Chapter 4

Articles of Belief

While living in Kuwait in the early 90’s, I had an opportunity to study Islam in depth by attending a course for investigators and new converts run by the government sponsored Islam Presentation Committee. I had decided that it would be better to learn about the religion from first hand sources in an Islamic country rather than rely on books or outside opinions. So, I boldly asked the director and teachers if they would accept someone like me in their classes who was neither a new convert nor looking toward changing my religion. I told them I was interested in doing comparative research for a possible graduate degree and just wanted to listen and learn. Happily, they allowed me to attend on the condition that I would not disrupt the class with any of my renegade Mormon ideas during the course of discussions.

Truth be told, there were times when I had to shake myself to remember that the teacher was a Muslim rather than someone from our church giving an Institute class or Education Week lecture.[1] Some of the topics, particularly those dealing with living a righteous and obedient life, sounded like something straight out of our Sunday School manuals and there was definitely a strong spirit bearing witness to all present of the correctness of these principles. I was impressed by much of what I heard and it was through attending this course that I first came to appreciate and see how much truth our religions share. Sometimes after class, I would be drawn into discussions with the teachers about these common beliefs. We had many open positive dialogues between us over a period of many weeks that led to a strong mutual respect on both sides for each other’s faith and values. It was a wonderful chance to share new perspectives on familiar gospel principles and many of our conclusions and ideas have led to writing this book.

For the course, we used an excellent text, Islam in Focus, by Hammudah Abdal Ati that presented the basic concepts in a very clear and easy to read format. The first chapter details the Islamic fundamental Articles of Faith which contain the core beliefs. These are taken from the verse in the Quran which states, “…The righteous man is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, in the angels and the Scriptures and the prophets; who for the love of Allah gives his wealth to his kinsfolk, to the orphans, to the needy, to the wayfarers and to the beggars, and for the redemption of captives; who attends to his prayers and pays the alms-tax; who is true to his promises and steadfast in trial and adversity and in times of war. Such are the true believers.” (Surah 2:177) Basically, every Muslim must believe in the one true God, prophets, angels, scriptures and Judgment Day including the resurrection. A sixth article that is frequently mentioned is an acceptance of the principle of foreordination.

Just as the thirteen Articles of Faith contain the nucleus of the LDS core beliefs of the gospel, so the study of these basic Islamic articles of faith provides a concise view of the most important doctrines that constitute Islam. A brief look at each one can only be attempted here, but is worthwhile in showing some interesting comparisons with LDS beliefs regarding these principles.

Belief in Allah (tawheed)

The most central belief in Islam is that there is only one God, Allah. He exists alone in His position as the Creator of the Universe and all things. He has no partners that are equal to Him and He is the sole object of our worship. This belief in the Unity, or tawheed, of God was the main message that Muhammad brought and the reason he was sent to the Arabian people - to root out the idolatrous beliefs of his times and to declare the true character of the One God.

The LDS Prophet Joseph Smith declared in The Lectures on Faith that “three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First, The idea that he actually exists. Secondly, A correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes. Thirdly, An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his will.”[2]

This understanding is also held by Muslims. “Once man knows that God exists, he must know His attributes and names. Generally speaking every perfection and absolute goodness belong to Him, and no defect or wrong applies to Him.”[3] God’s names have direct reference to His attributes and powers. The Quran lists many of them and in Islam, there is a list of 99 attributes or names by which God is known.

Some of them are, “the Merciful, and the Compassionate, the Guardian and the True Guide, the Just and the Supreme Lord, the Creator and the Watchful, the First and the Last, the Knowing and the Wise, the Hearing and the Aware, the Witness and the Glorious, the Able and the Powerful,… the Loving and the Provider, the Generous and the Benevolent, the Rich and the Independent, the Forgiving and the Clement, the Patient and the Appreciative, the Unique and the Protector, the Judge and Peace.”[4] Joseph Smith’s attributes coincide with this list as he gives details in The Lectures on Faith on the attributes of knowledge, faith, power, justice, mercy and truth.

One of the most oft quoted Surahs in the Quran is the one translated as Unity or Purity of Faith which reads, “Say: ‘Allah is One, the Eternal God. He begot none, nor was He begotten. None is equal to Him.’” (Surah 112: 1-4) This passage sums up the Islamic creed that there is no God but Allah. No other deity or idol can be put beside or in place of Him and He is not to be thought of as a product of this world through reproduction nor does He reproduce as such. The word ‘begotten’ as used above is in literal reference to the physical sexual act of creation by which humans and animals reproduce. This distinction is an important one when considering Christ’s position as the only begotten of the Father, which will be discussed later on.

Regarding God’s relationship to us, while Muslims do not refer to Him as Our Heavenly Father (rather, we are considered a part of His vast creations), they do recognize His specific dealings and loving involvement in our lives. “God is High and Supreme, but He is very near to the pious thoughtful people; He answers their prayers and helps them. He loves the people who love Him and forgives their sins. He gives them peace and happiness, knowledge and success, life and protection. He welcomes all those who want to be at peace with Him and never rejects any of them…The door of His mercy is always open to any who sincerely seek His support and protection.”[5]

Like the Book of Mormon prophet Mosiah’s plea, Islam upholds that we should “Believe in God. Believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.” (BM Mosiah 4: 9,10)

Belief in Prophets (risalat)

As mentioned in chapter two, Muslims believe in every prophet that God has sent through the ages regardless of time, location or language spoken. As all were called by God and given His authority to declare His truth, all are given equal consideration and status. Twenty-five prophets are specifically mentioned in the Quran although there were others of whom “…we have told you nothing.” (Surah 40:78)

The words prophet and messenger are often used interchangeably even though there is a definite distinction between the words in meaning and qualification as was mentioned previously. The Arabic word for prophet, nabi, does not refer to one who foretells future events, although every prophet foretold of the coming of the AntiChrist.[6] Rather, a nabi is “…one who is very near to God through the total surrender of his entire being to Him and who receives revelations from Him which constitute a source of guidance for men. If the revelation is in the form of a written scripture, the prophet is in addition a ‘messenger’ [rasool] as well.”[7]

This is why in the Quran we see Muhammad referred to as both a prophet and a messenger in the same verse.[8] For Mormons, Joseph Smith would also carry the same double designation. It is interesting that in reciting the shahada, or basic testimony in Islam, Muslims declare that there is one God and that Muhammad is His messenger (rasool). Whereas Mormons bear their testimonies that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, not only a messenger. The differences in definition of the words prophet and messenger to each religion makes these testimonies valid points to consider within different contexts.

Islam teaches that the message and mission of all the prophets were identical, “…to serve God, to acquaint man with God and His Divine teachings, to establish truth and goodness, to help man realize the true purpose of his existence and help him to conduct his life in a purposeful way.”[9] All prophets’ teachings therefore are consistent and complementary and their books or writings are considered scripture and the word of God.

Additionally, the prophets’ lives were exemplary to their followers and provided lifestyles worthy of emulation. “All the prophets were men of good character and high honor. They were prepared and chosen by God to deliver his Message to mankind. Their honesty and truthfulness, their intelligence and integrity, are beyond doubt.”[10] This did not mean, however, that they were considered perfect. They were still men, although living righteously and “infallible in that they did not commit sins or violate the law of God. But as mortals, they might have made unintentional mistakes in some human affairs and decisions. Their private judgements were not necessarily always right.”[11] However, when it was necessary, God corrected them because they acted as guides for their people. In the Quran, there are five or six instances where God redirected Muhammad when he made errors in judgment.[12] The Prophet Muhammad’s life was recorded in great detail as to what he said and how he lived his religion. The transcribed sayings and traditions, or Hadith, are considered by Muslims to be a secondary source of authority next to the Quran on living Islam in daily life. They provide many of the specific dos and don’ts that the Quran does not include. Basically, the Quran contains the doctrines of Islam while the Hadith details the practical applications of its teachings. Many Islamic governmental laws today are based on the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad. This follows the core belief of Muslims in prophethood and that by following the examples of the prophets, man will be guided to “the right way of belief and behavior.”[13]

Mormons likewise have the writings and sayings of our prophets contained in such volumes as The Journal of Discourses, The Discourses of Brigham Young and The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, in addition to the transcribed General Conference talks in the Ensign magazine.[14] These recorded words of our prophets provide us with practical applications and counsel in how to live our daily lives according to our doctrinal beliefs. And although we also do not hold them to be on the same level as our directly revealed scriptures from God, we are still required to obey their counsel because “…whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38) “…And whatsoever they speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.” (D&C 68:4)

Belief in Angels (malaikah)

The Islamic belief in angels strongly parallels the LDS view in both their description and duties. God’s angels are intelligent spiritual beings who neither eat, drink nor sleep, have no physical desires nor material needs.[15] They act as God’s agents, are totally obedient to Him and are engaged in worship and service to Him. They protect men, administer God’s punishments, carry His messages and serve as guardian angels.[16] The Quran states that “…there are guardians (angels) watching over you, noble recorders who know of all your actions.” (Surah 82:10,11)

The angel Gabriel played an honored role in being the chosen one to reveal the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. Other angels have been sent by God to His prophets to deliver His words. “By His will He sends down the angels with the Spirit to those of His servants whom He chooses, bidding them to proclaim, ‘There is no god but Me: therefore fear me.’” (Surah 16:2) Because of this vital role in bringing God’s revelations to His prophets, belief in angels is an essential doctrine in Islam important enough to be included as one of the fundamental articles of faith.[17]

By way of comparison, the angel Moroni’s visits to the Prophet Joseph Smith in connection with bringing forth the Book of Mormon are in total harmony with the Islamic view of angelic roles and duties. It was Moroni who delivered the ancient gold plates to Joseph to translate. Moroni also delivered specific messages and instructions to Joseph to help him prepare for his role as a prophet. While most of the world would reject Moroni’s visits to Joseph based on their lack of belief in angels’ appearances to man in modern day, Muslims would acknowledge that it is a common means whereby God brings forth His words to the world.

The Book of Mormon also contains several accounts of appearances of angels to prophets and peoples. Angels came to chasten Alma the Younger, the four sons of Mosiah[18], Laman and Lemuel[19]; to instruct Nephi in the interpretation of Lehi’s dream[20]; to foretell Christ’s birth to King Benjamin[21] and to minister to the Nephite children at the time of Christ’s visit to them[22]. They also appeared to Jacob, Samuel the Lamanite, Nephi son of Nephi and Amulek.[23] Angels have not ceased to visit men even in our day, but minister according to God’s commands, “…showing themselves to them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men…” (BM Moroni 7: 29-31) They are a vital link in communication between this earth and the eternal realm and will always be involved in God’s dealings with man.

Belief in Scriptures (kutub)

As mentioned in chapter three, Islam requires belief in all of God’s revealed word through His prophets in every age including the Torah and Bible as far as they have not been altered. The Quran is the unquestioned source for comparison of any other writings and the “…standard or criterion by which all the other books are judged. So whatever agrees with the Qur’an is accepted as Divine truth, and whatever differs from the Qur’an is either rejected or suspended.”[24] This is because the words contained therein were given through direct revelation by an angel to Muhammad and not as a third person record of an event or historical account similar to those teachings found in the Bible which have gone through multiple translations and versions.

Additionally, to Muslims the Quran is “…the greatest gift of God to humanity and its wisdom is of a unique kind. Briefly stated, the purpose of the Book is to guard the previous revelations and restore the eternal truth of God, to guide humanity to the Straight Path and quicken the soul of man, to awaken the human conscience and enlighten the human mind.”[25] In the Quran, God states that He has “…revealed to you this Book so that, by the will of their Lord, you may lead men from darkness to the light; to the path of the Mighty, the Glorious One: the path of Allah, to whom belongs all that the heavens and the earth contain.” (Surah 14: 1, 2) Recitation of the Quran therefore is considered a form of worship, a part of prayer and a daily remembrance of God. “It is incumbent upon every Muslim, man and woman, to recite a portion of the Qur’an every day in prayer and during night vigil. Recitation of the Qur’an is to Muslims a high form of worship and a daily practice.”[26]

According to the LDS Articles of Faith, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly….”[27] In 1830, Joseph Smith was divinely commissioned to work on a new translation of the Bible based on the King James Version, but did not finalize the work for publication by the time of his martyrdom in 1844. Although Mormons do not use this translation as part of our canonized scripture due to its lack of completion, we still consider it as a help in “restoring the plain and precious things that have been lost from the Bible (and as) an invaluable aid to biblical interpretation and understanding.”[28]

The eighth Article of Faith continues by stating that “….We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”[29] We have no concerns regarding the purity of translation or possible variance from the original text since Joseph Smith used God’s power to directly translate the words. As such, we consider the Book of Mormon as a standard for comparison against other records as well. Joseph Smith stated that “….the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”[30]

For Mormons, the Book of Mormon holds a special place in our hearts as it reveals so much more eternal truth than what previous records have contained. Many principles are taught that reveal a fuller knowledge of the Gospel and we would also attribute to it the enlightening power and position as God’s greatest gift to humanity as quoted above. Because of his role in bringing forth this book and in restoring many of these lost truths, we believe that “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fullness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men…” (D& C 135:3)

While we do not recite our scriptures as a form of prayer (other than those that pertain to ordinances such as baptism or blessing the sacrament), it is also incumbent upon every member of the Church to spend time in studying the scriptures every day. Along with our Muslim brothers and sisters, using the scriptures daily will enable us to be in continual remembrance of God and our commitment to live our lives by His laws and words that have been revealed in His holy books.

Belief in Judgment Day and Resurrection (qiya’amah)

The Quran contains an interesting account of the pre-existent council in heaven where Satan was cast out because of his disobedience. Upon leaving, he was granted the right to seduce men on this earth until the appointed Day of Reckoning when the final judgment will take place and men will be assigned to their eternal reward.[31] The spirit beings that follow him in disobedience are part of the jinn (from which we get our English word genie) and their job is to cause “mischief of the slinking prompter who whispers in the hearts of men…” (Surah 114:4,5) The jinn were beings with free will who were created before the physical beings on earth. They are similar to the LDS belief of the one third of the host of heaven who were cast out along with Satan for rebellion, except that there are also good jinn as well who are believers. However, it is still the bad jinn who are responsible for influencing the beings on earth toward evil acts.

According to the Quran, whether we choose to follow Satan and the bad jinn or God, all of our actions are recorded in a book of deeds that will be opened before us from which to read on Judgment Day.[32] “This world will come to an end someday, and the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. Everything we do in this world, every intention we have, every movement we make, every thought we entertain, and every word we say, all are counted and kept in accurate records. On the Day of Judgment, they will be brought forward.”[33]

There is also an interesting passage in the Quran that speaks of our bodies testifying against us because we cannot hide ourselves “so that your eyes and ears and skins could not observe you.” (Surah 41:19-22) Additionally, the prophets will judge each people according to the scriptures that were given them. The righteous will then be rewarded with the blessings of heaven while the wicked will be assigned punishment in Hell along with Satan and the jinn.

Physical descriptions of heaven and hell are plentiful in the Quran, though not to be taken too literally.[34] Mostly, heaven or paradise is described in terms of a place of extreme beauty and comfort where food and drink are plentiful and there are beautiful servants. Accordingly, the greatest pleasure of paradise is to be in the presence of God. It is interesting to note that when the multitudes are judged, they will be divided into three different groups to receive their rewards - those on the left hand, those on the right hand and those in the forefront. These correlate with the Mormon belief of three degrees of glory as discussed in Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants[35], the most righteous of which will be able to “be brought near their Lord in the gardens of delight…” (Surah 56:10,11) According to a hadith from the Prophet Muhammad, in heaven “there are things which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard and no mind has ever conceived.”[36]

Conversely, while hell is physically described as a place of scorching winds and pitch-black smoke[37], the suffering of the inhabitants there will more be a result of the “inescapable awareness that this is the destiny which they deserved and brought upon themselves by rejecting God and ignoring the guidance which He had conveyed to them through His messengers.”[38]

Concerning the resurrection, the Quran teaches that all shall rise from the grave in a physical body that God has the power to restore in exactness.[39] The Book of Mormon also contains this teaching. The resurrection will bring about “….the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets. The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.” (BM Alma 40: 22,23)

Both sets of scriptures teach that the soul will be joined to the new body and then brought forward to receive judgment. Before this great and last day, however, the sun and moon shall be brought together, the stars blotted out, the sky rent asunder, the mountains crumbled into dust and then the trumpet shall sound and all nations shall be on their knees.[40] Both scriptures also declare that Christ will appear as a sign that the hour of judgment is at hand.[41] Knowing the sequence of events that will come to pass helps us to develop a keener awareness of which life is the true reality- our mortal one or the eternal one- and to put all the hassles of this earthly life into perspective. “This clear reality of the future Life is always before the mind and consciousness of the devout Muslim. It is this awareness which keeps the present life, in the midst of the most intense happiness and deepest pain alike, in perspective: the perspective of a passing, temporary abode in which one has been placed as a test in order to qualify and prepare himself for his future home.”[42]

For both Muslims and Mormons, belief in resurrection and Judgment Day provides comfort and motivation as we pass through our mortal lives. We are assured that any unfairness in life will be rectified, goodness rewarded and promised blessings received. Because of this knowledge, we are able to have patience through trials while always looking toward the eternal happiness and joy that will ultimately be ours if we endure well. We are spurred onward to “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of (our) own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27) regardless of how difficult our path may be so that we may “enter into His eternal presence and into his immortal rest.” (D&C121:32)

Belief in Foreordination (qadar)

The Quran declares that “Every misfortune that befalls the earth, or your own persons, is ordained before We bring it into being. That is easy for Allah: so that you many not grieve for the good things you miss or be overjoyed at what you gain…The blessings that Allah bestows on man none can withhold; and what He withholds none can bestow. He is the Mighty, the Wise One.” (Surah 57:22,23; 35:2) The principle of foreordination spoken of here is not to be confused with that of predestination. Rather, qadar refers to the omniscience of God. He knows each of us so well that He has a perfect knowledge of what decisions we will make and what we will do even given full freedom of choice.

Islam teaches that God in His wisdom is able to foresee all that is necessary in order to maintain and sustain His creations in the universe. He orchestrates all things from the smallest to the greatest by His will and nothing can take place without his ordaining it to happen first.[43] “…When He decrees a thing He need only say: ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Surah 19:35) This does not mean that man cannot choose or use his agency. Rather it “draws the demarcation line between what is God’s concern and what is man’s responsibility…He exhorts us to think, to plan and to make sound choices, but if things do not happen the way we wanted or planned them, we should not lose faith… because what is beyond our capacity and responsibility is the affair of God alone.”[44]

Also, whatever happens to us, we must believe that God is Wise and Loving and everything granted to us is a result of a good motive or meaningful purpose on His end.[45] “Such a belief gives the Muslim a tremendous degree of inner certainty, confidence and peace of heart, especially in the face of affliction, for he knows that since everything is under the control of the All-Wise, Most-Merciful God, the circumstances of his life are likewise under His control and direction, and hence are not without reason and a purpose… This inner certainty frees the Muslim from fear of anyone or anything other than God, for he knows that no one has the slightest power either to injure or to benefit him without His leave.”[46]

This does not imply that we should all just sit back and let fate or destiny take control of our lives without our doing anything at all to help or bring things to pass ourselves. We are to make sincere efforts, to strive and do our best in any situation.[47] If we do not, we will not know if the result is God’s will or just the natural consequence of our own non-action. Islam teaches that after we have done all we can do and the inevitable occurs, we should receive it “with patient and trusting acceptance of what He in His infinite wisdom has seen fit to send, and with the expectation that it may prove to be a source of good and of ultimate blessing in the broader perspective of the Life-to-Come.”[48]

Mormons also believe similarly in the doctrines of foreordination and agency, although in addition to what is taught in Islam, there is the concept of callings or missions from God to be performed in this life. The prophet Abraham was foreordained to be a prophet. He received a vision in which he saw “many of the noble and great ones” among the spirits in the preexistence. He said: “God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born” (PGP Abraham 3:22-23). The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah was also foreordained. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (KJV Jeremiah 1:5)

It is not just the prophets of old who are foreordained to their roles in this life. “The doctrine of foreordination applies to all members of the Church, not just to the Savior and His prophets. Before the creation of the earth, faithful women were given certain responsibilities and faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood duties. As people prove themselves worthy, they will be given opportunities to fulfill the assignments they then received.”[49]

One of the most oft repeated phrases you hear while in the Middle East is insha Allah, or God willing. This comes from a passage in the Quran which states “Do not say of anything: ‘I will do it tomorrow,’ without adding: ‘if Allah wills.’” (Surah 18: 23,24) Accordingly, most Muslims will repeat this phrase at the end of any sentence that predicts the outcome of future events or in reference to a planned meeting, situation, or promise being fulfilled in the future. Because it is such a commonplace phrase, most foreigners assume it simply means the same thing as saying “hopefully”. This is not quite the right comparison, however. To a Muslim, it literally means that if God is willing for the event to happen as promised, or for you to even be alive five minutes from now to plan anything further for your future life, then it is truly because God will let it happen to you. You can plan, organize, decide and prepare for things all you want, but only God has the ultimate power to agree with or in turn veto any of your decisions or actions. Therefore, you should always remember and acknowledge His hand in even the smallest daily plans you make in your life by saying these words.

Another common phrase for Muslims is Al Hamdu Lillah, or praise be to God, which comes from the fatihah, or opening passage in the Quran that Muslims use five times a day in prayer.[50] When someone greets you in peace and then asks how you are, this is given as the normal reply. These words are also uttered in response to all situations, both in thanksgiving for the good things as much as in recognition that God is ordaining all happenings in the event of bad things. Let me illustrate by way of personal experience.

Some years back, my husband and I were trying to come up with enough money to put down on our first house. We had struggled to meet the bank requirements of having so much balance left in our bank account for the period of at least the month prior to receiving our mortgage. With about a week to go, our car transmission died. We were both in school at the time and living on student loans. It was finals week and we were under a lot of strain to study for our tests as well as get ready to move into our new house within a week once the loan came through. We really did not need the car blowing up at that time. As I was throwing my “I can’t believe this is happening to us” fit, my husband listened to the tirade for a while and then calmly said, “al hamdu lillah.” I immediately countered with, “You’ve got to be kidding- what have we got to praise God about in all this current mess?”

He spent the next few minutes quietly teaching me a lesson I have never since forgotten- that no matter what happens, we should praise God for everything in our lives. He has given us everything we possess, both material and non-material blessings and we should continually be grateful to Him regardless of what situations come upon us as all things are subject to His plans for us. By having faith in the principle of foreordination while doing all we can to lead righteous lives, we will have the assurance that whatever happens, it will be a “part of God’s infinitely wise plan for His creation.”[51]

We are told to indeed be grateful for ALL things. “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.” (D&C 59: 21) “….O how you ought to thank your heavenly King! I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another— I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.” (BM Mosiah 2: 19-21)

Above all, we should be thankful and praise God that part of that divine plan is to provide us with all the necessary knowledge that will allow us to be rightly guided while in this life. When we believe in God, angels, prophets, scriptures, Judgment Day and foreordination, both Muslims and Mormons are able to walk further along on the path that leads back to God’s presence.

[1] These are LDS educational programs for religious instruction of church membership world-wide.

[2] Smith, Joseph. “The Character of God, Lecture Third” and “The Attributes of God, Lecture Fourth” in Lectures On Faith, 1835. The full text is found at: 

[3] Ati, Hammudah Abdul

. Islam in Focus, 1999, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 3rd ed., p.4

[4] Ibid, pp. 4, 5

[5] Ibid, p.5

[6] Compare BM Mosiah 8:15-17 for the LDS definition of a seer as differing from prophet.

[7] Haneef, Suzanne. What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims, Kazi Publications, Lahore, Pakistan, 1979, p.20

[8] Surah 7:158

[9] Ati, p.28

[10] Ibid, p.27

[11] Ibid, p.27

[12] Surah 8:67 is an example.

[13] Ibid, p.27

[14] The three books mentioned are compilations of early discourses of the leaders of the Church given in the 19th century. The General Conference of the Church is held bi-annually today in Salt Lake City, Utah, where church leaders continue to give inspired guidance, direction and practical applications of scriptures to help in our time. See

[15] Ati, p.13

[16] Haneef, p.16

[17] Ibid, p.17

[18] BM Mosiah 27:11-17

[19] BM 1 Nephi 3:29

[20] BM 1 Nephi 11:14-14:30

[21] BM Mosiah 3:2-27

[22] BM 3 Nephi 17:24

[23] see multiple listings under the heading “angel” in Book of Mormon index.

[24] Ati, p.13

[25] Ibid, p.191

[26] Ibid, p.192

[27] Articles of Faith, no. 8,

[28] See LDS Bible Dictionary under heading “Joseph Smith Translation (JST)”

[29] Op. Cit. no. 8

[30] “Introduction” in current editions of The Book of Mormon. See

[31] Surah 38:65-88, 15:26-44

[32] Surah 17:13,14

[33] Ati, p.13. Compare KJV Revelations 20:12; BM Alma 41:1-15; D&C 137:9

[34] Surah 56:1-56

[35] The three degress of glory are the telestial, terrestrial and celestial kingdoms to which all are assigned a place on Judgment Day depending upon levels of righteousness in earth life as detailed in D&C 76:96-98. 

[36] Ati, pp.13,14. Compare 3 Nephi 17:16,17.

[37] Surah 56:42,43

[38] Haneef, p.37

[39] Surah 22:5-7; 75:1-40

[40] Surah 45:28; 75:8,9; 77:7-10; 78:18-20; Compare to D&C 29:9-28; 45:42-45

[41] Surah 43:61; Compare D&C 45:39-45

[42] Ibid, p.37

[43] Haneef, p.38

[44] Ati, p.15 Compare D&C 104:17

[45] Ibid, p.14

[46] Haneef, p.39

[47] Ibid, p.39

[48] Ibid, p.41

[49] The LDS official church website,

[50] Surah 22:5-7; 75:1-40

[51] Ibid, p.39