Just a few moments ago, as I was preparing to write, the bells for the Angelus started to ring. The Angelus has been a part of my life going back to the Episcopal seminary I attended. It was there that three times a day the bell would ring and everyone, no matter what they were doing, would stop and remember the Incarnation of Jesus beginning with the words, “The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary; and she conceived by the Holy Ghost.” And that angel was, of course, the Archangel Gabriel. And so it seemed to me very Providential today that the Angelus would ring out just as I was preparing to write about the Archangel Gabriel.
Specifically, my purpose today is to make an important point in regards to my last post. That being said, we must ask how does the ‘religion of peace’ relate to the Archangel Gabriel? Well, I would say that he does not relate in the least to Islam, which I will explain below. But Islam, on the other hand, has something else to say in regards to Gabriel.
Before we get to the Muslim belief on Gabriel, let us recap the Christian understanding. Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary and announced to her the coming of the Son of God, and that she was to be His mother. Mary accepted this very special vocation from God by agreeing to God’s plan and she conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament prophesied about this event and the New Testament consistently expresses that Jesus, the Son of Mary, was and truly is the Son of God. Even Jesus Himself confirms this in the Gospels. And all of this was announced by the Archangel Gabriel.
Now to Islam: Muslims believe that it was the Archangel Gabriel that appeared Muhammad and revealed to him Islam. They believe that it was Gabriel that dictated the Koran for Muhammed to right down. But, the Koran says that even though Jesus was indeed born to the Virgin Mary, He was only a prophet and not God.
Therefore we are left with two religions claiming contradictory things about the same angelic being. Common sense dictates that it is not possible that Gabriel came to Mary announcing the birth of God's Son and also came to Muhammad saying that Jesus was not God's Son. There is only one option: one of the religions is true and the other is a lie. As a Catholic priest I am sure you know with which religion I side.
Now this isn’t to say I don’t believe an angel appeared to Muhammad. It is entirely possible that an angel did appear to him. But, we must remember that there are two camps of angels: those who chose to do God’s will and those who did not. The angels that serve God would not say anything contradictory to the Truth; in other words, they would never lie. And so Gabriel could not have appeared to both Mary and Muhammad. But, there are a group of angels which would have no qualms whatsoever about lying. In regards to the leader of these angels Jesus said, “he is a liar and the father of lies.” This would be none other than Satan.
This is the reason that I called Islam an evil religion in my last post. It is a religion that is based on a lie that says that Jesus is not the Son of God. But, and this is very important, notice that I said it is the religion that is evil – not the people within the religion, at least not all of them. Yes, there are many within Islam that have done terrible, awful, and evil things, but that doesn’t change the fact that all Muslims, Christians, Jews, and everyone else on this planet were made in the image of God and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of them on the Cross. He desires that all be saved. Therefore, let us remember that Muslims live within a lie and then do what we can to show them the Truth. And let us not hate them like so many of them hate us. Instead, let us pray for their eternal souls remembering that we too need prayers for our own.