(Mormonism & Islam, part 5)
Both Islam and Mormonism agree that the earth was created in 6 periods (sita ayam) also referred to as "days." According to the Quran:
Allah it is Who created the heavens and the earth, and that which is in between them, in six periods;(31:5)
Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods; then He settled Himself on the Throne. He makes the night cover the day; which pursues it swiftly. And He created the sun and the moon and the stars, all made subservient by His command.
The word youm (day or period) is defined in the Quran:
And verily, a day with thy Lord is as a thousand years of your reckoning.(22:48)
The Quran says that Abraham saw the heavens and earth:
And thus did we show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth(6:76)
The Book of Abraham is in the LDS Pearl of Great Price where he tells about his vision:
And I Abraham, had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had given unto me, in the Ur of the Chaldees;
And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it;
And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.
And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord's time, according to the reckoning of Kolob.(Abraham,3:1-4)
It is interesting that the great star which is near to the throne of God, according to Abraham, is called Kolob which could be the Semitic term cognate to the Arabic qalb which indicates "heart, or center." The Book of Abraham, which was translated by Joseph Smith from Egyptian papyri, includes some cryptic knowledge not fully comprehended. According to the information in the Book of Abraham, Kolob governs other stars, one intermediary star governing our sun. Stars are called kokaubeam which is obviously the Hebrew plural of the Semitic root which is represented in Arabic as kaukab with a Hebrew external plural suffix rather than the Arabic internal plural kawakib.
As for the creation of Adam and Eve, both religions agree that this original couple engendered the human race. According to the Quran:
He it is Who has created you from a single soul and made therefrom its mate that he might find comfort in her.(7:190)
Mormons agree relying on the Biblical version of creation supplemented by LDS scriptures which divulge the sequence of creation of the world and Adam.(Abraham 5:7-17) In Moses:
And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.(Moses 2:34)
Both Islam and Mormonism accept the account of how Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan and fell from grace and were thus urged out of the Garden of Eden. The story is in the Book of Moses:
And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die;
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they had been naked. And they sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons.(Moses 4:10-13)
Therefore I, the Lord God, will send him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken;
For as I, the Lord God liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they must be fulfilled.
So I drove out the man, and I placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way astray to keep the way of the tree of life.(Moses 4:29-30)
The Quran also tells the story of Adam and Iblis (Satan):
And We did create you then We gave you shape; then said We to the angels, "Submit to Adam," and they submitted but Iblis did not; he would not be of those who submit.
God said: 'What prevented thee from submitting when I commanded thee? He said, 'I am better than he. Thou hast created me of fire while him hast Thou created of clay.'
God said, 'Then go down hence; it is not for thee to be arrogant here. Get out; thou art certainly of those who are abased.' . . .
He said: 'Now since Thou hast adjudged me as lost, I will assuredly lie in wait for them on Thy straight path.
Then will I surely come upon them from before them and from their right and from their left and Thou wilt not find most of them to be grateful.'
God said: 'Get out hence, despised and banished. Whosoever of them shall follow thee, I will surely fill Hell with you all.
'And O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in the garden and eat therefrom wherever you will, but approach not this tree lest you be among the wrongdoers.'
According to the LDS Pearl of Great Price:
Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give him my power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down.
And he became Satan, yea, even the Devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken to my voice.(Moses 4:3-4)
The story is also told in Revelations:
And there was a war in heaven: Michael and his Angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelations 12:7-9)
Again in the Quran:
And God said, 'Then get out hence, for, surely, thou art rejected.
'And surely, on thee shall be My curse till the Day of Judgement . . .
He answered, 'My Lord, since Thou hast adjudged me as lost, I will surely make evil appear beautiful to them on the earth, and I will surely lead them all astray.(15:35-40)
He said, 'Begone! and whoso shall follow thee from among them, Hell shall surely be the recompense of you all--an ample recompense.
'And incite whomsoever of them thou canst, with thy voice, and urge against them thy horsemen and thy footmen and be their partner in wealth, and children, and make promises to them.' And Satan promises them naught but deceit.
As to My servants, thou shall certainly have no power over them,(17:62-66)
The Mormon explanation of the conflict between Adam and Satan is that Satan sought God's power and wished to negate man's free-agency and therefore his plan was not accepted. Satan became angry and rebelled and a struggle ensued between the spirits in the pre-existence. Michael led the righteous against Satan who was subdued and he and his followers were cast out to come to the earth to set up his operation and lie in wait for Adam who was Michael incarnated and his descendants. But Satan would not be allowed to have power over God's servants. Both Islam and Mormonism agree that Satan rebelled and was cast out and that Adam was involved in the original fray and was consequently tricked into eating the forbidden fruit after Eve was tempted into eating it. Both religions agree that Adam and Eve discovered their nakedness and put fig leaves together to cover themselves.
One of the reasons that Satan was cast out of heaven was his effort to curtail man's free agency as noted in the above quote from the Book of Moses which states that Satan "sought to destroy the agency of Man." Mormons adamantly believe that man must be allowed the freedom to choose between right and wrong and to become strong by fighting for the right. In this regard, they also believe that none will be tempted beyond their capacity to resist. The Quran appears to agree with these ideas:
There should be no compulsion in religion.(2:257)
For each of you We prescribed a clear spiritual Law and a manifest way. And if Allah had enforced His will, He would have made you one people, but He wishes to try you by that which He has given you.(5:49)
We task not any soul beyond its capacity(7:43)
Allah burdens not any soul beyond its capacity.(2:287)
After being driven from the Garden, Mormons believe that Adam was taught the way to pray. The Quran agrees:
Then Adam learnt from his Lord certain words (of prayer).(2:36-38)
After leaving the garden Adam and Eve offered sacrifices according to the Mormons. Islam also accepts sacrifice as a means to efface sins. We will discuss the importance of the law of sacrifice and its spiritual implications later.
(Continued in Mormonism & Islam, Part 6)