Exposed! A Critical Examination of Dr. Nasir Siddiki’s Story
A while back I had found these 2 testimonials of a certain Dr. Nasir Siddiki of Wisdom Ministries, a former Muslim businessman who claimed to have been healed by Jesus Christ (AS), and as such left Islam and became a Christian minister/businessman. Curious to see what could have drove a man to abandon Islam and accept Christianity, I decided to lend an ear to his story. I really have no problem accepting that a minority of Muslims can and do leave Islam, although I have my own theories as to why that would happen – either they didn’t have their facts straight and made an honest mistake, or that they actually didn’t go through a spiritual journey, but had an ulterior motive for their conversion. I understand how biased all that may sound, and that is why I actually bothered watching and researching Dr. Nasir Siddiki with an open mind and an honest approach…and after all my research, I have to say, it doesn’t look too good for Dr. Siddiki.
The bulk of these post will deal with the first testimony i found, henceforth known as Testimonial A. Testimony as two parts, Part 1 and Part 2. He made another testimony as well (henceforth known as Testimonial B), but its shorter, and brings nothing new to his story – rather he just makes the same mistakes he did in his 2-part video testimony. I highly advise everyone to watch both testimonials before proceeding with this post, so that you will know exactly what I am talking about here.
Here is a quick outline of what I want to cover (in the order that I noticed them while studying the videos, thought not necessarily the order in which they appear), and then I will go into detail and discuss their significance: (1) incorrect pronunciation of common Islamic vocabulary, (2) incorrect representation salah (the Muslim obligatory prayer) during the reenactment, (3) misconceptions about the Islam’s take on materialistic success, (4) a lack of faith, reliance, and hope in God Almighty, (5) a contradiction between the two testimonial videos regarding who Dr. Siddiki prayed to during his illness, (6) idolatry/blasphemy when Dr. Siddiki prayed to Muhammad (SAW), (7) a complete ignorance of the existence of an Akhira (Islam’s take on the Hereafter), (8) a contradiction within the first testimonial about how much the doctor knew about the Hereafter, (9) misunderstanding the concept of salvation in Islam, (10) misunderstanding of common Islamic vocabulary, (11) a misconception about personal assurance of salvation in Islam, (12) misunderstanding the concept of Jihad and its role in Islam, (13) an misunderstanding of the concept of Allah (SWT), (14) a misunderstanding of unconditional love and free will in both Islam and Christianity, and lastly, (15) an erroneous notion of an Islamic agenda to convert the entire world. After I hit all 15 points of misrepresenting Islam, I will then discuss a couple of other pertinent issues.
The first problem with Dr. Siddiki that we shall discuss is his accent and pronunciation of common Islamic vocabulary. He says in the beginning of Testimonial A Part 1 that he had an Indian mother and an very religious Egyptian father (both were Muslim), and that he grew up in London, but his accent is that of any North American English speaker. More importantly, he pronounces common Islamic words like that of a FOX News anchor. For example, he refers to his family and adherents to Islam as “Moslems” instead of “Muslims,” or Islam’s holy scripture as the “Koran” instead of the “Qur’an.” He mispronounces Allah (SWT) as “Aala,” and the prophet Muhammad (SAW) as “Mohamed.” He also refers to the holy month of Ramadan (the month of they daylight fast) as “Ramzan.” Now, it is true that many South Asian Muslims mispronounce Ramadan in this manner, too, and that his mother being Indian, he might have adopted this pronounciation. However, his father was a strict Egyptian Muslim, and he would have taught Dr. Siddiki how to pronounce everything in the proper Arabic pronunciation (Arabic being the official language of Egypt). Yet, Dr. Siddiki shows no such knowledge of Arabic, and his South Asian pronunciation of “Ramzan” is the only exception to his otherwise completely North American accent, and so even his mother’s South Asian accent cannot account for all the other problems with this speech. So what does his speech prove? It proves that at the very least, he came from a background that wasn’t too involved with Islam. He was probably not exposed to these Islamic vocabulary enough growing up, so he might have learned them during his time in Toronto Canada. I am not saying his family wasn’t Muslim, but if they were, they probably weren’t practicing Muslims if they didn’t even say these common Islamic terms enough in the house for Dr. Siddiki to learn at least their South Asian pronunciation (from his Indian mother), if not their pure Arabic pronunciation (from his Egyptian father). This means that is education and knowledge of Islam was probably very limited, and that perhaps his family wasn’t as religious as he makes them out to have been. Basically, this puts his background story into question, and also makes one wonder just how involved was Dr. Siddiki with Islam?
The second problem is that during a reenactment, Dr. Siddiki improperly portrayed the method of the Islamic obligatory prayer. I am going to totally ignore how lame the reenactments are in the first place, and just stick to this one part in Testimonial A Part 1 (00:40 – 00:51) where Dr. Siddiki is going into sajdah (prostration), and he appears to be sitting between the two sajadat during a raka’ah (one unit of prayer), but has he is about to go down to the second sajdah he has his hands raised to his ears as they would be during takbir al-ihram (the takbir with the hands raised that initiates the prayer). Now, I know that some of the madhaahab (pl. for madhhab, an Islamic school of jurisprudence) are of the opinion that the hands should be raised during various key points of the salah, but none of them advocate the hands being raise inbetween the sajdahs, so his salah was in incorrect form. Also, he was looking up towards the sky during salah, and this is strictly forbidden in Islam, and this is agreed on by ALL scholars of ALL madhaahab (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.1 Bk.12 No.717). So here we have two ways Dr. Siddiki messed up a simple 11-second clip of himself performing the prayer. What I want to know is, if he really was Muslim, then why did he incorrectly portray the salah? Was he never educated in the procedures of salah? Or did he never practice salah? I hope it is one of the two, because if he did know how to pray, but just decided to misconstrue the salah just so that it might appeal to a Christian stereotype of the salah as well as the Western idea of what sincere and earnest prayer looks like, then that would be a sad sign of his character and intentions. Some people might want to argue that perhaps it wasn’t really Dr. Nasir Siddiki, but just some other person who looks EXTRAordinarily like him. Even if it were so, it still wouldn’t matter. They put so much effort in getting all the other details right, such as the make-up to make Dr. Siddiki’s super-shingles boils and blisters look as bad as he says, and they made the image of Jesus Christ (AS) pretty “heavenly” as well, and they even went out of there way to have the shower scene look legit (when he prays to Jesus Christ (AS) and all his boils and blisters fall off his skin), and yet they couldn’t take the time to make a simple prostration look right? And Dr. Siddiki endorsed that, instead of making a simple correction? Seriously…
The third problem is a big one for me personally – Dr. Nasir Siddiki seems to be under the impression that Islam teaches people to go out and become successful financially and materialistically at the expense one’s spirituality and inner peace. He says in Testimonial A Part 1 (01:00 – 01:54) that it was Islam that made him pursue business, and then he talks about how he felt empty and unsatisfied after become rich and successful, as if something was missing in his life. In reality, the reason why he felt empty and unsatisfied is because that after he received his provision from Allah (SWT), he never turned to Him in gratitude and love. Dr. Siddiki didn’t have Allah (SWT) in heart, he never remembered his Lord who blessed him with so much provision and success. He never talks about trying to foster a relationship with the One who gave him his provisions. Yes, he should be able to support himself in the physical world, but he didn’t so anything support himself in the spiritual sense. That is why I took offense when Dr. Siddiki said later in his video how Jesus Christ (AS) gave him a more wholesome and satisfying perspective on life that Islam never offered. He made it seem like Islam taught materialism, materialism, and even more materialism, with nothing about personal development. Anyone who has ever read the Qur’an and studied Islam knows that Islam is strictly against materialism and any sort of obsession with earthly affairs/matters/wealth that sacrifices spiritual growth. As a matter of fact, a whole chapter of the Qur’an is devoted to the matter:
The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things), until ye visit the graves. But nay, ye soon shall know (the reality). Again, ye soon shall know! Nay, were ye to know with certainty of mind, (ye would beware!) Ye shall certainly see Hell-Fire! Again, ye shall see it with certainty of sight! Then, shall ye be questioned that Day about the joy (ye indulged in!). (Surah at-Takathur, Qur’an Ch.102 vv.1-8)
As you can see, this chapter does anything but teach people to just strive for financial success. It actually warns of the illusion of success offered in this world and warns those who strive for material success at the expense of spiritual growth. Dr. Nasir Siddiki would have done well to read and ponder on this short chapter, a chapter that is one of the handful of chapters that a majority of Muslims memorize for their obligatory prayers due to its shortness of length.
This doesn’t mean that getting rich in Islam is necessarily a sin. Wealth is seen as both a gift from God Almighty as well as a test. As long as you do not get too attached to your wealth, fortune, fame, power, etc., and make it your ilah (deity, master, highest desire, lord, center of attention, goal, focus of life, etc.), then success is fine. However, the Qur’an teaches us to give out of what Allah (SWT) gave to us and to use our success for the benefit of others (Surah al-Baqarah, Qur’an Ch.2 v.3), because whatever we own really isn’t ours, but in reality everything and everyone belongs to God Almighty. So as long as we do not get too egotistical and attached to this world and its pleasures, being wealthy is fine. Islam teaches us to go out and seek our fortune, but mind your spiritual duties as well (Surah al-Baqarah, Qur’an Ch.2 vv.200-201).
All throughout the Qur’an God Almighty warns us how sorry we will be if we focus on this illusory world and never develop our connection with Allah (SWT), like this line:
“Ah! Would that (Death) had made an end of me! Of no profit to me has been my wealth! My power has perished from me!” (Surah al-Haqqah, Qur’an Ch.69 vv.27-29)
Now, maybe Dr. Nasir Siddiki was confused. Perhaps he read somewhere that Muslims were called to success, because in truth, Muslims are called to success 10 times a day…during the adhan (the Islamic call to prayer) that is called out 5 times a day. A line of the adhan is “Haya ‘ala l-Falah”, meaning “Come to (True) Success,” and is called out twice during every adhan, right after the lines “Haya ‘ala s-Salah, Haya ‘ala s-Salah,” meaning “Come to Prayer, Come to Prayer.” This call equates prayer, worship, and contemplation and connection with Allah (SWT) as the true success. If Dr. Nasir Siddiki was really as pious a Muslim as he described himself to be, he should have known all this. Perhaps he could have learned from the prophet himself:
The Prophet (SAW) said, “Riches does not mean, having a great amount of property, but riches is self-contentment.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.8 Bk.76 No.453)
The fourth issue I have with his testimonial is his apparent lack of faith, hope, and belief in the existence and attributes of God Almighty during the pinnacle of his illness. He says that after he found out that the doctors couldn’t help him anymore, and that he was probably going to die, he suddenly lost all hope, because all his hope was placed on the doctors (Testimonial A Part 1 (04:53 – 05:01). Then he asks “Who do you turn to when the one…the ones that you’re counting on, to make you better, said there’s nothing they can do?” (Testimonial A Part 2 (05:01 – 05:09) If he were as pious a Muslim as he says he was, he would have firstly placed all his hope on Allah (SWT), turning to Him and praying for healing from Him. However, Dr. Siddiki has the audacity to say in his shorter testimonial that “the Muslim god, Allah, is not a healer…,” (Testimonial B (04:09 – 04:23)) which is why he prayed to “God, if you are real, help me…” (Testimonial A Part 1 (05:41 – 05:53), as well as the previously citation of Testimonial B (04:09 – 04:23) )
Wow, really? First, you differentiate between God Almighty and Allah (SWT)? Both words mean the same thing – perhaps Christians and Muslims hold different conceptions about God, but that doesn’t mean that “God” is Christian and “Allah” is Muslim – both just mean the One God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Second of all, Allah (SWT) is a healing deity – He is Al-Muhyi, the Giver of Life (Qur’an Ch.7 v.158). If He creates life, and if He will resurrect us for Judgment, who is to say He cannot heal? And He does heal (Surah ash-Shu’ara, Qur’an Ch.26 v.80), and He also provides cures for every illnesses that He has created (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.7 Bk.71 No.582). Since God Almighty created the diseases in the first place, why not pray to Him and put your faith in Him? No, instead, Dr. Nasir put all his faith in his doctors, and when his doctors failed, he was at a loss. He should have remembered God and uttered the Hawqala (“la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah,” meaning “there is no power, strength, change, activity, or movement except with Allah). Allah (SWT) created Dr. Nasir Siddiki, just as He created the medical doctors, and just as He made the Dr. Siddiki sick, surely He can cure him, too. This basic belief is fundamental to Islam, and it is Shirk fi al-Asma was-Sifat (disbelief in God by either attributing falsehoods to the Names and Attributes of God, or giving His Names and Attributes to His creation instead of to God Himself) to say that God is not a healer…and as everyone knows, shirk is THE worst sin one can commit (Surah an-Nisa, Qur’an Ch.4 v.48). Even more disturbing was his plea to a generic god, “if you exist.” I don’t think I have to say how totally sacreligious that is, in any religion. If the story was flipped, and it was an ex-Christian who converted to Islam, Christians would never sit still for this nonsense. It shows a severe doubt in the existence of God Almigty. If you do not have faith is the existence of God Almighty, how can you be a Muslim, Christian, or Jew? How can you believe in Allah (SWT) and still make such a prayer? Who was he praying to all his life during his salah if it wasn’t to God Almighty? If his spiritual level really at this point, he cannot blame it on Islam, but rather on just his on negligence of his soul, and his sacrilegious obsession with wealth and success. He definitely cannot say that all Muslims are similarly spiritually empty. Any practicing Muslim will tell you that Islam has the cure to such emptiness in his life, and Islam does provide help for those who are ill, so his ignorance of all this makes we wonder just what sort of Muslim he was?
The fifth problem is a contradiction between the two testimonials. In Testimonial A, a cited in the above paragraph, Dr. Siddiki says that he cried out to God, “if you are real…” However, later on in the same testimonial (Testimonial A Part 1 (06:00 – 06:10)), he says that he believed in and cried out to Allah (SWT) and Muhammad (SAW) to save him, and it was Jesus that answered. Even in the shorter testimonial, as cited in the above paragraph as well, he says that he didn’t pray to Allah (SWT) because he thinks Allah (SWT) doesn’t heal. So, within the longer testimonial there is a contradiction, and between the two testimonials, there is a contradiction. Who did you pray to, Doctor? Was it God Almighty, Muhammad (SAW), or some generic deity? After he cried out to the generic god, he then says that he “believed in Allah, believed in Muhamamd, and I [Dr. Siddiki] cried out for them to help me…” So what happened to you crying out to generic deity? Why did you say that you didn’t pray to Allah (SWT) in your shorter testimonial? Hmmm…
Of course, all this leads to the sixth problem, that Dr. Nasir Siddiki actually called out and prayed to Muhammad (SAW) . This is pure Shirk fi al-`Ibadah (disbelief in God by praying/worshiping/devoting oneself to others), and as previously stated, shirk is the worst sin possible (Surah an-Nisa, Qur’an Ch.4 v.48). Yes, as Muslims, we love our prophet, and we strive to be just like him, but we cannot pray to him, for prayer is worship (Sunan at-Timirdhi), and worship must be to God Almighty alone, for even Muhammad (SAW) himself was commanded in the Qur’an:
Say: “I do no more than invoke my Lord, and I join not with Him any (false god).” (Surah Jinn, Qur’an Ch.72 v.20)
The gravity of this error cannot be explained enough. This was sheer and utter blasphemy. No Muslim would ever pray to Muhammad (SAW), just as no Jew would ever pray to Moses (AS). It is here that I first really began to suspect that this video was made for Christians – praying to those other than God (as done with saints), or attributing His attributes on His Creation and Messengers (as done with Jesus (AS)) is what Christians do, and Christians, with their limited knowledge of Islam, might easily but erroneously believe that Muslims pray to Muhammad (SAW) just Christians pray to Jesus (AS). Christians might be made to believe that Muhammad (SAW) was trying to imitate and usurp the role of Jesus (AS). However, NO Muslim would ever watch this video and fall for it, because the errors here are just too great.
The seventh problem another monstrosity of an error – he confesses in the longer testimonial that he had no idea what happens after death (Testimonial A Part 1 (05:52 – 06:10)), and in the shorter video he confesses that “I [Dr. Siddiki] didn’t know, Karen [interviewer] what death held for a Moslem, but I was afraid of it…” (Testimonial B (03:59 – 04:05) This is unbelievable – just an unbelievable as a Christian saying that he/she doesn’t know what death holds for a Christian, but that he/she is afraid of it. Just as the New Testament talks about Judgment and the Kingdom of Heaven, the Qur’an even more so talks about the Akhira, the Hereafter. It is one of the most common topics in the Qur’an. To read the Qur’an everyday (as he claims to have done in the first minute or two of the longer testimonial) and not catch the idea of a Hereafter is like someone reading the Gospels and not catching the idea of person named Jesus Christ (AS). It’s really that bad. The Akhira part of the 5th Article (to believe in the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment) in the 6 Articles of Faith (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.1 Bk.2 No.47)- every Muslim knows this basic, fundamental stuff! If he really did perform the obligatory prayer, that means that throughout all the 5 prayers, he recited Surah al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Qur’an and staple of the obligatory prayer, 17 times day. He should have known that in the surah, God Almighty teaches us in the 4th verse to invoke Him as “Maliki Yaum id-Din,” meaning “Sovereign of the Day of Judgment.” How could he now know there is a Day of Judgment, or even a Hereafter at all, and yet recite this 17 times a day? Even if he didn’t know Arabic (even thought his father was Egyptian), did he never read a translation of at least his prayers, if not the Qur’an? You cannot read the Qur’an and not get the idea that Muslims believe in a Hereafter, that we believe in Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannum (Hell). It is impossible, which leads me to my next point.
The eighth problem is another contradiction within the longer testimonial, as well as between the two testimonials. At first, as cited in the above paragraph, he says how he didn’t know what came after death, yet in Testimonial A Part 2 (03:08 – 03:31) he misconstrues the concept of salvation in Islam by saying that it is just salvation by works – if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you go to Paradise, and if your bad deeds outweigh your good deeds, you go to Hell. So if he knew all this, why did he say in at least two separate interviews that he didn’t know what came after death? Christians might argue that he meant to say that he didn’t know whether he was going to Heaven or not, but if you actually listen to his words without blindly jumping to his defense, you would see that he wasn’t talking about his own personal salvation, but rather the Hereafter in general. He said that he didn’t know what came after death, not that he didn’t know how he would be judged. I don’t think I have to spend much time on this one to make my readers understand the problem here.
However, the readers may need help understanding the ninth problem – the misrepresentation of salvation in Islam as only salvation by works. He says that it is just based on the balance between good and bad deeds – if you have more good deeds, you go to Paradise, and if you have more bad deeds, you go to Hell. This is an incomplete picture of Islamic salvation. The Qur’an says it best:
By (the Token of) Time (through the ages), verily Man is in loss, except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth [i.e. enjoin one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’ruf) which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins ans evil deeds (Al-Munkar) which Allah has forbidden], and of Patience and Constancy.” (Surah al-Asr, Qur’an Ch.104 vv.1-3)
In a succinct, 3-verse chapter, Allah (SWT) lays out the requirements for salvation, what does he first say? The first and most important requirement is FAITH. Without faith in the One God Almighty, all your deeds are worthless (Surah al-Furqan, Qur’an Ch.25 v.23), a concept Christians ought to be familiar with (Isaiah 64:6). Faith is THE most important factor in salvation, not just works. Next comes the matter of deeds. Yes, good deeds and bad deeds will be measured, but they will have different weight:
The Prophet narrating about his Lord had said, “Allah ordered (the appointed angels over you) that the good and the bad deeds be written, and He then showed (the way) how (to write). If somebody intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write for him a full good deed (in his account with Him); and if he intends to do a good deed and actually did it, then Allah will write for him (in his account) with Him (its reward equal) from ten to seven hundred times to many more times: and if somebody intended to do a bad deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write a full good deed (in his account) with Him, and if he intended to do it (a bad deed) and actually did it, then Allah will write one bad deed (in his account) .” (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.8 Bk.76 No.498)
However, an excess of bad deeds doesn’t necessarily mean eternal Hellfire. In Islam, Hell isn’t isn’t always eternal for everyone – people who have faith in Allah (SWT), even an atom’s worth, but had just too much bad deeds, will only only serve a specific amount of time, whether it is one minute, or one billion centuries, and then they will be given eternal life in Paradise (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.1 Bk.2 No.42) In any regards, it isn’t even the good deeds that ultimately gain someone Paradise, no matter how much good deeds one can accumulate. It is true that all deeds, good and bad, will be judged and rewarded accordingly (Surah al-Zalzalah, Qur’an Ch.99 vv.7-8), but no amount of hasanat (good deeds) will earn an individual eternal Paradise and the company of Allah (SWT). As the hadith goes:
Allah’s Apostle said, “The deeds of anyone of you will not save you (from the (Hell) Fire).” They said, “Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah’s Apostle?” He said, “No, even I (will not be saved) unless and until Allah bestows His Mercy on me…” (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.8 Bk.76 No.470)
Therefore, the faith, love, trust, and obedience in/of Allah (SWT), nourished with His Mercy, is the core of every soul’s salvation, and even though deeds do play an integral part in salvation, Islam is neither a religion of salvation by faith nor by deeds, but rather a religion of salvation by faith proven by deeds. I could go on and on, but now isn’t the time – suffice it to say that Dr. Siddiki was just wrong.
The tenth issue sort of deals with the first issue about pronunciation, but now the problem is Dr. Siddiki’s knowledge of Islamic vocabulary. First, in Testimonial A Part 2 (02:54 – 03:02) he says that “insha’Allah” means “I hope so…” In reality, the phrase means “if God wills,” or “God-willing.” He does it to make a point about Muslims not knowing about their own personal salvation, and I will get to that point in a second. Secondly, he says that Muslims call fasting “Ramzan.” No, Ramadan is a month, Dr. Siddiki. We call fasting “sawm.” Yes, we fast during Ramadhan, but Muslims tend to fast during various days throughout the year as well, for spiritual growth. Ramadhan is the holy month where sawm is actually made obligatory. It is like someone saying that Christians refer to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as “Easter” – Easter is the name of day it happened and the day of its annual commemoration, but it isn’t the name of the event itself. Even non-Muslims know these things…
Now, the eleventh issue is how he says that Muslims do not know whether they will go to Paradise or Hell, and since Christianity gives promise, it is better. First of all, just because Christianity gives you the right to arrogantly boast about your salvation doesn’t mean that Christianity is Truth – it could just mean that you have a false sense of salvation. Promises are not exactly the best way to measure which religion is true and which is false, especially if the promises are unfalsifiable, or at least unfalsifiable during life on Earth. Even so, Muslims are promised over and over and over and over and over again in the Qur’an and Sunnah that they will receive Paradise, to the point where I really don’t feel like giving citations…but here is but a fraction: Qur’an 2:25, 3:133, 4:57, 18:107, 39:73-74, 47:15, 57:21 – read the Qur’an if you want to know more. However, it is true that Muslims do not say “I am going to Paradise.” This is because we do not know the future – for all we know, we might screw up real bad in sins and bad deeds, or we might even stop being Muslims. As Muslims, we believe that if you leave Islam, you will go to Hell. Therefore, due to our lack of knowledge of the future, we can only say “insha’Allah, if we remain true to al-Sirat al-Mustaqeem (the Straight Path, i.e. Islam).”
The twelfth problem with Dr. Nasir Siddiki’s testimonial is that he says that the only way a Muslim can guarantee his/her salvation other than good works is jihad (04:26 – 04:45). This is such FOX News propaganda – he even had a clip of some Muslim-looking guys with rifles in their hands walking down the street of what appeared to be (judging from the bus in the background) a third-world country. No, of course he doesn’t even bother to clarify the proper meaning of jihad, but rather just leaves it to the audience to rely on the image of the riflemen, as well as their previous stereotypes. Jihad means to struggle in the path of Allah (SWT). It doesn’t mean to march down a street with rifles, nor does it mean hijacking planes and flying them into buildings, nor does it mean to strap a bomb to your chest and walk to into a market square and detonate it. Jihad means struggle to live your life as the best Muslim you can be. Strive to hit all 5 prayers a day, strive to learn more of the Qur’an and teach it to others, and strive to be a Muslim no matter how much discrimination or harassment you will find. Jihad does NOT mean holy war. The root word is “jahada,” which means “to toil, exert strenuously, be diligent, struggle, strive after, struggle against difficulties, etc.” and has never had any meaning to do with a sword, and is far from being synonymous with “war” (1). What really gets me riled up is that eh said that jihad is an alternative to good deeds. Jihad isn’t an alternative – it is one the best deeds you can ever do as a Muslim. Jihad doesn’t mean to fight and die, but rather to struggle to preserve and enrich Islam on your life and in the lives of others, and to strive for social justice, and if you are killed trying, then even better. Why is that? As stated before, good deeds are useless if they aren’t charged with proper faith. Thus, our actions are judged on their intentions rather than their outcomes (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.1 Bk.1 No.1). Whenever someone prays, he gets rewarded for the intention behind the prayer as well as the prayer, and when one gives charity, she gets rewarded based on the intention of the charity. If someone accidentally makes a mistake during prayer, or if the given charity to a charity organization ends up being usurped by the leader for his own selfish purposes, the good actions of the one who prays or gives charity is still rewarded regardless. Actions should therefore reflect your intention, and basically, every action worth doing should be in the name of God Almighty. By doing good deeds for God and obeying his commandments, you act as a witness to your own faith. You show that not only do you talk the talk, but you walk the walk. Now, what would be the most powerful act of witnessing to God Almighty other than to strive your best to be the best Muslim you can be, whether it endangers our life or not? And if you have to risk your life, even better, for what more could be evidence of your devotion if not you placing your own life on the line? That is why someone who dies in jihad is called a shaheed, meaning “a witness.” It is when lives are at stake that the truly faithful are filtered from those weak at heart. This doesn’t mean you should go walk out on the road and get hit by a bus. It is only when you die in jihad, when you die striving for God, that the merit is found. Therefore, death is not implicit in jihad itself, but death while in the state if jihad is what counts. The point is to make a Muslim be on jihad 24/7, so that when one dies, one is a shaheed. How can one be on jihad 24/7? Easy, by struggling against the temptations of Satan and living by God’s Commandments the best you can.
The thirteenth problem found in Dr. Nasir Siddiki’s testimonial is actually a common Christian argument. He says that Allah (SWT) isn’t a God of Love, but a God of Fear, and that only after becoming Christian was he ever able to attain happiness and love and prosperity in life (Testimonial A Part 2 (05:18 – 08:02). First of all, if he ever read the Qur’an, he would see that ever chapter begins: “In the name of Allah, the Lord of Mercy, the Bestower of Grace.” You read that at least 114 times in the Qur’an at the beginning of each chapter, and many times more throughout the text itself God Almighty is referred to in similar terms. He even calls himself al-Wadud, the Loving (Qur’an Ch.11 v.90, Ch.85 v.14). If you ever head some of the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah, you would see just how incredible of a deity God Almighty really is. For example:
I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. (Hadith Qudsi No.15)
The last sentence is what gets to me – see how anxious Allah (SWT) is to develop a relationship with us? However, if Dr. Nasir Siddiki was unaware of this, he cannot blame Islam. It isn’t Islam’s fault that he didn’t know how to get closer to Islam, if he ever even wanted to. It isn’t that hard to learn about. In another Hadith Qudsi:
Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him? (Hadith Qudsi No.35)
See how anxious and willing Allah (SWT) is to answer our prayers and grant us forgiveness? He cannot do such things until we ask for it, or else it would go against our will, just as in Christianity you cannot receive the Grace of God until you repent ask for it – only then is a Christian “born-again.” Basically, my point is that all that jazz Dr. Siddiki was going on about when talking about his new life with Jesus Christ, he could have felt such joy and happiness and inner peace with Islam – even the word “Islam” means to “peace, submission,” meaning that through Islam you can attain inner and outer peace by total submission to Allah (SWT). Also, if you think that the God of Christianity is all about love and not fear, you should watch this video made by the Tanglewood Bible Fellowship. Apparently it’s fear tactics aimed at little kids.
The fourteenth problem with the doctors testimonial is his claim that now he can do anything he wants, and God will love him unconditionally, whereas in Islam, God loves you only if you are good and do good deeds. This sort of twists the concept of a loving deity in both religions. In Islam, Allah (SWT) does love us, or else he wouldn’t have bothered to create us. He loves us at the deepest core of it all. However, He hates evil, and hates it when we do evil, and he hates those who do evil as well, but it doesn’t mean that He doesn’t love us as well. When a parent spank or yell at a child, it doesn’t mean that the parent hates the child, but rather that the parent did not approve an action of the child. Likewise, Allah primarily loves us all in the deepest sense as His creation, as because of that, He says that “…with My punishment I visit whom I will; but My mercy extendeth to all things…” (Surah al-Araf, Qur’an Ch.7 v.156) This means that those that deserve His Wrath will get it, but everyone receives His Mercy in some form or another – we just take it for granted. The fact that people can just sit there and talk trash about their Creator using the most vulgar language, and yet they are allowed to walk and talk and see and listen and breathe, should be evidence enough. Truly, God Almighty was telling the Truth when He said that “My Mercy shall overcome my Wrath.” (Hadith Qudsi No.1) Perhaps Dr. Nasir Siddiki should have studied Islam more before he just brushed it off as such a materialistic religion. Also, perhaps he should read his Bible more closely, for it says:
“There are six things the LORD hates,seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” (Proverb 6:16-19)
“And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” (Malachi 1:3)
“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11) [Sounds a little like Islam…]
There is a lot more where that came from. My point is just that even in the Bible God Almighty Hates, even though He Loves.
Finally, the fifteenth problem that Dr. Nasir Siddiki had with his testimonial is this absurd notion that most Islamophobists have – that Islam is out to convert the whole world. Perhaps these people read the Qur’an where it says, “…There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way…” (Surah al-Baqarah, Qur’an Ch.2 v.256) That pretty much kills his argument right there. Also, for those who think Muslims are trying to convert people or kill those who refuse to convert, they should the Qur’an where it says:
“Say (O Prophet): ‘O ye who reject faith! I worship not that which ye worship; Nor worship ye that which I worship. And I shall not worship that which ye worship. Nor will ye worship that which I worship. Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.‘” (Surah al-Kafiroon, Qur’an Ch.109 vv.1-6)
It is pretty clear that true Muslims have no intent to dominate the world and make kill off/subjugate others. Perhaps Dr. Siddiki wanted to do such things when he was a Muslim, but the vast majority of Muslims would think that such an idea is ridiculous.
So that covers most, but definitely not all, that I have to say on Dr. Nasir Siddiki’s testimonial in terms of misrepresenting Islam. Personally, I do not believe that Jesus Christ came down and healed him. Many will say that he was lying about being ill in the first place, and that was my initial thought, too, as you can see from my very first video response to him a long time ago, but I know I realize that I cannot honestly say that without medical records, etc.
Now comes the question – what if he really was sick and was miraculously healed? All I can say is that many religions claim to have faith healing, from Hinduism to Daoism, from the Native American religions to South American shamanistic religions. It isn’t anything new. What Islam says is that a lot of these supernatural occurrences, such as visions, ghosts, UFO sightings, divination, possessions, etc. are due to mischievous jinni. A jinn is another sentient creation of Allah (SWT) made out of fire, and they also have free will, and will be judged. In Islam, Satan is a jinn. They are invisible but live among us, and they can be Muslim, Hindu, Christian, etc. I never heard of a healing jinn, but I know that jinn can be responsible for visions. I cannot explain the healing away, but like I said, these sort of healings are not special to Christianity alone. Even within Christianity many people criticize other Christian healers, as such happened with with the Lakeland Revival (or Florida Healing Outpouring) in Lakeland, Florida, USA, from April 2, 2008 – October 12, 2008. Since its start until August 11, 2008, it was lead by Pastor Todd Bentley, and seemed to be a worldwide sensation, quickly gaining followers from all over the globe via the Internet. However this revival was very controversial and not at all accepted by all Christians due to the methods/procedures of Todd Bentley, as well as many of his teachings that were apparently unbiblical. Click here, here, and here to read more, and click here to watch a two-part episode of “Nightline” on Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival.
Also, I have a question about the healing. Apparently the Dr. Siddiki prayed to a generic ambiguous deity, and he was answered by Jesus Christ. My question is that how come Jesus Christ doesn’t appear to everyone that call on a generic god? I mean those who are sincere and really seek divine intervention – why does Jesus Christ only answer some but ignore others? Jesus Christ (AS) always healed and helped when asked to while he was on Earth, so why doesn’t he answer those who honestly, sincerely, and desperately call on him, or on a God in general?
Another question is about after he got healed in the hospital. In his home, he had turned on the TV, and apparently rigth then on that channel was a show about Jesus Christ (AS), and Dr. Siddiki said that this show convinced him that Christ was his Lord and Saviour, upon which he knelt down and accepted the Holy Spirit. My question is, what exactly did the show teach you? Don’t you think that you are leaving out an important bit of information? Isn’t that sort of material exactly what Muslims need to hear? Instead of talking about “Ramzan,” why not talk about how you were convinced that Jesus Christ (AS) was divine?
Also, he says that he read the 4 Gospels and learned about Jesus Christ (AS), but if Jesus (AS) really is divine, and the Bible is inspired by God, then why not just read any part of the Bible? Why stick with just the Gospels and New Testament? Why not read about what Jesus Christ said in the Old Testament, such as:
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found [during her wedding night], she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.” (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)
Please, talk about your religion in a wholesome manner, don’t just pick and choose – your soul is too precious to play games with.
Muslims aren’t even the only people who have problems with Dr. Nasir Siddiki. Many Christians think he is just another slick evangelical minister out to get money. This is evident when browsing throught the on-line store of his website – 8 out of 10 items are about how to get rich. Instead of talking about developing a relationship with God Almighty, or about how to repent and restrain from sin, or about how to live as a good Christian in secular society, he has more “get rich” products than anyone I know. This strikes me as pretty flaky, as well as other Christians who brought this to my attention. You can read here and here about how some Christians feel about Dr. Nasir Siddiki.
Honestly, as I mentioned earlier in this post, I think that even though this testimonial is feigned at being dedicated to Muslims, I believe true audience is Christians with open checkbooks. The type of misrepresentation of Islam shown by Dr. Nasir Siddiki is to such an extent that no Muslim would ever believe he was ever a practicing Muslim. He just doesn’t show the competence that reflects growing up in a strict Muslim family and being a practicing Muslim for 34 years. However, he hits all the misconceptions and stereotype an average Christian might have about Islam, thus making Dr. Siddiki’s story that much more believable to the Christian. Perhaps the Christian will now join Wisdom Ministries and give more to the tithe?
So there you have it – the fruits of my humble and amateur examination. If anyone has anything to add, or if I made a mistake, please leave a comment. I plan on e-mailing this article to Dr. Siddiki, and I will make a new post if he ever sends a response back.
– Farhan R.
(1) – ‘Omar, ‘Abdul Mannan. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an. NOOR Foundation – International, Inc., 4st. Reprint, 2003