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Old 04-06-2008, 04:33 AM
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Lightbulb Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam

Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam

by David Bukay

That there is no compulsion in Islam and that Islam is a religion of peace are common refrains among Muslim activists,[1] academics,[2] officials,[3] and journalists.[4] In an age of terrorism and violent jihad, nowhere, they argue, does the Qur'an allow Muslims to fight non-Muslims solely because they refuse to become Muslim.[5] Proponents of Islamic tolerance point to a number of Qur'anic verses which admonish violence and advocate peace, tolerance, and compromise.[6]

But not all verses in the Qur'an have the same weight in assessment. Unlike the Old or New Testaments, the Qur'an is not organized by chronology but rather by size of chapters.[7] Even within chapters, chronology can be confused. In sura (chapter) 2, for example, God revealed verses 193, 216, and 217 to Muhammad shortly after he arrived in Medina. God only revealed verses 190, 191, and 192 six years later.[8] This complicates interpretation, all the more when some verses appear to contradict.


Abrogation in the Qur'an

The Qur'an is unique among sacred scriptures in accepting a doctrine of abrogation in which later pronouncements of the Prophet declare null and void his earlier pronouncements.[9] Four verses in the Qu'ran acknowledge or justify abrogation:
  • When we cancel a message, or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with one better or one similar. Do you not know that God has power over all things?[10]
  • When we replace a message with another, and God knows best what he reveals, they say: You have made it up. Yet, most of them do not know.[11]
  • God abrogates or confirms whatsoever he will, for he has with him the Book of the Books.[12]
  • If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to you. Then you will not find anyone to plead for it with us.[13]
Rather than explain away inconsistencies in passages regulating the Muslim community, many jurists acknowledge the differences but accept that latter verses trump earlier verses.[14] Most scholars divide the Qur'an into verses revealed by Muhammad in Mecca when his community of followers was weak and more inclined to compromise, and those revealed in Medina, where Muhammad's strength grew.

Classical scholars argued that anyone who studied the Qur'an without having mastered the doctrine of abrogation would be "deficient."[15] Those who do not accept abrogation fall outside the mainstream and, perhaps, even the religion itself. The Ahmadiyah sect, for example, today concentrated in Pakistan, consistently rejects abrogation because it undercuts the notion that the Qur'an is free from errors.[16] Many Muslims consider Ahmadis, who also see their founder as a prophet, to be apostates.

Because the Qur'an is not organized chronologically, there has been a whole subset of theological study to determine which verses abrogate and which are abrogated. Muslim scholars base their understanding of theology not only upon the Qur'an but also upon hadiths, accounts of the Prophet Muhammad's life. One hadith in particular addresses abrogation. It cites Abu al-A‘la bin al-Shikhkhir, considered by theologians to be a reliable source of knowledge about the Prophet's life, as saying, that "the Messenger of God abrogated some of his commands by others, just as the Qur'an abrogates some part of it with the other."[17] Muhammad accepted that God would invalidate previous revelation, often making ordinances stricter.[18]

Abrogation occurs not only within the Qur'an, but also by the Qur'an toward earlier revelations, such as those passed on by Jesus or Moses. Sura 2:106 refers to commandments sent to prophets before Muhammad.[19] ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali, commentator and translator of the Qur'an, interpreted the verse to mean that God's message is the same across time, but its form may differ according to the exigencies of time.[20] ‘Abd al-Majid Daryabadi, a Pakistani Qur'an commentator, suggested, however, that the laws might differ across time but that there should be no shame in the same lawgiver replacing temporary laws with permanent ones.[21]
Also cause for discussion among scholars is the question of whether God withdrew revelations from the memory of Muhammad and his followers, causing such revelations to disappear like some of those mentioned in the Qur'an about which little is known today.[22]

This leads to the classical theological dispute about whether such interpretations dilute the idea that the Qur'an is eternal.[23] Those who discount or downplay abrogation interpret the verses revealed by Muhammad in Mecca to address spirituality and see those revealed later in Medina not as abrogation but rather expanding context to understand the whole.[24]


Abrogation in Classical Scholarship

Muslim scholars in the classical period agreed about the principle of abrogation in the Qur'an. In the eleventh century, Abu Muhammad ‘Ali bin Ahmad bin Sa‘id Ibn Hazim (d. 1064), an Andalusian theologian, philosopher, historian, and jurist, examined the Qur'an chapter by chapter to show which verses supplanted other verses.[25]

Classical scholars also examined the pattern in which Muhammad engaged in abrogation during revelation because Qur'anic laws were brief and insufficient for the needs of the huge Muslim community.[26] Muhammad changed his rules according to the circumstances. Within the hadith, there are a number of examples. Muhammad, for example, revealed verse 2:187 regulating sex during Ramadan after ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab questioned him.[27] Likewise, Muhammad abrogated another verse encouraging all believers to fight militarily for God (4:95) after he was challenged by a blind man who could not.[28]

Abu Ja‘far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari (d. 923), a Sunni famous as a historian, argued that "abrogation can only be done with regard to commands and prohibitions."[29] Debate continued over the following centuries, however, giving rise to the science of Asbab an-Nuzul (The reasons of revelations). The father of the field, Abu al-Hassan Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi an-Naisaburi (d. 1075), argued that understanding the reasons for revelations was crucial to resolve apparent inconsistencies.[30] Context underpins the field. Some revelations were, for a time, forgotten,[31] altered,[32] or eliminated by Satan's influence.[33] Scholars argue about whether God first revealed chapters 74 or 96.[34]
Abu al-Kasim Hibat-Allah bin Salama (d. 1019) argued that the starting point of any investigation of the Qur'an is the science of abrogating and abrogated verses.[35] He identified four categories of abrogation: 43 chapters unaffected by abrogation;[36] six chapters that augmented the concept of abrogation but were themselves not abrogated;[37] 40 chapters with abrogated wording but authority intact;[38] and 25 chapters with both their wording and authority abrogated.[39] (See Table 1: Abrogation in Practice, below)

Table 1: Abrogation in Practice
Verse Abrogating Verse Abrogated Issue2:185 2:184 Fasting2:234 2:240 Divorced Women
2:285 2:284 Revelations3:85-6; 9:73 2:62; 2:256; 5:69 Tolerance - Ahl al-Kitab4:11-12 2:180; 2:240 Bequest-Inheritance5:90 2:219; 4:43 Wine drinking8:66 8:65 Fighting abilities9:29 2:109; 60:8-9 People of the Book9:36 2:217; 45:14 rohibition of fighting22:52 53:19-23 atan and his daughters24:2 4:15-7 Adultery and fornication33:50 33:52 Muhammad's wives58:13 58:12 Money for conferring64:16 3:102 Fear of God73:20 73:2-3 Night prayer

Muhammad's ability to add or delete verses according to questions or contemporary issues also demonstrates the flexibility of the Qur'an.[40] Classical theologians accepted that Medinan chapters supersede Meccan, not only for chronological reasons, but also because the Medinan verses represent Islam during a period of strength.

Still, there are internal debates about various manners of abrogation. Among Sunni theologians, there are disputes about whether sunna (the rules for life as shown by Muhammad, as opposed to the hadith which are prescripts traced to Muhammad through his conversations with other people) can abrogate the Qur'an. The Maliki and Hanafi schools suggest that the sunna and the Qur'an can abrogate each other while Shafi'is do not.[41] Ahmad bin Muhammad an-Nahhas, an Egyptian Shafi'i exegete, (d. circa 1515) catalogues the opinions:
  • The Kufans agree that the Qur'an may abrogate both the Qur'an and the sunna;
  • The Shafi‘i say that the Qur'an can only abrogate other passages of the Qur'an but disagree that the sunna can abrogate the Qur'an;
  • Others, according to Nahhas, argue that the sunna can abrogate both the Qur'an and the sunna;
  • While still others say that the sunna abrogates the sunna but not the Qur'an;
  • And a last set prefer not to set such rules but rather judge on a case-by-case basis.[42]
The Egyptian theologian Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd ar-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti (d. 1505) related comments by Muhammad's cousin Ibn ‘Abbas who explained, "Sometimes the revelation used to descend on the Prophet during the night, and then he forgot it during daytime. Thus God sent down this verse [2:106]." Suyuti continued to cite one verse whose end abrogated its beginning.[43] In another case, a hadith abrogates the Qur'an. While the Qur'an talks only about scourging and exiling the adulterer;[44] Muhammad stoned some adulterers to death, establishing it as the penalty.[45] Here, though, Suyuti focuses not only on the abrogation itself but also on determining the wisdom behind it.[46]

Contemporary theologians and populists have reopened the debate about the legitimacy of abrogation. Ali Dashti (1894-1982), a traditionally-trained Iranian scholar who served sporadically in parliament during the first half of the twentieth century, accepted the explanation that revelation of the Qur'an was linked to Muhammad's need to answer queries and his need to respond to random incidents.[47] He also suggested that abrogation implied human rather than divine provenance for the Qur'an.

Ahmad von Denffer (1949-present), a convert to Islam who writes about religion, argues that understanding of abrogation is important to understand the correct application of God's laws and is among the most important preconditions for interpretation of the Qur'an.[48]

Other Muslim commentators, however, are more dismissive about abrogation, citing verses—all Meccan—to argue that God's laws are immutable.[49] Many contemporary Islamic propagandists fear how abrogated verses might affect proselytizing. On one Islamist Internet site, one participant sought to refute the abrogation principle by attacking "corrupted interpretation" of two verses (2:106 and 16:101).[50]

Muhammad Asad (1900-92), born Leopold Weiss—who converted from Judaism to Islam, after which he worked with the Pakistani theologian Muhammad Iqbal and later became Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations—argued that classical theologians misinterpreted passages relating to abrogation and cited another verse (10:64) to reinforce the idea of immutability. "In short," he argued, "the ‘doctrine of abrogation' has no basis in historical fact, and must be rejected."[51]


Abrogation and Jihad

How does the theological debate over abrogation impact contemporary policy formulation? While not all terrorism is rooted in Islam, the religion is an enabler for many. It is wrong to assume that more extreme interpretations of religion are illegitimate. Statements that there is no compulsion in religion and that jihad is primarily about internal struggle and not about holy war may receive applause in university lecture halls and diplomatic board rooms, but they misunderstand the importance of abrogation in Islamic theology. It is important to acknowledge that what university scholars believe, and what most Muslims—or more extreme Muslims—believe are two different things. For many Islamists and radical Muslims, abrogation is real and what the West calls terror is, indeed, just.
During the lifetime of Muhammad, the Islamic community passed through three stages. In the beginning from 610 until 622, God commanded restraint. As the Muslims relocated to Medina (623-26), God permitted Muslims only to fight in a defensive war. However, in the last six years of Muhammad's life (626-32), God permitted Muslims to fight an aggressive war first against polytheists,[52] and later against monotheists like the Jews of Khaybar.[53] Once Muhammad was given permission to kill in the name of God, he instigated battle.

Chapter 9 of the Qur'an, in English called "Ultimatum," is the most important concerning the issues of abrogation and jihad against unbelievers. It is the only chapter that does not begin "in the name of God, most benevolent, ever-merciful."[54] Commentators agree that Muhammad received this revelation in 631, the year before his death, when he had returned to Mecca and was at his strongest.[55] Muhammad bin Ismail al-Bukhari (810-70), compiler of one of the most authoritative collections of the hadith, said that "Ultimatum" was the last chapter revealed to Muhammad[56] although others suggest it might have been penultimate. Regardless, coming at or near the very end of Muhammad's life, "Ultimatum" trumps earlier revelations.

Because this chapter contains violent passages, it abrogates previous peaceful content. Muhsin Khan, the translator of Sahih al-Bukhari, says God revealed "Ultimatum" in order to discard restraint and to command Muslims to fight against all the pagans as well as against the People of the Book if they do not embrace Islam or until they pay religious taxes. So, at first aggressive fighting was forbidden; it later became permissible (2:190) and subsequently obligatory (9:5).[57] This "verse of the sword" abrogated, canceled, and replaced 124 verses that called for tolerance, compassion, and peace.[58]

Suyuti said that everything in the Qur'an about forgiveness and peace is abrogated by verse 9:5, which orders Muslims to fight the unbelievers and to establish God's kingdom on earth.

Prior to receiving "Ultimatum," Muhammad had reached agreements with various Arab tribes. But when God gave Muhammad a revelation (2:190-2), Muhammad felt justified in breaking his cease-fire. For Isma'il bin Kathir (1301-73), a student of Ibn Taymiyya and an influential Qur'an interpreter in his own right, it is clear: As jihad involves death and the killing of men, God draws attention to the fact that disbelief, polytheism, and avoidance of God's path as shown by the Qur'an are worse than killing them.[59] This creates license for future generations of Muslims to kill non-Muslims solely on the basis of their refusal to accept Islam.

According to Ibn Kathir in his commentary on Chapter 9:5, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first caliph, used this and other verses to validate fighting anyone who either did not pay religious taxes to the Muslims or convert to Islam. Ibn ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab, one of the hadith transmitters, quoted Muhammad as saying, "I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." He testified that Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim, an authentic transmitter of hadiths, said that the verse of the sword "abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolater, every treaty, and every term." ‘Awfi cited Ibn ‘Abbas, who argued that "Ultimatum" obviated earlier peace treaties.[60] The Shafi‘i school took this as a justification for killing anyone who abandoned prayer and for fighting anyone who refused to pay increased religious minority taxes.[61]

Such interpretations resonate. Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti, a contemporary Al-Azhar University scholar, wrote that "the verse (9:5) does not leave any room in the mind to conjecture about what is called defensive war. This verse asserts that holy war, which is demanded in Islamic law, is not a defensive war because it could legitimately be an offensive war. That is the apex and most honorable of all holy wars. Its goal is the exaltation of the word of God, the construction of Islamic society, and the establishment of God's kingdom on earth regardless of the means. It is legal to carry on an offensive holy war."[62]

Defensive warfare in Islam is nothing but a phase of the Islamic mission that the Prophet practiced. After that, it was followed by another phase, that is, calling all people to embrace Islam. Even for People of the Book, there can be no role except conversion to Islam or subjugation to Muslim rule. Hence, Muhammad's statement, "They would not invade you, but you invade them."[63]


Modern Revisionism of Jihad

David Powers, a well-known researcher of classical Islam, agreed that 9:5 abrogates no less than 124 verses that command or imply anything less than a total offensive against the non-believers. However, he says the verse is itself considered to be abrogated by the conditional clause with which it concludes: "But if they repent and perform the prayer and pay the alms, then let them go their way."[64] But such a condition is not magnanimous: When infidels repent and perform the Muslim prayer and pay alms, it means they have become Muslims. Once they are Muslims, there is no need to slay them. The clause thus becomes more coercive than conditional. It suggests than a non-Muslim must convert to Islam or be slain.

Still, no verse is more frequently cited by contemporary Muslims preachers and analysts to depict Islam as peaceful and compassionate as 2:256, "Let there be no compulsion in religion." For Sheikh Abdur Rahman, the chief justice of Pakistan, this verse is one of the most important, containing a charter of freedom of conscience unparalleled in the religious annals of mankind.[65]

Muhammad offered this verse in his first year of residence in Medina when he needed the Jews' support. Nahhas, with the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, said: "Scholars differed concerning 2:256. Some said it has been abrogated by 9:73 for the Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fight those that had no alternative but to surrender to Islam. Other scholars said that 2:256 had not been abrogated concerning the People of the Book. It is only the infidels who are compelled to embrace Islam."[66]

Suyuti does not see 2:256 abrogated by 9:73 but rather interprets 9:73 as a case of postponing the fight until Muslims become strong. He argues that when Muslims were weak, God commanded them to be patient.[67]

This is also the case of sura 9:29, which deals with Jews and Christians. Fighting them is mentioned after the clarification regarding fighting the idolaters (9:5). This verse (9:29) was revealed when Muhammad was commanded to fight the Byzantines and prepared the expedition to Tabuk. Ibn Kathir declared: The order is to fight the People of the Book until they pay the jizyah (protection tax) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad because all prophets commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him even though he is the "mightiest of all messengers because it suits their desires and lusts, and because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all prophets."
Ibn Kathir continues: "This honorable verse was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book. After the pagans were defeated, the people entered God's religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims' control."[68]


Conclusions



The issue of abrogation in Islam is critical to understanding both jihad and da'wa, the propagation of Islam. Some Muslims may preach tolerance and argue that jihad refers only to an internal, peaceful struggle to better oneself. Western commentators can convince themselves that such teachings are correct. However, for learned Muslim scholars and populist leaders, such notions are or should be risible. They recognize that, in practice, there is compulsion in Islam. They take seriously the notion that the Qur'an teaches not just tolerance among religions, but tolerance among religions on the terms of Islam. To understand the challenge of the current Islamist revival, it is crucial for non-Muslims and moderate Muslims alike to recognize that interpretation of Islamic doctrine can have two faces, and that the Medinan face may very well continue to overshadow the Meccan face for a major portion, if not the majority, of contemporary Muslims.
David Bukay is a lecturer in the school of political science at the University of Haifa.
[1] Mustafa Akyol, "Terror's Roots Not in Islam," FrontPage Magazine, Oct. 20, 2004; "Islam: The Religion of Peace" and "Status of Human Beings in Islam," Islam: Beginner's Introduction, Bihar Anjuman Foundation, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 29, 2006.
[2] John L. Esposito, What Everybody Needs to Know about Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 61-4, 70-3, 117-27, 132-6; Natana Delong-Bas, "New Opinion of Ibn Abdel Wahhab," Al-Ahram Weekly Online, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2006; Noah Feldman, After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), pp. 221-6.
[3] George W. Bush, address to joint session of Congress, Sept. 20, 2001; idem, remarks, White House, Oct. 23, 2001; Tony Blair, British prime minister, statement to Parliament on the London bombings, July 11, 2005.
[4] Karen Armstrong, "The True, Peaceful Face of Islam," Time, Sept. 23, 2001.
[5] Jamal Badawi, "Islam, World Peace and September 11," video clips, accessed May 16, 2007; idem, "Jihad, A Call to Humanity," islamicforumeurope.com, accessed May 16, 2007.
[6] Qur. 2:256; 2:285; 3:64; 4:134; 5:5; 5:8; 5:48; 11:118; 29:46; 49:13; 60:8-9. All references are from Ahmed Ali, Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
[7] For further discussion, see Richard Bell, Introduction to the Qur'an (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1953), pp. 57-61; A.T. Welch, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 5 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960), s.v. "kur'an," pp. 409-11.
[8] For more concerning the construction of the Qur'an, see Bell, Introduction to the Qur'an, chaps. 6-8.
[9] Bell, Introduction to the Qur'an, pp. 86-107; Arthur Jeffery, Islam: Muhammad and His Religion (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1958), p. 66.
[10] Qur. 2:106.
[11] Qur. 16:101.
[12] Qur. 13:39.
[13] Qur. 17:86.
[14] John Burton, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. "Naskh," p. 1010.
[15] Abu al-Kasim Hibat-Allah Ibn Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1966), pp. 4-5, 123. On pp. 142-3, he lists the abrogated verses. See also pp. 7, 11, 26-7, 37, 46.
[16] Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam (Lahore: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam, 2005), p. 32; Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Nahhas, An-Nasikh Wal-Mansukh (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1986), pp. 2-3.
[17] Muhammad Abu al-Husain Muslim bin al-Hajjaj al-Nisapuri, Sahih Muslim (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 1971), book 003, no. 0675.
[18] ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Umar al-Baydawi, Anwar at-Tanzil wa-Asrar at-Ta'wil (Riyadh: Dar at-Tiba‘ah, 1997), pp. 116-7.
[19] Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi, The Meaning of the Qur'an, vol. I (Lahore: Islamic Publications, Ltd., 1967), p. 102, fn. 109; Ali, Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation, p. 24.
[20] Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur'an: Text, Translation, and Commentary (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1978), pp. 46-7.
[21] Abdul Majid al-Daryabadi, Tafsir al-Qur'an (Lahore: Idara Islamiyyat, 1985), p. 36; see also Mustansir Mir, Dictionary of Qur'anic Terms and Concepts (New York: Garland Publishing, 1987), pp. 5-6.
[22] Badr al-din Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah al-Zarkasi, Al-Burhan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, vol. 1 (Cairo: Matba'at al-Halabi, 1957), p. 235; Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd al-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, 1973), part 1, p. 47.
[23] Richard C. Martin, Mark R. Woodward, with Dwi S. Atmaja, Defenders of Reason in Islam: Mu‘tazilism from Medieval School to Modern Symbol (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1997), pp. 25-6, 47-8, 126-8, 210-7; Louis Gardet, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 4, s.v. "Kalam," pp. 468-71; Daniel Gimaret, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. "Mu‘tazila," pp. 788-9.
[24] Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, At-Tafsir al-Kabir, vol. 1 (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1956), p. 446.
[25] Abu Muhammad ‘Ali bin Ahmad bin Sa'id Ibn Hazim, An-Nasikh w'al-Mansukh (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyah, 1986).
[26] Ali Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad (Costa Mesa, Calif.: Mazda, 1994), p. 54.
[27] Muhammad Ibn Isma'il al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6 (Lahore: Kazi, 1979), book 60, p. 31; Mahmud bin ‘Umar al-Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf ‘an Haqa'iq at-Tanzil wa-'Uyun al-Aqawil fi Wujuh at-Ta'wil (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, 1967), part I, pp. 337; Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd al-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Lubab an-Nuqul fi Asbab an-Nuzul (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1964), p. 31; Baydawi, Anwar at-Tanzil wa-Asrar at-Ta'wil, pp. 39.
[28] Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6, part 6, p. 227; Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf, part I, p. 555; Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, p. 98.
[29] Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari, Tafsir: The Commentary on the Qur'an, vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 471-2.
[30] Abu al-Hassan Ali Ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi al-Naisaburi, Kitab Asbab nuzul al-Qur'an (Cairo : Dar al-Kitab al-Jadid, 1969), p. 4.
[31] Qur. 87:6-7.
[32] Qur. 2:106.
[33] Qur. 22:52.
[34] Bell, Introduction to the Qur'an, pp. 108-9; Welch, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 5, s.v. "Kur'an," pp. 414-9.
[35] Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 4-5, 8; Nahhas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 4-12.
[36] Qur. 1, 12, 36, 49, 55, 57, 61-2, 66-9, 71-2, 77-9, 82-5, 89-94, 97-102, 104-10, 112-4.
[37] Qur. 48, 59, 63, 64, 65, 87.
[38] Qur. 6-7, 10-1, 13, 15-8, 20, 23, 27-31, 34-5, 37-9, 43-7, 51, 53-4, 60, 68, 70, 74-7, 80, 86, 88, 109.
[39] Qur. 2-3, 5, 8-9, 14, 18-9, 21-2, 24-6, 33-4, 40, 42, 51-2, 56, 58, 73, 103, 108.
[40] Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, part I, p. 82.
[41] On the Shafi'i school, see Majid Khadduri, Islamic Jurisprudence. Shafi'i's Risala (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961), pp. 123-7, 195-205.
[42] Nahhas, An-Nasikh W'al-Mansukh, pp. 5-6.
[43] Qur. 9:5 (the sword verse).
[44] Qur. 24:2.
[45] Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, part 3, pp. 59-60, 69-70, 74; Qur. 4:15-16.
[46] Ibid., pp. 60, 69, 72. For further examples of Muhammad changing his mind, see Nisapuri, Sahih Muslim, 15:4044–62.
[47] Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad, p. 54.
[48] Ahmad Von Denffer, "Asbab al Nuzul" and "Al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh," Ulum al-Qur'an: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1989), chap. 5.
[49] Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur'an, pp. 46, 47; Qur. 6:34, 115; 10:64; 18:27.
[50] A. Muhammed, "The Lie of Abrogation: The Biggest Lie against the Qur'an," accessed May 7, 2007.
[51] Muhammad Asad, Message of the Qur'an (Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1993), pp. 22-3, fn. 87; see also Ernest Hahn, "Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan's Controversy over Abrogation" The Muslim World, Apr. 1974, p. 126.
[52] James Robson, trans., Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 2 (Lahore: M. Ashraf, 1963-5), book XV, chap. 5, pp. 752-5, book XVIII, chap. 1, pp. 806-16; idem, Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 3, book XVIII, chap. 5, pp. 836-9.
[53] L. Veccia Vaglieri, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 4, s.v. "Khaybar," pp. 1137-43.
[54] See explanations, Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, part 1, pp. 60, 65, 164.
[55] Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955), pp. 617-9; Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur'an, p. 435; Tabari, The History of Al-Tabari, vol. 8, pp. 160-87.
[56] Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6, book 60, no. 129.
[57] Muhsin Khan, "Introduction," in ibid., pp. xxiv-xxv.
[58] Ibn Hazm, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 19, 27; Muhi al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Krim (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus, 1978), p. 69; Burton, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. "Naskh," p. 1010; Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p. 130, mentioned only 114.
[59] Ibn Kathir, Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, vol. 4, pp. 375-7.
[60] Ibid., pp. 375, 377.
[61] Khadduri, Islamic Jurisprudence: Shafi'i Risala, pp. 333-52, notes, pp. 33-9.
[62] Muhammad Sa'id Ramadan al-Buti, Jurisprudence in Muhammad's Biography (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 2001), pp. 323-4.
[63] Ibid., p. 242.
[64] David S. Powers, "The Exegetical Genre nasikh al-Qur'an was mansukhuhu wa-mansukhuhu," in Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qur'an, Andrew Rippin, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 130-1.
[65] Sheikh Abdur Rahman, Punishment of Apostasy in Islam (Lahore: Institute of Islamic Culture, 1972), pp. 16, 18-9.
[66] Nahhas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p. 80; Ibn Hazm, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 12-9, 27, 42.
[67] Suyuti, Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, pp. 25-6.
[68] Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, pp. 404–9, 546-7; Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 4, book 53, no. 388; Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 620.
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Lightbulb Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam

Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam

by David Bukay

That there is no compulsion in Islam and that Islam is a religion of peace are common refrains among Muslim activists,[1] academics,[2] officials,[3] and journalists.[4] In an age of terrorism and violent jihad, nowhere, they argue, does the Qur'an allow Muslims to fight non-Muslims solely because they refuse to become Muslim.[5] Proponents of Islamic tolerance point to a number of Qur'anic verses which admonish violence and advocate peace, tolerance, and compromise.[6]

But not all verses in the Qur'an have the same weight in assessment. Unlike the Old or New Testaments, the Qur'an is not organized by chronology but rather by size of chapters.[7] Even within chapters, chronology can be confused. In sura (chapter) 2, for example, God revealed verses 193, 216, and 217 to Muhammad shortly after he arrived in Medina. God only revealed verses 190, 191, and 192 six years later.[8] This complicates interpretation, all the more when some verses appear to contradict.

Abrogation in the Qur'an

The Qur'an is unique among sacred scriptures in accepting a doctrine of abrogation in which later pronouncements of the Prophet declare null and void his earlier pronouncements.[9] Four verses in the Qu'ran acknowledge or justify abrogation:
  • When we cancel a message, or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with one better or one similar. Do you not know that God has power over all things?[10]
  • When we replace a message with another, and God knows best what he reveals, they say: You have made it up. Yet, most of them do not know.[11]
  • God abrogates or confirms whatsoever he will, for he has with him the Book of the Books.[12]
  • If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to you. Then you will not find anyone to plead for it with us.[13]
Rather than explain away inconsistencies in passages regulating the Muslim community, many jurists acknowledge the differences but accept that latter verses trump earlier verses.[14] Most scholars divide the Qur'an into verses revealed by Muhammad in Mecca when his community of followers was weak and more inclined to compromise, and those revealed in Medina, where Muhammad's strength grew.

Classical scholars argued that anyone who studied the Qur'an without having mastered the doctrine of abrogation would be "deficient."[15] Those who do not accept abrogation fall outside the mainstream and, perhaps, even the religion itself. The Ahmadiyah sect, for example, today concentrated in Pakistan, consistently rejects abrogation because it undercuts the notion that the Qur'an is free from errors.[16] Many Muslims consider Ahmadis, who also see their founder as a prophet, to be apostates.

Because the Qur'an is not organized chronologically, there has been a whole subset of theological study to determine which verses abrogate and which are abrogated. Muslim scholars base their understanding of theology not only upon the Qur'an but also upon hadiths, accounts of the Prophet Muhammad's life. One hadith in particular addresses abrogation. It cites Abu al-A‘la bin al-Shikhkhir, considered by theologians to be a reliable source of knowledge about the Prophet's life, as saying, that "the Messenger of God abrogated some of his commands by others, just as the Qur'an abrogates some part of it with the other."[17] Muhammad accepted that God would invalidate previous revelation, often making ordinances stricter.[18]

Abrogation occurs not only within the Qur'an, but also by the Qur'an toward earlier revelations, such as those passed on by Jesus or Moses. Sura 2:106 refers to commandments sent to prophets before Muhammad.[19] ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali, commentator and translator of the Qur'an, interpreted the verse to mean that God's message is the same across time, but its form may differ according to the exigencies of time.[20] ‘Abd al-Majid Daryabadi, a Pakistani Qur'an commentator, suggested, however, that the laws might differ across time but that there should be no shame in the same lawgiver replacing temporary laws with permanent ones.[21]
Also cause for discussion among scholars is the question of whether God withdrew revelations from the memory of Muhammad and his followers, causing such revelations to disappear like some of those mentioned in the Qur'an about which little is known today.[22]

This leads to the classical theological dispute about whether such interpretations dilute the idea that the Qur'an is eternal.[23] Those who discount or downplay abrogation interpret the verses revealed by Muhammad in Mecca to address spirituality and see those revealed later in Medina not as abrogation but rather expanding context to understand the whole.[24]

Abrogation in Classical Scholarship

Muslim scholars in the classical period agreed about the principle of abrogation in the Qur'an. In the eleventh century, Abu Muhammad ‘Ali bin Ahmad bin Sa‘id Ibn Hazim (d. 1064), an Andalusian theologian, philosopher, historian, and jurist, examined the Qur'an chapter by chapter to show which verses supplanted other verses.[25]

Classical scholars also examined the pattern in which Muhammad engaged in abrogation during revelation because Qur'anic laws were brief and insufficient for the needs of the huge Muslim community.[26] Muhammad changed his rules according to the circumstances. Within the hadith, there are a number of examples. Muhammad, for example, revealed verse 2:187 regulating sex during Ramadan after ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab questioned him.[27] Likewise, Muhammad abrogated another verse encouraging all believers to fight militarily for God (4:95) after he was challenged by a blind man who could not.[28]

Abu Ja‘far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari (d. 923), a Sunni famous as a historian, argued that "abrogation can only be done with regard to commands and prohibitions."[29] Debate continued over the following centuries, however, giving rise to the science of Asbab an-Nuzul (The reasons of revelations). The father of the field, Abu al-Hassan Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi an-Naisaburi (d. 1075), argued that understanding the reasons for revelations was crucial to resolve apparent inconsistencies.[30] Context underpins the field. Some revelations were, for a time, forgotten,[31] altered,[32] or eliminated by Satan's influence.[33] Scholars argue about whether God first revealed chapters 74 or 96.[34]

Abu al-Kasim Hibat-Allah bin Salama (d. 1019) argued that the starting point of any investigation of the Qur'an is the science of abrogating and abrogated verses.[35] He identified four categories of abrogation: 43 chapters unaffected by abrogation;[36] six chapters that augmented the concept of abrogation but were themselves not abrogated;[37] 40 chapters with abrogated wording but authority intact;[38] and 25 chapters with both their wording and authority abrogated.[39] (See Table 1: Abrogation in Practice, below)

Table 1: Abrogation in Practice

Muhammad's ability to add or delete verses according to questions or contemporary issues also demonstrates the flexibility of the Qur'an.[40] Classical theologians accepted that Medinan chapters supersede Meccan, not only for chronological reasons, but also because the Medinan verses represent Islam during a period of strength.

Still, there are internal debates about various manners of abrogation. Among Sunni theologians, there are disputes about whether sunna (the rules for life as shown by Muhammad, as opposed to the hadith which are prescripts traced to Muhammad through his conversations with other people) can abrogate the Qur'an. The Maliki and Hanafi schools suggest that the sunna and the Qur'an can abrogate each other while Shafi'is do not.[41] Ahmad bin Muhammad an-Nahhas, an Egyptian Shafi'i exegete, (d. circa 1515) catalogues the opinions:
  • The Kufans agree that the Qur'an may abrogate both the Qur'an and the sunna;
  • The Shafi‘i say that the Qur'an can only abrogate other passages of the Qur'an but disagree that the sunna can abrogate the Qur'an;
  • Others, according to Nahhas, argue that the sunna can abrogate both the Qur'an and the sunna;
  • While still others say that the sunna abrogates the sunna but not the Qur'an;
  • And a last set prefer not to set such rules but rather judge on a case-by-case basis.[42]
The Egyptian theologian Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd ar-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti (d. 1505) related comments by Muhammad's cousin Ibn ‘Abbas who explained, "Sometimes the revelation used to descend on the Prophet during the night, and then he forgot it during daytime. Thus God sent down this verse [2:106]." Suyuti continued to cite one verse whose end abrogated its beginning.[43] In another case, a hadith abrogates the Qur'an. While the Qur'an talks only about scourging and exiling the adulterer;[44] Muhammad stoned some adulterers to death, establishing it as the penalty.[45] Here, though, Suyuti focuses not only on the abrogation itself but also on determining the wisdom behind it.[46]

Contemporary theologians and populists have reopened the debate about the legitimacy of abrogation. Ali Dashti (1894-1982), a traditionally-trained Iranian scholar who served sporadically in parliament during the first half of the twentieth century, accepted the explanation that revelation of the Qur'an was linked to Muhammad's need to answer queries and his need to respond to random incidents.[47] He also suggested that abrogation implied human rather than divine provenance for the Qur'an.

Ahmad von Denffer (1949-present), a convert to Islam who writes about religion, argues that understanding of abrogation is important to understand the correct application of God's laws and is among the most important preconditions for interpretation of the Qur'an.[48]

Other Muslim commentators, however, are more dismissive about abrogation, citing verses—all Meccan—to argue that God's laws are immutable.[49] Many contemporary Islamic propagandists fear how abrogated verses might affect proselytizing. On one Islamist Internet site, one participant sought to refute the abrogation principle by attacking "corrupted interpretation" of two verses (2:106 and 16:101).[50]

Muhammad Asad (1900-92), born Leopold Weiss—who converted from Judaism to Islam, after which he worked with the Pakistani theologian Muhammad Iqbal and later became Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations—argued that classical theologians misinterpreted passages relating to abrogation and cited another verse (10:64) to reinforce the idea of immutability. "In short," he argued, "the ‘doctrine of abrogation' has no basis in historical fact, and must be rejected."[51]

Abrogation and Jihad

How does the theological debate over abrogation impact contemporary policy formulation? While not all terrorism is rooted in Islam, the religion is an enabler for many. It is wrong to assume that more extreme interpretations of religion are illegitimate. Statements that there is no compulsion in religion and that jihad is primarily about internal struggle and not about holy war may receive applause in university lecture halls and diplomatic board rooms, but they misunderstand the importance of abrogation in Islamic theology. It is important to acknowledge that what university scholars believe, and what most Muslims—or more extreme Muslims—believe are two different things. For many Islamists and radical Muslims, abrogation is real and what the West calls terror is, indeed, just.
During the lifetime of Muhammad, the Islamic community passed through three stages. In the beginning from 610 until 622, God commanded restraint. As the Muslims relocated to Medina (623-26), God permitted Muslims only to fight in a defensive war. However, in the last six years of Muhammad's life (626-32), God permitted Muslims to fight an aggressive war first against polytheists,[52] and later against monotheists like the Jews of Khaybar.[53] Once Muhammad was given permission to kill in the name of God, he instigated battle.

Chapter 9 of the Qur'an, in English called "Ultimatum," is the most important concerning the issues of abrogation and jihad against unbelievers. It is the only chapter that does not begin "in the name of God, most benevolent, ever-merciful."[54] Commentators agree that Muhammad received this revelation in 631, the year before his death, when he had returned to Mecca and was at his strongest.[55] Muhammad bin Ismail al-Bukhari (810-70), compiler of one of the most authoritative collections of the hadith, said that "Ultimatum" was the last chapter revealed to Muhammad[56] although others suggest it might have been penultimate. Regardless, coming at or near the very end of Muhammad's life, "Ultimatum" trumps earlier revelations.

Because this chapter contains violent passages, it abrogates previous peaceful content. Muhsin Khan, the translator of Sahih al-Bukhari, says God revealed "Ultimatum" in order to discard restraint and to command Muslims to fight against all the pagans as well as against the People of the Book if they do not embrace Islam or until they pay religious taxes. So, at first aggressive fighting was forbidden; it later became permissible (2:190) and subsequently obligatory (9:5).[57] This "verse of the sword" abrogated, canceled, and replaced 124 verses that called for tolerance, compassion, and peace.[58]

Suyuti said that everything in the Qur'an about forgiveness and peace is abrogated by verse 9:5, which orders Muslims to fight the unbelievers and to establish God's kingdom on earth.

Prior to receiving "Ultimatum," Muhammad had reached agreements with various Arab tribes. But when God gave Muhammad a revelation (2:190-2), Muhammad felt justified in breaking his cease-fire. For Isma'il bin Kathir (1301-73), a student of Ibn Taymiyya and an influential Qur'an interpreter in his own right, it is clear: As jihad involves death and the killing of men, God draws attention to the fact that disbelief, polytheism, and avoidance of God's path as shown by the Qur'an are worse than killing them.[59] This creates license for future generations of Muslims to kill non-Muslims solely on the basis of their refusal to accept Islam.

According to Ibn Kathir in his commentary on Chapter 9:5, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first caliph, used this and other verses to validate fighting anyone who either did not pay religious taxes to the Muslims or convert to Islam. Ibn ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab, one of the hadith transmitters, quoted Muhammad as saying, "I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." He testified that Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim, an authentic transmitter of hadiths, said that the verse of the sword "abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolater, every treaty, and every term." ‘Awfi cited Ibn ‘Abbas, who argued that "Ultimatum" obviated earlier peace treaties.[60] The Shafi‘i school took this as a justification for killing anyone who abandoned prayer and for fighting anyone who refused to pay increased religious minority taxes.[61]

Such interpretations resonate. Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti, a contemporary Al-Azhar University scholar, wrote that "the verse (9:5) does not leave any room in the mind to conjecture about what is called defensive war. This verse asserts that holy war, which is demanded in Islamic law, is not a defensive war because it could legitimately be an offensive war. That is the apex and most honorable of all holy wars. Its goal is the exaltation of the word of God, the construction of Islamic society, and the establishment of God's kingdom on earth regardless of the means. It is legal to carry on an offensive holy war."[62]

Defensive warfare in Islam is nothing but a phase of the Islamic mission that the Prophet practiced. After that, it was followed by another phase, that is, calling all people to embrace Islam. Even for People of the Book, there can be no role except conversion to Islam or subjugation to Muslim rule. Hence, Muhammad's statement, "They would not invade you, but you invade them."[63]

Modern Revisionism of Jihad

David Powers, a well-known researcher of classical Islam, agreed that 9:5 abrogates no less than 124 verses that command or imply anything less than a total offensive against the non-believers. However, he says the verse is itself considered to be abrogated by the conditional clause with which it concludes: "But if they repent and perform the prayer and pay the alms, then let them go their way."[64] But such a condition is not magnanimous: When infidels repent and perform the Muslim prayer and pay alms, it means they have become Muslims. Once they are Muslims, there is no need to slay them. The clause thus becomes more coercive than conditional. It suggests than a non-Muslim must convert to Islam or be slain.

Still, no verse is more frequently cited by contemporary Muslims preachers and analysts to depict Islam as peaceful and compassionate as 2:256, "Let there be no compulsion in religion." For Sheikh Abdur Rahman, the chief justice of Pakistan, this verse is one of the most important, containing a charter of freedom of conscience unparalleled in the religious annals of mankind.[65]

Muhammad offered this verse in his first year of residence in Medina when he needed the Jews' support. Nahhas, with the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, said: "Scholars differed concerning 2:256. Some said it has been abrogated by 9:73 for the Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fight those that had no alternative but to surrender to Islam. Other scholars said that 2:256 had not been abrogated concerning the People of the Book. It is only the infidels who are compelled to embrace Islam."[66]

Suyuti does not see 2:256 abrogated by 9:73 but rather interprets 9:73 as a case of postponing the fight until Muslims become strong. He argues that when Muslims were weak, God commanded them to be patient.[67]

This is also the case of sura 9:29, which deals with Jews and Christians. Fighting them is mentioned after the clarification regarding fighting the idolaters (9:5). This verse (9:29) was revealed when Muhammad was commanded to fight the Byzantines and prepared the expedition to Tabuk. Ibn Kathir declared: The order is to fight the People of the Book until they pay the jizyah (protection tax) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad because all prophets commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him even though he is the "mightiest of all messengers because it suits their desires and lusts, and because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all prophets."
Ibn Kathir continues: "This honorable verse was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book. After the pagans were defeated, the people entered God's religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims' control."[68]

Conclusions


The issue of abrogation in Islam is critical to understanding both jihad and da'wa, the propagation of Islam. Some Muslims may preach tolerance and argue that jihad refers only to an internal, peaceful struggle to better oneself. Western commentators can convince themselves that such teachings are correct. However, for learned Muslim scholars and populist leaders, such notions are or should be risible. They recognize that, in practice, there is compulsion in Islam. They take seriously the notion that the Qur'an teaches not just tolerance among religions, but tolerance among religions on the terms of Islam. To understand the challenge of the current Islamist revival, it is crucial for non-Muslims and moderate Muslims alike to recognize that interpretation of Islamic doctrine can have two faces, and that the Medinan face may very well continue to overshadow the Meccan face for a major portion, if not the majority, of contemporary Muslims.
David Bukay is a lecturer in the school of political science at the University of Haifa.
[1] Mustafa Akyol, "Terror's Roots Not in Islam," FrontPage Magazine, Oct. 20, 2004; "Islam: The Religion of Peace" and "Status of Human Beings in Islam," Islam: Beginner's Introduction, Bihar Anjuman Foundation, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 29, 2006.
[2] John L. Esposito, What Everybody Needs to Know about Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 61-4, 70-3, 117-27, 132-6; Natana Delong-Bas, "New Opinion of Ibn Abdel Wahhab," Al-Ahram Weekly Online, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2006; Noah Feldman, After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), pp. 221-6.
[3] George W. Bush, address to joint session of Congress, Sept. 20, 2001; idem, remarks, White House, Oct. 23, 2001; Tony Blair, British prime minister, statement to Parliament on the London bombings, July 11, 2005.
[4] Karen Armstrong, "The True, Peaceful Face of Islam," Time, Sept. 23, 2001.
[5] Jamal Badawi, "Islam, World Peace and September 11," video clips, accessed May 16, 2007; idem, "Jihad, A Call to Humanity," islamicforumeurope.com, accessed May 16, 2007.
[6] Qur. 2:256; 2:285; 3:64; 4:134; 5:5; 5:8; 5:48; 11:118; 29:46; 49:13; 60:8-9. All references are from Ahmed Ali, Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
[7] For further discussion, see Richard Bell, Introduction to the Qur'an (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1953), pp. 57-61; A.T. Welch, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 5 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960), s.v. "kur'an," pp. 409-11.
[8] For more concerning the construction of the Qur'an, see Bell, Introduction to the Qur'an, chaps. 6-8.
[9] Bell, Introduction to the Qur'an, pp. 86-107; Arthur Jeffery, Islam: Muhammad and His Religion (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1958), p. 66.
[10] Qur. 2:106.
[11] Qur. 16:101.
[12] Qur. 13:39.
[13] Qur. 17:86.
[14] John Burton, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. "Naskh," p. 1010.
[15] Abu al-Kasim Hibat-Allah Ibn Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1966), pp. 4-5, 123. On pp. 142-3, he lists the abrogated verses. See also pp. 7, 11, 26-7, 37, 46.
[16] Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam (Lahore: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam, 2005), p. 32; Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Nahhas, An-Nasikh Wal-Mansukh (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1986), pp. 2-3.
[17] Muhammad Abu al-Husain Muslim bin al-Hajjaj al-Nisapuri, Sahih Muslim (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 1971), book 003, no. 0675.
[18] ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Umar al-Baydawi, Anwar at-Tanzil wa-Asrar at-Ta'wil (Riyadh: Dar at-Tiba‘ah, 1997), pp. 116-7.
[19] Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi, The Meaning of the Qur'an, vol. I (Lahore: Islamic Publications, Ltd., 1967), p. 102, fn. 109; Ali, Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation, p. 24.
[20] Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur'an: Text, Translation, and Commentary (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1978), pp. 46-7.
[21] Abdul Majid al-Daryabadi, Tafsir al-Qur'an (Lahore: Idara Islamiyyat, 1985), p. 36; see also Mustansir Mir, Dictionary of Qur'anic Terms and Concepts (New York: Garland Publishing, 1987), pp. 5-6.
[22] Badr al-din Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah al-Zarkasi, Al-Burhan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, vol. 1 (Cairo: Matba'at al-Halabi, 1957), p. 235; Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd al-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, 1973), part 1, p. 47.
[23] Richard C. Martin, Mark R. Woodward, with Dwi S. Atmaja, Defenders of Reason in Islam: Mu‘tazilism from Medieval School to Modern Symbol (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1997), pp. 25-6, 47-8, 126-8, 210-7; Louis Gardet, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 4, s.v. "Kalam," pp. 468-71; Daniel Gimaret, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. "Mu‘tazila," pp. 788-9.
[24] Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, At-Tafsir al-Kabir, vol. 1 (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1956), p. 446.
[25] Abu Muhammad ‘Ali bin Ahmad bin Sa'id Ibn Hazim, An-Nasikh w'al-Mansukh (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyah, 1986).
[26] Ali Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad (Costa Mesa, Calif.: Mazda, 1994), p. 54.
[27] Muhammad Ibn Isma'il al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6 (Lahore: Kazi, 1979), book 60, p. 31; Mahmud bin ‘Umar al-Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf ‘an Haqa'iq at-Tanzil wa-'Uyun al-Aqawil fi Wujuh at-Ta'wil (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, 1967), part I, pp. 337; Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd al-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Lubab an-Nuqul fi Asbab an-Nuzul (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1964), p. 31; Baydawi, Anwar at-Tanzil wa-Asrar at-Ta'wil, pp. 39.
[28] Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6, part 6, p. 227; Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf, part I, p. 555; Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, p. 98.
[29] Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari, Tafsir: The Commentary on the Qur'an, vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 471-2.
[30] Abu al-Hassan Ali Ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi al-Naisaburi, Kitab Asbab nuzul al-Qur'an (Cairo : Dar al-Kitab al-Jadid, 1969), p. 4.
[31] Qur. 87:6-7.
[32] Qur. 2:106.
[33] Qur. 22:52.
[34] Bell, Introduction to the Qur'an, pp. 108-9; Welch, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 5, s.v. "Kur'an," pp. 414-9.
[35] Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 4-5, 8; Nahhas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 4-12.
[36] Qur. 1, 12, 36, 49, 55, 57, 61-2, 66-9, 71-2, 77-9, 82-5, 89-94, 97-102, 104-10, 112-4.
[37] Qur. 48, 59, 63, 64, 65, 87.
[38] Qur. 6-7, 10-1, 13, 15-8, 20, 23, 27-31, 34-5, 37-9, 43-7, 51, 53-4, 60, 68, 70, 74-7, 80, 86, 88, 109.
[39] Qur. 2-3, 5, 8-9, 14, 18-9, 21-2, 24-6, 33-4, 40, 42, 51-2, 56, 58, 73, 103, 108.
[40] Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, part I, p. 82.
[41] On the Shafi'i school, see Majid Khadduri, Islamic Jurisprudence. Shafi'i's Risala (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961), pp. 123-7, 195-205.
[42] Nahhas, An-Nasikh W'al-Mansukh, pp. 5-6.
[43] Qur. 9:5 (the sword verse).
[44] Qur. 24:2.
[45] Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, part 3, pp. 59-60, 69-70, 74; Qur. 4:15-16.
[46] Ibid., pp. 60, 69, 72. For further examples of Muhammad changing his mind, see Nisapuri, Sahih Muslim, 15:4044–62.
[47] Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad, p. 54.
[48] Ahmad Von Denffer, "Asbab al Nuzul" and "Al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh," Ulum al-Qur'an: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1989), chap. 5.
[49] Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur'an, pp. 46, 47; Qur. 6:34, 115; 10:64; 18:27.
[50] A. Muhammed, "The Lie of Abrogation: The Biggest Lie against the Qur'an," accessed May 7, 2007.
[51] Muhammad Asad, Message of the Qur'an (Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1993), pp. 22-3, fn. 87; see also Ernest Hahn, "Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan's Controversy over Abrogation" The Muslim World, Apr. 1974, p. 126.
[52] James Robson, trans., Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 2 (Lahore: M. Ashraf, 1963-5), book XV, chap. 5, pp. 752-5, book XVIII, chap. 1, pp. 806-16; idem, Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 3, book XVIII, chap. 5, pp. 836-9.
[53] L. Veccia Vaglieri, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 4, s.v. "Khaybar," pp. 1137-43.
[54] See explanations, Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, part 1, pp. 60, 65, 164.
[55] Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955), pp. 617-9; Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur'an, p. 435; Tabari, The History of Al-Tabari, vol. 8, pp. 160-87.
[56] Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6, book 60, no. 129.
[57] Muhsin Khan, "Introduction," in ibid., pp. xxiv-xxv.
[58] Ibn Hazm, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 19, 27; Muhi al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Krim (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus, 1978), p. 69; Burton, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. "Naskh," p. 1010; Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p. 130, mentioned only 114.
[59] Ibn Kathir, Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, vol. 4, pp. 375-7.
[60] Ibid., pp. 375, 377.
[61] Khadduri, Islamic Jurisprudence: Shafi'i Risala, pp. 333-52, notes, pp. 33-9.
[62] Muhammad Sa'id Ramadan al-Buti, Jurisprudence in Muhammad's Biography (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 2001), pp. 323-4.
[63] Ibid., p. 242.
[64] David S. Powers, "The Exegetical Genre nasikh al-Qur'an was mansukhuhu wa-mansukhuhu," in Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qur'an, Andrew Rippin, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 130-1.
[65] Sheikh Abdur Rahman, Punishment of Apostasy in Islam (Lahore: Institute of Islamic Culture, 1972), pp. 16, 18-9.
[66] Nahhas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p. 80; Ibn Hazm, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 12-9, 27, 42.
[67] Suyuti, Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur'an, pp. 25-6.
[68] Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, pp. 404–9, 546-7; Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 4, book 53, no. 388; Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 620.
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O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Default The Myths Of Muhammad

"The Myths Of Muhammad"




Islam's Holiest Sources Refute Popular Misconceptions about the Prophet of Islam
Muslims often complain of the "misconceptions" about their religion in the West, yet very few seem to know all that much about the true history of Islam and its founder, Muhammad. As a result, the biggest misconceptions about Islam are often those originating from (and sincerely believed by) Muslims themselves.

As a service to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, we hope to refute the contemporary mythology of Muhammad (popular in the West) by referring to the earliest and most reliable Muslim historians, who based their writings on the narrations of those who actually knew him. The historical compilations of Ibn Ishaq, al-Tabari, Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are greatly respected in the Muslim academic community as a priceless source of biographical information and the details of Islam's origin and rise to power. These writings also provide the context for the Qur'an.

Understand that it is the Hadith (traditions), Sira (biography of Muhammad) and the Qur'an together that provide the true Islamic counterpart to the Christian Bible and Jewish Torah. The Qur'an is simply the purported words of Allah arranged in no particular order. It makes little sense outside of the context provided by the other two sources, and it even explicitly refers devout Muslims to them.

Over the next several months, the articles posted here will be revised and improved even as new ones are added. Readers not familiar with the life of Muhammad may want to consider approaching these myths through our brief article on the history of his life: The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth. It has been updated to include most of the same links found below, and it will help place these debunked myths into historical context.



Muhammad the Conqueror
MYTH: Muhammad Only Waged War in Self-Defense
MYTH: Muhammad Never Approved of Rape
MYTH: Muhammad Never Killed Children
MYTH: The Meccans were the First to Break the Treaty of Hudaibiya
MYTH: Muhammad Always Chose Peace over War
MYTH: Islam Made Mecca a More Tolerant City (Coming Soon)
MYTH: Muhammad was Attack by a Byzantine (Christian) Army (Coming Soon)

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The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Lightbulb Ishmael is not the Father of Muhammad

Ishmael is not the Father of Muhammad


Sam Shamoun

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/ishmael.htm

According to the Holy Bible Ishmael settled in Paran and married an Egyptian from whom he had twelve sons: "Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, ‘I cannot watch the boy die.’ And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.' Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt." Genesis 21:13-21

The Holy Bible locates Paran near Israel (Canaan) and Egypt, south of Judah. John L. McKenzie in his Dictionary of the Bible notes: Paran (Hb pa'ran, most frequently the name of a desert region). The place name Elparan (Gn 14:6) no doubt is associated with the desert; this place is thought to be identical with Elath* by some scholars. The desert of Paran was the home of the Ishmaelites (Gn 21:21). It was, the itinerary according to P (cf. PENTATEUCH), reached by the Israelites after the desert of Sinai (Nm 10:12), and they camped in this desert for some time (Nm 10:12; 13:3, 26, mission and return of the scouts). In Dt 1:1 Paran is vaguely defined as a place in the desert. Hadad of Edom passed through the desert of Paran on his journey from Midian* to Egypt (1 Kings 11:18). The mountains of Paran are the place from which the theophany* appears (Dt 33:2; Hab. 3:3); like most other names mentioned in the theophanies, Paran reflects the region S of Judah. The desert of Paran is probably that region of the Negeb* which lies S of Kadesh-barnea*. (McKenzie, p. 637)

Compare the following OT passages:
"In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert. Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar." Genesis 14:5-7

"On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the Testimony. Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. They set out, this first time, at the LORD's command through Moses." Numbers 10:11-13

"So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back. After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran." Numbers 12:15-16

"The LORD said to Moses, "Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.' So at the LORD's command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites." Numbers 13:1-3

"At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account: 'We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.'" Numbers 13:25-27
"These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the desert east of the Jordan—that is, in the Arabah—opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)" Deuteronomy 1:1-2

Unless Muslims want to claim that Moses and the Israelites traveled from Sinai all the way to Mecca and back during their 40-year desert wandering, it becomes quite evident that Paran is nowhere near Mecca.

Continuing further: "Now Samuel died; and all Israel assembled and mourned for him. They buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David got up and went down to the wilderness of Paran." 1 Samuel 25:1

Are we to assume that David went to Mecca after Samuel's death?

"This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death. He said: "The LORD came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; he shone forth from Mount Paran. He came with myriads of holy ones from the south, from his mountain slopes. Deuteronomy 33:1-2

"But Hadad, still only a boy, fled to Egypt with some Edomite officials who had served his father. They set out from Midian and went to Paran. Then taking men from Paran with them, they went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house and land and provided him with food. Pharaoh was so pleased with Hadad that he gave him a sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes, in marriage." 1 Kings 11:17-19

"God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth." Habakkuk 3:3

Interestingly, the preceding passages connect Mount Paran with Seir and Teman. Both Seir and Teman are associated with Edom. Here is McKenzie regarding the locations of Seir and Teman:

Seir (Hb se'ir), a geographical name; Seir is associated with Esau* and Edom* and the association is expressed in a play on the words se'ar, "goat," and sa'ir, "hairy," in Gn 25:25; 27:11, 23. The name appears as the designation of a land, of a mountain, and as a gentilic. There is no doubt that the mountain is the chain which extends SW of the Dead Sea along the W side of the Arabah*, rising to an average height of 5000 ft. The name was later extended to the corresponding mountain chain on the E side of the Arabah. As a territorial designation the term is used more loosely of the region adjacent to the mountain chain, substantially identical with the territory of Edom ... Israelite tradition itself recognized that the claim of Edom to Seir and its settlement there were older than its own claim to Canaan. It was the region of Esau the brother of Jacob ... The mountain becomes a loose designation of its inhabitants as "the men of Seir or Mt Seir" (2 Ch 20:10, 22f; 25:11, 14); these must be the Edomites ... (McKenzie, pp. 783-784)

Teman (Hb teman, "the south"), a place name; a region of Edom (Je 49:7; Ezk 25:13; Am 1:12; Ob 9) mentioned with Dedan* (Ezk 25:13), famous for its wise men (Je 49:7), the place from which Yahweh appears (Hab 3:3; mentioned with Mt Paran*); genealogically reckoned a descendant of Esau and a son of Eliphaz (Gn 36:11, 15, 42; 1 Ch 1:36, 53). The situation is unknown except that it must be in the territory of Edom. Very frequently in the OT teman is used to signify simply "south" as a point of direction. (McKenzie, p. 872)

J. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, p. 897, states: TEMAN.- A tribe (district) of Edom.

In light of this, it is little wonder that Hadad of Edom passed through Paran en route to Egypt. It makes no sense for Hadad to travel from Edom to Mecca in order to get to Egypt.

[See also this discussion on the location of Paran in the rebuttal to Al-Kadhi, section 6.4.]

Furthermore, there is no evidence apart from the later Muslim traditions that Ishmael ever married a Jurhumite woman since the Holy Bible indicates that he married an Egyptian. The Holy Bible also tells us where Ishmael's sons settled: "This is the account of Abraham's son Ishmael, whom Sarah's maidservant, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. Altogether, Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers." Genesis 25:12-18

McKenzie locates Shur around the area of Palestine and Egypt: Shur (Hb sur), a geographical name which designates the slopes of Palestine and E of Egypt and N of the deserts of the Sinai peninsula. The Hb word suggests sur, "wall", and some geographers have thought that the name alludes to the line of fortresses constructed by the Egyptians to protect the E frontier of Egypt. The region is the scene of the flight of Hagar* in the account of J (Gn 16:7). Abraham dwelt for a time in the Negeb* between Kadesh* and Shur (Gn 20:1). The Israelites traversed the desert of Shur after crossing the Sea of Reeds (Ex 15:22). The area from Havilah* to Shur was the home of the Amalekites* and other nomad tribes (Gn 25:18; 1 S 15:7; 27:8). (McKenzie, pp. 810-811)

This conclusively demonstrates that neither Ishmael nor his twelve sons settled in Mecca. It is claimed that some of the descendents of Ishmael's twelve sons migrated to Arabia. For instance Nebaioth is said to be the father of the Nabateans. The Nabateans flourished in northern Arabia, first establishing their capital in Petra in the 4th century B.C. which was captured by the Romans in 106 B.C. They then moved to Damascus. The Dead Sea Scrolls actually contains Nabatean documents from the later period.

There are two major problems with the above assertion. Even though it may be true that some of Ishmael's descendants settled in Arabia, this does not mean that they necessarily were the fathers of the Arabs. Muslim tradition itself affirms that Ishmael was not the father of the Arabs. Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad states: Ishmael is the son of Ibrahim (Abraham) b. Tarih (Azar) b. Nahur b. Sarugh b. Rau'u b. Falikh b. 'Aybar b. Shalikh b. Arfakhshadh b. Sam (Shem) b. Nuh (Noah). (Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, tr. Guillaume, p. 3)

Then we have another line from Noah, where we read: 'Ad b. 'Aus b. Iram b. Sam b. Nuh and Thamud and Jadis the two sons of 'Abir b. Iram b. Sam b. Nuh, and Tasm and 'Imlaq and Umayan the sons of Lawidh b. Sam b. Nuh are all Arabs. Nabit b. Isma'il begat Yashjub and the line runs: Ta'rub-Tayrah-Bahur-Muqawwan-Udad-'Adnan. (Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, tr. Guillaume, p. 4)

This demonstrates that Arabs existed long before Ishmael was even born since according to this tradition, Ishmael's great-great-great-great...-great uncles were already the Arabs.

Second, the Hadith does not agree with the biblical record at all. The Hadith claims that after settling in Mecca Ishmael married twice, and both of his wives were of Arab descent:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka'ba under a tree on the spot of Zam-zam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water. So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ishmael's mother followed him saying, "O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?" She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him, "Has Allah ordered you to do so?" He said, "Yes." She said, "Then He will not neglect us," and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Ka'ba, and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayers:

"O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.' (14.37) Ishmael's mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had).

When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e. Ishmael) tossing in agony; She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times."

The Prophet said, "This is the source of the tradition of the walking of people between them (i.e. Safa and Marwa). When she reached the Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, "O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zam-zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it."

The Prophet added, "May Allah bestow Mercy on Ishmael's mother! Had she let the Zam-zam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water-skin), Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth." The Prophet further added, "Then she drank (water) and suckled her child. The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.' The House (i.e. Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child, as they (i.e. the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kada'. They landed in the lower part of Mecca where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. They said, "This bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.' They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water, and returned to inform them of the water. So, they all came (towards the water)." The Prophet added, "Ishmael's mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, "Do you allow us to stay with you?' She replied, "Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.' They agreed to that." The Prophet further said, "Ishmael's mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people. So, they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (i.e. Ishmael) grew up and learnt Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up, and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them.

After Ishmael's mother had died, Abraham came after Ishmael's marriage in order to see his family that he had left before, but he did not find Ishmael there. When he asked Ishmael's wife about him, she replied, "He has gone in search of our livelihood.' Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition, and she replied, "We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,' complaining to him. He said, "When your husband returns, convey my salutation to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).' When Ishmael came, he seemed to have felt something unusual, so he asked his wife, "Has anyone visited you?' She replied, "Yes, an old man of so-and-so description came and asked me about you and I informed him, and he asked about our state of living, and I told him that we were living in a hardship and poverty.' On that Ishmael said, "Did he advise you anything?' She replied, "Yes, he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.' Ishmael said, "It was my father, and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.' So, Ishmael divorced her and married another woman from amongst them (i.e. Jurhum).

Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them again but did not find Ishmael. So he came to Ishmael's wife and asked her about Ishmael. She said, "He has gone in search of our livelihood.' Abraham asked her, "How are you getting on?' asking her about their sustenance and living. She replied, "We are prosperous and well-off (i.e. we have everything in abundance).' Then she thanked Allah' Abraham said, "What kind of food do you eat?' She said. "Meat.' He said, "What do you drink?' She said, "Water.' He said, "O Allah! Bless their meat and water." The Prophet added, "At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain, he would have also invoked Allah to bless it." The Prophet added, "If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected, unless he lives in Mecca." The Prophet added," Then Abraham said Ishmael's wife, "When your husband comes, give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.' When Ishmael came back, he asked his wife, "Did anyone call on you?' She replied, "Yes, a good-looking old man came to me,' so she praised him and added. "He asked about you, and I informed him, and he asked about our livelihood and I told him that we were in a good condition.' Ishmael asked her, "Did he give you any piece of advice?' She said, "Yes, he told me to give his regards to you and ordered that you should keep firm the threshold of your gate.' On that Ishmael said, "It was my father, and you are the threshold (of the gate). He has ordered me to keep you with me.'

Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished, and called on them afterwards. He saw Ishmael under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Abraham, he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father). Abraham said, "O Ishmael! Allah has given me an order.' Ishmael said, "Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.' Abraham asked, "Will you help me?' Ishmael said, "I will help you.' Abraham said, Allah has ordered me to build a house here,' pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it." The Prophet added, "Then they raised the foundations of the House (i.e. the Ka'ba). Ishmael brought the stones and Abraham was building, and when the walls became high, Ishmael brought this stone and put it for Abraham who stood over it and carried on building, while Ishmael was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying, "O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.' The Prophet added, "Then both of them went on building and going round the Ka'ba saying: O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing." (2.127) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 583)

This tradition clearly contradicts the biblical data that shows that Ishmael settled in Paran, not Mecca, and married an Egyptian, not an Arab. The above tradition states that Ishmael learnt Arabic from the tribe of (or a family from) Jurhum who settled in Mecca. Since Arabic is not Ishmael's mother tongue, and since Arabic as a language existed before, Ishmael cannot be the ancestor of Arabs. This means that the notion that Ishmael is the progenitor of the Arabs is erroneous. At most, Ishmael can only be called an Arabicized immigrant. The Muslim traditions prove that Ishmael is not the father of all the Arabs.

The Muslim traditions further complicate the problem. We are told: Ma'n Ibn 'Isa al-Ashja'i al-Qazzaz (silk-merchant) informed us; he said: Mu'awiyah Ibn Salih informed us on the authority of Yahya Ibn Jabir who had seen some Companions of the Prophet and said: The people of Banu Fuhayrah came to the Prophet and said to him: You belong to us. He replied: Verily, (the archangel) Gabriel has informed me that I belong to Mudar. (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Volume I, p. 4)

This indicates that Muhammad's genealogy was actually revelatory, not necessarily common knowledge. In fact, the people of Banu Fuhayrah did not know that Muhammad was a descendent of Mudar and Muhammad had to be informed by Gabriel that he was, not through common knowledge. This may form the basis of some hadiths:

Narrated Kulaib: I was told by the Rabiba (i.e. daughter of the wife of the Prophet) who, I think, was Zainab, that the Prophet forbade the utensils (of wine called) Ad-Dubba, Al-Hantam, Al-Muqaiyar and Al-Muzaffat. I said to her, "Tell me as to which tribe the Prophet belonged; was he from the tribe of Mudar?" She replied, "He belonged to the tribe of Mudar and was from the offspring of An-Nadr bin Kinana." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 698)

Muslims may claim that Muhammad is a descendant of Kedar and therefore a true offspring of Ishmael. Muslim historians traced Muhammad's line to an 'Adnan, an alleged descendant of Ishmael. The following genealogy is taken from T.P Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p. 217: Adnan- Ma'add- Nizar- "Ilyas- Mudrikah- Khuzaimah- Kinanah- An-Nazr- Malik- Fihr- Luwaiy- Ka'b- Murrah- Kilab- Qusaiy- "Abdul Manaf- Hashim- Abdul Muttalib- Abdullah- Muhammad.

This other one comes from a Muslim website: Prophet Muhammad- Abdullah- Abd Al Muttalib- Hashim- Abd Manaf- Qusaiy- Kilab (Ancestor of the Holy Prophet's mother)- Murrah- Ka'b. Lu'ayy- Ghalib- Fihr- Malik- Al Nadr- Kinanah- Khuzaiymah- Mudrikah- Ilyas- Mudar- Nizar- Madd- `Adnan- Adad- Zayd- Yaqdud- Al Muqawwam- Al Yasa'- Nabt- Qaidar (Kedar)- Prophet Ismail (Alaihi Salaam)- Prophet Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam)- Tarih- Nahur (Nahor)- Sharukh- Ar'u- Farigh- `Abir- Shalikh- Arfikhishd- Sam (Shem)- Prophet Nuh (Noah) (Alaihi Salaam)- Lamak- Mutawshilkh- Khanukh- Burrah- Mihlayil- Kaynun- Anuus- Shees (Seth) (Alaihi Salaam)- Prophet Adam (Alaihi Salaam). (Source.)

On the mother's side, the above list gives Muhammad - Aminah - Wahab - Abd Manaf - Zuhrah - Kilab, same as the Kilab in Muhammad's side. This reference is derived from Ibn Al Jawzy via Abi Muhammad Ibn Al Samarqandi via `Ali Ibn `Ubayd of Kufa, a companion of Tha'lib Muhammad ibn Abdullah.

The following genealogy is taken from Syed Yusuf:
1 Abraham Hanifa (AS) was the father of
2 Isma'il (AS) was the father of
3 Kedar was the father of
4 "Adnaan was the father of
5 Ma'add was the father of
6 Nizaar was the father of
7 Mudar was the father of
8 Ilyaas was the father of
9 Mudrikah was the father of
10 Khuzaimah was the father of
11 Kinaanah was the father of
12 Al-Nadr was the father of
13 Maalik was the father of
14 Quraysh was the father of
15 Ghaalib was the father of
16 Lu'ayy was the father of
17 Ka'ab was the father of
18 Murrah was the father of
19 Kilaab was the father of
20 Qusayy was the father of
21 "Abd Manaaf was the father of
22 Haashim was the father of
23 "Abdul Muttalib was the father of
24 "Abdullah was the father of
25 Muhammad (SAW) (source)

There are several problems with these genealogies. The first problem is the time span, as noted by the following sources:
"If there are only four generations between Adnan and Ishmael, then the are about 24-25 generations between Muhammad and Abraham spanning about 2500 years. This makes for about one hundred years between generations, which is a bit far-fetched (it is ok if it were for some generations, like Abraham and Ishmael, but very far-fetched if it were to occur regularly. We know that the generations near to Muhammad are pretty normal, not so stretched out, so this makes the other inter-generational gaps even wider). On the other hand, using the data from reference 2, we get about 32-33 generations between Abraham and Muhammad, giving us an inter-generational gap of about seventy-five years. This is still unbelievably high.

It should be said that perhaps, we are faced with incomplete data in that some generations are omitted (the situation is also to be seen in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus where he omitted some names). It could be the same with Muslim genealogical data. On the other hand, if the hadith that there are only four generations between Adnan and Ishmael is literal, then we are faced with a problem. If the hadith is true, then Muslim genealogy is most likely false (it is difficult to imagine so many one hundred years between generations). If the hadith is false, then we have to re-evaluate the accuracy of hadith reports. (Source.; bold emphasis ours)

Commenting on Yusuf's list given above, the authors at FreeThoughtMecca note:

First of all, there are only 24 generations from Abraham to Muhammad, which is quite fantastic. Now, if we grant 30 years to each generation (i.e. make the generous assumption that each male fathered his respective son by age 30), this would place Abraham some time around 150 BCE. The math behind such a conclusion goes as follows:
30 X 24 = 720
Muhammad was allegedly born 570 CE
570 - 720 = -150.

The oldest existing texts to mention Abraham are found among the scrolls from Qumran (so-called "Dead Sea Scrolls"), which date anywhere from the 3rd century BCE to 68 CE. With that in mind it is reasonable to assume that writing already existed on Abraham (as well as numerous later Biblical heroes, such as Isaac, Jacob, Moses, et cetera) at the time the above genealogy places the patriarch. Of course, this is a moot point, as no Muslim would ever try and place Abraham's life around 150 BCE.

The only way out of this would be to take a page from the Judeo-Christian folklore, and start postulating wild scenarios, where patriarchs don't reach puberty until 90, father children at 120, and finally die some time around 200 years of age! Of course that is just plain absurd, and it shows the extent of the silliness found in the "intellectual" religion known as al-Islaam. (source; bold emphasis ours)

Apart from the disparaging remarks regarding the age of some of the Patriarchs, the problem with the Muslim genealogies stands out clearly.

The second problem with these genealogies is that they are written long after Muhammad's rise to fame. In other words, these are not based on pre-Islamic records but records compiled by Muslims after the death of Muhammad. It is not hard to imagine Muslims concocting genealogies around biblical figures in order to legitimize Muhammad's claim to prophethood. Let us point again to this hadith: Ma'n Ibn 'Isa al-Ashja'i al-Qazzaz (silk-merchant) informed us; he said: Mu'awiyah Ibn Salih informed us on the authority of Yahya Ibn Jabir who had seen some Companions of the Prophet and said: The people of Banu Fuhayrah came to the Prophet and said to him: You belong to us. He replied: Verily, (the archangel) Gabriel has informed me that I belong to Mudar. (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Volume I, p. 4)

If this is true, then the genealogy of Muhammad was not known to either himself or his clan. Otherwise he could have appealed to general knowledge and would not have had to appeal to revelation to place himself in a certain descendency. To be a descendant of Ishmael (via Mudar) was a claim that started with Muhammad's own words but without historical evidence even in his life time. In the end, it comes down to nothing but an unsubstantiated claim from Muhammad, ... or from later Muslims who put this into his mouth.

The third problem with these above lists is that they are not even consistent with that given by Ibn Ishaq in his Sirat Rasulullah. Ibn Ishaq, the earliest biographer of Muhammad traces his line to Ishmael through Nabit (Nebaioth), not Kedar. Here is Ibn Ishaq's list:

MUHAMMAD'S PURE DESCENT FROM ADAM

Abu Muhammad "Abdul Malik ibn Hisham the Grammarian said:

This is the book of the biography of the apostle of God.

Muhammad was the son of "Abdullah, b. "Abdu'l-Muttalib (whose name was Shayba), b. Hashim (whose name was Amr), b. "Abdu Manaf (whose name was al-Mughira), b. Qusayy (whose name was Zayd). B. Kilab, b. Murra, b. Ka'b, b. Lu'ayy, b. Ghalib, b. Fihr, b. Malik, b. al-Nadr, b. Kinana, b. Khuzayma, b. Mudrika (whose name was "Amir), b. Ilyas, b. Mudar, b. Nizar, b. Ma' add, b. "Adnan, b. Udd (or Udad), b. Muqawwam, b. Nahur, b.'Tayrah, b. Ya'rub, b. Yashjub, b. Nabit, b. Isma'il, b. Ibrahim, the friend of the Compassionate, b. Tarih (who is Azar), b. Nahur, b. Sarugh, b. Ra'u, b. Falikh, b. "Aybar, b. Shalikh, b. Arfakhshadh, b. Sam, b. Nuh, b. Lamk, b. Mattushalakh, b. Akhnukh, who is the prophet Idris according to what they allege, but God knows best (he was the first of the sons of Adam to whom prophecy and writing with a pen were given), b. Yard, b. Mahlil, b. Qaynan, b. Yanish, b. ****h, b. Adam.

THE LINE OF ISMAIL
Isma'il b. Ibrahim begat twelve sons: Nabit the elder, Qaydhar, Adhbul, Mabsha, Misma, Mashi, Dimma, Adhr, Tayma, Yatur, Nabish, Qaydhuma. Their mother was Ra'la d. Mudad b. "Amr al-Jurhumi (II). Jurhum was the son of Yaqtan b. "Aybar b. Shalikh, and [Yaqtan was] Qahtan b. "Aybar b. Shalikh. According to report Isma'il lived 130 years, and when he died he was buried in the sacred precincts of the K'aba besides his mother Hagar (I2). (The Life of Muhammad, trans. Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, tenth impression 1995], pp. 3-4; bold emphasis ours)

Ishaq is basically in agreement with the Holy Bible regarding the names and number of sons born to Ishmael. The only difference being is that Ishaq believes that these sons were conceived from Ra'la a Jurhumite.

This leads us to our final problem. The veracity of these records is based primarily on the assumption that Ishmael settled in Mecca and married a Jurhumite woman. Since Ishmael did not settle in Mecca, but in Paran, and married an Egyptian this means that neither Kedar nor Nebaioth could have been the ancestor of the Meccan Arabs.

There are certain Islamic scholars who readily admit this fact. The late Egyptian Professor, Dr. Taha Husayn, considered one of the foremost authorities on Arabic literature, while commenting on the story of Abraham and Ishmael building the Kabah, states: "The case for this episode is very obvious because it is of recent date and came into vogue just before the rise of Islam. Islam exploited it for religious reasons." (As quoted in Mizan al-Islam by Anwar al-Jundi, p. 170 as found in Behind the Veil, p. 184, source; bold emphasis ours)

In his rebuttal to Dr. Robert A. Morey's book Islamic Invasion, W. Aliyyuddin Shareef, is honest enough to admit: "In pre-Islamic times Ishmael was never mentioned as the Father of the Arabs." (Shareef, In response to Robert Morey's Islamic Invasion, pp. 3-4; bold emphasis ours)

Writer Camilla Adang, in a footnote from her book Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible from Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm, mentions:

... Ishmael is considered the progenitor of the Arabs. Dagon (1981) has shown that this idea is an Islamic construction AND THAT NO CONNECTION BETWEEN ISHMAEL AND THE ARABS HAD EVER BEEN MADE IN THE PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD. Already in the first Islamic century, however, Ishmael came to symbolize the Islamic Umma, and biblical passages about Ishmael were taken to refer to Muhammad, the Arabs, or the Muslim community. (Adang, p. 147, fn. 37: E.J. Brill Academic Publishers; August 1997 ISBN: 9004100342; bold and capital emphasis ours)



Former Muslim turned to atheist Ibn Warraq writes:
We are told that [Abraham] was born in Chaldea, and that he was the son of a poor potter who earned his living by making little clay idols. It is scarcely credible that the son of this potter went to Mecca, 300 leagues away in the tropics, by way of impassable deserts. If he was a conqueror he no doubt aimed at the fine country of Assyria; and if he was only a poor man, as he is depicted, he founded no kingdoms in foreign parts. — Voltaire
For the historian, the Arabs are no more the descendents of Ishmael, son of Abraham, than the French are of Francus, son of Hector. — Maxime Rodinson
It is virtually certain that Abraham never reached Mecca. — Montgomery Watt
The essential point ... is that, where objective fact has been established by sound historical methods, it must be accepted. — Montgomery Watt
According to Muslim tradition, Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba, the cube-like structure in the Sacred Mosque in Mecca. But outside these traditions there is absolutely no evidence for this claim - whether epigraphic, archaelogical, or documentary. Indeed Snouck Hurgronje has shown that Muhammad invented the story to give his religion an Arabian origin and setting; with this brilliant improvisation Muhammad established the independence of his religion, at the same time incorporating into Islam the Kaaba with all its historical and religious associations for the Arabs. (Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not A Muslim [Prometheus Books, Amherst NY 1995], p. 131; bold emphasis ours)

Finally, Islamicist Alfred Guillaume notes: "... there is no historical evidence for the assertion that Abraham or Ishmael was ever in Mecca, and if there had been such a tradition it would have to be explained how all memory of the Old Semitic name Ishmael (which was not in its true Arabian form in Arabian inscriptions and written correctly with an initial consonant Y) came to be lost. The form in the Quran is taken either from Greek or Syriac sources." (Alfred Guillaume, Islam [Penguin Books Inc., Baltimore, 1956], pp. 61-62)

In case Muslims want to claim that the biblical text has been tampered with, it should be pointed out that the Jews would have no reason to distort the location of Paran since there was neither Christians nor Muslims around when these texts were written. Therefore, claiming textual distortion will not solve the problem for the Muslims.

In light of all this confusion, it becomes evident that the biblical data is more precise and accurate since it is much older and closer to these events. Since the Holy Bible indicates that Ishmael never settled in Mecca he therefore cannot be the father of the Arabs that settled there. In other words, Muhammad is not a descendant of Ishmael.
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Lightbulb ‘Ishmael Is Not the Father Of Muhammad’ Revisited

‘Ishmael Is Not the Father Of Muhammad’ Revisited



Sam Shamoun
In my original paper, I set out to demonstrate that Ishmael was not the ancestor of Muhammad. I demonstrated that the biblical record does not agree with the Quran and Ahadith regarding Ishmael's alleged settlement in Mecca and purported marriage to a Jurhumite. I also demonstrated that the alleged genealogical records linking Muhammad to Ishmael are not only late, but directly contradict each other. Here, I seek to provide additional evidence from Muslim sources which clearly undermine the claim that Muhammad was an actual descendent of Ishmael.

The following traditions demonstrate that even Muslims were unable to link Muhammad's lineage to Ishmael, going so far as to say that anyone claiming to be able to do so was a liar. This casts great doubt upon whether Muhammad was truly of the seed of Ishmael.

We begin with the statements of Ibn Kathir:
There is no question of ‘Adnan being of the line of Ishmael, son of Abraham, upon both of whom be peace. What dispute there is relates to the number of forebears there were from ‘Adnan to Ishmael according to the various sources.

At one end of the spectrum, there s the extreme view that considers there to have been FORTY; this is the view of Christians and Jews who adopted it from the writings of Rakhiya, the clerk of Armiya (Jeremy) b. Halqiya, as we will relate.

Some authorities maintain there THIRTY, others TWENTY, yet more FIFTEEN, TEN, NINE, or SEVEN.

It has been said that the lowest estimate given is for FOUR, according to the account given by Musa b. Ya‘qub, on the authority of ‘Abd Allah b. Wahb b. Zum’a al-Zuma‘i from his aunt, and then from Umm Salama who stated that the Prophet (SAAS) said that the line was: "Ma‘ad b. ‘Adnan b. Adab b. Zand b. al-Tara b. A‘raq al-Thara".

According to Umm Salam this Zanad was al-Hamaysa‘, al-Yara was Nabit, while A‘raq al-Thara was Ishmael. This was implied because he was Abraham's son; for Abraham was not consumed by hell-fire, since fire does not consume moist earth, the meaning of al-thara.
Al-Daraqatni stated that he knew of no "Zand" except the one in this tradition, and Zand b. al-Jawn, who was Abu Dalama the poet.

Abu al-Qasim al-Suhayli and other Imams stated that the time lapse between ‘Adnan and Ishmael was too great for there to have been only FOUR, TEN, or even TWENTY generations between them. That, they said, was because the age of Ma‘ad son of ‘Adnan was twelve at the time of Bukhtunassar (Nebuchadnezzar).

Abu Ja‘far al-Tabari and others related that Almighty God sent a revelation at that time to Armiya’ b. Halqiya telling him to go to Bukhtunassar to inform him that God had given him rule over the Arabs. And God commanded to Armiya’ to carry Ma‘ad b. Adnan on the horse al-Buraq so that they would not bear him any rancour saying, "For I shall draw forth from his loins a noble Prophet by whom I shall seal the prophets."

‘Armiya did that, bearing Ma‘ad on al-Buraq to the land of Syria where he grew up among the Jews who remained there following the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem. There he married a woman named Ma‘ana, daughter of Jawshin unrest had quietened [sic] down and accord prevailed in the Arabian peninsula. Rakhiya, Armiya’s scribe, wrote his master's genealogy down in a document he had there which was to go into Armiya’s library; and he similarly preserved the genealogy of Ma‘ad. But God knows best.

And this is why Malik, God bless him, DID NOT ENTHUSE OVER THE ATTEMPT AT TRACING GENEALOGY BACK TO BEFORE ‘ADNAN.

Al-Suhayli commented further, "We have merely discussed tracing back these lines to accord with the school of thought of those scholars who favour and do not disapprove of it, men such as Ibn Ishaq, al-Bukhari, al-Zubayr b. Bakkar, al-Tabari, and others."

As for Malik, God have mercy on him, he expressed disapproval when asked about someone tracing his descent back to Adam and commented: "WHENCE COMES TO HIM KNOWLEDGE OF THAT?" When he was asked about tracing back to Ishmael, he expressed similar disapproval, asking, "WHO COULD PROVIDE SUCH AN INFORMATION?" Malik also disliked tracing the genealogy of the prophets, such as saying, "Abraham son of so-and-so". Al-Mu‘ayti stated this in his book.

Al-Suhayli commented also that Malik's viewpoint was analogous to what was related of ‘Urwa b. al-Zubayr who is reported to have said, "WE HAVE FOUND NO ONE WHO KNOWS THE LINE BETWEEN ‘ADNAN AND ISHMAEL."

It is reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said, "Between ‘Adnan and Ishmael there were 30 ancestors WHO ARE UNKNOWN."

Ibn ‘Abbas is also reputed to have said when he traced back lines of descent as far as ‘Adnan: "The genealogists have LIED. TWICE OR THRICE." And that (scepticism) is even more characteristic of Ibn Mas‘ud, whose (attitude) was like that of Ibn ‘Abbas.

‘Umar b. al-Khattab stated, "We carry back the genealogy ONLY AS FAR AS ‘ADNAN."

Abu ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-Barr stated in his book Al-Anba’ fi Ma‘rifat Qaba’il al-Ruwah (Facts Concerning Knowledge of the Tribes of the Transmitters) that Ibn Lahi‘a related from Abu al-Aswad that he heard ‘Urwa b. al-Zubayr say, "WE NEVER FOUND ANYONE WHO KNEW [sic] GENEALOGY BACK PAST ‘ADNAN, NOR PAST QAHTAN, UNLESS THEY WERE USING CONJECTURE. "

Abu al-Aswad stated that he had heard Abu Bakr Sulayman b. Abu Khaytham, one of the very most knowledgeable men of the poetry and the genealogy of Quraysh, say, "WE NEVER KNEW ANYONE WITH INFORMATION GOING BACK BEYOND MA‘AD B. ‘ADNAN, whether relating poetry or other knowledge."

Abu ‘Umar said that there was a group of the predecessors including ‘Abd Allah b. Mas‘ud, ‘Amr b. Maymun al-Azdi, and Muhammad b. Ka‘b al-Quradhi who, when they recited the verse from the Qur’an "and those after them who no one but God knows" (surat Ibrahim, XIV, v. 9) would comment, "THE GENEALOGISTS LIED."

Abu ‘Umar, God have mercy on him, stated, "We hold the meaning of this to differ from their interpretation. What is implied is that regarding those who claim to enumerate Adam's descendants, no one knows them except God who created them. But as for the lines of descent of the Arabs, the scholars conversant with their history and genealogy were aware of and learned by heart about the people and the major tribes, DIFFERING IN SOME DETAILS OF THAT." (The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), Volume I, translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1998], pp. 50-52; capital emphasis ours)

The next section comes from Ibn Sa‘d:

.. he on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas; he said: Verily the Prophet (may peace be upon him), WHENEVER he related his genealogy, DID NOT GO BEYOND MA‘ADD IBN ‘ADNAN IBN UDAD, then he kept quiet and said: The narrators of genealogy ARE LIARS, since Allah says: "There passed many generations between them."

Ibn ‘Abbas says: The Prophet would have been informed of the genealogy (prior to Adnan by Allah) if he (Prophet) had so wished.
.. he on the authority of ‘Abd Allah. Verily he recited "(The tribes of) ‘Ad and Thamud and those after them; NONE SAVETH ALLAH KNOWETH THEM." The genealogists ARE LIARS.

... between Ma‘add and Isma‘il there were more than THIRTY GENERATIONS; but he did not give their names, nor described their genealogy, probably he did not mention it because he might have heard the Hadith of Abu Salih on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas who narrated about the Prophet (may Allah bless them) THAT HE KEPT QUIET AFTER MENTIONING MA‘ADD IBN ‘ADNAN.

Hisham said: A narrator informed me on the authority of my father, but I had not heard it from him, that he related the genealogy thus, Ma‘add Ibn ‘Adnan Ibn Udad Ibn al-Hamaysa’ Ibn Salaman Ibn ‘Aws Ibn Yuz Ibn Qamwal Ibn Ubayyi Ibn al-‘Awwam, Ibn Nashid Ibn Haza Ibn Buldas Ibn Tudlaf Ibn Tabikh Ibn Jahim Ibn Nahish Ibn Makha Ibn ‘Ayfa Ibn ‘Abqar Ibn ‘Ubayd Ibn al-Du‘a Ibn Hamdan Ibn Sanbar Ibn Yathriba Ibn Nahzan Ibn Yalhan Ibn Ir‘awa Ibn ‘Ayfa Ibn Dayshan Ibn ‘Isar Ibn Iqnad Ibn Ibham Ibn Muqsi Ibn Nahith Ibn Zarih Ibn Shumayyi Ibn Mazzi Ibn ‘Aws Ibn ‘Arram IBN QAYDHAR Ibn Isma‘il Ibn Ibrahim (my Allah bless them both).

... There was a Tadmurite whose patronymic was Abu Ya‘qub; he was one ... of the Israelite Muslims, and had read Israelite literature and acquired proficiency in it; he mentioned that Burakh Ibn Nariyya the scribe of Irmiya (Jeremiah) drew the genealogy of Ma‘add Ibn ‘Adnan and wrote it in his books. This is known to the Israelite scholars and learned men. The names (mentioned here) resemble them, and if there is any difference it is because of the language since they have been translated from Hebrew.

... I heard a person saying: Ma‘add was contemporary with ‘Isa Ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) and his genealogy is this: Ma‘add Ibn ‘Adnan Ibn Udad Ibn Zayd Ibn Yaqdur Ibn Yaqdum Ibn Amin Ibn Manhar Ibn Sabuh Ibn al-Hamaysa‘ Ibn Yashjub Ibn Ya‘rub, Ibn al-‘Awwam Ibn Nabit Ibn Salman Ibn Haml Ibn QAYDHAR Ibn Isma‘il Ibn Ibrahim.

He (Ibn Sa‘d) said: Some one has named al-‘Awwal BEFORE al-Hamaysa‘ thus showing (al-‘Awwam) as his son.

... Verily the genealogy of Ma‘add Ibn ‘Adnan HAS BEEN TRACED DIFFERENTLY. In some narrations it is Ma‘add Ibn ‘Adnan Ibn Muqawwam, Ibn Nahur Ibn Tirah Ibn Ya‘rub Ibn Yashjub IBN NABIT Ibn Isma ‘il.

He (Ibn Sa‘d) said: And some say: Ma‘add Ibn ‘Adnan Ibn Udad ’Itahab Ibn Ayyub IBN QAYDHAR Ibn Isma‘il Ibrahim.

Muhammad Ibn Ishaq said: Qusayyi Ibn Kilab traced his genealogy to Qaydhar Ibn Isma‘il in some of his verses. Muhammad Ibn al-Sa‘ib al-Kalbi recited this couplet on the authority of his father ascribing it to Qusayyi:

"I have nothing to do with nursing if the children of Qaydhar and Nabit did not establish relationship with the same."

Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad Ibn Sa‘d said: I do not find much difference between them. Verily, Ma‘add was descended from Qaydhar Ibn Isma‘il; and this DIFFERENCE in his genealogy shows that the same WAS NOT CORRECTLY REMEMBERED and it was borrowed from the people of the scriptures (ahl al-Kitab) and translated, so they made differences. If it had been correct the Apostle of Allah must have known it. The best course with us is to trace the genealogy to Ma‘add Ibn ‘Adnan THEN TO KEEP QUIET UP TO ISMA‘IL IBN IBRAHIM.

... he on the authority of ‘Urwah; he said: WE DID NOT FIND ANY ONE TRACING THE GENEALOGY ABOVE MA‘ADD IBN ‘ADNAN.

... I heard Abu Bakr Ibn Sulayman Ibn Abu Hathamah saying… WE DID NOT FIND CERTAINTY IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF A SCHOLAR NOR IN THE VERSES OF A POET (ABOUT GENERATIONS) ABOVE MA‘ADD IBN ‘ADNAN…

He (Ibn Sa‘d) said: Hsiham Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Sa‘ib informed us on the authority of his father that Ma‘add was with Bukht Nassar (Banu Ched Nader) when he fought in the forts of Yaman. (Ibn Sa'ad's Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir Volume I, parts I & II, English translation by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A. [Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110 002 India], pp. 50-53; capital and underline emphasis ours)

We conclude with Al-Tabari. Much of what he says is material found above in Ibn Sa‘d:

"... I heard the Messenger of God say, ‘Ma‘add ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Zand b. Yara b. A‘raq al-Thara.’ Umm Salamah: Zand is al-Hamaysa‘, Yara is NABT and A‘raq al-Thara is Ishmael, son of Abraham.

... ‘Adnan, AS SOME GENEALOGISTS ASSERT, was the son of Udad b. Muqawwam b. Nahur b. Tayrah b. Ya ‘rub b. NABIT b. Isma‘il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham), WHILE OTHERS SAY: ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Aytahab b. Ayyub b. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham). Qusayy b. Kilab traces his descent back to QAYDHAR in his poetry. YET OTHER GENEALOGISTS SAY: ‘Adnan b. Mayda‘ b. Mani‘ b. Udad b. Ka‘b b. Yashjub b. Ya‘rub b. al-Hamaysa‘ b. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham). THESE DIFFERENCES arise because it is an old science, taken from the people of the first Book (the Old Testament).

... Muhammad b. al-Sa‘ib al-Kalbi, although I did not hear this from him myself, that he traced the descent as follows; Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. al-Hamaysa‘ b. Salaman b. ‘Aws b. Buz b. Qamwal b. Ubayy b. al-‘Awwam b. Nashid b. Haza b. Bildas b. Yidlaf b. Tabakh b. Jaham b. Tahash b. Makha b. ‘Ayfa b. Abqar b. ‘Ubayd b. al-Da‘a b. Hamdan b. Sanbar b. Yathribi b. Yahzan b. Yalhan b. Ar‘awa b. ‘Ayfa b. Dayshan b. ‘Isar b. Aqnad b. Ayham b. Muqsir b. Nahath b. Rizah b. Shamma b. Mizza b. ‘Aws b. ‘Arram b. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael) Ibrahim (Abraham).

... There was a man from Tadmur whose patronymic (kunyah) was Abu Ya‘qub. He was one of the children of Israel who had become a Muslim, who had read in their books and become deeply learned. He said that Barukh b. Nariyya, a scribe from Urmiya, had established the lineage of Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan with him and had set it in his writings. It was well known among the learned men of the People of the Book and set down in their books. It was close to the names given above, and perhaps the difference between them was owing to the language, since these names had been transliterated from Hebrew.

Al-Harith- Muhammad b. Sa‘d: Hisham (al-Kalbi) recited to me the following line of verse, which was related to him by his father:
I belong to no tribe which brought me up but that in which the descendants of Qaydhar and al-Nabit took root.

By al-Nabit, he meant Nabt b. Isma‘il (Ishmael).

... Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. al-Hamaysa‘ b. Ashub b. NABT B. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael).

OTHERS RELATE: Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Umayn b. Shajab b. Tha‘alabah b. ‘Atr b. Yarbah b. Muhallam b. al-‘Awwam b. Muhtamil b. Ra‘imah b. al-‘Ayqan b. ‘Allah b. al-Shahdud b. al-Zarib b. ‘Abqar b. Ibrahim (Abraham) b. Isma‘il b. Yazan b. A‘waj b. al-Mut‘im b. al-Tamh b. al-Qasur b. ‘Anud b. Da‘da‘ b. Mahmud b. al-Za‘id b. Nadwan b. Atamah b. Daws b. Hisn b. al-Nizal b. al-Qumayr b. al-Mushajjir b. Mu‘damir b. Sayfi b. NABT B. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham), the Friend of the Compassionate.

STILL OTHERS: Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Zayd b. Yaqdir b. Yaqdum b. Hamaysa‘ b. NABT B. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham).

OTHERS: Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Hamaysa‘ b. Nabt b. Salman, who is Salaman, b. Hamal b. NABT B. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham).

OTHERS: Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. al-Muqawwam b. Nahur b. M Mishrah b. Yashjub b. Malik b. Ayman b. AL-NABIT B. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham).

OTHERS: Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan b. Udd b. Udad b. al-Hamaysa‘ b. Ashub b. Sa‘d b. Yarbah b. Nadir b. Humayl b. Munahhim b. Lafath b. al-Sabuh b. Kinanah b. al-‘Awwam b. NABT B. QAYDHAR b. Isma‘il (Ishmael).

A certain genealogist told me that he had found that some Arab scholars had memorized FORTY ANCESTORS OF MA‘ADD AS FAR AS ISMA‘IL (Ishmael) in Arabic, quoting Arabic verses as evidence for this, and that he had collated the names they gave with what the People of the Book say and had found that the number agreed BUT THAT THE ACTUAL NAMES DIFFERED. He dictated these names to me and I wrote them down. They are as follows; Ma‘add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Hamaysa‘ (Hamaysa‘ is Salman, who is Umayn) b. Hamayta‘ (who is Hamayda‘, who is al-Shajab) b. Salamn (who is Munjir Nabit, so called, he calimed, because he fed Arabs on milk and flour anjara, as the people lived well in his time ...)

Nabit b. ‘Aws (he is Tha‘labah, to whom the Tha‘labis descent is traced back) b. Bura (who is Buz, who is ‘Atr al-‘Ata‘ir, the first person to institute the custom of the ‘atirah for the Arabs) b. Shuha (who is Sa‘d Rajab, the first person to institute the custom of the rajabiyyah for the Arabs) b. Ya‘mana (who is Qamwal, who is Yarbah al-Nasib, who lived in the time of Sulayman b. Dawud the prophet) b. Kasdana (who is Muhallam Dhu al-‘Ayn) b. Hazana (who is al-‘Awwam) b. Bildasa (who is al-Muhtamil) b. Badlana (who is Yidlaf, who is Ra‘imah) b. Tahba (who is Tahab who is al-‘Ayqan) b. Jahma (who is Jaham, who is ‘Allah) b. Mahsha (who is Tahash. who is al-Shahdud) b. Ma‘jala (who is Makha, who is al-Zarib Khatim al-Nar b. ‘Aqara (who is ‘Afa, who is ‘Abqar, THE FATHER OF THE JINN, TO WHOM THE GARDEN ABQAR IS ASCRIBED) b. ‘Aqara (who is ‘Aqir, who is Ibrahim Jami ‘al-Shaml. He was called Jami‘ al-Shaml (settler of affairs) because every fearful person felt safe in his reign; he returned every outcast, and he attempted to make peace between all men) b. Banda‘a (who is Da‘a, who is Isma‘il Dhu al-Matabikh (master of kitchens), who was so called because during his reign he established a house for guests in every town of Arabs) b. Abda‘i (who is ‘Ubayd, who is Yazan al-Ta‘‘an, the first man to fight with lances, which are ascribed to him) b. Hamada (who is Hamdan, who is Isma‘il Dhu al-A‘waj; al-A‘waj was his horse, and the A‘waji breed of horses is ascribed to him) b. Bashmani (who is Yashbin, who is al-Mut‘im fi al-Mahl) b. Bathrani (who is Bathram, who is al-Tamh) b. Bahrani (who is Yahzan, who is al-Qasur) b. Yalhani (who is Yalhan, who is al-‘Anud) b. Ra‘wani (who is Ra‘wa, who is al-Da‘da‘) b. ‘Aqara (who is ‘Aqir) b. Dasan (who is al-Za‘id) b. ‘Asar (who is ‘Asir, who is al-Naydawan Dhu al-Andiyah…) b. Qanadi (who is Qanar, who is Ayyamah) b. Thamar (who is Bahami, who is Daws al-‘Itq…) b. Muqsir (who is Maqasiri, who is Hisn; he is also called Nahath, who is al-Nizal) b. Zarih (who is Qumayr) b. Sammi who is Samma, who is al-Mujashshir ...

b. Marza- or, some say, Marhar- b. Sanfa (who is al-Samr, who is al-Safi ...)

b. Ja‘tham (who is ‘Uram, who is al-Nabit, who is Qaydhar, the interpretation of Qaydhar, he said, is ‘ruler’, for he was the first of the descendants of Isma‘il to be king) b. Isma‘il (Ishmael), who was faithful to his promise, b. Ibrahim (Abraham), the Friend of the Compassionate b. Tarih (who is Azar) b. Nahur b. Saru‘ b. Arghawa b. Baligh (the interpretation of Baligh is ‘the divider’ as in Syriac; this is because it was he who divided the lands between the descendants of Adam, and he is Falij) b. ‘Abar b. Sha;ikh b. Arfakhshad b. Sam (Shem) b. Nuh (Noah) b. Lamk b. Mattushalakh b. Akhnukh (he is the prophet Idris) b. Yard (he is Yarid, in whose time idols were made) b. Mahla‘il b. Qaynan b. Anush b. ****hth (who is Hibatallah) b. Adam. ****h (Seth) was the successor of his father after Habil (Abel) was killed; his father said, ‘A gift of God (Hibatallah)’ in exchange for Habil,’ and his name was derived this.

We have mentioned earlier in this work in a concise and abridged form a part what we have been able to discover of the accounts of Isma‘il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham) and his ancestors, male and female, back to Adam, and of the events of every age during this period of time, and we shall not repeat them here. Hisham b. Muhammad: The Arabs used to say, ‘The flea has bitten since our father Anush was born, and sin has been forbidden since our father ****hth was born.’ The Syriac name for ****hth is ****h." (The History of Al-Tabari, Volume VI, Muhammad At Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt and M.V. McDonald [State University of New York Press, Albany, 1988], pp. 38-43; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Do notice the inherent contradictions of these traditions. First, none of the genealogical lists are uniform. Contradictions in the precise names and order of the names appear throughout these lists.

Second, according to some traditions Ma‘add was a contemporary of the Lord Jesus. Yet, other traditions state that Ma‘add was a contemporary of Jeremiah and Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, men who lived six centuries before Christ was even born!

Third, as we had already noted in our original paper, these lists trace Muhammad to different sons of Ishmael. Some lists trace him to Kedar (Qaydhar), the son of Ishmael. Others trace it back to Nebaioth (Nabit), not Kedar. Fourth, much confusion exists regarding the exact number of generations from Ishmael and Adnan.

Finally, the very candid and open admission by the writers that no one was able to definitely trace Muhammad's genealogy beyond Adnan serves to undermine the Muslim claim that Muhammad was an ACTUAL descendent of Ishmael. This lends further support to the following claim:
"In pre-Islamic times Ishmael was never mentioned as the Father of the Arabs." (W. Aliyyuddin Shareef, In response to Robert Morey's Islamic Invasion, pp. 3-4; bold emphasis ours)
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Exclamation Jihad- Clarifying the meaning of Jihad

Jihad

Clarifying the meaning of Jihad

By Robert Spencer
From Jihad Watch Website

I turned to "Clarifying the meaning of Jihad" in the Pakistan Daily, May 21 expecting more of the same old denial and obfuscation we see so often from Muslim spokesmen -- as we saw yesterday from Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza.

But instead, to my great surprise, I found a detailed Qur'anic exposition of the ideas that jihad means offensive warfare against unbelievers in order to establish the hegemony of Sharia, and that the idea of jihad as spiritual struggle has scant foundation within the core Islamic texts.

Of course, this is what I have said that the Islamic texts say all along. Will Islamic apologists in the West -- Ibrahim Hooper, Salam Al-Marayati, Ali Eteraz, Stephen Schwartz, and the like -- direct any effort at all toward showing the author of this Pakistan Daily piece that his understanding of jihad is all wrong? Will the Administration realize that it has been sold a bill of goods by Islamic apologists, and acknowledge that jihad as warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers is deeply rooted within Islam, and the implications of that fact are manifold and must be faced?

No on both counts, I'm sure. But the next time someone calls me an "Islamophobe" for pointing out that mainstream Islam teaches violent jihad and Islamic supremacism, I'm going to tell him to take it up with the editors of the Pakistan Daily, not with me.


Clarifying the meaning of Jihad


‘Jihad’ is extracted from the source, ‘Jaahada’ and it measured upon the fourth verb structure, which means interaction between two sides, al-Mufa’ala. Another example is ‘Al-Khisaam’ which means to quarrel and is extracted from its roots source – Khaasama. Also, there is the example of ‘Jidaal’, which means to discuss or to argue and is taken from the root source ‘Jaadala’.

In the tongue of the Arabs, al-Jihad means, ‘exerting ability and effort to do an action or express opinions’.

In Al-Munjid, the words Jaahada, Mujaahada and Jihadan means, ‘exerting effort and ability to push the other away’. In the Tafseer of al-Naysaboori it is clearly stated that ‘al-Jihad’ means to exert effort to achieve the objective or what is intended.

After all of these related definitions of the word ‘al-Jihad’ in the language, it is possible to give a clear linguistic definition, which is: ‘al-Jihad is the exerting of all effort and ability between two sides by the least.’

Based on the linguistic definition, the exerted effort could be via material weapons or without a weapon, with money or without money. Also it could be the struggle between two opposing desires exerting effort (Jihad) to overcome the other. It could also be by words and could be by refusing to do an action or to speak. An example of this is like the one who disobeys his parents when they order him to disobey Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) and the person becomes patient and perseveres when his parents insist in ordering him. And it is like the one who abstains from committing a haram desire when his nafs calls him to it. This is what is mentioned in Hashiyat Al-Jamal in al-Jalalayn: “Jihad is to have patience on difficulties. It could be during war and it could be inside the nafs.”

Based on this linguistic definition, the opponent that the Muslim engages Jihad against could be his own nafs, or the shaiytan, or the transgressor or the kuffar. Additionally, by this definition, Jihad could also be that which is in the way of Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) ‘Fi Sabeel Lillah’’. So the Jihad could be undertaken to please Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) or to please the shaiytan, like the Jihad of the Kuffar against others. Al-Naysaboori, wrote, “It is exerting effort to achieve the objective or what is intended regardless of the nature of the objective intended by the one who is exerting the effort.” The Quran used the word ‘Jihad’ in describing the activity of the kaafir fathers to make their believing children reject true belief. Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) says:

وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا

“If they do Jihad to make commit association with me…do not obey them” (tmq Surah Luqman 31:15)

In the Shariyah, the word ‘al-Jihad’ was transferred from the general linguistic meaning to a special confined (restricted) meaning in the Quran and the Sunnah. It is, “the exerting of the effort to fight in the Way of Allah directly or by financial aid, or opinion and the like” This special meaning of Jihad was given in Medina. In Mecca, the legislation concerning Jihad was not revealed and that is why the subject of Jihad in the Mecci surahs carries the general linguistic meaning. They are the three verses (ayaat) in Surah al-Ainkaboot:

وَمَن جَاهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَاهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِين

“And if any struggle ‘Jaahid’ (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for Allah is free of all needs from all creation.” (tmq 29:6)

وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ لِتُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“But if they (either of them) struggle ‘Jaahada’ (to force) you to join with Me (in worship) anything of which you have no knowledge, obey them not. You have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.” (tmq 29:8)

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And those who strive in Our cause ‘Jaahadu’- We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily Allah is with those who do right.” (tmq 29:69)

Also in surah Luqman verse 15, the word Jihad is used in the linguistic context. Regarding the verse in surah Al-Nahl talking about Jihad, it mentioned ‘al-Hijra’, which means that this is a Madani verse in a Mecci surah (chapter) – and this was mentioned by the al-Mufasiroon. The verse is:

ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ مِن بَعْدِ مَا فُتِنُواْ ثُمَّ جَاهَدُواْ وَصَبَرُواْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِن بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“But verily Your Lord- those who leave their homes after trials and persecutions,- and who thereafter struggle ‘Jaahadu’ and fight for the faith and patiently persevere,- Your Lord, after all this is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”. (tmq 16:110)

The subject of Jihad in Medina occurs 26 (twenty-six) times and the majority of them carry the clear meaning of Fighting, ‘Qitaal’. From these verses are:

لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً وَكُـلاًّ وَعَدَ اللّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

“Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). To all (in Faith) has Allah promised good. But those who strive and fight has He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.” (tmq 4:95)

It is clear in this verse that al-Jihad is in the meaning of going out to fight and that it is better than staying at home. Also from the verses about Jihad in surah Al-Tawba:

انْفِرُواْ خِفَافًا وَثِقَالاً وَجَاهِدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“Go forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if you (but) knew.” (tmq 9:41)

The order of ‘Nafr’ (going out) means that Jihad is fighting.

لَـكِنِ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ جَاهَدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الْخَيْرَاتُ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.” (tmq 9:88)

Also in surah Al-Saf, after mentioning fighting (Jihad) at the beginning, Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ

“Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.” (tmq 61:4)

It is clear in the Madani verses that the subject of Jihad is specifically related to fighting and what fighting entails naturally from finance, weapons and the like. Also these verses demonstrate aspects of the conditions that precede the action of fighting and are conditional for its legality i.e. propagating the invitation for non-Muslims to embrace Islam (as this is the original condition for fighting as has been mentioned in ‘Mughni al-Muhtaj) and/or accept the Islamic authority over them. From the Sunnah of Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam), Jihad has been mentioned also with this shariyah meaning i.e. fighting and what it entails.

On the authority of Abi Hurayrah, who said: “People asked, “Oh Rasoolallah, tell us about an action that is equal to the Jihad fi Sabeel Lillah?” Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “You will not find it bearable.” They replied, “Tell us oh Rasoolallah, maybe we can be able to withstand it.” Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The example of a mujahid Fi Sabeel Lillah is like the fasting man, the one who stays up at its night and prays and the one who is obedient to the verses of Allah, does not get tired of fasting, nor stops sadaqah until the mujahid returns back to his family.”

It is clear from the wording of the hadith that the question was about the mujahid with the meaning of the fighter in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) specifically. The answer also indicated the same meaning when Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Until the mujahid returns back to his family” i.e. returns back from the fighting. Also by the authority of Jaabir, that the people asked Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam), “Which Jihad is better?” He (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The one in which one’s horse is wounded and one’s blood is split in it.” On the authority of ibn Abbas, he said that Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “When your brothers were killed in the battle of Uhud, Allah put their souls inside green birds that wonder inside Jannah landing on the rivers of Jannah and eats from its fruits. When they see how they spend their time and they look at their food and drink and how great it was, they say, ‘How we wish that our people know about how Allah rewarded us, so that they may love Jihad and not refrain from it.’ So then Allah says to them that, ‘I will tell you people and your brothers on your behalf.’ So they became happy with that news.” Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) sent this in surah Al-Imran on the occasion of the Battle of Uhud:

وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

“Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.” (tmq 3:169)

From all of these shariyah texts, it is clear that the Legislator transferred the word Jihad from its general linguistic meaning to a special meaning, which is ‘al-Qitaal’ (fighting) and whatever is linked to it directly and indirectly, as has been mentioned earlier. Moreover, it relates to the words, which carry the same meaning of al-Jihad like war. From this we can see that the shariyah texts defined Jihad as fighting (qitaal) in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) and this can be found in the books of fiqh, which dealt with the shariyah meaning of Jihad and laws related to it.

In Badi’ul Sanai’ of the Hanafi Mazhab, it states the following: “Jihad in the language is exerting effort. In the understanding of the Shara, it is exerting effort and energy in fighting fi sabeel lillah by nafs, finance, tongue or another.”

In Manhul Jaleel of the Maliki Mazhab, al-Jihad is defined as the, “fighting by a Muslim against a kaafir (who does not have a treaty with the Muslims) to make the word of Allah the highest…. or for a Muslim to arrive to do Jihad or to enter the Kaafir’s land for fighting.” Ibn Arafa defined this.

According to the Shafi Mazhab in Al-Iqna, Jihad is fighting ‘Fi Sabeel Lillah’. Al-Shirazi in Al-Muhazab said that Jihad is ‘qitaal’.

In Al-Mughni according to the Hanbali Mazhab, Ibn Qudama did not give any other definition. In the section ‘kitab ul-Jihad’ whatever is related to war, whether it was fard ul-kifaya (collective obligation) or fard ul-ayn (individual obligation) or whether it was in the form of guarding the believers from the enemy and the guards ‘ribat’ at the borders, all of this is connected to Jihad. He also said, “If the enemy arrives, Jihad becomes fard ul-ayn on the murabitoon (border guards). If it becomes evident that the enemy arrived, then they do not leave to meet them except by an order of the Ameer, since the Ameer is the one who has the authority for issuing orders in the matters of war.”

So it is clear that the meaning of Jihad was transferred from the linguistic to the shariyah meaning, such that it was understood to mean fighting and nothing else. Such purity and clarity over its meaning today is clearly vague, from what is heard from the lips of rulers over the Islamic lands and even amongst the Muslim ummah itself, as a result of the dominance and pollution of western political thought and reeling from a defeatist mentality that seeks to be apologetic.

So what emerged and dominated the opinion were those who sincerely but incorrectly took Jihad as the rule for all matters whilst others reduced Jihad as a matter connected to defending the ‘nafs’ and identity i.e. defensive fighting as opposed to offensive fighting. Others went further to say that Jihad is of the ‘nafs’ and overcoming desires only, calling it the ‘Great Jihad’, further saying that it is better than the small Jihad which is ‘qitaal’ (fighting). Such are those that have become lazy and feeble, with their hearts filled with the fear of the enemy.

So the protection of the Deen, hatred of the Kuffar and the love of Jihad has become replaced with the protection of the nation-state (nationalism), pleasing the colonialists and the love of excessive material gain. Since these incorrect concepts have become common between Muslims and the clear definition of Jihad is absent from the minds, the incentive and love to do Jihad, for many, has died (though the increased hostility and aggression of the western nations in the Islamic lands has served to re-kindle the correct desire).

It is, therefore, naturally important to clarify this matter such that the Muslims are able to refute the erroneous misunderstandings that exist, refute false claims and rekindle the love of Jihad.

Greater/Smaller Jihad

Firstly, the common understanding of Muslims is that Jihad is divided into two sections: Jihad ul-Akbar (the ‘Greater Jihad’), which is connected to Jihad ul-Nafs i.e. fighting the inner desires and shaiytan etc… Jihad ul-Asghar (the ‘Smaller Jihad’), which is fighting the kaafir enemy in battles and what is related to it.

Of the evidences that are quoted from the Islamic texts, the main one is the hadith, where Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “We have arrived from the small Jihad to the great Jihad”. So they asked, “What is the great Jihad?” He (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “It is Jihad ul-Nafs (against the inner self).”

In another narration, Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) referred to the“…Jihad of the slave against his desires.”

Though it is correct that there is a Jihad against the nafs, like against shaiytan, however, it is not greater in the sight of Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) from the physical Jihad against the Kuffar and it (Jihad ul-Nafs) does not cancel nor invalidate it.

This Jihad against the Kaafir enemies is continuous until the Day of Judgment as is the Jihad against the nafs also continuous until the Day of Judgement. But one should know that the evidences of doing Jihad against the nafs are different to the evidences of Jihad against the Kuffar.

Each has a situation different from the other (context) and it is not permitted to mix the two or to use the evidence of one for the other or to change one in place of the other. Rather there is a need for each, but in its correct context and each of them is a responsibility when put in their correct contexts.

This is why saying that ‘Jihad ul-nafs’ is better and greater in the sight of Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) is both very dangerous and an outright mistake, which contradicts the understanding of Jihad in the Way of Allah.

It is invalid from many angles:

1. Jihad has two meanings as mentioned previously, a linguistic and a shariyah meaning. Jihad of the nafs comes under the linguistic meaning and not the shariyah meaning. 2. The evidences used to say that Jihad ul-nafs is greater than Jihad against the Kuffar cannot be used to prove this and this is clear from the reality of the evidences that are used. This is because,

a. The hadith is ‘mardood riwayatan’

b. The hadith is ‘mardood dirayatan’

With regards to its invalidation from narration that is because the hadith is weak ‘Da’eef’ as is clarified in Al-Ajmi Al-Saghir by Imam Suyuti. As for its invalidation by meaning that is because it is contradicting definite text, which makes Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah obligatory and makes it the greatest of action.

This can be seen from three aspects:

a. The verses that mention the value of the Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah and that it is from the best actions like the verse:

لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً وَكُـلاًّ وَعَدَ اللّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

“Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). To all (in Faith) has Allah promised good. But those who strive and fight has He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.” (tmq 4:95)

b. The verses that praise Jihad and the Mujahideen Fi Sabeel Lillah like the verse,

لَـكِنِ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ جَاهَدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الْخَيْرَاتُ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.” (tmq 9:88)

إِنَّ اللّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الجَنَّةَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنجِيلِ وَالْقُرْآنِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللّهِ فَاسْتَبْشِرُواْ بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِي بَايَعْتُم بِهِ وَذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

“Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.” (tmq 9:111)

c. The verses that condemn and promises punishment to those who do not participate in Jihad, the ones left behind and the lazy neglectful ones,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَا لَكُمْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمُ انفِرُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ اثَّاقَلْتُمْ إِلَى الأَرْضِ أَرَضِيتُم بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الآخِرَةِ فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ

“O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that, when you are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter.” (tmq 9:38)

In addition to this are the sayings of Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) that the best action to Allah is Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah and the fighting (qitaal) against the Kuffar: From the many narrations, Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, ”Taking a journey in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) is better than the duniya and what is in it.”

“Those who guard (the borders) for one day in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) is better than the duniya and what is in it.” ”If anyone takes a position in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) it is better than his prayer ‘salah’ in his house for 70 years. Don’t you want Allah to forgive you your sins and enter you in the Jannah? Invade, in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah).”

Therefore what has been mentioned in the text shows clearly that Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah is one of the best actions and of the highest degree, which is clearly shown by the shariyah indicators, ‘Qarain’, that connect praise, condemnation, reward and punishment to expose the fact that Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah is greater and better than Jihad against the nafs. This is why the hadith is invalid in meaning ‘dirayatan’ because it contradicts the definite texts and therefore it is invalid ‘baatil’ to use as an evidence (i.e. to show that Jihad ul-nafs is a greater action).

Is Jihad is defensive only?

As for the opinion that Jihad in Islam is defensive and not offensive by using the evidence (and similar evidences):

وَإِنْ جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
“But if the enemy incline towards peace, do you (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that Hears and Knows (all things)” (tmq 8:61)

وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.” (tmq 2:190)

This is also incorrect and invalid for its application upon this matter is incorrect for the following reasons:

1. The evidences of Jihad are general ‘mutlaq’ evidences and include all offensive and defensive actions e.g. waging warm to pre-empt an attack, to protect the borders, killing on the battlefield. To restrict or specify the evidences only to defensive and not offensive Jihad, requires a textual evidence to show that the Jihad is restricted to defensive Jihad only. And there is no such text in the Quran or the Sunnah that restricts or specifies this. Therefore, the evidences regarding Jihad remain general and to be used for all types of war and all types of fighting with the enemy. So it is invalid (baatil) to use the verse,

وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا

“But if the enemy incline towards peace, do you…” (tmq 8:61), to show that Jihad is only defensive.

That is also the case with the rest of the evidences that are used by proponents of this erroneous understanding. This and similar verses cannot be used to specify or restrict the generality of the verses in surah al-Tawba because they were the last verses revealed regarding Jihad and what came prior to these verses regarding Jihad does not specify the verses which were revealed after them or came afterwards. And the verse does not restrict the latter revealed verses either. There has to be a text present to restrict or specify the general verse and they also must be revealed after the initial, which are general or mutlaq or even they (i.e. those verses which are restricted or specific) should be mentioned together with the general verses so that the two situations can be shown (i.e. to show the different situations upon which they apply). So Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) says: وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلْمِ , which is regarding the time of the peace. And He (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) says,

قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued”, (tmq 9:29) which is at the time of war and fighting.

So peace and fighting are two situations, which remain un-abrogated, i.e. neither abrogates the other.

2. In addition to this, the saying and actions of Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) show that Jihad definitely is to start (offensive) fighting the kuffar to make the Words of Allah the highest and to propagate (da’wa) the call of Islam. Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said,

“I have been ordered to fight the people until they bear witness that, ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger’ and they establish the prayer and the zakat. And if they do this, then from me is protected their blood and their wealth except by the right granted by Allah.”

As for his (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) actions, they are full of actions that show Jihad is to start the fighting. So when he went out to Badr to take the caravan belonging to the Quraysh, this was going out to fight, this is offensive – as Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) initiated the action before the Quraysh.

Likewise, when Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) invaded Hawazin in the battle of Hunayn, when he (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) seiged Ta’if and the battle of Mutah to fight the Romans and the Battle of Tabukall of these are evidences to show that Jihad is to start fighting kuffar (offensive). This should clarify the erroneous view that in origin Jihad is defensive.

3. From Ijma as-Sahabah, it is clear that Jihad is fighting Fi Sabeel Lillah to carry Islam and that it is offensive. The evidence, which is sufficient to explain this, is the opening of Iraq, Persia, Sham, Egypt and North Africa. They were all opened at the time of the Sahabah with their Ijma’ (consensus). Therefore, all what we mentioned are sufficient evidences to refute the claim that Jihad is defensive.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Muslims should gain the confidence to present the reality of Jihad to our ummah and raise the level of thinking on this issue such that the Muslims become clearer about its meaning, obligation, gain an increased love for it and importantly, understand the contexts in which it exists and is applied.

The Islamic Ummah, served with the responsibility to present and guard Islam should not allow the rulers over the Islamic lands to pollute the meaning of Jihad and remove its love from the hearts of the believers. Indeed, the Islamic Ummah should not allow these rulers to commit the greater crime to rule over her by other than Islam and dilute the purity of the whole of Islam with their shamelessness, implementation of kufr and humiliating subservience to a part of the creation i.e. their colonial masters, instead of their subservience to the Creator and Master of all that is seen and unseen, Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala).

As for the interaction with the non-Muslims, it is important that the Muslims have the clarity and strength to tackle the malicious, incorrect and hateful propaganda that is focussed on Jihad that is presented as barbaric against peaceful people with the objective to force them to embrace Islam by compulsion and the sword.

The Islamic ummah should tackle this from two perspectives.

Firstly, the Muslims should expose the violent, barbaric and inhumane foreign policy of the ‘civilised’ colonial powers that have destroyed nations, states and people; left millions to starve for the sake of securing capitalist interests, appointed and protected oppressive regimes that suppress the will of their people; plundered resources of the lesser developed and invade lands with brute force, terrorising the local civilian people with indiscriminate policies of killing, imprisonment, rape, ‘carpet bombing’; razing whole villages and towns into the ground; and forcing the people to adopt their life-styles, values and political structures. What right do such people have after witnessing the implementation of such a wicked and brutal foreign policy with their own eyes – in South America, Africa, Palestine, Afghanistan and more recently in Iraq, from the various credible news sources – to even begin laying a criticism against Jihad.

Non-Muslims need to see the reality of their own governments and not be blinded the hysterical and deceitful propaganda that increasingly is aimed at Islam and its values.

Secondly, Muslims should demonstrate some of the rules that surround Jihad and state that offensively carrying the struggle against non-Islam does not permit Muslims to compel the local people to embrace Islam. This is because Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) does not allow compulsion:

لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

"There is no compulsion in deen" (tmq)

Likewise Islam does not allow the exploitation, plundering, razing and desecration of places of worship, people’s homes and honour – when Jihad is carried offensively. Rather Jihad is carried offensively to cleanse the earth from the kufr, with the implementation of Islam as a system thus liberating man from the rule of man. The history of the Islamic conquests, the presence of Christians and Jews, who lived in security and prosperity under the Islamic State and the safe-haven that the Islamic authority provided for people savaged by the forefathers of the modern colonialists is sufficient proof for this.

On the horizon, as the struggle between Iman and kufr increases day by day – it is imperative for the Muslims to hold to the truth of Islam, its rules and not permit the dilution of its intellectual wealth – a wealth which soon will transform the darkness of colonial rule to the mercy and shade of the Islamic authority, Al-Khilafah, by Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala's) permission.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


Last edited by Paparock; 05-21-2008 at 04:46 PM..
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The Pakistan Daily has apparently removed the detailed exposition of jihad warfare and Islamic supremacism, explaining that jihad is not spiritual struggle, but war, and that it is offensive, not defensive, that I linked to this morning.

Here it is also at Islamic Revival
http://islamicsystem.blogspot.com/20...-of-jihad.html

Here it is again:
Continue reading "We know too much!"
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Lightbulb Pedophilia & Islam: Allowed by Allah; Practised & Patronized by Prophet Muhammad

Pedophilia & Islam: Allowed by Allah; Practised & Patronized by Prophet Muhammad

by Ayesha Ahmed

Having sex with underage children is popular in sharia countries. Find out why?

ALLAH APPROVES OF IT
65.4 “If you divorce your (child) wife before she reaches menstruation age her idda is three months”.
According to this aya a muslim man can marry (and have sex with) even a one day old infant girl.


ISLAMIC AUTHORITIES PROMOTE IT

There is no argument on this point among Islamic authorities whether shia or sunni. They all agree that a muslim man can have sex with baby girl.

This is what Imam Khomeini, the top shia authority says:
“A muslim man can have sexual pleasure with a little girl as young as a baby. But he should not penetrate her vaginally, however he can sodomize her”. (Tehriro vasyleh, fourth edition, Qom, Iran, 1990)


Here is what the the top sunni authority says (video on a Saudi website) about having sex with a one day old baby girl. (Go to “site video” and click on sex with a one day old girl)

PROPHET LOVED LITTLE GIRLS

Prophet had special feelings for cute little baby girls.
  • Ibn Ishaq: Suhayli, 2.79: In the riwaya of Yunus Ibn Ishaq recorded that the apostle saw Ummu’l-Fadl hen she was baby crawling before him and said, ‘If she grows up and I am still alive I will marry her.’ ( p. 311)
  • Muhammad saw Um Habiba the daughter of Abbas while she was fatim (age of nursing) and he said, "If she grows up while I am still alive, I will marry her." (Musnad Ahmad, Number 25636)
BABY AISHA
Our prophet fell in love with Baby Aisha when she was shown by Allah to him in his dreams when she still an infant.
Bukhari , Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15:
Narrated 'Aisha:

Allah's Apostle said (to me), "You have been shown to me twice in (my) dreams. A man was carrying you in a silken cloth(as an infant) and said to me, 'This is your wife.' I uncovered it; and behold, it was you. I said to myself, 'If this dream is from Allah, He will cause it to come true.'"
COURTSHIP WITH AISHA
Whenever Prophet visited Abu Bakr house he made Aisha sit in his lap and played with her.

PROPOSAL FOR MARRIAGE

When Ayesha reached the age of 6 Prophet decided to ask for her hand.
Abu Bakr: Rasulullah you must be joking. She is hardly six years old. And you are in your fiftees.

Prophet: She is old enough for me.

Abu Bakr: Didn’t you marry off your own daughters when they were much older.?.

Prophet: That was before aya 65.4 was revealed. Now a muslim can marry even a day old infant girl.

Abu: “But Rasulullah you called me your brother , how can you marry your foster niece”.

Prophet:” But you are not my real brother you are only a “ brother in Islam”.”*
Muslim Book 62, Number 18:
Narrated 'Ursa:

The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for 'Aisha's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother." The Prophet said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry."

ABU BAKR THROWS IN A MONKEY WRENCH

Abu was concerned about the welfare of her tiny tot sleeping with a horny and hefty old man who was given the libido of 30 men by Allah..


Abu: “I will let you marry her only on one condition, you will have to abstain from having sexual intercourse with the little one before she turns 9”.


Prophet was disappointed but he had no choice.


Prophet: “O.K. but I will not abstain from using other halal methods of pleasuring.”

AISHA MADE A BEAUTIFUL BRIDE


Abu: “But Rasulullah, last week you turned down Hamza’s daughter (who was ugly and in her teens) . You said you cannot marry your foster niece**.
Bukharihari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 37:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

It was said to the Prophet, "Won't you marry the daughter of Hamza?" He said, "She is my foster niece (brother's daughter). "

Prophet: “Allah had shown her to me in my dreams, that was Allah’s indication for me to marry her, I am helpless in this matter”.

Thighing
Sahih Dawood Book 1, Number 0270:
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
One night prophet entered upon me and said: Uncover your thighs. I, therefore, uncovered both of my thighs. Then he put his cheek and chest on my thighs.

Fondling
Bukhari,Volume 1, Book 6, Number 299:
'Aisha said: "Whenever Allah's Apostle wanted to fondle me, he used to order me to put on an Izar and start fondling..

Daydreaming
Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660:
Narrated Aisha:
“Allah's Apostle used to think that he had sexual intercourse while he actually had not”

The Bottom-line
Bukhari, Book 002, Number 0572:
Aisha said “ Whenever I found dried semen on the garments of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), I scraped it off with my nails.

AISHA TURNS NINE

Allah was very happy for the prophet when finally Aisha turned nine.. He sent Gibraeel to congratulate him and to witness the consummation. Prophet introduced Allah’s envoy to Aisha .
Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 57, Number 112:
Allah's Apostle said (to me), 'O Aish ('Aisha)! This is Gabriel greeting you.' I said, 'Peace and Allah's Mercy and Blessings be on him, you see what I don't see' " She was addressing Allah 's Apostle. (only prophets can see angels)

MENTION OF HOLY CONSUMMATION IN HADITHS
  • Sunan Abu Dawood Vol3 Bk36 N0 4917:
    Then they brought me to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and he had sexual intercourse with me . I was nine years old.
  • Sunan Nasai Bk of Marriage, No 3256:
    A'ishah said: The Apostle of Allah peace be upon him married me when I was six and had sexual intercourse with me when I was nine and I was playing with dolls.
ALLAH BLESSED THEM WITH INSPIRATIONS

Although Prophet slept with hundreds of slave girls captured women and concubines in addition to his large number of wedded wives, Allah only sent quranic revelations to prophet when he slept with Aisha.
Aisha said “Inspiration came to him when he and I were in a single blanket”. (Tabari Vl7, page: 7)

Bukhari Vol. 5 Bk57 N 119:
Prophet said, By Allah, the Divine Inspiration never came to me while I was under the blanket of any woman except Aisha.”

Modern reality of Islamic pedophilia:
A PEDOPHILE CONVERTS TO ISLAM

When a pedophile found out that sex with children is halal and Sunna he converted to islam and changed his name to Mohammed.
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O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Default Another Quranic Contradiction: The Privileged Rights of the Prophet

Another Quranic Contradiction: The Privileged Rights of the Prophet




It has been a common knowledge now that Qur'an has contradictions or discrepancies which is not denied by Qur'an in the verse 4:82:
4:82 Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy."
Were Qur'an free from any discrepancy, the verse would have said, "... they would surely have found therein no discrepancy", not "much discrepancy". There has been a long list of errors and contradictions in Qur'an, here I just want to discuss a contradiction around verse 33:50 which may not so obvious.

First, we know that the prophet is the best example for muslims and they must follow the prophet's conducts.
33:21 Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.
But verse 33:50 says that not every conduct of the holy prophet can be followed by the muslims.
33:50 O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
This is a contradiction because verse 33:21 tells the muslims to follow the behavior of the prophet, but verse 33:50 says there are a few things which the muslims are not allowed to do what the prophet did.

The reason for forbidding muslims from following their holy prophet's conduct in verse 33:50 is obviously because what the holy prophet did (or was allowed) was not so beautiful or ideal to be followed. Doing it must be a sinful act for the believers; and hence, the muslims are not supposed to do it. The prophet , therefore, actually did some sinful act and he is not supposed to be the role model.

Which among the lawful items in 33:50 is only for the prophets and not for the believers? It is the right to "wed" any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the prophet, because the other items are allowed for the Muslims too. (I put the word "wed" between quotes for the reason below).
But wait, isn't that a muslim can also marry a woman who wants to be his wife as long as the woman is halal to be his wife? All he must do is to pay the dowry which can be as little as memorizing a few verses, get a witness and do the ijab qabul ceremony where the woman says that she gives herself to the man and the man says that he accepts the woman as his wife.

So what Allah gives the prophet in 33:50 to be solely for the prophet is not the same as a marriage ritual done by the believers. It must have the meaning that the prophet can copulate right away with the woman who wants to dedicate herself to the prophet. No need for dowry, witness or ijab qabul statements.

In another word, the prophet can do adultery with a woman who is not his wife or his right hand. This holy prophet can just come to a woman's bed room without permission and the woman had better known the consequences if she didn't dedicate herself to prophet because that means disobeying Allah and disobeying the prophet. Allah himself has made a point that it would place the woman at the wrong path.
33:36 It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.
The case of the prophet marrying his cousin Zainab bint Jahsh may show us how the prophet exercised his special right (Tafsir Ibn Kathir):
(So, when Zayd had completed his aim with her, We gave her to you in marriage,) meaning, `when her marriage to Zayd was over and he had separated from her, We married her to you,' and the One Who was her Wali (guardian) in this marriage was Allah Himself, in the sense that He revealed to the Prophet that he should go in unto her without any Wali, contractual agreement, dowery or witnesses among mankind. Imam Ahmad recorded that Thabit said that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "When Zaynab's `Iddah finished, may Allah be pleased with her, the Messenger of Allah said to Zayd bin Harithah,
(Go to her and tell her about me (that I want to marry her).) So, he went to her and found her kneading dough. He (Zayd) said, 'When I saw her I felt such respect for her that I could not even look at her and tell her what the Messenger of Allah had said, so I turned my back to her and stepped aside, and said, 'O Zaynab! Rejoice, for the Messenger of Allah has sent me to propose marriage to you on his behalf.' She said, 'I will not do anything until I pray to my Lord, may He be glorified.' So she went to the place where she usually prayed. Then Qur'an was revealed and the Messenger of Allah came and entered without permission.
The prophet had a crush on Zainab, so Zaid, Zainab's husband could not do anything but divorced her. After Zainab's iddah period had finished, the prophet proposed Zainab right away without any delay. But Zainab wanted to think about it and she went to her private place to pray. We know it is her private place because from the tafsir, it is implied that people needed her permission to enter, her bed room probably.

But the prophet could no longer hold his lust because he had been waiting for the iddah period which was 3 months, so he entered Zainab's private place without permission. It is not told what had happened in Zainab's private place, but we can make a good guess what will happen if a horny man comes to a woman's bed room. We can certainly say "only God knows" like what the bearded muslims say, but in this case, the prophet also knew what he was doing, right?

Not withholding his lust and being a sex maniac actually is a holy teaching from the prophet himself as shown in the hadits,
Muslim Book 008, Number 3241:
Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) saw a woman; and the rest of the hadith was narrated but (with this exception) that he said he came to his wife Zainab, who was tanning a (piece of) leather, and he made no mention of:" She retires in the shape of satan."
This case will force us to think that Qur'an is nothing more than the word of the holy prophet himself, not of Allah. Surprisingly, Qur'an does indeed say that it is the word of the prophet himself.
81:19 Verily this is the word of a most honourable Messenger,
We shouldn't deny this honourable ayah from the honourable messenger, should we?

Note:
1. All Qur'an verses are taken from Yusuf Ali's translation which can be found at http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA.
2. Tafsir Ibn Kathir can be found at http://www.theholybook.org.
3. Hadits Muslim can be found at http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA.
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Default Pedophilia Alive in Islam

Pedophilia Alive in Islam
Yemeni girl granted divorce at age 10

CASE SHEDS LIGHT ON CHILD BRIDES, LAWS

By Borzou Daragahi


SAN'A, Yemen - The little girl was waist-high, so small that the lawyers, clerks and judges hurrying through the courthouse almost missed her.
As lunchtime arrived and the crowds of noisy men and women cleared away, a curious judge asked her what she was doing sitting alone on a bench.

"I came to get a divorce," 10-year-old Nujood Ali told the jurist.
Her impoverished parents had married her off to a man more than three times her age, who beat her and forced her to have sex, she explained. When she told her father and mother that she wanted out of the marriage, they refused to help. So an aunt provided her with bus money to travel to court and seek a divorce.

Within days of that April 2 encounter, Nujood's tale and the plight of child brides in Yemen made international headlines. And thanks to the efforts of human rights lawyer Shada Nasser, who took up her cause, the girl at the center of the story has begun to overcome her trauma and dream of a better life
.
Common occurrence
Yemeni law sets the age of consent at 15. But tribal customs and interpretations of Islam often trump the law in this country of 23 million. A 2006 study conducted by Sana'a University reported that 52 percent of girls were married by age 18.
Publicity surrounding Nujood's case prompted calls to raise the legal age for marriage to 18 for both men and women. Yemen's conservative lawmakers refused to take it up. But the case sparked public discussion and newspaper headlines. Several more child brides came forward, including a girl who sought a divorce in the southern Yemeni city of Ibb this month.


"This case opened the door," Nasser said.

Nujood says that at first, she felt ashamed about what had happened to her. "But I passed through that," she said, eyes narrowing in her black head scarf.

"All I want now is to finish my education," she added, her mouth curling into a smile. "I want to be a lawyer."

Nujood's unemployed father, Ali Mohammed Ahdal, has two wives and 16 children. He is among the many tribal Yemenis who migrated to the capital over the last decades looking for work. Instead, he found misery.

He arranged to have Nujood married in February to Faez Ali Thamer, a 30-something motorcycle deliveryman from his native province, Hajja. Nujood's parents said they were trying to do what was best for their daughter and didn't even receive a dowry, a claim many Yemenis don't believe. The parents say the groom had promised he wouldn't have sex with her until she reached puberty.

"We asked him to raise her," said Shu'aieh, the girl's mother.
The groom has disputed that claim.

About 40 people attended the wedding in the village of Wadi La'a where the groom lived. As a wedding gift, she received three new dresses and a $20 wedding ring. She was to live with him and his family.

The trouble started on the first night, when he demanded that they share a mattress. She resisted, walking out of the room, only to have him follow. Sometimes he beat her into submission. For weeks, she cried all day and dreaded the nights, when he would enter the room, blow out the oil lamp and demand sex.

On a visit to her parents' house back in the capital weeks later, she wept that her husband was doing unmentionable things to her. Her father claimed there was nothing he could do.

"My cousins would have killed me if I dishonored the family by asking for a divorce," he said.

But her mother's sister discretely advised her to go to court.
The bewildered judge who found Nujood on the bench decided to bring her to his house for the weekend. His daughters had a swing and toys she'd never seen.

Once the work week began, the judge dispatched soldiers to arrest Nujood's father and husband. He placed Nujood in the care of an uncle, her mother's brother.

Legal quandary
Still the lawyers and judges had no idea how to handle her case. Nujood and her uncle languished in the courthouse for days until Nasser approached them.

Nasser vowed to Nujood that she would take her case without pay and that she would take care of her. She took her to her upscale home and offered to let her stay there.

Outraged, Nasser also called her contacts at the Yemen Times, the country's English-language newspaper. The story of the brave little girl who went to court on her own to stand up for her rights captivated the country. By the time a sympathetic judge agreed to hear her case several weeks later, media packed into the courtroom.

Verbally, Judge Mohammed Ghadi, was merciless to the husband.
"You could not find another woman to marry in all of Yemen?" he demanded.

But legally, there was little he could do. No provision in Yemeni law provides for enforcement of sexual abuse charges within a marriage. Not only did the husband and father go free, but Thamer demanded $250, the equivalent of four months salary for a poor Yemeni, in order to agree to a divorce. A sympathetic lawyer donated the cash.

Nujood was elated. "She was smiling," Nasser recalled. "She said, 'I want chocolate. I want pears, cake and toys.' "

Nasser bought her some new clothes. Donations began pouring in, with several wealthy Europeans offering to pay for her education.
When the controversy died down, Nujood insisted on going back to live with her parents again. Her father promised her that he would not marry off her or any of her sisters.


AH, the "Peace of Islam to Children"
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Dr. Ahmad Al-Mub'i, a Saudi Marriage Officiant:It Is Allowed to Marry a Girl at the Age of One, If Sex Is Postponed. The Prophet Muhammad, Whose Model We Follow, Married 'Aisha When She Was Six and Had Sex with Her When She Was Nine






Transcript:

Following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu'bi, a Saudi marriage officiant, which aired on LBC TV on June 19, 2008:

Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu'bi: Marriage is actually two things: First we are talking about the marriage contract itself. This is one thing, while consummating the marriage – having sex with the wife for the first time – is another thing. There is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a one-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of nine, seven, or eight. This is merely a contract [indicating] consent. The guardian in such a case must be the father, because the father's opinion is obligatory. Thus, the girl becomes a wife... But is the girl ready for sex or not? What is the appropriate age for having sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and traditions. In Yemen, girls are married off at nine, ten, eleven, eight, or thirteen, while in other countries, they are married off at 16. Some countries have legislated laws forbidding having sex before the girl is eighteen.

The Prophet Muhammad is the model we follow. He took 'Aisha to be his wife when she was six, but he had sex with her only when she was nine.

Interviewer: When she was six...

Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu'bi: He married her at the age of six, and he consummated the marriage, by having sex with her for the first time, when she was nine. We consider the Prophet Muhammad to be our model.

Interviewer: My question to you is whether the marriage of a 12-year-old boy with an 11-year-old girl is a logical marriage, which is permitted by Islamic law.

Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu'bi: If the guardian is the father... There are two different types of guardianship. If the guardian is the father, and he marries his daughter off to a man of appropriate standing, the marriage is obviously valid.
[...]
People find themselves in all kinds of circumstances. Take, for example, a man who has two, three, or four daughters. He does not have any wives, but he needs to go on a trip. Isn't it better to marry his daughter to a man, who will protect and sustain her, and when she reaches the proper age, he will have sex with her? Who says all men are ferocious wolves?
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‘Isa, the Muslim Jesus




by Dr Mark Durie
"The word Christian is not a valid word, for there is no religion of Christianity according to Islam". — www.answering-christianity.com
Today we increasingly hear and read that Christianity and Islam ‘share’ Jesus, that he belongs to both religions. So also with Abraham: there is talk of the West’s ‘Abrahamic civilization’ where once people spoke of ‘Judeo-Christian civilization’. This shift of thinking reflects the growing influence of Islam.

These notes offer some information and reflections on the ‘Muslim Jesus’, to help put this trend in its proper context.

References in brackets are to the Qur’an. Numbering systems for the Qur’anic verses are not standardized: be prepared to search through nearby verses for the right one.

Islam the primordial faith
Islam regards itself, not as a subsequent faith to Judaism and Christianity, but as the primordial religion, the faith from which Judaism and Christianity are subsequent developments. In the Qur’an we read that Abraham ‘was not a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a monotheist, a Muslim’ (Âl 'Imran 3:66). So it is Muslims, and not Christians or Jews, who are the true representatives of the faith of Abraham to the world today. (Al-Baqarah 2:135)

The Biblical prophets were all Muslims
Many prophets of the past received the one religion of Islam. (Ash-Shura 42:13) Who were these previous prophets? According to Al-An’am 6:85-87 they include Ibrahim (Abraham), ‘Ishaq (Issac), Yaqub (Jacob), Nuh (Noah), Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Ayyub (Job), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses), Harun (Aaron), Zakariyya (Zachariah), Yahya (John the Baptist), ‘Isa (Jesus), Ilyas, Ishmael, Al-Yash’a (Elisha), Yunus (Jonah) and Lut (Lot).

The Muslim ‘Isa (Jesus)
There are two main sources for ‘Isa, the Muslim Jesus. The Qur’an gives a history of his life, whilst the Hadith collections — recollections of Muhammad’s words and deeds — establish his place in the Muslim understanding of the future.

The Qur’an
‘Isa, was a prophet of Islam
Jesus’ true name, according to the Qur’an, was ‘Isa. His message was pure Islam, surrender to Allah. (Âl 'Imran 3:84) Like all the Muslim prophets before him, and like Muhammad after him, ‘Isa was a lawgiver, and Christians should submit to his law. (Âl 'Imran 3:50; Al-Ma’idah 5:48) ‘Isa’s original disciples were also true Muslims, for they said ‘We believe. Bear witness that we have surrendered. We are Muslims.’ (Al-Ma’idah 5:111)

‘The Books’
Like other messengers of Islam before him, ‘Isa received his revelation of Islam in the form of a book. (Al-An’am 6:90) ‘Isa’s book is called the Injil or ‘gospel’. (Al-Ma’idah 5:46) The Torah was Moses’ book, and the Zabur (Psalms) were David’s book. So Jews and Christians are ‘people of the Book’. The one religion revealed in these books was Islam. (Âl 'Imran 3:18)
As with previous prophets, ‘Isa’s revelation verified previous prophets’ revelations. (Âl 'Imran 3:49,84; Al-Ma’idah 5:46; As-Saff 61:6) Muhammad himself verified all previous revelations, including the revelation to ‘Isa (An-Nisa’ 4:47), and so Muslims must believe in the revelation which ‘Isa received. (Al-Baqarah 2:136) However, after ‘Isa the Injil was lost in its original form. Today the Qur’an is the only sure guide to ‘Isa’s teaching.

The biography of ‘Isa
According to the Qur’an, ‘Isa was the Messiah. He was supported by the ‘Holy Spirit’. (Al-Baqarah 2:87; Al-Ma’idah 5:110) He is also referred to as the ‘Word of Allah’. (An-Nisa’ 4:171)

‘Isa’s mother Mariam was the daughter of ‘Imran, (Âl 'Imran 3:34,35) — cf the Amram of Exodus 6:20 — and the sister of Aaron (and Moses). (Maryam 19:28) She was fostered by Zachariah (father of John the Baptist). (Âl 'Imran 3:36) While still a virgin (Al-An’am 6:12; Maryam 19:19-21) Mariam gave birth to ‘Isa alone in a desolate place under a date palm tree. (Maryam 19:22ff) (Not in Bethlehem).

‘Isa spoke whilst still a baby in his cradle. (Âl 'Imran 3:46; Al-Ma’idah 5:110; Maryam 19:30) He performed various other miracles, including breathing life into clay birds, healing the blind and lepers, and raising the dead. (Âl 'Imran 3:49; Al-Ma’idah 5:111) He also foretold the coming of Muhammad. (As-Saff 61:6)

‘Isa did not die on a cross
Christians and Jews have corrupted their scriptures. (Âl 'Imran 3:74-77, 113) Although Christians believe ‘Isa died on a cross, and Jews claim they killed him, in reality he was not killed or crucified, and those who said he was crucified lied (An-Nisa’ 4:157). ‘Isa did not die, but ascended to Allah. (An-Nisa’ 4:158) On the day of Resurrection ‘Isa himself will be a witness against Jews and Christians for believing in his death. (An-Nisa’ 4:159)

Christians should accept Islam, and all true Christians will
Christians (and Jews) could not be freed from their ignorance until Muhammad came bringing the Qur’an as clear evidence (Al-Bayyinah 98:1). Muhammad was Allah’s gift to Christians to correct misunderstandings. They should accept Muhammad as Allah’s Messenger, and the Qur’an as his final revelation. (Al-Ma’idah 5:15; Al-Hadid 57:28; An-Nisa’ 4:47)

Some Christians and Jews are faithful and believe truly. (Âl 'Imran 3:113,114) Any such true believers will submit to Allah by accepting Muhammad as the prophet of Islam, i.e. they will become Muslims. (Âl 'Imran 3:198)

Although Jews and pagans will have the greatest enmity against Muslims, it is the Christians who will be ‘nearest in love to the believers’, i.e. to Muslims. (Al-Ma’idah 5:82) True Christians will not love Muhammad’s enemies. (Al-Mujadilah 58:22) In other words, anyone who opposes Muhammad is not a true Christian.

Christians who accept Islam or refuse it
Some Jews and Christians are true believers, accepting Islam: most are transgressors. (Âl 'Imran 3:109)

Many monks and rabbis are greedy for wealth and prevent people from coming to Allah. (At-Taubah 9:34,35)

Christians and Jews who disbelieve in Muhammad will go to hell. (Al-Bayyinah 98:6)

Muslims should not take Christians or Jews for friends. (Al-Ma’idah 5:51) They must fight against Christians and Jews who refuse Islam until they surrender, pay the poll-tax and are humiliated. (At-Taubah 9:29) To this may be added hundreds of Qur’anic verses on the subject of jihad in the path of Allah, as well as the ‘Book of Jihad’ found in all Hadith collections.

Christian beliefs
Christians are commanded not to believe that ‘Isa is the son of God: ‘It is far removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son’. (An-Nisa’ 4:171; Al-Furqan 25:2) ‘Isa was simply a created human being, and a slave of Allah. (An-Nisa’ 4:172; Âl 'Imran 3:59)

Christians are claimed by the Qur’an to believe in a family of gods — Father God, mother Mary and ‘Isa the son — but ‘Isa rejected this teaching. (Al-Ma’idah 5:116) The doctrine of the Trinity is disbelief and a painful doom awaits those who believe it. (Al-Ma’idah 5:73)

‘Isa (Jesus) in the Hadith
‘Isa the destroyer of Christianity
The prophet ‘Isa will have an important role in the end times, establishing Islam and making war until he destroys all religions save Islam. He shall kill the Evil One (Dajjal), an apocalyptic anti-Christ figure.

In one tradition of Muhammad we read that no further prophets will come to earth until ‘Isa returns as ‘a man of medium height, or reddish complexion, wearing two light garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head although it will not be wet. He will fight for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill pigs, and abolish the poll-tax. Allah will destroy all religions except Islam. He (‘Isa) will destroy the Evil One and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die’. (Sunan Abu Dawud, 37:4310) The Sahih Muslim has a variant of this tradition: ‘The son of Mary ... will soon descend among you as a just judge. He will ... abolish the poll-tax, and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept charitable gifts.’ (Sahih Muslim 287)

What do these sayings mean? The cross is a symbol of Christianity. Breaking crosses means abolishing Christianity. Pigs are associated with Christians. Killing them is another way of speaking of the destruction of Christianity. Under Islamic law the poll-tax buys the protection of the lives and property of conquered ‘people of the Book’. (At-Taubah 9:29) The abolition of the poll-tax means jihad is restarted against Christians (and Jews) living under Islam, who should convert to Islam, or else be killed or enslaved. The abundance of wealth refers to booty flowing to the Muslims from this conquest. This is what the Muslim ‘Isa will do when he returns in the last days.



Muslim jurists confirm these interpretations: consider, for example, the ruling of Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 1368).
"... the time and the place for [the poll tax] is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace). After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus' descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace) ..." (The Reliance of the Traveller. Trans. Nuh Ha Mim Keller, p. 603).
Ibn Naqib goes on to state that when Jesus returns, he will rule ‘as a follower’ of Muhammad.

Critical Comments on the Muslim ‘Isa (Jesus)

‘Isa not an historical figure
The Qur’an’s ‘Isa is not an historical figure. His identity and role as a prophet of Islam is based solely on supposed revelations to Muhammad over half a millennium after the Jesus of history lived and died.

Jesus’ name was never ‘Isa
Jesus’ mother tongue was Aramaic. In his own lifetime he was called Yeshua in Aramaic, and Jesu in Greek. This is like calling the same person John when speaking English and Jean when speaking French: Jesu, pronounced "Yesoo", is the Greek form of Aramaic Yeshua. (The final -s in Jesu-s is a Greek grammatical ending.) Yeshua is itself a form of Hebrew Yehoshua’, which means ‘the Lord is salvation’. However Yehoshua’ is normally given in English as Joshua. So Joshua and Jesus are variants of the same name.

It is interesting that Jesus' name Yehoshua’ contains within it the proper Hebrew name for God, the first syllable Yeh- being short for YHWH ‘the LORD’.

Yeshua of Nazareth was never called ‘Isa, the name the Qur’an gives to him. Arab-speaking Christians refer to Jesus as Yasou’ (from Yeshua) not ‘Isa.

Jesus did not receive a ‘book’
According to the Qur’an, the ‘book’ revealed to ‘Isa was the Injil. The word Injil is a corrupted form of the Greek euanggelion ‘good news’ or gospel. What was this euanggelion? This was just how Jesus referred to his message: as good news. The expression euanggelion did not refer to a fixed revealed text, and there is absolutely no evidence that Jesus received a ‘book’ of revelation from God.

The ‘gospels’ of the Bible are biographies
The term euanggelion later came to be used as a title for the four biographies of Jesus written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the ‘gospels’. This was a secondary development of meaning. Apparently this is where Muhammad got his mistaken idea of the Injil being a ‘book’.

Most so-called prophets of Islam received no book
Virtually all of the so-called ‘prophets’ of Islam, whose names are taken from the Hebrew scriptures, received no ‘book’ or law code. For example, the Psalms are not a book revealing Islam, as the Qur’an claims, but a collection of songs of worship, only some of which are David’s. There is not a shred of evidence in the Biblical history of David that he received a book of laws for the Israelites. They already had the Torah of Moses to follow. So David was not a prophet in the Qur’an’s sense of this word. Likewise most of the prophets claimed by Islam were neither lawgivers nor rulers.

Biblical prophecy and Islamic prophecy are not the same thing
The Biblical understanding of prophecy is quite different from Muhammad’s. A Biblical prophecy is not regarded as a passage from a heavenly eternally pre-existent text like the Qur’an, but a message from God for a specific time and place. A biblical prophet is someone to whom God reveals hidden things, and who then acts as God’s verbal agent. When a Samaritan woman called Jesus a prophet (John 4:19) it was because he had spoken about things in her life that he could only have known supernaturally. Christianity teaches that Jesus was a prophet, but he brought no ‘book’: he himself was the living ‘Word of God’, a title used of ‘Isa in the Qur’an.
By no means all prophecies referred to in the Bible became part of the Biblical text. The Bible consists of a wide variety of materials originally written for many different purposes, including letters, songs, love poetry, historical narratives, legal texts, proverbial wisdom as well as prophetic passages. These are regarded as inspired by God, but not dictated from a timeless heavenly book.

As prophetic history, the Qur’an contains many errors and anachronisms
The claim that Jesus was not executed by crucifixion is without any historical support. One of the things that all the early sources agree on is Jesus’ crucifixion.

Mariam the mother of ‘Isa is called a sister of Aaron, and also the daughter of Aaron’s father ‘Imran (Hebr. Amram). Clearly Muhammad has confused Mary (Hebr. Miriam) with Miriam of the Exodus. The two lived more than a thousand years apart!

In the Bible Haman is the minister of Ahasuerus in Media and Persia (The Book of Esther 3:1-2). Yet the Qur’an places him over a thousand years earlier, as a minister of Pharoah in Egypt.

The claim that Christians believe in three Gods — Father, son Jesus and mother Mary — is mistaken. The Qur’an is also mistaken to claim that Jews say Ezra was a son of God. (At-Taubah 9:30) The charge of polytheism against Christianity and Judaism is ill-informed and false. (Deuteronomy 6:4, James 2:19a)

The story of the ‘two horned one’ (Al-Kahf 18:82 cf also Daniel 8:3, 20-21) is derived from the Romance of Alexander. Certainly Alexander the Great was no Muslim.

The problem with the name ‘Isa has already been discussed. Other Biblical names are also misunderstood in the Qur’an, and their meanings lost. For example Elisha, which means ‘God is salvation’, is given in the Qur’an as al-Yash’a, turning El ‘God’ into al- ‘the’. (Islamic tradition did the same to Alexander the Great, calling him al-Iskandar ‘the Iskander’). Abraham ‘Father of many’ (cf Genesis 17:5) might have been better represented as something like Aburahim ‘father of mercy’ instead of Ibrahim, which has no meaning in Arabic at all.

The Qur’an has a Samaritan making the golden calf, which was worshipped by the Israelites in the wilderness (Ta Ha 20:85) during the Exodus. In fact it was Aaron (Exodus 34:1-6). The Samaritans did not exist until several centuries later. They were descendants of the northern Israelites centuries after the Exodus.

Many Qur’anic stories can be traced to Jewish and Christian folktales and other apocryphal literature. For example a story of Abraham destroying idols (As-Saffat 37) is found in a Jewish folktale, the Midrash Rabbah. The Qur’anic story of Zachariah, father of John the Baptist, is based upon a second-century Christian fable. The story of Jesus being born under a palm tree is also based on a late fable, as is the story of Jesus making clay birds come alive. Everything the Qur’an says about the life of Jesus which is not found in the Bible can be traced to fables composed more than a hundred years after Jesus’ death.

Jesus’ titles of Messiah and Word of God, which the Qur’an uses, find no explanation in the Qur’an. Yet in the Bible, from which they are taken, these titles are well integrated in a whole theological system.

The Qur’an mentions the Holy Spirit in connection with Jesus, using phrases which come from the gospels. Ibn Ishaq (Life of Muhammad) reports Muhammad as saying that this ‘Spirit’ was the angel Gabriel (cf also An-Nahl 16:102, Al-Baqarah 2:97). However the Biblical phrase ‘Spirit of God’ (Ruach Elohim) or ‘Holy Spirit’ can only be understood in light of the Hebrew scriptures. It certainly does not refer to an angel.

Jesus’ alleged foretelling of Muhammad’s coming (As-Saff 61:6) appears to be based on a garbled reading of John 14:26, a passage which in fact refers to the Spirit.

The Hebrew scriptures were Jesus’ Bible. He affirmed their authority and reliability and preached from them. From these same scriptures he knew God as Adonai Elohim, the Lord God of Israel. He did not call God Allah, which appears to have been the name or title of a pagan Arabian deity worshipped in Mecca before Muhammad. Muhammad's pagan father, who died before Muhammad was born, already bore the name ‘Abd Allah ‘slave of Allah’, and his uncle was called Obeid Allah.


We read that An-Najm 53:19-23 seeks to refute the pagan Arab belief that Allah had daughters named al-Uzza, al-Ilat and Manat. (See also An-Nahl 16:57 and Al-An’am 6:100).
The Biblical narratives are rich with historical details, many confirmed by archaeology. They cover more than a thousand years, and reveal a long process of technological and cultural development. In contrast the Qur’an’s sacred history is devoid of archaeological support. Its fragmentary and disjointed stories offer no authentic reflection of historical cultures. No place name from ancient Israel is mentioned, not even Jerusalem. Many of the supposed historical events reported in the Qur’an have no independent verification. For example we are told that Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba in Mecca (Al-Baqarah 2:127), but this is totally without support. The Biblical account, more than a thousand years older, does not place Abraham anywhere near Arabia.

The Qur’an is not a credible source for Biblical history
The Qur’an, written in the 7th century AD, cannot be regarded as having any authority whatsoever to inform us about Jesus of Nazareth. It offers no evidence for its claims about biblical history. Its numerous historical errors reflect a garbled understanding of the Bible.

Islam appropriates the history of Judaism and Christianity to itself
When Muhammad linked the name of Allah to the religious histories of Judaism and Christianity, this was a way to claim them for Islam. In the light of later events, the claim that Islam was the original religion, and that all preceding prophets were Muslims, can be regarded as an attempt to appropriate the histories of other religions for Islam. The effect is to rob Christianity and Judaism of their own histories.

Consider that many Biblical sites, such as the tombs of the Hebrew Patriarchs and the Temple Mount, are claimed by Islam as Muslim sites, not Jewish or Christian ones. After all, the Qur’an tells us that Abraham ‘was a Muslim’. Under Islamic rule all Jews and Christians were banned from such sites.

The place of the Jewish scriptures in Christianity is completely different from the place of the Bible in Islam
There is a fundamental difference between Christian attitudes to the Jewish scriptures and Islamic attitudes to the Bible. Christians accept the Hebrew scriptures. They were the scriptures of Jesus and the apostles. They were the scriptures of the early church. The whole of Christian belief and practice rests upon them. Core Christian concepts such as ‘Messiah’ (Greek ‘Christos’), ‘Spirit of God’, ‘Kingdom of God’ and ‘salvation’ are deeply rooted in the Hebrew Biblical traditions.

We note also that Christian seminaries devote considerable effort to studying the Hebrew scriptures. This is an integral part of training for Christian ministry. The Hebrew scriptures are read (in translation) every Sunday in many churches all around the world.

In contrast Islam’s treatment of the Bible is one of complete disregard. Although it purports to ‘verify’ all earlier prophetic revelation, the Qur’an is oblivious to the real contents of the Bible. The claim that Christians and Jews deliberately corrupted their scriptures is made without evidence, and this only serves to cover up the Qur’an’s historical inadequacies. Muslim scholars rarely have an informed understanding of the Bible or of biblical theology and so remain ignorant of these realities.

Some contemporary Muslim voices on Jesus
Yasser Arafat, addressing a press conference at the United Nations in 1983 called Jesus "the first Palestinian fedayeen who carried his sword" (i.e. he was a freedom fighter for Islam).

Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi, employee of the Palestinian Authority, broadcast live in April 2002 on Palestinian Authority television: "The Jews await the false Jewish messiah, while we await, with Allah's help... Jesus, peace be upon him. Jesus's pure hands will murder the false Jewish messiah. Where? In the city of Lod, in Palestine."



Author Shamim A. Siddiqi of Flushing, New York put the classical position of Islam towards Christianity clearly in a recent letter to Daniel Pipes, New York Post columnist:
"Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad were all prophets of Islam. Islam is the common heritage of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim community of America, and establishing the Kingdom of God is the joint responsibility of all three Abrahamic faiths. Islam was the din (faith, way of life) of both Jews and Christians, who later lost it through human innovations. Now the Muslims want to remind their Jewish and Christian brothers and sisters of their original din [religion]. These are the facts of history."
This historical negationism — appearing to affirm Christianity and Judaism whilst in fact rejecting and supplanting them — is a lynchpin of Muslim apologetics. What is being affirmed is in fact neither Christianity nor Judaism, but Jesus as a prophet of Islam, Moses as a Muslim etc. This is intended to lead to ‘reversion’ of Christians and Jews to Islam, which is what Siddiqi refers to when he speaks of ‘the joint responsibility’ of Jews and Christians to establish ‘the Kingdom of God’. By this he means that American Christians and Jews should work to establish shari’ah law and the rule of Islam in the United States.

Conclusion
‘Isa (Jesus) of the Qur’an is a product of fable, imagination and ignorance. When Muslims venerate this ‘Isa, they have someone different in mind from the Yeshua or Jesus of the Bible and of history. The ‘Isa of the Qur’an is based on no recognized form of historical evidence, but on fables current in seventh century Arabia.

For most faithful Muslims ‘Isa is the only Jesus they know. But if one accepts this Muslim ‘Jesus’, then one also accepts the Qur’an: one accepts Islam. Belief in this ‘Isa is won at the cost of the libel that Jews and Christians have corrupted their scriptures, a charge that is without historical support. Belief in this ‘Isa implies that much of Christian and Jewish history is in fact Islamic history.

The Jesus of the gospels is the base upon which Christianity developed. By Islamicizing him, and making of him a Muslim prophet who preached the Qur’an, Islam destroys Christianity and takes over all its history. It does the same to Judaism.

In the end times as described by Muhammad, ‘Isa becomes a warrior who will return with his sword and lance. He will destroy the Christian religion and make Islam the only religion in all the world. Finally at the last judgement he will condemn Christians to hell for believing in the crucifixion and the incarnation.



This final act of the Muslim ‘Isa reflects Islam’s apologetic strategy in relation to Christianity, which is to deny the Yeshua of history, and replace him with a facsimile of Muhammad, so that nothing remains but Islam.
"The Muslim supersessionist current claims that the whole biblical history of Israel and Christianity is Islamic history, that all the Prophets, Kings of Israel and Judea, and Jesus were Muslims. That the People of the Book should dare to challenge this statement is intolerable arrogance for an Islamic theologian. Jews and Christians are thus deprived of their Holy Scriptures and of their salvific value."
— Bat Ye’or in Islam and Dhimmitude: where civilizations collide, p.370.
APPENDIX: The historical evidence for Jesus (Yeshua)

of Nazareth and his death by crucifixion

Non-Christian sources for Jesus
• Tacitus (AD 55-120), a renowned historical of ancient Rome, wrote in the latter half of the first century that ‘Christus ... was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also.’ (Annals 15: 44).
• Suetonius writing around AD 120 tells of disturbances of the Jews at the ‘instigation of Chrestus’, during the time of the emperor Claudius. This could refer to Jesus, and appears to relate to the events of Acts 18:2, which took place in AD 49.
• Thallus, a secular historian writing perhaps around AD 52 refers to the death of Jesus in a discussion of the darkness over the land after his death. The original is lost, but Thallus’ arguments — explaining what happened as a solar eclipse — are referred to by Julius Africanus in the early 3rd century.
• Mara Bar-Serapion, a Syrian writing after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, mentions the earlier execution of Jesus, whom he calls a ‘King’.
• The Babylonian Talmud refers to the crucifixion (calling it a hanging) of Jesus the Nazarene on the eve of the Passover. In the Talmud Jesus is also called the illegitimate son of Mary.
• The Jewish historian Josephus describes Jesus’ crucifixion under Pilate in his Antiquities, written about AD 93/94. Josephus also refers to James the brother of Jesus and his execution during the time of Ananus (or Annas) the high priest.
Paul’s Epistles
• Paul’s epistles were written in the interval 20-30 years after Jesus’ death. They are valuable historical documents, not least because they contain credal confessions which undoubtedly date to the first few decades of the Christian community.
Paul became a believer in Jesus within a few years of Jesus’ crucifixion. He writes in his first letter to the Corinthians ‘For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he was seen by Cephas (Peter), then by the twelve.’ This makes clear that belief in the death of Jesus was there from the beginning of Christianity.
The four gospels
• The four gospels were written down in the period 20-60 years after Jesus’ death, within living memory of the events they describe.
The events which the gospels describe for the most part took place in the full light of public scrutiny. Jesus’ teaching was followed by large crowds. There were very many witnesses to the events of his life. His death was a public execution.

Manuscript evidence for the Bible and its transmission
The manuscript evidence for the Greek scriptures is overwhelming, far greater than for all other ancient texts. Over 20,000 manuscripts attest to them. Whilst there are copying errors, as might be expected from the hand of copyists, these are almost all comparatively minor and the basic integrity of the copying process is richly supported.

Futhermore, when Western Christians studies the Hebrew scriptures during the Renaissance, they found them to agree remarkably closely with their Greek and Latin translations which had been copied again and again over a thousand years. There were copying errors, and some other minor changes, but no significant fabrications of the stupendous scale which would be required to concoct the story of Jesus’ death.

Likewise when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered they included Hebrew Biblical scrolls dating from before the time of Jesus. These too agreed very closely with the oldest Hebrew Masoretic manuscripts of more than a thousand years later. Again, no fabrications, but evidence of remarkably faithful copying.

Conclusion: Jesus of Nazareth is a figure of history
Clearly there are events recorded in connection with Jesus’ life that many non-Christians will not accept, such as the miracles, the virgin birth, and the resurrection. However what is beyond dispute is that Yeshua (‘Jesus’) of Nazareth was a figure of history, who lived, attracted a following in his life time amongst his fellow Jews and was executed by crucifixion by the Roman authorities, after which his followers spread rapidly. Both secular and Christian sources of the period agree on this.

The primary sources for the history of Jesus’ public life are the gospels. These were written down relatively soon after his death — within living memory — and we have every indication that these sources were accepted as reliable in the early Christian community, during a period when first and second hand witnesses to Jesus’ life were still available.
We conclude that any statements about ‘Isa (Jesus) in the Qur’an, made six centuries after Jesus’ death, must be judged against the historical evidence from these first century sources, and not vice versa.

Some useful discussions of these issues are found at:
http://www.debate.org.uk/topics/theo/islam_christ.html
http://www.debate.org.uk/topics/theo/qur-jes.htm
http://www.answering-islam.org/Intro/replacing.html

Further reading: The Jesus I never knew, by Philip Yancey.
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Deceptive God, Incompetent Messiah

What Islam Really Teaches About Allah and Jesus



For nearly two thousand years, Christians have proclaimed Jesus’ death and resurrection. Islam rejects both of these doctrines and offers a different account of what happened at the cross and afterwards. However, the Muslim explanation comes at a tremendous price: Their version of the story portrays God as a horrible deceiver, and Jesus as the most stupendous failure in the history of the prophets. Hence, while Muslims claim that “Allah is Truth”[1] and that Jesus is to be revered as one of Allah’s mightiest prophets, these claims are hollow, for Islamic dogma comes with a great deal of heresy.

Allah Starts Christianity . . . By Accident
If we examine the teachings of Islam, we find that Allah not only started Christianity, but also made Christianity the world’s dominant religion. This fact should seem strange to everyone, for Muslims believe that Christianity is a false religion. Of course, Muslims will respond by arguing that Christianity is a false religion because it was corrupted by man, but that in its original state it was the message of Allah given to Jesus the son of Mary.

While there isn’t a shred of evidence that the followers of Jesus ever believed anything similar to Islam, this is beside the point. According to Islam, Christianity was corrupted by Allah himself. To understand why Islam demands such a view, let us review a few facts.


FACT #1: The Qur’an states that Jesus was a messenger of Allah and a prophet of Islam. Indeed, Surah 19 tells us that Jesus began preaching Islamic theology the moment he was born:
And the throes (of childbirth) compelled [Mary] to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! Then (the child [i.e. the infant Jesus]) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you; And shake towards you the trunk of the palmtree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates: So eat and drink and refresh the eye. . . . Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live; And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed; And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.[2]
Jesus continued to preach the message of God throughout his life, until he was taken to heaven. According to the Qur’an, the Gospel that Jesus brought was no different from the message of the prophets before him. Jesus, a servant and prophet of God, preached Islam:
The same religion has He Established for you as that Which He enjoined on Noah—That which We have sent By inspiration to thee—And that which We enjoined On Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain Steadfast in Religion, and make No divisions therein.[3]
[Jesus] was no more than A servant: We granted Our favour to him, And We made him An example to the Children of Israel. . . . When Jesus came With Clear Signs, he said: “Now have I come To you with Wisdom, And in order to make Clear to you some Of the (points) on which Ye dispute: therefore fear Allah And obey me. For Allah, He is my Lord And your Lord: so worship Ye Him: this is A Straight Way.”[4]
Thus, Jesus spent approximately 33 years, from his birth to his ascension, preaching Islam to the children of Israel. Prior to his apparent crucifixion, his preaching was moderately successful, as the conversion of some of his listeners indicates.


FACT #2: The Qur’an states that Jesus won a number of followers. Since Jesus spent his entire life preaching an early form of Islam, his message to his disciples must have centered around the basic tenets of Islamic theology. These disciples would have become something similar to Muslims, which is exactly what Islam teaches about Jesus’ followers:
When Jesus found Unbelief on their [i.e. the Jews’] Part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work Of) Allah?” Said the Disciples: “We are Allah’s helpers: We believe in Allah, And do thou bear witness That we are Muslims.”[5]
And behold! I inspired The Disciples [of Jesus] to have faith In Me and Mine Messenger; They said, “We have faith, And do thou bear witness That we bow to Allah As Muslims.”[6]
Then, in their wake, We followed them up With (others of) Our messengers: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, And bestowed on him The Gospel; and We ordained In the hearts of those Who followed him Compassion and Mercy.[7]
If the Qur’an is correct, then Jesus converted at least some of the children of Israel to Islam. Though there is absolutely no historical evidence for any such conversions, let us assume for the sake of argument that there were first century Jews who believed the message of Jesus and became Muslims. As we shall see, this assumption only presents problems for Muslim apologists.


FACT #3: If there were first-century Jews who converted to Islam at the preaching of Jesus, they didn’t last very long. The idea that Jesus’ earliest followers were Muslims raises an obvious question: Why have we never heard of any Muslims existing in the first century? We have a great deal of historical information about Jesus’ first-century followers, but we have no evidence at all of any Muslims. Defenders of Islam will most likely claim here that Christianity wiped out all the records of Jesus’ non-Christian followers, but such a view is absurd. We have both Christian and non-Christian sources that report early Christian beliefs, yet none of these sources mention the existence of any Muslim-Christians. At the very least, we can say with absolute certainty that Jesus’ death was well-known among ancient authorities, and that Jesus’ earliest followers—including Peter, James, and John—came to believe that Jesus had died on the cross for their sins and that he had risen from the dead. (We also know that the disciples held Jesus to be the divine Son of God, but this isn’t necessary for my argument.) All four New Testament Gospels confirm the early Christian belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection, as does the book of Acts. Paul’s letters also repeatedly proclaim Jesus’ death and resurrection. Further, an ancient creed recorded in 1 Corinthians 15 has been dated to within a few years of Jesus’ life and therefore provides extremely early testimony about Christian beliefs during the time of the apostles. It reads:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the twelve.[8]
We also have early Christian writings from outside the New Testament that report the beliefs of Jesus’ followers. For instance, Clement of Rome, who was ordained as Bishop of Rome by the Apostle Peter, writes about the apostles’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.[9] Polycarp, who was ordained by the Apostle John, mentions Jesus’ resurrection numerous times.[10] There are even several ancient non-Christian sources that report crucial information about Jesus and the apostles. According to both the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus, Jesus was crucified during the reign of Pontius Pilate.[11] Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist, states, “The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account.”[12] Even the Jewish Talmud reports the crucifixion of Jesus.[13]

Hence, the most reasonable interpretation of the data is that the Qur’an is wrong when it says (1) that Jesus never died and (2) that Jesus’ early followers were Muslims. Nevertheless, let us be generous and grant, in spite of the facts, that there were a number of first-century Muslims, but that all evidence of their existence was later destroyed by Christians. Even if we grant such an outlandish assumption, this still presents Muslims with an enormous problem: What happened to these first-century Muslims? Why was Islam replaced by belief in Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection from the dead? Why didn’t Jesus’ 33 years of preaching amount to anything that lasted?

Muslims will most likely respond to these questions by arguing, once again, that Christianity corrupted Jesus’ message and that the Christian church erased all memory of Jesus’ Islamic teachings. However, no true Muslim should accept this position, for it conceals the true Qur’anic account of what happened.


FACT #4: The Qur’an states that Allah deceived people into believing that Jesus had died on the cross. According to the Qur’an, Jesus was able to convert at least some Jews to Islam. But we know from history that Jesus’ early followers became convinced of his death and resurrection. Hence, the obvious reason that there were no Muslims after Jesus ascended into heaven is that all of Jesus’ followers came to believe that he died on the cross and rose from the dead. And where did they get this idea? According to Islam, the idea that Jesus died on the cross was started by Allah:
That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah”—But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, But so it was made To appear to them, And those who differ Therein are full of doubts, With no (certain) knowledge, But only conjecture to follow, For of a surety They killed him not—Nay, Allah raised him up Unto Himself; and Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise.[14]
Even if we allow that Allah’s only goal was to deceive the people who wanted to kill Jesus, it is clear that the disciples also fell for Allah’s deception. So who is responsible for the Christian belief that Jesus died on the cross? If Islam is correct, God started this idea when he decided to trick Jesus’ enemies into thinking that they had killed Jesus. This leads to even more problems. If the deception of the disciples was unintentional, then we must conclude that God didn’t realize that he was about to start the largest false religion in the world. If it was intentional, then God is in the business of starting false religions. Therefore, the God of Islam is either dreadfully ignorant or maliciously deceptive.

Muhammad’s position also means that Jesus was the greatest failure in the history of the prophets. He spent 33 years preaching (again, he began preaching Islamic theology at birth), yet shortly after his death, the children of Israel were divided into two broad camps. Those who believed his message became Christians, all of whom were guilty of the worst sin imaginable (shirk[15]), while those who rejected his message were guilty of rejecting one of God’s greatest messengers. Thus, whether people believed in Jesus or rejected him, everyone would ultimately be condemned and cast into the hellfire. It’s strange, then, that Muslims consider Jesus to be one of the greatest prophets ever. It seems that he should have been able to win at least one lasting convert to Islam. But he didn’t. Further, a true prophet of Islam should have warned his followers not to turn away from Islam by falling for God’s deception. But Jesus never got that message across. Indeed, millions of people from around the world now refuse to accept Islam because they believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, a teaching that goes back to a deceptive God and an incompetent Messiah.

Allah Spreads the False Religion He Accidentally Started
If we follow the teachings of Islam through to their logical conclusion, we see that God either intentionally or unintentionally started Christianity. But the Qur’an doesn’t stop there. Instead of correcting the mess he made, Allah took Christianity to the next level.


FACT #5: The Qur’an states that Allah helped spread Christianity. Once God had caused belief in Jesus death and resurrection, he then worked diligently to aid the Christians in spreading their false message:
O you who believe! be helpers (in the cause) of Allah, as [Jesus] son of Marium said to (his) disciples: Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the cause) of Allah. So a party of the children of Israel believed and another party disbelieved; then We aided those who believed against their enemy, and they became uppermost.[16]
This verse is extremely important, for it means that Allah helped the followers of Jesus against the Jews who rejected Jesus, and that these followers “became uppermost.” So who were these followers of Jesus who became stronger than the Jews? The only people in history who fit such a description are orthodox Christians, who believe in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and divinity. In other words, Muslims can’t claim here that Jesus’ message was corrupted and that the true Gospel was wiped out, because that clearly isn’t the group that the Qur’an refers to in this passage. Even if there was a group of first century Muslim-Christians, this group never gained an upper hand over anyone. Indeed, they must have been snuffed out immediately. The only group of Jesus’ followers that ever became strong enough to overshadow the Jews was composed of Christians, once Christianity had spread throughout the Roman Empire. These Christians believed in the foundational doctrines that Christians hold even today. Yet, according to the Qur’an, Allah helped these people rise to power!

How, then, did Christianity spread and become the dominant world religion? It spread by the power of Allah! And who started the Christian message about Jesus’ death on the cross? God invented this message! Even non-Christian historians are convinced that Jesus’ death is one of history’s best-established facts.[17] Where did historians get this idea? They got it from God, who tricked so many people into believing in Jesus’ death that we now have tons of historical evidence for this event. Since there are roughly two billion Christians on earth at the present moment, it seems that Jesus and God are responsible for starting the only religion in the world that overshadows Islam.

If Islam Is True . . .
Needless to say, I think the Islamic view is extremely problematic. It requires us to believe that God deceived billions of people. God even led Jesus’ followers astray by tricking so many people into believing that Jesus died. This could have been avoided if God hadn’t been so intent on deceiving people. But this leads to more questions: Why would God want people to believe that Jesus was dead when he really wasn’t? Muslims can’t argue that God did it to protect Jesus from the Jews or Romans, since God was taking Jesus away safely anyway. So, why would God want to give Jesus’ enemies the satisfaction of seeing Jesus killed? Why not raise Jesus up without deceiving everyone about it? There seems to be no reason at all for God to deceive these people, especially since such a deception would soon lead to the formation of Christianity.

This is a difficult pill to swallow, yet Islam forces us to view the origin of Christianity in this way. If Islam is true, God deceives people who believe the prophets he sends. If Islam is true, God spreads false teachings until they become dominant in the world. If Islam is true, Jesus, the Messiah, was completely incompetent and should never have been sent by God, since Jesus’ life ended up leading more people astray than any other life in history. Because the Muslim view is at odds with any traditional understanding of God’s nature (including the Islamic understanding), Islam is an incoherent religious system, which should be rejected by all rational people. Islam has a poor and contemptible explanation for the origin of Christianity. If Islam is true, the existence of Christianity makes no sense at all.

If Christianity Is True . . .
Christianity, on the other hand, easily accounts for the rise of Islam. Indeed, if Christianity is true, the rise of Islam makes perfect sense. If it isn’t immediately clear why Christianity entails the rise of religions such as Islam, consider the following line of thought.


If Christianity is true, then the following statements are also true:
(1) People can only come to God through Jesus Christ.
(2) Satan is a real spirit being who wants to keep people from God.[18]
With these statements in mind, let’s see if we can figure out a little something about Satan. Now, if Satan wants to keep people from God, and if the way to God is through Jesus Christ, what would Satan’s highest priority be? His main goal wouldn’t be to get people to lead immoral lives (though he would prefer that we do, since this corrupts God’s created order); instead, his primary aim would be to incite people to reject Christ, for this rejection is what keeps them separated from God.

But how would Satan convince people to reject Christ? We should note here that there are plenty of people in the world who simply don’t care about God. Satan doesn’t have to worry about them, because they aren’t interested in salvation anyway. Since his goal is to keep as many people from God as possible, we would expect Satan to be more focused on people who are to some extent concerned with religious matters. There are two ways to keep such people from God. Satan would either have to convince them that all “religious talk” is nonsense (i.e. by spreading secularism, which we see around the world) or he would have to offer them a substitute for the truth (i.e. a religion that rejects what is necessary for salvation).

Thus, if Christianity is true, we would expect Satan to inspire religions that reject Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, even though these religions may be similar to Christianity in other (non-essential) respects. Now that we have a clear picture of what we would predict if Christianity were true, let us see how Islam matches up with our prediction.

The message of Islam is something like this: “Believe in God. Do good deeds. If you do enough of them, you’ll get to heaven. Respect Jesus, for he was a mighty prophet, who delivered God’s message to the children of Israel. Also believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he performed many miracles, and that he was the Messiah. But whatever you do, don’t believe that he died on the cross for your sins. And don’t believe that he rose from the dead. In fact, the worst possible sin you can commit is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” Notice that Islam rejects Christianity’s essential requirements for salvation while accepting certain other doctrines. For instance, Muslims are commanded to believe in God, but even Satan and his demons believe in God. Muslims are commanded to do good deeds, but all religions teach this. Muslims are allowed to believe certain things about Jesus (such as his prophet status and virgin birth), but these beliefs do not save a person. Yet when we come to beliefs that are essential for salvation—the deity of Christ, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead—we find that Islam is violently opposed to these crucial doctrines.[19] Islam, then, looks exactly like the religion we predicted that Satan would form, for it denies what is necessary for people to come to God.

There is, of course, an easier way for us to see that Christianity predicts the rise of Islam. We can look at some of the prophecies in the Bible. For example, Jesus said that “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.”[20] Paul added that some people would follow “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”[21] (The phrase “deceitful spirit” is reminiscent of the Qur’anic claim that Allah deceived people about the death of Jesus.) The Bible warns over and over again that false teachers and false prophets would come in order to distort the Gospel. Apparently, few people in Muhammad’s time heeded this warning.

Final Thoughts
Throughout history, many people have claimed to be prophets. Indeed, there are many self-proclaimed prophets even today, and there will be more tomorrow. Suppose a prophet arises at some point in the future, one who claims to have a new revelation from God.[22] Both Muslims and Christians would reject him. But suppose this prophet says to Muslims, “Brothers, you have believed in the teachings of Muhammad, but I’m here to tell you that Islam was started by God to deceive people. The pagans in Arabia were doing awful things, such as killing their daughters and marrying hundreds of women. God decided to punish them by leading them astray and making all of you believe something that isn’t true. But I’m here to tell you the truth! I am God’s greatest prophet, sent to rescue you from evil!” Would Muslims believe him? Most certainly wouldn’t. But why would Muslims reject this new prophet? They would reject him because they would refuse to believe that God knowingly deceived millions of people. Yet this is exactly what Muslims believe when it comes to the death of Jesus. So if Muslims believe in a God who deceives people, even those who follow his prophets, how can Muslims be confident that they have been given the truth?

Muslims boast about their reverence for God and their respect for the prophets. Yet, upon closer examination, we see that Islam accuses God of one of the greatest religious deceptions ever. This should cause us to pause and think for a moment. Why would a religion that prides itself on its view of God proclaim that God starts false religions? Why would people who claim to respect Jesus suggest that he was a tremendous failure? It appears that Islam is so incredibly desperate to destroy Christianity, that it doesn’t mind destroying itself. In other words, Islam can only explain away Jesus’ death and resurrection by making God out to be a deceiver, which destroys the Islamic conception of God. This desperation only makes sense if Christianity is true, and if Islam was designed by Satan to keep people from being saved.

Muslims can object to this all they want. They can continue to proclaim their devotion to God and their respect for his prophets. But there’s something strange about the way they explain Christianity. There’s something very odd about a God who leads the world astray. If Islam is true, God and Jesus are failures. But if Christianity is true, God and Jesus were victorious at the cross, for the door to salvation was opened to all, in spite of those who tried to keep the door shut.

Jesus warned his followers that false prophets would come. He also commanded us not to believe them. One of the ways we can spot false prophets is by carefully discerning when their teachings lead to unacceptable beliefs about God. God is Truth, and he is Love. Islam, when carefully examined, would have us believe otherwise.

Notes:
1 See Qur’an, 24:25. Unless otherwise noted, Qur’an quotations are taken from The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, tr. (Beltsville: Amana Publications, 1989).
2 Qur’an 19:23-26, 30-33, M. H. Shakir, tr. (Elmhurst: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an Inc., 2002).
3 Qur’an 42:13.
4 Qur’an 43:59, 63-64.
5 Qur’an 3:52.
6 Qur’an 5:111.
7 Qur’an 57:26.
8 1 Corinthians 15:3-5. All Bible quotations are from the New American Standard Bible.
9 See 1 Clement 42:3.
10 See Polycarp, To the Philippians 1:2, 2:1-2, 9:2, 12:2.
11 See Josephus, Antiquities 18.64, and Tacitus, Annals 15.44.
12 Lucian of Samosata, The Death of Peregrine, 11-13.
13 Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a.
14 Qur’an 4:157-158. According to Muslim tradition, Allah made Judas Iscariot look like Jesus, so that Judas was crucified in Jesus’ place.
15 To associate partners with God is to commit the sin of shirk.
16 Qur’an 61:14, M. H. Shakir Translation.
17 For instance, John Dominic Crossan, of the notoriously anti-Christian “Jesus Seminar,” says “That [Jesus] was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be” (Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography [San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1991] p. 145).
18 This spirit being is not to be confused with the popular image of a harmless red figure with a pointy tail and a pitchfork!
19 One may wonder why I have not included belief in God among the doctrines necessary for salvation. I’m certainly not denying the necessity of belief in God. However, I do draw a distinction between a necessary doctrine and a necessary and sufficient doctrine. Belief in God is necessary for salvation, but it is not sufficient to produce it. In contrast, the Christian doctrines of confession of the lordship of Christ and belief in his resurrection from the dead are necessary and sufficient. That is, these doctrines are sufficient to guarantee the salvation of the Christian. Yet it is these doctrines that Islam most vehemently opposes.
20 Matthew 24:11.
21 1 Timothy 4:1.
22 Even Islam has had its share of self-proclaimed new prophets. Most notably, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad announced his prophethood towards the end of the 19th Century. He also claimed to be the second coming of Jesus. Millions of people have followed him. However, the vast majority of Muslims consider these “Ahmadiyyas” to be a heretical sect. The Ahmadiyyas, though they profess to be Muslims, aren’t even allowed to take the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Ahmadiyya movement is significant in that Ahmadiyyas say that true Islam was corrupted, just as Muslims claim that Christianity was corrupted. Hence, Ahmadiyyas claim that God sent another prophet to restore the true message of God. Muslims reject this, because they don’t believe that Islam has been corrupted. They conclude that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad must have been a false prophet. But this is the same reason Christians reject Muhammad. We don’t believe that Christianity has been corrupted, so Muhammad must have been a false prophet.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Old 08-04-2008, 03:57 AM
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The Muslim Jesus

http://www.answering-islam.org/Autho...slim_jesus.htm


After the emergence or the “rising” of the Mahdi, the second most important event among the Major Signs, is the return of Jesus Christ. Christians who love Jesus understandably get quite excited by the prospect that even Muslims are looking for and longing for His return. Unfortunately, the Islamic belief of just who this Jesus is that is coming, and what he does once he has arrived, is drastically different than what Christians believe about Jesus.

The first thing that Christians need to understand regarding the Islamic belief about Jesus is that Muslims of course reject the idea that Jesus was or is the Son of God. According to Islam, Jesus is not as the Bible articulates, God in the flesh. Secondly, in Islamic belief, Jesus never died on a cross for the sins of mankind. The Quran specifically denies that Jesus was ever crucified or that He ever experienced death. Muslims believe that after Allah miraculously delivered Jesus from death, he was assumed into heaven alive in a similar fashion to the biblical narrative regarding Elijah. Since then, Muslims believe, Jesus has remained with Allah and has been awaiting his opportunity to return to the earth to finish his ministry and complete his life. As such, to the Islamic mind, Jesus was not in any way a “savior”. To Muslims, Jesus was merely another prophet in the long line of prophets that Allah has sent to mankind. The special title of Messiah, although retained in the Islamic tradition, is essentially stripped of any truly biblically defined Messianic characteristics.

According to the sacred texts of Islam, as we are about to see, when Jesus returns, it most certainly will not be to restore the Nation of Israel to the Jewish people. Nor will Jesus’ purpose be to save and deliver his faithful followers from the ongoing persecution of the Antichrist. In order to understand the Islamic concept of Jesus’ return, the first thing that needs to be realized is that when Jesus comes back, he comes back as a radical Muslim!

This chapter will outline the Islamic traditions regarding the return of Jesus. Many of the Hadith below that refer to Jesus do not call him by the name Jesus, but rather Isa. Muslims occasionally will refer to Jesus by his English name for our sake, but the name that the Quran gives him, and which most Muslims use is Isa (or Eesa) al-Maseeh (the Messiah). Other common titles that Islam uses when referring to Jesus are Hadrat Isa (Honorable Jesus), Isa bin Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) or Nabi Isa (Prophet Jesus). Some of these titles may be used below.

The Return Of The Muslim Jesus


According to Islam’s sacred traditions, Jesus’ return is usually described as taking place just outside Damascus:

At this very time Allah would send Christ, son of Mary, and he will descend at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels. When he would lower his head, there would fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he would raise it up, beads like pearls would scatter from it. 1

The Subordinate Of The Mahdi

At this time, Jesus descends to meet the army of the Mahdi which will be preparing for battle. It will be just before the time of prayer.

Muslims will still be preparing themselves for the battle drawing up the ranks. Certainly, the time of prayer shall come and then Jesus, son of Mary would descend. 2

Based on the relevant Hadith, Islamic scholars seem to be in universal agreement that the Mahdi will ask Jesus to lead the prayers. Jesus will then refuse this request and will defer instead to the Mahdi to lead the prayer.

The Messenger of Allah said: A section of my people will not cease fighting for the truth and will prevail until the Day of resurrection. He said: Jesus son of Mary would then descend and their [Muslims’] commander [the Mahdi] would invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he would say: No, some amongst you are commanders over some. 3

The important element here that needs to be stressed is that Jesus will then pray behind the Mahdi as a direct statement regarding Jesus’ inferiority of rank to the Mahdi.

Jesus Christ will decline the offer and invitation of Imam Mahdi to come and lead the Muslims in prayer, and say his prayer behind Imam Mahdi. 4

Jesus (peace be upon him) will come and will perform the obligatory prayers behind the Mahdi and follow him. 5

(Jesus) will be following the Mahdi, the master of the time, and that is why he will be offering his prayers behind him. 6

Jesus The Faithful Muslim

After Jesus returns, in keeping with his identity as a faithful Muslim, he will perform the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca called hajj:

The Prophet said: Verily Isa ibn Maryam shall descend as an equitable judge and fair ruler. He shall tread his path on the way to hajj (pilgrimage) and come to my grave to greet me, and I shall certainly answer him! 7

Jesus Will Institute Islamic Law

While the Mahdi, as the Caliph (vice-regent) and Imam (leader) of the Muslims is clearly seen as being a superior to Jesus, Jesus is still said to be a leader of the Muslim Community. According to the Islamic traditions, Jesus’ primary purpose will be to oversee the institution and the enforcement of the Islamic Shariah law all over the world.

Ibn Qayyim mentioned in Manar al-munif that the leader… is the Mahdi who will request Jesus to lead the Muslims in prayer. Jesus will remain on the earth, not as a prophet, but as one of the Community (ummah) of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims will follow him as their leader. According to Shalabi, the Mahdi will lead the Muslims in prayer, and Jesus will rule the Muslims according to the Divine Law (Shari’ah). 8

Jesus, the son of Mary will descend and will lead them judging amongst them according to the holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. 9

Jesus: The Greatest Muslim Evangelist

Islamic tradition teaches that because Jesus will declare himself to be a Muslim, he will lead many Christians to convert to Islam. Regarding those who do not convert to Islam, the Quran states that Jesus will be a witness against them on the Day of Judgment:

There is not one of the People of the Scripture (Christians and Jews) but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them. (Surah 4:159)

Commenting on the above verse, Mufti Muhammad Shafi and Mufti Mohammad Rafi Usmani in their book, Signs of the Qiyama [the final judgement] and the Arrival of the Maseeh [the Messiah] explain that the phrase “will believe in him before his death” means that Christians and Jews will:

…confirm that he is alive and has not died and he is not God or the Son of God but (merely) His (Allah’s) slave and Messenger, and Isa (Jesus) will testify against those who had called him son of God, the Christians, and those who had belied him, the Jews. 10

Sheikh Kabbani, Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America clearly articulates the Islamic perspective regarding Jesus’ evangelistic role when He returns.

Like all prophets, Prophet Jesus came with the divine message of surrender to God Almighty, which is Islam. This verse shows that when Jesus returns he will personally correct the misrepresentations and misinterpretations about himself. He will affirm the true message that he brought in his time as a prophet, and that he never claimed to be the Son of God. Furthermore, he will reaffirm in his second coming what he prophesied in his first coming bearing witness to the seal of the Messengers, Prophet Muhammad. In his second coming many non-Muslims will accept Jesus as a servant of Allah Almighty, as a Muslim and a member of the Community of Muhammad. 11

Al-Sadr and Mutahhari, likewise articulate this same expectation:

Jesus will descend from heaven and espouse the cause of the Mahdi. The Christians and the Jews will see him and recognize his true status. The Christians will abandon their faith in his godhead (sic). 12

Jesus Will Abolish Christianity

It is crucial to understand that according to Islamic tradition and belief, when Jesus returns, he does not merely come to convert most Christians to Islam but to literally abolish Christianity entirely. This fact is understood when we analyze a very well-known, and oft-quoted tradition that refers to four specific things that Jesus will do when he returns. Jesus is said to:
  • <LI class=MsoNormal style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Break crosses. <LI class=MsoNormal style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Kill all swine. <LI class=MsoNormal style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Abolish the jizyah tax (a Muslim tax on non-Muslims)
  • Kill the Muslim antichrist and his followers.
The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descent (sic) (to the earth)… He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. 13

The three actions of breaking “the cross”, killing pigs and abolishing the jizyah tax are based on the notion that Jesus will eliminate all other religions on the earth other than Islam. Shafi and Usmani explain that to “break the cross” means to “abolish worship of the cross”. Several Muslim friends that I’ve spoken with have expressed their understanding of this tradition: Jesus will break or remove all crosses from the rooftops and steeples of churches throughout the earth. This action will thus indicate that Jesus will be making a clear statement regarding his disapproval of the false notion that he was ever crucified on a cross. The killing of the swine is so that the “Christian belief of its lawfulness is belied.” 14 The reason for abolishing the jizyah tax (the compulsory poll-tax that non-Muslims must pay in order to live in a Muslim land) is based on the idea that when Jesus returns, the jizyah tax will no longer be accepted. The only choice that Christians will have is to accept Islam or die. As Sideeque M.A. Veliankode states in Doomsday Portents and Prophecies:
Jesus, the son of Mary will soon descend among the Muslims as a just judge… Jesus will, therefore, judge according to the law of Islam… all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative. 15
Even Harun Yahya, likewise affirms this belief in his book, Jesus Will Return when he says,”Jesus will remove all systems of disbelief in that period.” 16
Muslim jurists also confirm these interpretations: consider, for example, the ruling of Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 1368) from The Reliance of the Traveller, the classic Shafi manual of Islamic jurisprudence:
"... the time and the place for [the poll tax] is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace). After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus' descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace) ..." 17

Jesus The Slayer Of Jews

Beyond the “accomplishment” of abolishing Christianity on a worldwide scale, another of Jesus’ primary jobs is to kill a figure know as the Dajjal, or the Muslim version of the Antichrist. But not only will Jesus kill the Dajjal, but also all of the Dajjal’s followers, who consequently, will mostly be Jews. Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair in an article entitled, Who is the evil Dajjal? elaborates:

The Yahudis (Jews) of Isfahaan will be his (The Dajjals) main followers.

Apart from having mainly Yahudi followers, he will have a great number of women followers as well. 18

Veliankode explains that one of the main reasons for Jesus return is “to refute the Jews over the controversial issue that they killed Jesus… However Jesus will kill them including their leader, the Antichrist.” 19 Listing the events of the last-days as they occur, Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair, author of The Signs of Qiyama (Judgement Day) begins:

His followers the Yahudis, will number 70,000… (Then) Hadrat Isa (honorable Jesus) kills the Dajjal at the Gate of Hudd, near an Israeli airport, in the valley of “Ifiq.” The final war between the Yahudi’s will ensue, and the Muslims will be victorious. 20

We will discuss this “final war” between the Jews and the Muslims in more detail in a later chapter. But for now, it is important to remember that when this final war (or more accurately a final slaughter) occurs, according to Islamic tradition, it is the Muslim Jesus who is the primary instigator of such.

Jesus: A Good Muslim Family Man

One final aspect of the Muslim Jesus’ return must be pointed out. After converting the world to Islam and killing unbelievers, the Dajjal and his followers, Jesus is said to marry, have children and eventually die:

The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus… He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. 21

After his descention (sic) on earth, Jesus will marry. He will have children, and he will remain on the earth 19 years after marriage. He will pass away and Muslims will perform his Funeral Prayer and bury him next to the Prophet Muhammad. 22

Summary

Now let’s review the various defining characteristics and actions of the Muslim Jesus upon his return to the earth:

1.Jesus is said to return to the earth in the last-days near a mosque in Damascus.
2.He will arrive at a time when the Mahdi and his army will be preparing to pray.
3.He will be offered to lead the prayer by the Mahdi, but will decline in direct deference to the Mahdi who Jesus declares to be the leader of the Muslims.
4.He will then pray behind the Mahdi as a subordinate.
5.He will be a faithful Muslim
6.He will make pilgrimage to Mecca.
7.He will visit Muhammad’s grave, and salute Muhammad, whereby Muhammad will return the salute from the grave.
8.He will destroy Christianity.
9.He will repeal the jizyah tax thus causing the only option for Jews and Christians to convert to Islam or die.
10.He will establish Islamic Shari’ah (Law) throughout the entire earth.
11.He will kill the Antichrist and his followers made up largely of Jews and women.
12.He will remain on the earth for roughly forty years, during which time he will marry, have children and then die.

As we have clearly seen, the Muslim Jesus, in both his nature and actions is far different than the biblical Jesus. Rather than coming to reign as King and Messiah over all the earth from Jerusalem, Jesus instead comes to convert the world to Islam or kill those who refuse to do so. Instead of coming to save and deliver faithful Christians and Jews, he comes instead to kill and slaughter them. We will discuss a bit more about what the Bible has to say about the return of Jesus in a later chapter.

Notes:

1.Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 7015

2.Sideeque M.A. Veliankode, Doomsday Portents and Prophecies (Scarborough, Canada, 1999), p. 351

3.Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0293, Narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah

4.Veliankode, p. 350

5.Sais I-Nursi, The Rays, The Fifth Ray, p. 493, as quoted in Harun Yahya, Jesus will Return, (London, Ta Ha, 2001), p. 66

6.Ayatullah Baqir al-Sadr and Ayatullah Murtada Mutahhari, The Awaited Savior, (Karachi, Islamic Seminary Publications), prologue, p. 3

7.Hakim Mustadrak (2:651) # 4162 as related by Abu Harayra quoted in Kabbani, p. 237

8.Sahih Ashrat as-Sa’at, as quoted in Kabbani, p. 236

9.Veliankode, p. 351

10.Mufti Mohammad Shafi and Mufti Mohammad Rafi Usmani, Signs of the Qiyama and the Arrival of the Maseeh, (Karachi, Darul Ishat, 2000), p. 60

11.Kabbani, p. 237

12.Al-Sadr and Mutahhari, prologue p. 3

13.Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310, Narrated by Abu Hurayrah: see also Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656

14.Shafi, Usmani, p. 59

15.Veliankode, p. 358

16.Yahya, p.52

17.The Reliance of the Traveller and Tools of the Worshipper, a Classic Manuel of Islamic Sacred Law, Translated by Noah Ha Mim Keller, (Amana Publications, Beltsville Maryland, revised 1994) p. 603.

18.Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair WhoIis the Evil Dajjal (the "anti-Christ")? Online article from http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/masdaj.html

19.Veliankode, p. 360, Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656

20.Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair, The Signs of Qiyama, translated by M. Afzal Hoosein Elias at http://members.cox.net/arshad/qiyaama.html

21.Sunan Abu Dawood, Book 37, Number 4310 Narrated by AbuHurayrah:

22.Tirmidhi, as quoted in Jesus (Isa) A.S. in Islam, and his Second Coming by Mufti A.H. Elias in http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/jesus.html
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The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Old 08-04-2008, 04:07 AM
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Exclamation

Jesus’ Divine Claims and Islam

An Examination of Biblical Christology In Light of the Quranic View of Allah’s Attributes


Sam Shamoun

A major point of contention between Muslims and Christians is the Orthodox Christian position on the Deity of Jesus Christ. Historic Christian teaching affirms that God became man in the Person of Jesus Christ; perfect Divinity united with perfect humanity, two natures working in perfect unity in the one Person of Jesus of Nazareth.

To the Muslim this belief is totally unacceptable and unthinkable, since Islam denies any possibility of God becoming Incarnate, that God would become man, particularly for the sole purpose of dying for lost sinners. This leaves Muslims in a paradox since Islam believes in Jesus as one of God's mightiest agents and Prophets, proclaiming the same message of the religion perfected in Muhammad, al-Islam. However, when a Muslim reads the Holy Bible, he finds that Jesus' message is anything but Islam.

Since the testimony of the New Testament writers is that Jesus is the Word of God (who is God) become flesh, Muslims have asserted that the message of Christ has been corrupted. Hence, what we have in the New Testament documents are words attributed to Jesus, but never uttered by him.

Yet, owing to the fact that nearly 25,000 manuscripts of the Bible, thousands of archaeological findings, as well as extra-biblical documents have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the Bible provides accurate, eyewitness accounts on Jesus' deeds and life, Muslims have tried to find another way to discredit Christ's Divinity.

This second alternative presumes that there are no conclusive statements of Jesus that would indicate that Christ believed he was indeed God Incarnate.

Muslim apologists, such as South Africa's Ahmad Deedat, are quick to point out that Jesus is never reported to have said, "I am God," or "Worship me." Hence, it is presumed that since Christ never stated this, Christians are wrong in worshiping Jesus as God.

This line of reasoning is seriously flawed, since this argument can be turned around and used against Muslims. For instance, Christ never states that he is not God and that we should not worship him. In other words, nowhere in the Bible will we find Christ saying "I am not God, do not worship me." In fact, there isn’t a single reference in the entire Quran where Jesus allegedly says he is not God, or the Son of God. Shall we therefore conclude from this that the Quran teaches that Jesus is God? Obviously, very few people would find this line of argumentation particularly convincing since it is essentially an argument from silence. Arguments from silence prove very little or nothing.

In spite of this, Deedat and others are quick to pick out biblical references that they feel present a strong case against the notion of Jesus' Divinity. Yet, these same people do not allow Christians to use passages that strongly suggest that Jesus did affirm that he is divine, without needing to directly say, "I am God."

This being the case, we will approach the subject of Jesus' Divinity from a different perspective. We will quote both the Quran and the Old Testament in order to highlight certain titles and attributes of God and compare them to statements made by Christ.

This will be done in order to demonstrate to these Muslim apologists that the titles used by Jesus are titles that belong to God alone, indicating that Christ did indeed claim to be God Almighty in human form.

Before continuing, we would like to make it very clear that we do not believe the Quran is the word of God. Our utilization of it is to show Muslims, who do believe in it, that the NT application of divine titles and attributes to the Lord Jesus proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Jesus claimed Divinity, or that the NT writers truly believed that Christ was Incarnate Deity.

We would also like to state that our use of the Quran does not mean that we believe that the god presented in the Quran is the same as the true God of the Holy Bible, Yahweh Elohim. They are not the same God. Our use of the Quran is intended to show that even the author of the Quran was aware that certain titles and attributes belong to God alone, and for persons other than God to apply to themselves these titles and attributes would be blasphemy; unless, of course, that person was in fact God!
Let us therefore proceed to the evidence.

The First and the Last/The Beginning and the End


GOD/ALLAH
"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.’" Isaiah 44:6
"Hearken to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am He, I am the first, and I am the last." Isaiah 48:12
"And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.’" Revelation 21:6-7
But to Allah belongs the Last and the First. S. 53:25
He is the First and the Last, the Evident and Immanent; and He has full knowledge of all things. S. 57:3
and to Us belong the Last and the First. S. 92:13
JESUS
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’"
Revelation 1:17-18
"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.’" Revelation 2:8
"‘Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end’ ... He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" Revelation 22:12-13, 20
The titles, "First and Last" and "the Beginning and the End, refer to God's sovereignty as the only Lord and God, that everything begins and ends with God since he alone sustains and controls all creation and events. No mere creature could utter such words, and yet the Lord Jesus does.

Sovereignty and Inheritor



GOD/ALLAH
"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all." 1 Chronicles 29:11
"The earth is the LORD's and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers." Psalm 24:1-2
"The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine; the world and all that is in it, thou hast founded them." Psalm 89:11
To God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth; And God hath power over all things. S. 3:189

And verily, it is We Who give life, and Who give death: it is We Who remain inheritors (after all else passes away). S. 15:23
It is We Who will inherit the earth, and all beings thereon: to Us will they all be returned. S. 19:40
To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: It is He who gives life and death; and He has power over all things. S. 57:2
JESUS
"And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’" Matthew 28:18
"He had still one other, a beloved son; finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’" Mark 12:6-7
"When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him.’" John 17:1-2
NT WRITERS:
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17
"but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power ..." Hebrews 1:2-3a
Both the Lord Jesus and the NT writers emphatically state that Christ sovereignly rules creation.

At this point, a Muslim might interject that Christ is said to be given this authority, indicating that there is One greater than he who gave it to him. Muslims are obviously not taking into consideration the implications of these statements, otherwise they would not make such assertions.



First, how can a mere mortal exercise power over all creation and possibly give eternal life to all flesh? Second, the passages do not state that Christ was given the power to rule creation or to grant life, but was given the authority or right to do so. In other words, God is permitting Christ to rule and to give salvation to all, and yet in order for God to give Jesus this authority, Christ must be able to have the ability to carry out these tasks of maintaining and saving all creation. The Apostle Paul brings out this point quite beautifully:
"But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself." Philippians 3:20-21
These passages therefore show that Christ has the intrinsic ability to rule creation and grant eternal life, which implies that he must have the same nature as God. If he did not have the very nature of God, then Christ could not possibly be able to exercise power over the universe and be its sustainer.

Third, God does not give his glory to a mere creature. This means that, despite the Muslim line of logic, the fact that God granted Christ the right to share in the divine authority basically means that Jesus is no mere mortal. (Cf. Isaiah 42:8, 48:11)

The Resurrection and the Life



GOD/ALLAH
"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand." Deuteronomy 32:39
"The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up." 1 Samuel 2:6
"At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnez'zar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives for ever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;" Daniel 4:34
He is the Living (One): There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds! ... It is He Who gives Life and Death; and when He decides upon an affair, He says to it, "Be", and it is. S. 40:65, 68
JESUS
"Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear HIS VOICE and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:25-29
"Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.’" John 11:25-27
"and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." Revelation 1:18
Omnipresent



GOD/ALLAH
"Am I a God at hand, says the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? says the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD." Jeremiah 23:23-24
To God belong the East and the West: Withersoever Ye turn, there is the Presence of God. For God is All-Pervading, All-Knowing. S. 2:115
"... And He is with you wheresoever ye may be ..." S. 57:4
Seest thou not that God doth know (all) that is in the heavens and on earth? There is not a secret consultation between three, but He makes the fourth among them, - Nor between five but He makes the sixth, - nor between fewer nor more, but He is in their midst, wheresoever they be: In the end will He tell them the truth of their conduct, on the Day of Judgment. For God has full knowledge of all things. S. 58:7
And from the Hadith literature:
Hadith Qudsi 18:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection:
O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you notknow that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.
It was related by Muslim. (Source)
JESUS
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by MY FATHER; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." Matthew 25:31-46
"and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." Mt. 28:20b
Omniscient



GOD/ALLAH
"then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and render to each whose heart thou knowest, according to all his ways (for thou, thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men);" 1 Kings 8:39
"O LORD, thou hast searched me and known me! Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; thou discernest my thoughts from afar. Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou dost beset me behind and before, and layest thy hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it." Psalm 139:1-6
"He determines the number of the stars, he gives to all of them their names. Great is our LORD, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure." Psalm 147:4-5
"... For God knoweth well the secrets of your hearts." S. 3:154
JESUS
"And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, ‘Why do you question thus in your hearts?’" Mark 2:8
"And to the angel of the church in Thyati'ra write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze... And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.’" Revelation 2:18, 23b
The Object of Prayers



GOD/ALLAH
"I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called upon God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock." Job 12:4
When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every supplicant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way. S. 2:186
JESUS
"Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it." John 14:13-14
Light of the World



GOD/ALLAH
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
"The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended." Isaiah 60:19-20
"God is the Light of the heavens and the earth..." S. 24:35
JESUS
"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’" John 8:12
"We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." John 9:4-5
Forgiver of Sins



GOD/ALLAH
"But Joshua said to the people, ‘You cannot serve the LORD; for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.’" Joshua 24:19
"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases," Psalm 103:2-3
And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring God to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, - and who can forgive sins except God? - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. S. 3:135
JESUS
"And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ ... ‘But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ ..." Mark 2:5-7,10a
"‘Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.’ And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’" Luke 7:47-49
The Truth



GOD/ALLAH
"Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth." Psalm 31:5 NASB
"High above all is God, The King, The Truth ..." S. 20:114
JESUS
"Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.’" John 14:6
NT WRITERS:
"You did not so learn Christ! -- assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus." Ephesians 4:20-21
Day of Judgement



GOD/ALLAH
"For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehosh'aphat, and I will enter into judgment with them there, on account of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations, and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a harlot, and have sold a girl for wine, and have drunk it... Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehosh'aphat; for there I will sit to judge all the nations round about. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. And the LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who dwell in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy and strangers shall never again pass through it." Joel 3:1-3, 12-17
Nay! When the earth is pounded by power, and thy Lord cometh, and His angels, rank upon rank, and Hell, that Day, is brought face to face - On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance profit him? S. 89:21-23
JESUS
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out HIS angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather HIS elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Matthew 24:29-31
"When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ ... Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;’" Matthew 25:31-34, 41
"Then I looked, and lo, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat upon the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.’ So he who sat upon the cloud swung his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped." Revelation 14:14-16
King of kings and Lord of lords



GOD/ALLAH
"O give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures for ever;" Psalm 136:3
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The vilest name in Allah's sight is Malik al-Amlak (King of Kings). The narration transmitted on the authority of Shaiba (contains these words): There is no king but Allah, the Exalted and Glorious. Sufyan said: Similarly, the word Shahinshah (is also the vilest appellation). Ahmad b. Hanbal said: I asked Abu 'Amr about the meaning of Akhna. He said: The vilest. (Sahih Muslim, Book 025, Number 5338, see also Number 5339)
JESUS
"and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood." Revelation 1:5
"they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful." Revelation 17:14
"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is
The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses. From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords." Revelation 19:11-16
Conclusion
Christ's extensive usage of divine titles and prerogatives that are found in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Quran affirms that Jesus' self-description is consistent with one claiming to be God Almighty. The Lord Jesus’ use of divine titles that belong exclusively to God shows that Jesus is God, or at least establishes the fact that Jesus claimed to be God. No true prophet of God would make such divine claims, unless of course the claims were actually true. And in the case of Christ, these divine claims are true since he is God in the flesh.

Hence, a Muslim must come to the conclusion that the recorded words of Christ in the holy Scriptures leave no doubt that Jesus claimed to be God. There is simply no way around it.

For a more thorough examination in regards to Jesus' Deity we recommend our following studies:
www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/biblicaljesus.htm
www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/jesus_is_yahweh.htm
www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/12anti-trinitarian.htm
http://www.abrahamic-faith.com/Jehovah-Witness.html
All Biblical quotations taken from the Revised Standard Version (RSV)
All Quranic quotations taken from A. Yusuf Ali
__________________
O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

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Lightbulb A Response to a Muslim Article titled Is Jesus Really God?

A Response to a Muslim Article titled Is Jesus Really God?




Muslims have produced much material in which they argue against the Divinity of Jesus Christ. One example of this is the article Is Jesus Really God, which is available on a number of locations on the internet (e.g., [1], [2]), and has also been published as a pamphlet. The article quotes or refers to 16 Bible verses (all from the Gospels), and from these verses the writer claims that the Bible says Jesus is not God. However, all of these verses can be interpreted in accordance with Christian teaching about Jesus Christ, and so do not disprove the Divinity of Jesus Christ. I will demonstrate this in my response. The article's words are in blue and my words are in black.
1. God is All Knowing... but Jesus was not. When speaking of the day of judgement, Jesus clearly gave evidence of a limitation on his knowledge when he said, "but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32). But God knows all. His knowledge is without any limitations. That Jesus, of his own admission, did not know when the day of judgement would be, is clear proof that Jesus is not all-knowing, and that Jesus is therefore not God.
The Bible uses the words 'know' in a number of different ways. Sometimes it is used to mean 'proclaim', 'reveal', or 'make known'. It can also mean to know in an intimate fashion (Genesis 4:1; Amos 3:1-2). In his first letter to the Corinthians, St Paul reminds the Corinthians that during his visit he "decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). The book of Genesis includes the story of Abraham going to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). In this story the angel of the Lord says to Abraham, "now I know that you fear God" (Genesis 22:12).

It is possible to interpret these words of the angel to mean that Abraham's fear of God has been made known. The purpose of the trial was for Abraham to intimately know how much he feared God, and it is reasonable to say Abraham learnt how much he feared God. God knows things because they are his works and he enables them to occur, so he knows Abraham's fear of God by enabling Abraham to carry out the trial. By enabling Abraham to carry out the trial, God has enabled Abraham to know how much he fears God.

Jesus Christ is using the word 'knows' in this sense in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32. (St Augustine, ON THE TRINITY, Book 1, Chapter 12; online edition) (St Thomas Aquinas, SUMMA THEOLOGICA, 3rd Part, Question 10, Article 2, Reply to Objection 1, online edition)


Mere human beings obviously do not possess knowledge of when the day of judgement will be. Therefore, in saying that no human being knows the day or the hour, Jesus is warning his followers against attempting to work out when judgement day will be, and against proclaiming their guesses to other people. He is also telling us to ignore anyone who proclaims the time of judgement day. In the same chapter of Matthew's Gospel, Jesus says:
If anyone says to you, "Look! Here is the Messiah!" or "There he is!" - do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, "Look! He is in the wilderness", do not go out. If they say, "Look! He is in the inner rooms", do not believe it. For as lightening comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man... Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. (Matthew 24:23-27, 41-44; see also Mark 13:21-23, 32-37)
Angels may or may not have knowledge of the time of judgement day. Either way, Jesus Christ is telling us that the angels are not permitted to speak to human beings about the time of judgement day. All the good angels are faithful to this restriction because they are perfectly obedient to God. Therefore, any angel that speaks to human beings about the time of judgement day must be one of the fallen angels (also known as demons). Such an angel should definitely be ignored and kept out of our lives.

Jesus Christ has perfect knowledge of the time of judgement day. The Bible tells us that all things were made through Jesus Christ, the Son and Word of God (John 1:1-3, 14-18; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2). This means that all times were made through him, including the day of judgement. The Bible also tells us that Jesus Christ is the one who will judge all people (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:22, 27-29; Acts 17:31). Since the day of judgement was made through Jesus Christ and he will be the judge on that day, it is reasonable to say that he has perfect knowledge of when that day will be. (St Thomas Aquinas, SUMMA THEOLOGICA, 3rd Part, Question 10, Article 2, Reply to Objection 1)

In Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32, Jesus Christ is telling his disciples that it is not part of his mission to reveal the time of judgement day. By doing this, he is discouraging his disciples, and us, from asking him when judgement day will be. Jesus does this by using a manner of speaking that his disciples were familiar with and can be understood by people familiar with the Bible, as I briefly explained above. After his resurrection, Jesus tells his disciples that they are not meant to know the times and periods determined by God (Acts 1:6-7). (Archbishop Michael Sheehan, Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, A new edition revised by Fr Peter Joseph, The Saint Austin Press, London, 2001, pp. 384-385)

The Father has perfect knowledge of judgement day because he is God and therefore has perfect knowledge (John 17:1-3). He is said to know or reveal it because he always reveals it to the Son, because he gives the fullness of Divinity to the Son (John 3:35; 5:22, 27; 10:29; 16:15; Colossians 1:19). Also, the Father did not become Man and was not standing among the apostles. Therefore, he did not have to warn the apostles against asking him about the day of judgement like Jesus did.


In Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32, Jesus Christ calls himself 'the Son', he refers to God as 'the Father', and he lists himself between the angels and the Father, and well above men. Islam does not believe Jesus is the Son of God and it does not refer to God as 'Father' (Qur'an 4:171, 19:34-35, 88-93 and 112:1-4). Therefore, these Bible verses support Christianity and oppose Islam on these issues. The fact that Jesus places himself above the angels, and well above men, in this hierarchical list at least implies his Divinity, because who is above the angels but God. What I have said here applies to other Bible verses used in the Muslim article. I think Muslims should reflect on everything implied and taught in particular Bible verses before using them in arguments.
2. God is All-Powerful... but Jesus was not. While Jesus performed many miracles, he himself admitted that the power was not his own but was derived from God when he said, "Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do..." (John 5:19) Again he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: As I hear I judge, and my judgement is just because I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which has sent me" (John 5:30). But God is not only all-powerful, he is also the source of all power and authority. That Jesus, of his admission, could do nothing on his own is clear proof that Jesus is not all-powerful, and that therefore Jesus is not God.
The Bible and the Nicene Creed teach that the Son is fully God. They also teach that he receives the absolute fullness of Divinity from God the Father. In other words, the Son is true God, because the Father has eternally given him the Divine essence. The Bible and the Nicene Creed also tell us that the Father and the Son are one, which means they always work together. These truths are expressed in Matthew 11:27; 28:18-19; John 1:18; 3:35; 5:17-23, 26-27; 10:29-30, 38; 14:9-11; 16:15; 17:1-2, 5, 10-11, 21-25; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:3; and 1 John 2:23. The Nicene Creed speaks of "the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, but not made, of one being with the Father."

To avoid misunderstanding it is important to explain the Christian belief about the generation of the Son and the Incarnation. God has perfect Knowledge of himself for all eternity. This knowledge may be called the Word. This Word is eternal because God is eternal and his intellect is always in perfect action. God is perfectly one, which means this Word is one with all God's attributes. In other words, this Word is infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing, truth, goodness, existence, life, love, spirit, eternal, and uncreated, which means this Word is God. This Word is perfectly one with God. The Word is called the Son because he may be described as intellectually generated. God may be called the Father because he may be described as intellectually generating the Word.

Two thousand years ago the eternal Word of God became Human and entered human history. This took place by the Son of God the Father perfectly uniting a human nature to himself. All human beings have a limited union with God. God is existence, life, love, truth, goodness, wisdom, and power. Our existence and life, and all the love, truth, goodness, wisdom and power among us, is merely a limited sharing in God. The Incarnation consists in this sharing being raised to the highest possible level, by the Word of God taking a human nature to himself. In other words, Jesus Christ is one Person with two natures, a Divine nature and a Human nature.

Jesus Christ is all-powerful, which means he is truly God. The chapter of John's Gospel quoted by the Muslim writer clearly demonstrates this. "Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise... just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whoever he wishes... the hour is coming when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live" (John 5:19, 21, 25). The truth that the Son raises the dead, gives life, and does everything the Father does, means he must have infinite power. To possess infinite power is to be God, so the Son must be God.


The Son receives his infinite power from the Father, because he receives the fullness of Divinity from the Father. In other words, the Son is all-powerful, because the Father gives him infinite power. Also, the Son is one being with the Father, so he never works by himself, but always works with the Father. These are the reasons why Jesus says, "the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing" and "I can do nothing on my own." These words do not imply that the Son is not God, but express the truth that the Son receives the fullness of Divinity from the Father, and is perfectly one with the Father.
3. God does not have a God... but Jesus did have a God. God is the ultimate judge and refuge of all, and He does not call upon nor pray to any others. But Jesus acknowledged that there was one whom he worshipped and to whom he prayed when he said, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God" (John 20:17). He is also reported to have cried out while on the cross, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) If Jesus were God, then couldn't this be read, "Myself, myself why hast thou forsaken me?" Would that not be pure nonsense? When Jesus prayed the Lord's prayer (Luke 11:2-4) was he praying to himself? When in the garden of Gethsemane he prayed, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: Nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:36-39). Was Jesus praying to himself? That Jesus, of his own admission and by his own actions, acknowledged, worshipped, and prayed to another being as God is clear proof that Jesus himself is not God.
Jesus did not pray the Lord's Prayer. To say that he did, as the article does, misrepresents the teaching of the Bible, and implies that Jesus was a sinner (which is contrary to Christian and Islamic teaching) because this prayer includes the words, "forgive us our sins" (Luke 11:4). The Our Father or Lord's Prayer is mentioned twice in the Bible (Matthew 6:7-13 and Luke 11:1-4). In both places it is clear that Jesus is not praying the Lord's Prayer but is telling his disciples that this is how they should pray. It is called the Lord's Prayer not because Jesus prayed it, but because it is the prayer that the Lord Jesus taught his disciples.

Matthew 6:7-13 says:
When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you as him. Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
Luke 11:1-4 says:
He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.' He said to them, 'When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial'.
Christianity teaches that there are three persons in God. These Divine persons are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of the Divine persons possesses the fullness of Divinity and can be called God.

Christianity also teaches that the Son became Man, which means that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man. These teachings of Christianity are summarised and proclaimed in the Nicene Creed (*) and the Athanasian Creed (*). There are many articles and web pages that discuss the Biblical basis for these doctrines, and/or show that the doctrines are reasonable, (e.g.
  1. http://www.answering-islam.org/Who/index.html
  2. http://www.answering-islam.org/Trinity/index.html
  3. http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ14.HTM
  4. http://www.nd.edu/Departments/Maritain/etext/gc.htm
  5. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1301.htm
  6. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3302.htm
  7. http://www.diafrica.org/nigeriaop/kenny/Rationes.htm
Jesus Christ acknowledged that the Father is God, and he constantly worshipped and prayed to the Father. Jesus is true God and true Man, which means he performs both Divine and human actions. Worshipping and praying to God the Father are two very important human actions, so it is not a surprise that Jesus performed them. The Son came to bring human beings back to a true relationship with God. He did this by becoming Man and, in his humanity, living a perfect relationship with God. This is a further reason why Jesus Christ included worship and prayer among his human actions.

The Father and the Son are two Divine persons in the one Divine being. In other words, they are absolutely one or one in essence, and relatively two or two in person. The truth that they are two Divine persons means they are relatively distinct from each other. This distinction is seen most clearly in the fact that it is only the Son who became Man. The truth that the Father and the Son are relatively distinct Divine persons means that the Son can acknowledge the Father as God and the Father can acknowledge the Son as God. Therefore, the Christian beliefs about the Trinity and Jesus Christ do not conflict with the fact that Jesus Christ acknowledged the Father as God.

Some of the verses in question can actually be seen as implying the Divinity of Jesus Christ. In the account of the Lord's Prayer in St Luke's Gospel Jesus is called 'Lord'. This title can be understood as implying his Divinity. It gains further significance when put together with numerous other Bible passages that imply or explicitly teach that Jesus Christ is God. The following article presents many such Bible verses: Jesus is God: Biblical Proofs.


In John 20:17, Jesus Christ says, "Go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'." It is important to note that Jesus says, "my Father and your Father" and "my God and your God", and not "our Father" and "our God." This can be interpreted to mean that Jesus has a unique relationship with God the Father that is different from the relationship all his disciples have with God the Father. In other words, it can be seen to imply that Jesus is the Son of God the Father by nature (i.e. he is Divine), whereas all Jesus' disciples are children of God only by adoption in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14). (M. Anderson, The Trinity, Appendix)
4. God is an invisible spirit... but Jesus was flesh and blood. While thousands saw Jesus and heard his voice, Jesus himself said that this could not be done with God when he said, "No man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18). "Ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape" (John 5:37). He also said in John 4:24: "God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." That Jesus would say that no one had seen or heard God at any time, while his followers both saw and heard him, is clear proof that Jesus was not God.
The Bible and the Church teach that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, as has been shown already. Jesus' Divinity is obviously pure spirit and invisible. Jesus' humanity is soul and body, and his body is obviously visible. Therefore, the fact that Jesus had flesh and blood, and could be seen and heard, does not contradict the Christian belief that Jesus is God. These truths would only contradict Christianity if it taught that Jesus was God and not Man. However, Christianity teaches that Jesus is God and Man, so there is no contradiction.

John 1:18 states that "no one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known." We read elsewhere in John's Gospel that Jesus Christ is the Son and the one who makes God known by coming into the world (John 1:14; 5:18; 14:9). We cannot directly see God, but we can indirectly see him through the humanity of Jesus. Therefore, it is in and through Jesus Christ that we can experience God and have a personal relationship with him.


Jesus Christ's words in John 5:37 are part of a long discussion/dispute between Jesus and some Jews who were against him (John 5:16-47). The passage says, "Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus... But Jesus answered them... For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him... Jesus said to them... You have never heard his voice or seen his form..." The words, "you have never heard his voice or seen his form" were addressed to these Jews and were not spoken to all people, so they cannot be regarded as meaning that not a single person has heard or can hear God. On the contrary, at least John the Baptist heard God the Father speaking at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, and Luke 3:21-22). The Apostles Peter, James and John heard God the Father speaking at Jesus' transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36).
5. No one is greater than God and no one can direct Him... but Jesus acknowledged someone greater than himself whose will was distinct from his own. Perhaps the clearest indication we have that Jesus and God are not equal, and therefore not one and the same, come again from the mouth of Jesus himself who said in John 14:28, "My Father is greater than I." When someone referred to him as good master in Matthew 19:17, Jesus responded, "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God..."
Furthermore, Jesus drew clear distinctions between himself and God when he said, "I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself but He sent me" (John 8:42). Jesus gave clear evidence of his subordination to God, rather than his equality with God, when he said in Luke 22:42, "not my will but thine be done" and in John 5:30, "I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which has sent me." That Jesus would admit that he did not come into the world on his own initiative but was directed to do so, that he would acknowledge another being as greater than himself, and that he would negate his own will in deference to affirming the will of another, give clear proof that Jesus is not the Supreme One and therefore Jesus is not God.
The Christian teaching about Jesus Christ is summarised in the Athanasian Creed (*). This Creed says:
The right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world.
Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood.
Jesus Christ is true God and true Man. His Divinity is as great as the Father and his Humanity is less than the Father. This means it is possible for Jesus to proclaim that he is as great as the Father (indicating his Divinity) and less than the Father (indicating his Humanity). The fourteenth chapter of John's Gospel shows Jesus doing both. He says, "My Father is greater than I" (14:28), "I am the way and the truth and the life" (14:6), and "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (14:9). The first statement does not deny Jesus' Divinity but merely affirms his Humanity. The latter two statements affirm that there is nothing greater than Jesus and that he is equal to the Father, and therefore affirm his Divinity.

Jesus Christ's words in Matthew 19:17 (see also Mark 10:17-22 and Luke 18:18-23) do not mean that he is not good and not God. The man who called Jesus 'good' was focused on earthly things and not on God, and therefore regarded Jesus as nothing more than a man. The rich man was equating 'good' and 'man' in his mind, which Jesus does not want him to do.

This is why Jesus questions the rich young man about calling him good. Jesus also mentions God to get the rich young man to focus on God and not simply on earthly things. Had the man recognised that Jesus was God, Jesus would have accepted the title 'good'. (St Augustine, On the Trinity, Book 1, Chapter 13, Section 31; online edition)

I think this interpretation fits well with the passage in question and with rest of the Bible. The rich man is obviously so focused on earthly things that he has neglected to focus on God. This is seen by the fact that he puts his money and possessions above obeying Jesus' call to leave everything and follow Him (Matthew 19:21-22, Mark 10:21-22, and Luke 18:22-23). Other parts of the Bible show Jesus calling Himself 'Lord' and 'Good Shepherd', and accepting the titles 'Lord' and 'God' (John 10:11, 14; 13:13; 20:26-29).


The fact that God the Father sent Jesus does not conflict with the Christian teaching about Jesus Christ. Jesus is true God and true Man. It is obviously true to speak of Jesus being sent when thinking about his humanity. Therefore, Jesus' words about being sent by the Father can be explained as merely affirming his humanity. The words can also be interpreted as expressing the truth that Jesus is the Son of the Father. St Augustine writes:
"But if the Son is said to be sent by the Father on this account, that the one is the Father, and the other the Son, this does not in any manner hinder us from believing the Son to be equal, and consubstantial, and co-eternal with the Father, and yet to have been sent as Son by the Father. Not because the one is greater, the other less; but because the one is Father, the other Son; the one begetter, the other begotten; the one, He from whom He is who is sent; the other, He who is from Him who sends." (On the Trinity, Book 4, Chapter 20, Part 27)
There is no conflict between Christian teaching and Jesus' words in John 8:42. The Son is said to proceed forth and come from God because he is eternally begotten by the Father and came from the Father into the world. The Father is often called 'God', not because he is the only Divine Person, but because he is the First Person of the Trinity, and is the origin of the other two Divine Persons. The Father begets the Son, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (Nicene Creed).

Jesus Christ possesses two wills, the Divine will and a human will (CCC, 475; here). His Divine will is perfectly one with the will of the Father and the will of the Holy Spirit. His human will always submits to the Divine will, which is fully possessed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is speaking about his human will when he says he came not to do his own will, and when he abandons his will in preference for the Father's will in the garden of Gethsemane. These words and actions in no way deny that Jesus possesses the Divine will, but merely affirm that he truly possesses a human will.

The will of human beings had gone astray and was no longer in harmony with the will of God. Jesus Christ became Man to bring the human will back to God. He accomplished this by completely submitting his human will to the Divine will. Jesus' words and actions in Luke 22:42 and John 5:30 merely show Jesus proclaiming and living this submission of his human will to the will of God. It is possible to say that Jesus could perfectly submit his human will to the Divine will, because he perfectly possessed and understood the Divine will. If this is true, then Jesus is truly God, because only God has perfect possession and understanding of the Divine will.

Appendix: The Holy Spirit, Muhammad, and the Divinity of Jesus Christ
Muslims believe the Bible contains prophecies of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. The New Testament passages that receive the most attention from Muslims are found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to John (14:15-17, 25-26; 15:26; 16:7-15). These passages record Jesus Christ's promise that the Holy Spirit (also known as the Advocate or Comforter) will come after him. Muslims claim that the Holy Spirit is actually the prophet Muhammad. However, there is a major problem with this Muslim claim.

When Jesus Christ spoke about the coming of the Holy Spirit he mentioned a number of very important things. Jesus Christ told his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit would come in his name (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). The Holy Spirit's mission involves testifying on behalf of Jesus Christ and glorifying Jesus Christ (John 15:26; 16:14).

Jesus Christ said the Holy Spirit would receive what belongs to Jesus and declare it to believers (John 16:13-14). These truths are very important for assessing the Muslim claim that Muhammad is the promised Holy Spirit.

Muslims believe that Muhammad is God's final and universal prophet. They believe that Muhammad was sent by God and came in the name of God. Islam says that Muhammad's mission involved testifying on behalf of God and bringing glory to God. The central task of Muhammad's mission, according to Islam, was to receive the word of God (the Qur'an) and declare it to the people. Many Muslims cite Jesus Christ's promises about the Holy Spirit in their efforts to prove that Muhammad is a genuine prophet.

There is a major flaw in this Muslim claim, which I recommend Muslims consider before using this argument. The application of the promise to Muhammad implies that Jesus Christ is God, as I will demonstrate below. Muhammad denied that Jesus Christ is God, and this denial is strongly maintained in the Muslim world today. In other words, the Muslim claim that the promised Holy Spirit is Muhammad contradicts one of the major teachings of their religion. The Muslim identification of Muhammad with the Holy Spirit in John's Gospel implies the Divinity of Jesus Christ in five ways:

1. Muslims believe that Muhammad came in the name of God. If Muhammad is the Comforter then Jesus Christ is God, because the Comforter comes "in the name of Jesus Christ" (John 14:26).

2. Muslims believe that God sent Muhammad. If Muhammad is the Comforter then Jesus Christ is God, because Jesus Christ sends the Comforter (John 15:26; 16:7).

3. Muslims believe that Muhammad testified on behalf of God. If Muhammad is the Comforter then Jesus Christ is God, because the Comforter testifies on behalf of Jesus Christ (John 15:26).

4. Muslims believe that Muhammad came to bring glory to God. If Muhammad is the Comforter then Jesus Christ is God, because the Comforter comes to bring glory to Jesus Christ (John 16:14).

5. Muslims believe that Muhammad received what belongs to God and declared it to people (i.e. the word of God). If Muhammad is the Comforter then Jesus Christ is God, because the Comforter receives what belongs to Jesus Christ and declares it to believers (John 16:13-14).
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Lightbulb Jesus Christ: Islam’s Greatest Prophet and Messenger

Jesus Christ: Islam’s Greatest Prophet and Messenger


This is a continuation of our series of writings and rebuttals where we document from both the Quran and Islamic tradition that Jesus is the greatest of all of God’s messengers, being vastly superior to Muhammad himself (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

In this particular article we will be demonstrating that Allah favored Jesus over Muhammad by granting the former specific knowledge that he didn’t give to the latter.

Muhammad, the Quran and the Knowledge of the Unseen
In the Quran it is expressly stated that Muhammad didn’t know the unseen and it is further noted that Allah would choose to reveal this specific information to a particular messenger:
Say: "I know not whether the (Punishment) which ye are promised is near, or whether my Lord will appoint for it a distant term. He (alone) knows the Unseen, nor does He make any one acquainted with His Mysteries, Except an apostle whom He has chosen: and then He makes a band of watchers march before him and behind him,- That He may know that they have (truly) brought and delivered the Messages of their Lord: and He surrounds (all the mysteries) that are with them, and takes account of every single thing." S. 72:25-28 Y. Ali
Note how these other versions translate this passage:
SAY, ‘I know not whether that which you are promised is nigh, or whether my Lord has fixed for it a distant term.’ HE is the Knower of the unseen; and HE reveals not HIS secrets to anyone, Except to a Messenger of HIS whom HE chooses. And then HE causes an escort of guarding angels to go before him and behind him, That HE may know that HIS Messengers have delivered the Messages of their Lord. And HE encompasses all that is with them and HE keeps count of all things. Sher Ali

SAY: ‘I do not know whether that which you are promised is nigh, or whether my Lord will appoint for it a space; Knower He of the Unseen, and He discloses not His Unseen to anyone, save only to such a Messenger as He is well-pleased with; then He dispatches before him and behind him watchers, that He may know they have delivered the Messages of their Lord; and He encompasses all that is with them, and He has numbered everything in numbers.’ Arberry
These verses say rather plainly that Allah reveals the knowledge of the unseen to a specific apostle that he chooses and is pleased with. We know that Muhammad couldn’t be that messenger(1) since the author of the Quran excludes him from having knowledge of the unseen in this very text, a fact which the author made a point of emphasizing throughout the Muslim scripture:
SAY, `I do not say to you: I possess the treasures of ALLAH, nor do I know the unseen; nor do I say to you: I am an angel, I follow only that which is revealed to me.' Say, `Can a blind man and one who sees be alike?' Will you not then reflect… And with HIM are the keys of the unseen; none knows them but HE. And HE knows whatsoever is in the land and in the sea. And there falls not a leaf but HE knows it; nor is there a grain in the deep darkness of the earth, nor anything green or dry, but it is recorded in a clear book. S. 6:50, 59 Sher Ali

SAY: I do not control any benefit or harm for my own soul except as Allah please; and had I known the unseen I would have had much of good and no evil would have touched me; I am nothing but a warner and the giver of good news to a people who believe. S. 7:188 Shakir

And they say: Why is not a sign sent to him from his Lord? SAY: The unseen is ONLY for Allah; therefore wait -- surely I too, with you am of those who wait. S. 10:20 Shakir
People ask you concerning the Hour, SAY: ‘The knowledge of it is with Allaah ONLY. What do you know? It may be that the Hour is near!" S. 33:63

SAY: "I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the messengers, NOR DO I KNOW WHAT WILL BE DONE WITH ME OR WITH YOU. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a Warner open and clear." S. 46:9
And they say, ‘When will this promise come to pass, if, indeed, you are truthful?’ SAY, ‘The knowledge of it is with ALLAH, and I am but a plain Warner.’ S. 67:25-26 Sher Ali
The ahadith reiterate this point:
Narrated Ibn Umar:
The Prophet said, "The keys of the unseen are five and none knows them but Allah: (1) None knows what is in the womb, but Allah: (2) None knows what will happen tomorrow, but Allah; (3) None knows when it will rain, but Allah; (4) None knows where he will die, but Allah (knows that); (5) and none knows when the Hour will be established, but Allah." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 476)
Another Muslim source says:
Also, when a young girl once said, "And among us is the Messenger of Allah, who knows what tomorrow will bring," he ... said to her, ... "Abandon these words, and say that which you were saying before (i.e., an old Arabic poem)." … (Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, Zad-ul Ma'ad fi Hadyi Khairi-l 'Ibad [Provisions for the Hereafter Taken From the Guidance of Allah's Best Worshipper], translated by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke & Shaheed M. Ali [Madinah Publishers & Distributors, Orlando Florida; First edition, October 2001], Volume 4, pp. 285-286)
Muhammad’s youngest wife Aisha harshly rebuked anyone who would dare say that Muhammad knew the unseen:
Narrated Masruq:
I said to ‘Aisha, "O Mother! Did Prophet Muhammad see his Lord?" Aisha said, "What you have said makes my hair stand on end! Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, he is a liar: Whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord, is a liar." Then Aisha recited the Verse:

‘No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Courteous Well-Acquainted with all things.’ (6.103) ‘It is not fitting for a human being that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil.’ (42.51) ‘Aisha further said, "And whoever tells you that the Prophet knows what is going to happen tomorrow, IS A LIAR." She then recited:

‘No soul can know what it will earn tomorrow.’ (31.34) She added: "And whoever tells you that he concealed (some of Allah’s orders), is a liar." Then she recited: ‘O Apostle! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord…’ (5.67) ‘Aisha added. "But the Prophet saw Gabriel in his true form twice." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 378)

Narrated Masruq:
‘Aisha said, "If anyone tells you that Muhammad has seen his Lord, he is a liar, for Allah says: 'No vision can grasp Him.’ (6.103) And if anyone tells you that Muhammad HAS SEEN THE UNSEEN, HE IS A LIAR, for Allah says: "None has the knowledge of the Unseen but Allah." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 477)
Muslim writer Akbarally Meherally comments on this specific narration in his book which criticizes the hadith literature:
My Comments:
The above hadith has valid support from the verses of the Qur’an (10:20; 6:50). Hence, if there are narrations which directly and explicitly contradict the above statement made by Bibi 'Aisha and have no support from the verses of the Qur'an, then all such narrations need to be carefully re-examined if not rejected.

What could have prompted Bibi 'Aisha to make the above statement and denounce the narrators, calling the propagators liars? Obviously, there must have been false narrations circulating in the name of the Prophet, promoting the Prophet's knowledge of the unseen. Who could be the narrators of such lies? Clearly, some narrators who lived during the life of Bibi 'Aisha.

If for some reason, one is not ready to accept this logic because one has been conditioned to think otherwise, then one has to reject this hadith. And of course, if even one sound hadith is rejected, then all of the others are immediately suspect. We cannot pick and choose the hadiths to believe in as a matter of preference; rather the Qur’an must guide us. If all Muslims were to truly believe; Allah Alone has the knowledge of the unseen, some of the sub-Sects of Islam would lose their holds upon their followings. (Meherally, MYTHS AND REALITIES OF HADITH -- a critical study, 5. A Closer Look at Some Dubious Hadiths, "The Prophet and Knowledge of the Unseen"; Source)
Meherally says in reference to those hadiths that narrate future and unseen events:
4. Hadeeths that speak of the Future and Unseen Qudsi and the non Qudsi.
The knowledge of that is with Allah Alone and He does not disclose that to anyone except by Revelation Qur'an 7:188; 72: 26; 67: 26; 27:65; 46:9; 6:50.

If the future or unseen is Revealed that Message becomes the Qur'anic verse. (Source)
And regarding another narration where Muhammad is said to take Muslims out of hell, Meherally states:
Reflect carefully, the Hadith from Bukhari is NOT a Qudsi Hadith. Hence the authorship and authority of the narrated text end with the Prophet. In Sura Al-An'am (6), Verse 50, the Prophet was Commanded by Allah to declare "wa la 'a-lamul-gayba" meaning; "and I do not have the knowledge of the unseen (hidden, what is going to happen in future)."

The Hadith quoted below claims; the Prophet had in-depth knowledge of UNSEEN, including his actions and results - on the Day of Judgment. (Source)
Professor Jeffery Lang, a convert to Islam, is another individual who has problems with later Islamic tradition attributing to Muhammad knowledge of future events since they directly contradict the plain statements of the Quran:
(3) the Qur’an states that the Prophet was recurrently questioned concerning the timing of the Day of Judgement and was repeatedly commanded by God to simply reply, "Knowledge thereof belongs to God alone." In the Hadith records, however, the Prophet supplies numerous predictions of events that will herald its coming. Since the Qur’an is so insistent on how the Prophet should respond to these queries, I find it odd that he would offer so many details and hints about the arrival of the Hour. (Lang, Losing My Religion: A Call For Help [Amana Publications, 2004], p. 250)
In his footnote he provides a whole slew of references which expressly deny that Muhammad knew the future:
140. Surahs 7:187; 10:48-49; 27:71; 31:34; 32:28; 33:63; 34:29; 36:48; 43:85; 51:12; 67:25-26; 72:25; 79:42-45. (Ibid.)
Further evidence that Muhammad had no knowledge of unseen events, apart from what was already well known to his contemporaries and in their writings which he then plagiarized, is that he tried to predict the outcome of the Romans and turned out to be wrong:
"The Roman Empire has been defeated - in a land close by: But they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious - within a few years." S. 30:1-4
Notice that Muhammad can only guess here that the Romans will be victorious in a few years, and doesn’t bother giving the name of those that defeated the Romans nor the time or place of their defeat. Muslim scholars say that by a few years Muhammad meant between 3 to 9 years and further state that this refers to the Romans being defeated by the Persians around 614-615 AD, which means that Muhammad anticipated that the Romans would defeat their enemies sometime between 617-624 AD. As history records, this didn’t happen as Muhammad expected since the Persians weren’t decisively defeated until approximately 628 AD where they called for a truce with the Romans.

Muhammad had also assumed on the basis of an alleged vision that he and his followers were to successfully make the lesser pilgrimage to the Ka’ba at Mecca, which also didn’t happen since the pagans thwarted his attempt of entering. This led to the signing of the peace treaty at Hudaybiyah and to Muhammad losing face in the eyes of his own followers.
For more on these issues please consult the following articles and rebuttals to the Muslim responses (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

These examples conclusively show that Muhammad did not know the future and was clearly not aware of the unseen. His sole purpose was to preach the message of the Quran such as warning people of impending judgment if they refused to believe in him as Allah’s messenger and accept all his commands and prohibitions. Yet even what is found in the Quran is, for the most part, nothing more than a rehashing of the teachings of the Holy Bible, apocalyptic themes taken from canonical and non-canonical Jewish and Christian sources as well as from Persian and Arabian myths. The Quran itself agrees that Muhammad said nothing which wasn’t already known to God’s true prophets and messengers:
My Signs used to be rehearsed to you, but ye used to turn back on your heels- In arrogance: talking nonsense about the (Qur'an), like one telling fables by night. Do they not ponder over the Word (of God), or has anything (new) come to them that did not come to their fathers of old? Or do they not recognise their Apostle, that they deny him? S. 23:66-69 Y. Ali
And:
Surely those who disbelieve in the reminder when it comes to them, and most surely it is a Mighty Book: Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One. Naught is said to you but what was said indeed to the apostles before you; surely your Lord is the Lord of forgiveness and the Lord of painful retribution. S. 41:41-43 Shakir
Another version reads it this way:
Those who have rejected the Quran's proof* when it came to them, have also rejected an Honorable book. No falsehood could enter it, in the past or in the future;* a revelation from a Most Wise, Praiseworthy. What is said to you is precisely what was said to the previous messengers. Your Lord possesses forgiveness, and He also possesses painful retribution. Khalifa
Moreover, Allah wasn’t always pleased with Muhammad and often had to rebuke and chastise him for his sins:
Allah forgive thee (O Muhammad)! Wherefore didst thou grant them leave ere those who told the truth were manifest to thee and thou didst know the liars? S. 9:43 Pickthall
This is (part) of that wisdom wherewith thy Lord hath inspired thee (O Muhammad). And set not up with Allah any other god, lest thou be cast into hell, reproved, abandoned. S. 17:39 Pickthall

And surely they had purposed to turn you away from that which We have revealed to you, that you should forge against Us other than that, and then they would certainly have taken you for a friend. And had it not been that We had already established you, you would certainly have been near to incline to them a little; In that case We would certainly have made you to taste a double (punishment) in this life and a double (punishment) after death, then you would not have found any helper against Us. S. 17:73-75 Shakir
O Prophet! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and do not comply with (the wishes of) the unbelievers and the hypocrites; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise; S. 33:1 Shakir
Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy sin, and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours. S. 40:55 Pickthall

So know (O Muhammad) that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest. S. 47:19 Pickthall
Basically, this shows that Muhammad WAS NOT that Messenger to whom Allah chose to reveal the unseen.(1)


Jesus’ Knowledge of the Unseen
There is one Messenger, however, whom the Quran says was given knowledge of the unseen. That Messenger is Jesus Christ!
As a messenger to the Children of Israel: "I come to you with a sign from your Lord - I create for you from clay the shape of a bird, then I blow into it, and it becomes a live bird by GOD’s leave. I restore vision to the blind, heal the leprous, and I revive the dead by GOD’s leave. I can tell you what you eat, and what you store in your homes. This should be a proof for you, if you are believers." S. 3:49 Khalifa
Here is an interesting observation: Jesus making clay birds alive and healing the blind or leprous and resurrecting the dead is explicitly said to be done "by God’s leave". But the underlined statement above does not have that qualification. Could that be a hint that Jesus did not need to receive special revelation for having this knowledge, but that this was his own ability? I.e. he has knowledge of the unseen just like God – by his very nature? If that is the meaning behind the omission of this phrase in the last statement, it would be even stronger evidence for the superiority of Jesus over Muhammad in regard to having knowledge of the unseen.
Muslim scholar Mahmoud M. Ayoub provides some of the comments of Islam’s renowned exegetes and scholars concerning this text, some of which include:
Verse 49 narrates four types of miracles which Jesus was able to perform, by the will of God, as proof of his claim to be a messenger to the Children of Israel. They are: infusing life into dead matter, raising the dead, healing the sick, and foretelling unseen and future events. Since the first and last of these miracles are not reported in the canonical Gospels, and since the Qur’anic narrative is all too brief and general, early traditionists and tafsir masters resorted to fanciful tales to provide a framework for these miracles. This led many later commentators to reject these early traditions…

Tabari argues that giving life to a clay figure, healing the blind and the leper, and raising the dead were miracles which God granted only the elect of His prophets and apostles; but Jesus telling the people what they ate and without himself witnessing it and informing them of what they had stored up in their homes is a sign. Tabari, however, asks, "What proof of his truthfulness is there in his saying to them, ‘I shall inform you of what you eat and what you store up in your homes’? Astrologers and soothsayers often foretell such things correctly." He adds that "even those to whom astrologers and soothsayers foretell the future are aware that they do so by means of certain causes and techniques. This is not the case, however, with Jesus or any other of God’s prophets and apostles. Jesus foretold things without resort to astrology or trickery, but directly as God informed him. Nor did he resort to astrological computations or the clairvoyance of soothsayers. This is the criterion to distinguish the knowledge of the prophets of unknown events and foretelling them, and the knowledge of all those who spread falsehood before God by claiming such knowledge."

Tabari relates on the authority of Ibn Ishaq that when Jesus was about nine or ten years old, his mother sent him to a religious school. But whenever the teacher tried to teach him anything, he found that Jesus already knew it. The teacher exclaimed, "Do you not marvel at the son of the widow? Every time I teach him anything, I find that he knows it better than I do."

Tabari further relates on the authority of al-Suddi that, "when Jesus was a youth, his mother committed him [to the priests] to study the Torah. While he played with the youths of his village, he used to tell them what their parents were doing."
Sa‘id ibn Jubayr, according to Tabari, is said to have reported that Jesus would say to one of his fellow playmates in the religious school, "Your parents have kept such and such food for you, would you give me some of it?" Tabari also relates on the authority of al-Suddi that Jesus used to tell his fellow pupils what their parents ate and what they kept for them. He used to say to a boy, "Go home, for your parents have such and such food." As parents became annoyed by this, they forbade their children to play with Jesus, saying, "Do not play with that magician."

Finally, the parents gathered all the children in a house away from Jesus. When he came looking for them, the parents told him that the children were not there. He asked, "Who is in this house?" "Swine," they replied. Jesus said, "Let them be swine!" When the parents opened the door, they found them swine, just as Jesus said. Tabari cites the Qur’an in support of this tale: "Those of the Children of Israel who have rejected faith were cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus son of Mary, this because of their rebellion and the acts of transgression which they had committed [see Q. 5:78]." …

… Razi asserts that Jesus informed people of what they had eaten and stored up in their houses by means of divine revelation (wahi) (Razi, VIII, pp. 58-62)…

Qummi begins by asserting that the word "to create" in this verse means to fashion and form. He then reports on the authority of the Fifth Imam Muhammad al-Baqir that when Jesus told the Children of Israel that he was God’s Messenger to them and that he was able to perform these miracles, they retorted, "We consider all that which you do to be no more than mere magic. Show us a sign, therefore, by which we might know that you tell the truth." He answered, "If I were to inform you of what you eat and what you store up in your homes, would you know that I tell the truth?" "Yes," they replied. He thus used to tell each man what he ate and drank and what he stored up. "There was some among them who believed him and accepted faith, and others who denied and rejected faith. In all this, there was a sign for them had they been people of faith" (Qummi, I, p. 102). (Ayoub, The Qur’an and Its Interpreters: The House of ‘Imran [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1992], Volume II, pp. 141, 142-143, 146, 147-148; underline emphasis ours)
The Quran further says that Jesus will be a witness against the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and/or Christians) on the Day of Judgment:
and for their saying, 'We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God' -- yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him; they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they slew him not of a certainty -- no indeed; God raised him up to Him; God is All-mighty, All-wise. There is not one of the People of the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them. S. 4:157-159 Arberry
Hence, not only does the Quran testify that Jesus (and not Muhammad) is the Messenger that has been granted knowledge of the unseen, it even states that he will have a key role in determining the eternal fate of individuals on the last day since salvation is dependant on believing in Christ!(2)

The Quran is merely echoing (albeit in a convoluted and distorted manner) the teaching of the New Testament concerning Jesus knowing what God knows and being the One who will testify on behalf of those who believe in him and against those who reject him:
"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33

"All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Matthew 11:27

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’ … Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ … Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46

"Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man." John 3:11-13
"Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him… And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man." John 5:22-23, 27

"For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you, and for those at La-odice'a, and for all who have not seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:1-3

"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first… I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds." Revelation 2:18-19, 23
And, according to the NT, it is Jesus with whom the Father is well pleased:
"And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’" Mark 1:11
"The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." John 8:29
There is another possible text which may indicate that Christ has knowledge of the hour of judgment that is to come:
When (Jesus) the son of Mary is held up as an example (mathalan), behold, thy people raise a clamour thereat (in ridicule)! And they say, "Are our gods best, or he?" This they set forth to thee, only by way of disputation: yea, they are a contentious people. He was no more than a servant: We granted Our favour to him, and We made him an example (mathalan) to the Children of Israel. And if it were Our Will, We could make angels from amongst you, succeeding each other on the earth. And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (ilmun) (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way. Let not the Evil One hinder you: for he is to you an enemy avowed. When Jesus came with Clear Signs (al-bayyinati), he said: "Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear God and obey me. For God, He is my Lord and your Lord: so worship ye Him: this is a Straight Way. But sects from among themselves fell into disagreement: then woe to the wrong-doers, from the Penalty of a Grievous Day!" S. 43:57-65 Y. Ali
Jesus is said to be an example or parable, and a sign (literally knowledge) both for the unbelievers and to the Children of Israel. This seemingly refers to Christ’s first coming where he performed miracles and passed on Divine instructions to mankind since the Sura speaks of past events all throughout. This is reflected in the following English version of Q. 43:61
But, verily, he was a sign of the Hour. So entertain no doubt about it, but follow me. This is the right path. S. 43:61 Sher Ali
Sher Ali’s use of an English past tense suggests that the meaning is that Jesus in his first advent was a sign, or knowledge, of the impending judgment to come.

This Ali seemed to realize that the immediate context of Q. 43:61 leads one to understand that this is referring back to Jesus’ earthly ministry, otherwise it makes little sense for Muhammad to set forth Christ as a confirming sign for his contemporaries if such a sign was still future and therefore could not be verified.

With the foregoing in perspective what could Q. 43:61 possibly be referring to if not to Jesus’ teachings concerning doctrines about God and the last day?

In fact, this view of Jesus being the knowledge of the hour in the sense of receiving revelation concerning the judgment day which he then conveyed to others can be supported by interpreting Q. 43:61 in light of Q. 3:49:
And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God’s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe; Y. Ali
The miracles of Jesus, such as his knowledge of the unseen, are meant to be supernatural signs confirming his Divine mission so that others might believe. By the same token one can understand that Jesus is a sure sign or knowledge of the impending judgment since he was sent with revelation concerning the last hour.

However, not everyone agrees that Q. 43:61 is referring to Christ. Some Muslims are of the opinion that the verse is referring to the Quran being a sign or knowledge about the Hour. This view is reflected by A.J. Arberry’s version:
It is knowledge of the Hour; doubt not concerning it, and follow me. This is a straight path.
There is even an issue of variant readings since certain Quranic reciters and versions read the text differently. As Christian author and Islamicist George Parrinder noted:
The most debated verse is 43,61: ‘The Son of Mary is used as a parable… Verily it [or ‘he’] is knowledge for the hour.’ A canonical variation allows the reading of ‘alam, ‘mark’ or ‘signal,’ for ‘ilm, ‘knowledge’. In this reading the second coming of Jesus would be a ‘signal’ of the last hour. But it is just as easy, and perhaps more legitimate, to translate ‘it’ of the Qur’an or message which gave knowledge of the Hour in the time of Muhammad. Nevertheless, on the slender basis of the variant some traditions and commentaries elaborated theories of the coming of Jesus. Bukhari in his version of the Traditions said that the Son of Mary would descend among men as a just judge. He would break the crosses, kill the swine, suppress the poll-tax, and make wealth so abundant that nobody would wish for any more. Baidawi said that Jesus would descend in the Holy Land, that he would kill al-Dajjal, the Anti-Christ, and go to Jerusalem, worshipping there, killing swine and all who do not believe in him, reign in peace for forty years, and finally die and be buried in Medina. An empty place beside the tomb of Muhammad in Medina was thought to be reserved for Jesus. (George Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’an [Oneworld Publications, Oxford, reprinted 1996], p. 124; underline emphasis ours)
Muslim Neal Robinson also commented on the textual problems and diverse interpretations given by Muslims regarding this specific text:
The sequence of thought in this revelation is by no means clear. We are concerned primarily with the first part of 43:61 <<He (or it) is indeed knowledge for the Hour>> (inna-hu la-‘ilmun li ’l-sa‘ati).

Tabari states that the interpreters differed over the meaning of the third person singular masculine suffix -hu. He reports two interpretations:

[A] Some said it referred back to Jesus. Jesus’ appearing is knowledge by which one will know the coming of the Hour for his appearing is one of its portents. His coming back down to earth is an indication of the vanishing of this world and the arrival of the world to come. Tabari gives traditions which attribute this interpretation to eight authorities: Ibn al-‘Abbas by four routes, Qatada by two routes, al-Hasan al-Basri, Mujahid, al-Suddi, al-Dahhak, Abu Malik and Ibn Zayd by one root each.

[b] Others said –hu refers to the Qur’an. The meaning of the sentence is that this Qur’an is knowledge pertaining to the Hour for it gives information about the resurrection and judgment. Tabari cites only two traditions which support this. The first traces the interpretation back to al-Hasan al-Basri who has already had interpretation [A] accredited to him. The second traces it back to the time of Qatadah without attributing it to him personally. It reports him as having said: ‘People used to say the Qur’an is knowledge pertaining to the hour.’

Tabari does not choose between the two interpretations. He does, however, add some interesting information concerning variant readings which clearly have a bearing on the decision. He knew of three distinct readings:
  1. ‘ilmun (knowledge). This was how the readers of the great cities vocalised the word. He regarded it as the correct reading because of their unanimity on this point.
  2. ‘alamun (sign, token, distinguishing mark). This was how Ibn al-‘Abbas, Qatada and al-Dahhak vocalised it. Although he does not say so, this obviously fits in well with their contention that the aya refers to Jesus’ return.
  3. dhikrun (recollection, mention, reminder). This is a different word altogether and not simply an alternative vocalization. It is the reading attributed to Ubaiy. Tabari states somewhat cryptically that it proves the correctness of the vocalization of ‘ilmun (knowledge). I assume that what he means by this is that Ubaiy’s reading is an interpretative gloss and that it must be a gloss on ‘ilmun rather than on ‘alamun. In as far as the Qur’an itself is often referred to as a dhikrun Ubaiy’s reading seems to lend weight to interpretation [b].
… he (Baydawi) mentions a third interpretation:
[C] Jesus is also <<knowledge for the Hour>> because his bringing the dead to life [during his ministry] indicates God’s power to do so [on the Day of Resurrection].

Ibn Kathir first gives us more information about what I have called interpretation [C]. He mentions that according to Ibn Ishaq the <<knowledge for the hour>> IS WHAT JESUS BROUGHT, by his reviving the dead and curing leprosy, blindness and other illnesses…
Notice how this last view supports our exegesis in that it interprets Q. 43:61 in light of Christ’s earthly ministry being a means of conveying information to people that the hour would inevitably come. Robinson continues:
Ibn Kathir considers this interpretation dubious…
According to him the correct interpretation is interpretation [A], namely that the reference is to Jesus’ future return. In support of this he makes five points:
  1. Jesus has been mentioned just before and the attached pronoun refers back to him.
  2. The return is referred to in 4:159 where <<before his death>> means before Jesus’ death.
  3. The variant reading ‘alamun supports this interpretation.
  4. The interpretation was supported by Mujahid, Abu Hurayra, Ibn al-‘Abbas, Abu ‘Aliya, Abu Malik, Ikrama, al-Hasan, Qatada, al-Dahhak and others.
  5. According to multiply-attested ahadith Muhammad spoke of the return of Jesus as a just judge before the Day of Resurrection.
Robinson goes on to refute Ibn Kathir’s case:
Ibn Kathir’s case is far from proven. Each of his points calls for comment:
  1. It is arguable that the attached pronoun refers back to Jesus himself but to the Qur’anic statement that he is only a servant. The statement is <<knowledge for the Hour>> in the sense that when the hour of judgment comes the statement will be vindicated and all will know that Muhammad was right in his estimation.
  2. As we saw in the last chapter, the interpretation of 4.159 is by no means as clear cut as Ibn Kathir would have us believe.
  3. His treatment of the uncanonical variants is one-sided. He mentions the reading ‘alamun as if it furnished independent evidence in favour of his interpretation but he does not mention Ubaiy’s reading (dhikrun) which is independent evidence against it.
  4. He drops two of the eight authorities whom Tabari brings forward in support of interpretation [A] but adds three more. The two whom he drops are the Iraqi Successors al-Suddi and Ibn Zayd. The three whom he adds are Abu Hurayra, Abu ‘Aliya, and ‘Ikrama. The first of these is a famous Companion of the Prophet and the other two are well-known pupils of Ibn al-‘Abbas. Thus the credentials of interpretation [A] are improved. Nevertheless, by eliminating the names of al-Suddi and Ibn Zayd, Ibn Kathir deprives his readers of valuable historical evidence concerning the milieu in which this interpretation thrived.
  5. Tabari was aware that Jesus’ return was mentioned in hadith but unlike Ibn Kathir he did not insist that the hadith had a bearing on the interpretation of this aya. (Robinson, Christ In Islam and Christianity [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1991], pp. 90-93; bold, underline, capital emphasis and comments within brackets ours)
Interestingly, interpretation [b], that the pronoun hu in Q. 43:61 refers to the Quran, indirectly supports our exegesis. For instance, as both Parrinder and Robinson noted, the Quran contains knowledge of the hour in that it speaks of impending judgment, rewards, paradise, hell etc. In other words, the Quran becomes a source of knowledge for those wanting to know about the last hour.

In a similar way, if the text is referring to Jesus then the conclusion would be that Christ is knowledge of the hour by his being a conduit of revelation for the end times. It isn’t simply that his coming will be a sign giving knowledge that the hour is nigh, but that he himself received and passed on information regarding the last day, something which the NT documents explicitly teach:
"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place; and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3
See also the passages in the Gospels where Jesus teaches about the end times – Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21.

There is even an Islamic narration where Jesus is presented as having knowledge of future events that the other messengers did not have:
Then they evoked the matter of the Hour and referred it to Ibrahim but he said: "I have no knowledge of it." They turned to Musa but he said: "I have no knowledge of it." They turned to ‘Isa and he said:

As for the time when it shall befall, no one knows it except Allah. But this is what my Lord has assured me [concerning what precedes it]. The Dajjal or Anti-Christ shall come forth and I will face him with two rods. At my sight he shall melt like lead. Allah shall cause his destruction as soon as he sees me. It will be so that the very stones will say: "O Muslim, behind me hides a disbeliever, therefore come and kill him!" And Allah shall cause them all to die.

People shall then return to their countries and nations. At that time Ya'juj and Ma'juj [Gog and Magog] shall come out. They shall come from every direction. They shall trample all nations underfoot. Whatever they come upon, they shall destroy. They shall drink up every body of water.

At long last the people shall come to me bewailing about them. At that time I will invoke Allah against them so that He will destroy them and cause their death until the whole earth will reek of their stench. Allah will then send down rain which shall carry their bodies away and hurl them into the sea.

I have been assured by my Lord that once all this takes place then the Hour will be as the pregnant mother at the last stages of her pregnancy. Her family does not know when she shall suddenly give birth - by night or by day. (End of al-Sham’s addition) (Islamic Doctrines and Beliefs: Volume 1: The Prophets in Barzakh, The Hadith of Isra' and Mir'aj, The Immense Merits of Al-Sham, The Vision of Allah, Al-Sayyid Muhammad Ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki, translation and notes by Dr. Gibril Fouad Haddad [As-Sunna Foundation of America 1999], pp. 70-71; bold and underline emphasis ours)

4081. It was narrated that 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud said: "On the night on which the Messenger of Allah was taken on the Night Journey (Isra'), he met Ibrahim, Musa and 'Eisa, and they discussed the Hour. They started with Ibrahim, and asked him about it, but he did not have any knowledge of it. Then they asked Musa, and he did not have any knowledge of it. Then they asked 'Eisa bin Maryam, and he said: 'I have been assigned to some tasks before it happens.' As for as when it will take place, no one knows except Allah. Then he mentioned Dajjal and said: 'I will descend and kill him, then people will return to their own lands and will be confronted with Gog and Magog people, who will: "swoop down from every mound."

They will not pass by any water but they will drink it, (and they will not pass) by anything but they will spoil it. They (the people) will beseech Allah, and I will pray to Allah to kill them. The earth will be filled with their stench and (the people) will beseech Allah and I will pray to Allah, then the sky will send down rain that will carry them and throw them in the sea. Then the mountains will turn to dust and the earth will be stretched out like a hide. I have been promised that when that happens, the Hour will come upon the people, like a pregnant woman whose family does not know when she will suddenly give birth.'" ... (Sahih) (Sunan Ibn Majah - Compiled by Imam Muhammad Bin Yazeed Ibn Majah Al-Qazwini, From Hadith No. 3657 to 4341, Ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair 'Ali Za'i, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada), final review by Abu Khaliyl (USA)
[Darussalam Publications and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], Volume 5, Chapter 33. The Tribulation Of Dajjal, The Emergence Of 'Eisa Bin Maryam And The Emergence Of Gog and Magog, pp. 274-275)
Here, Jesus knows of the events leading up to the hour even though he isn’t told the precise date that it will take place. This, too, agrees with the NT:
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Mark 13:32
Thus, when we piece all these points together it is reasonable to assume that Q. 43:61, if indeed referring to Jesus, shows that Christ is one with the knowledge of the hour to come.
We Once Again Have a Contradiction!
We now come to the final section of our paper where we deal with the problem that arises from the foregoing discussion. Both the Quran and specific narratives attributed to Muhammad’s child bride Aisha state that only Allah knows the unseen, that he alone knows what will occur tomorrow. Aisha even took it a step further and accused anyone who would say something contrary to be a blatant liar:
It is narrated on the authority of Masruq that he said: I was resting at (the house of) 'A'isha that she said: O Abu 'A'isha (kunya of Masruq), there are three things, and he who affirmed even one of them fabricated the greatest lie against Allah. I asked what they were. She said: He who presumed that Muhammad (may peace be upon him) saw his Lord (with his ocular vision) fabricated the greatest lie against Allah. I was reclining but then sat up and said: Mother of the Faithful, wait a bit and do not be in a haste. Has not Allah (Mighty and Majestic) said: "And truly he saw him on the clear horizon" (al-Qur'an, lxxxi. 23) and "he saw Him in another descent" (al-Qur'an, liii. 13)? She said: I am the first of this Ummah who asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) about it, and he said: Verily he is Gabriel. I have never seen him in his original form in which he was created except on those two occasions (to which these verses refer); I saw him descending from the heaven and filling (the space) from the sky to the earth with the greatness of his bodily structure. She said: Have you not heard Allah saying: "Eyes comprehend Him not, but He comprehends (all) vision. And He is Subtle, and All-Aware" (al-Qur'an, vi. 103)? (She, i.e. 'A'isha, further said): Have you not heard that, verily, Allah says: "And it is not vouchsafed to a human being that Allah should speak unto him otherwise than by revelation, or from behind a veil, or that He sendeth a messenger (angel), so that he revealeth whatsoever He wills. Verily He is Exalted, Wise" (al-Qur'an, xlii. 51) She said: He who presumes that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) concealed anything from the Book, of Allah fabricates the greatest lie against Allah. Allah says: "O Messenger! Deliver that which has been revealed to thee from thy Lord, and if thou do (it) not, thou hast not delivered His message" (al-Qur'an, v. 67). She said: He who presumes that he would inform about what was going to happen tomorrow fabricates the greatest lie against Allah. And Allah says: "Say thou (Muhammad): None in the heavens and the earth knoweth the unseen save Allah" (al-Qur'an, xxvii. 65). (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0337)
But our above analysis showed that the Quran plainly teaches that Jesus knew the unseen, which means that we either have a contradiction or that Jesus must therefore be God. Yet even this view would be in direct conflict with those statements of the Quran that claim that Christ was nothing more than Allah’s slave.


The logic of this conclusion is inescapable:
  1. God alone knows the unseen.
  2. Jesus knows the unseen.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is God.
  4. The Quran denies that Jesus is God.
  5. Therefore, the Quran contradicts itself.
This also introduces a further contradiction within the Quran, specifically with the claim that Muhammad didn’t have knowledge of the unseen. The Quran contains information regarding the spiritual realm and future events, all of which Muslims believe came through Muhammad seeing that he was its supposed human conduit. Now if this information was channeled through Muhammad then it is rather obvious that he did have knowledge of the unseen, which therefore raises the following questions:
  • Did Muhammad have knowledge of the unseen or didn’t he?
  • Since the Quran says that he wasn’t given such information does this then imply that details concerning future events and the netherworld were composed or came through some other person?
  • Moreover, seeing that there are countless millions of people who have read the Quran doesn’t this mean that untold numbers of mankind also know the unseen and therefore know as much as Muhammad did? And wouldn’t this further conflict with the Quran’s statements that no one knows the unseen except Allah? In other words, since the Quran supposedly reveals knowledge of the unseen doesn’t this clash and falsify the Quran’s repeated emphasis that only Allah knows the unseen since with the "revelation" of the Quran there are now many people who know what only Allah is supposed to know.
  • Or are these parts of the Quran the personal views of Muhammad that were not based on divine revelation and could therefore be mistaken, much like he was mistaken concerning the Roman victory over the Persians?
  • Or were these some of the details which Muhammad took (more like plagiarized) from the Bible, other Jewish and Christians sources as well as from Arabian folklore and myths? After all, the Quran does say that he didn't bring anything new but simply repeated (actually perverted) the teachings of the prophets and messengers before him.
We will let the Muslims attempt to resolve these contradictions within their scripture.


Endnotes
(1) The pronoun "they" in Q. 72:27, i.e. "that He may know they have delivered the Messages of their Lord," suggests that there may have been more than one such messenger to whom Allah revealed knowledge of the unseen, one of which happens to be Jesus. Whoever else may have been in this category of messengers, Muhammad is definitely not one of them since he expressly excluded himself from this list.

(2) The expositors were confused and perplexed over the precise meaning of Q. 4:157-159. Their confusion stemmed from the fact that this specific reference is written in a rather incoherent matter and leaves out important details.

For example, what does it mean that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified and that only a likeness of that was shown to them? Does this mean that Allah made it seem as if the crucifixion took place when it never did and if so how did Allah pull this off? Is the citation saying that a likeness of Christ was seen being crucified? Is that how Allah pulled the wool over the people’s eyes?

Moreover, whose death does the Quran have in mind when it says that "the People of the Book will assuredly believe in him before his death"? Is this referring to the Jews since the immediate context is dealing with the Jewish rejection of Jesus and his mother? If so is this saying that every Jew must believe in Christ before they die? If this also includes Christians then are Christians required to believe in Jesus before their deaths even though they already believe in him? Or is this referring to Christians who pay lip service and do not truly love and follow Jesus, exhorting them to truly believe in him by obeying his teachings before they die? This would be similar to what Jesus himself taught in the NT:
"Not everyone who says to me, ‘'Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." Matthew 7:21-27

"Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’" John 14:23-24
Or is the passage actually referring to Jesus’ own death, i.e. every Jew and/or Christian will have to come to faith before Christ dies? If this is the intended meaning then does this refer to Jesus dying during his stay on earth or to a future time in which he will die? If the former then does this mean that since Jesus has already died everyone must now come to believe in him in order to be saved since if they don’t he will be a witness against them on the judgment day?

More importantly, how does a Muslim know what the answer is?
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The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

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Lightbulb The Islamic Teaching on the Sinlessness of Jesus

The Islamic Teaching on the Sinlessness of Jesus





On 10 April 2004, Osama Abdallah published yet another silly little polemic against us on this page. He opens his attack on us with these words:
Lies posted by the Answering Islam team against Islam without providing references:
The following was sent to me by brother Mohammed; may Allah Almighty be pleased with him:
"Anecdotally, one of Mohammad's followers asked him if he could carry his sin for him. Mohammad admitted that he could not for the reason that he had his own sin to carry. At the same time, Mohammad confessed that Jesus alone of those born on earth was exclusively born without being touched by the devil. Who then, can bear your sin, if not the sinless sin-bearer who came to die for you, that you need never die?"
(http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Al-Kadhi/r01.0.html)
Questions to those liars: ...
RESPONSE:
Reading Osama's article, one could get the false impression that Mohammed is in some way responsible for it. However, only the green quotation and reference to our website came from Mohammed's inquiry. All the rest, particularly the personal attacks and insults are the sole responsibility of Osama Abdallah, the owner and editor of answering-christianity.com. Osama does not seem to know the meaning of the words "lie" and "liar", even though he uses these words rather frequently to spice up his polemics. Apparently he is not aware that there is a difference between a lie and an error. The fact that the above page contained an error has been acknowledged, and the error has been corrected a while ago (see this article). Nothing more needs to be said about that.

However, Osama goes on to raise a number of claims about Islam, which are not entirely true either. Whether he wants to consider himself, therefore, a liar or simply ignorant of Islam is left for him to decide.


Osama ‘challenges’ us with these questions and statements regarding Islam:
1- When did Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him say Jesus was perfect and sinless?

RESPONSE:
It surprises us that Osama could even ask such a question, especially when he has spent so much time perusing our site in the hope of trying (but not suceeding) to rebut our articles. For instance, Osama claims to have "rebutted" all of my material:
http://www.answering-christianity.com/sam_shamoun_rebuttals.htm
In one of my articles, which Osama specifically links to, I document from both the Quran and Islamic sources that Muhammad specifically taught, and that other Muslims believed, that Jesus was sinless (see The Jewish Messiah And The Prophet of Islam).

But since Osama either missed it or chose to ignore it, we will present some of the evidence here for him to consider.


First, Muslims have assumed that Jesus was sinless on the basis of the following verses:
Remember when a women of Imran said, ‘My Lord, I have vowed to Thee what is in my womb to be dedicated to Thy service. So do Thou accept it of me; Verily Thou alone art All-Hearing, All-Knowing.’ But when she was delivered of it, she said, ‘My Lord, I am delivered of a female,’ - and ALLAH knew best of what she was delivered and the male she desired to have was not like the female she was delivered of - ‘and I have named her Mary, and I commit her and her offspring to Thy protection from Satan, the rejected.’ S. 3:35-36 Sher Ali
The ahadith record Muhammad as interpreting the preceding passage to mean that Mary and her Son were the only ones whom Satan was unable to touch:
Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab:

Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, EXCEPT MARY AND HER CHILD." Then Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (3.36) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 641; see also Volume 4, Book 54, Number 506)
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: No child is born but he is *****ed by the satan and he begins to weep because of the *****ing of the satan EXCEPT THE SON OF MARY AND HIS MOTHER. Abu Huraira then said: You may recite if you so like (the verse):" I seek Thy protection for her and her offspring against satan the accursed" (iii. 36). This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Zuhri with the same chain of transmitters (and the words are):" The newborn child is touched by the satan (when he comes in the world) and he starts crying because of the touch of satan." In the hadith transmitted on the authority of Shu'aib there is a slight variation of wording. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5837)
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The satan touches every son of Adam on the day when his mother gives birth to him WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MARY AND HER SON. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5838; see also Book 033, Number 6429)
It is evident from the foregoing that Muhammad not only is said to have believed in Jesus' sinlessness, but in Mary's as well. The next hadith supports this view:
Narrated Abu Musa:

Allah's Apostle said, "Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia, Pharaoh's wife, AND MARY, THE DAUGHTER OF 'IMRAN. And no doubt, the superiority of 'Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) to other meals." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 623; see also Volume 5, Book 57, Number 113)
Ibn Kathir writes:
<"... And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast."> means, that she sought refuge with Allah from the evil of Shaytan, for her and her offspring, i.e., `Isa, peace be upon him. Allah accepted her supplication, for `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said ...


<Every newly born baby is touched by Shaytan when it is born, and the baby starts crying because of this touch, except Maryam and her son.>
Abu Hurayrah then said, "Read if you will ...
<And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast>." The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith. (Commentary on 3:36; online edition)
Here is the other passage that points to Jesus' sinlessness:
He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy (ghulaman zakiyyan). S. 19:19 Shakir
We must also mention that Jesus, according to the Quran, isn't the only one said to be pure. In the same Surah John the Baptist is also identified as being pure:
And tenderness of heart from US and purity (wazakatan) , and he was pious, S. 19:13 Sher Ali
Ibn Kathir comments:
<and Zakatan,> This is related to His statement ...

<And Hananan> The word Zakah means purity from filth, wickedness and sins. Qatadah said, "The word Zakah means the righteous deed." Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Jurayj both said, "The righteous deed is the pure (Zakah) deed." Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said ...
<and Zakatan,> "This means that he was a blessing." ...
(and he was pious.) [19:13] meaning that he was pure and had no inclination to do sins. (Commentary on 19:13; online edition)
Be that as it may, one thing is for certain. The conclusion that Jesus was sinless stems from a careful examination of both the Quran and the Islamic traditions.


Furthermore, Jesus is the only person specifically said to be blessed:
And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive. S. 19:31
Christian author and evangelist Samuel Green rightly noted:
For every moment of his life Jesus was blessed. This Arabic word for blessed (mubaarak) is only used to describe Jesus and is never used for anyone else. But it is used elsewhere to describe things that the Qur'an considers perfect. Thus the Qur'an itself is called blessed (6:93, 156), the first house of prayer is called blessed (3:96), and the olive tree that provides oil for the likeness of the light of God is called blessed (24:35), but Jesus is the only person who is blessed in this perfect way. (The Perfect Man)
Thirdly, both the Quran and the ahadith deny that Muhammad was sinless:
Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy sin, and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours. S. 40:55 Pickthall
So know (O Muhammad) that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest. S. 47:19 Pickthall
Lo! We have given thee (O Muhammad) a signal victory, That Allah may forgive thee of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come, and may perfect His favour unto thee, and may guide thee on a right path, S. 48:1-2 Pickthall
Fourthly, the following traditions clearly contrast the essential purity of the Lord Jesus from the sinfulness of Muhammad, as well as the other true prophets:
Narrated Abu Huraira:

Some (cooked) meat was brought to Allah Apostle and the meat of a forearm was presented to him as he used to like it. He ate a morsel of it and said, "I will be the chief of all the people on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know the reason for it? Allah will gather all the human being of early generations as well as late generation on one plain so that the announcer will be able to make them all-hear his voice and the watcher will be able to see all of them. The sun will come so close to the people that they will suffer such distress and trouble as they will not be able to bear or stand. Then the people will say, 'Don't you see to what state you have reached? Won't you look for someone who can intercede for you with your Lord' Some people will say to some others, 'Go to Adam.' So they will go to Adam and say to him. 'You are the father of mankind; Allah created you with His Own Hand, and breathed into you of His Spirit (meaning the spirit which he created for you); and ordered the angels to prostrate before you; so (please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are? Don't you see what condition we have reached?' Adam will say, 'Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. He forbade me (to eat of the fruit of) the tree, but I disobeyed Him. Myself! Myself! Myself! (has more need for intercession). Go to someone else; go to Noah.' So they will go to Noah and say (to him), 'O Noah! You are the first (of Allah's Messengers) to the people of the earth, and Allah has named you a thankful slave; please intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?' He will say.' Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become nor will ever become thereafter. I had (in the world) the right to make one definitely accepted invocation, and I made it against my nation. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Abraham.' They will go to Abraham and say, 'O Abraham! You are Allah's Apostle and His Khalil from among the people of the earth; so please intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?' He will say to them, 'My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. I had told three lies (Abu Haiyan (the sub-narrator) mentioned them in the Hadith) Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Moses.' The people will then go to Moses and say, 'O Moses! You art Allah's Apostle and Allah gave you superiority above the others with this message and with His direct Talk to you; (please) intercede for us with your Lord Don't you see in what state we are?' Moses will say, 'My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will become thereafter, I killed a person whom I had not been ordered to kill. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Jesus.' So they will go to Jesus and say, 'O Jesus! You are Allah's Apostle and His Word which He sent to Mary, and a superior soul created by Him, and you talked to the people while still young in the cradle. Please intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?' Jesus will say. 'My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before nor will ever become thereafter. JESUS WILL NOT MENTION ANY SIN, but will say, 'Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Muhammad.' So they will come to me and say, 'O Muhammad ! You are Allah's Apostle and the last of the prophets, AND ALLAH FORGAVE YOUR EARLY AND LATE SINS. (Please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?" The Prophet added, "Then I will go beneath Allah's Throne and fall in prostration before my Lord. And then Allah will guide me to such praises and glorification to Him as He has never guided anybody else before me. Then it will be said, 'O Muhammad Raise your head. Ask, and it will be granted. Intercede It (your intercession) will be accepted.' So I will raise my head and Say, 'My followers, O my Lord! My followers, O my Lord'. It will be said, 'O Muhammad! Let those of your followers who have no accounts, enter through such a gate of the gates of Paradise as lies on the right; and they will share the other gates with the people." The Prophet further said, "By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, the distance between every two gate-posts of Paradise is like the distance between Mecca and Busra (in Sham)." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 236)
... They would come to Jesus and would say: O Jesus, thou art the messenger of Allah and thou conversed with people in the cradle, (thou art) His Word which He sent down upon Mary, and (thou art) the Spirit from Him; so intercede for us with thy Lord. Don't you see (the trouble) in which we are? Don't you see (the misfortune) that has overtaken us? Jesus (peace be upon him) would say: Verily, my Lord is angry today as He had never been angry before or would ever be angry afterwards. HE MENTIONED NO SIN OF HIS. (He simply said:) I am concerned with myself, I am concerned with myself; you go to someone else: better go to Muhammad (may peace be upon him).
They would come to me and say: O Muhammad, thou art the messenger of Allah and the last of the apostles. Allah HAS PARDONED THEE ALL THY PREVIOUS AND LATER SINS ... (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0378)
Note that Muhammad allegedly acknowledged that the major prophets (himself included) were sinners, with the Lord Jesus being the sole exception! This is perhaps why a Muslim like Qatadah (as reported by Al Tabari) could say:
"Jesus and his mother did not commit any of the sins which the rest of the children of Adam commit." (Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Quran and Its Interpreters: The House of Imran [State University of New York Press (SUNY), 1992], Volume II, p. 94)

What is ironic about the preceding hadiths is that instead of having the sinless Jesus intercede for others, the sinful Muhammad is granted the right of intercession, even though the other prophets are unable to intercede PRECISELY because they had sinned! More on this below.
To summarize the data we have gathered thus far, we find that both the Quran and the Islamic traditions mention specifically three people (possibly four, i.e., Asiyah, Pharaoh's wife) who were sinless and pure: Jesus, his mother Mary, and John the Baptist. But it is quite unlikely for Asiyah to have been sinless in light of, a) the Quran never says she was pure or faultless as it does for the above mentioned three, and b) the hadiths say that Mary and her Son were the only ones that Satan wasn't able to touch at birth.

The claim that only Mary and Jesus hadn't been touched by Satan further implies that John was effected by Satan's touch, and only highlights the uniqueness and supremacy of the Lord Jesus and his mother within Islam.



The Muslim author continues:
2- Ever since when Islam even remotely suggests that anyone could carry another's sins? Even if the Prophet was sinless, he still would not be able to carry that man's sins! We don't have this type of gibberish nonsense in Islam:
"Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it. (The Noble Quran, 99:7-8)"
One of the beauties of Islam is that Allah Almighty will show every person their good and bad deeds on the Day of Judgement. Every individual will be Judged uniquely by Allah Almighty. He, the Almighty, will determine which sins will be punished and which sins will be forgiven:
"God forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with God is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed. (The Noble Quran, 4:48) "
RESPONSE:



First, none of the passages cited by Osama deny that people can carry the sins of others. It is obvious from Osama's statements here that he hasn't carefully read the Quran, since if he had he would have found the following passage:
And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: Follow our path and we will bear your wrongs. And never shall they be the bearers of any of their wrongs; most surely they are liars. And most certainly they shall carry their own burdens, AND OTHER BURDENS WITH THEIR OWN BURDENS, and most certainly they shall be questioned on the resurrection day as to what they forged. S. 29:12-13 Shakir
The ahadith also support this view. Allegedly writing to Heraclius, Muhammad says:
"In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. This letter is) from Muhammad, Apostle of Allah, to Heraclius, the sovereign of Byzantine........ Peace be upon him who follows the Right Path. Now then, I call you to embrace Islam. Embrace Islam and you will be saved (from Allah's Punishment); embrace Islam, and Allah will give you a double reward, but if you reject this, YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SINS OF ALL THE PEOPLE OF YOUR KINGDOM (Allah's Statement):--"O the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship None but Allah....bear witness that we are Muslims." (3.64) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 75)
Furthermore, the Quran testifies that Allah allows the intercession of the one who bears witness to the truth:
And those on whom they call beside HIM possess no power of intercession but only he may intercede who BEARS WITNESS TO THE TRUTH, and they know this well. S. 43:86 Sher Ali
Ibn Kathir states:
The Idols have no Power of Intercession

<And those whom they invoke instead of Him have no power> means, the idols and false gods...
<of intercession> means, they are not able to intercede for them...
<except for those who bear witness to the truth knowingly, and they know.> This means, but the one who bears witness to the truth has knowledge and insight, so his intercession with Allah will avail, by His leave. (Commentary on 43:86; online edition)
This brings us back to a point we made earlier, namely that Muhammad was a sinner and was unqualified to intercede for anyone. Since he was a sinner, he was desperately in need of a savior and intercessor. The Quran agrees since it commands Muslims to pray for Muhammad:
Allah and His angels PRAY for the Prophet (Arabic- yasalluuna alan-Nabiyy): O ye that believe PRAY for him (salluu `alayhi), and salute him with all respect. S. 33:56

But even here we have problems. How can the prayers of sinful humans benefit Muhamamd when they too are in need of salvation and prayers?



The Quran goes on to say:
That no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another, And that man will have nothing but what he strives for; And that the result of his striving shall soon be known; Then will he be rewarded for it with the fullest reward; And that with thy Lord is the final judgment; S. 53:38-42 Sher Ali

Muhammad was burdened with his own sins which needed to be removed:
Have We not expanded for you your breast, And taken off from you your burden, Which pressed heavily upon your back, And exalted for you your esteem? S. 94:1-3

The problem with this surah is that it makes God unjust, or at least makes him less just than merciful, since he had no basis for removing Muhammad's sins. In other words, God's justice must be maintained and satisfied before forgiving anyone of his/her sins. Otherwise, to simply and arbitrarily forgive sinners for all their evil deeds, without demanding justice or punishment, severely compromises God's holy and just character.



Quite obviously then, Muhammad was a sinner whose intercession cannot be acceptable to an infinitely holy and just God. Muhammad had to pay for his own sins before he could help other people with their sins:
"Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit." Psalm 49:7-9

But unlike Muhammad, the Lord Jesus doesn't need anyone to pray for him. Christ alone is sinless amongst the sons of men according to the Holy Bible. He alone lived a perfect and sinless life. Besides being sinless, the Lord Jesus is also fully God in essence. Cf. John 1:1-3, 10. 14; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:2-3, 10-12.



It follows, then, that he alone can intercede for others and ransom individuals from death:
"Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell. But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah" Psalm 49:14-15

"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." Romans 5:18-19
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:14-15
"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need - one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself." Hebrews 7:25-27
"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself UNBLEMISHED to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance - now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant." Hebrews 9:14-15
"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." 1 Peter 1:18-19
"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:22-24
"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit," 1 Peter 3:18
"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2
"But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin." 1 John 3:5
Even the OT announced the absolute sinlessness of God’s Servant, the Messiah, proclaiming beforehand that he would bear the sins of others in order to make atonement for them:
"Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall THE RIGHTEOUS ONE, MY SERVANT, MAKE MANY TO BE ACCOUNTED RIGHTEOUS; AND HE SHALL BEAR THEIR INIQUITIES. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; YET HE BORE THE SIN OF MANY, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53:1-12




Moreover, Christ alone perfectly testifies on behalf of the truth:
"'You are a king, then!' said Pilate. Jesus answered, 'You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth LISTENS TO ME.'" John 18:37
Christ not only testifies to the truth, but he also is the very truth itself in human form:
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the TRUTH and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me." John 14:6
In light of the preceding, it makes more sense that the Lord Jesus, not Muhammad, is the one interceding for others. And because Christ perfectly satisfies God's infinite holiness through his death and obedience, whereby he took away God's wrath which was upon true believers prior to their salvation, he has merited for them the right to intercede before God on behalf of one another:
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men - the testimony given in its proper time." 1 Timothy 2:1-6
__________________
O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Arrow The Confusion of Islam regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

The Confusion of Islam regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ





Allah (allegedly) says in Chapter 4 verse 157 of the Qur'an referring to Jews and Christians:
And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)] 4:157 Hilal-Khan
I have decided to check whether Allah is consistent and has made sure his own Muslim Ummah(nation, community) has no doubts or uncertain knowledge regarding what really happened at the Crucifixion. After all, if Allah can't keep his latest Ummah absolutely certain and without doubt on this subject, why would he level criticism at the Jews and Christians for the very same thing?

So let us take a look at a few of the Islamic Conceptions regarding what exactly did happen back in the 1st Century.

The Substitution Theory

This theory is advocated by a number of exegetes. We will look at three classical commentaries.


Abu Al-Fida, 'Imad Ad-Din Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir Al-Qurashi Al-Busrawi (1301-1373), a famous commentator of the Qur'an gave his explanation of 4:157:
The Jews also said,
("We killed Al-Masih, `Isa, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah,'') meaning, we killed the person who claimed to be the Messenger of Allah. The Jews only uttered these words in jest and mockery, just as the polytheists said,
(O you to whom the Dhikr (the Qur'an) has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man!) When Allah sent `Isa with proofs and guidance, the Jews, may Allah's curses, anger, torment and punishment be upon them, envied him because of his prophethood and obvious miracles; curing the blind and leprous and bringing the dead back to life, by Allah's leave. He also used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow in it, and it became a bird by Allah's leave and flew. `Isa performed other miracles that Allah honored him with, yet the Jews defied and bellied him and tried their best to harm him. Allah's Prophet `Isa could not live in any one city for long and he had to travel often with his mother, peace be upon them. Even so, the Jews were not satisfied, and they went to the king of Damascus at that time, a Greek polytheist who worshipped the stars. They told him that there was a man in Bayt Al-Maqdis misguiding and dividing the people in Jerusalem and stirring unrest among the king's subjects. The king became angry and wrote to his deputy in Jerusalem to arrest the rebel leader, stop him from causing unrest, crucify him and make him wear a crown of thorns. When the king's deputy in Jerusalem received these orders, he went with some Jews to the house that `Isa was residing in, and he was then with twelve, thirteen or seventeen of his companions. That day was a Friday, in the evening. They surrounded `Isa in the house, and when he felt that they would soon enter the house or that he would sooner or later have to leave it, he said to his companions, "Who volunteers to be made to look like me, for which he will be my companion in Paradise'' A young man volunteered, but `Isa thought that he was too young. He asked the question a second and third time, each time the young man volunteering, prompting `Isa to say, "Well then, you will be that man.'' Allah made the young man look exactly like `Isa, while a hole opened in the roof of the house, and `Isa was made to sleep and ascended to heaven while asleep. Allah said,
(And (remember) when Allah said: "O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself.'') When `Isa ascended, those who were in the house came out. When those surrounding the house saw the man who looked like `Isa, they thought that he was `Isa. So they took him at night, crucified him and placed a crown of thorns on his head. The Jews then boasted that they killed `Isa and some Christians accepted their false claim, due to their ignorance and lack of reason. As for those who were in the house with `Isa, they witnessed his ascension to heaven, while the rest thought that the Jews killed `Isa by crucifixion. They even said that Maryam sat under the corpse of the crucified man and cried, and they say that the dead man spoke to her. All this was a test from Allah for His servants out of His wisdom. Allah explained this matter in the Glorious Qur'an which He sent to His honorable Messenger, whom He supported with miracles and clear, unequivocal evidence. Allah is the Most Truthful, and He is the Lord of the worlds Who knows the secrets, what the hearts conceal, the hidden matters in heaven and earth, what has occurred, what will occur, and what would occur if it was decreed. He said,
(but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared as that to them,) referring to the person whom the Jews thought was `Isa. This is why Allah said afterwards,
(and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture.) referring to the Jews who claimed to kill `Isa and the ignorant Christians who believed them. Indeed they are all in confusion, misguidance and bewilderment. This is why Allah said,
(For surely; they killed him not.) meaning they are not sure that `Isa was the one whom they killed. Rather, they are in doubt and confusion over this matter.
(But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful,) meaning, He is the Almighty, and He is never weak, nor will those who seek refuge in Him ever be subjected to disgrace,
(All-Wise.) in all that He decides and ordains for His creatures. Indeed, Allah's is the clearest wisdom, unequivocal proof and the most glorious authority. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.' He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)' One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,' and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa's followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.' Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.' Another group, Muslims, said, `The servant and Messenger of Allah remained with us as long as Allah willed, and Allah then took him to Him.' The two disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and they killed them. Ever since that happened, Islam was then veiled until Allah sent Muhammad .'' This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa'i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. Many among the Salaf stated that `Isa asked if someone would volunteer for his appearance to be cast over him, and that he will be killed instead of `Isa, for which he would be his companion in Paradise. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir on 4:157)
Tafsir al-Jalalayn is one of the most significant tafsirs for the study of the Qur’an. Composed by the two "Jalals" -- Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli (d. 864 ah / 1459 ce) and his pupil Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d. 911 ah / 1505 ce), Tafsir al-Jalalayn is generally regarded as one of the most easily accessible works of Qur’anic exegesis because of its simple style and one volume length. For the first time ever Tafsir al-Jalalayn is competently translated into an unabridged highly accurate and readable annotated English translation by Dr. Feras Hamza.



Al-Jalalayn on 4:157
And for their saying, boastfully, 'We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God', as they claim: in other words, for all of these [reasons] We have punished them. God, exalted be He, says, in repudiating their claim to have killed him: And yet they did not slay him nor did they crucify him, but he, the one slain and crucified, who was an associate of theirs [the Jews], was given the resemblance, of Jesus. In other words, God cast his [Jesus's] likeness to him and so they thought it was him [Jesus]. And those who disagree concerning him, that is, concerning Jesus, are surely in doubt regarding, the slaying of him, for some of them said, when they saw the slain man: the face is that of Jesus, but the body is not his, and so it is not he; and others said: no, it is he. They do not have any knowledge of, the slaying of, him, only the pursuit of conjecture (illa ittiba'a l-zann, is a discontinuous exception) in other words: 'instead, they follow conjecture regarding him, that which they imagined [they saw]'; and they did not slay him for certain (yaqinan, a circumstantial qualifier emphasising the denial of the slaying). (Tafsir Al Jalalayn on 4:157)
Tafsir Ibn 'Abbas Attributed variously to the Companion Abdullah Ibn Abbas (d. 68/687) and to Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Firuzabadi (d. 817/1414), Tanwîr al-Miqbâs is one of the most pivotal works for understanding the environment which influenced the development of Qur’anic exegesis. Despite its uncertain authorship and its reliance on the controversial Isrâ’îliyyat or Israelite stories, Tanwîr al-Miqbâs nevertheless offers readers valuable insight into the circulation and exchange of popular ideas between Islam, Judaism and Christianity during the formative phase of Islamic exegesis.


Ibn 'Abbas on 4:157
(And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger) Allah destroyed their man Tatianos. (They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them) Allah made Tatianos look like Jesus and so they killed him instead of him; (and lo! those who disagree concerning it) concerning his killing (are in doubt thereof) in doubt about his killing; (they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture) not even conjecture; (they slew him not for certain) i.e. certainly they did not kill him. (Tafsir Ibn 'Abbas on 4:157)
As pointed out elsewhere on Answering-Islam (*), there is disagreement on who substituted Christ:
"1. God made someone look like Jesus who was then crucified in the place of Christ. This is known as the substitution theory, but this interpretation is beset with many problems. First, who in fact was made to look like Christ? Muslims were not unanimous:
A. Some say that it was Judas.
B. Others say it was one of Jesus’ disciples.
C. Still others say that it was a Roman soldier named Titawus."
The Swoon Theory
2. Jesus was crucified but did not die. He swooned on the cross and later recovered.
Although the swoon theory is held mainly by the Ahmaddiyas and the Nation of Islam, groups that are considered heretical, there are also orthodox Sunni Muslims who have adopted this theory as well. The most famous Sunni to adopt and embrace this view for polemical purposes is Ahmad Deedat.
Akbarally Meherally is another one who has decided to embrace this theory (Article 1, Article 2). Meherally even goes so far as to deny the substitution theory.
Muslim apologist Shabir Ally tried to defend this theory (quite unsuccessfully I might add) in his debate with Dr. William Lane Craig, "Did Jesus of Nazareth Physically Rise from the Dead?", held on Monday, March 4, 2003 at the University of Toronto. When confronted in the Question and Answer period by Christian Apologist Tony Costa jr. as to why Mr. Ally was promoting the Ahmaddiya position of the swoon theory, seeing that this view is considered heretical by orthodox Muslims, the latter responded:
... So whereas Sunni Muslims believe that Jesus will be coming again a second time on the authority of many authentic reports back to the prophet Muhammad, reported in authentic collections like Bukhari and Muslims and so on, the Ahmaddiya group believes that Jesus will not come again because he has actually already returned in the person of the founder of that group. I believe that Jesus will come again.
Now our position seem to intersect on the point of Jesus surviving death on the cross. I have looked at the reports that are generally followed by Sunni Muslims, understanding that someone else was substituted for Jesus on the cross, and I have seen that although there are a variety of reports, the commentators cannot agree precisely on what has happened here and how exactly a substitute was given. And it appears that they are following reports which originated in Iraq, according to an excellent analysis done by Neal Robinson, who’s a Muslim now, in his book Christ in Islam and Christianity. And looking at the quranic text itself, which is the best interpretation of itself, we see that the quranic text ends with a summary which says wama qataloohu yaqeenan, "they did not kill him definitely", Bal rafaAAahu Allahu ilayhi, "but God raised him to himself." I take this to be a summary of the whole discussion on what has happened to Jesus. There was a plot to kill him but they neither killed him nor crucified him, crucified him in the sense of killing him by crucifixion. That is a definition that has been given in Tafsir-Ul-Qur’an by Abdul Majid Daryabadi, which is a Sunni Tafsir on the Quran. So I am well within my ranks and I haven’t changed positions on that, but perhaps interpretations.
The Legend Theory
3. The crucifixion didn't even happen but was a later invention/legend. The late Muhammad Asad held this view:
Thus, the Qur'an categorically denies the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. There exist, among Muslims, many FANCIFUL LEGENDS telling us that at the last moment God substituted for Jesus a person closely resembling him (according to some accounts, that person was Judas), who was subsequently crucified in his place. However, none of these LEGENDS finds the slightest support in the Qur'an or in authentic Traditions, and the stories produced in this connection by the classical commentators must be summarily rejected. They represent no more than confused attempts at "harmonizing" the Qur'anic statement that Jesus was not crucified with the graphic description, in the Gospels, of his crucifixion. The story of the crucifixion as such has been succinctly explained in the Qur'anic phrase wa-sakin shubbiha lahum, which I render as "but it only appeared to them as if it had been so" - implying that in the course of time, long after the time of Jesus, a legend had somehow grown up (possibly under the then-powerful influence of Mithraistic beliefs) to the effect that he had died on the cross in order to atone for the "original sin" with which mankind is allegedly burdened; and this legend became so firmly established among the latter-day followers of Jesus that even his enemies, the Jews, began to believe it - albeit in a derogatory sense (for crucifixion was, in those times, a heinous form of death-penalty reserved for the lowest of criminals). This, to my mind, is the only satisfactory explanation of the phrase wa-lakin shubbiha lahum, the more so as the expression shubbiha li is idiomatically synonymous with khuyyila li, "[a thing] became a fancied image to me", i.e., "in my mind" - in other words, "[it] seemed to me" (see Qamas, art. khayala, as well as Lane II, 833, and IV, 1500). (p. 134, fn. 171, online source; capital and underlined emphasis ours)
The Natural Death Theory

Moiz Amjad of Understanding-Islam.com defends his theory that the Qur'an teaches Jesus died naturally here.

9th Century Muslim Historian Al Tabari:

"In fact, early Muslim scholarship was greatly confused and divided over the exact nature of Jesus' final days. Early Muslim scholarly opinion did not hold to a uniform view regarding Jesus' final moments, with some scholars believing that Christ actually did die and some others claiming that God took him straight into heaven without dying. An example of an early Muslim scholar holding to a different view from that commonly promoted by Muslims today is Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari (839-923)." This article establishes the view of Al-Tabari and his position that Jesus was crucified and raised into heaven.

Hadith Collection:
Lastly it may come as a surprise to some that many of the major hadith volumes including the two major authentic ones, Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, are completely silent on the issue of the Crucifixion.

A Summary of the Problems:
  1. Muslims who accept the substitution theory cannot agree on "who" was substituted. Some Muslim exegetes who accept the substitution theory are silent on who substituted Jesus (reminds me of "no certain knowledge")
  2. The substitution stories are not all unanimous; there details have variations there appears to be no consensus of the exact facts of these stories among the exegetes.
  3. The early centuries of Islam seem to be more silent on the issue, even the Hadith collections of Imam Burkhari and Imam Muslim are silent on the issue of the Crucifixion.
  4. Some Muslims believe Jesus was crucified but he survived the crucifixion and was raised into heaven by Allah i.e. the Swoon Theory.
  5. Some Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified at all but died a natural death, someone else however died in his place.
  6. Some Muslims believe there was no specific individual crucified, either Jesus or his alleged clone, they believe this story was later invented by the Jews.
  7. Islamic Scholarship in the past and present has been divided on this issue. To this day there is no unanimous view held by Allah's Ummah.
The Conclusion
It seems rather hypocritical to accuse Jews & Christians of having nothing but conjecture, no actual knowledge especially when no counter evidence is offered. It seems unreasonable to not provide an explicit account of what actually did happen and then leave it up to later generations of Muslims to invent there own ideas and interpretations of what happened. Most of all it is inconsistent to criticise a group of people of conjecture when your own Ummah does exactly the same!
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O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

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Comparing The False Prophet And The Muslim Jesus



http://www.answering-islam.org/Autho...se_prophet.htm

Amazingly, the similarities between the biblical narratives of the end-times and the Islamic narratives do not end with the Antichrist and the Mahdi. If it were so, then it might be easier to dismiss the many similarities as mere coincidence. The parallels however, do not stop with the Antichrist and the Mahdi, but extend again quite clearly, into the person of the man biblically known as the False Prophet and the man known in Islam as Isa al-Masih – Jesus the Messiah.

The specific plan of Satan down through the ages is articulated clearly in the Bible. The Bible teaches that Satan will raise up not one, but two men as his agents in the earth to lure men away from the worship of The One True God. The first man that Satan will use is the Antichrist. We have already examined his role in chapter five. The second man is known biblically as the False Prophet. We will examine his role next…

The Unholy Partnership Of The Antichrist And The False Prophet


The nature of the relationship of the biblical False Prophet to the Antichrist is one of a partner in crime so to speak. It is only in the final book of the Bible that we learn about the False Prophet. The Apostle John was the first and only author of Scripture that received revelation about this assistant to the Antichrist. In Revelation chapter thirteen, John introduces us to the man described as “another beast” but spoken of later in Revelation as the False Prophet:

Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast... And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth… Revelation 13:11-14

From this passage, we can determine a few things about the False Prophet. Firstly he is called a beast - he is, like the Antichrist, a man possessed by Satan. He is another human pawn of the Dragon, exercising the will of the Dragon on the earth. But instead of ten horns, he only has two. The horns speak of authority. The power and authority of the False Prophet is clear, but it is not nearly equal to that of the Antichrist who is said to have ten horns. We also see that the False Prophet is a miracle worker. Among the many miracles he is said to work, one is mentioned specifically: He is said to cause fire to come down from the sky. The False Prophet’s primary reason for performing miraculous signs is to cause the inhabitants of the earth to follow and even to worship the Antichrist. The two are pictured as a team, a partnership with one common goal - deception, seduction and a luring away of anyone who worships Yahweh, the God of the Bible.

The Unholy Partnership Of The Mahdi And The Muslim Jesus

Likewise in the Islamic narrative of the last-days, we do not find a lone character who is coming to rescue the world, but instead we find a team. We find both the Mahdi and the Muslim Jesus. And as in the case of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, we find that one is clearly filling a supporting role while the other is the leader. While the Mahdi is clearly described as being, “the Viceregent (Caliph) of Allah,” 1 Jesus is described as being one who will “espouse the cause of the Mahdi” 3 and “follow him.” 2 The partnership between the Mahdi and Jesus is one of the leader and his subordinate. And as we have already seen, and will continue to see, the partnership of the Mahdi and Jesus is indeed an unholy partnership - particularly if you are not a Muslim and have no intention of becoming one. If this is the case, then you are marked for death - plain and simple. The Muslim Jesus is a twisted version of the biblical Jesus who said:

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me; that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:38-40

Instead of espousing the “cause” of the Father, the Muslim Jesus espouses the cause of the Mahdi. Instead of saving those followers of His whom the Father has placed under his oversight, the Muslim Jesus instead slaughters those who remain faithful to the words of Jesus as found in the Bible. The Muslim Jesus is not the tender yet strong shepherd of the gospels, but rather The Wolf himself in the shepherd’s clothing.

The False Prophet As The Antichrist’s Chief Enforcer
The coming of the lawless one (The Antichrist) will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth… He performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Revelation 13:11,12

We see in the Bible that the False Prophet will come with “all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.” He will perform “great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down out of heaven… (To deceive) the inhabitants of the earth.” But after his miracle working power fails to convert every last person on the earth, his primary drive becomes to set up a system whereby the inhabitants of the earth will have only two options; worship the Antichrist or be killed. The False Prophet is said to create some form of “image,” possibly some form of idol or statue that has the ability to “speak.” Exactly what this “image” will be is yet to be seen.

He (The False Prophet) was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. Revelation 13:15

There is something highly unusual about this image that “could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.” Somehow the image itself will have the ability to enforce the law of the False Prophet; it will have the ability to cause people to be killed. This seems to work in tangent with the infamous “mark of the beast” that is part of the False Prophet’s system. All the inhabitants of the earth will be “forced, everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:17)

So biblically speaking, the False Prophet is the enforcer of the Antichrist’s global worship movement. Imagine for a moment, a miracle working evangelist who is completely possessed by Satan and refuses to take no for an answer at the threat of death. This is exactly what the False Prophet will be.

The Muslim Jesus As The Mahdi’s Chief Enforcer
The False Muslim Jesus according to Islam will likewise be the greatest evangelist that the world has ever seen. He fulfills the description of the False Prophet in this regard to a tee! We see that the false Muslim Jesus, like the False Prophet comes to convert the Christian world to a new religion. In the case of the Muslim Jesus, the religion is, of course, Islam:

When Jesus returns he will personally correct the misrepresentations and misinterpretations about himself. He will affirm the true message that he brought in his time as a prophet, and that he never claimed to be the Son of God. Furthermore, he will reaffirm in his second coming what he prophesied in his first coming bearing witness to the seal of the Messengers, Prophet Muhammad. In his second coming many non-Muslims will accept Jesus as a servant of Allah Almighty, as a Muslim and a member of the Community of Muhammad. 4

Though based merely on this description, Jesus’ power to convert seems based more on the simple fact of the persuasiveness of his words, presence and actions than any specific mention of miracles. Just like the False Prophet however, the Muslim Jesus refuses to take no for an answer. As seen above, Jesus, along with the Mahdi, institutes the Islamic Law all over the earth and in so doing, abolishes the Jizyah Tax which non-Muslims historically have had the option of paying as “protection” money not much unlike the “protection” money that mafia bosses extort from businesses in their area. After the time that the Jizyah tax is abolished, “all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative.” 5 But what if some still refuse to convert? Then, as we have already seen, the leaders of the so-called “religion of peace,” the Mahdi and the Muslim Jesus will have them executed.

The False Prophet As Executioner


From the Bible’s description of the False Prophet we learn that one of the primary motives behind his plan in creating this “image in honor of the beast” is so that those who refuse to worship it are killed:

He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. Revelation 13:14,15

Later there is a specific reference to the exact form in which these people will be killed:

And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. Revelation 20:4

The Bible tells us that those who refuse to participate in the system established by the False Prophet, who refuse to worship the Antichrist or his image will be killed. The specific method that the Bible highlights is beheading. We will discuss this fact in more detail in a later chapter. The False Prophet will be the greatest executioner that the world has ever known.

The Muslim Jesus As Executioner

And how different is the Muslim Jesus? We have already examined the Islamic traditions that establish that Jesus will abolish the Jizyah tax thus leaving only two options for Christians and Jews worldwide: convert to Islam or die.

Jesus, the son of Mary will soon descend among the Muslims as a just judge… Jesus will, therefore, judge according to the law of Islam… all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative. 6

The time and the place for [the poll tax] is before the final descent of Jesus. After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus' descent 7

We have also seen the Islamic traditions that picture Jesus as being the leader of an army that slaughters tens of thousands of Jews who are all said to be followers of the Dajjal (Antichrist).
The Yahudis (Jews)… will be his main followers. 8
Isa (Jesus) kills the Dajjal at the Gate of Hudd, near an Israeli airport, in the valley of “Ifiq.” The final war between the Yahudi’s will ensue, and the Muslims will be victorious. 9
In the Last Hour Muslims will fight with Jews. Since the Jews are an integral part of the army of the Dajjal, and Muslims are the soldiers of the Prophet Jesus, they will fight each other and the Muslims will become triumphant until even a stone or a tree would say: Come here, Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me; kill him. 10

The biblical False Prophet and the Muslim Jesus are both described as establishing a system of Law that will enforce the mass execution of anyone who refuses to convert to the new global religion.

A Dragon In Sheep’s Clothing

We have all heard the expression “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Most people don’t know that Jesus is the originator of this saying. Interestingly, when Jesus coined this expression, he was referring specifically to false prophets. The exact phrase was, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Likewise, The False Prophet to whom all other false prophets are merely a foreshadowing is described by the Apostle John as one who, “had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). This is to say that the False Prophet will appear to be mild and gentle – a “lamb-like” person, but inwardly he is a man who is literally possessed by Satan himself. He will be filled with deception, murder, rage and hatred. His purpose will be to deceive as many people as he can into worshipping the Dragon.

The appearance of the False Prophet as “a lamb” may also quite possibly be a reference to notion that the False Prophet will claim to literally be The Lamb, Jesus Christ (John 1:36; Revelation 5:6,13). This would make sense if we look a bit more closely at Jesus’ warnings to His disciples in Matthew chapter 24. Repeatedly, Jesus warns his disciples of the many false prophets who will come in the last-days, but in the very first warning that Jesus gives His disciples when they ask him about the nature of the Final Hour before His return, Jesus says, "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5) While I do not believe that every false prophet that will emerge in the last-days will literally claim to be Christ himself, it is clear from this passage that some will. And if The False Prophet of Revelation 13 is the archetype and very model for all other false prophets, then it also stands to reason that the False Prophet may very well claim to be Jesus Christ himself. This of course is a perfectly brilliant (though infinitely evil) plan. Who else better could you imagine to have as your back-up man and your primary minister of propaganda than someone whom much of the world believes to be Jesus Christ himself? It appears that this is what Satan has planned for the Antichrist/Mahdi.

Conclusion

Muslims are very fond of using Jesus as an evangelistic tool among Christians. Numerous Muslim books have been published which extol the greatness of Jesus and express a deep love for Him. One Muslim web site even proclaims that “Jesus led me to Islam.” Muslims use Jesus as a lure to draw Christians in, in order to convince them of the truth of Islam. But the advertised Jesus of Islam is much different than the Muslim Jesus that comes to reveal his true identity as the most radical of fundamentalist Muslims. The Jesus that returns in Muslim tradition makes Osama Bin Laden look like a novice. He is pictured as coming to establish Islamic Law across the face of the planet that would legalize the execution of anyone who refuses to convert to Islam. He is pictured as leading the army that will slaughter tens of thousands of Jews who are said to be followers of the Dajjal. If ever such a person existed that could rightly be described as a “beast,” then surely, the Muslim Jesus is such a man.

Muslims are awaiting a man to come that will claim to be Jesus Christ. He would be presented as a lamb. If such a man ever exists, he will claim according to Islamic tradition, that he has been alive in heaven for the past two thousand years, waiting to return to complete his life and accomplish his mission on the earth. Such a man would be a liar. He would be a true student of his master, the father of lies. He would come to fulfill what the Bible expresses to be the chief boiling desires of Satan, to either deceive Christians and Jews – indeed the entire earth into worshipping him or to slaughter them. In the Bible, we see that it is for these very purposes that Satan will empower his False Prophet. The biblical description of the False Prophet and the Islamic description of the Muslim Jesus, on all the essential points, are identical.

Notes:

1.Ibn Maja, Kitab al-Fitan #4084 as quoted in Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, The Approach of Armageddon? An Islamic Perspective (Canada, Supreme Muslim Council of America, 2003), p. 231

2.Ayatullah Baqir al-Sadr and Ayatullah Murtada Mutahhari, The Awaited Savior, (Karachi, Islamic Seminary Publications), prologue, p. 3

3.Sais I-Nursi, The rays, The Fifth Ray, p. 493, as quoted in Harun Yahya, Jesus Will Return, (London, Ta Ha, 2001), p. 66

4.Kabbani, p. 237

5.Mufti Mohammad Shafi and Mufti Mohammad Rafi Usmani, Signs of the Qiyama and the Arrival of the Maseeh, (Karachi, Darul Ishat, 2000), p. 59

6.Sideeque M.A. Veliankode, Doomsday Portents and Prophecies (Scarborough, Canada, 1999) p. 358

7.Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller and Tools of the Worshipper, a Classic Manuel of Islamic Sacred Law, Translated by Noah Ha Mim Keller, (Amana Publications, Beltsville Maryland, revised 1994) p. 603.

8.Who is the evil Dajjal (the "anti-Christ")? by Mohammed Ali Ibn Zubair Ali http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/masdaj.html

9.Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair, The Signs of Qiyama, translated by M. Afzal Hoosein Elias from the original (with references): " Aalalaat-e-Qiyyamat aur Nuzul-e-Eesa." http://members.cox.net/arshad/qiyaama.html

10.Veliankode, p. 218
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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