In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
This booklet has been written as the result of dialogue Muslim scholar and members of the Christian clergy and laity. The discussions were polite, pleasant, friendly, and constructive without the slightest intention of hurting the religious feeling of any Christian. It is provocative and a challenge to Christianity. It is indispensable for those looking for the truth and those studying Comparative religion. READ BELOW
The First Contact between a Christian and a Muslim
C. Why have there been in the last decade many discussions held between Christians and Muslims about their beliefs?
M. I think because we both have several things in common. We believe in the One Creator Who sent many Prophets and in Jesus as the Messiah as well as the Word of God who was denied by the Jews.
Our Holy Qur'an mentions in Surah 3:45:
[Remember] when the angels said: 'O Mary! Verily Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him, his name will be Messiah Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and in the hereafter, and of those who are near to Allah....'
Dialogues have been held everywhere in Europe, Canada, the United States, and Australia. Even the Vatican has participated: discussions were held between Vatican theologians and Egyptian Muslim scholars in Rome in 1970 and in Cairo in 1974 and 1978. Another series of discussions between Vatican theologians and Saudi Arabian Muslim scholars was held in Rome in 1974. Muslims have also been invited by many churches to present Islam.
C. If Christianity is nearly two thousand years old and Islam more than fourteen hundred years old, why were these discussions not held centuries ago?
M. For the last three to four centuries, many Asian and African countries that had been ruled by Muslims were colonized by Britain France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. Many Christian missionary and religious colonists tried to convert as many Muslims as they could by whatever means they had: giving medical treatment clothes, food, and jobs to the poor. However, only a few converted. A small part of the elite was converted to Christianity because of its belief that Christianity brought civilization and progress. They adopted this mistaken idea because they believed that western style progress was attained after the separation of church and state in Europe.
After the Second World War, many Muslims from Asian and African countries emigrated to the West as workers and professionals. This brought them into much closer contact with Christians. Also, students were active in introducing Islam.
C. Do you see other reasons why many dialogues are held nowadays even by their respective missions?
M. I think the gap between both is becoming smaller as each is more tolerant, although both are still competing for converts. I still remember my Christian teacher, who used to say: "Muhammad the imposter, the dreamer, the epileptic." You now find fewer writers depicting Islam in such a manner.
We Muslims feel closer to the Christians than to the Jews and disbelievers, as the Qur'an prophesied in Surah 5:82: You will find the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe (to be) the Jews and the idolaters. And you will find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: 'Lo! We are Christians.' This is because there are among them priests and monks (i.e., persons entirely devoted to the service of God, as were the Muslims), and because they are not proud." Some Christian denominations are making tremendous progress now by acknowledging for the first time in history that Muhammad descended from Ishmael through his second son Kedar. The Davis Dictionary of the Bible (1980), sponsored by the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, writes under the word "Kedar": "... A tribe descended from Ishmael (Gen. 25:13) ... The people of Kedar were Pliny's Cedrai, and from their tribe Mohammed ultimately arose." The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia quotes the following from A. S. Fulton: "... Of the Ishmaelite tribes, Kedar must have been one of the most important and thus in later times the name came to be applied to all the wild tribes of the desert. It is through Kedar ("Keidar" in Arabic) that Muslim genealogists trace the descent of Mohammed from Ishmael."
Also Smith's Bible Dictionary prints the following: "Kedar (black). Second son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13) ... Mohammed traces his lineage to Abraham through the celebrated Koreish tribe, which sprang from Kedar. The Arabs in the Hejaz are called Beni Harb (men of war), and are Ishmaelites as of old, from their beginning. Palgrave says their language is as pure now as when the Koran was written (A.D. 610), having remained unchanged more than 1200 years; a fine proof of the permanency of Eastern Institutions."
The biggest asset brought by Muslim immigrants to the West is not their manpower but Islam, which is now taking root here. Many mosques and Islamic centers have been established and many people have reverted to Islam. I prefer the word "reverted" and not "converted," as everybody is born in submission to Allah‹Islam‹and so being a Muslim is the nature of every single individual. The parents or the community convert him to Judaism, Christianity, other faiths, or atheism.
This is also a proof that Islam is not spreading by the sword but simply by propagation on the part of Muslim individuals or groups. We don't have special missions organized as in Christian missions.
The world population has increased 136 percent from 1934 through 1984, Christianity with 47 percent and Islam with 235 percent. These figures can be checked in The Plain Truth, February 1984, in its fiftieth anniversary issue, quoting from The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1935, and The Reader's Digest Almanac and Yearbook 1983.
C. If all three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, claim to emanate from the One and same Creator, why do they differ?
M. All prophets from Adam to Muhammad were sent with the same message: man's total submission to Allah. In Arabic, this submission is called "Islam," which also means peace, peace between the Creator and His creatures. Unlike the names Judaism and Christianity, the name Islam was given by Allah Himself, as mentioned in Surah 5:3: This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor on you, and have chosen for you Islam as your way of life. Neither "Judaism" nor "Christianity" is found in the Bible or in a Bible dictionary. No Israelite prophet said the word "Judaism." Jesus never claimed to establish Christianity and never called himself a Christian. The word "Christian" is mentioned only three times in the New Testament and first by pagans and Jews in Antioch about 43 A.D., long after Jesus had left this earth. Read in Acts 11:26: "... And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
Later by King Agrippa II to Paul in Acts 26:28: "Then Agrippa said unto Paul" Almost thou persuades" me to be a Christian.' '
So the name Christian was first given by foes rather than friends. And finally by Peter in his letter to comfort the faithful in I Peter 4: 16: "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed.... "
The first Muslim on earth was not Muhammad but Abraham, who submitted totally to Allah. But Islam as a way of life had been revealed to other prophets prior to Abraham, such as Adam and Noah. Then Islam follows as the way of life for all humanity.
C. How could Abraham be a Muslim? It is known that he was a Jew.
M. A Jew? Who told you that?
C. We are taught that, so it must be confirmed by the Bible.
M. Can you show me where in the Bible it says that he was a Jew? If you can't find it quickly, let me help you. Read Genesis 11:31.
C. "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there."
M. So Abraham who was born in Ur of Chaldees could not have been a Jew. First because Ur of Chaldees was in Mesopotamia, which is now a part of Iraq. He was then more an Arab than a Jew. Secondly the name "Jew" came after the existence of Judah, the great grandson of Abraham (see chart on page 4). Read further, Genesis 12:4 and 5.
C. " ... and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.... and into the land of Canaan they came.
M. So Abraham emigrated to Canaan at the age of seventy five and the Bible clearly mentioned that he was there a stranger m Genesis 17:8: "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." Read now Genesis 14:13.
C. "And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew.... " M. How can you call Abraham a Jew if the Bible itself calls him a Hebrew which means a man from the other side of the Euphrates. It also means pertaining to Eber, a descendant of Shem. Read now in Genesis 32:28 what happened to the name of Jacob after wrestling with an angel.
C. "And he said: 'Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.'"
M. So Abraham was a Hebrew. The descendants of Jacob were Israelites consisting of the twelve tribes. Judah was nicknamed "Jew" so that only Judah's descendants were called Jews originally. To know who Moses really was, read Exodus 6:16-20.
C. "And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Ghershon, and Kohath, and Merari.... And the sons of Kohath: Amram.... And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses."
M. So Moses was not a Jew, because he was not descended from Judah, but a Levite. Moses was the "law giver" (Torah is law) to the children of Israel.
C. How can you explain that?
M. Because we are using the Holy Qur'an as standard. You can explain the Bible and correct the Jewish and Christian prejudice with the context of the Qur'an. It is the last revealed book and has never been corrupted or adulterated. Its contents has been guaranteed by Allah in Surah 2:2: This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt... and also in Surah 15:9: No doubt We have sent down the Qur'an and surely We will guard it (from corruption). This verse is a challenge to mankind. It is a clear fact that more than fourteen hundred years have passed and not a single word of this Qur'an has been changed although disbelievers tried their utmost to change it, but they failed miserably in their efforts. As it is mentioned in this Holy Verse: "We will guard this Book" by Allah, He has guarded it.
On the contrary, all the other holy books (Torah, Psalms, Gospels etc.) have been adulterated in the form of additions, deletions or alterations from the original.
C. What does the Qur'an say about Abraham and Moses that you can deduce from the Bible?
M. In Surah 3:65:
O people of the Scripture [Jews and Christians]! Why do you dispute about Abraham, while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have you then no sense?
And in Surah 3:67:
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim (worshiper of none but Allah alone) and he joined none in worship with Allah.
In Surah 2:140:
Or say you that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve sons of Jacob were Jews or Christians? Say (of Muhammad), 'Do you know better or does Allah? And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony he has from Allah?' And Allah is not unaware of what you do. Of course they were not Jews or Christians, as the name "Jews" came after Judah and the name "Christians" came long after Jesus had left.
C. It feels strange to hear the name Allah. Why don't you say "God" if you speak English?
M. Yes, indeed, the name "Allah" seems to be strange to non-Muslims, but this name has been used by all prophets since Adam until Muhammad. It is a contraction of the two Arabic words AIlah, i.e., The God. By dropping the letter "I," you will find the word Allah. According to its position in an Arabic sentence, it can have the form "Allaha," which is close to the Hebrew name of the Creator, i.e. "Eloha." But the Jews are using wrongly the plural form "Elohim," which denotes more than one God. The word "Allaha" sounds closer to the Aramaic word for God used by Jesus, namely, "Alaha" (see Encyclopedia Britannica 1980 under "Allah" and "Elohim"). So while the name "Allah" is strange to non-Muslims, it is not strange to all prophets from Adam to Muhammad, as they propagated in principle the same Islam‹total submission‹and the word "Allah" denotes the personal name of the Supreme Being. It is not subject to plurality or gender, so there is no such thing as "Allahs," or a male or female "Allah," as is the case with Gods or God and Goddess. It is confusing to use the word God, as many English speaking Christians consider Jesus as God. Even the word "Creator" is also confusing, as many Christians maintain that Jesus created the world. Not only the name "Allah" is strange, but also the way Muslims worship Allah with ablution, bowing, kneeling, prostration and fasting is strange to non-Muslims, but not strange to all of the prophets. While ablution (washing of face, arms, feet, and moistening of the hair) prior to worship is not done by modern Christians, it is required of Muslims and previous prophets, as seen in the following biblical passages: Exodus 40:31-32: "And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat; When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the Lord commanded Moses." Although Paul made many changes in Jesus' teaching, he was faithful in respect to ablution, as seen in Acts 21:26: "Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple'..." Muslim women perform their prayer with their head covered, as in I Corinthians 11:5-6, 13: "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonourerh her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.... Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered" Muslims worship with bowing, kneeling, prostration, and without shoes 1 , as was done by previous prophets: Psalms 95:6: "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker"; Joshua 5: 14: "And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship''; I Kings 18:42: "And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees"; Numbers 20:6: "... and they [Moses and Aaron] fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared upon them"; Genesis 17:3: "And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying ...", and Exodus 3:5 and Acts 7:33: "And he [God] said [to Moses], 'Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."'
A Christian will be very surprised to learn that the pilgrimage (hajj), which consists of Muslims circumambulating around the sacred stone (i.e., the Ka'bah) in Makkah, had been performed by many prophets, even by Israelite prophets.
C. I never read anything about the pilgrimage or the sacred stone (i.e., Ka'bah) in the Bible.
M. This has been mentioned clearly several times but is usually overlooked by those who read the Bible. For example:
1. Jacob, on his way to Padan aram, saw a vision and built the next morning a pillar of stone which he called Beth EI, i.e. the House of the Lord (Genesis 28:18-19).
2. Years later the same Prophet, Jacob, was ordered by Allah to go to Bethel (Genesis 35:4, 14-15). Jacob removed all of the strange gods prior to going there. Later, Prophet Muhammad also removed all idols around the sacred stone (i.e., Ka'bah in Makkah).
3. Another pillar was built by Jacob and his father-in-law, Laban, (Genesis 31:45-49): "And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. And Jacob said unto his brethren: 'Gather stones.' And they took stones, and made a heap; and they did eat there upon the heap. And Laban called it Jegar sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed ... and Mizpah, for he said: 'The Lord watch between me and thee ..."'
4. Jephthah and Ammon had a war against each other. Jephthah swore to the Lord in Mizpah of Gilead to sacrifice his only daughter if he won. He did win, and burnt his daughter there alive as an offering to the Lord (Judges 11:29-39).
5. Four hundred thousand swordsmen from the eleven tribes of Israel swore before the Lord in Mizpeh to exterminate the tribes of Benjamin (Judges 20 and 21).
6. The children of Israel, under Samuel, swore in Mizpeh to destroy their idols if they won against the Philistines (I Samuel 7).
7. The whole nation of Israel assembled in Mizpeh when Samuel was appointed king of Israel (I Samuel 10).
It is obvious now that there is no Mizpah left in the world, except the oldest one in the Holy City of Makkah built by Abraham and his son Ishmael, from whom later Prophet Muhammad arose. Muslims are really the followers of all prophets. I can tell you other things about Muslims, Islam and Muhammad in the Bible, but why should you know this if you are not looking for the truth?
C. I am sure of my own belief as a Christian but I would also like to know more about both religions. I sometimes feel ridiculed as a Christian after reading books written by Muslims.
M. Did it affect you in your religious life?
C. Yes. I am not going to Church as regularly as before. I have been secretly reading books written by Muslims. I have asked several Muslims to explain matters that were not clear to me, but have not yet been satisfied. I am looking for a belief that I can rely on, that can give me peace of mind, that is scientifically acceptable, and one that I don't have to believe in blindly.
M. I appreciate your sentiments. However, as we are not allowed to force people to become Muslim, I want to be sure that you are really interested in learning the truth before I continue.
C. You mean that I can believe what I want and that nobody can force me to believe in something else?
M. Yes, for the Qur'an says that there is no compulsion in religion.
C. Then why are Muslims calling other people to accept Islam?
M. As Christians ask the Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah, we Muslims ask the Christians, as well as Jews and all mankind, to accept Muhammad as the seal of the prophets. Our Prophet Muhammad said: "Convey my message, even one ayah (verse of the Holy Qur'an)."
Also, Isaiah mentioned in chapter 21:13: "The burden upon Arabia," which means the responsibility of the Muslim Arabs, to spread Islam. Isaiah mentioned this after he saw in a vision a chariot of asses and a chariot of camels (21:7): "And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed."
The chariot of asses turned out to be Jesus, who entered Jerusalem (John 12: 14; Matthew 21: 5). Who then was the chariot of camels? It could not be other than Muhammad, who came about six hundred years after the advent of Jesus. If this is not accepted, then this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled.
C. Your explanation stimulates me to review the Bible more carefully. I would like to have more discussions with you.
M. Yes, if you are successful in this world, it doesn't mean that you will be successful in the hereafter. The hereafter is much better and more lasting than this life. People are now becoming more materialistic and secular. Let's meet some more and discuss the differences frankly and without prejudice. Islam is based on reason, and you should not just accept it. Even your Bible says: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21).
C. You mentioned just now a "chariot of camels" from Isaiah and drew the conclusion that it was Muhammad. Is he then prophesied in the Bible?
C. In the Old or New Testament?
M. In both. But you cannot recognize him in the Bible as long as you don't believe in the oneness of God. As long as you still believe in the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, the divine son ship of Jesus, and the doctrines of Original Sin and Atonement. All of these were made by men. Jesus prophesied that people would worship him uselessly and believe in doctrines made by men: "But in vain they do worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).
The Holy Bible
M. Are you sure that the Bible is holy?
C. Yes, I am very sure about it, for it is God's Word.
M. Read what Luke said about his recording in 1:2-3.
C. "Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word. It seemed good to me also, having held perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus."
M. If Luke had said that he himself was not an eyewitness and the knowledge he gathered was from eyewitnesses and not as words inspired by God, would you still believe that the Bible is God's word?
C. Maybe only this part is not God's word.
M. History has shown that the Bible has been changed. The Revised Standard Version (1952 and 1971), The New American Standard Bible and The New World Translation have expunged certain verses that are found in The King James Version. The Reader's Digest has reduced the Old Testament by 50 percent and the New Testament by about 25 percent. Some years ago Christian theologians wanted to "desex" the Bible. Does "holy" mean that the Bible is free from error?
C. Yes, that is so. But what kind of error do you mean?
M. Suppose one verse states that a certain person died at the age of fifty years and another verse states that the same person died at the age of sixty years? Can both statements be right?
C. No, for only one can be right or both are wrong.
M. If a holy book contains conflicting verses, do you still consider it holy?
C. Of course not, because a holy scripture is a revelation from God. Therefore, it should be impossible that mistakes or conflicting verses could be found in it.
M. Then it's not holy.
C. Right. In that case, its holiness disappears.
M. If so, you can't trust it one hundred percent. What could be the causes of such mistakes?
C. It could be a mistake in the recording or deliberate changes by scribes, such as deletion or addition in it.
M. If there are conflicting verses in the Bible, do you still consider it holy?
C. I believe that the Bible is holy, since I see no conflicting verses
M. There are many conflicting verses in it.
C. In the Old or New Testament?
M. In both Testaments. These are some of them:
II Samuel 8:4
And David took from him a thousand chariots and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen ...
I Chronicles 18:4
And David took from him a thousand chariots and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen ...
Q. Seven hundred or seven thousand?
II Samuel 8:9-10
When Toi, king of Hamath, heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer, then Toi sent Joram, his son, unto King David to salute him and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and had smitten him, for Hadadezer had wars with Toil. And Joram took with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass.
I Chronicles 18:9-10
Now when Tou, king of Hamath, heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer, king of Zobah, he sent Hadoram, his son, to King David to enquire of his welfare and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer and had smitten him (for Hadarezer had made war withTou); and with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.
Q. Toi or Tou, Joram or Hadoram, Hadadezer or Hadarezer?
I Samuel 10:18
And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach, the captain of their host, who died there.
I Chronicles 19:18
But the Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach, the captain of their host.
Q. Seven hundred chariots or seven thousand men? Forty thousand horsemen or footmen? Shobach or Shophach?
II Kings 8:26
Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign.
II Chronicles 22:2
Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign. .
Q. Twenty two or forty two years?
II Kings 24:8
Jehoiachim was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months.
II Chronicles 36:9
Jehoiachim was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem.
Q. Eighteen years or eight years? Three months or three months and ten days?
II Samuel 23:8
These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lifted up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.
I Chronicles 11:11
And this is the number of the mighty men who David had: Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains; he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.
Q. Tachmonite or Hachmonite? Eight hundred or three hundred?
II Samuel 24:1
And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say: "Go, number Israel and Judah."
I Chronicles 21:1
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
Q. Is Satan the Lord of David? May God forbid it!
II Samuel 6:23
Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child until the day of her death.
II Samuel 21:8
But the king took the two sons of Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore unto Saul, Arrnoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal, the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzilai the Meholthite.
Q. Did Michal have children or not? Note: The name Michal in II Samuel 21:8 is still present in The King James version and The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures used by the Jehovah's Witnesses, but has been changed to Merab in The New American Standard Bible (1973).
C. I never saw any of these before. Are there many more?
M. Do you still need to hear more? Are these examples not sufficient to deny its holiness? See Genesis 6:3: "And the Lord said: 'My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."
But how old was Noah when he died? More than a hundred and twenty years. See Genesis 9:29: "And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years when he died." Some Christian theologians claim that this does not mean that the maximum age of man will be a hundred and twenty years, but that the Flood would come in a hundred and twenty years. Even this doesn't fit, because at the time of the Flood Noah would have been six hundred and twenty (500 + 120) years old. However, the Bible states that he was six hundred years. Study Genesis 5:32: "And Noah was five hundred years old . . ."; Genesis 7:6: "And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth."
Christianity believes that God created man in His image: white, black or another color, male or female? This is according to Genesis 1:26: "And God said: 'Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness . . ." But this contradicts Isaiah 40:18, 25: "To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him? . . . 'To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal?' saith the Holy One." See also Psalm 89:6: "For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?" and Jeremiah 10:6,7: "For as much as there is none like unto Thee, O Lord . . . there is none like unto Thee."
C. But all these are in the Old Testament.
M. Well then, let's go to the New Testament.
John 5:37 Ye have neither heard His [God's] voice at any time, nor seen His shape.
John 14:9 ... he that has seen me has seen the Father ...
John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
John 8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them: "Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true."
These are only some of the contradictions in the New Testament. You will find more if we discuss the truth of such doctrines of modern Christianity as the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the divine sonship of Jesus, Original Sin and Atonement, not to mention the biblical accounts of many prophets engaging in degrading activities: worshipping false gods and committing incest, rape, and adultery.
C. Where do you find that in the Bible?
M. Noah is reported to have been drunk to the point of becoming naked in the presence of his grownup sons (Genesis 9:23-24): "And Shem and Japhet took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him."
Solomon was accused not only of having a large harem but also of worshipping false gods (I Kings 11:9-10): "And the Lord was angry with Solomon ... And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. "
Aaron, a prophet who accompanied his brother Moses on his mission to Pharaoh, was accused of having fashioned the golden calf for the Israelites to worship (Exodus 32:4): "And he [Aaron] received them [golden earrings] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a golden calf: and they said: 'These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."'
You can read of Prophet Lot's incestuous encounter with his two daughters (Genesis 19:36): "Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father."
You can read of a prophet who was married to two sisters at the same time (Genesis 29:28): "And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he [Laban] gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also."
And another prophet accused of adultery (II Samuel 11:4-5): "And David sent messengers, and took her [the wife of Uriah], and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness; and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said: 'I am with child."'
My question is: How could David be accepted in the genealogy of Jesus when it started with a person who committed adultery? May Allah forbid it! Does this not contradict what is mentioned in Deuteronomy 23:2: "A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord."
Another allegation is that of incest along with rape by Ammon, the son of David, on his half sister Tamar (II Samuel 13: 14): "Howbeit he [Ammon] would not hearken unto her voice, but being stronger than she [Tamer], forced her and lay with her."
Still another multiple rape, by Absalom on David's concubines, is recounted in II Samuel 16:33: "So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house, and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel."
Another incest, by Judah and Tamar (his daughter-in-law): "Judah on his way to Timnath to shear his sheep saw Tamar. He thought her to be a harlot because she had her face covered (Genesis 38: 18): ". . . And he [Judah] gave it [signet, bracelet and staff] to her, and came in unto her and she conceived by him."
Although Jews and Muslims often have differing views, no Muslim would dare to write a book and stamp any Israelite prophet like Judah, David, Jesus, and so on with rape, adultery, incest, or prostitution. All prophets were sent by Allah for the guidance of mankind. Do you think that God had sent the wrong people for guidance?
C. I don't think so. But don't you believe in the Bible?
M. We believe in all divine scriptures, but in their original form. God sent a prophet as a warner to each nation, and some of them with a scripture as a guidance for that particular nation only. The Suhuf was brought by Abraham, the Torah (part of the Old Testament) by Moses, the Zabur (Psalms) by David, and the Injil (New Testament) by Jesus. None of the these scriptures remains in their original form. As part of Allah's original plan, He finally sent Muhammad as the seal of all prophets and with the Qur'an as a guidance for all mankind, anywhere and anytime.
Jesus himself said that he was sent only to the people of Israel (Matthew 15:24): "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Also (Matthew 1:21): "And she shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins." He even said that he came not to make changes but to fulfill (Matthew 5:17-18): "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you: 'Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled."'
C. But in Mark 16:15 Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
M. This contradicts what is mentioned above in Matthew 15:24 and Matthew 1:21. Secondly, Mark 16:9-20 has been expunged in many Bibles. The New American Standard Bible has put this part in brackets and made the following commentary: "Some of the oldest mss. omit from verse 9 through 20." The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures used by the Jehovah's Witnesses admits that certain ancient manuscripts add a long conclusion or a short conclusion after Mark 16:8 but that some omit those verses. And The Revised Standard version prints the following footnote: "Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8 ..." This means that the resurrection is not true, as it is described in Mark 16:9.
C. But Jesus said in Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations ..."
M. "All nations" must be explained as the twelve tribes of Israel, otherwise it contradicts Matthew 15:24 and Matthew 1:21. In The New American Standard Bible and The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, it is not translated as "all nations" but as "all the nations," which means the twelve tribes of Israel. What do you think of the Bible now?
C. I am not so sure about its holiness now.
M. I am sure you will be convinced of the authenticity of Islam after we have discussed our differences.
The Doctrine of the Trinity
M. Do you still believe in the Trinity?
C. It is said in the First Epistle of John 5:7-8: "For there are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood, and these three agree in one."
M. That is in The King James Version, authorized in 1611, and formed the strongest evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity. But now this part, "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one," has been expunged in The Revised Standard Version of 1952 and 1971 and in many other Bibles, as it was a gloss that had encroached on the Greek text.
I John 5:7-8 in The New American Standard Bible says: "And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water, and the blood, and the three are in agreement." Also, in The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, used by the Jehovah's Witnesses, you will find: "For there are three witness bearers: the spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are in agreement." I can understand if you don't know that this important part has been removed, but I wonder why many ministers and preachers are not aware of this.
The Trinity is not biblical. The word "Trinity" is not even in the Bible or Bible dictionaries. It was never taught or mentioned by Jesus. There is no basis or proof in the Bible for its acceptance.
C. But in Matthew 28: 19 we still find: "... baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." This part has not been removed yet. Is this not a proof of the Trinity?
M. No. If three persons are sitting or eating together, does it mean that they form one person? No. The formulation of the Trinity by Athanasius, an Egyptian deacon from Alexandria, was accepted by the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD‹more than three centuries after Jesus had left. No doubt Roman paganism had an influence on this doctrine of a triune god. The Sabbath was shifted to Sunday and December 25, the birthday of their sun god Mithra, was introduced as Jesus' birthday, although the Bible clearly predicted and forbade the decoration of Christmas trees in Jeremiah 10:2-5: "Thus saith the Lord: 'Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold, they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good."
As Christianity deviated far from the original teachings of Jesus, Allah sent His last prophet, Muhammad, as a revivalist to undo changes made by man: the Roman Julian calendar was introduced as the Christian era; Pork was allowed; circumcision was abolished by Paul (Galatians 5:2: "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."
The Qur'an warns in Surah 5:73: Surely they are disbelievers, those who said: 'Allah is one of the three in a Trinity.' But there is none who has the right to be worshipped but one God (Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them. Do you still believe in the Trinity, which was never taught by Jesus?
C. But God and Jesus are one (John 14: 11): "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me."
M. Read John 17:21.
C. "That they [the disciples] all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also be one in us ..."
M. It is clear here that God and Jesus are one, and that the disciples are one in Jesus and God. If Jesus is God because he is in God, why are the disciples then not God, as they are like Jesus, who is in God? If God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost form one unit‹the Trinity‹with the disciples included they should form a fifteen unit God.
C. But Jesus is God according to John 14:9: "... he that hath seen me hath seen the Father."
M. Look at what comes before and after: (John 14:8): "Philip saith unto him: 'Lord, show us the Father, and it aufficeth us."' (John 14:9): "Jesus saith unto him: 'Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hast seen the Father; and how sayest thou then: Shew us the Father?"'
Jesus asked Philip how to show God to the disciples, which is impossible. You should believe in God by admiring His creation: the sun, the moon, all creation, and Jesus, who was created by God. He said in John 4:24: "God is a Spirit" and in John 5:37: "Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." How can you see a spirit? What they saw was Jesus, not God. Paul said in I Timothy 6: 16: "... whom no man hath seen, nor can see." So what you see is not God. The Qur'an says in Surah 5:103: "Vision comprehends Him not, but He comprehends (all) vision. He is the Subtle, the Aware."
C. It is hard to deny what has been taught to us since childhood.
M. Maybe the following questions will give you a better understanding of the Trinity: What is the Holy Spirit?
C. The Holy Spirit is the Holy Ghost and is also God. We are taught that the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Ghost is God. We are not allowed to say Three Gods, but One God.
M. Read Matthew 1:18.
C. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this way: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."
M. Compare this with Luke 1:26-27.
C. "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary."
M. In Jesus' miraculous birth Matthew mentioned the Holy Ghost and Luke mentioned the angel Gabriel. What is the Holy Ghost?
C. That being the case, the Holy Ghost is the angel Gabriel.
M. Do you still believe in the Trinity now?
C. Then God is God and the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel, and Jesus is ...
M. Let me help you: Jesus is a prophet, the son of Mary.
C. How can you solve what we call a divine mystery?
M. We use the Qur'an as the standard to correct man made changes in previously revealed scriptures. If you believe in One God, and Jesus as a prophet, why don't you go one step further and accept Muhammad as the last messenger? Recite after me the shahadah or witness (testimony), first in English and then in Arabic.
C. I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah, Who has no partner, and Muhammad is His servant and messenger. Ashhadu an la illaha illa Allahu wahdahu la sharikah lahu wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abdahu wa rasuluhu.
But what about my great grandparents? I would like to stay with them. They were all Christians.
M. Abraham left his parents and great grandparents when the truth‹ Islam‹was revealed to him. Everyone is responsible for himself. Maybe the truth hadn't come to your ancestors as clearly as it has to you. The Qur'an says in Surah 17:15: Whoever goes right, then, he goes right only for his own soul's benefit. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray only to his own loss. No laden soul can bear another's load. And We never punish until We have sent an apostle (to give warnings). The Truth has come to you and it is up to you.
C. Can I accept both Islam and Christianity?
M. There is no force in religion. You can do what you want. But if YOU combine both faiths, it means you haven't surrendered to Allah. You are still a disbeliever, as He states in Surah 4:150-152: Verily those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and wish to make distinction between Allah and His messengers [by believing in Allah and disbelieving in His messengers] saying: 'We believe in some and reject others,' and wish to take a way in between [this and] that: They are disbelievers in truth. And We have prepared for disbelievers a humiliating torment. To those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them [messengers], We shall give them their rewards, and Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful. You may agree with me if we discuss some other issues.
C. Should we recite a confession (shahadah) before we are fully committed?
M. As soon as you reach adulthood and you are mentally competent, you are then committed whether you recite the shahadah or not. Allah created this world for a purpose. He has supplied you with the organs to differentiate between right and wrong. He has sent many prophets as warners. We are created to worship Him and to compete with each other in good deeds in this world.
Surah 3:191: ... Our Lord! You have not created [all] this without purpose, Glory to You! ... "
Surah 90:8-10: Have We not made for him [mankind] a pair of eyes? And a tongue and a pair of lips? And shown him the two ways [good and evil]?
Surah 51:56: And I created not the jinns and mankind except they should worship Me [alone]. (Every deed for the pleasure of Allah is worship.)
Surah 18:7: Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it [the earth] in order that We may test them [mankind] as to which of them is better in deeds.
The Doctrine of the Divinity of Jesus Christ
M. Is Jesus God?
C. Yes. In the Gospel according to John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was Cod."
M. We have agreed that a holy scripture should not contain contradictions. If there are two conflicting verses, then only one can be true or both are wrong, for both cannot be correct.
According to John l:1 Jesus is God. Then how many Gods are there? Two at least. This contradicts many passages in the Bible: Deuteronomy 4:39: "... that the Lord He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else"; Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord", (Isaiah 43:10-11): "... that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no savior"; (Isaiah 44:6): "Thus saith the Lord ... I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is no God"; (Isaiah 45:18): "For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else."
From Isaiah 45:18 we can conclude that God alone was the Creator and that no one else, not even Jesus, participated in the creation.
You should also read Deuteronomy 4:35; Exodus 8:10; II Samuel 7:22; I Kings 8:23; I Chronicles 17:20; Psalms 86:8, 89:6 and 113:5; Hosea 13:4; and Zechariah 14:9.
C. But these are all in the Old Testament. Do you find these same statements in the New Testament?
M. Sure. Read Mark 12:29, where it is recorded that Jesus himself said: "And Jesus answered him: 'The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord."'
I Corinthians 8:4: "... we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one"; (I Timothy 2:5): "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Look at the expression "the man Christ Jesus." Now you can either say that John 1:1 is right and all these other verses are wrong, or vice versa.
C. How can anybody make such a judgment?
M. Lets look at it from the Qur'anic point of view, which corresponds with what Jesus himself said in the Bible. Jesus is mentioned several times in the Qur'an as a "Word from Allah." In Surah 3:39: Then the angels called to him [Zechariah] while he was standing in prayer in the chamber (saying): "Allah gives you glad tidings of John [the Baptist] believing in a Word from Allah [Jesus, son of Mary], noble, keeping away from sexual relations with women, a prophet, and one of the righteous."
In Surah 3:45: [Remember] when the angels said: "O Mary! Verily Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him, his name will be Messiah Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter, and of those who are near to Allah." In both verses, Jesus is called a "Word from Allah," by which is meant a Word coming from Allah or belonging to Allah, in correspondence with I Corinthians 3:23: "And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." John 1:1 should also have been written: "... and the Word was God's." The mistake could have been in the translation from Aramaic to Greek, deliberately or not. In the Greek language, Theos is God, while Theou means God's (see any Greek dictionary or Bible, or Muhammad in the Bible by Prof. Abdul Ahad Dawud, former Bishop of Uramiah, page 16). This difference of only one letter has major consequences.
C. Why is Jesus called the "Word of God" in both scriptures?
M. The creation of Jesus in Mary's womb was without sperm, for it was the result of the decree of Allah: "Be" as mentioned in the Surah 3:47: She [Mary] said; "O, my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?" He said: "So [it will be], for Allah creates what He will. When He has decreed something, He says to it only 'Be' and it is."
C. Jesus is God because he is filled with the Holy Spirit.
M. But there are other people who have been filled with the Holy Ghost? Are they also divine? Look at Acts 11:24: "For he [Barnabas] was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith; and many people were added unto the Lord" and Acts 5:32: "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." You should also read Acts 6:5; II Peter 1:21; II Timothy 1:14; I Corinthians 2:16; Luke 1:41.
C. But Jesus was filled with the Holy Ghost while he was still in his mother's womb.
M. The same was true with John the Baptist, for we read in Luke 1: 13, IS: "But the angel said unto him: 'Fear not, Zacharias, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. "'
C. But Jesus could do miracles. He fed five thousand people with only five loaves and two fishes.
M. The same was done by Elisha and Elijah. Elisha fed a hundred people with twenty barley loaves and a few ears of corn, for II Kings 4:44 relates: "So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord." Elisha secured the increase of a widow's oil and he said to her, in II Kings 4:7: "Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest." See also I Kings 17:16: "And the barrel of meal wasted not neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he speak by Elijah." Also I Kings 17:6: "And the ravens brought him [Elijah] bread and flesh in the morning, bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook."
C. But Jesus could heal leprosy.
M. So could Elisha, who told Naaman the leper to wash in the Jordan river. As recounted in II Kings 5:14: "Then went he [Naaman] down and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God [Elisha]: and his flesh came again like unto a flesh of a little child, and he was clean."
C. But Jesus could cause a blind man to see again.
M. So could Elisha: II Kings 6:17: "And Elisha prayed, and said: 'Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.' And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man: and he saw ...", II Kings 6:20: "And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said: 'Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.' And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria."
Elisha was also told to cause blindness: 11 Kings 6: 18: "And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said: 'Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness.' And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha."
C. Jesus could raise the dead.
M. Compare that with Elijah: I Kings 17:22: "And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah: and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived." Such a miracle was also attributed to Elisha: II Kings 4:34: "And he [Elisha] went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands, and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm."
Even touching the bones of Elisha could restore a dead body to life: II Kings 13:21: "And it came to Dass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet."
C. But Jesus walked upon the water.
M. Moses stretched out his arms over the sea: Exodus 14:22: "And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left."
C. But Jesus could cast out devils.
M. Jesus himself admitted that other people could do it: Matthew 12:27 and Luke 11:19: "And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges. "
Also the disciples could cast out devils, as Jesus said: Matthew 7:22: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?"
Even false prophets would do wonders, as prophesied by Jesus himself: Matthew 24:24: "For there shall arise false Christ, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
C. But Elijah and Elisha did wonders through praying to the Lord.
M. Jesus also did the miracles with the grace of God, as he himself said: John 5:30: "I can of mine own self do nothing ..." and Luke 11:2): "But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the Kingdom of God is come upon you."
All miracles performed by Jesus have been done by previous prophets, disciples, and even unbelievers. On the other hand, Jesus could do no mighty work where there was unbelief: Mark 6:5-6: "And he could there do no mighty work save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. and he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went around about the villages, teaching."
C. But Jesus was resurrected three days after he died.
M. We will talk about his crucifixion later, because there are so many controversies about it. For now, I'll only say that this was said by Paul, who never saw Jesus alive: II Timothy 2:8: "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel."
The gospel of resurrection in Mark 16:9-20 has also been removed in many Bibles. If it has not been removed, it is printed in small print or between two brackets and with commentary. See The Revised Standard version, The New American Standard Bible, and The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Let me ask you one thing: Did Jesus ever claim to be God or to say: "Here am I, your God, and worship me?"
C. No, but he is God and man.
M. But did he ever claim that?
M. Indeed, he prophesied that people would worship him uselessly and would believe in doctrines made not by God but by man: Matthew 15:9: "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
All doctrines of modern Christianity are made by men: the Trinity, the divine sonship of Jesus, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the doctrines Original Sin and Atonement. From Jesus' own sayings, recorded in the New Testament, it is clear that he never claimed divinity or identity with God: "I do nothing of myself" (John 8:28); "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28; "The Lord our God is one Lord" (Mark 12: 29); "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34); and "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46); and "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32). Jesus was called a prophet, a teacher from God, His servant, the Messiah, and later was escalated to the Son of God, and then to God Himself.
Let us now use our reason: how can a mortal woman give birth to God?
Jesus slept while God never sleeps: Psalms 121:4: "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." God should be powerful‹but how could people spit on him and crucify him as the Bible alleges? How could Jesus be God if he worshipped God as any other mortal: Luke 5:16: "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed."
Jesus was tempted by Satan for forty days(Luke 4:1-13), but in James 1:13 it is said: "... for God cannot be tempted with evil ..." How can Jesus be God, then? We can rationalize further and further.
C. Yes, I myself can't understand it, but we have to accept it blindly.
M. Doesn't that attitude contradict the Bible itself, which says that you have to prove it: I Thessalonians 5:21: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
C. It's really confusing.
M. But I Corinthians 14:33 says: "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." Doctrines made by men create confusion.
The Doctrine of the Divine Sonship of Jesus
M. Is Jesus the Son of God?
C. Yes. Read in Matthew 3:17, when Jesus was baptized by John: "And lo a voice from heaven, saying" 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."'
M. You should not accept the word "son" literally, because the Bible also refers to many prophets and other people as sons and children of God. Read Exodus 4:22.
C. "And thou [Moses] shalt say unto Pharaoh: 'Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn."'
M. Here is Jacob (Israel) His firstborn son. Read II Samuel 7:13-14 or I Chronicles 22:10.
C. "He [Solomon] shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father and he shall be My son."
M. It will be confusing if you read Jeremiah 31:9: "I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my firstborn." In Exodus 4:22 just now, Israel was called also called the firstborn. Who is the real firstborn: Israel or Ephraim? Even common people can be children of God. Read Deuteronomy 14:1.
C. "Ye are the children of the Lord your God."
M. Common people can also be called firstborn. Read Romans 8:29.
C. "For whom he did fore know, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn of many brethren."
M. If all are firstborn, then what is Jesus?
C. He is the only begotten son of God.
M. Long before Jesus was born, God said to David (Psalms 2:7): "I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me [David]: 'Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee."' So David is also God's begotten son. The meaning of "Son of God" is not literal but metaphorical. It can be anyone who is beloved by God. Jesus also said that God is not only his Father but also your Father (Matthew 5:45, 48).
C. "That ye may be the children of your Father" and "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
M. You can see in many biblical passages that the phrase "Son of God" signifies love and affection and neamess to God, and that it is not to be applied to Jesus alone. You will see sons and daughters of God: II Connthians 6:18: "And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." In view of these and other passages in the Bible, there is no reason why Jesus should be regarded as the son of God in a literal or unique sense.
C. But he has no father. That is why he is the son of God.
M. Then you must also consider Adam as a son of God, for he had no father or mother. In Luke 3:38, it is said "... Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God." Read Hebrews 7:3.
C. "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the son of God; abideth a priest continually."
M. Who is he? The answer is in Hebrews 7:1: "Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham ..." He is more unique than Jesus or Adam. Why is he not considered a son of God or God Himself?
C. What do you call Jesus then?
M. Muslims call him Jesus, the son of Mary.
C. No one will deny this.
M. Yes, it is simple and nobody can deny it. Jesus called himself the son of man and refused to be called son of God. Read Luke 4:41.
C. "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying: 'Thou art Christ, the Son of God. And he, rebuking them, suffered them not to speak, for they knew that he was Christ."
M. It is clear here that he refused to be called the son of God. He also refused such a designation in Luke 9:20-21, and told his disciples not to refer to him that way.
C. "He [Jesus] said unto them [the disciples]: 'But whom say ye that I am?' Peter, answering, said: 'The Christ of God.' And he straightly charged them and commanded them to tell no man that thing."
M. Jesus, who was the expected Messiah, a prophet, was escalated from teacher to son of God, Lord, and finally to God Himself. Read John 3:2: "The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him: 'Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God ..."; John 6:14: "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said: 'This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world."' Jesus is also called a prophet in John 7:40; Matthew 21:11; Luke 7:16 and 24:19. In Acts 9:20, we read: "And straightway he [Paul] preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the son of God." (You can conclude from here also that early Christians were still using synagogues, but later when Christianity deviated from the original teaching of Jesus, churches were established. Paul, Barnabas, and the Gentiles were expelled from the synagogues, as they were accused of blasphemy and pollution. See Acts 13:50, 17:18, and 21:28.). In Luke 2:11, it is said that: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" and in John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Was Jesus Crucified?
M. The Qur'an states in Surah 4:157 that Jesus was not crucified: "And their [Jews'] boasting: 'We killed Messiah Jesus, Son of Mary the Apostle of Allah, but they [Jews] killed him not, nor crucified him ..." Do you still believe that he died on the cross?
C. Yes, he died and was then resurrected.
M. We all agree that nobody saw the moment he was resurrected. They found that the sepulchre in which Jesus had been laid was empty and concluded that he had been resurrected, because the disciples and other witnesses saw him alive after the alleged crucifixion. Could it not be possible, as the Qur'an claims, that he didn't die on the cross?
C. Where is the proof?
M. Let's look at the biblical passages that support this conclusion. Do you give more weight to what Jesus said or to the hearsay of the disciples, apostles, and other witnesses?
C. Of course more to what Jesus himself said.
M. That is in accordance with what Jesus said: Matthew 10:24: "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord."
C. But Jesus himself said that he will rise from the dead: Luke 24:46: "And said unto them: 'Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day."'
M. Suffering is often exaggerated in the Bible and termed "dead," as Paul said in I Corinthians T5:31: "I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ, I die daily" (i.e., I suffer daily). Here are some of the proofs:
1. On the cross, Jesus beseeched God for help: Matthew 27:46: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" In Luke 22:42, it is recounted: "Saying, Father if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but shine, be done." (This cup is the cup of death.)
2. Jesus' prayer not to die on the cross was accepted by God, according to Luke, the author of Hebrews, and James. Thus, how could he die on the cross?: Luke 22:43: "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." It means that an angel assured him that God would not leave him helpless: Hebrews 5:7: "Who in the days of his flesh, when he [Jesus] had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared."
Jesus' prayers were "heard," which means that they were answered in a positive way by God: James 5:16: "... The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Jesus himself said in Matthew 7:7-10: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him who knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?" If all of Jesus' prayers were accepted by God, including his prayer not to die on the cross, how could he still die on the cross?
3. His legs were not broken by the Roman soldiers: John 19:32-33: "Then came the soldiers, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs." Can you rely on these soldiers' assertion that Jesus was dead, or did they want to save him out of their belief that he was really innocent?
4. If Jesus died on the cross, his blood would clot and thus no blood would have gushed out of his body when his side was pierced. But the Gospel states that blood and water came out: John 19:34: "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."
5. When the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign of his true mission, he answered: Matthew 12:40: "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Disregard the time factor, which was also not three days and three nights but one day (Saturday, daytime only) and two nights (Friday night and Saturday night). Was Jonas alive in the belly of the whale?
M. Was Jonas still alive when he was vomited out of the belly the whale?
M. Then Jesus was still alive, as he prophesied.
6. Jesus himself stated that he didn't die on the cross. Early Sunday morning Mary Magdalene went to the sepulchre, which was empty. She saw somebody standing who looked like a gardener. After a conversation, she realized that he was Jesus and wanted to touch him. Jesus said, as recounted in John 20:17: "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father ..." "Touch me not" perhaps because the fresh wound would hurt him. "I am not yet ascended to my Father" means that he was still alive, because when somebody dies he goes back to the Creator. This was the strongest proof and was admitted by Jesus himself.
7. After the alleged crucifixion, the disciples thought that he was not the same Jesus in body but in spirit, because resurrected bodies are "in spirit."
C. Wait a minute. How can you be sure that resurrected bodies are "in spirit"?
M. That is what Jesus himself said in the Bible: that they are equal to angels.
C. Where does he say that?
M. In Luke 20: 34-36: "And answering said unto them: 'The children of the world marry, and are given in marriage. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and then resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."'
Then Jesus convinced them that he was the same person by letting them touch his hands and feet. As they could not believe him yet, he asked for meat to show them that he still ate like any living individual. Read Luke 24:36-41: "And as they [the disciples] thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them: 'Peace be unto you.' But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them: 'Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see, for a spins hath not flesh and bones, as ye see that I have.' And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for Joy, and wondered, he said unto them: 'Have ye here any meat?' And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them."
8. If you still believe that he died on the cross, then he was a false prophet and accursed of God according to these passages: beuteronomy 13:5: "And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death ..."; Deuteronomy 21:22-23: "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."
To believe in his death on the cross is to discredit his prophethood. The Jews claimed that they killed Jesus on the cross in order to portray him as a false prophet. Christians believe in the crucifixion, for it is necessary for their doctrine of redemption of sin and, consequently, have to accept the accursedness of Jesus, too. This Christian belief opposes the Bible's teaching in Hosea 6:6: "For I desired mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." It also opposes Jesus' own teaching in Matthew 9:13: "But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice ..." Again Jesus said in Matthew 12:7: "But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless."
C. Why do people believe in the resurrection then?
M. It was Paul who taught the resurrection: Acts 17:18: "... And some [Jews] said: 'What will this babbler say?' To others, He [Paul] seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods, because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection." Paul, who never saw Jesus, also admitted that the resurrection was his gospel (II Timothy 2:8): "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel." He was also the first one to declare Jesus the Son of God: Acts 9:20: "And straightway he [Paul] preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God." So Christianity is not a teaching of Jesus but of Paul.
C. But Mark 16:19 states that Jesus was raised up to heaven and sat on the right hand of God: "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. "
M. As I told you earlier, Mark 16:9-20, has been expunged in certain Bibles: The Revised Standard Version, The New American Standard Bible and The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures of the Jehovah's Witnesses Church. If you still believe that Jesus is divine because he was raised up to heaven, why don't you accept the divinity of other prophets who were raised up to heaven?
C. Who were they?
M. Elijah: II Kings 2:1 1-12: "... and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried ... And he saw him no more ..." Enoch was also taken by God to heaven: Genesis 5:24: "And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him." This was also repeated in Hebrews 11:5: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and was not found, because God translated him, for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
The Doctrine of Atonement and Original Sin
C. So the redemption of sin through the crucifixion of Jesus was not part of Jesus' teaching?
M. This is the Doctrine of Atonement, which was accepted by the Church three or four centuries after Jesus left the earth. It contradicts the Bible, as the following passages show: Deuteronomy 24:16: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin."; Jeremiah 31:30: "But every one shall die for his own iniquity ...", Ezekiel 18:20: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." Adam and Eve were responsible for their own sin, which was forgiven by Allah according to the Islamic version.
C. But these are in the Old Testament.
M. Read what Jesus himself said in Matthew 7: 1-2.
C. "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
M. Read I Corinthians 3:8.
C. "Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour." But we believe in Original Sin!
M. Do you still want me to prove that children are born without sin? Read Matthew 19:14.
C. "But Jesus said: 'Suffer not little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
M. So everybody is born without sin and all children belong to the kingdom of heaven. Do you know that it was Paul who abolished the Mosaic law? Read Acts 13:39.
C. "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
M. Let me ask you a question. Why do you believe in the resurrection if Paul himself, who never saw Jesus alive, admitted that this was his gospel?
C. Where is it written?
M. Read II Timothy 2:8.
C. "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel." But why do we have to believe that he was crucified and raised from the dead?
M. I don't know. Islam, the teaching of all of the prophets of God, has not been contaminated with beliefs or concepts that come from paganism and superstition.
C. That's what I'm looking for.
M. Why don't you consider the shahadah (witness) or testimony, first in English and then in Arabic. Let me help you pronounce it.
C. I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, Who has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. Ashhadu an la illaha illa Allah, wahdahu la sharikah lahu, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu.. Was Prophet Muhammad ever mentioned in the Bible?
M. Yes, but it is not necessary for a Muslim to know it from the Bible. As you have studied the Bible, I would like to discuss it with you briefly next time.
Note: The rest of the discussion will be conducted between two Muslims: "M" and "m."
Muhammad in the Bible
Both Ishmael and Isaac Were Blessed
M. Why did Ishmael and his mother Hagar leave Sarah?
m. After Isaac was weaned, his mother Sarah saw Ishmael mocking him. After that, she didn't want Ishmael to be heir with her son Isaac: Genesis 21:8-10: "And the child grew, and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham: 'Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac."'
M. Isaac was about two years old when he was weaned. Ishmael was then sixteen years old, because Abraham was eighty six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael and one hundred years old when Isaac was born, according to Genesis 16:16: "And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram" and Genesis 21:5: "And Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born unto him." Genesis 21:8-10 thus contradicts Genesis 21:14-21, where Ishmael was portrayed as a baby put on the shoulder of his mother, called "lad" and "child," when both left Sarah: "And Abraham rose up early in the morning and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child ...'Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in shine hand ..."' This is the profile of a baby, not of a teenager. So Ishmael and his mother Hagar left Sarah long before Isaac was born. According to the Islamic version, Abraham took Ishmael and Hagar and made a new settlement in Makkah, called Paran in the Bible (Genesis 21:21), because of a divine instruction given to Abraham as a part of God's plan. Hagar ran seven times between two hills, Safa and Marwa, looking for water. This is the origin of one of the rituals that is performed during the pilgrimage to Makkah. The well of water mentioned in Genesis 21:19 is still present and is known as called Zamzam. Both Abraham and Ishmael later built the Ka'bah in Makkah. The spot where Abraham used to perform prayers near the Ka'bah is still present and is known as the Maqam Ibrahim, i.e., the Station of Abraham. During the pilgrimage, pilgrims in Makkah and Muslims all over the world commemorate the offering of Abraham and Ishmael by slaughtering cattle.
m. But the Bible mentions that Isaac was to be sacrificed.
M. The Islamic version states that the covenant between God, Abraham, and his only son Ishmael was made and sealed when Ishmael was supposed to be sacrificed. On the very same day, Abraham, Ishmael, and all the men of Abraham's household were circumcised. At that time, Isaac had not even born: Genesis 17:24-27: "And Abraham was ninety years old and nine when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him."
A year later, Isaac was born and circumcised when he was eight days old: Genesis 21:4-5: "And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him." So when the covenant was made and sealed (circumcision and sacrifice) Abraham was ninety nine and Ishmael was thirteen. Isaac was born a year later, when Abraham was one hundred years old.
The descendants of Ishmael, Prophet Muhammad including all Muslims, remain faithful until today to this covenant of circumcision. In their five daily prayers, Muslims include the praise of Abraham and his descendants with the praise of Muhammad and his descendants.
m. But in Genesis 22 it is mentioned that Isaac was to be sacrificed.
M. I know, but you will see the contradiction there. It is mentioned "shine only son Isaac." Shouldn't it be "shine only son Ishmael," when Ishmael was thirteen years old and Isaac had not even been born? When Isaac was born, Abraham had two sons. Because of chauvinism, the name of Ishmael was changed to Isaac in all of Genesis 22. But God has preserved the word "only" to show us what it should have been.
The words "I will multiply thy seed" in Genesis 22:17 was applied earlier to Ishmael in Genesis 16:10. Was not the whole of Genesis 22 applicable to Ishmael then? "I will make him a great nation" has been repeated twice for Ishmael in Genesis 17:20 and Genesis 21:18, and never applied to Isaac at all.
m. The Jews and Christians maintain that Isaac was superior to Ishmael.
M. They can say that if they want to, but the Bible does not support this claim: Genesis 15:4: "And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him [Abraham], saying: 'This [Eliezer of Damascus] shall not be shine heir, but he that shall come forth out of shine own bowels shall be shine heir."' So Ishmael was also Abraham's heir.
Genesis 16:10: "And the angel of the Lord said unto her [Hager]: 'I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. "'
Genesis 17:20: "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. Twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation."
Genesis 21:13: "And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed."
Genesis 21:18: "Arise, lift up the lad [Ishmael], and hold him in shine hand, for I will make him a great nation."
Deuteronomy 21:15-17: "If a man have two wives, one beloved and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hash, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hash: for he is the beginning of the strength; the right of the firstborn is his." Islam does not deny God's blessings on Isaac and his descendants, but the son of promise is Ishmael, from whom arose Muhammad as the seal of the prophets.
m. But Christians and Jews claim that Ishmael was an illegitimate son.
M. That is what they say, but not what the Bible states. How could such a great prophet as Abraham have an illegal wife and a son out of wedlock!
Genesis 16:3: "... and [Sarah] gave her [Hager] to her husband Abram to be his wife." If the marriage was legal, how could their offspring be illegal? Is a marriage between two foreigners, a Chaldean and an Egyptian, not more legal than a marriage between a man with a daughter of his father? Whether it was a lie of Abraham or not, it is stated in Genesis 20:12: "And yet indeed she [Sarah] is my sister, she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."
The name Ishmael was also chosen by Allah Himself: Genesis 16:11: "And the Angel of the Lord said unto her [Hager]: 'Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael, because the Lord hath heard thy affliction."' Ishmael means "God hears." Where in the Bible is it written that Ishmael was an illegitimate son?
M. Long before both Ishmael and Isaac were born, Allah made a covenant with Abraham: Genesis 15:18: "... saying Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the Euphrates." Doesn't the greater part of Arabia lie between the Nile and the Euphrates, where all the descendants of Ishmael settled at a later date?
m. Do you mean that no land was promised to Isaac and his descendants?
M. We Muslims don't deny that Isaac was also blessed. See Genesis 17:8: "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed [Isaac] after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
Do you see also the difference that Abraham was called "a stranger" in Canaan but not in the land between the Nile and the Euphrates? As a Chaldean, he was more Arab than Jew.
m. But the covenant was made with Isaac, according to Genesis 17:21: "But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this time in the next year."
M. Does this exclude Ishmael? Where in the Bible does it say that Allah would not make any covenant with Ishmael?
Criterion of the Prophet by Jeremiah
Jeremiah 28:9: "The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him."
The word Islam also signifies tranquillity and peace, peace between the Creator and his creatures. This prophecy of Jeremiah cannot be applied to Jesus, as he himself stated that he didn't come for peace: Luke 12:51-53: "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you nay, but rather division, for from henceforth there will be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." See also Matthew 10:34-36.
Until Shiloh Come
This was a message of Jacob to his children before he died: Genesis 49:1): "And Jacob called unto his sons, and said: 'Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. "
Genesis 49:10: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a law giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come. And unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
Shiloh is also the name of a town, but its real meaning is peace, tranquillity, rest‹Islam. It could never refer to a town here. If it referred to a person, it could be a corruption of Shaluah (Elohim), i.e., Messenger (of Allah) .
So the Israelite prophethood in the lineage of Isaac would stop as soon as Shiloh came. This corresponds with Surah 2:133: "Were you witnesses when death came to Jacob? When he said to his sons: 'What will you worship after me?' They said: 'We shall worship your God [Allah], the God of your fathers Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac, One God and to Him we surrender [in Islam]."'
The shift of prophethood to another nation was threatened in Jeremiah 31:36: "'If those ordinances depart from before me,' saith the Lord, 'then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever."' This was also hinted at by Jesus in Matthew 21:43: "Therefore say I unto you: 'The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits
Baca Is Makkah
The Holy Ka'bah, which was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael, is in Makkah. This name Makkah has been mentioned once in the Qur'an in Surah 48:24. Another name for Makkah is Bakkah, depending on the dialect of the tribe. This also has been mentioned once, in Surah 3:96: "Verily, the first House [of worship] appointed for mankind was that in Bakkah [Makkah], full of blessing, and guidance for all people." Amazing enough, this word Bakkah was mentioned by Prophet David in his Psalm 84:6: "Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well, the rain also filleth the pools." The well here is the well known well of Zamzam, which is still present today and is located close to the Ka'bah.
The House of My Glory
Isaiah chapter 60:
1. "Arise shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Compare the with Surah 74:1-3: 0, you [Muhammad] wrapped up in garments! Arise and warn! And your Lord magnify!
2. "For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." The advent of Prophet Muhammad was at a time of darkness when the world had forgotten the oneness of God as taught by Abraham and all of the other prophets, including Jesus.
3. "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."
4. "Lift up shine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: ...." Within less than twenty three years the whole of Arabia was united.
5. "... because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee." Within less than a century, Islam had spread beyond the borders of Arabia.
6. "The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah, all they from Sheba shall come, they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord."
7. "All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee. They shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory." The tribes of Kedar (Arabia) who were divided were then united. "The house of my glory," referred here to the House of Allah in Makkah and not the Church of Christ as thought by Christian commentators. It is a fact that the villages of Kedar (now the whole of Saudi Arabia at least) are located in the only country in the world that remains impenetrable to the Church's influence.
8. "Therefore thy gates shall be open continually. They shall not be shut day nor night, that men may bung unto thee the forces of the Gentiles and that their kings may be brought." It is a fact that the mosque surrounding the Holy Ka'bah in Makkah has remained open day and night since the Prophet Muhammad removed the idols located within it fourteen centuries ago. Rulers as well as subjects came for the pilgrimage.
Chariot of Asses and Chariot of Camels
The vision of Isaiah of the two riders in Isaiah 21:7: "And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels ..."
Who was the rider upon an ass? Every Sunday School student knows that this person was Jesus: John 12:14: "And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon, as it is written."
Who, then, is the promised rider on a camel? This powerful prophet has been overlooked by readers of the Bible. This person is Prophet Muhammad. If this is not applied to him, then the prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. That is why lsaiah mentioned in 21:13: "The burden upon Arabia ...," which means the responsibility of the Arab Muslims, and of course now of all Muslims, to spread the message of Islam.
Isaiah 21:14: "The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, and they prevented with their bread him that fled." Tema is probably Madinah, the city to which Prophet Muhammad and his Companions immigrated. Each immigrant was joined to a citizen of Madinah in ties of brotherhood by the Prophet. The immigrants were also given food and shelter.
Isaiah 21:15: "For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war." This was when Prophet Muhammad and his Companions were persecuted and left Makkah for Madinah.
Isaiah 21:16: "For thus hath the Lord said unto me: 'Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail."' Exactly in the second year of Hijrah (immigration), the pagans were defeated in the battle of Badr
Finally Isaiah 21:17 concludes with "... the mighty men of the children of Kedar shall be diminished, for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it." Kedar is the second son of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13), from whom ultimately Prophet Muhammad arose. In the beginning, the children of Kedar were attacking Muhammad and his Companions. But as many of them accepted Islam, the number of children of Kedar who resisted began to diminish. In some Bible verses, "Kedar" is synonymous with "Arab" in general, as in Ezekiel 27:21: "Arabia, and all the Princes of Kedar ..."
The Prophet Like unto Moses
God addressed Moses: Deuteronomy 18:18: "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee [Moses], and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."
1. Brethren of Israelites (descendants of Abraham through Isaac) are Ishmaelites (descendants of Abraham through Ishmael). Jesus is here excluded, as he is an Israelite. Otherwise it should be written "a prophet from among yourselves."
2. Is Muhammad not like unto Moses? If this is not accepted, this promise has yet to be fulfilled. The table below, taken from Al-lttihad (January-March 1982), page 41, is self explanatory:
Following is a comparison between a few crucial characteristics of Moses, Muhammad, and Jesus which may clarify the identity of "that prophet" who was to come after Moses:
Area of Comparison Moses Muhammad Jesus
Birth: Usual Usual Unusual
Family Life: Married, children Married, children Single, No children
Death: Usual Usual Unusual
Career: Prophet/Statesman Prophet/Statesman Prophet
Forced Emigration (in adulthood): To Median To Madinah None
Encounter with Enemies: Hot pursuit Hot pursuit/Battles No similar encounter
Results of Encounter: Moral/Physical victory Moral/Physical victory Moral victory
Writing down of Revelation: In his lifetime (Torah) In his lifetime (Qur'an) After him
Nature of Teachings: Spintual/Legal Spintual/Legal Mainly spintual
Acceptance of his Leadership (by his people) Rejected, then accepted Rejected, then accepted Rejected (by most Israelites)
3. "Put my words in his mouth." God's revelation came through Gabriel, and Prophet Muhammad's own thinking was not involved. But this applies to all divine revelation. Perhaps it is mentioned here specifically because it is compared with the revelation to Moses, which is believed to have been revealed on "written tablets."
Deuteronomy 18:19: "And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
In the Qurtan, 113 of the 114 surahs start with the phrase: "In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful." This phrase is also a common part of a Muslim's daily speech, for it is used when beginning a new activity. It is not in the name of God, but "in my name"‹God's personal name is Allah. It has no gender or plural forms, as the English word "God" does. Christians start with "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
It should also be noted that those who will not hear or accept the message that he brings will be punished. This corresponds with surah 3:19: Truly the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam and surah 3:85: And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.
My Servant, Messenger, and Elect
A clearer furfillment of the prophecy of Muhammad is found in Isaiah 42:
1. "Behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth. I have put my spirit upon him, and he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." He is also called "my messenger" in verse 19. No doubt all prophets were indeed servants, messengers, and the elect of Allah. Yet no prophet, with the exception of Muhammad, is universally called by these specific titles. In Arabic, these are: Abduhu wa Rasuluhu Mustapha‹His servant and His elected messenger. The testimony of a person accepting Islam is: "I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, Who has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger." This same formula is repeated five times a day in the call to prayer before the beginning of each prayer, nine times a day in the tashahhud during the minimum obligatory prayers, and several more times if a Muslim performs any of the additional recommended prayers. The most common title of Prophet Muhammad is Rasul Allah, which means "the Messenger of Allah."
2. "He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street." This describes the decency of Prophet Muhammad.
3. "... he shall bring forth judgment unto truth."
4. "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he has set judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law." This is to be compared with Jesus, who did not prevail over his enemies and who was disappointed because of the rejection by the Israelites.
5. "I, the Lord, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold shine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles." The phrase "and will keep thee" indicates that no other prophet will come after him. In a short time, many Gentiles embraced Islam.
6. "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." "Blind eyes, life of darkness" denotes pagans and their paganism. "Bring out the prisoners from the prison" denotes the abolishment of slavery for the first time in the history of mankind.
7. "I am the Lord. That is my name, and my glory I will not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." Prophet Muhammad is unique among all prophets, as he is the "seal of the prophets" and his teachings remain undistorted until today, as compared with Christianity and Judaism.
8. "Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ...." A new song, as it is not in Hebrew or Aramaic, but in Arabic. The praise of God and His messenger Muhammad is chanted five times daily from the minarets of millions of mosques all over the world.
9. "Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar cloth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the toP of the mountains." From Mount Arafat near Makkah the pilgrims chant every year the following: "Here I come [for Your service] O, Allah. Here I come. Here I come. There is no partner with you. Here I come. Verily Yours is the praise, the blessings, and sovereignty. There is no partner besides You." Isaiah 42 can never be applied to an Israelite prophet, as Kedar is the second son of Ishmael. See Genesis 25:13.
10. "Let them give glory unto the Lord and declare his praise in the islands." And really Islam spread to the small islands as far as Indonesia and the Caribbean sea.
11. "... he shall prevail against his enemies." In a short period, the Kingdom of God on earth was established with the advent of Muhammad. This forty second chapter of Isaiah fits the character of Prophet Muhammad exactly.
King David Called Him "My Lord"
Psalm 110:1: "The Lord said unto my Lord: 'Sit thou at my right hand, until I make shine enemies thy footstool."'
There are two Lord mentioned here. If the first Lord (the speaker) is God, the second Lord (the one spoken to) could not also be God, for David knew only one God. So it should read: "God said unto my Lord, ..." Who was that whom David called "my Lord"? The Church would say Jesus. But this was denied by Jesus himself in Matthew 22:45, Mark 12:37, and Luke 20:44. He excluded himself from this title, as he was a son of David. How could David call him "my Lord" if he was his son, he argued. Jesus said, in Luke 20:42-44: "How say they that Christ is David's son? And David himself saith in the book of Psalms: 'The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand till I make shine enemies thy footstool.' David therefore calleth him Lord. How is he then his son?"
Jesus must have given an answer not recorded in the four canonical Gospels. However, it is mentioned explicitly in the Gospel of Barnabas that the promise was made to Ishmael, not to Isaac. David's "Lord" was thus Muhammad, whom he saw in spirit. No prophet ever accomplished more than Muhammad. Even the combined work of all of the other prophets remains small in comparison with that of Muhammad, who, during a twenty three year period, was able to leave a legacy‹Islam‹that remains unchanged until now.
Art Thou That Prophet?
The Jews sent priests and Levites to John the Baptist to ask who he really was. John 1:20-21: "And he [John the Baptist] confessed and denied not; but confessed, 'I am not the Christ.' And they asked him: 'What then? Art thou Elias? 'And he saith: 'I am not.' 'Art thou that prophet?' And he answered: 'No."'
The crucial question here is: Art thou that prophet? Who was the long awaited prophet who was to come after the advent of Jesus and John the Baptist? Was he not the one like unto Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18) who is Muhammad?
Baptizing with the Holy Ghost and with Fire
Matthew 3:1 1: "I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
If Jesus was alluded to here, John the Baptist would not have gone back to live in the desert again, but would have clung to him and become one of his disciples, which he did not do. Thus John was alluding to another Dowerful prophet here. The one coming after John the Baptist could not be Jesus, as both were contemporaries. Here again, was it not Prophet Muhammad who was being alluded to by John the Baptist?
The Least in the Kingdom of Heaven
Jesus was quoted, in Matthew 11:11, as saying: "Verily I say unto you. Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater man than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
Can you believe that John the Baptist is greater than Adan., NG"., Abraham, Moses, David, and many other prophets? How many pagans did John the Baptist convert, and how many followers did he have? But this is not the main point here. The question is: who was the least in the kingdom of heaven, greater than John the Baptist? For sure not Jesus, as at that time the kingdom of heaven was not yet formed and he never claimed to be the least, i.e., the youngest one. The kingdom of heaven consists of God as the Supreme Being and all of the prophets. The least or youngest one is here Prophet Muhammad.
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was quoted, in Matthew 5:9, as saying: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
One of the meanings of the word "Islam" is peace: peace between the Creator and the worshiper. Jesus could not mean that his mission was that of a peacemaker, as he stated clearly that he had not been sent for that purpose (Matthew 10:34-36): "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." See also Luke 12:49-53.
John 14:16: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."
We do not know exactly the original Aramaic word used by Jesus for "Comforter." Other Bibles use "Consoler," '`Advocate," "Helper," and in Greek Bibles we find the word "Paraclete." There are different explanations for it, among them "Holy Spirit" and "the Word. "
The Qur'an states in surah 61:6 that Jesus explicitly mentioned the name Ahmad: "And (remember) when Jesus, Son of Mary, said: 'O, children of Israel! I am the Apostle of Allah (sent) to you confirming the Torah (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of an Apostle to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad (i.e., the second name of Prophet Muhammad, and literally it means "the one who praises Allah more than others")."
Whatever the explanation is of the Comforter, we conclude that Jesus left an unfinished work and that someone was coming to complete his mission. Let us examine, in the light of the Bible, if this Comforter fits the character of Prophet Muhammad:
1. "Another Comforter": So many Comforters had come, and another one was to come. 2. "That he may abide with you for ever": As there was no need for another one to come after him, and he was the seal of all prophets. The teaching will abide for ever and will remain intact. In fact, the Qurtan and all of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad remain as they were 1400 years ago.
3. "He will reprove the world of sin": (see John 16: 8) All other prophets, even Abraham, Moses, David, and Solomon chastised their neighbors and their people for sin, but not the world as Muhammad did. He not only rooted out idolatry in Arabia within a twenty three year period, but also sent envoys to Heraclius, the sovereigns of the Persian and Roman empires, to Najashi (the king of Ethiopia), and to Muqauqis (the governor of Egypt). He reprimanded the Christians for dividing the unity of God into three portions, for having raised Jesus to a Son of God and then to God Himself. It was he who condemned the Jews and Christians for having corrputed their scriptures, demonstrated the birthright of Ishmael, and cleared the prophets from accusations of adultery, incest, rape, and idolatry.
4. "The prince of the world is judeed" (John 16:11). This is Satan, as explained in John 12:31 and 14:30. So Prophet Muhammad came to chastise the world on account of judgment.
5. "The Spirit of Truth" (John 16: 13). Since childhood, Prophet Muhammad was called al-Amin, i.e., the Honest or Truthful One. This person will also come and "he will guide you into all truth: ..." (John 16:13).
6. "For he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak" (John 16:13). The Qur'an is God's word. Not a single word from Prophet Muhammad or his Companions was included within it. The angel Gabriel read it to him, he memorized it, and it was written down by his scribes. His own sayings and teachings were recorded in the hadith or (lit. tradition) literature.
Compare this with Deuteronomy 18:18: "... and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." This corresponds with surah 53:2-4: "Your companion [Muhammad] is neither astray nor being misled. Nor does he speak of [his own] desire. It is only the inspiration that is inspired."
7. "And he will show you things to come" (John 16: 13). Many prophecies of Prophet Muhammad have already come to pass, and the rest will be fulfilled in the future.
8. "He shall glorify me (John 16:14). Actually, the Qurtan and Prophet Muhammad have more reverence for Jesus than do the Bible and Christians themselves. The following will clarify this point:
a. To believe in Jesus' death on the cross discredits his prophethood, according to Deuteronomy 13:5: "And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death ..." It also stamps him as accursed, (May Allah forbid it!) according to Deuteronomy 21:22-23: "... for he that is hanged is accursed of God . .."
b. Matthew 27:46: "... My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Would Jesus have said such a thing? Even a non prophet would smile at agony, as he would know that his death would win him the title of martyr. Is this not an insult to Jesus and an insinuation that he did not have faith in Allah?
c. We Muslims cannot believe that Jesus could label the Gentiles as dogs and swine and address his mother with "woman," as the Qurtan states in surah 19:32: "And dutiful to my Mother [i.e. Mary], and [Allah] made me not an unblessed and arrogant." Matthew 7:6: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine ..." John 2:4: "Jesus saith unto her [Mary], Woman, what have I to do with thee?"
Revelation to Prophet Muhammad
The first revelation (surah 96: 1-5) of Allah through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad was the word iqra', which means "read."As he was illiterate, he replied: "I cannot read." This first revelation was prophesied in Isaiah 29:12: "And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying: 'Read this, I pray thee,' and he saith: 'I am not learned. "'
The Qurtanic verses were not revealed in the order in which they appear in the Qur'an. In other words, the first part that was revealed is not the first page and the last part that was revealed is not the last page. That these revelations came in installments and were inserted in a certain order in the Qurtan as ordained by Allah was also mentioned in Isaiah 28:10-11: "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to his people." Another tongue means here another language‹not Hebrew or Aramaic, but Arabic
Muslims all over the world use one language "Arabic" in calling their God, in their prayers, pilgrimage, and in their greetings to each other. This unity of language was also prophesied in Zephaniah 3:9: "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." Alas the truth has come in Arabic, but some still expect Prophet Jesus, who might teach mankind to worship Allah in one unique language in his second coming. We Muslims are sure that Prophet Jesus, in his second coming, will join the Muslims in their mosques, as he is like any other Muslim: he is circumcised, abstains from pork, and performs prayers with ablution, and that he stands, bows, and prostrates during his prayers.