Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Revisiting the Quran’s affirmation of Jesus’ Eternal Existence Pt. 3

Sam Shamoun

We resume from where we left off by summarizing Abualrub’s claims for the Quran.


A brief summation of Sunni Islam’s view of the Quran

Here is a run down of what Sunni theology in general, and Jalal Abualrub in particular, believes about the nature of the Muslim scripture.

1. The Quran is the word(s) of Allah which proceeded from him. As such, it is Allah’s speech.

2. Speech is one of Allah’s essential attributes.

3. As an essential attribute, Allah’s speech is uncreated.

4. Since the Quran is Allah’s speech it must therefore be uncreated.

5. As the speech of Allah, the Quran is not a separate entity from him anymore than any of his other attributes are separate from Allah.

6. At the same time, the Quran is not identical to Allah since there is more to Allah than his speech.

Now these statements obviously cannot be made about the book, pages, or the ink which humans use to record the Quran since these elements are part of creation and therefore temporal. This means that the Quran is actually composed of two distinct elements, one that is eternal and immaterial and the other which is created and physical. In other words, the Quran is eternal and created, timeless and temporal at the same time.  


Jesus Christ – The Eternal Word of God Who Became Flesh

It might come shock some of the readers to discover that the Quran identifies the Lord Jesus as the Word of/from Allah no less than three times:

While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him: "God doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from God (bikalimatin mina Allahi), and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a prophet, - of the (goodly) company of the righteous." S. 3:39 Y. Ali

Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary (bikalimatin minhu ismuhu al-maseehu ‘Iesa ibnu Maryama), held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God;” S. 3:45 Y. Ali

As v. 45 shows, the Word from God which Yahya (John the Baptist) was sent to confirm is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., part of John’s ministry included his bearing witness to Jesus being that very Word that God sent to Israel. Finally:

O People of the Book! Exceed not the limits in your din (religion), and speak nothing but the truth about Allah’s glory. The fact is simple that the Messiah, ‘Isa, the son of Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary) is Allah’s Messenger and His Word which He conveyed to Maryam (Mary) and a Spirit from Him (wa’kalimatuhu alqaha ila Maryama wa’roohun minhu). So believe in Allah and His Messengers and do not say: ‘There are three (Gods).’ Refrain (from this belief); (that) is best for you. Verily, Allah is the Only One God, Holy is He, far above having a son. Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth (all) belongs to Him alone. And Sufficient is Allah as a Guardian. S. 4:171-172 Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri

Here is a text which explicitly points to Jesus’ prehuman existence as the Word and Spirit of Allah that was sent down to Mary in order to be conceived from her!

Note how some of the various Muslim versions translated that particular section that identifies Jesus as the Word and Spirit of/from Allah:

“… Without doubt Al-Maseeh, Iesa, Ibn-e-Maryam is Rasulullah (Messenger of Allah) and His Kalimah, which He bestowed on Maryam and a Ruh (Spirit) proceeding from Him…” Dr. Kamal Omar 

“… but the Messiah, Jesus, Mary's son (is) God's messenger and His word/EXPRESSION HE THREW IT AWAY TO MARY, and a Soul/Spirit (could be Gabriel) from Him…” Muhammad Ahmed – Samira 

“… That the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was a Messenger of God and His Word that He cast to Mary and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. And say not: Three…” Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar 

“… and His Word, which He cast INTO Maryam, and a Spirit from Him…” Aisha Bewley

“… and His Word that He cast TOWARD Mary and a spirit from Him…” Ali Quli Qara'i

“… and His Word "Be" which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit from Him which took the shape of a child in her womb…” Farook Malik 

“… His Word, and a spirit from Him whom He conveyed to Mary…” Muhammad Sarwar 

Astonishingly, the Holy Bible affirms virtually everything stated in this passage with the exception of its denial of Allah having a son.

For instance, God’s inspired Word goes out of its way to make it clear that there is only one God (cf. Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; 6:4-5; 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Kings 5:15; Psalm 86:8-10; Isaiah 37:14-20; 43:10-11; 44:6-8; 45:5-6, 21-22; 46:9-11; Jeremiah 2:11; 10:6, 10-12; Hosea 13:4; Malachi 2:10; Mark 12:29-30; John 5:44; 17:3; Romans 3:30; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Galatians 3:20; 4:8; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2:5; James 2:19; 1 John 5:20-21; Jude 1:25).

The God-breathed Scriptures also testify that Jesus is the Apostle/Messenger of God,

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;” Hebrews 3:1 – cf. John 17:18; 20:21

The eternal Word of God,

“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” Revelation 19:13 – cf. John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1-3

And a life-giving Spirit who became God’s Servant when he entered into the world to become a man:

“And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 New King James Version (NKJV) – cf. John 5:21, 25-26, 28-29; 6:37-40, 62; 10:10

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 – cf. Matthew 12:15-21; 20:28; Luke 22:27; John 13:3-17; Romans 15:7-8

This shows that Muhammad adopted certain ascriptions and titles which he heard from the Christians and applied them to the Lord Jesus without realizing how this would end up contradicting his denial of the divinity of Christ. After all, for Christ to be the Word of/from Allah he must be uncreated and therefore fully divine, just as the following breakdown makes crystal clear:

1. Jesus is the Word of Allah which proceeded from him and was later cast down to Mary. As such, Christ must be the Speech of Allah.

2. Allah’s Word(s)/Speech is/are eternal/uncreated.

3. As the Word/Speech of Allah, Jesus must therefore be eternal/uncreated.

4. Being Allah’s Word/Speech means that Jesus can no more be separated from Allah than any other of the divine attributes can be separated from the Islamic deity as well.

5. At the same time Jesus is not identical to Allah since Allah is more than just Jesus, more than just his Word/Speech.

6. Moreover, Jesus’ physical body and human nature that he received from his blessed mother are not eternal but temporal, having been created at a specific point in time.

7. This means that, like the Quran, Jesus possesses two distinct aspects or sets of characteristics, one of which is uncreated with the other set coming into existence at a later time.

There is simply no logical way around this for Abualrub, especially when he and his fellow Muhammadans use this same exact logic to establish the uncreatedness of the Quran. Now Abularub may decide to toss logic and consistency out the window in order to continue blindly believing in his uninspired traditions and fables, which he has been duped into accepting as revelations from God.

This brings us to the other title employed for Christ, one which we will have to discuss in the next part of our reply.