Last week, Khalid Masood, a British-born Jihadist, ran over innocent people in London on the bridge close to Big Ben and then stabbed a police officer to death, before being killed by police. Where is Khalid Masood's soul right now? Presumably, he thought he was taking a short-cut to Paradise.
After 9/11, I once asked Christian leader Dr. D. James Kennedy this question: "Islamic militants believe that suicide missions give them a one-way ticket to Heaven — to Paradise. What will actually happen to them?"
He told me, "These suicide bombers are taught that they will be taken immediately into Paradise where .... lovely virgins will await them. The fact is that they will discover that the same kind of inferno they have created in these buildings will be awaiting them in Hell."
For this column, I reached out for a statement from Robert Spencer of jihadwatch.org. He wrote me the following:
1. The Qur'an promises virgins in Paradise: "And fair women with large eyes, the likenesses of pearls well-protected, as reward for what they used to do." (Qur'an 56:22-24)
2. What does one have to do to get them? The Qur'an offers one guarantee of Paradise: to those who "kill and are killed" for Allah (9:111).
3. The number seventy-two for the virgins of Paradise comes from the Hadith: "None is made to enter Paradise by Allah Most High except Allah Most High shall marry him to seventy-two wives, two of them from the wide-eyed maidens of Paradise and seventy of them his inheritance from the People of Hellfire, not one of them but her attraction never lags nor his arousal ever wanes." (Ibn Majah; Ibn Adi's Kamil; al-Bayhaqi's al-Ba'th wal-Nushur)
4. It's a nonstop orgy: "The Prophet said: 'The believer will be given tremendous strength in Paradise for sexual intercourse.' It was questioned: 'O prophet of Allah! can he do that?' He said: 'He will be given the strength of one hundred persons.'" (Tirmidhi 2536)
The Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright, observes, "Martyrdom promised such young men an ideal alternative to a life that was so sparing in its rewards. A glorious death beckoned to the sinner, who would be forgiven, it is said, with the first spurt of blood, and he would behold his place in Paradise even before his death ....The martyr who is poor will be crowned in heaven with a jewel more valuable than the earth itself. And for those young men who came from cultures were women are shuttered away and rendered unattainable for someone without prospects, martyrdom offers the conjugal pleasures of seventy-two virgins." (p. 123).
Wright quotes Osama bin Laden, who said, "This is jihad! ... This is the way we want to go to heaven!"
Several years ago I spoke with another Masood. This one is not a murderer. Steven Masood grew up as a sincere Muslim in Pakistan; he had even memorized the entire Qur'an by the age of 10. He inferred from something he read in the Qur'an that if he were a really good Muslim, he would know the Bible. So he got a copy and started reading it and ended up becoming a believer in Jesus.
He said, "In the Gospels, I found Jesus said, 'I am the way.' So, here is a Muslim who was trying for many years, asking God, 'Show me the way.' So, I had to give in. I said, 'Lord, thank You for showing me the way.' And I accepted Him."
This caused a rift with his parents, and Steven had to escape Pakistan to stay alive.
I once asked Steven Masood about Jihadists who think they're going to heaven. He said: "They believe that, 'Well, if we are killed, we will go straight into Paradise. It's much easier for us to go into Paradise that way than by performing all the ritual performance and everything and still not knowing that we are going to Paradise of [Allah] or not.'"
Steven Masood has founded jesustomuslims.org. He said, "The Great Commission of our Lord includes the Muslims too, that they should know about Christ, not only that He is just a prophet of God, but He is more than a prophet. He's the Word of God, the Spirit of God. And God sent Him as a Savior into this world and that assurance is available to a Muslim too."
I wish more Muslims would listen to the likes of Steven Masood and eschew the terrible misdeeds of someone like Khalid Masood. Khalid died apart from the grace of Jesus Christ; therefore, do not the words of Dante apply to him? "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."