'Replies from Muslims'

Rami Sbeiti - 30

24th May, 2004

(Continued from page 377)


Christ Revered in the Qur'an?!


You write:  It would be better to say that you do not believe in Islam because Muhammad came after Christ Jesus (PBUH). I will tell you that Christ is revered in the Qur'an as Jesus said the one to follow him would do. But again, we will agree to disagree.

TCE: since we have already made clear why Christians totally reject Muhammad and the Qur'an it is disingenuous of you to make statements of this kind.  And, far from revering Christ, the Qur'an of Muhammad insults Him by denigrating Him and presenting an altogether false picture of His attributes and Gospel.  The Deity of Christ is expressly denied, and the Holy Spirit is identified with the angel Gabriel:

Sura 2:110: And they say!
God hath a son! No! Praise be to Him.

Sura 6:100: Sole maker of the heavens and the earth!
How, when He hath no consort, should He have a son?

(This shows Muhammad took his idea of sonship from human relationships. Like the Jews he could not conceive of spiritual relationships within the Godhead.)

Sura 19:37:
It beseemeth not God to beget a son.

Sura 19:91-93:
They say, 'The God of mercy hath begotten offspring.' Now ye have done a monstrous thing.

Sura 37:151:
Is it not a falsehood of their own devising, when they say 'God hath begotten'? They are indeed liars.

Sura 39:6:
Hath God desired a son, He had surely chosen what he pleased out of His own creation.

Sura 62:3: And He - may the majesty of the Lord be exalted!
hath taken no spouse, neither hath he any offspring.

Sura 10:1-4:
Say: 'He is God alone: the eternal. He begetteth not, and is not begotten; And there is none like unto Him.'

Sura 18:1-4: Praise be to God, who hath sent down the Book (the Qur'an) to his servant ... that it may
warn those who say, 'God hath begotten a son.'  No knowledge of this have either they or their fathers! A grievous saying out of their mouths! They speak no other than a lie.
           
If Muhammad had understood the Biblical definition of 'begotten' he would never have written the uninspired Qur'an.  God did not marry and father a son, as some Muslims mockingly claim, but Jesus is God incarnate (as explained on our
pages).  As we explained there, only someone who was truly and fully God and Man could be the one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), both to bring us back to God and also to reveal God most fully to us (John 14:9).  It is noticeable that Muhammad is never described as a mediator in the Qur'an!

The doctrine of salvation in the Qur'an, that salvation, atonement for sin (which is all that Muhammad thought necessary to salvation), depends upon so-called 'good deeds' outweighing evil deeds, denies the Biblical doctrine that salvation depends on faith in Christ Who satisfied the two-fold claims of the Law, both precept and penalty on our behalf.  Apparently, despite knowing full well that Christians believed Christ ransomed them from condemnation by bearing God's judgment on their sins substitutionally, Muhammad expressly denied that there can be any ransom for sinners:

Sura 2:45 (or 48): And fear ye the day when soul shall nor satisfy for soul at all,
nor shall any intercession be accepted from them, nor shall any ransom be taken, neither shall they be helped.

Note here the statement that on the Judgment Day
none shall be helped.  Yet it is twice stated in the Qur'an that angels will intercede for them.

Sura 40:7:
They who bear the throne, and they who encircle it, celebrate the praise of their Lord, and believe in Him, and implore forgiveness for the believers: 'O our Lord! thou embracest all things in mercy and knowledge; forgive, therefore, those who turn to thee, and follow the path; keep them from the pains of Hell.'

Sura 42:3 (or 5): ' …
and the angels celebrate the praise of their Lord, and ask forgiveness for the dwellers on earth: Is not God the Indulgent, the Merciful?'

The doctrine that salvation according to the Qur'an depends entirely on good deeds outweighing evil deeds, not only excludes intercession, but Allah's decrees also render any intercession null and void! 
So here we have another contradiction in the doctrines of the Qur'an.

Although
Allah denies that any soul shall be ransomed on the Judgment Day, in two Suras he commends ransoming as a virtue to be practised by Muslims.

'The City' (aka 'The Soil' [Al-Balad] Sura 90v12-15:

And guided him (man) to the two highways?  Yet he attempted not the steep.  And who shall teach thee what the steep is? 
It is to ransom the captive, Or to feed in the day of famine, The orphan who is near of kin, or the poor that lieth in the dust; Beside this, to be of those who believe, and enjoin steadfastness on each other, and enjoin compassion on each other.

and 'Immunity' (aka 'Repentance' [Al-Tauba] Sura 9v60) which reads:

But alms are only to be given to the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and to those whose hearts are won to Islam,
and for ransoms, and for debtors, and for the cause of God, and the wayfarer. This is an ordinance from God; and God is Knowing, Wise.

Here is another moral contradiction in the Qur'an - Muslims are to be more compassionate than Allah.  'Do as I say, but not as I do,' is Allah's motto. So we find Muhammad more compassionate than Allah, for he would have saved those whom Allah would not save.

We notice that history gives many examples of 'substitution,' often called the 'Highest Expression of Love' where human love has been expressed in substitutionally bearing punishment, even to the sacrifice of life itself.  An example in the Muslim world was the renowned Circassian leader, Schamyl, a Muslim, who championed his people's cause and liberties and for over thirty years held up the advance of Russia in the Caucasus and died in 1871.  He was once faced with a terrible problem. At one period of his rule bribery and corruption had become so rife that he was forced to adopt the severest measures to eliminate it.  He announced that a hundred lashes would be given henceforth to anyone found guilty.  Not long afterwards his own mother was found guilty.  For two days Schamyl shut himself in his tent and touched neither food nor drink.  Instead he gave himself up to prayer.  What was he to do?  Surely he could make an exception in the case of his mother?  Yet, if he did, he could never appear before his people again as a just law-giver and a man of his word.  His law against bribery and corruption was a just law, and most essential to the well-being of the whole community.  It was being disregarded so often that the penalty was not out of proportion to the importance of the law transgressed.  But could he have his mother lashed?  How could his love for his mother be reconciled with the execution of the sentence his justice as law-giver demanded?  Was there a way out?  Yes, he discovered a way.  After two days he appeared before his people pale as death.  He ordered his mother, her back bared, to be tied to the whipping-post, and ordered the officer responsible to lay on the stripes.  After five stripes he called 'Halt!'  He had his mother released and ordered that he receive the remaining ninety-five stripes in her stead, with sternest threats if the officer failed to give each stripe its full weight.

Ernest Gordon, in his book,
Miracle on the River Kwai, tells of British prisoners held by the Japanese in World War II who were engaged in building a railway.  At the end of a day's labour the Japanese officer in charge of a small group of prisoners told them a shovel was missing from the shed where they were stored for the night.  Unless the person guilty of taking it owned up, he said, all would be shot.  Immediately the British officer under whom they worked, a Christian from Scotland, stepped forward and was clubbed to death with a rifle butt.  The next morning, the shovel was found in the shed, having been put back.  Officers were usually treated deferentially, and this man would not have been suspected of taking the shovel.  He might have escaped punishment but chose to give his life to save his men.

An illustration of the comfort and hope that belief in the Saviour God who suffered for man's redemption brings is the case of Sudhangsu Barman, the leper poet of the Mission to Lepers Home in Ranigani, Bengal.  This man was a Hindu of culture and refinement who, in almost his last year as a medical student at Calcutta University, discovered that he had contracted leprosy.  The dreadful prospect of leaving family and friends, and the termination of his career, tormented him, distracting his mind.  He prayed for some kind of refuge where he could live normally and breathe the air of freedom.  His prayer was answered when he discovered the Leper Home in Ranigani. For a time he was a very gloomy figure there but this changed one day when he was asked to welcome the visitors to the home in the name of the patients.  In the course of his remarks he referred to the patients as 'the outcasts of society, thrown aside by the human race in its march of progress'.  That evening the minister in charge of the home said to him:  'We do not think of you like that.'  The young Hindu made the significant reply:  'No, I suppose
you don't, but you believe in a God who suffers.'  The ensuing conversation was the turning point in this young man's life. He accepted Jesus Christ as his own personal Saviour, and the Lord of his life, and entered into a new world - a new creation of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17:  'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!'). The Gospel of 'the God Who suffers' completely changed even his physical appearance as laughter replaced gloom, and the new light in his eyes proclaimed he had experienced the saving power and the satisfying fulness of the One who taught that 'whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many' (Matthew 20:27-28) and in whom alone, God is revealed as suffering for man's redemption. No religion in the world but the Christian religion has a Gospel for sinners.

While discussing the doctrine of God we note that the Qur'an gives Allah all the characteristics of man (e.g., God has a face, sees, talks, sits, stands, hates, etc.), and the Bible also utilises anthropomorphism (from the Greek
anthropos, man; morphe, form), the metaphorical use of human characteristics in speaking about God, e.g. "the Lord smelled the pleasing odour" (Genesis 8:21) or the earth being described as God's "footstool" (Matthew 5:35).  So should we really be surprised to find that God, who is also described as having these characteristics in the Qur'an, revealed Himself in the form of a man in Jesus Christ?

Sura 16:53:
For God hath said: 'Take not to yourselves two Gods - for He is one God; me, therefore! yea, me revere.'

The Bible doesn't say there are two Gods - as we clearly explained in our explanation of
'The Trinity.'  Perhaps it would help you to understand better if you looked on Christian understanding of this teaching simply as God having three 'parts' but still being only one God, as stated in the Bible.  And think of this fact: if nothing is impossible for God, as the Bible teaches (see Matthew 17:20; 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37; 18:27) then, obviously, God could appear anywhere in the Universe in whatever form He chooses to appear!  The fact that He has revealed Himself in the Bible as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - sometimes in the Old Testament in 'angelic' form or partial form and in the New Testament in the form of the man, the Lord Jesus Christ - makes this fact and logic irrefutable.  That Moses and his company "saw the God of Israel" might, at first, appear to contradict Exodus 33:20 (and John 1:18; and 1 Timothy 6:16):

Exodus 33:18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."  19 And the LORD said,
"I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My Name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," He said, "you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live."  21 Then the LORD said, "There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove My hand and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen."

What they saw was a "form ['similitude'] of the LORD" (
Numbers 12:8), just as Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:26) and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1) saw an approximation, a faint resemblance or adumbration (foreshadowing) of the incarnate Christ who was to come.  In response to Moses' request to see God's "glory," God said that he would "cause all [his] goodness to pass" before Moses (v19). By his "goodness" is meant his whole character and nature. In a later theophany the Lord passed by the discouraged prophet Elijah on the same Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:11):

1 Kings 19:7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled forty days and forty nights
until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.  And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"  10 He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."  11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

Strangely enough the cult of Jehovah's Witnesses, whose articles we thoroughly refute on
'The Trinity' pages and whose teachings were used by Ahmed Deedat to try and attack 'The Trinity', believe in two Gods - the Father is 'Jehovah the Big God' and 'Jesus is the little 'god'.  This is not Biblical, as we have proven, and the demons that deceive them make them incapable of understanding that the Bible clearly teaches there is only One True God - the God of the Bible.

Sura 9:30: The Jews say, 'Ezra (Ozair) is a son of God', and
the Christians say 'the Messiah is a son of God'. Such the saying with their mouths. They resemble the infidels of old! Do battle with them! How they are misguided!

Sura 23:93:
God hath not begotten offspring: neither is there any God with Him, else each God had assuredly taken away that which he had created, and some had assuredly lifted up themselves above others. Far from the glory of God be what they affirm of Him.

Sura 41:169: O ye people of the Book (the Bible), overstep not bounds in your religion; and of God speak only the truth.
The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and His word, which He conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit preceding from Himself. Believe therefore in God and His apostles, and say not 'Three' (there is a Trinity) - Forbear - it will be better for you. God is only one God! Far be it from His glory that He should have a son!

As
explained, in Muhammad's day many false doctrines were being propagated as Christian truth; several Church councils had been called to deal with errors concerning the Trinity, the Person of Christ, errors relating to His Deity, His humanity, the distinction of the two natures  -  Divine and human - in Christ, and the Unity of His Person.  Some had propagated the doctrine that the Trinity consisted of the Father, Son, and the virgin Mary.  Not having any firsthand knowledge of the Scriptures and apparently never having been enlightened by any true Christians able to explain to him the true scriptural doctrine of the Trinity, Muhammad supposed that Christians who believed in God as Triune held the doctrine he condemned in the Qur'an - a doctrine all orthodox Christians reject as strongly as he did as being utterly false and un-Scriptural. Christians believe as strongly as Muhammad that there is only one God.  We cannot over emphasize this point.

(Continued on page 379)

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