Are Christian Dyed or Baptized?

Sura 2:138 tells us:

(Our religion is) the Baptism of Allah: And who can baptize better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship. (Yusuf Ali)

(Receive) the baptism of Allah, and who is better than Allah in baptising? and Him do we serve. (Shakir)

Say, "Belief in God and following the guidance of Islam are God's means of purification for us. Islam is the baptism of God. No one is a better baptizer than He and we Muslims worship Him." (Sarwar)

The word which is translated as baptism is sibghah which, in the literal translation, means "dye". The commentators al-Jalalain and al-Baizawi say that the term refers to baptism. Al-Baizawi says:

"the Nasra (Christians) were in the habit of dipping their offspring in yellow water which they called al-Ma'mudiyah and said it purified them and confirmed them as Christians." (Tafsiru'l-Baizawi)

Two Qur'an translations give this meaning:

(We take our) colour from Allah, and who is better than Allah at colouring. We are His worshippers. (Pickthall)

(Our religion) takes its hue from Allah. And who can give a better hue than Allah. And it is He Whom we worship. (Yusuf Ali, Saudi corrected version)

In Matthew 21:24-26, Jesus was tested by the chief priests and the elders of the Temple, and he asked them a question which we Christians can also ask Muslims:

Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John's baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?" They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' But if we say, 'From men'—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."

In other words, if Baptism was commanded by God through His Prophet John the Baptist, then why are Muslims not obeying this divine command? If Baptism was the invention of John the Baptist, how can Muslims honestly call him a Prophet of God?

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