Posts Tagged ‘Christian Beliefs’

‘Isa (Jesus) is an intercessor and not a redeemer

It is not meet for a man that Allah should give him the Book and the Judgment and Prophethood, then he should say to men: “Be my servants rather than Allah’s;” but rather (he would say): “Be worshippers of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves)”. Or that he should enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords; what! would he enjoin you with unbelief after you are Muslims (Submitting Ones)? (Qur’an, 3:79-80)

The Christians believe that Jesus Christ atoned for their sins with his blood; and that is why they call him the Redeemer, the Savior. They explain this belief as follows:

“Adam disobeyed Allah by partaking of the forbidden tree; it was a sin which remained with Adam, and it is inherited by his progeny who came into this world burdened by that original sin; and the recompense of sin is punishment in the next world, the eternal perdition, the everlasting ruin – which cannot be warded off. And Allah is Merciful and Just – both at the same time.

“This situation created a knotty problem which defied all solutions: If Allah were to punish Adam and his progeny for their sin, it would have been against the mercy for which He had created them; and if He were to forgive them, it would have been against His Justice. Justice demands that a sinner should be punished for his sins and errors, just as a good-doer and obedient person should be rewarded for his good deeds.*

“This problem remained unsolved until Allah solved it through Christ. Christ – the Son of God who was Himself God – entered the womb of a descendent of Adam, that is the Virgin Maryam, and was born from her as a human being is born. In this way, he was a complete man, because he was a son of man; and at the same time, was complete God, because he was the Son of God.

“And the Son of God, being God Himself, was sinless and protected from every sin and error.

“He lived among his people for sometime, mixing and dealing with them; he joined them in eating and drinking, talked and walked with them and befriended them. Thereafter he surrendered to his enemies enabling them to kill him the worst killing – killing by crucifixion, because one who is crucified is, according to the Divine Scriptures, cursed by God.

“He took upon Himself the Divine curse and crucifixion, with all the condemnations, sufferings and chastisement which it entails. In this way he redeemed the people through his sacrifice, in order that they might be saved from the chastisement of the hereafter and the eternal perdition. Thus, he is the atonement for the sin of the believers, nay, for the sins of the whole world.” **

This is what the Christians believe.

The Christians have made this theory (i.e. the crucifixion and atonement) the foundation of their religion. It is the Alpha and Omega of their call and mission – in the same manner as the Qur’an has founded the Islam and its mission on monotheism; as Allah says addressing His Messenger (s.a.w.a.): Say: “This is my way: I invite (you) unto Allah: with clear sight (are) I and he who follows me; and glory be to Allah; and I am not of the polytheists” (12:108).

It is the Christians’ belief in spite of the fact that Christ (as the Gospels clearly say, and we have mentioned earlier) used to admonish them first of all to believe in one God and to love Him.

The Muslims as well as many non-Muslims have shown the Christians the defects and invalidity of the above-mentioned belief of Christianity. Countless books and booklets have been written and numerous pamphlets and articles published, showing that this theory is not only contrary to logic and reason, but it also contradictory to the Books of the Old and the New Testaments. What we are concerned with here – and what comes within the purview of this book of ours – is to show how this idea is opposed to the basic Qur’anic teachings, and to explain the difference between intercession (as confirmed by the Qur’an) and atonement (as claimed by the Christians).

Moreover, the Qur’an clearly says that it talks with the people explaining the things in such a way as to bring it to the level of their understanding, to make it easier for them to grasp its realities. It explains what helps them to distinguish the truth from falsehood, so that they may accept that and reject this. It enables him to differentiate between virtue and evil, between beneficial and harmful, so that he may take the one and leave the other. The fact that the Qur’an keeps in view the level of the healthy reason and understanding is abundantly clear to all who study the Divine Book.

Now let us have a critical look at the above-mentioned Christian theory of atonement.

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This section groups all the discourses appearing in Al-Mizan that provides an intellectual challenge to the Christian doctrines. The aim is not to attack these beliefs but to invite the Christians and other readers in kind exhortation to understand each other better.

The position of ‘Isa (Jesus) before Allah

It is not meet for a man that Allah should give him the Book and the Judgment and Prophethood, then he should say to men: “Be my servants rather than Allah’s;” but rather (he would say): “Be worshippers of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves)”. Or that he should enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords; what! would he enjoin you with unbelief after you are Muslims (Submitting Ones)? (Qur’an, 3:79-80)

‘Isa (Jesus) was a servant of Allah and a prophet (vide 19:30); a messenger to the Children of Israel (vide 3:49); was one of the five most high prophets, bringing a new law and a Book, i.e., Gospel (vide 5:46; 33:7; 42:13); Allah named him the Messiah, ‘Isa (Jesus) (vide 3:45); he was the Word of Allah, and a Spirit from Him (vide 4:171); an Imam (vide 33:7); one of the witnesses of deeds (vide 4:159; 5:117); he brought the good news of the Messenger of Allah (vide 61:6); was worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter, and one of those who are made near to Allah (vide 3:45); was one of the chosen progenies (vide 3:33); one of the selected and righteous ones (vide 6:85-87); was made blessed wherever he might be, and purified; was a sign to the people, a mercy from Allah, and dutiful to his mother; greeted himself with peace (vide 19:19-33); and was among those whom Allah taught the Book and the Wisdom (vide 3:48).

These twenty-two characteristics from the stations of friendship and guardianship of Allah, give the gist of the attributes, which Allah has used to praise this honored prophet and to raise his rank. These may be divided into two categories:

(1) The acquired ones, like servitude, righteousness and nearness to Allah;

(2) Those bestowed by Allah as His special grace.
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This section groups all the discourses appearing in Al-Mizan that provides an intellectual challenge to the Christian doctrines. The aim is not to attack these beliefs but to invite the Christians and other readers in kind exhortation to understand each other better.

The story of ‘Isa (Jesus) and his mother Mary in the Qur’an

It is not meet for a man that Allah should give him the Book and the Judgment and Prophethood, then he should say to men: “Be my servants rather than Allah’s;” but rather (he would say): “Be worshippers of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves)”. Or that he should enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords; what! would he enjoin you with unbelief after you are Muslims (Submitting Ones)? (Qur’an, 3:79-80)

Mary, daughter of Imran was the mother of the Messiah (‘Isa (Jesus)). When her mother was pregnant with her, she made a vow that she would release what was in her womb to be devoted to the service of the Temple. She believed that she was pregnant with a male child; but when she brought it forth and came to know that it was a female, she was disappointed and dejected. Then she named her Mary, that is, servant. Her father, Imran, had died before she was born; so the mother brought her to the Temple for handing her over to the priests – Zakariyya was one of them. They contended with one another to get the privilege of her custody; then they agreed to decide it by lot, in which Zakariyya’s name was drawn; and he became her guardian. When she reached the age of puberty, Zakariyya made for her a partition to protect her from men’s eyes. She used to worship Allah therein and nobody entered that sanctuary except Zakariyya. Whenever Zakariyya entered the sanctuary to see her, he found her with food. He said: “O Mary! Whence comes this to you?” She said: “It is from Allah, and surely Allah gives sustenance to whom He pleases, without measure.

Mary was a truthful woman and was sinless by Allah’s protection; purified, chosen and spoken to; the angels spoke to her and purified her. She was obedient to the Lord and a sign of Allah for the worlds. (vide 3:35-44; 19:16; 21:91; 66:12 in the Qur’an)

Then Allah sent to her His spirit when she had hidden herself behind a curtain, and he appeared to her as a well-made man. He said to her that he was a messenger of her Lord so that he should give her, by permission of Allah, a pure boy without a father. He also gave her the good news of the manifest miracles which were to happen on the hand of her son; and informed her that Allah would surely strengthen him by the Holy Spirit, and would teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. He also told her that her son would be the messenger to the Children of Israel and would have clear signs. After informing her of the boy’s status and story, he breathed into her the spirit and she became pregnant with ‘Isa (Jesus) (peace be on him), as a woman conceives her child. (vide 3:33-50 in the Qur’an)

Then she withdrew herself with him to a remote place. And the throes of childbirth compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said: “Oh, would that I have died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten!” Then the child called out to her from beneath her: “Grieve not; surely your Lord made a stream to flow beneath you; And shake towards you the trunk of the palm-tree; it will drop on you fresh ripe dates: So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see my man, say: ‘Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent Allah, so I shall not speak to any man today.’” And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). (vide 19:20-27;) His conception, birth, talk and all related affairs were similar to those of other men.

When her people saw her in such a condition, they were enraged, and blamed and taunted her – as was natural in case of an unmarried woman conceiving and bringing forth a child. They said: “O Mary, surely you have done a strange thing. O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother an unchaste woman.” But she pointed to him. They said: “How should we speak to one who is a child in the cradle?” He (‘Isa (Jesus)) said: “Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the book and made me a prophet: And he has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and charity so long as I live: And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed: And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.” (vide 19:27-33)

This talk of ‘Isa (Jesus) was a sort of prologue which pointed to his future mission – that he would rise against oppression and injustice, revive and reform the laws of Moses (peace be on him), renovate what was obliterated from the revealed knowledge and make clear to them what they had differed in.

‘Isa (Jesus) grew up and became a young man. He and his mother used to eat and drink in normal way with all the necessary concomitants and accidents of human life up to the end.

Then ‘Isa (Jesus) was made a messenger to the Children of Israel. He stood up calling them to the religion of monotheism and told them: “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I create for you out of dust like the form of a bird, and I breathe into it and it and becomes a bird, with Allah’s permission, and I heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead to life, with Allah’s permission, and I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your homes. Most surely there is a sign in this for you. Surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore, worship Him only.”

He called them to his new Law, which verified the Law of Moses; But he abrogated some parts of it, allowing them some things which were forbidden in the Torah as a punishment to the Jews. ‘Isa (Jesus) used to say: “Surely I have come to you with wisdom, so that I make clear to you a part of what you differ in. O Children of Israel! Surely I am the messenger of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Torah and giving the good news of a messenger who will come after me, his name being Ahmad.”

He showed the miracles which he had mentioned, e.g. creation of a bird, raising the dead to life, healing the blind and leper, and giving the news of the unseen – all by Allah’s permission.

He continued like that calling them to monotheism and his new Law until he was convinced that they would not believe in him. Seeing their insolence, enmity and hatred, and the arrogance of their priests and rabbis, he turned away from them and selected his apostles (from the small band that had believed in him) to be his helpers to Allah.

Then the Jews rose against him with the intention to kill him. But Allah took him away completely and raised him. The Jews were put in confusion; some thought that they had killed him, others that they had crucified him; but in fact it was made to appear to them like that. (vide 3:45-58; 4:157-158; 5:110-111; 43:63-65; 61:6-14).

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