Immediately after the terrorist attack in September, it became common knowledge that religion was their primary motivation. But the western mind had difficulty comprehending how killing innocent civilians could merit immediate entrance to heaven.
Many have wondered what kind of a god would bless such a slaughter. Muslim leadership was also divided. Some Muslims danced in the streets for joy and others said, "Oh! No! This is not true Islam. We are peace loving and Allah is a benevolent and merciful god."
Not only were western Christians confused but it seemed that the Muslim world was also.
Author G.J.O. Moshay saw this quandary firsthand in his home country of Nigeria. He decided that both Muslims and Christians needed a better understanding of Allah. In his book, Who is this Allah? he examines various Islamic teachings that shed light on that question.
Moshay says that one way to understand a god is to examine his heaven. News reports describe the hopes of the terrorists that their martyrdom would gain them immediate entrance to "paradise" where rivers of wine and harems of virgins awaited.
Moshay points out that the "rivers of wine" mentioned in the Koran are an embarrassment to Muslim scholars because, in another place, the Koran implies that no alcoholic will get to heaven. Some try to say that the wine is probably non-alcoholic or if it is, that that is the reason to abstain here, since there will be plenty of it in heaven.
The other main attraction in Muslim heaven is the unlimited sexual pleasures. Moshay quotes one Hadith (official Muslim tradition) that says, "The lowliest of the inhabitants of paradise will be he who has eighty thousand servants, seventy-two wives..." The Koran speaks of virgin maidens who will be enjoyed by men with enhanced sexual stamina.
Moshay draws a parallel between the Muslim concept of heaven and Mohammed`s life style. History is unclear but Mohammed had somewhere between 9 and 29 wives. This may not have included sex slaves kept as booty from his many wars.
This appears to be approved by the Koran along with "temporary wives" that may last a night or longer wherever a Muslim lodges.
Moshay says, "Muslim historians have pointed out that life in pre-Islamic Arabia was a life of 'the three Ws` - wine, women and war." Robert Morey in his book "Islamic Invasion" observes that, "Islam is actually a 'deification' of seventh-century Arabian culture."
Is it any wonder that, when Mohammed was "inspired" to establish his new religion, it retained these elements?
In fact, if one asks where Allah is when all these orgies take place, Moshay makes another interesting observation, that nowhere in the Koran is there any evidence that Allah is even present. No more "worship" is prescribed. Earthly rituals are over and the Muslim is forever immersed in unlimited sensual pleasure.
If the Muslim would care to examine the contrast between his "paradise" and the biblical heaven, he would find a far different eternity. Rather than a perpetual physical indulgence, heaven for the Christian is a final reunion with his Creator and the One who lovingly redeemed him from such sinful dissipation. Is not the promise that "thus shall we ever be with the Lord" a greater thing to spend our lives for than to extinguish your life in a suicide mission on the vague hope of entrance into Allah`s playboy mansion?