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Islam, Christianity and Judaism regard Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam as its patriarch – Almighty Allah informs us of Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam’s status in verse 67 of Surah Al-Imraan:
“Ebrahim was not a Jew nor a Christian; but an upright Muslim.”
Islam is a religion without mythology. Its teachings are very simple and rational. Its appeal is to human reason and conscience. The Islamic doctrine of the Unity and Goodness of Almighty Allah is brought home to us by the study and contemplation of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an where we find the all-pervading unity behind the manifest diversity, and by the teachings of all the Prophets sent to mankind. Islam is a revival and restatement of the religion of Nabee Adam, Nabee Abraham, Nabee Moosa, and Nabee Esa Alayhim Salaam In short, Islam is the religion that was revealed to each and to every one of the 124,000 Ambiya Alayhim Salaam who were sent to various nations with the exact same message during different ages throughout the history of mankind on this planet. The name of Almighty Allah’s religion – Islam – was chosen by Almighty Allah Himself Who declares this in verse 3 of Surah Al-Ma’idah:
“This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”
Islam is the universal message of Unity – the Unity of Almighty Allah, the unity of all religions, the unity of all the Prophets and the unity of all mankind for Almighty Allah makes this crystal clear in verse 67 of Surah Al-Imraan:
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam never will it be accepted of him.”
Since Islam, Christianity and Judaism regard Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam as its patriarch – Almighty Allah informs us of Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam’s status in verse 67 of Surah Al-Imraan:
“Ebrahim was not a Jew nor a Christian; but an upright Muslim.”
Nowhere in the Bible or in the Torah will you find Almighty Allah saying to Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam or to the Bani Isra’eel that their religion is Judaism. Similarly, nowhere in the Bible will you find Almighty Allah telling Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam or his followers that their religion will be called Christianity. All the Prophets Alayhim Salaam called the people to surrender their will to the Will of Almighty Allah – which is Islam – and to warn people to stay away from the false gods of human imagination directed to any person, place or thing other than the Glorious Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and earth, Unfortunately, in the course of time, the earlier revealed Divine Messages had been misinterpreted and became adulterated with superstitions and degenerated into magical pagan practices and meaningless rituals.
The conception of Almighty Allah and the very core of His True Religion had become debased by the enemies of Almighty Allah. The anthropomorphic tendency of making Almighty Allah into a being with a human shape and human passions, the association of other persons with the one and only Supreme Creator in His Godhead as in Christianity and Judaism. By making the prophets into avatars or incarnations of Almighty Allah like we find Nabee Esa (Jesus Peace be upon him) in Christianity and Hazrat Uzair (Ezra -Peace be upon him) in Judaism and by the personification of the attributes of Almighty Allah into separate Divine Persons. Almighty Allah tells us in verse 30 of Surah At-Taubah of the transgressions :
“And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of God, and the Christians say the Messiah is the son of God. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate those who disbelieved of old. Almighty God (Himself) opposes them. How perverse are they!”
The Christian world does not know that the true spirit of charity which Muslims display, always, towards Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam and his Mariam – (Peace be upon her) spring from the fountainhead of their faith – the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an. The Christian does not know that the Muslim does not take the holy name of Nabee Esa [Jesus], in his own language, without saying Hazrat Esa Alayhis Salaam….(Peace be upon him). Every time a Muslim mentions the name Jesus without the words of respect – Alayhis Salaam, he would be considered uncouth and acting in an un-Islamic manner. The Christian does not know that Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam (Jesus Christ – Peace be upon him) is mentioned by name twenty-five times in the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an spread over fifteen different chapters. He is mentioned five times more by name including titles of respect than our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
Throughout the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an, he is addressed with respect as: Ibne Mariam; (Son of Mary) Massih, (Messiah) Abdullah, (Servant), Rasullullah (Messenger). He is spoken of as “the word of Allah” as the “spirit of Allah” as a “sign of Allah” and numerous other epithets of honour. The Most Holy Qur’an honours this mighty Messenger of Almighty Allah, and the Muslims have not fallen short over the past fourteen hundred years in doing the same. There is not a single disparaging remark in the Most Holy Qur’an to which even the most jaundiced among the Christians can take exception. The creed of Islam is given to us in verse 136 of Surah Al-Baqara:
Say: “We believe in Almighty God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to all prophets from their Lord: We make no distinction between any of them: And we bow to Almighty God (in Islam).”
The Islamic view of Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam (Jesus Christ) lies between two extremes. The Jews rejected him in toto as a prophet, called him an imposter, they persecuted him as a liar and boast that they crucified him on the cross. The Christians on the other hand worship him, as the only begotten Son of Almighty Allah and they worship him as such. The Orthodox Christian Churches make it a cardinal point of their doctrine that he was crucified on a Friday (which later became Good Friday) and that he died on the cross so that their sins can be forgiven. This is necessary for the Christian theological doctrine of blood sacrifice and vicarious atonement for sins, which is totally rejected by Islam. The findings of historical criticism are confirmed by the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an, according to which Jesus – Alayhis Salaam was a prophet in the Judaic tradition who did not teach any new creed. The Most Holy Qur’an also regards the doctrines of his ‘Sonship and divinity’ as ideas borrowed from pagan beliefs of pre-Christian times and confirms this to us in verse 30 of Surah At-Taubah:
“The Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is only an utterance
of their mouths, (wherein) they imitate the unbelievers before them….”
Taking men for gods or sons of Almighty Allah was not a new thing. All ancient mythologies have myths and fables of that kind. There was less excuse for such blasphemies after our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam had clearly explained our true relation to Almighty Allah than in the times of primitive ignorance and pagan superstition. Revelation, as represented by the teachings of Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam, is just one among the many elements that make up the Christian theological tradition. It is not Jesus Christ Alayhis Salaam who defines ‘Christianity’ but ‘Christianity’ that defines Jesus – Alayhis Salaam. Islam does not divorce reason from faith and reason from revelation. It was this union of intellect and faith that resulted in the great achievements of Islamic culture in all the various spheres.
In the Christian world, that which defined faith was not the teachings of Jesus Christ – Alayhis Salaam, but man-made theology with its incomprehensible doctrines of Trinity, divinity, and Atonement, which grew out of the mythological representations and cultic concepts derived from Hellenic syncretism. By this I mean that the development of a man-made religion and beliefs came about by the inclusion of older primitive myths and pagan superstitions and beliefs. From the viewpoint of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an, those human beings who do not use their intellectual and receptive faculties are of a lower order than animals. Instinct is the Divine Guide that animals obediently follow in their lives, whereas man, whose guide is the intellect that offers a guidance greatly superior to that of the instinct, forsakes his guide to follow the desires of his lower instincts. This is made clear to us in verses 178 & 179 in Surah Al-A’raf:
“Whomsoever Almighty Allah guides, are rightly guided; and whoever He leads astray are the losers…they have hearts but do not understand, they have ears but do not hear. They are like cattle; nay, they are further astray. They are heedless.”
The belief in Almighty Allah begetting a son is not a question merely of words or of speculative thought. Islam considers it a stupendous blasphemy against Almighty Allah. It is destructive of all moral and spiritual order, and is condemned in the strongest possible terms as we learn from verses 88 & 89 in Surah Mariam: They say:
“That Almighty Allah has betaken a son! . Indeed you have put forth a monstrous thing.”
Begetting a son is a physical act depending upon the needs of men’s animal nature. Almighty God is independent of all needs, and in Islam, it is derogatory to attribute such an act on Him. The Holy Qur’an confirms that Nabee Esa (Jesus Christ)) Alayhis Salaam had no human father and that he was conceived immaculately. However, this does not make him the ‘begotten son of Almighty Allah’ as the Christians claim. By this criterion Nabee Adam (Alayhis Salaam) would have been more entitled to be the son of Allah because he had neither father nor mother. The Most Holy Qur’an draws attention to the miraculous creation of both of them in verse 59 of Surah Al-I-Imran:
“The similitude of Jesus before Almighty Allah is that of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be” and he was.”
As far as our physical bodies are concerned they are mere dust. In Almighty Allah’s sight, Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam (Jesus) was as dust just as Nabee Adam Alayhis Salaam was of humanity. The greatness of Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam arose from the Divine Command “Be”: for after that he was more than just dust – he was a great prophet and teacher. The Most Holy Qur’an confirms that Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam (Jesus) was not crucified. It was the intention of his enemies to put him to death on the cross but Almighty God saved him from their plot as revealed in verses 157 and 158 of Surah An-Nisaa:
“That they said (in boast): “We killed Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, The Messenger of Almighty God; But they killed him not, nor crucified him. Only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who defer therein are full of doubts with no (certain) knowledge, But only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Almighty God raised him up unto Himself; and Almighty God is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
The Christian Church from the 4th century had raging controversies over the nature of Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam – (Jesus Christ). What was obvious to his earliest followers became lost and adulterated by later converts who distorted their interpretation of ‘sonship’ literally according to their pantheistic upbringings, thus over-riding the basic monotheistic imperative of his teachings. To reiterate, the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an confirms in the clearest terms that Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam (Jesus) was a true servant and messenger of Almighty Allah. Muslims hold him in the highest reverence and believe that he was miraculously born of a virgin. He was endowed with the power to perform many miracles and was sent to preach the true worship of Almighty Allah and to announce the coming of Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.
There is ground for closer relations between Muslims and Christians because, essentially, Muslims believe the same things about Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam (Jesus Christ) as did his earliest followers. It is indeed with great regret that it is only the unfortunate encrustation of old distorted pagan mythology that divides them.
And Almighty Allah knows best.
Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa-sal Allaahu wa Sallam ‘alaa Nabiyyina Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.
Was Salamualaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu