Christians Respond To:
Dr. Jamal Badawi's
Jesus Christ in the Qur'an and Bible
JESUS IN THE QUR'AN
1. PRAISE FOR MARY (3:36-37,42 and 5:78) Called sister of Aaron (19:28). In the Qur'an "sister of or brother of" means the descendant of or clan of. Aaron, Moses' brother, was the first in line of Israelite Priesthood. Luke 1:15 calls Elizabeth, John's mother, as a daughter of Aaron. She was a relative (cousin) of Mary (Luke 1:36). For other passages in the Qur'an where "brother of" is used in non-literal meaning see (7:65, 73, 85; 11:50, 61, 84; 27:45; 29:36).
Badawi's errors begin early on in his pamphlet. Badawi first assumes that the phrase "sister of Aaron" implies that Mary was of the lineage of Aaron, i.e. a Levite. He compounds the problem by alluding to Luke 1:5 where Elizabeth is called "one of the daughters of Aaron." In so doing, Badawi hopes to cover up one of the grossest errors recorded in the Quran, namely that Mary was a literal blood sister of Aaron and Moses.
The problem with Badawi's arguments is that neither the Holy Bible nor the Quran use the term "sister of" to imply ancestry or lineage. The term used when implying lineage is as Luke records it, "daugher of." A person will never find a single place in the entire Bible where the phrase "sister of" or "brother of" is used to allude to ancestry. The following examples will help clarify this point:
"So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound - think of it - for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath'?" Luke 13:16
"And Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham." Luke 19:9
"And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, 'Have mercy on us, 0 Lord, Son of David. ' " Matthew 20:30
Furthermore, even the examples that Badawi produces from the Quran refute his entire premise. This is due to the fact that the examples given to show the non-literal sense of the phrase actually refers to one who is a contemporary of someone, never a descendant:
Sura 7:65 :
"And to 'Ad (people, We sent) their brother Hûd. He said: "O my people! Worship Allâh! You have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. (Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh: none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh). Will you not fear (Allâh)?' "
Sura 7:73 :
"And to Thamûd (people, We sent) their brother Sâlih (Saleh). He said: "O my people! Worship Allâh! You have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. (Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh: none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh). Indeed there has come to you a clear sign (the miracle of the coming out of a huge shecamel from the midst of a rock) from your Lord. This shecamel of Allâh is a sign unto you; so you leave her to graze in Allâh's earth, and touch her not with harm, lest a painful torment should seize you."
Sura 7:85 :
"And to (the people of) Madyan (Midian), (We sent) their brother Shu'aib. He said: `O my people! Worship Allâh! You have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. [Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh)].' Verily, a clear proof (sign) from your Lord has come unto you; so give full measure and full weight and wrong not men in their things, and do not mischief on the earth after it has been set in order, that will be better for you, if you are believers."
Sura 11:50 :
"And to 'Ad (people We sent) their brother Hûd. He said, `O my people! Worship Allâh! You have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. Certainly, you do nothing but invent (lies)!' "
Sura 11:61 :
"And to Thamûd (people, We sent) their brother Sâlih (Saleh). He said: `O my people! Worship Allâh, you have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is Near (to all by His Knowledge), Responsive.' "
Sura 11:84 :
"And to the Madyan (Midian) people (We sent) their brother Shu'aib. He said: `O my people! Worship Allâh, you have no other Ilâh (God) but Him, and give not short measure or weight, I see you in prosperity; and verily I fear for you the torment of a Day encompassing.' "
Sura 27:45 :
"And indeed We sent to Thamûd their brother Sâlih (Saleh), saying: `Worship Allâh (Alone and none else). Then look! They became two parties (believers and disbelievers) quarreling with each other.' "
Sura 29:36 : "And to (the people of) Madyan (Midian), We sent their brother Shu'aib (Shuaib). He said: `O my people! Worship Allâh, and hope for (the reward of good deeds by worshipping Allâh Alone, on) the last Day, and commit no mischief on the earth as Mufsidûn (those who commit great crimes, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts).' "
Salih, Shu'aib and Hud are called "brother" by their contemporary tribes. It does not speak of ancestors who lived long before these prophets existed. Hence, to say that Mary was "the sister of Aaron" meant that Mary and Aaron were contemporaries! In fact, Mary's father is given the same name of the father of Moses and Aaron in the Hebrew Bible:
Behold! The wife of Imran (i.e. Amram ) said, "O my Lord! I do dedicate unto thee what is in my womb"... When she was delivered, she said: "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child ... I have named her Mary... " Sura 3:35, 36
"And Mary the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity.." Sura 66:12.
"... They said: 0 Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! 0 sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste." Sura 19:27-28
"Then Mary (Heb. Mariam ), the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand ..." Exodus 15:20
"The name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam." Numbers 26:59
Badawi also conveniently forgot to include Muhammad's explanation of the term "sister of Aaron" found in the sound ahadith often appealed to by Badawi. In Sahih Muslim Mughirah ibn Shu`bah narrates:
"When I came to Najran, they (the Christians of Najran) asked me: You read `sister of Harun' (i.e., Mary), in the Quran, whereas Moses was born well before Jesus. When I came back to Allah's Messenger I asked him about that, and he said: `The (people of old age) used to give names (to their persons) after the names of Apostles and pious persons who had gone before them.'" # 5326
Ibn Abi Ahaybah and Ahmad and Abdel Hameed and Muslim and At-Tirmidhi and An-Nassaa`I and Ibn Al-Mundhir and Ibn Abi Haatim and Ibn Hibbaan and At-Tabaraani and Ibn Mardaweih ans Al-Bayhaqi in ad-dalaa`il, narrated that Al-Mughirah Ibn Shu`bah said: "The Prophet of God (PBUH) sent me to the people of Najran. They asked me: DO you see what you read? O sister of Harun while Moses precedes Jesus with such a long time? He (Al-Mughirah) said: So I went back to the Prophet and mentioned that to him. He told me: "Would you tell them the folk used to be called after Prophets and pious people who preceded them?" (Jalaaluddeen As-Suyuti, Ad-durr Al-Manthur)
The only difficulty with Muhammad's statement is that the Jews before, during and after the time of Christ never used this phrase in this manner at all. Not one single reference from the Bible, either Old or New Testaments, the Jewish literature before and after Christ, including the Jewish Talmud and Targums, can be found to support Muhammad's assertion. This is simply a gross error which cannot be swept away. Perhaps that is why Badawi failed to mention these traditions attributed to Muhammad.
The final problem with all of this is the fact that both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament clearly teach that the Messiah was of the tribe of Judah, not of Levi. He was a son of David the king, not of Aaron the priest:
"Now Jesus Himself began his ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli ... the son of David ... the son of Judah." Luke 3:23, 31, 33
The words, "as was supposed," are given to clarify the fact that it is Mary's genealogy which is being presented, with Joseph acting as the male representative. This is supported by extrabiblical documents such as the Jewish tractate of the Talmud, Chagigah, where a certain person had a dream in which he saw the punishment of the damned. There, "He saw Mary the daughter of Heli amongst the shades." (John Lightfoot, Commentary On the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica [Oxford University Press, 1859; with a second printing from Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1995], vol. 1, p. v; vol. 3, p.55)
In the book of Hebrews we are told that, "it is evident that our Lord (Jesus ) arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood." Heb. 7:14.
"Then when of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scrolls and its seven seals.'" Revelation 5:5
"I (Jesus ) am the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star." Revelation 22:16
It is therefore impossible for Mary to be a descendant of Levi, since both the orthodox Jewish understanding and the biblical record agree that Messiah would arise out of Judah. (cf. Genesis 49:10-12; Matthew 22:42-45 )
Hence, Badawi's points are insufficient in dealing with the Quranic error that Mary was the sister of Aaron, the brother of Moses.
2. VIRGIN BIRTH (3:45-47) Compared with Adam (3:59), John the Baptist (19:1-9).
After reading the verses Badawi cites to nullify the uniqueness of Christ's birth, we are left wondering in what way do these examples support his premise? For example the Quran likens Jesus to Adam without delving into the major differences between the two:
Sura 3:59 :
"Verily, the likeness of 'Iesa (Jesus) before Allâh is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: `Be!' - and he was."
This reference leaves us with several problems. First, according to the Quran itself Adam was not created by the command of God. Instead, man was fashioned from clay and God had to breathe in him life in order for Adam to become a living being:
"So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him."
Sura 32:9 :
"Then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him the soul (created by Allâh for that person), and He gave you hearing (ears), sight (eyes) and hearts. Little is the thanks you give!"
Sura 38:72 :
"So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me then you fall down prostrate to him."
The Quran nowhere alludes to Adam being created by the direct command of God. So we must ask Badawi how can Adam be likened to Jesus in their creation when Jesus is God's direct command conveyed unto Mary and Adam is not? Furthermore, Adam was created from clay and Jesus was not. The differences do not end there but are quite extensive. Note the following examples:
1. Jesus was sinless, Adam was not.
2. Jesus performed miracles, Adam did not.
3. Jesus ascended to heaven alive (according to orthodox Sunni belief), yet Adam died.
4. Jesus is a spirit proceeding from God, whereas Adam was given life by God's Spirit.
Hence, Adam was totally unlike Christ from both the Quranic perspective as well as the Holy Bible.
The second example Badawi presents is the birth of John the Baptist:
Sura 19:7, 13 :
"(Allâh said) `O Zakariya (Zachariah)! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son, His name will be Yahya (John). We have given that name to none before (him)... And (made him) sympathetic to men as a mercy (or a grant) from Us, and pure from sins [i.e. Yahya (John)] and he was righteous... ' "
Again, in what way is this even similar to Jesus' virgin birth? It is true that John was born to Zachariah when his wife was barren, but this is not the same as a virgin conceiving miraculously without any sexual relations. Elizabeth had already engaged in sexual relations with her husband, whereas Mary had never been touched by a man. Hence, the condition under which Jesus was born is unlike that of John's birth from a barren wife.
Finally, we must ask why a virgin birth in the first place seeing that God's law of reproduction had already been set in motion? Adam's unique birth was due primarily to the circumstances in which he was created. Seeing that he was the first man, there could have been no possible way for him to be born of parents through sexual union. Yet, such is not the case with Christ. The Holy Bible gives us the reason why Jesus was born of a virgin:
"And Mary said to the angel, `How shall this be, since I have no husband?' And the angel said to her, `The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.'" Luke 1:34-35
The purpose for the virgin birth is due to Jesus being God's son, and as the Son this was the only befitting manner for him to take on an actual human nature.
The Quran, however, does not give a reason for the virgin birth. Perhaps Badawi can explain.
Finally, the Quran makes another mistake in 19:7 by stating that the name Yahya (John the Baptist) was not known or used before by anyone else. Yet, we find this name mentioned hundreds of years before the Baptist's birth in 2 Kings 25:23. To circumvent even this problem, Badawi alleges that the meaning of the verse is that there was none like John in his prophetic qualities. Even this interpretation is wrong, noting that there was one exactly like John, Elijah the Prophet. The former came "in the spirit of Elijah," performing a similar work like Elijah. (cf. Luke 1:13-17; Matthew 11:13-14)
3. A WORD FROM ALLAH (3:39,45; 4:170). Word is not the "Logos" or the second person in Godhead. It is the creative command of Allah "KON" or "be" (2:117, 3:47,59, 6:73, 16:40, 19:35, 36:82, 40:68). "Words" of Allah is used in (18:109, 8:7, 31:27) and others.
In none of the examples that Badawi presents is a person ever called God's Word. The verses without exception refer to God's ability to create by his Word or refer to the fact that God's words are inexhaustible.
"The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it: `Be!' - and it is."
Sura 3:47, 59 :
"She said: `O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.' He said: `So (it will be) for Allâh creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: "Be!" and it is'... Verily, the likeness of 'Iesa (Jesus) before Allâh is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: `Be!' - and he was."
Sura 6:73 :
"It is He Who has created the heavens and the earth in truth, and on the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) He will say: `Be!', - and it shall become. His Word is the truth. His will be the dominion on the Day when the trumpet will be blown. AllKnower of the unseen and the seen. He is the AllWise, Well-Aware (of all things).
Sura 16:40 :
"Verily! Our Word unto a thing when We intend it, is only that We say unto it: `Be!' and it is."
Sura 19:35 :
"It befits not (the Majesty of) Allâh that He should beget a son [this refers to the slander of Christians against Allâh, by saying that 'Iesa (Jesus) is the son of Allâh]. Glorified (and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him). When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, `Be!' and it is."
Sura 36:82 :
"Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, `Be!' and it is!"
Sura 40:68 :
"He it is Who gives life and causes death. And when He decides upon a thing He says to it only: `Be!' and it is."
Sura 18:109 :
"Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind). `If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid.' "
"And (remember) when Allâh promised you (Muslims) one of the two parties (of the enemy i.e. either the army or the caravan) that it should be yours, you wished that the one not armed (the caravan) should be yours, but Allâh willed to justify the truth by His Words and to cut off the roots of the disbelievers (i.e. in the battle of Badr)."
Sura 31:27 :
"And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink wherewith to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), yet the Words of Allâh would not be exhausted. Verily, Allâh is AllMighty, AllWise."
We are again left wondering how do these verses parallel the fact that Jesus is the only being who is called the Word of God? Badawi cannot produce one single reference to show that other beings or prophets are called God's very own Word. Instead, he hopes to confuse the situation by bringing in irrelevant issues such as the fact that the Quran mentions God's words as being inexhaustible or that he creates what he likes by his command or Word. And? Whoever said that God's words are not inexhaustible or that God cannot create whatever he chooses by his powerful Word? Yet, this still does not touch the issue that not a single being, including angels themselves, is ever called the Word of God except Jesus.
Badawi must assume that Jesus is called the Word of God solely because he was created by God's command. There are two main problems with his argument. First, Jesus is not simply a by-product of God's command, but is the very Word of God to man:
Sura 3:39 :
"Then the angels called to him as he stood praying in the sanctuary: That Allah gives you the good news of Yahya verifying a Word from Allah, and honorable and chaste and a prophet from among the good ones." Shakir
John is to bear witness to a Word from God, namely Jesus the Christ. Here, Jesus is the one who is the Word from God. The fact that he is a Word from God implies preexistence, that Jesus preexisted as God's Word. This point is brought out more clearly in the two following passages:
Sura 3:45 :
"(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah)." Pickthall
According to this passage God's Word is not a mere abstraction but rather a person. This is due to the fact that the Word of God is given a personal name, Jesus. This implies that Badawi's argument that Jesus is only a by-product of God's creative command cannot be sustained. Hence, according to this one passage the Word of God is personal and shall take on the name of Jesus.
"O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not `Trinity' : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." S. 4:171, Y. Ali
Jesus is both the Word of God, not just a word from him, given to Mary and a spirit that proceeds from God himself. Hence, in one sense the Quran denies the divinity of Jesus and yet in other places it affirms that he is the divine preexistent Word and Spirit from God.
Secondly, if it were true that Jesus is God's word solely because he was created by the command of God then we would expect to find Adam called the Word of God (according to Sura 3:59) since he was also created by God's command. Yet, neither Adam nor anyone else is ever called the Word of God.
4. A SPIRIT FROM ALLAH (4:171): same applies to other humans (15:29, 32:9, 38:72).
Again, Badawi misinforms his readers since in none of the citations given do we find any person addressed as God's Spirit or a spirit from him:
Sura 15:29 :
"So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him."
Sura 32:9 :
"Then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him the soul (created by Allâh for that person), and He gave you hearing (ears), sight (eyes) and hearts. Little is the thanks you give!"
"So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him."
These passages refer to God creating man and giving him life by his Spirit. It does not call man the Spirit of God. Hence, Badawi's attempt to diminish the uniqueness of Christ leads him to constant misinterpretation of Quranic verses.
One passage that Badawi fails to include is Sura 58:22:
"Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity." Y. Ali
Believers are strengthened by a spirit from Himself, i.e. a spirit from God. The Quran never calls anyone, with the exception of Christ, a spirit from God.
Yusuf Ali notes:
"... Cf. ii 87 and 253, where it is said that God strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by God with the holy spirit. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger, a spirit from Himself. Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to God, God accepts it, engraves that faith on the seeker's heart, and further fortifies him with the Divine Spirit, which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature of God." (Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, p. 1518, fn. 5365)
Seeing that Jesus is a spirit from God, this implies that Christ is one who "we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature of God." Hence, this is perhaps the closest the Quran comes in affirming the deity of Christ. Badawi has failed to even come close to dealing with significance of the title, "a spirit from Him", as it is applied to Jesus.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that some Muslim exegetes were of the opinion that the Spirit which came to Mary in S. 19:17 was actually the Lord Jesus Christ! Muslim author Neal Robinson writes:
"Alternatively it might be thought (on the basis of 4:171) that the Spirit who presented himself to Mary was none other than the Messiah to whom she subsequently gave birth. At first this seems improbable because of the way in which the Spirit refers to himself as a messenger. There is, however, an apocryphal writing which furnishes a precedent for identifying the agent of the annuniction with the Word who became flesh. This is the so-called Epistula Apostolorum which purports to be a letter addressed to the worldwide Church by the 11 disciples recording a conversation which they had with Christ after the resurrection. In the course of the conversation he told them:
At that time I appeared in the form of the archangel Gabriel to [the virgin] Mary and spoke with her, and her heart received [me]; she believed and laughed and I, the Word, went into her and became flesh; and I myself was servant FOR MYSELF, and in the form of the image of an angel." (Robinson, Christ In Islam and Christianity [State University of New York Press, Albany 1991], p. 157; bold and capital emphasis ours)
"Tabari assumes that the Spirit who was sent to Mary was Gabriel. He reports that this was the view of Qatada, Ibn Jurayj and Wahb. The other commentators agree that this is the correct interpretation but none the less mention THE ALTERNATIVE VIEW, namely that the Spirit was the Messiah. Ibn Kathir gives the following report traced back by a single isnad TO THE COMPANION UBAIY:
The spirit of Jesus is one of the group of spirits with whom [God] took a pact in the time of Adam [cf. 33:7 and 7:172]. It is he, that is to say the spirit of Jesus, who presented himself to her in the form of a perfect human being. So she conceived the one who addressed her and he became incarnate in her [entering her through her mouth].
DESPITE ITS PEDIGREE, Ibn Kathir dismisses this interpretation as reprehensible and supposes it to have been derived from the People of the Scripture." (Ibid. p. 161; bold and capital emphasis ours)
"Some of the Mu'tazilites including Abu Muslim favoured the view that the Spirit who presented himself to Mary was not Gabriel but the Messiah. Others followed Abu Haywa in reading rawha-na (Our refreshment) instead of the canonical ruha-na (Our Spirit) ..." (Ibid, p. 162)
This alternative view demonstrates that Islam not only teaches the preexistence of the Lord Jesus, but that there were some Muslims who had no problem admitting (albeit indirectly) that Christ was the Creator. Christ is therefore the only messenger to create or conceive his own physical body/humanity! Badawi and others should have no real difficulty in accepting this view, especially when the Quran acknowledges that God granted Christ the ability to give life to inanimate objects such as clay birds. See our discussion of Badawi's point 8.
5.HONORED in this life and in the hereafter and among those nearest to Allah (3:45): used also for others (33:69, 56:11, 83:21,28).
We agree with Badawi that the Quran does teach that there are many individuals who are near to God. Yet, Badawi failed to comment on the fact that Jesus is the only person who is said to be illustrious or honored here and in the next life. The closest parallel we find is Moses:
"O you who believe! Be not like those who annoyed Mûsa (Moses), but Allâh cleared him of that which they alleged, and he was honourable before Allâh."
Although Moses is said to have been honorable before God in this life, it does not specifically mention him being illustrious in the hereafter. This honor is given to Jesus alone in the Quran. Hence, any assumption or argument brought forth to show that other prophets are also illustrious in the world to come is pure speculation since the Quran does not explicitly state this.
6.A PURE CHILD (19:19): similarly used for John the Baptist (19:13). According to Islam, all children are born Pure.
Here is the verse which Badawi cites to support John's sinlessness:
"And (made him) sympathetic to men as a mercy (or a grant) from Us, and pure from sins [i.e. Yahya (John)] and he was righteous... "
Before commenting on this passage we first would like to point out that the Quran never states that all children are born pure. Furthermore, the hadiths attributed to Muhammad clearly teach that everyone born has been "pricked" by Satan at birth and have sinned with the exception of Jesus and Mary:
"Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead." Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 506
Muslim historian al-Tabari cites Qatadah as saying that, "Jesus and his mother did not commit any of the sins which the rest of the children of Adam commit." (Dr. Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Quran and Its Interpreters, Vol. II The House of Imran [1992 State University of New York Press, Albany], p. 94)
Hence, the children of Adam would include both John the Baptist and Muhammad as individuals who have sinned. This essentially means that if we interpret Sura 19:13 in light of these traditions then the meaning isn't that John was sinless, but rather that he was one of those whom Allah would purify from any sins he might commit. This leaves us with Jesus and his mother as the only two individuals who have never sinned.
The following tradition strengthens this point:
"Narrated Abu Huraira:
Some (cooked) meat was brought to Allah Apostle and the meat of a forearm was presented to him as he used to like it. He ate a morsel of it and said, "I will be the chief of all the people on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know the reason for it? Allah will gather all the human being of early generations as well as late generation on one plain so that the announcer will be able to make them all-hear his voice and the watcher will be able to see all of them. The sun will come so close to the people that they will suffer such distress and trouble as they will not be able to bear or stand. Then the people will say, 'Don't you see to what state you have reached? Won't you look for someone who can intercede for you with your Lord.'
"Some people will say to some others, 'Go to Adam.' So they will go to Adam and say to him. 'You are the father of mankind; Allah created you with His Own Hand, and breathed into you of His Spirit (meaning the spirit which he created for you); and ordered the angels to prostrate before you; so (please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are? Don't you see what condition we have reached?' Adam will say, 'Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. He forbade me (to eat of the fruit of) the tree, but I disobeyed Him. Myself! Myself! Myself! (has more need for intercession). Go to someone else; go to Noah.' So they will go to Noah and say (to him), 'O Noah! You are the first (of Allah's Messengers) to the people of the earth, and Allah has named you a thankful slave; please intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?' He will say.' Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become nor will ever become thereafter. I had (in the world) the right to make one definitely accepted invocation, and I made it against my nation. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Abraham.' They will go to Abraham and say, 'O Abraham! You are Allah's Apostle and His Khalil from among the people of the earth; so please intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?' He will say to them, 'My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. I had told three lies (Abu Haiyan (the sub-narrator) mentioned them in the Hadith) Myself! Myself! Myself!
"Go to someone else; go to Moses.' The people will then go to Moses and say, 'O Moses! You art Allah's Apostle and Allah gave you superiority above the others with this message and with His direct Talk to you; (please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?' Moses will say, 'My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will become thereafter, I killed a person whom I had not been ordered to kill. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Jesus.' So they will go to Jesus and say, 'O Jesus! You are Allah's Apostle and His Word which He sent to Mary, and a superior soul created by Him, and you talked to the people while still young in the cradle. Please intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?' Jesus will say. 'My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before nor will ever become hereafter. JESUS WILL NOT MENTION ANY SIN, but will say, 'Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Muhammad.' So they will come to me and say, 'O Muhammad ! You are Allah's Apostle and the last of the prophets, and Allah forgave your early and late sins. (Please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don't you see in what state we are?" The Prophet added, "Then I will go beneath Allah's Throne and fall in prostration before my Lord. And then Allah will guide me to such praises and glorification to Him as He has never guided anybody else before me. Then it will be said, 'O Muhammad Raise your head. Ask, and it will be granted. Intercede It (your intercession) will be accepted.' So I will raise my head and Say, 'My followers, O my Lord! My followers, O my Lord'. It will be said, 'O Muhammad! Let those of your followers who have no accounts, enter through such a gate of the gates of Paradise as lies on the right; and they will share the other gates with the people." The Prophet further said, "By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, the distance between every two gate-posts of Paradise is like the distance between Mecca and Busra (in Sham)." Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 236
Interestingly, all the great prophets confess their sins with Jesus being the sole exception. This leaves us with a problem, namely with the fact that Muhammad would be allowed to intercede for Muslims seeing that he himself was a sinner. The problem with this is that the Quran will not allow one burdened with sin to intercede for others who are also burdened by their sins:
"... Every soul gathers the result of its acts on none but itself. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. Your goal in the end is towards God. He will tell you the truth of the things wherein you disputed." (see also 17:15; 35:18; 39:7; 53:38)
Furthermore, the Quran actually commands Muslims to pray for Muhammad's salvation:
"Lo! Allah and his angels pray [Arabic- yasalluuna] for the Prophet. O ye that believe! Pray for him [salluu alayhi], and salute him with all respect [sallimuu tasliimaa]."
Hillali-Khan translate this verse:
"Allâh sends His Salât (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad SAW) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salât on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad SAW), and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islâmic way of greeting (salutation i.e. AsSalâmu 'Alaikum)."
Most translations of the Quran mistranslate the words yasalluuna and salluu as blessings, when in fact it literally means prayers. In fact, a devout Muslim will always recite the following prayer when mentioning Muhammad's name, sallullahu alahyi wa salaam- "the prayers of Allah be upon him and peace."
Hence, Muslims are to pray for Muhammad's well being and peace. This leads us to ask how can Muhammad intercede for others when he himself is in need of Muslims to pray for him? Hopefully, Badawi can answer.
7.STRENGTHENED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (2:87,253, 5:113): Holy Spirit means Gabriel the Angel of Revelation (16:102).
If one does read 16:102 one will never come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit and Gabriel are one and the same:
"Say (O Muhammad SAW) Ruh-ul-Qudus [Holy Spirit] has brought it (the Qur'an) down from your Lord with truth, that it may make firm and strengthen (the Faith of) those who believe and as a guidance and glad tidings to those who have submitted (to Allâh as Muslims)."
Badawi presupposes that Gabriel and the Holy Spirit are one when in fact there is not one single verse from the Quran supporting this assertion. In fact, evidence suggests that the Holy Spirit is not Gabriel:
"They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men)!"
According to Sahi Bukhari this verse came down when the Jews questioned Muhammad on the Spirit's identity:
Narrated Ibn Mas'ud:
While I was walking in company with the Prophet in one of the fields of Medina, the Prophet was reclining on a palm leave stalk which he carried with him. We passed by a group of Jews. Some of them said to the others, "Ask him about the spirit." The others said, "Do not ask him, lest he would say something that you hate." Some of them said, "We will ask him." So a man from among them stood up and said, 'O Abal-Qasim! What is the spirit?" The Prophet kept quiet and I knew that he was being divinely inspired. Then he said: "They ask you concerning the Spirit, Say: The Spirit; its knowledge is with my Lord. And of knowledge you (mankind) have been given only a little." (17.85) Volume 9, Book 93, Number 554
Hence, Muhammad did not even know the identity of God's Spirit. Two hadiths from Sahi Muslim affirm that the Spirit is not Gabriel:
The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to pronounce while bowing and prostrating himself: All Glorious, all Holy, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit." Book 4, Number 0987
This tradition makes a distinction between Angels, of which Gabriel is one, and the Spirit. This indicates that Gabriel is not the Holy Spirit.
Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: Satirize the (non-believing amongst the) Quraysh, for (satire) is more grievous to them than the hurt of an arrow. So he (the Holy Prophet) sent (someone) to Ibn Rawahah and asked him to satirise them. He composed a satire, but it did not appeal to him (to the Holy Prophet). He then sent (someone) to Ka'b ibn Malik (to do the same, but what he composed did not appeal to the Holy Prophet). He then sent one to Hassan ibn Thabit. As he entered his presence, Hassan said: Now you have called for this lion who strikes (the enemies) with his tail. He then brought out his tongue and began to move it and said: By Him Who has sent you with Truth, I shall tear them with my tongue as the leather is torn.
"Thereupon Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: Don't be hasty; (let) AbuBakr who has the best knowledge of the lineage of the Quraysh draw a distinction for you in regard to my lineage, as my lineage is the same as theirs. Hassan then came to him (AbuBakr) and after making inquiries (in regard to the lineage of the Holy Prophet) came back to him (the Holy Prophet) and said: Allah's Messenger, he (AbuBakr) has drawn a distinction your lineage (and that of the Quraysh). By Him Who has sent you with Truth, I shall draw out from them (your name) as hair is drawn out from the flour.
"Aisha said: I heard Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) saying to Hassan: Verily Ruh al-Qudus (The Holy Spirit) will continue to help you so long as you put up a defence on behalf of Allah and his Messenger. And she said: I heard Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) saying: Hassan satirized them and gave satisfaction to the (Muslims) and disquieted (the non-Muslims). You satirized Muhammad, but I replied on his behalf, and there is a reward from Allah for this. You satirized Muhammad, the virtuous, the righteous, the Apostle of Allah, whose nature is truthfulness.
"So verily my father, his father and my honour are a protection to the honour of Muhammad. May I lobe my dear daughter if you don't see her wiping away the dust from both sides of Kaba. They pull at the reins, going upward. On their shoulders are spears thirsting (for the blood of the enemy). Our steeds are sweating--our women wipe them with their mantles. If you had not interfered with us, we should have performed the Umrah. And (then) there was the Victory, and the darkness cleared away. Otherwise wait for the fighting on the day on which Allah will honour whom He pleases. Allah said: I have sent a servant who says the Truth in which there is no ambiguity. Allah said: I have prepared an army--they are the Ansar whose object is fighting (the enemy). There arrives every day from Ma'add abuse, fighting or satire. Whoever among you satirizes the Apostle, or praises him and helps him it is all the same; and Gabriel, the Apostle of Allah is among us, and the Holy Spirit who has no match." Book 30, Number 6081
According to this hadith, Muslims have both Gabriel and the Holy Spirit assisting them, indicating once again that the Holy Spirit is someone distinct from Gabriel.
Badawi has erroneously assumed that the Holy Spirit must be Gabriel since in one verse it says that the Spirit brought down the revelation (cf. 16:102), whereas elsewhere it says that it was Gabriel who did:
Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel - for he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by God's will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe,- S. 2:97 Y. Ali
Badawi then concludes on the basis of these references that the two figures must be one and the same entity. This conclusion is erroneous for the following reason. It assumes that there was only one agent of revelation, that Allah sent down one single envoy with the Quran to Muhammad. The problem with this assertion is that it fails to consider the following passage which speaks of more than one messenger whom Allah sent down with revelation:
He sendeth down the angels with the Spirit of His command unto whom He will of His bondmen, (saying): Warn mankind that there is no God save Me, so keep your duty unto Me. S. 16:2 Pickthall
We (angels) come not down save by commandment of thy Lord. Unto Him belongeth all that is before us and all that is behind us and all that is between those two, and thy Lord was never forgetful - S. 19:64
This passage is definitely the angels speaking, otherwise Badawi must assume that Allah is saying that he doesn't come down save by permission from his Lord!
In light of the foregoing, showing references which speak of two entities as being the agent of inspiration doesn't prove that they are one and the same.
The only way for Badawi's reasoning to be valid is if he produces a reference which says that ONLY Gabriel was sent down to Muhammad, or that Allah sent only one envoy down with the inspiration; but even this wouldn't conclusively establish Badawi's premise since all this would do is to prove that the Quran is contradicting itself. After all, even if there was a passage which said specifically that there was only one agent of revelation, Badawi would still need to prove that Gabriel and the Holy Spirit are one and the same individual in order to demonstrate that the Quran isn't contradicting itself at this point. In fact, Muslims should be thankful that no such verse exists, since if there was a passage which said that only one entity was used to convey the message then this would contradict the previous verses which speak of more than one agent of revelation.
8.PERFORMED MIRACLES by the permission of Allah (3:49, 5:113,115-118).
From an Islamic perspective, this is true. Yet, there is one thing that Jesus was permitted to do that only God can do, namely create and grant life:
Sura 3:49 :
"... In that I create (Arabic- aniii `akhluqu) for you Out of clay, as it were, The figure of a bird, And breathe into it, And it becomes a bird By God's permission..."
Compare Jesus' ability to create with the way God created Adam:
"Behold! Thy Lord said To the angels: `I am about To create man (Arabic- `inni khaaliqum-basharam) from sounding clay From mud moulded into shape; When I have fashioned him (In due proportion) and breathed Into him of My spirit, Fall ye down in obeisance Unto him." Sura 15:28-29
This is astonishing since for God to allow Jesus to create and give life in exactly the same fashion that he created man basically confirms that Jesus is distinct from creation. In the words of the Quran itself:
"Is then He, Who creates as one who creates not? Will you not then remember?" Sura 16:17
Since Jesus both creates and gives life like God is able to do then he is completely unlike the one who creates not, i.e. he is not merely mortal. In fact, two Muslim writers affirm that to attribute creative powers to any one besides God basically affirms that the person is divine.
The late Maulana Muhammad Ali of the Ahmadiyyah sect writes,
"... The act of khalq (creation) in the sense of creation cannot be attributed to any being except Allah. The Quran has laid the greatest stress upon this point. It again and again speaks of the Divine Being as the creator of everything, so that there is nothing of which any one else may be said to be a creator. And of those who are taken as gods by any people, it says in particular that they do not create anything, while they are themselves created (16:20; 25:3)." (Ali, Holy Quran, [USA; Ahmadiyyah Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore Inc., 1995], fn. 428)
What the Maulana is basically saying is that to attributing creative actions to Christ is to make him God, since God alone has the power to create, a power that God will not give to a mere creature.
Muhammad Asad also agrees that to attribute creative powers to any human is to make him divine. In regard to Muhammad's inability to perform miracles, he notes:
"... The repeated insistence in the Quran on the humanness of the Prophet is in tune with the doctrine that no created being has or could have any share, however small, in any of the Creator's qualities or powers. In logical continuation of this argument, the next passage (vv. 189-198), stresses the uniqueness and exclusiveness of God's creative powers." (Asad, The Message of the Quran, p. 233, fn. 154 on S. 7:188)
We are left to conclude that Jesus is God since he has been allowed to partake of qualities and attributes that belong to God alone. This basically affirms that the Quran cannot be from God since in one breath it denies any essential divinity to Jesus while at the same time attributing to Christ both divine qualities and attributes. Which is it, is Jesus divine or he is no more than a messenger?
9.TAUGHT what all prophets taught; worship of Allah alone (2:135-136, 5:119-120, 43:63-64).
Again, from the perspective of the Quran this is correct, and hence we have no disagreements with it.
10.MISSION specifically TO THE ISRAELITES (3:49, 5:75, 61:6).
Response : Not one of these passages deny the fact that Jesus' mission was also for Gentiles:
"And will make him ['Iesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): `I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allâh's Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allâh's Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe.' "
"And (remember) when 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: `O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allâh unto you confirming the Taurât [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.' But when he (Ahmed i.e. Muhammad SAW) came to them with clear proofs, they said: `This is plain magic'."
In fact, the Quran clearly teaches that both Mary and Jesus were granted as a sign for all mankind:
"He said: `So (it will be), your Lord said: "That is easy for Me (Allâh): And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allâh), and it is a matter (already) decreed, (by Allâh)".' "
Sura 21:91 :
"And (remember) she who guarded her chastity [Virgin Maryam (Mary)], We breathed into (the sleeves of) her (shirt or garment) [through Our Rûh Jibrael (Gabriel)], and We made her and her son ['Iesa (Jesus)] a sign for Al-'Alamin (the mankind and jinns)."
11.REJECTION of all forms of deification of Jesus, including worship of Mary (5:119-120), claiming that Jesus is God (5:75) and Trinity (5:76, 4:171).
The Quran is not as clear as Badawi would have his readers believe. This is based primarily on the mistaken beliefs the Quran attributes to Christians on their understanding of the Trinity:
Sura 5:116-117 :
"And (remember) when Allâh will say (on the Day of Resurrection): `O 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: "Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allâh?"' He will say: `Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my innerself though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the AllKnower of all that is hidden and unseen. Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allâh) did command me to say: "Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord." And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world).'"
Sura 5:17 :
"In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: `Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His Will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all-every one that is on the earth'..."
"Surely, disbelievers are those who said: `Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).' But there is no ilâh (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilâh (God -Allâh). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them. Will they not repent to Allâh and ask His Forgiveness? For Allâh is OftForgiving, Most Merciful. The Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam (Mary)] was a Siddiqah [i.e. she believed in the words of Allâh and His Books (see Verse 66:12)]. They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allâh does not eat). Look how We make the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth). Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): "How do you worship besides Allâh something which has no power either to harm or to benefit you? But it is Allâh Who is the AllHearer, AllKnower."
The implication of 5:17 and 5:75 is that since Jesus and Mary ate food and can be destroyed by Allah this affirms that they cannot be divine. This assumes that Christians viewed Mary as a goddess along with Christ apart from the true God.
Sura 4:171 :
"O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allâh aught but the truth. The Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allâh and His Word, ("Be!" - and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rûh) created by Him; so believe in Allâh and His Messengers. Say not: `Three (trinity)!' Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allâh is (the only) One Ilâh (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allâh is AllSufficient as a Disposer of affairs."
The word Trinity is not found in the Arabic text but is the translators' interpolation into the English. The Arabic literally says, "Allah is the third of three (inallaaha thaalithu thalaatha)" and "Do not say Three (thalaatha)."
Hence, the Quran implies that Christians worship three Gods and that Mary is one of these gods. In fact, according to Ibn Ishaq these verses were addressed to a particular group of Christians who believed that Mary and Jesus were gods and that Christ was the third of three. According to Ishaq a Christian deputation from Najran supposedly came to debate Muhammad on the person of Jesus and alleged that Jesus, "is God; and He is the son of God; and He is the third Person of the Trinity, which is the doctrine of Christianity." (Alfred Guillaume trans., The Life of Muhammad [Oxford University Press, Karachi], p. 271)
He goes on to say, "They argue that he is the third of three in that God says: We have done, We have commanded, We have created and We have decreed, and they say, If He were one He would have said I have done, I have created, and so on, but He is He and Jesus and Mary. Concerning all these assertions the Quran came down." (Ibid., pp. 271-272 )
The Quranic errors in regard to Christian belief becomes apparent to anyone familiar with the basics of Christian doctrine. Firstly, Christians have never taken Mary as a goddess alongside God. Secondly, Christians have never said God is three or the third of three which is tritheism, three separate gods forming a unity; as opposed to Trinity, ONE God who exists in Three distinct yet inseparable Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, Christianity has never taught as part of its doctrine that Jesus is the third Person of the Trinity. Rather, he is the Second Person, with the Holy Spirit being the third Person of the Godhead. (cf. Matthew 28:19)
Fourthly, Muslims believe that Allah of the Quran is the same as God the Father of the Holy Bible since they do not believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, nor in God the Holy Spirit who to Muslims is the angel Gabriel. This again causes a problem since if Allah is indeed the same Person as God the Father then the Quran is wrong in saying that Christians believe that the Father is the third of three. Christians teach that the Father is the First Person of the One True Godhead, not the third deity of three gods.
Fifthly, Christians do not believe that Allah is the Messiah, or that God is the Messiah since this would imply that Jesus is the entire Godhead, which would be modalism. The precise biblical terminology is to say that Jesus is God. This suggests that although Jesus is fully God in nature he is not the only Person who shares the essence of Deity perfectly. The Bible also teaches that both the Father and the Holy Spirit are God as well.
This is not a modern idea, but one that has been held by Christians throughout the centuries. This is noted by Muslim author Neal Robinson, who makes mention of an ancient Nestorian reference:
... The text which dates from around 550 CE. concludes a discussion of the Trinity with the words The Messiah is God but God is not the Messiah. The Qur'an echoes only the latter half of the statement. C. Schedl, Muhammad and Jesus (Vienna: Herder, 1978), p. 531. (Robinson, Christ In Islam and Christianity [State University of New York Press, Albany 1991], p. 197; bold emphasis ours)
Sixthly, the whole story of the Christians of Najran is suspect. Seeing that orthodox Christianity has never viewed Mary as a goddess or that Jesus is the third of three we are forced to conclude that this whole event is a fabrication. If the story is historical, this implies that the Quran was not attacking orthodox Christian teaching, but rather was refuting heretical Christian sects that were not in line with historic Christian belief. That this is so can be seen by the fact that the Quran never mentions the orthodox Christian teaching of the Trinity. One will never find the Quran specifically define or attack the Christian belief that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the one God. Instead, it attacks belief in three Gods, or worshipping Jesus and Mary as gods apart from Allah.
In fact, the Quran even confuses the Christian understanding of sonship, which is defined as believing that God had sexual relations with a consort that he has taken to himself:
"Yet, they join the jinns as partners in worship with Allâh, though He has created them (the jinns), and they attribute falsely without knowledge sons and daughters to Him. Be He Glorified and Exalted above (all) that they attribute to Him. He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife? He created all things and He is the All-Knower of everything"
According to the Quran, God cannot have children since he has no wife. Therefore, to believe that Jesus is God's Son basically means that God fathered Christ through sexual union with a woman, something utterly blasphemous to both Muslims and Christians!
"And the Jews say: 'Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allâh, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allâh. That is a saying from their mouths. They imitate the saying of the disbelievers of old. Allâh's Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!"
Christians and Jews imitate the unbelievers of old by attributing sonship to Jesus and Ezra. If we look at the unbelievers of old, i.e. pagans, we find that their belief in sonship entailed a god and goddess having sexual relations in order to produce a son. Hence, the Quran wrongly attributes pagan notions of sonship to the Christian and Jewish belief of Jesus and Ezra. The fact is that this is the furthest thing a Christian has in mind when speaking of Jesus' sonship. The term implies relationship and essence, that Jesus relates to the Father as a son, being the eternal object of God's love, and has the same divine nature as well. There is no sexual overtones in the term whatsoever.
In summary, the Quran has mistaken views of what Christians actually belief since they neither believe in three gods, nor do they believe that Jesus is God's son in a carnal sense.
12.REJECTED BY THE ISRAELITES (5:81,113, 3:52).
This is something that we agree with since the Holy Bible teaches that the great majority of the Jewish nation rejected the mission of Jesus.
13. Conspiracy to CRUCIFY him FAILED and Allah raised him up (4:157).
a) it was made to "appear to them" as such.
b) No relevance to "respect for prophets" other Prophets were killed (2:61, 3:21,112, 5:73).
c) "Mutawaffika" in (3:55) and "Tawaffaytani" in (5:120) refer to "completing" your term or mission on earth. "Tawaffi" is used also in the Qur'an for other than death (6:60, 39:42).
d) Reference to the "death" and "resurrection" of Jesus (19:33) must be understood in the light of (4:157). It refers to death after the second coming and resurrection on the Day of Judgment. Similar terms used to refer to John the Baptist (19:15). Many Ahadith confirm that.
The Quran is not as clear as Badawi would have his readers believe. Since we have dealt with the crucifixion in great detail elsewhere, we will only summarize the main points here. First, Badawi proposes that S. 4:157 denies the death of Jesus altogether, when in fact it does not. It simply denies that Jesus was crucified or killed. The fact is that the Quran clearly alludes to Jesus' death in several places.
"And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the messengers have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful." Shakir
Maulana Muhammad Ali states in relation to this passage:
"While this verse lays stress on the essential truth of Islam, it served another important purpose at the death of the Prophet. Some of the companions thought that the Prophet was not dead. Abu Bakr went in, and seeing that life had departed, ascended the pulpit and read this verse, which had a magical effect upon his hearers, all of them being convinced that the Prophet had passed away, as all prophets had passed away before him. The prophets were but mortals, and their span of mortal life must no doubt terminate like that of other mortals. This verse affords a conclusive proof that Jesus Christ was also dead; otherwise Abu Bakr's argument could not have silenced the doubters of the Prophet's death." (Ali, Holy Quran, pp. 168-169, fn. 496; emphasis ours)
"And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be, And hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long As I live." Y. Ali
According to this verse, Jesus was to keep paying alms until he died. Yet, if Jesus has not died that means that he continues to pay charity while in heaven!
"Behold! God said: `O Jesus! I will take thee (Arabic- inni mutawaffeeka) And raise thee to Myself And clear thee (of the falsehoods) Of those who blaspheme..." Y. Ali
"Never said did I to them Aught except what Thou Didst command me To say, to wit, `Worship God, my Lord and your Lord'; And I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt Amongst them; when thou Didst take me up (Arabic- tawaffaytani) Thou wast the Watcher Over them, and Thou art a witness to all things." Y. Ali
The words, mutawaffeeka and tawaffaytani, come from the verb tawaffa. The verb almost always implies death whenever it is used in the Quran. Note how other Muslims translate these two verses:
"... I am terminating your life, raising you to Me..."
"... When You terminated my life on earth..."
"... I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend to Me..."
"... but when Thou didst cause me to die..."
"... I will cause thee to die a natural death and raise thee to Myself..."
"... but since Thou didst cause me to die..."
"... Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shalt exult thee unto Me..."
"... but since Thou hast caused me to die..."
M. Muhammad Ali
"... I will cause thee to die and exalt thee in My presence ..."
"... but when Thou didst cause me to die..."
In fact, even when it means to complete one's term, the text implies that the term is only completed at the moment of death, unless there is something in the context itself to suggest otherwise.
Interestingly, the very passages alluded to by Badawi to show that the verb has a meaning other than death actually backfires against him:
"And He it is Who takes your souls at night, and He knows what you acquire in the day, then He raises you up therein that an appointed term may be fulfilled; then to Him is your return, then He will inform you of what you were doing." Shakir
This verse demonstrates that the verb tawaffa doesn't necessarily mean to complete one's term, since if it did there would have been no need for the verse to go on and make reference to fulfilling one's appointed term. This would have been implied by the use of the verb itself. That the passage goes on to make the point that the person(s) was brought back in order to complete his appointed period mitigates against Badawi's claim that tawaffa refers to completing one's appointed time. The context is clear here to show that the verb simply means to take.
"Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep; then He withholds those on whom He has passed the decree of death and sends the others back till an appointed term; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect." Shakir
Again, this passage actually backfires against Badawi since the verb does not refer to the completion of one's term, but to the taking of a person's soul either at death or at the time of sleep. The emphasis again is on "taking" as opposed to completing an appointed term.
Hence, these passages end up refuting Badawi's argument. Not only are they exceptions to the way the verb is commonly used throughout the Quran when God or angels are the subject, but these passages also reveal that the verb does not mean to complete one's term since in certain cases the person is brought back after his soul is taken by God.
The other problem with these passages is that they are not at all parallel with God "taking" Jesus in S. 3:55 or 5:117. There are no qualifying statements to suggest that God took Christ alive. This is unlike S. 6:60 and 39:42 where it is explictly stated that some of the persons in question were brought back to complete their term, implying that they had not died.
Finally, the hadith furnishes additional support for the death of Jesus before his ascension to heaven:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
Allah's Apostle said, "You will be resurrected (and assembled) bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised." The Prophet then recited the Divine Verse:-- "As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it: A promise We have undertaken. Truly we shall do it." (21.104) He added, "The first to be dressed will be Abraham. Then some of my companions will take to the right and to the left. I will say: My companions! It will be said, They had been renegades since you left them. I will then say what the Pious Slave Jesus, the son of Mary said: And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them; when You did take me up (tawaffaytani), You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if you forgive them, You, only You are the All-Mighty the All-Wise." (5.117-118) Narrated Quaggas, "Those were the apostates who renegade from Islam during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr who fought them". (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 656)
According to Muhammad, God took him (tawaffaytani) in the same manner he took Jesus up to himself. Since we know that Muhammad was taken by death, this strongly argues that Jesus also died before ascending to God. This means that Badawi's assertion that the Quran teaches that Jesus did not die is simply wrong.
14. PROPHECIED the advent of the last Prophet Muhammad (61:6, 7:157).
No disagreement with this point since the Quran does say that Jesus predicted the coming of Muhammad. With this just said, we conclude our brief examination of Badawi's pamphlet.
All Quranic citations taken from The Noble Quran In the English Language A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. & Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan unless noted otherwise.
This concludes our examination of Badawi's pamphlet.
Articles by Sam Shamoun
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