Hard Questions

frank, open and honest discussions

Muslims belief in Jesus, Truth or Myth?

with 14 comments


by Rasheed,

Did you ask yourself, why Muslims do not retaliate by attacking or insulting Jesus, when their prophet Muhammad is Insulted? Please read on to find the answer,

I have heard it spoken before, read it in print, and finally received comments from a new blogging friend, Andrew. They all said: Muslims pretend to believe in Jesus whilst accuse him of being a liar!!

The comments I referred to above also:

  1. Argued that Jesus is the Only Way to God

  2. Claimed that ALL prophets of the Bible are Jewish, therefore Muhammad could not have been a true prophet

  3. Argued that, since Jesus said he is God, Muslims can not believe him to be a prophet, and reject his divinity at the same time. Basically, Muslims, accuse Jesus of being a liar!

I promised to write a post to follow up on the discussion, so here are my additional thoughts starting from the last point:

The claim that Muslims accuse Jesus of being a liar is an obvious distortion of reality. It is often made to discourage people from learning about Islam. It falls in the same category as the claim that Allah is different from the God of Abraham and Israel.

Let me make it absolutely CLEAR: No Muslim would dare accuse Jesus of being a liar, or detract -in any way- from his standing before God. We must respect and revere Jesus at all times. This is NOT done out of courtesy to Christians. We do it because our belief in, and respect of, ALL the prophets of God is an essential part of our faith and religion.

God says in the Quran:

“Say We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.” {The Quran, 3:84}

This verse from the Quran defines an essential part of the Muslim creed.

What I, and all Muslims believe is that Jesus himself did not claim to be God, neither was he begotten by God, but rather, he was created by God without a biological father, the same as Adam was created without neither a father nor a mother.

The Muslim position is that later errors in transmission, led to the corruption of Jesus’ story and his message, not that he lied.

God told us in the Quran that Jesus was human. There is a bulk of evidence from the canonical Gospels, early Christian writings and modern day Christian scholars works, which points to the non-reliability of the claim about Jesus divinity.

God says in the Quran, describing events in the Last Day, the Day of Judgment, where Jesus will explain that he never claimed to be God, It was a fabrication of which Jesus himself is innocent:

“*5-116: And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then Thou knewest it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden.”

*5-117: I spake unto them only that which Thou commandedst me: Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things.

*5-118: If Thou punish them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgive them, Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, the Wise.
[5:116-118]

All the prophets of the Hebrew Bible taught a central message of the One, Unique, God, The same message was repeated by Muhammad. I am in no doubt that this was also the true message of Jesus.

It just doest not make sense to me that God had suddenly changed from being The One, Unique, and Supreme God of Abraham and Israel, to become of a triune Godhead. It does not make sense to me that God had a Son that Abraham and Moses did not know about! Does it make sense to you?

On the other points raised,

The definition of prophet is someone who receives revelations from God, and is commanded by God to deliver a message to his people, therefore, I would still say that it is not true that ALL prophets in the Torah were Jewish, Lot, Abraham, Noah and Enoch were all prophets and they were not Jewish.

Every prophet sent to his people, at a certain point in history, would rightly say that he is the only way to God. But this has always been understood to be valid only for the duration of his ministry (ministry is not necessarily confined to his life).

You see, people who rejected their prophets/ messengers were also rejected and punished by God, The people of Noah, The people of Lot, Pharaoh and his entourage all perished because they rejected their messengers.

Even Korah, mentioned in Numbers:16, and his followers, who were believers in God, but rejected Moses and rebelled against him received immediate punishment and were out of favour with God. in

A final word, I do not write this blog, in the believe that it will lead someone to change his mind, or convert to Islam. All I am hoping for is, to put across the Muslim point of view, as I understand it, to people who did not hear it directly from us.
If you are enlightened, then it is by God’s grace, if not, It is His Will.

Written by Rasheed Gadir

November 10, 2007 at 1:17 am

14 Responses

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  1. Sir,

    I appreciate that you wrote these thoughts, but I think the problem from my point of view–which is necessarily Christian–is that you elevate the words of Qu’ran above the Words of the New Testament. The Qu’ran is not authoritative for the Christian and the New Testament makes no sense of your statement: “What I, and all Muslims believe is that Jesus himself did not claim to be God, neither was he begotten by God, but rather, he was created by God without a biological father, the same as Adam was created without neither a father nor a mother.” You might believe this, but the New Testament is decidedly opposed to such an interpretation. Jesus claimed over and over again to be God with such statements as: “I and the Father are One.” And, “The Word was God,” and other such statements. And the apostles made similar statements in the epistles. Oh, and read Revelation 4 & 5 where The Father and The Son are worshiped alike.

    I would also challenge the notion that Moses and Abraham didn’t know that God ‘had a Son.’ True, they may not have fully understood Trinitarian theology (who does?), but even the New Testament never states it so succinctly. God didn’t ‘suddenly’ change his mind because there was nothing to change his mind about: God doesn’t change in that respect: He is Who He is even as the Name he gave to Moses implies. And, if you carefully read the story of Abraham, written by Moses, you will see that in fact Moses did know about Trinitarian theology: Abraham (Father), Isaac (Uniquely begotten son), and (eventually) Jacob (Spirit). (Plus, there are the theophanies. See also Genesis 22, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 among others.)

    Finally, I think it shows a remarkable amount of misunderstanding to merely claim that the canonical gospels have been corrupted and that is how we get our notions about Jesus. Such claims have been proven wrong and dismissed by scholarship time and time again and if you are willing to do the research you will discover this to be true. This is not adequate to explain the beliefs of Christians and is, frankly, rather insulting. But, then again, this is really the only way that people can explain away the Christian Scriptures isn’t it? It simply must be full of errors if we are to live in the pluralistic world the world desires, because if it isn’t then everyone but the Christian is without hope, right? Jesus did claim to be the Way and it is this claim, I think, that offends most people.

    Thanks for writing, it is most helpful to gain this insight from you even though I don’t think I could disagree with your understanding of Jesus more than I do. It would take more space to properly explain these things, but I think the bottom line to this on-going debate is this: which Scripture is God’s Word? You say the Qu’ran; I say the Old & New Testaments. Thanks again for writing to explain your position. I enjoyed the read.

    jerry

    dangoldfinch

    November 10, 2007 at 2:40 am

  2. Jerry,

    Thank you Jerry for your very kind remarks, I too enjoyed reading your contribution.

    There are many points you raise in your comment that are deserving of further discussions, and I will certainly return to them in this blog.

    I assure you that it is not my intention to offend or insult anyone here, and apologise for making you feel that way. When I refer to transmission errors, I simply refer to a textual criticism of the Bible undertaken mostly by notable Christian Scholars. Many recent editions of the Bible contain footnotes describing unreliable readings, variants and/ or later additions to the text, some of which are quite significant. See, for example the Textual Criticism section in the New Testament Gateway site by Dr Mark Goodacre of the University of Duke.

    Thank you once more and hope to talk to you soon here.

    Rasheed

    November 10, 2007 at 3:38 am

  3. Hello Rasheed, my great concern for you is that you do not believe that Jesus’ death atoned for his followers. You do not believe in substitutionary atonement, right? Are you willing to face the Holy God in the judgement without your sins atoned for?

    In regards to your view of scripture, I would rather think that a person would be amazed at the UNITY of the scriptures given the diverse channels through which we received the manuscripts. But if you have doubt, rather than faith, as your presupposition, you will never see it that way. I pray that God will bless you with faith.

    Joel

    November 10, 2007 at 5:25 am

  4. Rasheed,
    If Muslim scholars were to one day declare that the Qu’ran was all a fabricated hoax would you change your mind? My guess is you would not. The same is true of Christians. Many Christian scholars have set out to study the Bible and found things they did not understand. Some at that point begin a full scale denial of the Bible. Others looked deeper and gained understanding.

    One such notable case would be in the differing genealogies of Jesus. To the casual reader it would appear that the genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are in conflict with one another. A deeper look into Jewish tradition though, shows otherwise. It was a tradition of the Jews, when a man died and his wife had borne him no children that one of his brothers would marry his wife and have children with her to legally carry on his family name. The reason these two genealogies differ is because one uses the legal account and the other uses the physical account. This could easily be assumed to be an error by someone who did not understand the cultural context.

    There are many such examples which scholars have come across over the past two thousand years and assumed to be errors. Because someone thinks something is inconsistent does not necessitate it being wrong. It may only be inconsistent within a different cultural context.

    Andrew

    November 10, 2007 at 5:37 am

  5. Believe me Andrew, Muslim scholars have done extensive criticism of the transmission of sacred texts. They have excluded thousands of Sayings (Hadith) attributed to the prophet. Scholars from the first century classified Sayings into 4 categories 1-Authentic, Good, 3- Weak, 4- Fabricated.

    Weak and Fabricated narrations are always excluded and can not be relied upon in forming doctrine, or laws, and I will happily drop any idea that has its soul source as a weak or fabricated Hadith.

    The genealogy of Jesus is not a matter of vital important. If someone gets it wrong it will have no great effect on his religion, and in any case, we all agree it does not lead to his father (For you say his father is God, and we say he was born without a father)
    I am talking about really important matters like the divinity of Jesus and the creed of the trinity. If you get these wrong, you may be in danger of jumping outside the way of God altogeher. To frankly, if it turns out that Jesus is human and there is no trinity in the godhead, then those beliefs put you in the most perilous position in the eyes of God:

    Deuteronomy6: 13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land

    Rasheed

    November 10, 2007 at 6:39 pm

  6. How does one go about determining what is authentic or not? It seems like a pretty arbitrary procedure to me. It all too conveniently excludes everything from the Bible in conflict with the Qu’ran. Or perhaps that is the criteria these scholars use?

    Did it ever occur to your scholars that everything Muhammad said could have been fabricated since there were no other witnesses to his “revelations?”

    You may be interested in reading a post I wrote on the founding of Islam from the perspective of Christianity. I would love to get your thoughts on it.

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    Andrew

    November 11, 2007 at 4:13 am

  7. Assalamu alaikum brother,
    I am Qonita (thats my screenname) from Indonesia. Glad to find this blog, its nice and insha Allah its beneficial. You seem to know a lot about the Christianity, I wonder If you are a revert…

    Indeed we muslims will never retaliate and say bad things about any of Allah’s messenger including Jesus alaihi salam. That will be harnful to our own faith.
    Just to insert a story here, I remember in a discussion, how a Christian enraged just because a muslim brother mentioning some human quality in Jesus alaihi salam. He said it without intention of being disrespectful, just to make a point that Jesus is a man, he ate and drank, that means {edited} and it is impossible for god. The Christian was really furious at that!

    Some other Christians even claim that muslims worship Muhammad for elevating him more than ‘the Word of God.” SubhanAllah, and this comes from people who worship a human being, a messenger of Allah, and say him part of Allah, subhanallahi ‘amma yashrikoon.

    Looks like I am going to visit this blog quite often.

    Jazakallahu khayr

    bearwitness

    November 13, 2007 at 3:13 pm

  8. to Andrew,
    Looks like the Christians like to claim that there were no witness to the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad. I also read similar claim several times. But this is far from the truth! The witnesses were so many, trustworthy companions of the Prophet salallahu alaihi wassalam. The different is, muslims did not confused the Speech of Allah with the saying of the Prophet and testimonies of the witnesses (the companions of the Prophet). Thew were recorded in separate books! Indeed that is a great blessing for muslims!

    bearwitness

    November 13, 2007 at 3:19 pm

  9. Dear Qonita,
    I am grateful for your comments on the blog, and for your contributions and welcome you as a contributor and a reader. Thank you.

    On the question of the human nature of prophets including Jesus [peace upon thema all], The Quran mentions the fact that all prophets were human who ate food and walked in the markets, without detailing intimate human activities {[25 Al Furqan:20], [5:Al maida:75]}.

    I do think we too, must adopt this Quranic virtue of politeness with everyone, but especially with prophets.

    I would not, therefore, approve of what that Muslim said, although I understand that he did not mean to be offensive, he did not follow the spirit of the Quran.

    I think that, the Christian person had a right to be incensed.

    Rasheed

    November 13, 2007 at 5:17 pm

  10. I don’t know a whole lot about Islam. What I understand is that Muhammad began receiving revelations in a cave from the angel Gabriel. It is these revelations that are considered the “words of Allah” and are recorded in the Qu’ran. What are the different books involved in Islam and what is contained in each of them? When were these books written? Were there actual witnesses to the angel Gabriel speaking to Muhammad?

    There were hundreds of witnesses to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Many of whom died for what they believed in because they knew it to be true. What are the claims of Islam about these events?

    Andrew

    Andrew

    November 13, 2007 at 11:25 pm

  11. Rasheed,
    I went back and re-read an essay on the textual criticism of the Bible, such as has been conducted by Bart Ehrman. I thought I would share it with you:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5717

    Andrew

    Andrew

    November 14, 2007 at 5:16 pm

  12. Andrew

    Thank you for telling me about this very interesting article. I read it carefully, and I am going to read it again. There are a few ideas and thoughts in the article that I need to discuss with you and other readers of the blog.
    In the mean time, I am preparing a series of posts on Islamic scriptures as per your previous comment.

    Rasheed

    November 15, 2007 at 1:08 am

  13. Thanks Rasheed. Glad you enjoyed the article. I pray it was helpful in seeing the other side of the story. I look forward to your posts.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    November 15, 2007 at 4:17 am

    • Andrew

      Yes there was witnesses to the angel Gabriel, peace be upon him, speaking to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace. Read the hadith of Umar, where Gabriel comes in the form of a man to teach the Companions the three aspects of religion, belief, practice, and spirituality.

      Knowledge Seeker

      July 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm


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