Monday, 6 April 2009

Does the Qur’an imply that Jesus is superior to Muhammad?

And not only, actually, he is the Word of God.

Let’s quickly see how Islam sees Jesus in the Qur’an and in the ahadith:

- He is the Messiah (Mahdi): Q 4:171 (Bible: John 1:41; 4:25-26)
- He is the Spirit and the Word of God (Q 4:171)
- Born from a virgin (Q 19:16-35)
- He created Life and treated the ills(Q 3:49),
- Was a Sign for all Humanity (Q 19:21)
- He is great in the World and in Heaven (Q 3:45)
- He ascended to Heaven by God (Q 4:158)
- Will come back for the Last Day (of Judgement) (Q 43:61)
- He was born without sins (Q 19:19)
- His cross is still preserved (Tabari 123-124)
- Bukhari 4.55. Number 644:

"Muhammad said, "If anyone TESTIFIES …, and that Muhammad is His Slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah's Slave and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit from Him…'Such a person can enter Paradise".

Muhammad personally singles out Jesus from all the other prophets, that a person must mention by name in his/her confession of faith. Thus, it is not enough for believers to confess their faith in Muhammad since they must also confess faith in Jesus as well!

- There are as well confused statements about Jesus. For example, the Qur’an takes the Holy Trinity as God, Jesus and Mary (Q 5:116), Jesus speaks in the cradle (Q 3:41), makes a bird out of clay (Q 4:154), says that Mary is the daughter of Imran and sister of Aaron (Q 3:31 19:29 66:12), actually two people that lived around 700-1000 years before.
- Jesus, according to the Qur’an is superior to all creation, vastly superior to even Muhammad and his family (Link, Link, Link)

Christians love Jesus as Muslims love Muhammad. But there are big differences between the two.

- Muhammad sinned (Q 40:55; 47:19; 48:2; this last Surah was revealed in 628 A.D., 4 years before of Muhammad’s death)! While Jesus was sinless and died to redeem us form our sins.
- For sure, Muhammad killed or treated to kill at least 11 women/men that dared to mock him. Jesus instead said in the case that people would not accept you: “if they don’t accept you, take away the sand from your shoes, and go on.
- Muhammad, was born poor, his friends gave him some dates after he had wasted all the wealth of his first wife (Khadija). But he ended his life very rich (10-20% of each booty during his raids went to him). Jesus was born poor and stayed poor all his life until his death.
- Christians are very disturbed if someone suggests that He could have slept with a woman, while for Muslims it sounds natural that he slept with 23 women. Generally Muslims add that his was due to his great heart, and in order to forge alliances: but it suffices to bring an example to expose the real facts: during the peace after the treaty of Hudaibya, Muslims attacked a Jewish village (Khyber), so the Jews came out with spades and baskets. If it were the Jews that were aggressive against Muslims, their behaviour would have been surely much different (Sirah 757), After the massacre of the Jews of Khyber, the women were distributed between Muslims (Muhammad got the most beautiful: Safiya). In this case, did Muhammad try to have a pact with the Jews of Kyber? the contrary. Jesus for example said that it is not just enough not to betray, but that it is even a sin to look after a girl with a “dirty mind”. The benchmark is so high that there are no more punishments. Otherwise, everyone would be stoned. Jesus goes directly to the heart of the problem. Just compare how Muhammad and Jesus behaved in the case of a confrontation with a prostitute: both were brought a prostitute/adulteress, and even if the Jews didn’t stone anyone anymore, they wanted her to be. But he let her go saying “if anyone is without sins, launch the first stone”. Muhammad from his side let an adulteress first have her baby born, and after she was stoned. Muhammad moreover, raped several girls, even if they were already married. (Q 4:24)
- As Pascal, the French philosopher said: everyone could do what Muhammad did, he made no miracles, and was not foretold. But cannot do what Jesus did.

Jesus’ Crucifixion

The Qura’nic version of the Crucifixion: actually, the Qur’an is not really clear over the last hours of Jesus. There are different opinions over that. The Qur’an doesn’t say expressly that Jesus Christ was not crucified o that he didn’t die! The Qur’an just says that the Jews didn’t kill/crucify him (Q 4:157). In fact, following the Bible and what Christians say, it has been the Romans that imposed this cruelty on Jesus. Following ibn Kathir, God didn’t allow Jesus to die, but let someone else die in his place, but letting everyone think that it was Jesus. So, now we have a lot of questions: Who was the one (apostle) who died in his place? Was he replaced by a new apostle? Did Allah let kill an innocent person, in order to cheat, deceive everyone (don’t forget that Allah is the best deceiver Qur’an (Q 3:54)). So, Allah started a fully new religion (Christianity), actually the biggest religion in the world, just because he wanted to deceive his apostles and the whole mankind? If Jesus did not die on the cross, we should take it for granted that he should have communicated it to his followers, shouldn’t he?

There are many theories on Muslim side about the crucifixion: Muslims all agree that Jesus has been substituted, but there are a lot of differences on who took his place. For several centuries this issue has been not touched at all by Islamic sources. Even in the ahadith of Bukhari and Muslim, we have nothing about this issue. Some think that he was actually crucified, but actually survived, was taken to Heaven (this is the opinion of the Islamic Ahmadiya Sect and of the “Nation of Islam”). For others, he didn’t die on the cross but died of natural reasons. Others have the opinion that nobody was ever crucified. Actually there is not an orthodox opinion on his crucifixion.

Last but not least: in Q 3:7 we have: “He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except God. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding” (Yussuf Ali)? What are the implications for the crucifixion (I would dare to say, for the whole Qur’an)? What is to be taken seriously? Do for example Q 3:45 and 4:171 talk about the Word of God and his Spirit allegorically or is it “fundamental”?

Jesus as God’s Servant, Son, Spirit, Breath of Life and Word

Muslims argue that “Son of God” is equivalent to servant. But in John 8:34-36 we have that “a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever”. Allah has created Jesus from the virgin Maria, but it says nothing about the father of Jesus (this affirms the virgin birth). For Christians, Jesus is God and not the opposite (God is not Jesus). As we have already seen, (here) in Q 13:39, the Qur’an has a mother, in Q 43:3-4 Jesus is with God as his Word and Spirit, before he was born from Mary, in Q 4:171 Jesus is the Spirit of God and his Word. All this presupposes the pre-human existence of Jesus. It will not be Muhammad, but Jesus that will eliminate the unbelievers (Jesus is actually the Mahdi)

The Qur’an says that Allah breathed the Spirit into Mary. Q 15:28-29; 21:91; 66:12; 19:16-21. Some Muslim exegetes say that it was Gabriel who breathed into the mother of Christ (ex: Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs and Tafsir al-Jalalayn). Therefore, is Gabriel Allah, the very one who did the breathing and caused Jesus’ conception? The Alternative (Christian) View: Jesus is God’s Spirit who was breathed into Mary. After all, doesn’t the Qur’an identify Jesus as a Spirit who proceeds from Allah (Q 4:171)? Actually, it is the same expression used in reference to one who is both omnipresent and omnipotent (Q 58:22). The problem is that Muslim scriptures are far from being consistent since Q. 4:171 expressly says that Jesus is a Spirit from Allah and his Word which he cast into Mary, both of which clearly presuppose his prehuman existence. (God is the Messiah, Q 5:17; God is the Messiah, Q 5:72; Q 9:30). The Qur’an ascribes to Jesus the very breath of life, emphatically stating that Christ is able to breathe life into inanimate objects (Q 3:49; 5:110; 32:7-9; Q 38:71-72). Jesus creates and breathes life in exactly the same way that Allah does! This only makes sense in light of Jesus being God’s very own Spirit whom he sent to become incarnate from the virgin Mary. At the very least this shows that Jesus possesses the very same life-giving Spirit of God according to the Qur’an

The Name of Jesus

The Arabic name for Jesus is Yasu’. We actually don’t know from where the Qur’anic name Isa (Esa) comes from! In Q 5:71-74 we have: “Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allah is the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary)." But the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)] said: "O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord” (Hilali-Khan).  Muhammad choose Isa as name for Jesus. Some Muslim argue that it derives from the Jewish name Esau. But Esa would be Jesus’ name only if it would correspond to his Hebrew name. In the Bible we have Esau (but to call the Messiah Esa is very strange, because Esau had been rejected by God)

Is Muhammad already foretold in the Gospel? (brief preview, on that later)

Is Muhammad already foretold in Deuteronomy, 18 and in John 14:16 (Paracletus)? Actually not. The reference here are the Jews.

Muslims think as well that John 14:16 is talking about Muhammad. They think that Paracletus (the Comforter, i.e. the Holy Spirit) is the corruption of Periclytos (~the praised one, which is almost a literal translation of "Muhammad", or Ahmad (Not only does the word Ahmad not have ‘the same’ meaning as ‘Muhammad’, but on that please see here). Anyway, there is no textual evidence (no Manuscript) that confirms this. Moreover, it is not at all plausible from the context (on this later on in one of our next posts).

The last Prophet?

Muslims often assert that Muhammad is the last prophet, and thus he must be the right one. But even in this case, this is not true: after Muhammad we had several other “prophets”, that even came out with their own books: some are even inside the Islamic stream. Take the Ahmadiyyah or Baha’i. The founder of the Baha’i, Baha’u’llah has been persecuted by the Iranian Shiites and obliged to take escape to Israel (their headquarter is in Haifa. That speaks a lot about faith freedom in Islamic countries). But of course there we have other religions/sects that came after. Surely, one of the best known are the Mormons.

God …

But Christ …

And Yet Christ …

Is eternal (Neh. 9:5; Ps. 90:2, 93:2; Isa. 57:15)

Was born (Matt. 1:18; 2:1-6; Luke 2:4-16)

Always existed (John 1:1-3; 8:58; 17:5; Col. 1:17)

Is immutable (Ps. 102:25-27; Malachi 3:6)

Grew and changed (Lk. 2:40, 52; Heb. 5:8)

Is also immutable (Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8)

Is omnipresent (Ps. 139:7-12; Jer. 23:23-24)

Was one place at a time (John 11:21, 32)

Is omnipresent as well (Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 1:45-49; 14:20-21, 23; 15:4-5; 17:23, 26; 2 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:7, 10; Col. 1:27; 3:11)

Knows all things (1 Kgs. 8:39; Job 37:16; Ps. 139:1-6; 147:4-5; Jer. 17:10; 1 John 3:20)

Did not know the day or hour (Matt. 24:36; Mark 13:32)

Knows everything/is omniscient (Matt. 9:4; 17:27; Mark 2:8; 7:29 [24-30]; John 2:23-25; 14:13-14; 16:30-31; 21:17; Acts 1:21; 1 Cor. 4:5; Rev. 2:23)

Is not a man (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; Hos. 11:9)

Is a man (Acts 17:30-31; 1 Tim. 2:5)

Is also God (Isa. 9:6; John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:8; Tit. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:1)

Is Spirit/incorporeal (Isa. 31:3; John 4:24)

Has a body (John 1:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-29; Acts 2:30-32; Col. 2:9)

Is a life-giving Spirit who is invisible (1 Cor. 15:45; 1 Tim. 6:16)

Cannot be tempted and caused to sin (James 1:13)

Was tempted (Heb. 4:15)

Could not sin (John 5:19)

Does not get tired (Ps. 121:3-4; Isa. 40:28)

Got tired (John 4:6)

Gives rest to the weary (Matt. 11:28-30)

Cannot die (1 Tim. 1:17)

Died (Phil. 2:8)

Raised himself from the dead and could not have his life taken away (John 2:19-22; 10:17-18)


Is Gabriel the Holy Spirit?

Has Allah not utilized the Holy Spirit to bring down the Revelation? As Allah has used Gabriel to give us the Revelation, is thus Gabriel the Holy Spirit? The problem with this position is that Allah has utilized actually more than just one “entity” to inspire Muhammad. But there we have a problem as there are more than one “revelator”: (Q 77:5 (And by the angels that bring the revelations to the Messengers, Hilaly-Khan), Q 15:7-8 “Why do you not bring angels to us if you are of the truthful ones, We send not the angels down except with the truth (i.e. for torment, etc.), and in that case, they (the disbelievers) would have no respite!” (Hilali-Khan); Q 19:64 “And we (angels) descend not except by the Command of your Lord (O Muhammad SAW). To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between those two, and your Lord is never forgetful, (Hilali-Khan)“). We don’t have one single ayat (verse) of the Qur’an that states that Gabriel brought the whole Qur’an. Muslims want to demonstrate that the Spirit of God is not God, but actually, the facts are that the Qur’an identifies it as the creator.

Some more Contradictions

It seems that Q 3:55 and 5:117 imply that the earthly journey of Jesus ended without dying, when Allah took Jesus to him. But, if Jesus has been taken physically to heaven, this contradicts the fact that every person has to taste death (as stated in the Qur’an “everybody will taste death”, Âl 'Imran 3:185)).


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