This article is based upon a document published by Ergun which can found here.
This PDF by Ergun is all about false propaganda, the title "Islam VS Grace" implying that Islam has no grace; this stems from Ergun Caner's ignorance of religion and the concept of grace in Islam.
If "for some reason", Ergun decides to remove this document from his website, it has been saved here.
In the famous interview where Ergun LIED about debating Shabir Ally, he makes the statement that the only concept of grace in Islam is that Allah (swt) does not kill you!
There is a concept of grace in Islam; the Qur'an describes God as good, fair and just. Speaking of Allah's favour, grace and kindness; the Qur'an uses words derived from the Arabic roots RDW[روض], FDL[فضل], LTF[لطف] and N'M[نِعَم]. According to the Qur'an, Allah(swt) manifests his grace in spiritual and material blessings bestowed upon human beings. Allah is the constant giver (Qur’an 3:6; 38:8; 52:28). Allah shows his common grace in the creation of man and all other creatures, including the Angels (Qur’an 15:29-35; 17:72; 38: 71-85).
One of the 99 excellent names of Allah(swt) is "Ar-Rahman" [الرحمن] which means "The Compassionate, The Beneficent, The Gracious" (source). The Qur'an emphasises over and over again that Allah is "Merciful", the "sum of all that is good." Qur’an 7:156 even says "My mercy comprehends all.” This is common grace of Allah; his benevolent kindness towards creation.
Ergun fails to realise this, and thus he comes up with his ridiculous publications as though he is some sort of authority on the subject of Islam.
You will notice that the title of the first column is "ISLAM AND SALVATION BY WORKS", one of the biggest misunderstandings of Islam! Only ignorant fools utter this, I guess Ergun falls into this category. If he were a Muslim, he would not preach such nonsense about Islam.
Salvation in Islam depends on FAITH AND WORKS (GOOD DEEDS), works without faith is meaningless, and faith without good deeds is hypocrisy (unless there are certain circumstances that prevent doing the works),
Chapter 103 of the Qur'an teaches explicitly the concept of salvation in Islam:
1. By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),
2. Verily Man is in loss,
3. Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.
Does this sound like salvation by works? verse 3 gives the first condition for salvation - "faith", it is the first requirement for anyone who wants to be saved. Even if this Surah were to not exist, it's written all over the Qur'an! but somehow this "former devout Sunni Muslim" did not know this.
In fact, there is a Hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik:
I heard the Prophet saying, "On the day of resurrection I will intecede and say "O my Lord! Admit into Paradise (even) those who have faith equal to a mustard seed in their hearts.". Such people will enter Paradise, and then I will say, "O (Allah) admit into Paradise (even) those who have the least amount of faith in their hearts."
Dear gullible Christians, does this sound anything like what Ergun and Emir Caner have been teaching you? All their nonsense about "no assurance of salvation" and "this is why Muslims get on to the back of trucks and planes (to engage in suicide bombing)".
Are they making genuine mistakes? or Is evangelical Christianity so desperate to divert people away from Islam that they lie about it?
The concept of salvation in Islam has already been demonstrated above; our salvation is not "based on the scales", Ergun is so ignorant of Islam - he only knows a few words and concepts, he knows the term "scales", he searched the Qur'an for it and labelled it as our concept of salvation.
All Muslims know that the Shahadah (our creed) and our faith outweighs any bad deed (except for Shirk (associating partners to the one true God)), as long as you are sincere, you have correct faith and proved that faith through your efforts to implement works, you are saved.
The two verses Ergun quotes are not an explicit teaching of salvation in Islam; he is narrating to us what will happen on the day of judgment, i.e. the accounting of your good and bad.
Even if salvation was based solely on the scales as Ergun teaches, it is yet not at all difficult to outweigh the bad with a countless number of good. Allah (swt) is so merciful, fair, just and kind that good deeds are intensely multiplied. Here is an example of how easy it is to attain a vast number of good deeds (on the condition that your intention clean and that the act is for Allah (swt) alone):
Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an:
Whoso bringeth a good deed will receive tenfold the like thereof, while whoso bringeth an ill-deed will be awarded but the like thereof; and they will not be wronged (Qur'an 6:160)
The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“The one who reads a single letter from the Book of Allaah will be rewarded with one good deed. (Know that) A good deed is multiplied ten times over. I do not say Alif Laam Meem (3 Arabic letters) is one letter. Verily, Alif is one letter, Laam is one letter, Meem is one letter."”
So let’s get this straight; reading even a single letter from Qur’an gives you ten good deeds?! This means that the average reward for reading a single page of the Qur’an is FIVE THOUSAND good deeds. If one were to read five full pages, you would have attained an average of TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND good deeds.
The first chapter of the Qur’an consists of only seven short verses and the reward totals up to 1410 good deeds! Do you not see the mercy, kindness and generosity of the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth?
Not to mention that good deeds are multiplied even more so at certain places and certain times (In Ramadan, in the Holy Mosques of Makkah and Madinah, in your local Mosque (praying in congregation) etc))!
This was just one simple example which completely refutes Ergun and Emir’s incorrect teachings that we Muslims worry about number of good/bad deeds and that the performance of suicide bombing and illegitimate killing is our “lifeline” to salvation.
Notice what Ergun did, he is making sure that the word "personal" is used in the Christian side of the comparison and uses the word "lifetime" with the Islamic side, does this man even know the conditions of the Shahadah? The Shahadah is meaningless without the fulfillment these critical conditions:
1-Al-`Ilm [العلم]: Knowledge of the meaning of the Shahadah, its negation and affirmation.
2-Al-Yaqeen [اليقين]: Certainty – perfect knowledge of it that counteracts suspicion and doubt.
3-Al-Ikhlaas [الإخلاص]: Sincerity which negates shirk.
4-Al-Sidq [الصدق]: Truthfulness that permits neither falsehood nor hypocrisy.
5-Al-Mahabbah [المحبة]: Love of the Shahadah and its meaning, and being happy with it.
6-Al-Inqiad [الإنقياد]: Submission to its rightful requirements, which are the duties that must be performed with sincerity to God (alone) seeking His pleasure.
7-Al-Qubool [القبول]: Acceptance that contradicts rejection.
All these conditions prove that the Muslim Shahadah is as personal as anything else.
Note : Ergun Caner does not know the Shahadah as proven over here.
This is a sensitive issue (for Christians) who constantly insist that their god is a personal one. To be quite frank, it’s rather humorous when you hear Christian preachers (or average Christians) saying that God spoke back to them and they engage in conversations with Him.
We do not believe that God is impersonal and I am sick of this argument! Neither do we believe that we freely engage in personal conversations with God as many Christians claim.
Christian Islamophobes; just because they believe that God orchestrated the alleged death of Jesus (who many of you also refer to as God) on a cross does not make him a personal God, you can claim and claim and claim, that will never make it true, you can call what you have a relationship, but Jesus never called it that nor do the 4 accounts of the Gospel in the new testament, unlike what we find in the Qur’an:
"It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than his jugular vein." (Qur'an 50:16)
According to Ergun, the verse mentioned above is a threat. The concept of this being a threat is a complete fabrication on behalf of Ergun to suit his purpose (to divert people away from Islam). Reading the verse yourself with the beginning segment (which Ergun never mentions) shows what is meant by “We are nearer to him than his jugular vein”.
In a Hadith Qudsi (A Hadith of Muhammad (pbuh) where he refers to a saying of Allah), Allah (swt) says:
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.
If this is not a personal relationship I do not know what is.
The verse Ergun refers to actually refutes his whole case, Qur’an 2:277:
"Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."
"Unconditional love based on the blood of Jesus Christ.(Romans 5:8)"
As Muslims, we do not claim that Allah (swt) loves everyone equally, but the claim that God unconditionally loves everyone is completely nonsensical, it's not logical, nor is it biblical.
If God loves everyone unconditionally, why did he create hell? Why did he order the death of women and children in the old testament ? Does God love Satan? Does God love serial killers? Does God love rapists? Does God love murderers?
It does not make sense to the logical mind that God loves everyone unconditionally. God loves good things but dislikes the bad, meaning that the love is conditional.
Christians might try to argue that God hates the sin not the sinner; well the bible does not support this claim at all.
You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.
The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.
You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the LORD abhors. (Psalm 5:4-6)
You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. (Leviticus 20:23)
Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." (Romans 9:13)
Firstly, if we look at the verse which Ergun has referenced:
But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,― their eternal home: therein shall they have spouses pure and holy: We shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening. (Qur’an 4:57)
you will find that what he has stated is not entirely described.
Anyway, this is only one image out of many, where are the verses on the gardens, the comfort, the Ahadith speaking of paradise? Yes, Muslim men will be served wine and will enjoy MARRIAGE in heaven, so will women.
An important to mention is that these “ex Muslim” Islamophobes use the concept of “Hoor” (fair females) in paradise for men in order to somehow prove that Islam degrades women. These hate preachers purposely (or ignorantly) ignore the mentioning of the rewards for women. By His great wisdom, Allah has not mentioned what the women will have as the equivalent of al-hoor al-‘iyn for men, this is due to modesty and shyness. How can He encourage them to seek paradise by mentioning something that they are too shy and modest to mention or speak about themselves? So He has simply hinted at it, as in the verse:
Therein you shall have (all) that your inner selves desire (Qur’an 41:31-32)
"Allah only saves those whom he wants. (Surah 14:4)..........God saves all those who will receive Jesus Christ as Savior.(2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2; Luke 19:10)"
Let's quote the verse from the Qur'an:
We did not send any messenger except (to preach) in the tongue of his people, in order to clarify things for them. GOD then sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. He is the Almighty, the Most Wise.
Now the context is clear , Allah saves and leaves astray based on their reaction to his revelation.
Even when you explain this to a Christian who supports the likes of these anti-Islamic hate preachers, they don’t understand:
We as Muslims have the assurance that we are saved, because the promise of God is true and he promised salvation to all those have faith , but salvation is conditional, you must die a Muslim in order to be saved that is why we don't walk around shouting "we are saved !", we do not know the future, perhaps we might commit apostasy, shirk, blasphemy....etc , only arrogant people like many of the evangelical Christians today can make this absurd claim even though it contradicts the bible when it says :
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:2)
Paul puts a condition for salvation, you must hold to the word he preached in order to be saved, this is not different from the Islamic perspective of conditional salvation.
You can also refer to the Ahadith and explanations in sections above as an indirect refutation to the statement of “Salvation is never guaranteed (outside of jihad and martyrdom)”.
Firstly, this methodology of referencing a Hadith is a complete joke. There are various collections of Ahadith, which Hadith 5.266 is he referring to? This is not how you reference a Hadith!
Anyway, this claim made by Ergun is as false as it gets! Please consult this article by Bassam Zawadi.
With Ergun claiming to be an ex Muslim, he should at least know what Islam teaches rather than merely propagating the exact same things that are posted on most of the anti-Islamic websites? Why is this methodology common amongst most, if not all the people claiming to be ex Muslims?