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Was Jesus a Muslim?

Was Jesus a Muslim?

No wonder, Muslims do love Jesus. A person cannot be Muslim without believing in Jesus. Muslims believe that Jesus, like all other prophets and Messengers, was a Muslim.

While many people think that Islam is a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad, the fact is that Islam is the religion of all prophets and messengers of God, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

“Islam” is an Arabic word meaning “submission to the will of God”. A “Muslim” is an Arabic word meaning “a person who submits to the will of God”.

In this sense, Jesus was a Muslim for he submitted to the will of God, Whom Jesus worshiped and to Whom Jesus prayed just as Muslims do.

John 6-38 reads: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.”

Besides, Jesus did not accept worship for God sent prophets and messengers to call on people to worship God not themselves, and what is more he had never asked to be worshiped. He refused to be worshiped.

Matthew 15-9 quotes Jesus as saying: “They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

Watch this video to know how Jesus believed in, worshiped and called to the worship of God alone and foretold the advent of Prophet Muhammad.

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The Second Coming of Jesus

The Second Coming of Jesus

clouds in the sky

Islam confirms that Jesus will come back to underline the basis of his message, namely monotheism.

As a matter of fact, the Second Coming of the Messiah is such a hot issue which is subject to a lot of controversy among the followers of the three divine religions. The believers of each faith have their own conception of this event. It is ironic that each faith has a different account of the anticipated incident.

As for Jews, they believe that Jesus was one of the false Jewish Messiah claimants because he failed to fulfill any Messianic prophecies. Regarding the Christian idea that these prophecies will be fulfilled during a “Second Coming,” Ohr Samayach states: “We find this to be a contrived answer, since there is no mention of a second coming in the Jewish Bible. Second, why couldn’t God accomplish His goals the first time round?”[i] Rabbi David Wolpe believes that the Second Coming was “grown out of genuine disappointment” and invented by Christians to theologically compensate for Jesus’ death.

In Jewish eschatology, the term mashiach, or “Messiah,” came to refer to a future Jewish King from the Davidic line, who is expected to be anointed with holy anointing oil and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age.[ii] The Messiah is often referred to as “King Messiah” or, in Hebrew, “מלך המשיח” (melekh mashiach), and in Aramaic, malka meshiḥa.[iii]

Orthodox views have generally held that the Messiah will be descended from his father through the line of King David[iv], and will, among other things, gather the Jews back into the Land of Israel, usher in an era of peace, build the Third Temple, father a male heir and re-institute the Sanhedrin. Jewish tradition alludes to two redeemers, both of whom are called mashiach and are involved in ushering in the Messianic age: Mashiach ben David and Mashiach ben Yosef. In general, the term Messiah unqualified refers to Mashiach ben David (Messiah, son of David).[v]

In Christianity, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, sometimes called the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus to Earth. The Second Coming belief is based on prophecies found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian eschatologies. Christians generally believe the anticipated event is predicted in biblical messianic prophecies.

In the New Testament, the second Parousia, or coming of Christ as Judge of the world, is an oft-repeated doctrine. Jesus not only foretells the event but graphically portrays its circumstances. He is quoted as saying: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:27)

According to the New Testament, Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We read the following verses in the New Testament: “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42) “All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.” (2 Thessalonians 1:5) “While we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)

As for Muslims, they believe in both the Messiah of the Jews and the Messiah of the Christians but according to a different belief system. Muslims believe that some of the People of the Book, including Jews and Christians, will believe in Jesus as a Prophet and Messenger of Allah when he comes back to fight the False Messiah (the Antichrist) right before the end of the world. In the Qur’an, Allah says:

And [for] their saying, ‘Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.’ And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise. And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness. (An-Nisaa’ 4:157-159)

Commenting on the above verses, Al-Hasan, an eminent Muslim scholar, confirmed: “By Allah, i.e. before Jesus’ death. By Allah, he is alive with Allah. If he descends, let everybody of you believe in him.”

According to Islam, the Second Coming of Jesus is considered one of the signs of the end of the world (the Hour). The Qur’an says:

 And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path. (Az-Zukhruf 43:61)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) foretold the Second Coming of Jesus who, according to him, will disown Christianity and preach monotheism and the worship of Allah alone. Prophet Muhammad said: “By Him in Whose hands my soul rests, surely Jesus, Son of Mary, will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind judiciously, as an honest ruler. He will break the cross, kill the pig and abolish Jizya. Money will abound in such excess that no one will wish to accept it. A single prostration to Allah, in prayer, will be better than the whole world and all it contains.” Abu Hurayrah, the narrator, added, “If you wish, you can recite this verse from the holy Quran:

 And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness. (An-Nisaa’ 4:159)

Prophet Muhammad also prophesied that Jesus will come back to uphold Islam as the true monotheistic message of Allah to humanity. He informed us that Jesus (peace be upon him) will keep fighting the followers of all religions other than Islam and will kill the Antichrist. According to Prophet Muhammad, he will live for forty years and Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him when he dies.

Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: “There is no Prophet between me and him (Jesus Christ). He shall descend, so recognize him when you see him. He is a man of medium height, (his complexion) is between reddish and white; he will be between (dressed in) two slightly yellowish garments; his head looks as if it is dripping water even though it is not wet. He will fight people in the cause (for the sake) of Islam, break the Cross, kill the swine (pig) and abolish Jizya (tax on Christians and Jews); and Allah will put an end to all religious sects except Islam during his (Jesus’) time. He (Jesus) will slay the Antichrist (Dajjal) and he will stay in the world for 40 years. Then, he will die and the Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him.” (Abu Dawud)

Monotheism is affirmed more than once in the Bible. In the Old Testament, we read the following verse: “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me.” (Isaiah 45:5)

In the New Testament, we read a dialogue between the Devil and Jesus where the latter told the former that it is God only Who must be worshiped alone. The New Testament cites such a dialogue as follows: “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:9-10)

Thus, we can easily conclude that monotheism is the first and foremost message of all divine religions. As I stated above, Jesus himself asserted that it is Allah only Who must be worshiped alone. Monotheism is the core of Jesus’ prophetic message. Islam confirms that Jesus will come back to underline the basis of his message, namely monotheism.

According to the Apocalypse of Peter, Jesus foretold that his message will be passed on to another race of an age to come. This may serve as a reference to the future believers in Jesus as a Prophet and Messenger of Allah. In the Apocalypse of Peter, we read this passage: “These things, then, which you saw you shall present to those of another race who are not of this age. For there will be no honor in any man who is not immortal, but only (in) those who were chosen from an immortal substance, which has shown that it is able to contain him who gives his abundance.”

To sum up, the Jews have their own Messiah and the Christians also have their own Messiah. Muslims believe in both Messiahs, with one deemed the Antichrist (the Jewish Messiah) and the other deemed such a Prophet of Allah (Jesus Christ) who will descend to put an end to disbelief and polytheism and proclaim monotheism.


[i] “Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus”, Ohr Somayach – Ask the Rabbi. Accessed December 22, 2011.

[ii] Schochet, Rabbi Prof. Dr. Jacob Immanuel. “Moshiach ben Yossef”. Tutorial.http://moshiach.com. Retrieved 2 December 2012.

[iii] Flusser, David. “Second Temple Period”. Messiah. Encyclopaedia Judaica 2008 The Gale Group. Retrieved 2 December 2012.

[iv] See Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan: “The Real Messiah A Jewish Response to Missionaries”

[v] Schochet, Rabbi Prof. Dr. Jacob Immanuel. “Moshiach ben Yossef”. Tutorial.http://moshiach.com. Retrieved 2 December 2012.

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Divinity of Jesus

Divinity of Jesus

Is Jesus God?

According to Islam, Jesus is neither God nor the Son of God.

Is Jesus divine? This question has been a subject of different discussions by the followers of the various religions, especially the three divine religions, with Jews, Christians and Muslims each having their own different answer. We will try to find out which answer is in the affirmative and which is in the negative.

Judaism generally views Jesus as one of a number of false messiahs who have appeared throughout history. Jesus is even viewed as having been the most influential, and consequently the most damaging, of all false messiahs.[[i]] Judaism has never accepted any of the claimed fulfillments of prophecy that Christianity attributes to Jesus. Judaism also forbids the worship of a person and considers it a form of idolatry, since the central belief of Judaism is the absolute unity and Oneness of God. We read the following verses in the Old Testament: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

A belief in the divinity of Jesus is incompatible with Judaism as follows:

“The point is this: that the whole Christology of the Church – the whole complex of doctrines about the Son of God who died on the Cross to save humanity from sin and death – is incompatible with Judaism, and indeed in discontinuity with the Hebraism that preceded it.”[[ii]]

“Aside from its belief in Jesus as the Messiah, Christianity has altered many of the most fundamental concepts of Judaism.”[[iii]]

“…the doctrine of Christ was and will remain alien to Jewish religious thought.”[[iv]]

“For a Jew, however, any form of shituf is tantamount to idolatry in the fullest sense of the word. There is then no way that a Jew can ever accept Jesus as a deity, mediator or savior (messiah), or even as a Prophet, without betraying Judaism.”[[v]]

“If you believe Jesus is the messiah, died for anyone else’s sins, is God’s chosen son, or any other dogma of Christian belief, you are not Jewish. You are Christian.”[[vi]]

“For two thousand years, Jews rejected the claim that Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible, as well as the dogmatic claims about him made by the church fathers; that he was born of a virgin, the son of God, part of a divine Trinity, and was resurrected after his death. … For two thousand years, a central wish of Christianity was to be the object of desire by Jews, whose conversion would demonstrate their acceptance that Jesus has fulfilled their own biblical prophecies.”[[vii]]

“No Jew accepts Jesus as the Messiah. When someone makes that faith commitment, they become Christian. It is not possible for someone to be both Christian and Jewish.”[viii]

As for Christians, they consider Jesus the Christ and believe that through his death and resurrection, humans can be reconciled to God and thereby are offered salvation and the promise of eternal life.[[ix]]

The second sentence in the ICET version of the Nicene Creed states: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God…” In the New Testament Jesus indicates that he is the Son of God by calling God his heavenly father.[[x]]

As for Muslims, they believe that Jesus is the Son of Mary and a servant, Prophet and Messenger of Allah. According to Islam, Jesus is neither God nor the Son of God. If somebody believes that Jesus is divine, he will be judged as an unbeliever according to Islam.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

They are unbelievers who say, ‘God is the Messiah, Mary’s son.’ For the Messiah said, ‘Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord. Verily whoso associates with God anything, God shall prohibit him entrance to Paradise, and his refuge shall be the Fire; and wrongdoers shall have no helpers.’ (Al-Ma’idah 5:72)

He also says:

Those who have said that the Messiah, son of Mary, is God, have, in fact, committed themselves to disbelief. (Muhammad), ask them, “Who can prevent God from destroying the Messiah, his mother and all that is in the earth?” To God belongs all that is in the heavens, the earth, and all that is between them. God creates whatever He wants and He has power over all things. (Al-Ma’idah 5:17)

In the New Testament itself, we read a dialogue between the Devil and Jesus where the latter told the former that it is God only Who must be worshiped alone. The New Testament cites such a dialogue as follows:

“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:9-10)

It is historically established that the divinity of Jesus is something propagated by the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. At this gathering, many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted on, including the date of Easter, the role of bishops, the administration of sacraments and, of course, the divinity of Jesus. Until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet, a great and powerful, albeit still mortal, man, rather than the Son of God. Jesus’ establishment as the “Son of God” was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea. That is to say, Jesus’ divinity was the result of a vote.

 


[i] Maimonides. Mishneh Torah, Sefer Shofetim, Melachim uMilchamot, Chapter 11, Halacha 4. Chabad translation by Eliyahu Touge.

[ii] Rayner, John D. A Jewish Understanding of the World, Berghahn Books, 1998, p. 187. ISBN 1-57181-974-6

[iii] Kaplan, Aryeh. The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology: Volume 1, Illuminating Expositions on Jewish Thought and Practice, Mesorah Publication, 1991, p. 264. ISBN 0-89906-866-9

[iv] Wylen, Stephen M. Settings of Silver: An Introduction to Judaism, Paulist Press, 2000, p. 75. ISBN 0-8091-3960-X

[vi] (Jews for Jesus: Who’s Who & What’s What by Rabbi Susan Grossman (beliefnet – virtualtalmud) August 28, 2006)

[vii] (Jewish Views of Jesus by Susannah Heschel, in Jesus In The World’s Faiths: Leading Thinkers From Five Faiths Reflect On His Meaning by Gregory A. Barker, editor. (Orbis Books, 2005) ISBN 1-57075-573-6. p.149)

[ix] Oxford Companion to the Bible p.649

[x] One teacher: Jesus’ teaching role in Matthew’s gospel by John Yueh-Han Yieh 2004 ISBN 3-11-018151-7 pages 240-241

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What Happened to Jesus According to Islam?

What Happened to Jesus According to Islam?

Church and mosque

Jesus was neither killed nor crucified but another person was made to resemble him.

Somebody may argue that if Jesus was neither crucified nor killed as claimed by Muslims, what happened to him? Somebody else may also allege that there are pieces of evidence from the Qur’an indicating that Jesus was killed. What is the truth behind Jesus’ fate?

There is no denying that there are Qur’anic verses which may be misunderstood as indicating the killing of Jesus Christ. We read the following verses in the Qur’an:

[Mention] when Allah said, “O Jesus, indeed I will take (mutawafika) you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ. (Aal `Imran 3:55)

And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?’” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.
I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me back (tawafaytani), You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness.
(Al-Ma’idah 5:116-117)

Many people may misunderstand the Arabic words “mutawafika” and “tawafaytani” used in the above verses. They may misinterpret them as standing for death.

Let’s see what Muslim exegetes said about the above verses, especially the two misinterpreted words, to know what really happened to Jesus according to Islam.

The Muslim exegetes disagree over what is meant by the Arabic root “tawafy” of the above two words. The majority of Muslim exegetes are of the opinion that it stands for “taking or receiving back” rather than death. According to them, such “tawafy” was something like sleep. A few Muslim commentators opine that it refers to “death” but not “killing”. However, both groups of scholars believe that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified.

In particular, Al-Hassan, Al-Kalby and Ibn Jurayj believe that Jesus was taken up while awake. According to them, “tawafy” means just “receiving back”. Al-Rabi bin Anas think that Jesus was taken up while asleep. According to him, “tawafy” means “causing to sleep”. The proponents of both opinions offer as evidence the following verse:

And it is He who takes your souls (yatawaffakum) by night and knows what you have committed by day.” (Al-An`am 6:60)

In this verse, the Arabic root “tawafy” means “causing to sleep”.

According to those two groups, “tawafy” in Arabic means “taking upon satisfaction”. It does not necessarily stand for death, though it is still one of its meanings. Every act of taking upon satisfaction can be called tawafy. Accordingly, they argue that Jesus was subject to “tawafy”, i.e. was taken up upon the satisfaction of the initial time he was to live before interruption (Ascension) and return (Second Coming).

However, it is reported that Ibn Abbas opines that Jesus’ “tawafy” means his death. Wahb stated that Allah caused Jesus to die for three hours and then He took him up. In support of their opinion, this group of scholars offers as evidence the following verse:

Say, ‘the angel of death who has been entrusted with you will take you (tatawaffakum). Then to your Lord you will be returned.’ (As-Sajdah 32:11)

They argue that Jesus’ tawafy refers to his death given the meaning of Tawafy in this verse. Still, this group believes that it is Allah Who caused Jesus to die and he was neither crucified nor killed.

After all, the majority of Muslim scholars believe that Jesus was taken up, either awake or asleep, and he was neither crucified nor killed nor even caused to die. According to them, though “tawafy” may mean “causing to die”, Jesus was not caused to die for “tawafy” may or may not stand for death. The probability of death is explicitly negated by the following verse:

And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness. (An-Nisaa’ 4:159)

The above verse confirms that the People of the Book will believe in Jesus upon his coming back and before his death. Jesus has yet to come back. His comeback is a sign of the end of the world and this will take place before the advent of the Day of Judgment.

According to Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ibn Taymiyah confirmed that both Jesus’ body and soul were taken up rather than caused to die and that he will come back with both of them.

Finally, the mainstream Islam believes that Jesus was neither crucified nor killed. He was rather taken up to Heaven alive, either awake or asleep, after spending the first part of his lifetime on earth. He is now alive in Heaven with Allah in some way or the other. He will come back, with both of his body and soul, to spend the second part of his lifetime in which he will complement his mission of preaching monotheism.

No wonder, Jesus was born without a father in the first place. He has a miraculous life with two earthly lifetimes and one interval of an unusually heavenly life in between. If one already believes in Jesus, let him believe in his survival, ascension and second coming as he believed in him as a fatherless human being. If he is willing to believe in him as a fatherless human being only, this sounds much stranger and wonderful than anything else ever believed in.

_________

References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Tafsir Al-Qurtobi

3- Tafsir Al-Qur’an Al-Azim, by Ibn Kathir

4- Tafsir At-Tabari

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Illogical Accounts of the Birth of Jesus in the Bible

Illogical Accounts of the Birth of Jesus in the Bible

Nativity

The Nativity accounts in the New Testament are illogical

By Abdul-Rahman Mojahed

Nowadays, Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus, better known as “Christmas”. As a matter of fact, each Abrahamic religion has its own account of such controversial birth.

The Old Testament is deemed to have made mention of the birth of Jesus more than once. For example, we read the following verse: “But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” (Micah 5:2)

However, old Jews ascribed Jesus to illegitimate birth. In the course of time, the Jewish rabbis have become more lenient that they believe that Jesus might have been a good teacher, but he could not have been God, Son of God or even Prophet of God.

The New Testament makes mention of the story of the birth of Jesus in two gospels (Luke 2 & Matthew 1). Nevertheless, when the story of the birth of Jesus in the New Testament is carefully read, many question marks arise, which cast doubt on the accuracy of such a story as a whole.

In this article, I will deal with only two intuitive questions which quickly arise when we read the story of the birth of Jesus in the Bible.

The First Question: How did Mary Survive a Very Likely Accusation of Adultery?

The New Testament tells us that Mary who was betrothed to Joseph conceived and gave birth to a child. But, how did their conservative people, who lived in a conservative place and time, accept a situation where a betrothed woman gave birth to a child outside marriage?

While the New Testament tells us that the people thought that the child was Joseph’s, how did they accept that? How could a righteous man impregnate his righteous fiancée outside marriage? Was this acceptable at the time? This is a problem for which the accounts of the New Testament did not find a reasonable solution.

Judging by the outward situation, this should have been seen as a crime. This must have been regarded as adultery. It is noteworthy that the New Testament did not pay any attention to this matter. It did not relate that the people were told that Jesus was the Son of God. In spite of the angels’ input, the people were left with an untrue conviction that Jesus was the son of Joseph. Here a problem still exists! How could people accept the idea that Joseph slept with Mary before marriage? Can a holy baby be born as an illegitimate son?

The Second Question: Why is Jesus not Proclaimed “Son of God” to People in the Nativity Story?

It is also curious that Jesus is not proclaimed “the Son of God” to people in the story of his birth. This is also a very strange thing! If Jesus is really the Son of God, was it not more logical to declare the birth of the Son of God to people?

How could a very historic incident like the birth of the Only Son of God pass unnoticed like this? How could God let people believe that Jesus was Joseph’s son though he was allegedly His own son? Why were people not told that Jesus was the Son of God from the very beginning?

The only conclusion which we may reach here is that the story of the birth of Jesus in the Bible is not logical, reasonable or palatable.

In fact, the Qur’anic accounts of the story of the birth of Jesus are much more logical, reasonable and palatable, simply because it is coherent and consistent. We find the answer to the above two main questions in the Qur’an.

As far as Mary’s likely accusation of adultery is concerned, the Qur’an tells us how Mary survived such an accusation in a standalone chapter named after Mary. In the Qur’an, we read the following verses:

Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.” So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is a child in the cradle?”…(Maryam 19:27-29)

The Qur’an relates that Mary was commanded to just keep silent after giving birth to Jesus and let God act on her behalf. Jesus’ miraculous speech in the cradle merely served as the way out of the likely problem of the accusation of adultery.

Indeed, in more than one position, the Qur’an lets us know that when Mary was told that she would give birth to a child without a father, she herself feared the potential accusation of adultery. She wondered:

She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is God; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is… (Aal `Imran 3:47)

She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?”… (Maryam 19:20)

Actually, Mary’s fear of the accusation of adultery and the Qur’anic reaction to her concern sound quite logical.

As far as the status of Jesus is concerned, the Qur’anic account is very logical as well. The Qur’an tells that Jesus spoke in the cradle in defense of his mother’s honor with God’s permission. In his first words in this worldly life, Jesus declared his status for all mankind. The Qur’an quoted Jesus as saying:

[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of God. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and Zakah as long as I remain alive and [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.” (Maryam 19:30-33)

It is quite expected that a baby in such a case lets people who he is, so that the miraculous birth will not be misinterpreted. Unfortunately, despite this great miracle, many people still misunderstand Jesus’ status. Therefore, the Qur’an comments on and concludes the story of the birth of Jesus with the following verses:

That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute. It is not [befitting] for God to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is. [Jesus said], “And indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.” Then the factions differed [concerning Jesus] from among them, so woe to those who disbelieved – from the scene of a tremendous Day. (Maryam 19:34-37)

Finally, now, according to the Qur’anic accounts, we may quite logically understand how Jesus was born, how Mary survived the accusation of adultery as well as any likely punishment, and how Jesus introduced himself to mankind. In a word, it is safe to say the New Testament verses in this regard are illogical, unreasonable and unpalatable.

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

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Christmas between Christianity and Islam

Christmas between Christianity and Islam

Christmas in Islam

Muslims do not bother themselves a lot with Christmas itself as a baseless observance. They rather object to many Christian beliefs based on this occasion

By Abdul-Rahman Mojahed

In each December, specifically the 25th of December, most Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, better known as “Christmas”. Though there is no evidence from the Bible itself that Jesus was born on the 25th of December, the specific day on which he was born per se is not subject to much controversy between Christians and Muslims.

Having no authentic proof that Jesus was born on this very day, Muslims do not bother themselves a lot with Christmas itself as a baseless observance. They rather object to many Christian beliefs based on this occasion.

In this article, I will highlight the main differences between Christians and Muslims regarding the birth of Jesus.

For example, though we notice amazing similarity between the biblical verses and their Qur’anic counterparts dealing with the miraculous birth of Jesus, the conclusions drawn from each scripture are worlds apart.

In the New Testament, we read the following biblical verses:

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:30-35)

In the Qur’an, we read the following verses:

And [mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed God has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer].”… [And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed God gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to God]. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is God; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel. And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of God. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of God. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey me. Indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path.”… Indeed, the example of Jesus to God is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters. Then whoever argues with you about it after [this] knowledge has come to you – say, “Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of God upon the liars [among us].” Indeed, this is the true narration. And there is no deity except God. And indeed, God is the Exalted in Might, the Wise… Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except God and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of God.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].”… It is not for a human [prophet] that God should give him the Scripture and authority and prophethood and then he would say to the people, “Be servants to me rather than God,” but [instead, he would say], “Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied.” Nor could he order you to take the angels and prophets as lords. Would he order you to disbelief after you had been Muslims?… Say, “We have believed in God and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him.” (Aal `Imran 3:42-84)

The verses of the Qur’an corroborate most of the content of the verses of the Bible to the exclusion of the following two parts: “and will be called the Son of the Most High” and “So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

The above two parts are subject to strong objections on the part of Muslims who offer convincing evidence and present reasonable arguments. For example, the status of Mary is of paramount importance. It is ironic that the Bible is silent on this very significant point.

Is Mary the wife or concubine of God? If she is the mother of God or the son of God, Jesus, why is she not a goddess? How can a human being give birth to a god to be worshiped by fellow human beings, including herself? Why is she not worshiped at least as the mother of the Son of God?

Can a sexual relationship between God and a human being be so free and unregulated like this? The Abrahamic religions teach that intercourse cannot take place outside marriage; otherwise it will be considered an act of fornication or adultery.

Marriage is a decent framework of intercourse. Was God so indecent that He impregnated a woman outside marriage, or did He marry her? How can God marry or have intercourse with one of His servants?

The process through which Mary was caused to give birth to Jesus is devoid of direct contact between Mary and God. Both the Bible and the Qur’an tell us that Mary was impregnated extraordinarily, without sexual intervention either on the part of God or anybody else. How come Jesus is attributed to God as a son?

The Bible makes no mention of any carnal intercourse. It just says that “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” According to the very wording of the Bible, Jesus was created by the power of God like all of us.

About the mechanism of the birth of Jesus, more than once, the Qur’an says that Jesus was created as an embryo by a blow in Mary’s womb. In the Qur’an, we read the following verses:

And [mention] the one who guarded her chastity, so We blew into her [garment] through Our angel [Gabriel], and We made her and her son a sign for the worlds. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:91)

And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient. (At-Tahrim 66:12)

It is noteworthy that, by the same blow as Jesus’, all mankind was created in the first place. In the Qur’an, we read the following verses:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “I will create a human being out of clay from an altered black mud. And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.” (Al-Hijr 15:29)

And He began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his posterity out of the extract of a liquid disdained. Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His [created] soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful. (As-Sajdah 32:7-9)

While Jesus had a miraculous birth, being born by a female without a male, Eve had an equally miraculous birth, being created from a male only without a female, and Adam had a more miraculous creation, being fashioned without a male as a father or a female as a mother.

In this respect, the Qur’an says:

Indeed, the example of Jesus to God is like the example of Adam. He created Him from dust (soil); then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. (Al-`Imran 3: 59).

The Bible itself refers to someone other than God as the father of Jesus. In the Bible, we read: “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” That is to say it is apparently that Jesus cannot have both God and David as fathers. It is crystal clear that this is a metaphorical, figurative usage. Neither God nor David can really be the father of Jesus.

Similarly, more than once, the Bible refers to several people other than Jesus as sons of God. In the Bible, we read: “And thou (Moses) shalt say unto Pharaoh, thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn.” (Exodus 4:22)

There are many similar instances like the following verses: II Samuel 7:13-14, I Chronicles 22:10, Deuteronomy 14:1, Romans 8:19 and Psalm 2:7.

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

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