protect us as well. See the point? And then, then surah 72, which is al jinn, the jinn that’s used to protect against evil jinn. You know, all jinn are not evil, but, some of them are and so we need protection against them.


Here are some, amulets with verses from the Quran. They it doesn’t of course, they’re not not quite clear, what they are, but that’s, basically what these amulets are versus from the Quran that Muslims would use for protection. You have versus to you know, for protection from the Quran from various and sundry other problems. For headaches interesting. Who doesn’t get headaches?


Well, one verse is 6 and 13. To him belongs all that dwells in the night and the day. Miserable headaches. You know, some people have migraine headaches. What are you gonna do?


Don’t always have, Ibuprofen and Advil and stuff like that. And so Muslims do resort to this kind of protection, protection against slander. And the verse there, 3665 through 66, that day we, meaning god, set a seal on their mouths. We remembering that we is here, the, plural of majesty in Arabic, we set a seal on their mouths. That verse seems to me to be pretty, precise and clear, so I can see how that would be hope that that would protect from from slander.


Now here’s one for toothache. Whoever reads 94 or 105, and in the in the morning, prayers will never suffer pain in his teeth, comes out of Zwemer, Samuel Zwemer, remembering those 2 sodas that we talked about last lecture, 94 and 95, both of them, supposedly in reference to Mohammed. Alright. Toothache. And then 114 in a box with valuables, presumably, you know, something like jewelry.


Well, how do you protect the jewelry? You do it through magic. And another verse, 2 and267, just a portion of it, Allah is free of all wants. So in other words, jewelry is pretty valuable. Put in there the short verse, of Allah is free of all wants.


He doesn’t want anything, so why should anyone want the jewelry? Another one is supposed to keep out moths and, 2 and, I guess, 15 to 16. It says, Allah will throw back their mockery on them and give them hope in their trespasses, so shall they wander like a bird. Now I I’m not sure the relevance of that, but, you know, it’s it’s, lots of verses that Muslims are using, for various and sundry problems. And here are some here are a few references from the the Hadith, and we’re talking about Mishkit here to illustrate what we’re what we’re saying.


Abu Huayah, and this is often the person through whom the tradition came, reported god’s messenger saying, do not make your houses your houses graveyards. The devil flies from the house in which Surah Al Baqarah is recited. And so, Abu Huwara reported it and Muslim transmitted it. So you see, you shouldn’t only find this in Mishkit, which is not one of the canonized sets. In fact, it’s one of the, you know, it’s it’s the the 6 that are canonized, but but a lot of them are the same.


In other words, Muslim transmitted it, so you should find it in Muslim as well, Al Muslim as well as al Bukhari. Abu Umama said he heard god’s messenger say, recite the Quran for on the day of resurrection, it will come as an intercessor for those who recite it. And recite the 2 shining ones, specifically. You know, 2, al Surah Al Baqarah and Surah Imran. Imran comes from the name, by the way, who is the father, I believe, of Moses and Aaron as well as as Miriam.


So the the 2 shining ones, those 2 suitas are pretty powerful suitas. And then here’s another one, Mishkat, volume 1, page 451. Aisha said and who’s Aisha? Aisha is also one through whom many, traditions I’m sorry. Yes.


Traditions come. Every night when the prophet went to his bed, he joined his hands like this, if you can see them, breathed into him, reciting into them, and says, he is God, 1. I seek refuge in the lord of the dawn and say, I seek refuge in the Lord of men, then he would wipe as much as his body he could with his hands, beginning with his head, his face, and the front of his body, doing that three times, and that is Bukhari and Muslim. So there is this, I guess, this magical part of it. Now, you know, I don’t see anything wrong with holding your hands out like that to receive the blessing, but I don’t think that there is a magical effect, in in doing that.


Now there are chronic amulets that are used against the evil eye and we’ve talked about this before, haven’t we? We’ve mentioned that in this famous this famous amulet here, in the center is Quran, Surah 6851 through 52. On the margins, there are, you know, certain parts of the Quran, and then in the 4 declarations in the corners that we’ve talked about before, Quran 112 through 114. So this is a, a famous ambulance in the Middle East against the evil eye. Maybe someday you’ll see this in person rather than just, hearing about it in Islam through the spirit world of Islam.


Wouldn’t that be, somethings? Keep your eyes open. And, then as we mentioned before, there is if you look close, there is Ali at the top. So here, there’s something you see in this this one here for everyone, Ali being the favorite among the the favorite among the, the Shiites.

Episode 139
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 1)
Jul 24, 2024 | Runtime: 19m | Download
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 1) Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on the… Read More

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 1)

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 1)

Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on the fetishes and charms in Folk Islam during a CIU course. Here, Larson presents the uses of fetishes and charms in folk Islam, from the Qur’anic magic, and other mechanics of fetishes and charms.

Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Fetishes and Charms in Folk Islam (Pt. 1).


Alright. This is lecture 31, I guess, and good to be with you again. We’re talking, still talking about forces now in unit 3, not just, because we just started it. But, the today is specifically the fetish fetishes and charms, and we keep referring, don’t we, to surahs 113 and 114, and I thought, maybe I should read those 2 short Suras. These are, as we’ve said before, are used for magical purposes.


The the first one, 113, is, the daybreak. Say, I seek refuge in with the lord of the dawn, from the mischief of created things. See? That sounds very folkish, doesn’t it? From the mischief of darkness as it overspreads, from the mischief of those who practice secret arts, and, from the mischief of the envious ones as he practices envy.


I mean, this is really when you think about it and listen to it carefully. And then 114, say, I seek refuge with the lord and cherisher of mankind, the king or ruler of mankind, the god or judge of mankind, from the mischief of the whisperer of evil who withdraws after his whisper, the same who whispers in their hearts into the hearts of mankind, among jinns and among men. I mean, this is really something. But before we, get too hard on the, Muslims and Islam folk stuff, let’s just back up a little bit and let me remember. Let us just remind ourselves about the Jews.


The Jews of the dispersion used book, in other words, used the book, the holy book, in other words, the Torah, to lighten childbirth, and the specific reference there was Genesis 21 and verse 1. That’s about Sarah having a, a baby and I guess if Sarah could have a baby at age 90, I it would give, the Jews. But notice that it’s in the dispersion, so you get the strong impression that they must have picked it up from their, their neighbors. Divining rod, Genesis 24 and verse 2, that has to do with Abraham when he was finding a wife for his son, Isaac, which, you know, it makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, this is you’re going out on a limb when you do that, but you’re going out on a limb when you get married anyways.


So and then against danger on the road. That one is Genesis 3231. And, you know, when Jacob, he, I guess, sets out on his trip. There’s a lot of danger and so that one, but also the fact, I suppose, that Jacob limps quite a bit of his life. Now Genesis 49 and verse 18, interesting there why that would protect against the against the mad dog.


I’m not exactly sure what the reasoning is. 49 and, verse 18. Here it is. It says that, I look for your deliverance, oh lord. Well, you certainly would be deliverance from a mad dog, and then I suppose Genesis 17 and verse, 16 to help in the case of bleeding would be similarly, somewhat difficult to understand, but that’s 17 and verse 16, if I can find the verse.


And it says that, I will bless her and surely give you a son by her. I’m not sure exactly, as I’ve said before, what, you know, how they they they they choose these verses because some are more plain than others. But, Zweimer, who Samuel Zweimer, who was no fool, said this, quoting and and pulling his sources out of the Jewish encyclopedia, that this is the what the Jews did. And so pointedly and notably, the Muslims, it looks like, have picked up some things from the Jews in this folk stuff. Now when we’re talking about fetishes and charms, of course of course, we’re talking about the Quran.


And the fact that, Muslims think that their safety, security, well-being, and defensive measures by using the Quran. Defense against what? Against defense against harm, bad or, you know, bad luck or or things that could go wrong. We’ve mentioned this before too that the Quran admits or acknowledges that it is a kind of deception, but, nevertheless, it seems to contradict itself and it it, says that, you know, this can, this, these kind of things, can can sow discord between a man and his wife. So it it does acknowledge the evil of it, but yet acknowledges, or at least says that it can sow discord.


That’s one of the things. Now, there are various things mentioned here in the PowerPoint and on the class notes, but one of them that Muslims do is they swear on the Quran. Now this is not necessarily magic, is it? Because, people have doing been doing that with the holy books for years. I think the first time it happened with the Quran for a US senator was a few years ago when, I think maybe was his name, senator Ellis Ellison, swore on the Quran, which surprised Americans since they’ve always been swearing in the Bible.


Now, but this, is seen quite clearly through how the Quran is handled. And if you drop the Quran, if you, if you have any accidents with it, then you’re in, you know, in serious trouble. So if you, by any chance, any misfortune of dropping the Quran in the presence of Muslims, then, you apologize profusely and hope that, it will all end well. It hasn’t, it doesn’t always. I I I don’t know whether I told this story or not, but I certainly have told it in class, of incidents I know of where people dropped a Quran, for instance, a very wealthy influential woman in Pakistan that I knew of.


Didn’t know her personally, but read about it in the papers that she somehow dropped a Koran out of her purse into a a, a a ditch. And, I’m telling you, had she not been wealthy and influential, she could well have suffered harm from the local people. But another person whom I heard about, was having his devotions just like we do. In the morning, by a little fire, he would make some tea and, and then he would read his Quran. And, one day, one morning, inadvertently, the Quran fell into the fire.


Now whether he had gone and left or something, done something else, but he came back and the Quran was on fire. So he panicked, and he shouts out, I suppose, which was the thing to do to show your, how much you you you you dread this, and he said the Quran is on fire. The Quran is on fire. And a woman, just a neighbor neighborly well, not a neighborly woman, but some neighbor woman who didn’t like him shouted out and said, this, this man has burned the Quran. And so people gathered, and they were beating him up.


The police came and rescued him as they often do, rescue you by putting you in, in jail, but it didn’t help because, by that time, the people were so angry that they assembled, broke down the jail, took that old fellow, and he wasn’t young, but he was someone who read the Quran and probably had even memorized it, tied him up or and tied him onto a motorcycle cycle, dragged him around town to kill him because, they had accused him. They accused him of misusing the Quran. Well, these are sad stories, but they do show you, this how the Quran is, I guess, worshiped really. It’s, now, Muslims too would write, use the Quran to, in in other words, write verses, in mini buses or on other buses, ordinary buses, their calligraphy pages, of the Quran, in other words, water poured over pages of the Quran and then drunk to protect from the the witch, and on and on and on. These are the kind of things that are done.


Now memorizing holy books, of course, is considered to be a good thing, and we memorize the bible too. But I keep thinking that the emphasis on memorizing the Quran in Islam is not all good because it seems to me that they’re memorizing it in order oftentimes to for magical purposes. In Egypt, for example, it says that Satan, Shaitan, never enters the house where the Quran is recited daily. So the Quran is used oftentimes for for personal benefit and those 2 sunas that we’ve just read, the last 2 in the Quran, put under a pillow are supposed to make for an easy delivery. In North Africa, boys drink holy water that has been washed off their slates, so that they can, you know, be good at memorizing Quran.


In Iran, the Quran is laid in your lap in New Year for good luck. How’s that? And then then on, not so pleasant a topic is the matter of harming others. In other words, what magic how is the Quran used, to to do magic or harm against others magically? Well, you can do it through, various verses.


One of them is 3 in verse 127. That’s chapter 3, sutra 3 127, and the verse is that he might cut off part of those who disbelieve base so that they should return in failure. Now that’s the verse that they would use. Now for someone’s death, wow. Now that’s pretty wicked stuff, isn’t it?


To want someone’s death, the verse there or verses would be possibly 5 and verse 30 through 33. And if that is repeated 29 times, and if it was written on the face of a plaster, in other words, a plaster masks, not this isn’t necessarily the what we’re talking about, but the best we can do. And, if those verses that I’ve given you are written on that mask plus 29 times, those they are repeated. And the the I’m sorry. The victim’s name is repeated on the back, then a dragger is plunged into it, something like that, then, that’s how it’s possible that someone would want your death.


I I admit that that wasn’t always clear how they do it, but, nevertheless, that’s not the point. The the fact is that they do do. Specific verses, passages for, specific situations. Well, one of the things, of course, is marriage, and, you would want to write on a on a married woman’s garment. Whoever recommends this does it for a good cause.


The verse there, it’s a little bit off to the side, but it’s 485 through 87, and just giving you the the briefest part of that verse, but if that could be written on the woman that is wanted in marriage, on the garment that she wears, then possibly, you can, I’m sorry. I went too far. Then, possibly, then, you can gain her hand in marriage. You know, it’s hard to find a wife. It is really hard to find a wife in many, cultures.

Episode 138
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Evil Eye
Jul 24, 2024 | Runtime: 17m | Download
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Evil Eye Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on the Evil Eye during a CIU course.… Read More

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Evil Eye

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Evil Eye

Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on the Evil Eye during a CIU course. Here, Larson presents on the Evil Eye in both the Bible and the Qur’an, what the Evil Eye is, the Evil Eye in the Muslim world, and how it is understood in Folk Islam.

Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Evil Eye.


In this one on 30, we have really quite a few, case studies. I believe, if I’m not mistaken, lecture 30, still on forces and, the evil eye. So we’re going to be talking about the evil eye, but also in the process looking at quite a few case studies. The evil eye I apologize for this this diagram here. Now they this is what the assistant came up with.


It’s not really when you get into the Muslim world, it’s, you know, a young woman, is not really what you think of oftentimes as one who has the evil eye. Of course, you don’t know. She doesn’t look exactly friendly, that’s true, and so we don’t know. But, but before we talk about Islam, let’s talk about a little bit about the the Bible and, get some context there, and then we’ll go on, to to Islam. But I just wanted to quickly cover some of these, some of this, in the bible.


You know, there are verses, like Mark, let’s see, Mark 722 where, it it it says that, you know, what comes out of a man, Jesus says, is, you know, it’s it doesn’t matter about the outside, but what comes out of his heart come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy. Now this word, envy, sometimes is translated in the King James, for example, and the New King James, as what? Evil eye. So, envy and evil eye really have a connection. The Amplified also says evil eye for that verse.


So we know that the eye in scripture, that we’re talking about the Bible now, is that it’s, it’s much more than the physical. It’s the total process. It’s perception and understanding. Remember that, in Genesis chapter 3, the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened. So this is certainly more than, you know, just, that that they could see, this beautiful fruit.


I mean, there is some some deeper meaning here. It’s, the organs of spiritual perception. Didn’t David say in or the psalmist said in Psalm a 119 verse 18, open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law? So this is spiritual perception, isn’t it? And, in, Psalm 19 and verse 8, the law of the lord is good, you know, it’s enlightening the eyes.


So many verses in the bible. On the other hand, blindness of the eyes is a terrible, terrible spiritual problem. Remember second Corinthians 44, the god of this world has blinded the eyes of them that believe not, lest they, they should, light of the glorious gospel, should shine on them and they should be saved. You know, we don’t blame and curse Islam. We don’t curse the darkness, but we do recognize that Satan is blinding the eyes of Muslims today, and so Satan is our enemy, not Muslims, not Islam, but, there is the widespread ancient belief in the power of the envious glance.


You see this envy stuff. And, the ancient Jews, the ancient Judaism really had quite a bit, you know, to say about this. But as it comes out of the, the animistic belief that the gaze or the stare can cause material harm. Now we are going to get into that more and more when we think of Islam. Muslims and folk Muslims.


You know, Paul uses a verse in Galatians, where is it? It’s in Galatians chapter 3 in verse 1. He says he’s talking about these Galatians. He says, who has bewitched you that you should, be turning to these these stuff? In other words, he’s using this, sort of smite with the eyes.


It’s almost like he’s he’s using something in their culture that, that, he says, who has bewitched you that you should be doing and thinking the way that you are? Let’s see. I I’m just wondering if I missed something here. Yes. I did.


And that is that, where I was, oftentimes, donkeys would have their ears slit. Why? Well, to prevent the evil eye. Here it says in 5103, it was not Allah who instituted superstitions like those of a slit ear, she camel or she camel. Now I haven’t seen that them slitting the ear of a she camel, but I have seen them slitting the ear of a donkey.


Now they might say, well, you know, we do it for various and sundry reasons, but they may not even know it. But, even though the Quran forbids it, Nevertheless, nevertheless, Muslims do this kind of stuff. Now the word nazar is a word that means, you know, illness causing an illness by some kind of a spell. Now there is an, there is a, chronic basis for this. 68 and verse 51 says the unbelievers would almost trip thee up with their eyes when they hear the message.


They say, surely, he’s possessed. Alright. Now what’s it say? What does it say? Well, it indicates that, that, the evil eye can be used and here the accusation is on those who never really embraced Islam.


And the, tragedy is here that the one who has this power may not even know of it. So what do you what what’s the what’s what happens? You’ve got suspicion of everyone or at least suspicion of some people. And so, fear there is this fear of admiration. And for that reason, oftentimes, the baby, a little baby who is not seen for 40 days.


And the mothers make up all kinds of stories. I mean, they say that a precocious child is dumb. Beautiful one is ugly because, you know, unless someone admire the baby, if, you know, that that the Muslims do that, of course, how can they not do it? How can so then what they have to say afterward is, in other words, god be praised. So a misfortune, to the healthy child comes from the mother of the sick child.


An owner of a healthy animal, can then become under the the, spell or the evil eye of one whose animal is not healthy. A beautiful bride is in danger lest she come under the spell of smallpox. The mother with the homely daughter is jealous, and that goes for not just daughters and children but also for trees. In other words, trees with a lot of fruit on them can be, evil eye can be cast on them. See?


In Iran, the power of the evil eye, the eye can wound, the salty eye. See? Jafar’s children are readily susceptible to the influence of the evil eye. So comes out of the mishket, out of the hadith. May I use a spell for them?


And Mohammed says, yes, for if anything could get ahead of this of the decree, the evil eye could. Well, quite amazing, is it not? How do you protect yourself? How do you protect yourself? Well, you do it through various and sundry ways, but one is exorcism, and Bukhary is 7.


That is volume 7 and, 4 number 426, narrated Ayesha. The prophet ordered me, it ordered rukiah to be used from the evil eye. See? That’s Islam. Now other other things, to use, protection, shells, stones, mother of pearl, or we will get into that, I think, try to recognize it in the next slide.


The agate stone, incantations, incenses made from seed, wild rue. I have a book out of Iran that’s called the wild rue, leaves, frankincense. And remember, coal under the eyes of the baby, not just, football players as you see in this country, but coal. Now they might say, well, it’s for beauty. But, really, the deeper meaning is to prevent, you know, to make the baby ugly.


That’s what, they think so that the spirits will leave him alone or the Ashley. Now here is, a little story that comes out from one of our students, in South Asia, former students. Ashley, that’s his wife, kept getting defensive towards friends and neighbors here because they were using the word weak to describe our newborn baby. Ashley’s response was she’s not weak, she’s eating well, she’s growing well. Finally, a kind neighbor explained to us that the word for weak is also the word for fragile.


So no one was calling our baby a weakling, just simply delicate. Here, listen to this, people do not compliment babies because they are afraid they will call attention to the child bringing the attention to the evil eye. In other words, bring upon them bad luck. So, apparently, fragile is the closest thing they can say to give a compliment. Isn’t this interesting for a baby without bringing on bad luck?


For people that live in fear of forces of darkness, the this evil eye literally affects every aspect of their lives. This has led so many opportunities for us to share how we serve the one who has victory over evil. We do not fear the evil eye, but we serve the one who has conquered evil. So that shows you. And now here’s another, case study.


A missionary was told, and I hope this is clear, that a Muslim friend had a baby girl. So what does the missionary do? The missionary brought a gift, got a gift, and then the mother lied and said the baby was a boy. Why? Well, reason is is that the missionary, when she saw the baby, she raised her eyebrows, Sort of I don’t know.


I just, I guess, the natural thing that some people do. So the Muslim woman looked at that and, immediately was worried that this missionary maybe was, you know, putting the evil eye or envy or something on the little child, and so then she told a lie. The missionary says, hey. Hey. Why why did you tell me a lie?


You know? This was a baby girl, and then and then, I brought this gift for a baby girl and it turns out to be a boy. Why did you tell I mean, you told me a lie. Why did you not tell the truth? You know what the Muslim woman said?


She said she feared the evil eye more than God. She said God is merciful, so that’s why she lied about the gender. Fears the evil eye more than God, which is quite an interesting, isn’t it? Now it’s not uncommon for the mother of a new baby boy to say it’s a girl, to use a girl’s name or a feminine pronoun or verb. Why?


To avoid the evil eye or the eye of envy. Person or evil spirit might be jealous of a mother’s good fortune in having a son and look with envy and make that little child sick or even cause the little one to die. This, story comes out of may the evil eye have no effect on you comes out of Turkey. So in other words, there are stories after stories about this. There are so many cases, so many stories that, maybe in your context, maybe you could tell a story yourself.


But how would you, I guess, respond to a similar situation? In other words, this missionary that we just talked about. I think one thing is that you can, I guess, anticipate something like this and so make sure that you know the the gender before you buy a gift, and also to be, somewhat subdued in the way that you express yourself and your actions? I don’t think that, you know, we necessarily have to, say well, you know, boy, there’s a beautiful baby, like, the Muslims do, but we can be use other words in saying, well, now God has given you a very, very beautiful child and I thank him for that and, and stuff like this to just remember of the to be cognizant of the fears and of what to expect, that, this is not totally uncommon and also to pray perhaps for the child that God would bless him and her, you know, just make sure that you are aware of things, and, this is this is very important. Now here are some of the things we’ve talked about before a little bit.


The mother of pearl, as far as I can figure out, and this is, not the best, I I realize, pictures, we had to take them and a student drew them, couldn’t use it for the course without, duplicating them. I think this is the mother of pearl here, if I’m not mistaken, the mother of pearl fish, to please the jinn. In other words, these charms are 1, worn actually, and so you have, other things that turquoise agate agate rings and so on to protect from harm and danger. You see all kinds of stuff, that you use. In Islamic ceremony, we’re gonna just keep moving, We have various and sundry things.


We’ve talked about the Ig before, we’ve talked about the open hand, a Pakistani fisherman might blame his lack of success on somebody who’s put a curse on him. And in North Africa, the hand of Fatima, you see this thing right here, is used for door knockers, and jewelry and chameleons and so on. Things like that could restore a wandering husband. In Morocco, infants have a torn piece of fabric around their wrist as protection. Moroccans, struck by physical spiritual force may throw a chameleon into the fire, wooden fire, walk around it 3 times.


If that chameleon explodes, the evil is averted. If it melts, there’s trouble. So you saw all kinds of things. World Vision says that, aid ministry in many Muslim converts is difficult. Why?


The reason is, is it because if, you know, no one really wants to succeed too much because if this farmer succeeds, others would be jealous of him and so he will come to harm. So in other words, you don’t wanna be too successful, you don’t wanna fail miserably, but you don’t want to be too successful and use this fertilizer and so on. Aid ministry is hard so that’s keeping all of these things in mind. In Nigeria, one saint forbade women and dogs. Now I apologize again.


This is a very western looking little puppy that you would not see in the western world by and large, but that’s what we have in our notes. In Pakistan, again, touching dogs with your right hand is, a no no. In India, playing with scissors brings bad luck. Mocking pregnant woman causes squint eye, so you don’t wanna mock a pregnant woman. That’s interesting, is it not?

Episode 137
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Baraka
Jul 24, 2024 | Runtime: 18m | Download
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Baraka Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on Baraka during a CIU course. Here, Larson presents… Read More

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Baraka

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Baraka

Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on Baraka during a CIU course. Here, Larson presents what the meaning of the Arabic word Baraka (blessings) is in Islam, its mechanism, and forms of receiving blessings.    

Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Baraka.


Unit 3 has to do with, forces. So we’re leaving the, the, you know, the animals and all of those spirits and stuff, that we were talking about in unit 2. Now we’re on to the forces. We’re gonna be talking about, several forces here, namely Barakah for 1, but that’s not the only one. So these are forces of, mechanistic forces.


We’ve already talked about predestination as a force. It’s a predeterminism. You know, there are verses in the Quran that are needless to say, they are pretty disturbing. One of them is 17 in verse 13 where it says every man’s fate we have fastened on his neck. In other words, god is speaking here.


We have fastened on his neck. On the day of judgment, we should bring out as for him a scroll, which we he will see and spread open. So, the the footnote here, 2187, Ali seems to be disagreeing. In other words, he’s really reading in his own orthodox views. He says, fate, you know, fire is literally a bird, hence an omen, an evil omen.


The Arabs like, the ancient Romans sought to read the mysteries of human fate from the flight of birds. Alright. He goes on and on and on. But then he ends up by saying our real fate does not depend on birds or omens. It depends on our deeds, good or evil, and they hang around our neck.


Now see what he’s doing. He’s reading in his own his own interpretation, what he he wants the Quran to say. Another verse is 10100 and that is no one, no soul can believe except by the will of Allah. So you have this, as we’ve talked about before, this strong fatalism, and yet and yet and yet people are trying constantly to change their destiny by pulling strings. What are the strings?


Well, there are various strings. We’ve noted them. You know? Spirits are I mean, yes, spirits, but, saints and so on. Now let’s talk about barakah.


Good word, really. It’s an come named as Hebrew word. Barak, you know, president Obama’s name is Barack Obama. This is a Hebrew name, but it’s also Arabic. You know?


Arabic and Hebrew are cousins. Barak in Hebrew means to kneel, to bless, and there are many, many verses on that in the, in the Hebrew, bible. It may mean to curse or to, to to curse the God or the king. But certainly, oftentimes about mercies, you know, words have double meanings. Sometimes gift, grace, favor, happiness, prosperity, all of these goods the good things.


Now in Islam, there is, it is really a powerful word. It’s not just, you know, a weak, god bless, the missionaries sort of thing. There is pull and luck and influence and spiritual force here. This, is, some of the things that that it means. Now, I have noted that, Pakistani Christians, I mean, they really sort of live in a move oftentimes with a Muslim worldview.


They’ve imbibed it. They’ve taken it in. In other words, and unless they know the Lord, and and really are well trained in a and and and have good understanding biblically, they act like the Muslims in many ways. I can remember some Christians. They really didn’t seem to know the Lord.


They were illiterate, but they would come to the services that we had, and, they really didn’t make any attempt to get there on time. But, the only thing that they were interested in, as I it it it many times it seemed to me, was to get there for the benediction, long as they got there for that. Because you see, the benediction, which is, in some circles, in some churches is quite important. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.


The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Now that’s one of the benedictions, of course. But this is really what was always important. Now, it used to bother me a little bit. Others, of course, did get their own time and understood the importance of, you know, of of of understanding the word and prayer and all that kind of stuff.


But I I noticed another thing too is that in the Christian villages, and I wasn’t against this. It it was sort of good for the ego. And I wasn’t an old man at the time, but but I would go out to the Christian villages, you know, outside of in the area there. And, the young teenage girls would come, and they would bow their head for me in front of me. Not that they were worshiping me, but they wanted me to touch the top of their head because you see, I was a bazaaruk.


I was a spiritual leader. I, if I would just give them the blessing, so that’s what you they would do. Never shake hands with, them. Never hug them. Of course, men and women don’t hug, at least not in public.


But but they wanted the blessing, the barakah. So, it was quite an interesting thing. Now we keep talking about Barakah here. Some of these images you are well aware of, the black stone, which is a source of blessing. Well, it just we just can’t imagine really, how much, it is a source of blessing.


In other words, I’m talking like a Muslim now. This is really what they want, to to think of. That that that’s a place of blessing and a source of blessing. This is what we’re trying to say. And the Kaaba itself is certainly a place of blessing.


The the, another one, is one that we’ve talked about over and over again is Muhammad’s tomb. You know? People really when Muslims would go on Hajj to Mecca, yes, they will go on Hajj to Mecca, but their goal is also to go 280 miles north to Medina where the prophet was buried to his tomb. And I was just reading today that the mosque, I guess it was in New York Times, that the Saudi government is greatly expanding the mosque, Mohammed’s mosque in Medina. You know, the history has it.


Traditions have it that when Mohammed went to Medina from Mecca, he, there were people, you know, the tribe said, okay. This guy said, well, stay with us. Another said, stay with us. Stay with us. Stay with us.


He didn’t stay anywhere. He just, kept rolling. And where his where his camel stopped, that’s where he stayed. And, they made a little mosque there. Mohammed helped according to traditions to build that mosque.


So, tradition has it that on that very spot today is the mosque of Mohammed. It’s very, very possible. I don’t doubt that at all. But it’s, it’s grandeur. I mean, it’s opulent, really, the things that are going on there in in some of these places.


But his tomb, Muhammad’s tomb, and, of course, Muhammad, blessing him. You know, by blessing him, we can Muslims can be blessed. So the shrines too are so they’re imbued with power. So you go to the shrine to soak up that blessing, just to soak it up soak it up. And, of course, you then, would hold out your hands and rub your face, and Muslims will will do this all the time.


Older folks really want to die, if possible, on the Hajj. You know, here we are. We’re on in the pilgrimage. So is if if if at all possible, if we could die on the pilgrimage here in Mecca, then we would go to heaven. The Quran is another source of great barakah as we’ve known.


Now places and of blessing, well, and avenues of blessing, here are people too, not just places, but children are a source of blessing. You know? This is not really a a very good picture of a of a Muslim child. We’re thinking really of smaller children. Some of the pictures that, my assistant was able to find and put in here are very western and not all that helpful, but think of this.


They are full of blessing, the children, and, and newlyweds as well. We’ve talked about, horses and sheep and doves and bees, and, the month of Ramadan is full of it. It’s full of blessing and, incidentally, the gates of hell are closed. Muslims have the idea that, you know, that Satan is bound during Ramadan. I sometimes would, would seem to me that Satan was more active.


There were more fights, during Ramadan because people were grouchy, and I don’t know. It just didn’t seem like Satan was bound at all. He was very, very active and, doing his will in that day. Now there is this idea too of remembrance of Allah. You do wonder sometimes, do they think this is a blessing, or is it a way to to control Allah?


To you know, if you say the right thing and do the right thing at the right time, then you can be, you can you can you can make it. Allah, of course, his this 99 names of God, with Allah in the center here, this is this is hung up in many, many houses. I even saw it in a Christian home. A fellow didn’t really know the Lord. I never thought, he was more into politics than he was into spirituality.


But, all kinds of amulets and, plaques where you have the names of God and that is a source of blessing. Now here is something that came right out of Toronto. We have a lot of Muslims in Toronto. And, in the, the Islamic books, Here is when you’re supposed to remember Allah. When starting on a to, starting to do something, say Bismillah.


Anything. Anything. Even when you start to eat or start to have, physical relationship with your wife. Bismillah is what you’re supposed to say. Or when you intend to do something, you must say Insha’Allah.


I’ll do it Insha’Allah. And if I don’t do it, then it’s God’s fault. If something is to be praised, Subhan Allah, in pain or distress, You Allah. You see, this is, Muslims when the, you know, in the the the, 10th of Muharram, there is a lot of pain. They say You Allah or You Ali.


They also say that too expressing appreciation. Oh, you’ve got a beautiful son. Or thanking someone. Awakening from sleep. There is no other god but Allah.


Taking an oath. And sneezing. You see? Someone else sneezes. Repenting of sin.


If you are reciting the Quran and make a mistake in your recitation, you have to say this. You’re repenting of a sin, giving to charity, fisabi’ulillah, having love for 1, lahu billah, greeting getting married, see, on and on and on. So, you have to say and participating in prayer, you have to say ameen, a death message. If you hear that someone has died, there’s something to say. And if you hear of someone’s death, may god have mercy, you see, on this.


So those are the things that you must say, specific things that you must learn. It’s very regimented. It’s very, mechanical, you see. Mechanical to do the right thing, to say the right thing. It’s almost, a, a great burden.


In other words, how can you remember all of this stuff? Givers of blessing. Well, it’s very important to say Salaam Alaikum. Now I see nothing wrong with saying Salaam Alaikum. You know, it’s it’s pretty close to what Jesus must have said, shalom alaikum, which is Hebrew.


In Arabic, it’s salaam alaikum. The response is be returned to you. And in some areas, they seem to drag it out a long ways. I sort of like it myself, but some Christians where I was wouldn’t even, use those terms. They said, you know, those are Islamic terms, they’re not our terms, and, so they wouldn’t use them.


I see nothing wrong in those terms. Another thing that’s important to do is to handshake after prayer. You know, Muslims are pretty heavy on handshake, and by the way, hugs too. Giving someone a hug, men with men, always gender related, this is, gender specific is an important thing to do and so there’s a lot of hugs going on. Tea, coffee, you know, giving chai.


You can drink more chai in the Middle East than you can shake a stick at. But it is a it is a pretty important thing. It’s, it’s it’s really giving a blessing. Now, on this same topic of blessing, I’m thinking of a book by, Lessing, I guess his name is. He, says that the evangelist bringing the gospel to Muslims must be true, honest, faithful messenger of God.


He must be recognized as a man of blessing who walks close to god, trustworthy. He must be filled with empathy and love through words, and his message must reveal that he is a man or I could say a person blessed by God. Lenning wrote this book, Blessing in God in mosque and mission. Now the the verses there, let’s see, is second Timothy 222 about, you know, the what you’ve received from me, he says, pass on to men who will, you know, to take it to pass it on to others. Now Muslims may see us as ungodly, beer drinkers, pig eaters, emotus, immodest, and immoral.


Why? Well, for various reasons. They don’t necessarily see us the way that we want to be seen. So it’s a we have a challenge on our hands, don’t we? In other words, how do we come across, given the western movies and the way that our country has spread pornography and immorality through the movies and the impression.


The other day, I heard president Morsi from Morsi from Egypt. He was over here. I guess he was attending the UN. This is 2,012, September. And they said to him, well, what do you think of the United States?


Well, I I, you know, I I’m pretty impressed with it. I like your roads and stuff, but there are other things that I don’t like. And he want to mention, the immodesty that he sees in the television and and so on and so on. So, we have that challenge because, Muslims look at it and they think of us as, you know, they’re all we’re all Christians. So we want to, we want to make sure that we, they don’t, you know, we don’t get the they don’t give the impression that we are, you know, we go along with that.


I mean, our culture is so full, you know, of pictures of of beautiful women, scantily dressed. And this is our this is our culture. This is our society. And as if this was the only thing that would rich, rich, you know, as if this was the only thing that matters. Nothing to do with character.


Nothing to do with, godliness. But women are chosen oftentimes, you know, in the Miss America and, the Emmy Awards and all that kind of stuff. How can we show Muslims that we’re praying people and that we are full of blessing. That’s really the task, isn’t it? That’s really the task that, Blessing was talking about.


And may god help us to be to give a good witness.

Episode 136
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Sayyids and Other Practitioners
Jul 24, 2024 | Runtime: 22m | Download
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Sayyids and Other Practitioners Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on Sayyids and other practitioners during… Read More

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Sayyids and Other Practitioners

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Sayyids and Other Practitioners

Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on Sayyids and other practitioners during a CIU course. Here, Larson presents what Sayyids are, Diviners and Medicine Men and Women, Midwives, Amulets, Witches, and Marabouts, and how the Qur’an supports this. 

Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Sayyids and Other Practitioners.


I was I was mentioning in the last, lecture that the next one would be about, you know, it would be following after the missiological stuff, and it’s going to be about sayyids and other practitioners. What in heaven’s name are Sayyids? Well, a Sayyid is a descendant of the prophet. In other words, one who can trace his line right up to Muhammad. And these people, in my experience, were quite proud of the fact that they were sayids.


In other words, they could trace their their lineage right to the, to the top as it were. They, some all too often turned out to be beggars because they felt that that, you know, that the rest of the Muslims owed them a living. But they also got get into prayer writing. You know, after all, if you’ve got the prophet’s blood in your veins, you can be, a van avenue, a conduit of special blessings. So you write prayers, for, you know, that people could use and wear, not prayers to memorize for their, for their beauty, but prayers to wear for power.


And, also, they’re the kind of people that get into healing, and I would think that their their spittle and stuff like that, is pretty powerful stuff. For the Shiites, we want to remember that there are certain people in Islamic history who are of special significance to them. Basically, they’re the big five. There is Muhammad, naturally, but Fatima, his daughter, because she was married to Ali, and of course this is more than, 5, but I’m I’m just saying that if we would take Mohammed, Fatima, Ali Husayn, and Hassan. That’s 5.


That’s apart from the imams, 12 imams, but it’s the big five, you see. The, the gang of 5 that are really, really important. Wanted to point out that Ali in, you know, in in, Shi’ite contexts is very, very important. If you were to go to a place like Mazar e Sharif in northern Afghanistan, where there are so many Shiites and the beautiful mosque there, you know, really, Ali is the one they love. They are thinking about him, and, Hussein is, his son who was so, as you know, brutally murdered in 680, and whose death is grieved and lamented and, just a constant source of of of grief every year every year for the last 1500 years.


So Hus Hasan is his brother who, wouldn’t take the leadership, but those are the for the Shiites. Now the graves, of course, of these people mentioned and others as well, you know, important people in Islamic history are extremely important for Barakah, for healing, and for help of all kinds anything. The tombs of Muhammad where he is buried in Medina and Fatima and the 4 imams, who were buried in in Medina, there have been, were such an attraction that the Wahabis, who are straight, you know, and orthodox folks, they, destroyed them. I don’t know what the condition is of right now, but they destroyed them because they they thought, you know, this is sacrilegious to spend that much time at the tombs, and so they were against the folk stuff. Thinking about the imams, you know, Iraq is is, and and Iran, of course, too.


Just in these days, in United Nations here in New York, Ahmadinejad, prime minister of Iran, is on hand, and he’s talking. There the UN is very, very worried about nuclear stuff, you know, Iran becoming a nuclear power. He is there, and, of course, he has made threats against Israel. You know, he says, well, Iran is 100 and 100 and 100 of years old, you know, 7000, 10000 years old. Israel is only 50 to 60 years old.


He is a matter it’s a matter of concern for everyone, his threats against Israel, but, I’m just going to say that, in in a very real sense, Ahmadinejad is not the one who is ruling Iran. It’s the Imams because that’s the Imam country. The Imams are the ones who call the shots and in Iraq too you have very, very influential imams. You have 7 of them, in Iraq who are extremely important, 2 at Qazimain near Baghdad, 3 at Samara, and then there is Hussein, which is is close to Karbala. I’m talking about the graves here, the tombs, and Ali who is in Najaf or Najaf, and then there’s the 12th imam who doesn’t have a tomb.


Why? Because he went into hiddenness. So, those, that’s Shi’iteism or Shi’ism and, we often don’t spend a whole lot of time talking about the Shiites, but remember that there are a lot of Shiites in the world. Every country, Muslim country, 10, 15%, except for Iran. There’s a smashing majority and also a majority just, over half of the Muslims in Iraq are Shiites and Bahrain is also majority of Muslims.


So and and greatly persecuted by Saudi Arabia, I believe. So we’ve talked about the Sayyids. Now let’s talk about the diviners, those who divine. We’ve actually mentioned that before. Let’s go on to the medicine men, and I might add sometimes women, you know, women are into this stuff too.


We’ve said before that in formal Islam, the women are put down. They’re, really don’t have much of a say. They’re they’re not part of the mosque worship, but these women, resourceful as they are, have made their made their point and and, they have their influence in folk stuff. Thinking about the medicine men, Uzbekistan. In Uzbekistan, that’s up there in Central Asia, a shaman is called when a serious illness occurs.


So he contacts the familiar spirits in the court of a a seance for a source. In other words, where did this ill illness come from? Why is it here? He uses herbs, incantations incantations, and, understandably and predictably, in a situation like that, death is never used because of its it’s just a bad omen. Angels say amen to your supplications, so you don’t want to, you don’t wanna do that.


Now in Pakistan, medicine men are quite common, especially in rural areas. They’re called oftentimes hakims. Another word for them is quack doctors, but that’s not very flattering, but they do a lot of quackery and mixing concoctions. You don’t never know what they’re mixing, but they’re they’re mixing stuff. And I can, just, you know, see images of these fellows, mixing some kind of stuff in the middle of the village or the town and, usually, it’s a potion of, for virility.


This guy is just pouring in stuff, you know, and all incantation, all kinds of stuff, and all lots and lots of men, illiterate villagers standing around listening to this this stuff, but, their diagnosis is dangerous, because they’re diagnosing all kinds of things that they don’t have the training or the skill to do, but nevertheless, they’re into it, these hakims. They say there’s a saying that says, Niem Hakim, if the the, you know, the the quack doctor is a danger to your health. Well, the midwives may use sorcery to keep a husband faithful. So in other words, here is a husband going off to the Middle East or going here and there to, to work. The midwife may use some kind of potion to keep him faithful, but there is also the idea of of, you know, making somebody fall in love with you.


You want to attract a certain young lady, but she’s not interested and neither are her parents. In fact, maybe they’ve even she’s even refused you. So what do you do? Well, you might have to go to a midwife and resort to this. Then you have the prayer white writers, amulet makers.


And, if you are anxious, and all women are, to have a male child, You may have to have a prayer writer write something so that you can have a boy, a baby boy, because baby boys are much more valuable than baby girls. Here is a part of the Muslim world. I haven’t seen this myself, but and it’s probably not true today, but they used to have a when the, when they were waiting to see whether it was a girl or a boy, if it was a green light, It was a boy, a red light. It was a girl if they announced as they announced the birth of a child. So, of course, they’re waiting for a green light.


I’m not sure why they chose those particular colors. Spirit workers, we’ve talked about those. Witches, witches, let’s think of some of the, first of all, things in the scripture. I wanted to just read a couple of verses here. One is the verse in, Revelation 21:8 that has to do with, witchcraft, it says that, you know, the the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic arts are going to be in the fire of hell.


So here you have witchcraft, pharmaco, which is the word that we get pharmacy from, isn’t it? And remember, remember in Acts 13 where, Paul deals severely. He deals very, very severely with this sorcerer. It says in verse 6 that they traveled, they traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos, and there they met a Jew Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Barjesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. And so I’m sorry, in verse 8, it says, Elymas, the sorcerer, for that which is that’s what his name means, the same guy, He opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.


And then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, you are a child of the devil and enemy enemy of everything that’s right. Now Saul doesn’t mess around, does he, Paul? He doesn’t mess around with the sorcery. He just takes, he really takes it, you know, head on. Is he not?


Amazing. He doesn’t pussyfoot around at all. Now maraboues, which is the word for, that they use for, you know, peers in, in most of Africa, a French name, would be using a fetish, which is an object of divine power inhabited by the spirit, sewn in a leather case that’s very, very common, which is stiff paper and then Arabic letters of god in there, and that would be the charm, the fetish, or to, you know, some kind of a spell, magical stuff. In Nigeria, a left handed marabou is highly esteemed. Now this is, interesting because most of the time in the Muslim world, you don’t use your left hand.


That is what is used for going to the bathroom. That’s what’s, you know, and and, they have it that Satan eats with his left hand, but here you have in Nigeria, the left handed marabou is highly esteemed. Interesting stuff, isn’t it? In, Mauritania, the Marabou uses his saliva. You know, this saliva stuff is, is very, very important.


In Senegal, 85% belong to powerful Sufi brotherhoods. Sufism. Sufism. Sufism is very, very, strong, isn’t it, in the, in the Muslim world? Now we’ll keep talking about marabous.


Marabous can be cruel. They can bless by spitting on, the head of of the of the person. You see this spittle is very, very important. People eat scraps from his meals. The bottled water he’s used is saved.


It’s mixed with sand and sold, in amulets and, and and then, there’s some of the verses that would be used. I could think of, one of them here is in 3 and 31. You know, it says that, say, if you love Allah, follow me. Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. Now for some reason, that’s one of the verses that could be used, but another one, would be 10 and 62.


Behold, verily, on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve. So those might be the verses that are used, in the amulet. Now, the this we’ve just read that verse in 1062 about, you know, certain people are in this this class. So, those are the ones that can intercede. Those are the ones that you can get blessing through, and, they’re the friends, the from the it’s the plural of wali, which is aulia.


And, I wanted to make reference here to, let’s see, 18, If we can find the verse 18 and verse 65, this is, interesting stuff here. It’s, the idea is that, you know, you have a have a pier because, after all, Moses had a pier, and, this is what the Quran says. It’s 1865. It says they found 1 of our servants of whom we had bestowed mercy from ourselves, and verse 66 says, Moses said to him, may I follow you on the footing that you teach me something of higher truth? So in other words, they might say, well, you know, Moses had a pier, so why shouldn’t we?


Anyway, it’s a little bit off the topic, but, the next verse, that’s actually 18 and verse 85. It’s not the next verse, but it’s on ahead. It is 85 and 86. Well, I should have mentioned 85. It calls him, Hidr, which is, the green one.


And, you know, this is sort of the idea, isn’t it? You see these saints or Sufis or whatever, and they’re wearing green. But I wanted to mention something that’s a little bit off the topic here, and it’s 18/86, and it’s something that’s very unscientific, but it says that, until when when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water. Near it, he found a people. We said, oh, Dholul Qurnayn.


That’s the word for Alexander the great. Thou hast authority either to punish them. So here what you have is reference to Alexander the Great. It’s another name for him, a chronic name. He was in the 4th century BC, but here he is in the Quran and here it says that, he reached the setting of the sun, he found it in the spring of murky water.


This is most unscientific. The commentator tries to get around it, you know, tries to explain this, which is, really ridiculous. But, I thought I’d just mention that on the side. We’re we’re talking focused on. We’re not this is not, you know, apologetics, but we we couldn’t help but mention that.


Now the Hausa is among the Swahili. The Wolofi, or Surdanese, often blindly follow a, a Sufi, and this picture is covering up some of it, but it’s, some of these these, Sufi groups like, the the Janiyah, and so on, like that. So, all over the place. In other words, it’s they’re they’re quite common. Practicers in in Indonesia, background here, followers of Aghami Javi movements called kabutaynan, and their, attitude to of total surrender to the Sufi, to this saint.


Mysticism is Islam is called Sisawuf, the book, by the way, that was written by this, in reference to this. Mystic Sufi organized into a tariqat. We would say tariqa, and, under a charismatic leader called a mushed, you see, that’s the word for healer, and on and on. So the dukun is a traditional midwives called dukun bayi. Masurs are called dukun.


They pack practice magic. They’re respected and important people. They can be possessed by the spirits, so act as medium. They specialize as aggressive or destructive magic or they specialize in that and, are into divination and numerology. Now, we go on to associations, we’re almost finished with this lecture here, but, the idea is that in Islam and folk practices that the souls of men may inhabit dogs, cats, gazelles, snakes, etcetera.


And so you see here you have again the idea of, why Muslims are often so much against dogs. It’s it’s not just the dogs are unclean, which they are, but to the idea that they might be actually, you know, demon possessed and so on. So, and then, you have the the fact that some say bones are the food of gins, so you don’t touch the bones. And animals might be, the object of an evil lie as I’ve already mentioned, over and over again. There is, of course, the fact that pigs are unclean, and that is taboo, but the dogs are, are, no no.


Now there are some animals that are sources of blessing in folk Islam. For example, horses are okay as they may be associated with braq, the animal that, Muhammad allegedly traveled used on his trip to heaven. So you see horses and then sheep doves also give barakah. So you see bad animals, dogs, cats, anything else like that, not to mention pigs, but then the good ones through whom, you know, there can be blessing. And I could have mentioned, well, with dovesies on there as well.

Episode 135
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Missiological Implication with Folk Islam 
Jul 24, 2024 | Runtime: 20m | Download
Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Missiological Implication with Folk Islam  Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on Missiological implications with Folk… Read More

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Missiological Implication with Folk Islam 

Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Missiological Implication with Folk Islam 

Dr. Warren Larson delivered a lecture on Missiological implications with Folk Islam during a CIU course. Here, Larson presents the different contextualization strategies and examples of the felt needs of Folk Muslims and how the Gospel can answer their needs. 

Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Dr. Warren Larson Lecture: Missiological Implication with Folk Islam


27 has to do with, missiological stuff, missiological application, and it’s just before in other words, it’s it’s getting close to the end of unit 2. You might wonder why in the world the missiological application doesn’t come at the very end because we have one lecture after this on unit 1. But I think, I would argue that we’ve tried to do missiological application all the way through the course. So, it is structured this way and this is going to include some stuff on contextualization. Some of it I will go through rather quickly because contextualization is a never ending topic.


But we will, talk about missiological stuff here and hope it’s helpful to you. And and specifically, we’re going to be mentioning some of the, well, I guess, the felt needs of folk Muslims, and, most of the attention is on Pakistan. Listen to this. It comes out of the BBC. Pakistan’s holy men under fire.


Wasim Rana, the real village headman from the Punjab in East Pakistan, proud of his community, but he’s not really happy or proud of what happened just recently. What was that? He said we came to his village after hearing that a baby girl has been buried alive. Her name was Ikra, and she has been buried was buried on the advice of the peer, this saint, who I don’t know what in the world he was thinking, but, you know, all kinds of strange things these peers do. Peers are intermediators between Allah and the community.


There are thousands of them. They’re descendants of Sufis. In other words, there’s a connection with them, believed to have spiritual powers and, peers, especially fake ones, routinely abuse the power for, the corruption, extortion, and, unfortunately, even rape. You read about these things in the newspapers in Pakistan. So, then in that light in that light of of the kind of peers, saints, that you often run across, what can we say about the, missiological implications?


But I wanted to, to just note here that it’s not just, for folk, but it’s formal or folk. And and just for general principles here of contextualization, we need to understand what people think is the problem. And so I I guess if you went into an area where focus on was rampant, which is most of the time, and and, you know, as you come in there with Christians and church and all that, you’re trying to figure out how best to handle this. So, first, you would wanna understand what the people think is the problem, what do they think, these people who are struggling with their peers, what do they think is the problem, and then create some kind of a bridge, using scripture and evaluating the problem, but also evaluating customs using the Bible in a consultative manner manner, rather. In other words, you don’t come in like, the lone ranger.


Practice then contextualized ethics. Well, what about contextualizing the message? I think these passages are very helpful for folk Muslims. Matter of fact, they’re helpful for all of us. But think of the passages, like Proverbs 3, 5, and 6, trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.


In other words, God can give guidance and he does give guidance as we look to him. I may have mentioned this before. Let me just mention Matthew’s passage first before the Romans one and, I will open up my Bible to Romans 8. But Matthew 1128-thirty was the the most favorite verse among our Muslim students taking bible correspondence courses, that is come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.


So many times in our Bible correspondence work with Muslims taking courses all over the country, they would come across this verse and they would say, Oh, we love that verse. It speaks to our heart and I can understand why because they are not used to seeing that, in anyone really, certainly not in their own religious leaders, their peers, haven’t seen too much of it either in their own prophet, in the records that they have of him, although those are certainly, he they’ve as we’ve noted, they’re totally blown out of proportion today. But the other portion is, Romans 8, and and this is precious to you, I know, but think of it for Muslim, folk Muslims. You know, it says we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them are called according to his purpose, Romans 828. But then it goes on, You know, who those he called, those he foreknew, he predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.


That he might be the firstborn among any. Those he predestined, he also called, those he called, he also justified, those he justified, he glorified, And then verse 31, what shall we say then? If God be for us, who can be against us? He spared not his only son, how shall he but deliver him up for his all? How will he not with him give us graciously give us all things?


Wow. You know, this is just great stuff for, for, people who are worried and concerned and lack peace, lack hope. Another verse that is very precious to me is Romans 15. May the God of hope, who you know, the the God who gives hope, may he fill you with hope, with peace and and, joy, I guess it is. Let me look at that.


It just miss I’m just missing it for the moment, the the the verse, but it’s it’s Romans 15. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him through the power of the Holy Spirit? See, this is a great this is a God of hope. You don’t really have that in, in, Islam because you cannot, lay your your your you can’t be certain that that God is really gonna be with you, that he’s gonna help you, and so that’s why those verses are so precious. Now there’s a couple of other incidents, situations.


Sobe Irani in Lahore, a 13 year old, is pregnant because she was abducted and raped by a peer. Somehow she had managed to escape. The peer had agreed to treat Sobia’s brother at home. One day when her parents were out, told Sobia to run to the local shrine to pray. The peer with 2 other men raped her, and the police were of no help at all.


Now we know that, child abuse is rampant. The only thing is is that in our context, here in in the United States and in some other countries, most other countries, in the West, there is swift and severe punishment for those who take advantage. At least we strive for that. But, these peers often get away with murder. And in the book Blasphemy by Tahemina Drane, she’s that’s based on a true story of a sadistic peer told by a battered, humiliated wife.


And you can Google, this title here, Blasphemy by Hamid Durrani, and you can find that material for yourself. Now let’s go on to contextualizing the messenger. We’ve seen and talked about that peers are often unscrupulous, charlatans, immoral, and they fleece people. Now, this here, on exorcism might seem a little bit out of context, a little bit out of place here, but, present it in light of previous lessons. In other words, we’re talking about, dealing with, you know, the troubles, the, demonic troubles that that, Muslims have, also the trouble with peers.


But, and I think we’ve talked about this before. We pray in Jesus’ name. We, praise through singing, prayer in each room for blessings, sending demons demons to the appointed place. I, I don’t think I shared a story, of of Pakistan where we did this. I may have.


I I just don’t remember. But, one of our friends, a Muslim, and his wife were being troubled in their home by spirits, who were troubling them at night and, laying on them and even the children could feel the pressure. And so eventually, they moved out, but they came to us, and so some of us went over there. We sang songs, the pastor and a couple of Muslim converts, my wife and I, and we went from room to room in this mud house. And we sprinkled water, we sang hymns, we prayed, and, and, this Muslim and her husband came back, and they said that they had no more trouble at all in that house.


So that’s what we need to do, really, in in in where we think that there is a problem. In fact, I think it’s a good, a good thing to do. Wherever you are, even in this country, when you go into a new place, we don’t know what has been happening there before. So I think it’s a good place to cleanse the rooms and to pray, And we’re getting about to move ourselves in a few weeks up to Vancouver. And so when we get our own place up there, we are gonna try to do the same.


Now the question is, is still on contextualization. Should a messenger of God trying to be? Here are a couple of lists, and this is not just folk stuff. It’s basically Islam. And I’d say again that you really often can’t separate folk and formal, so, we’ll just live with that tension.


But here are some comparisons between a Muslim leader and a Christian missionary, and I believe this comes out of Bill Musk. It’s adapted. But, you know, the Muslim leader is often somewhat passive disposition whereas the missionaries tend to be drivers and doers, at least any of the missionaries I saw. We are active, so this is how perception. Muslim leader may be subjective, outlook Here, objective life orientation.


Here, people oriented, task oriented, poor, except certain peers, as we suggested, who do a pretty good job of fleecing people. Here, the missionary is undoubtedly, has more stuff, usually a car, a camera, a recorder, a fridge, and are regarded as wealthy. Here, Muslim leader would not watch a drama, watch TV, or movies. Here, a missionary would probably do all 3. The Muslim leader would not eat in expensive restaurants.


The Christian missionary would very likely do so. The Muslim leader would not eat pork. Christian missionary well might eat pork. Here, the Muslim leader may be recognized by his religious dress. Here, Christian missionaries may be recognized by their secular dress.


This one here, Muslim leader wears a beard, there’s a misspelling there. Here, Christian missionary often does not wear a beard, and here the wife of the Muslim leader would either wear a veil or culturally approved clothes. Here in, Christian Missionary, they have not always the wives have not always dressed in clothes that are regarded by Muslims as modest and thus identified, them with the sinful actresses. But, you know, they might do that anyway. They might, identify the western woman with those kind of western movies anyway.


But the least we can do is try the best we can to to identify culturally, with the area we’re we’re living in in in these areas, in other words, to the extent possible. Now let’s go on to contextualizing the church. Here are some case studies. 1 of our former students wrote about the Fulani. She said the Fulani rejoice that spirits are subject to them.


They wear amulets from the Koran, drink water from verses, a verse is for power, and a child is sent to the mallam or mullah. In Africa, they call them mallams. A 3 year process to memorize 26 chapters in Arabic and to know the alphabet. Now generally, it wouldn’t take 3 years but, it might for some students. But they have no idea what they’re saying, and, and this former student said that women stopped by to dip their finger in the water off the slate, and a student, a young boy, who doesn’t want to learn, in other words, has trouble, maybe even chained as he learns the Quran coming out of the Central Asian Republic.


Now, this is one of the forms, and it has to do with Luke 10:20, so I’m not going to talk about it here, but you can discuss it on the forms. We did talk about it in class, as I remember, this summer, But now here’s a question about the church. Here is a pastor, I believe the context here is Africa, who says that he wants to cast demons out of the blood bank before using it. What would you do as a missionary? Now you might think, well, you know, it doesn’t matter.


Let’s just go along with it. But I, I can remember talking about this in class, that you don’t really want to, to become a Christian animist. In other words, for one thing, I don’t think that a blood bank can be infested with demons, but it would take quite a bit of of, diplomacy, wouldn’t it, and prayer and love to, you know, not to go along with this. It would be difficult, but I I think that I think it would be extreme, in other words, to start casting out demons out of everything and and anything, pretty well you’re casting them out of a pen, if you suspect it. But, see, the blood will be used for other patients, and so, but but, obviously, to do this.


Here’s another one, I think, just as tricky, perhaps even more dangerous, because of the potential problem here, a drought hit northeast Ghana. By mid July, there was still no rain. And the king of Deban calls for special prayer by the imam to avert drought. But the Christians there in that country, a tiny minority, feel that to partake in that prayer, in other words, in that prayer, special prayer by the Muslims, would be a compromise because they know that witchcraft, sorcery, is in it. So they send a message back to the king saying, sorry.


We’re Christians. We cannot partake of this. Well, there’s a reaction, and some churches are burned, people are beaten. 2 weeks later, the same thing comes up. Again, the Christians refuse and are in trouble.


Now, if we were face to face, we would be talking about this and it would be interesting to break up in groups and so on. We don’t have that option, but I think we can think about this. And, one thing we talked about in class and and whenever we’ve brought this case study up, we’ve talked about this, that it would it would be better to send a message to the, king, to the effect that, you know, we believe in prayer as Christians and we are going to pray, but we are against any type of demonic activity, so we are going to pray at our own time and, would you kindly set a special time apart for the Christians? We are going to pray in Jesus’ name, for something to happen. Now it does it is risky because what if it doesn’t rain?


But I think what you’re trying to do is trying to set it up so that Christ gets the glory and that, you’re not compromising your beliefs. And when you think of that particular story, I think, the only thing really that, is against the gospel or the sorcery and witchcraft, prayer is certainly, of God and so you want to pray, you want people, Muslims, the king, and everybody to realize that you’re you’re prayerful people and you pray you’re concerned about the country, you’re concerned about rain, but you want to pray in a way that God gets the glory through Christ and, you don’t want there to be any confusion, so you want to set it up, I think, in that way. Those are some of the some of the thoughts that we had and, it certainly isn’t easy, you know, to if you were a missionary by any chance working in that scene, how would you handle it? How would you advise people? I mean, how would you, encourage the church to, to be involved, but to, to not compromise the gospel?


These are some of the questions that we think about as on this topic.