My Meeting with a (Protestant) Minister
We passed by a minister in a (protestant) church and the brother Abu Bilaal was with me translating. So I said: “Who is more beloved to you – the Muslims or the Jews?” He responded: “I really don’t give preference to either the Muslims or the Jews or anyone else. However, I do preach that no one should speak bad about the other. I preach that they should all be brotherly towards one another.” So I said to myself: “What is the difference between the call of this minister and the call of Al-Qaradaawee, who invites to the unification of the religions?”
Also among the questions that we asked that minister was: “Why do you give so much importance to the cross when you believe that Jesus was crucified on it? Shouldn’t you hate it?”
He said: “This is just a symbol. We glorify Jesus not the cross, because Jesus was crucified on it.” But he lied about this because the Christians do distinctly worship the cross.
We said to him – and he served as a muftee for the Christians: “How do you call (the people) to Christianity.”
So he said: “We start with the children. We request the parents to bring their children to us and we teach them.”
I said: “What about the adults?” He said: “The adults too – we present ourselves to them on the streets, even if it is just to smile to their faces, and we say: Good Morning. We consider this preaching (da’wah).”
I said: “Do you believe that Jesus is the son of God?”
He said: “Yes.” So I said: “How is he the son of God?” So he remained silent for a while and then said: “This doesn’t mean that he came from intercourse, however he is the son of God and that is sufficient.”
We said: “How does a Christian repent in your religion?”
He said: “They are in different levels. Some of them have few sins, so they must go and pray and their sins will be forgiven. Others have many sins – these people must go to the minister and give him a sum of money, in accordance with their sins, and the minister will accept their repentance, and say to them your sins are gone and that’s it.”
We saw a statue that was shaped like an eagle and which looked like it was made from gold, so we said: “What is the significance of this bird and why do you put it in your church?”
He said: “We believe its speed to be a good omen in that good tidings will quickly reach the people just as quick as this bird flies.”
We said: “Can a minister get married?”
He said: “Yes, he can get married but he is not permitted to divorce his wife and marry another. He is not allowed to divorce his wife, rather he must stay with her until he dies.”
We said: “Are there any monks left amongst you?”
He said: “This woman is a nun – and he pointed to the other side – she is a nun and hasn’t married.” And he said that the monks have a separate place of their own.
What I was truly amazed with was that this minister calls to the unification of the religions, just as al-Qaradaawee, at-Turaabee and others call to!
We also went to the Hindu place of worship, which is called a Temple, and it was very big. They said that it was the second largest temple and that there couldn’t be found a temple bigger than this one except in India. A person who claimed to be from ‘Aden took us for a tour in it. He told us that they also had a temple in ‘Aden but it was small. Then he brought us to a cow in the temple, which the people were going to. The men would prostrate with their hands stretched out in front of it. A man would throw his hands out as far as he could and then prostrate to it five times in that condition of extending his hands out. Then he would stand. As for the woman, then she would sit in front of it and move her cheek from the right to the left. And they had a number of statues in that place of worship.
When we first came to enter inside, they told us to wait for a while. We asked why. They responded because their god was sleeping and that we had to wait until he woke up and then we could enter! So we waited until he woke up and then we entered to look. And behold their god was a rock in the shape of a statue! So we said: “Where is the god that woke up?” One of the brothers named Hasan Turkee asked them. They pointed to a cow and male and female private parts. I did not see the private parts, however one of the brothers informed me that a woman has a male private part and prostrates to it, while the man prostrates to the private part of the woman.
These are some of the things we saw that were visible there. In reality, we weren’t able to grasp everything, but it was in accordance with the time we had. All praise be to Allaah for what He facilitated for me to mention to the brothers as a reminder and warning against blind following the disbelievers and what they are upon, as well as a warning against their lands and residing in them. So all praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds.
Author: Shaikh Abu ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Yahyaa bin ‘Alee Al-Hujooree
Translator: Abu Maryam Isma'eel Alarcon