Friday, June 4, 2010

The status of Jesus in Islam

The status of Jesus in Islam


As Christmas grows closer countries all over the world will be hit by a shopping frenzy; there will be Santa?s, Christmas trees, presents, Christmas lights, decorations and so on. This is the time when the birth of Jesus Christ (Known as Hazrat Isa to Muslims) will be celebrated. But what is the reality surrounding Jesus? Was he really the Son of God? Did he really come so that he could die for the sins of the world? Was he truly crucified? Did he actually convey the beliefs of the modern day Christianity?

The person of Jesus is of great significance in both Islam and Christianity. However there are differences in terms of belief about the life, death and other issues relating to this great prophet of Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala.

There are no contemporary accounts written of his life and death. What can be established about him depends almost without exception on Christian traditions, especially on what is used to make up the gospels of Mark, Mathew and Luke, which reflect the outlook of the later church and its faith in Jesus. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that ?None of the sources of his life and work can be traced to Jesus himself, he did not leave a single known written word.?
Wayne A Meeks, Woolsey professor of Biblical studies at Yale University stated in an interview for a documentary ?From Jesus to Christ?. He states ?There is only an interpreted Jesus, there are many interpreted Jesus. So, where do we begin? We begin not with Jesus, we have no access to him. We begin with the responses to Jesus, by his followers, by outsiders who heard about him.

Historical facts also show that Jesus did not use the word Christianity. His message was to restore the people to the original teachings to which previous prophets had invited to, and from which they had deviated.

After Jesus had passed away, Paul declared that belief in Jesus was sufficient for salvation. The Jewish Rabbis labelled the Christians as a heretic and misguided group. In 43 A.D. when Paul and Barnabas went to Antioch to preach, and were ridiculed by the masses who labelled them as Christians. Those who were labelled felt that they were being given this name in reference to Jesus and didn?t reject it.

The founder of the modern day Christianity is undoubtedly no other than Paul the 13th self-appointed disciple. Initially Jesus had 12 disciples, but due to the corruption of Judas (who had the devil in him!!!), there was a vacancy and Paul (original name Saul, of Jewish origin) decided that he was the most suitable candidate so he appointed him self; this was because the 12 thrones in the heavens had to be occupied!!.

All credit of the adulteration of the bible goes to Paul, who single handedly mis-portrayed the Christian religion and made such a good job of it that he earned himself the second most coveted position of ? The most influential men of history? Michael H. Hart?s book ?The 100 or the top hundred or the greatest hundred in history?. Paul even outclassed Jesus because according to Michael Hart, Paul was the real founder of Christianity. The honour of creating Christianity had to be shared by Paul and Jesus and Paul won because Jesus did not write a single word, whilst Paul wrote more books of the bible than any of the others.

For this job Paul needed no great inspiration because as one of Hitler?s henchmen Goebbels said? The bigger the lie the more likely it is to be believed? Therefore the instigator of the Christian religion of today is Paul, who deserves an applause because he has done such a fine job at disfiguring a religion.

The Muslim opinion of Jesus lies between 2 extreme views. One is presented by the Jews who reject him totally and the other by the Christians who portray him as the Son of God or part of divinity. The Muslim perspective of Jesus is that he is the son of Mary (Maryam), one of the greatest messengers of Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala sent to guide mankind from darkness to light. However, he was not Lord or God, nor the Son of God. Also Muslims do not believe that he is dead (as Ahmadis, also known as Qadiyaanis believe), nor crucified and resurrected like the Christians believe.

The birth of Jesus is described as a miraculous event in the Holy Quran, where it states that he was born without a father. The Quran states ?She (Mary) said: O my Lord, how shall I have a son when no man has touched me? He (God) said ?So (it will be) for Allah creates what he wills, when he has decreed something, he says to it only `Be` and he was.?

Also it states ?Verily the likeness of Jesus in Allah?s sight is the likeness of Adam. He (Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala) created him from dust, then (he) said `Be` and he was?

Sadly partly due to this miraculous birth Christians believe that he is the Son of God, therefore ascribing divinity to him. If they contemplated for a moment the creation of Adam from no mother father and mother, and the creation of Eve from Adam without a mother, they would come to the conclusion ( if they wanted) that Adam has more right to the title `Son of God` than Jesus. But if Christians start hair splitting by saying that Adam was created from dust and for Jesus god said ?Be? and he was, we can point out to them that they have double standards because in their own bible there is a ?Superman? greater than Jesus, but who is this character? Paul?s innovation of course! ? For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high god?.? Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life?? (Hebrews 7:1,3)

Here is a candidate for the supreme role of God, for divinity, because only god is able to possess these qualities. Adam had a beginning from the Garden (according to Christians), and so did Jesus (from a stable) and Adam also had and ending, and so did Jesus (when he gave up the Holy Ghost), but this king of Salem character he had no beginning nor end so where is he then? Hibernating?

The Quran also mentions that Jesus Christ spoke in his cradle. When Mary was questioned by the people about the baby she had brought with her out of wedlock, she did not reply, but instead pointed at Jesus. When the people objected that how could a mere child speak, Jesus spoke saying ? Then she Mary pointed to him, they said, ?How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?? He said ? Verily I am a slave of Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala, he has given me the scripture and made me a prophet.? This removed any doubts they had in their minds.

Another misconception Christians have is the idea that Jesus was sent to die for the sins of the world. They believe that his crucifixion is a source of salvation for them and it removes the original sin that they were born with. Islam totally disagrees with this. Islam does not accept the fact that Adam committed a sin and neither does it accept that an innocent person has to pay the price of another person?s actions. Islam also rejects the belief of crucifixion and resurrection, stating that he was sent directly to heaven and Judas was mistaken in his place and crucified.

Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala says in the Quran: ? But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man. They have no knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely they killed him not, but Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala raised him up (with his body and soul) onto himself (and he is in the heavens).

It is stated in a hadith that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated that he met Jesus on the second heaven on the night of ascension. The hadith states ?During Mi?raaj I met Hazrat Isa on the second heaven. I found him of medium stature, reddish white. His body was so clean and clear, that it appeared as though he had just performed Ghusl and come.?

In another hadith, it states that the holy prophet said to the Jews, ? Hazrat Isa is not dead, he will most surely return to you before Qiyamat.?

The Holy prophet whilst describing Hazrat Isa stated he will resemble the famous companion Hazrat Urwa Ibn Masoodi, he will be of average height and red and white in colour. His hair will spread to his shoulders, straight and neat and shining as if he had just stepped out of a bath. On bending his head it will seem as if pearls are falling from his head, he will have armour on his body, and will be wearing two pieces of cloth light yellow in colour.

Probably the biggest and most difficult concept for Muslims to grasp is the concept of crucifixion and redemption. Muslims hold Hazrat Isa in very high esteem, but concepts such as trinity, crucifixion, redemption etc are things which go against the very core of Muslim beliefs.

In regards to trinity, the Quran explicitly states that Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala is pure from such things as having children or parents or any sort of equal. It states clearly in Surah Ikhlaas ? Say he is Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala (the unique). Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala the source (of everything). He has not fathered anyone nor was he fathered and there is nothing comparable to him.?

It also states in another verse ? It is not befitting to the majesty of Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala that he should beget a son. Glory be to him! When he determines a matter, he only says to it ?Be? and it is.?

These are some of the things, which have infiltrated the Christian religion and have corrupted it, which I have tried to highlight in this brief article. Muslims respect Hazrat Isa immensely, much more than the Christians acknowledge for Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'aala?s greatest creation, Hazrat Muhammad peace be upon him. In fact, a Muslim cannot be called a Muslim if he does not believe in all the prophets or if he has any doubt in his heart regarding any prophet.

Mahboob Hussain AL-Azhari. Graduate from Jamia Al-Karam and Al-Azhar University, Cairo.

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