Either Islam contemplates as well the possibility of the existence of the “Original Sin”, or there is a contradiction in the Qur’an
Some Muslims have made an attempt (*) to attack the fact that Jesus payed for our sins. Let’s see their reasoning and how their stance is applied to Islam:
Why on earth would God punish us for the sins of our forefather?... Fine, Adam is unique because he is the first man created, began life differently than us and committed the first sin. How on earth does this justify God's blaming us for his mistake? Just because Adam was the first sinner why would that necessarily imply that we automatically become sinners.
Its like me saying this..”John Doe is a rapist. Therefore, his children when born are automatically considered rapists because they come from the offspring of John Doe”
The concept of original sin is illogical and unjust.
Unlike in Islam where we believe that God creates us pure and it is us who corrupt ourselves by committing sins. We bring condemnation unto our selves and it is not God that creates us condemned without us doing anything wrong in the first place. That is unjust.
They also say:
Surah 3:59 shows that Jesus is unique like Adam because they both were created without fathers. How on earth does this justify or show that Jesus should or could die for our sins?
Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16
With the foregoing in the background we now turn our attention to the Islamic data to see whether the Qur’an and the hadith literature deny original sin and whether these sources teach that humans are born pure. We begin by looking at the following Qur’an ic text:
But the Satan made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that (state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of YOU being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time. Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. We said: Go down, ALL OF YOU, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. S. 2:36-38
The above text expressly shows that Adam’s sin had a negative impact on all future generations of mankind since in Arabic the YOU in both 2:36 and 38 is plural (referring to more than two), as opposed to the dual. We know that the plural in the case of Q. 2:38 cannot be referring to Satan since he stands condemned to hell and will not follow the guidance which will come from Allah. It is therefore apparent that the plural is addressed to all of mankind, that humanity suffered expulsion due to their head, Adam, a point reiterated elsewhere:
God said, ‘Go forth, some of you will be enemies of others. And for you there is an abode on the earth and a provision for a time.’ S. 7:24
Here is how renowned Sunni exegete Ibn Kathir explained Q. 2:38-39:
Allah informs of His warning to Adam, his wife and Satan, THEIR OFFSPRING, when he ordered THEM to descend from
The late Abdullah Yusuf Ali said something similar in reference to Q. 2:36:
… Note the transition in Arabic from the singular number in ii. 33, to the dual in ii. 35, and the plural here [2:36], which I have indicated in English by "All ye people." Evidently Adam is the type of all mankind, and the sexes go together in all spiritual matters. Moreover, the expulsion applied to Adam, Eve, and Satan, and the Arabic plural is appropriate for any number greater than two
Regarding Q. 2:34 Ibn Kathir wrote:
This Ayah mentions the great honor that Allah granted Adam, and Allah reminded Adam's offspring of this fact. Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, as this Ayah and many Hadiths testify, such as the Hadith about the intercession that we discussed. There is a Hadith about the supplication of Musa, "O my Lord! Show me Adam who caused us and himself to be thrown out of Paradise." When Musa met Adam, he said to him, "Are you Adam whom Allah created with His Own Hands, blew life into and commanded the angels to prostrate before?" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat Al-Fatihah to Verse 252 of Surat Al-Baqarah), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: January 2000], Parts 1 and 2, Volume 1, p. 193)
Ibn Kathir made some rather interesting comments in relation to another text, specifically Q. 7:172, which are quite relevant to our discussion:
Commenting on this Ayah (7:172), At-Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, …
((… So Adam denied that and HIS OFFSPRING FOLLOWED SUIT (denying Allah's covenant), Adam forgot and HIS OFFSPRING FORGOT, Adam made a mistake and HIS OFFSPRING MADE MISTAKES.))
At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih, and it was reported from various chains of narration through Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet. Al-Hakim also recorded it in his Mustadrak, and said; Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim, and they did not record it."
These and similar Hadiths testify that Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, brought forth Adam's offspring from his loins and separated between the inhabitants of
The following narratives corroborate Ibn Kathir's exegesis:
Narrated AbuHurayrah: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: When Allah created Adam, He touched his back, and there fell from his back every soul that He would create from his offspring till the Day of Resurrection and He created between the two eyes of every person a gleam of light. Then He presented them to Adam who said: My Lord who are they? He (the Lord) said: They are your offspring. He (Adam) saw a person from amongst them and he felt attracted towards him and the sparkle of light between his two eyes. He said: My Lord, who is he? (The Lord) said: It is David. He (Adam) said: My Lord, what span of life have you allotted to him? He replied: Sixty years. He said: My Lord, enhance his age from my age (to the extent of forty years). Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: When Adam completed his age life-span with only forty years remaining, there came to him the angel of death. Thereupon Adam said: Are there not forty years left in my life-span? The angel said: Did you not confer your son (forty years). Adam denied it and so did his offspring. Adam forgot and ate (the fruit) of the tree and so his offspring also forgot and he (Adam) committed an error and so did his offspring commit an error. Transmitted by Tirmidhi. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 37; ALIM CD ROM Version)
Narrated AbuHurayrah: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: When Allah created Adam and breathed the spirit into him he sneezed and said, "Praise be to Allah." So he praised Allah by His permission and his Lord said to him, "Allah have mercy on you, Adam. Go to those angels (i.e. a company of them who were seated) and say, 'Peace be upon you'." He said, "Peace be upon you," and they replied, "Upon you be peace and Allah's mercy." Then he returned to his Lord who said, "This is your salutation and the salutation of your descendants to one another." Then Allah said to him, keeping His hands closed, "Choose which of them you wish." He said, "I choose my Lord's right hand, and both of my Lord's hands are Right and Blessed." Then He opened it and it contained Adam and his descendants. He asked, "My Lord, what are these?" He replied, "These are your descendants." Now every man's period of life was written on his forehead, and among them there was a man who was the brightest of them (or, one of the brightest of them). He said, "My Lord, who is this?" He replied, "This is your descendant David, and I have recorded his period of life for him as forty years." He said, "My Lord, increase his life." But He replied, "That is what I have recorded for him." He said, "My Lord, I have appointed him sixty years of my life." He replied, "That is as you wish." He then lived in
The Islamic hadith literature goes even further since not only do the ahadith agree that Adam expelled mankind from paradise because of his sin, it even claims that Allah actually predestined this for him and his seed!
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. 'O Adam! You are our father WHO DISAPPOINTED US AND TURNED US OUT OF PARADISE.' Then Adam said to him, 'O Moses! Allah favored you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action WHICH ALLAH HAD WRITTEN IN MY FATE forty years before my creation?' So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses," the Prophet added, repeating the Statement three times. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 77, Number 611)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira and Hudhaifa that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, would gather people. The believers would stand till the
Abu Huraira reported that God’s messenger told of Adam and Moses holding a disputation in their Lord’s presence and of Adam getting the better of Moses in argument. Moses said, "You are Adam whom God created with His hand, into whom He breathed of His spirit, to whom He made the angels do obeisance, and whom He caused to dwell in his garden; then BECAUSE OF YOUR SIN caused MANKIND to come down to the earth." Adam replied, "And you are Moses whom God chose to deliver His messages and to address, to whom He gave the tablets on which everything was explained, and whom He brought near as a confidant. How long before I was created did you find that God has written the Torah? Moses said, "Forty years." Adam asked, "Did you find in it, ‘And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred’?" On being told that he did, he said, "Do you then blame me for doing a deed WHICH GOD HAD DECREED THAT I SHOULD DO forty years before He created me?" God’s messenger said, "So Adam got the better of Moses n the argument." Muslim transmitted it. (Mishkat Al-Masabih English Translation With Explanatory Notes by Dr. James Robson, Vol I [Sh. M. Ahsraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters, Lahore-Pakistan, Reprint 1990], p. 23)
Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z-Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Adam and Musa argued and Adam got the better of Musa. Musa rebuked Adam, 'You are Adam WHO LED PEOPLE ASTRAY and brought them out of the Garden.' Adam said to him, 'You are Musa to whom Allah gave knowledge of everything and whom he chose above people with His message.' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Do you then censure me for a matter WHICH WAS DECREED FOR ME BEFORE I WAS CREATED?'" (Malik's Muwatta, Book 46, Number 46.1.1)
The tradition further holds Eve responsible for causing God's curse to fall on all future generations of women:
Narrated Abu Huraira:The Prophet said, "Were it not for Bani
Hammam b. Munabbih said: These are some of the ahadith which Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrated to us from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and one of these (this one): Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Had it not been for Bani Isra'il, food would not have become stale, and meal would not have gone bad; and had it not been FOR Eve, a woman would never have acted unfaithfully toward her husband. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3472)
Another renowned exegete and commentator named al-Tabari narrated the following story regarding the fall of Adam and Eve:
According to Yunus - Ibn Wahb - Ibn Zayd (commenting on God's word: "And he whispered"): Satan whispered to Eve about the tree and succeeded in taking her to it; then he made it seem good to Adam. He continued. When Adam felt a need for her and called her, she said: No! unless you go there. When he went, she said again: No! unless you eat from this tree. He continued. They both ate from it, and their secret parts became apparent to them. He continued. Adam then went about in
Cain also shares in the blame of man’s fallen state:
Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "None is killed unjustly, but the first son of Adam will have a part of its burden." Sufyan said, "...a part of its blood because he was the first to establish the tradition of murdering." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 423)
What the foregoing data implies is that the sin of Adam and Eve impacted both themselves and their descendants as well. This means that we would and should expect to find the Qur’an teaching that man is born sinful, evil, corrupt etc., as a result of the first or original sin. Lo and behold, this is precisely what we find the Qur’an teaching!
1. Man is unjust and ungrateful.
And He gives you of all that you ask Him; and if you count Allah's favors, you will not be able to number them; most surely man is very unjust, very ungrateful. S. 14:53 Shakir
Cursed be man! how ungrateful is he! S. 80:17 Shakir
" Truly man is, to his Lord, ungrateful; And to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds); And violent is he in his love of wealth." S. 100:6-8
2. Man is foolish and fails to do what is commanded.
" We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed unjust and foolish;-" S. 33:72 Shakir
" By no means hath he fulfilled what Allah hath commanded him." S. 80:23 Shakir
3. Man is created impatient.
" Verily, man is created impatient and miserly. When evil touches him, he is full of lamentations, But when good falls to his lot, he is niggardly, Except those who pray, Those who are constant in their Prayer; And those in whose wealth there is a known right–" S. 70:19-24 Sher Ali
" And man prays for evil as he ought to pray for good, and man is ever hasty." S. 17:11 Shakir
4. Man is created weak.
"Allah doth wish to lighten your (difficulties): For man was created weak (in flesh)." S. 4:28
5. Man inclines to evil.
" Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." S. 12:53
The Qur’an explains that the reason why man has a natural tendency for evil is because Allah breathed wickedness into him!
By a Soul and Him who balanced it, And BREATHED INTO IT ITS WICKEDNESS and its piety, S. 91:7-8 Rodwell
Notice how Muhammad is said to have interpreted this specific text:
Abu al-Aswad reported that 'Imran b Husain asked him: What is your view, what the people do today in the world, and strive for, is it something decreed for them or preordained for them or will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teaching which they did not act upon? I said: Of course, IT IS SOMETHING WHICH IS PREDETERMINED FOR THEM AND PREORDAINED FOR THEM. He (further) said: Then, would it not be an injustice (to punish them)? I felt greatly disturbed because of that, and said: Everything is created by Allah and lies in His Power. He would not be questioned as to what He does, but they would be questioned; thereupon he said to me: May Allah have mercy upon you, I did not mean to ask you but for testing your intelligence. Two men of the tribe of Muzaina came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger, what is your opinion that the people do in the world and strive for, is something decreed for them; something preordained for them and will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teachings which they did not act upon, and thus they became deserving of punishment? Thereupon, he said: Of course, it happens AS IT IS DECREED BY DESTINY AND PREORDAINED FOR THEM, and this view is confirmed by this verse of the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious: "Consider the soul and Him Who made it perfect, THEN BREATHED INTO ITS SIN and its piety" (xci. 8). (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6406)
The following narratives provide further substantiation that Allah has preordained everything that occurs, especially wickedness and evil:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As: I heard Allah's Apostle (PBUH) as saying: Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, as His Throne was upon water. (Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Number 6416)
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your "if" opens the (gate) for the Satan. (Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Number 6441)
This doctrine of determinism, or predestination, is worse than Calvinism because in Calvinism there is the implication that each person has sinned. In Islam, there is an arbitrary decision about what are believed to be innocent people from birth. Now there are some comments in the Qur’an that support free will, but many Muslim scholars explain these in a way of supporting predestination.
6. Man is lost.
"Verily Man is in loss, Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy." S. 103:2-3
7. Man thinks he is self-sufficient.
"Day, but man doth transgress all bounds, In that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient." S. 96:6-7
8. Sin is universal.
"And if Allah were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)." S. 16:61 Hilali-Khan
"And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of Mercy. Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment. But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape." S. 18:58 Hilali-Khan
"If Allah were to punish men according to what they deserve. He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: when their Term expires, verily Allah has in His sight all His Servants." S. 35:45
9. Man is incapable of becoming pure in and of himself.
"O ye who believe! follow not Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will (but) command what is shameful and wrong: and were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but Allah doth purify whom He pleases: and Allah is One Who hears and knows (all things)." S. 24:21
If Muslims are correct that man is born pure then why would anyone need the grace of Allah to be purified? Aren’t they pure to begin with? If they contend that man becomes impure later on by disobeying Allah then the obvious question is what is it about a man’s nature that causes him to do that which is evil thereby necessitating his need to be purified by Allah?
10. Man is created in distress.
"Certainly We have created man to be in distress." S. 90:4 Shakir
11. Allah debases unbelievers.
"Certainly We created man in the best make. Then We render him the lowest of the low. Except those who believe and do good, so they shall have a reward never to be cut off." S. 95:4-6 Shakir
Muslims also allude to Deuteronomy 24:16 which basically says that a person will not be condemned for the sins of another, a point which the Qur’an agrees with:
Every soul earns only to its own account; no soul laden bears the load of another. S. 6:164 Arberry
The problem and contradiction with the above assertion is that the Qur’an emphatically and plainly teaches that a person can and does suffer because of someone else’s sins, since mankind has suffered as a result of the sin of Adam, Eve and even Cain. Moreover, there are other Qur’an ic verses which state that individuals do shoulder the burdens of others:
That they may bear their burdens entirely on the day of resurrection and also of the burdens of those whom they lead astray without knowledge; now surely evil is what they bear. S. 16:25 Shakir
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
According to the above references unbelievers will bear the sins of others, showing that there is a contradiction within the Qur’an ! In fact, the Qur'an contradicts itself in a space of two verses since the last passage above says that disbelievers will not carry the believers' sins. But right after it makes this statement it goes on to say that the disbelievers on the resurrection day will not only carry their own burden of sins, but the burden of others as well!
The Qur’an further teaches that a person’s lying can lead to Allah cursing his family members:
Then whoever disputes with you concerning him ['Iesa (Jesus)] after (all this) knowledge that has come to you, [i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus) being a slave of Allah, and having no share in Divinity] say: (O Muhammad SAW) "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves - then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the Curse of Allah upon those who lie." S. 3:61 Hilali-Khan
According to the Islamic narrators, this passage was given in response to a Christian group from Najran that had come to question Muhammad’s prophetic ambitions. Muhammad invited them to invoke Allah’s curse upon anyone who was lying, and not just on the liars but upon their families as well.
And whoever, from among the Christians, disputes with you concerning him, after the knowledge, of his affair, that has come to you, say, to them: 'Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our wives and your wives, our selves and your selves, and gather them together, then let us humbly pray and invoke God's curse upon those who lie', by saying: 'Lord, curse the one that tells lies concerning the affair of Jesus'. The Prophet (s) had called upon the Najran delegation to do this when they disputed with him about Jesus. They said, 'Let us think about it and we will come back to you'. The judicious one among them said, 'You know that he is a prophet, and that every people that has ever challenged a prophet to a mutual imprecation has been destroyed'. They left him and departed. When they went to see the Prophet (s), who had set out with al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Fatima and 'Ali, he said to them [the Najran delegation], 'When I supplicate, you say 'Amen'; but they refrained from this mutual imprecation and made peace with the Prophet on the condition that they pay the jizya, as reported by Abu Nu'aym. According to Ibn 'Abbas [the Prophet] said, 'Had they set out and performed the mutual cursing, they would have gone home and found neither possessions nor family'. It is also reported that had they set out with this intention, they would have been consumed by fire. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source)
The natural question that Muslims should ask themselves is why Allah would curse a person’s innocent children and women for a lie that they didn’t say if Islam doesn’t accept concepts such as original sin, corporate solidarity, federal headship etc.? Why should a man’s children and wife suffer for a lie which he uttered, not they? The answer is rather obvious.
This leads to another point. If the Qur’an teaches that a person can affect others by his/her negative actions then surely the Qur’an would have no problems accepting the fact that a person’s righteous deeds can have positive affects upon other individuals. And if the Qur’an accepts that people are suffering because of Adam’s sin and that persons do bear the burdens of others then it should also agree to the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, specifically, that a person can suffer in the place of another.
After all, doesn’t the Qur’an teach that Allah ransomed Abraham’s son of sacrifice from death by providing a substitute?
And We ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice, S. 37:107 Arberry
And if Allah accepts a victim to die in the place of another then surely he should have no problems with the sinless Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus, dying in the place of sinners in order that they might be saved by his perfect life of obedience.
In fact, the Islamic source material teaches that individuals can perform good deeds on behalf of others, righteous acts which Allah will credit to someone else, such as Hajj by proxy (Hajj-e-Badal):
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Abbas: Al-Fadl (his brother) was riding behind Allah's Apostle and a woman from the tribe of Khath'am came and Al-Fadl started looking at her and she started looking at him. The Prophet turned Al-Fadl's face to the other side. The woman said, "O Allah's Apostle! The obligation of Hajj enjoined by Allah on His devotees has become due on my father and he is old and weak, and he cannot sit firm on the Mount; may I perform
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas: Al-Fadl bin 'Abbas rode behind the Prophet as his companion rider on the back portion of his she camel on the Day of Nahr (slaughtering of sacrifice, 10th Dhul-Hijja) and Al-Fadl was a handsome man. The Prophet stopped to give the people verdicts. In the meantime, a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath'am came, asking the verdict of Allah's Apostle. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him. The Prophet looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the other side in order that he should not gaze at her). She said, "O Allah's Apostle! The obligation of Performing Hajj enjoined by Allah on His worshipers, has become due (compulsory) on my father who is an old man and who cannot sit firmly on the riding animal. Will it be sufficient that I perform
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: A woman from the tribe of Juhaina came to the Prophet and said, "My mother had vowed to perform Hajj but she died before performing it. May I perform Hajj ON MY MOTHER’S BEHALF?" The Prophet replied, "Perform Hajj ON HER BEHALF. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it or not? So, pay Allah's debt as He has more right to be paid." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 29, Number 77)
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: A man came to the Prophet and said to him, "My sister vowed to perform the Hajj, but she died (before fulfilling it)." The Prophet said, "Would you not have paid her debts if she had any?" The man said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "So pay Allah's Rights, as He is more entitled to receive His rights." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 690)
Narrated AbuRazin:A man of Banu Amir said: Apostle of Allah, my father is very old, he cannot perform hajj and umrah himself nor can be ride on a mount. He said: Perform hajj and umrah ON BEHALF OF YOUR FATHER. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 10, Number 1806)
See also Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol 3, Book 29, Number 78 and Vol 5, Book 59, Number 682.
Muhammad even permitted Muslims to fulfill the vows made by others:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: That the mother of Sad bin Ubada the brother of Bani Saida died in Sad's absence, so he came to the Prophet saying, "O Allah's Apostle! My mother died in my absence; will it benefit her if I give in charity ON HER BEHALF?" The Prophet said, "Yes." Sad said, "I take you as my witness that I give my garden Al-Makhraf in charity on her behalf." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 51, Number 24)
Narrated Sa'id bin 'Ubada Al-Ansari: that he consulted the Prophet about a vow that had been made by his mother who died without fulfilling it. The Prophet gave his verdict that he should fulfill it ON HER BEHALF. The verdict became Sunna (i.e. the Prophet's tradition). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 689)
The foregoing narratives corroborate the fact that Islam officially accepts vicarious and substitutionary acts, something which Muslims themselves are clearly aware of.
For instance, there are certain Muslims who, ironically, object to such practices such as hajj by proxy on the grounds that it comes too close to the Christian doctrine of the atonement!
A large body of Ulama is strongly opposed to Hajj-e-Badal as being totally at variance with the clear injunctions of the Qur'an and calls it an imitation of the Christian belief in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Qur'an says: "No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. And there is nothing for man except what he strives for." (53: 38-39)… Hajj-e-Badal is an act of vicarious atonement which is the very essence of Christianity, but which is the very antithesis of Islam. (Allamah Ghulam Ahmed Parwez, Hajj-e-Badal; source)
Yet sadly for this Muslim writer the so-called sound ahadith permits Muslims to perform these various practices.
This means that Muslims must face reality and accept that the official teachings of Islam fully embrace substitutionary acts and vicarious suffering. They cannot therefore legitimately object to the Christian view of Jesus’ substitutionary atonement on the grounds that it is unfair and unjust without this undermining his entire religious belief system.
For more on this issue we recommend the following articles:
Some Muslims also mention that Jesus was unwilling to die for our sins and claims that Jesus’ death wasn’t truly a sacrifice since he received his life back again, which exposes their ignorance since they don’t understand what the biblical meaning of sacrifice is. These issues have been thoroughly addressed here:
In conclusion, the readers should see for themselves that an accurate and careful reading of the Qur’an and Muslim sources demonstrates that authentic, historic Islam does hold to a doctrine of original sin and federal headship, that man is not born pure, and that Allah has preordained people to commit sins and wickedness. The Islamic sources even articulate and define these doctrines just as clearly as the Holy Bible!
The Qur’an further accepts in principle the doctrine of substitutionary atonement as we find in the story of Abraham and his son, i.e. Allah accepts as a ransom the death of a person in the place of another.
In light of this, Muslim’s claim that Islam teaches that God created mankind pure and it is man who corrupts himself by committing sins only serves to further expose their abysmal ignorance of not just Christian theology, but also of Islamic theology as well.