A response to

More to think about

Al-Kadhi begins:

Matthew 11:11 "Verily I (Jesus) say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." Not even Jesus? Jesus (pbuh) was born of a woman.


Al-Kadhi does not quote the entire passage but cuts it midway. Here it is in its entirety:

"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

Al-Kadhi presumes that Jesus' statement necessarily includes Christ among those whom John is said to be greater. Yet had al-Kadhi read Jesus' words in their immediate and greater context he would have seen that Jesus is not a subject of the Kingdom. Rather Christ is the sovereign Ruler and the eternal King of God's kingdom:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" Matthew 7:21-23

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on HIS THRONE in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world' ... Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" Matthew 25:31-34, 41

"Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, 'We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.' So Pilate asked Jesus, 'Are you the king of the Jews?' 'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied." Luke 23:1-3

"Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?' 'Is that your own idea,' Jesus asked, 'or did others talk to you about me?' 'Am I a Jew?' Pilate replied. 'It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?' Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.' 'You are a king, then!' said Pilate. Jesus answered, 'You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.'" John 18:33-37

In these passages Jesus not only claims to be the Sovereign King that sits on the throne, but also claims to have the power to determine the eternal destiny of every single individual.

Jesus likens the kingdom to a sown field:

"Jesus told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner's servants came to him and said, "Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?" "An enemy did this," he replied. The servants asked him, "Do you want us to go and pull them up?" "No," he answered, "because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn."'" Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus proceeds to identify himself as the owner of the field, with the enemy representing Satan:

"Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.' He answered, 'The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out HIS angels, and they will weed out of HIS kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.'" Matthew 13:36-43

Jesus reiterates this point elsewhere:

"And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET, and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other." Matthew 24:30-31

These passages clearly demonstrate that the world, the angels, the elect and God's kingdom belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is because Jesus is Heir of all things:

"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Matthew 11:27

"Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect MY SON,' he said. But when the tenants saw THE SON, they said to each other, 'This is THE HEIR. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him." Matthew 21:37-39

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'" Matthew 28:18

"Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;" John 13:3

"All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you." John 16:15

"All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them." John 17:10

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him AND FOR HIM. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." Colossians 1:15-18

"but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:2-3

"Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful AS A SERVANT in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful AS A SON OVER GOD'S HOUSE. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." Hebrews 3:1-6

Seeing that Jesus is the King of the kingdom, God's Beloved Son, Heir of all things, and Supreme over all creation means that Christ is vastly superior to John. A King is always greater and superior to those living within his kingdom. Seeing that John is only a subject of the kingdom means that he is no way comparable to Christ, who is the eternal King of Glory.

Christ also likens himself to a bridegroom, with the Church being his bride:

"Then John's disciples came and asked him, 'How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?' Jesus answered, 'How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.'" Matthew 9:14-15 (Cf. 2 Corinthians 11:1-3; Ephesians 5:25-33; Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2, 9-21)

John explains what his relationship to the Bridegroom is:

"To this John replied, 'A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, "I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him." The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less. The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.'" John 3:27-33

John openly admits to being a friend of the Bridegroom, with the implication that Christ as the Bridegroom is superior to the Baptist. John also affirms that Jesus is from heaven and therefore greater than all, and that Christ will increase in prestige, honor and rank amongst men with John decreasing.

This is not the first time that John acknowledges his inferiority to Christ. Other passages include:

"John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: 'After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'" Mark 1:6-8

"'I baptize with water,' John replied, 'but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.' This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, "A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me." I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.' Then John gave this testimony: 'I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit." I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.'" John 1:26-34

To summarize John's testimony regarding Jesus:

  • Jesus is more powerful then John.
  • John is not worthy to stoop and untie Jesus' sandals.
  • Jesus is preexistent (i.e., "he was before me").
  • Jesus is the Son of God.
  • The whole purpose of John's ministry was to prepare for Christ's coming.

    The Quran also affirms that John was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah:

    "And the angels called to him (Zechariah) while he was he was standing at prayer in the sanctuary, 'God gives you glad tidings of John, confirming a word of God, a master, chaste man and a prophet, one of the righteous.'" S. 3:39 Mahmoud's Translation

    Islamic scholars almost unanimously hold that the Word of God here, which John came to confirm, is Jesus Christ. Mahmoud A. Ayoub citing Muslim Tabarsi states:

    "Tabarsi argues that John was obligated by God to be a witness to the fact that Jesus was in truth the word of God and His Spirit." (Ayoub, The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, Volume II [State University of New York Press, Albany 1992], p. 109; bold emphasis ours)

    Muslim exegete al-Zamakshari substantiates this by saying:

    "It is related that John was the first to believe in Jesus. Jesus was called Word... because he came to being only by God's word. It was His saying, 'kunn' (be), and no other cause." (Ibid, p. 108; italic emphasis ours)

    The interesting part of all of this that Muslim commentators claim that John actually worshiped Jesus while both were still in their mothers' wombs! For instance, Al-Qurtubi mentions Elizabeth's visitation (called Mary's sister) shortly after both women had conceived:

    "The sister visited Mary and said, 'O Mary, do you perceive that I am with child?' Mary answered, 'Do you see that I am also with child?' Her sister went on, 'I feel the child in my womb bowing down to the child in your womb.'"

    Qurtubi continues:

    "It is reported that she felt the fetus in her womb bow down with its head turned toward Mary's womb." (Ayoub, p. 108; bold and italic emphasis ours)

    Al-Tabari concurs:

    "She [i.e. Mary] came to her sister who was then pregnant and to whom the birth of the Baptist had been announced. When the two met, the Baptist's mother felt that her child was bowing within her in recognition of Jesus..." (History of Al-Tabari, Volume 1V [State University of New York Press, Albany 1987], p. 114; bold emphasis ours)


    "... Her sister, the wife of Zechariah, came to visit her at night. When Mary opened the door for her, the sister clung to her. The wife of Zechariah said, 'Oh Mary, do you know I am with child?' Mary replied, 'Do you know, that I too am with child?' Zechariah's wife then said, 'I felt that the child in me was bowing to the child in you,' as t is written, 'confirming the Word of God.'" (Ibid., p. 119; bold emphasis ours)

    We are also told that the OT prophesied John coming as a messenger to prepare the way for the Lord.

    The Lord Jesus states:

    "This is the one about whom it is written: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'" Matthew 11:10

    Christ claims that John was the messenger written about in Malachi 3:1.

    "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way' - 'a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him."' And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." Mark 1:1-4

    Mark states that John came in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3.

    "John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, 'I am the voice of one calling in the desert, "Make straight the way for the Lord."'" John 1:23

    "Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous - to make ready a people prepared for the Lord' ... 'And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,'" Luke 1:11-17, 76

    In these passages John quotes Isaiah 40:3 and applies it to himself, with both the angel Gabriel and Zechariah alluding to it.

    Yet when we look at these specific OT texts John was preparing for the visible coming of Yahweh God Almighty!:

    "A voice of one calling: 'In the desert prepare the way for Yahweh; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of Yahweh will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.'" Isaiah 40:3-5

    "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly THE LORD (Ha Adon) you are seeking will come to HIS TEMPLE; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,' says the Yahweh of Hosts." Malachi 3:1

    The word Ha Adon is never used for anyone other than Yahweh. These passages clearly teach that Yahweh was to come and enter his temple, and that all mankind would see Yahweh's visible Glory.

    As we have already shown, Jesus was the One whom John was sent to prepare the way for. This means that Jesus is Yahweh God!

    Let us break this down:

  • The messenger was to prepare for the coming of Yahweh God.
  • John was that messenger.
  • Jesus was the One for whom John prepared the way.
  • Therefore, Jesus is Yahweh God in human form, the very Lord that Malachi said was coming to his very own temple.

    Therefore, we find John's own words refuting Al-Kadhi's false assertion.

    Al-Kadhi concludes with the following passage:

    Job 25:4: "How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" Once again, Jesus (pbuh) was born of a woman. Shall we now apply this to him? Not as far as Muslims are concerned.


    The Holy Bible answers the question posed in the book of Job:

    "In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.' Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.' 'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. SO THE HOLY ONE TO BE BORN WILL BE CALLED THE SON OF GOD.'" Luke 1:26-35

    The only way for one born of a woman to be holy before God is if he were born sinless. This was the purpose behind Mary supernaturally conceiving the human nature of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit while still a virgin; namely to prevent Christ from inheriting a sinful nature. Since Jesus is the only person conceived supernaturally by God's Spirit to a virgin, he alone amongst the sons of men is sinless and holy by nature:

    "And while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, Have nothing to do with that RIGHTEOUS MAN; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him." Matthew 27:19

    "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God!" Mark 1:24

    "Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:68-69

    "He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him." John 7:18

    "The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him... Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? ..." John 8:29, 46

    "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him: 'I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.' Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay." Acts 2:24-31

    "You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you." Acts 3:14

    "Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him -" Acts 7:52

    "We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father.' The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.' So it is stated elsewhere: 'You will not let your Holy One see decay.' For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay." Acts 13:32-37

    "Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.'" Acts 22:14

    "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21

    "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." 1 Peter 1:18-19

    "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 1 Peter 2:22

    "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit," 1 Peter 3:18

    "But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin." 1 John 3:5

    "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." Revelation 3:7

    "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation." Revelation 3:14

    The only way for others to be made holy is through a personal relationship with Christ. This relationship begins when one embraces Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

    This concludes our response. In the service of the sinless Son of God, the eternal King of Glory, our risen Lord and Savior forever, Jesus Christ. Amen. Come Sovereign Lord Jesus. We love you always.

    Sam Shamoun

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