Articles

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ISLAM’S REVIVAL OF JESUS’ TEACHINGS


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The Clear Religion Series - Part 6


Excerpted from Who Deserves to Be Worshipped


www.saaid.net/The-clear-religion/017.pdf


Majed S. Al-Rassi


Edited by Ann Ronayne


Revised 2019


This book may be copied and distributed for free as long as no changes are made.


www.saaid.net/The-clear-religion/05.pdf





NO DOUBT THIS LIFE IS AN EXAMINATION


WHICH NEEDS YOUR FULL CONSIDERATION


AS TO WHAT YOU WILL TAKE TO


YOUR FINAL DESTINATION


ONLY TRUE BELIEF AND GOOD DEEDS ARE


YOUR WAY TO SALVATION


(Muhammad Sherif)





CONTENTS


HONORIFIC PHRASES IN THIS BOOK 3


ABOUT THE WORD ‘LORD’ 4


ABOUT THE WORD ‘ALLAH’ 5


INTRODUCTION 7


ISLAM’S REVIVAL OF THE BASIC TEACHINGS OF JESUS 9


Introduction 9


1. Revival of the creed of Allah’s Oneness of essence 9


2. Revival of Allah’s supremacy in terms of His attributes and qualities 13


3. Revival of the doctrine of monotheism (worship of Allah alone) 14


4. Revival of the creed of Jesus’ prophethood 17


5. Revival of the doctrine of Jesus’ humanness 18


Important notes 23


6. Revival of the doctrine of Jesus’ ascension (negating the crucifixion) 23


7. Revival of the prohibition of augury 25


8. Revival of the prohibition of witchcraft 26


9. Revival of the prohibition of taking interest 26


10. Revival of the prohibition of consuming pork 28


11. Revival of the prohibition of consuming blood 29


12. Revival of the prohibition of adultery 29


13. Revival of ablution before prayer 31


14. Revival of performing prayers physically 32


15. Revival of compulsory charity (zakah) 33


2 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


16. Revival of fasting 34


17. Revival of greeting with the supplication of peace 35


18. Revival of veiling (hijab) for women 36


19. Revival of polygyny 37


20. Revival of male circumcision 39


Conclusion 40


WHY ISLAM? 41


A CALL TO REASON 44


THIS IS IT 45


A WHISPER 47


HOW TO BECOME A MUSLIM 50


REMEMBER THIS 55


BIBLIOGRAPHY 56


APPENDIX 57


GLOSSARY OF ISLAMIC TERMS 59


HONORIFIC PHRASES IN THIS BOOK


(the Exalted): used after the mention of God/Allah to express: Glorified and Exalted is He


(bpuh): Blessings and peace be upon him; used after mention of the Prophet Muhammad


(pbuh): Peace be upon him; used after mention of any prophet or after mention of Angel Gabriel


(May Allah be pleased with him): used after mention of a male Companion of the Prophet


(May Allah be pleased with her): used after mention of a female Companion of the Prophet


ABOUT THE WORD ‘LORD’


he word lord in English has several related meanings. The original meaning is ‘master’ or ‘ruler’, and in this sense it is often used to refer to human beings: ‘the lord of the mansion’ or ‘Lord So-and-So’ (in the United Kingdom, for example). The word Lord with a capital L is used in the lexicon of Islam to refer to the One and Only God—Allah. In Islam, there is no ambiguity about the meaning of this word. While it is true that one may occasionally use the word lord (whether capitalized or not) to refer to a human being, in Islamic discourse the reference of this term is always clear from the context. Whereas for Christians, Hindus and other polytheists, the word Lord with a capital L may refer to Allah, to Jesus or to some imagined deity, for Muslims, there can be no plurality of meaning. Allah alone is the Lord, and the Lord is Allah—not Jesus, not Rama, not any other being.


T


ABOUT THE WORD ‘ALLAH’


lthough the English word ‘God’ has often been used interchangeably in this book with the word Allah, there is a difference. ‘Allah’ is the word in Arabic that is translated as ‘God’. However, ‘Allah’ has a much more precise meaning than ‘God’. ‘Allah’ is not merely an Arabic term for the word ‘god’. Instead, the root word of the word ‘Allah’ is ilah, which means ‘a god’. There are countless numbers of made-up ‘gods’, but only One True God worthy of worship, Whose name is Allah. The word ‘Allah’ literally means ‘the worshipped’, or ‘the God’. Allah is, thus, the proper name for the only Being that is worthy of worship in truth, the True Creator of the universe. By saying ‘Allah’, Muslims are, in essence, negating every other entity which people wrongfully worship, while affirming worship to Him alone. The name ‘Allah’ is how God Almighty has referred to Himself in the Quran, and how Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) also referred to Him. Therefore, in this work, the term ‘Allah’ will often be used in reference to this One and Only God Who is worthy of worship.


A





INTRODUCTION


very individual is born into a religious environment that is not necessarily in accordance with his or her choice; children are raised to follow the religion or ideology of their family, society, or culture. Even as new-born babies, they are assigned either the religion of their family or the ideology of the state; in some countries, the child’s assigned religion is even recorded on the birth certificate. By the time individuals reach their teens, they have usually accepted the beliefs of their parents or their particular society. Since these beliefs have come to feel normal to them, they may give no thought to examining and possibly changing them.


However, individuals often encounter, or are exposed to, various beliefs and ideologies throughout the course of their lives, leading many to question long-held beliefs, traditions, or philosophical ideas. They begin to question the validity of their own beliefs. Seekers of truth often reach a point of confusion, especially upon realizing that the believers of every religion, sect, ideology, and philosophy claim to profess the one and only truth.


A main point of confusion in the minds of the majority of Christians is the relation between the two main two religions: Christianity and Islam.


The bulk of Christians perceive Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) and the teachings he brought to be in great conflict with the teachings brought by Jesus (pbuh).


This book and its twin, The Amazing Prophecies of Muhammad in the Bible: Twenty-Eight Proofs of Muhammad’s Prophethood in the Bible, prove to the fair reader that Jesus indicated the advent of Prophet Muhammad (bpuh), and that the latter revived the teachings brought by the former.


Before we delve into the book, it should be noted that when beginning the search for the true religion, one should keep in mind the following four things:


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8 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


Firstly, Allah has given us the ability and the intellect to discover the answer to this crucial question, which is also a life-changing decision: What is the true religion?


Secondly, Allah, the Most Compassionate, has not left us to go astray without any guidance. Indeed, He sent us prophets with scriptures to show us the right path.


Thirdly, we should always remember the underlying reason for this search: the everlasting life to come depends upon adopting the true religion in this life. This should be our ultimate motivation and a driving force to keep us searching until we are completely satisfied.1


Fourthly, we can only determine the true path and make a rational and correct decision if we willingly put aside all the emotions and prejudices which often blind us to reality.


Kind regards,


Majed S. Al-Rassi Phone: 966 50 5906761 e-mail: majed.alrassi@gmail.com


1 The Bible, in its present form, confirms that seeking the truth is the main cause for salvation. In John 8:32, it has been stated, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Muslims believe that the existing versions of the Bible contain elements of the original true message, although it has been altered significantly over time.


ISLAM’S REVIVAL OF THE BASIC TEACHINGS OF JESUS2


Introduction


ll prophets were sent with the same message: monotheism in the worship of Allah, the Exalted, and testifying to the supremacy of His attributes as well as the Oneness of His essence. However, their messages may differ in terms of legislation (Sharia), for instance, regarding the manner of performing prayers, fasting, types of charity, and so on. This depends upon each nation’s characteristics, according to Allah’s wisdom, for He knows His creatures better than they know themselves.


Every prophet revived the basic beliefs that had been distorted since the departure of the preceding prophet. Islam, being the final message, revived the basic beliefs and practices of all the previous messages, including the message of Jesus. It elaborated them so that people would find them clear and straightforward to follow.


The following are some basic teachings of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) that were later revived in the message of Islam:


1. Revival of the creed of Allah’s Oneness of essence


This fundamental principle was taught by Jesus (pbuh), as quoted below, but later abandoned by most Christians. It was revived by the message of Islam. All praise and thanks are for Allah for His guidance.


2 Compiled from Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ and Caraballo, My Great Love for Jesus Led Me to Islam.


A


10 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


Here are fourteen proofs from the Bible and rational thought regarding Allah’s Oneness in His essence, negating the doctrine of the Trinity:


1. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4)


2. ...that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:10-11)


3. I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? (Isaiah 44:6-7)


4. And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved… To me every knee shall bow. (Isaiah 45:21-23)


5. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.3 (John 17:3)


6. Worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve. (Matthew 4:10)


7. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Mark 12:29)


8. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness… I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right. (Isaiah 45:18-19)


9. An additional important proof from the Bible that God (Allah), Jesus (pbuh), and the Holy Spirit are each distinct in their essence: the Bible (the Old and New Testaments) does not state anywhere that Allah, Jesus and the Holy Spirit comprise one entity called God, or one of three. This notion is


3 This verse indicates very clearly the distinction between Allah as God and Jesus as a prophet.


Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus 11


merely a product of man-made, illogical, pagan thinking which people have blindly inherited from their parents and grandparents throughout the ages and generations, without any rational assessment or validation.


10. The following biblical verses, referring to God (Allah), contradict the creed of the Trinity in an indirect way:


• His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen. (John 5:37)


• ...whom no one has ever seen or can see. (1Timothy 6:16)


• ...you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live. (Exodus 33:20)


According to these biblical verses, no one can see or hear God, yet according to Christian belief, God is supposed to be Jesus (pbuh). If that were the case, these verses would make no sense because Jesus’ family and followers, the Jews, and many other contemporaries saw and heard him during his lifetime. Obviously, these verses cannot be talking about Jesus, so they must be referring to someone else: God (Allah), the Highest, Whom no one can see or hear.


11. It is curious, too, that Jesus himself never mentioned the Trinity. He never said anything about divine entities forming a trinity. If there were a trinity, he would have explained it very clearly to his people because prophets came to convey the truth, not to hide it.


12. Jesus’ concept of Allah was no different from that of all the previous prophets. All of them preached the Oneness of Allah instead of the concept of a ‘Trinity’. Jesus taught the same monotheistic, unitarian message that had been revealed to all the prophets who came before him.


12 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


13. The doctrine of Trinity is irrational because nothing that comes out of Allah or is created by Him can become His equal or partner.


14. The Quran rejects the concept of the Trinity as strongly as it rejects the idea that Allah has a son. Allah has informed us that He is One, and this is a fundamental tenet of all the revelations. Three, by reason and by simple arithmetic, cannot be one. The Quran has addressed Christians on this subject:


{O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say: Three; desist—it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.} (Quran 4: 171)


Islam revived the concept of Allah’s Oneness in essence, and this is very different from Jesus’ essence. It absolutely negated the doctrine of sonship (that Jesus is the son of God and, as such, is both human and divine) and the doctrine which states that Allah is Jesus (pbuh). Allah has said:


{They have certainly disbelieved who say: Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary…} (Quran 5: 72)


He has also said in the noble Quran:


{Say: He is Allah, [Who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets, nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.}


(Quran 112: 1-4)


Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus 13


Allah is the most rich; He has no need for a son or a wife. That would be illogical, because He created both, as well as everything else in this universe. To believe that Jesus is the son of God, we have to close our hearts, twist our minds backwards, and blindly follow what the religious leaders and community members say, without any discussion or logical analysis.


2. Revival of Allah’s supremacy in terms of His attributes and qualities


Allah has multiple and supreme attributes. He is the Most Gracious and Most Merciful. He was praised in all the revealed books and through the words of all His prophets. According to the Bible, Jesus (pbuh) taught that Allah is supreme in His attributes.


And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”


And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one [i.e., God] who is good. (Matthew 19:16-17)


He denied the attribution of ‘infinite goodness’ or ‘perfect goodness’ to himself, affirming that this attribute belongs to Allah alone.


In Isaiah (44:6-7, RSV), it has been reported that God (Allah) says, “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like Me?”


Islam effectively revived this basic concept. Numerous verses in the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) affirm that Allah:


▪ Has no partners or equals.


▪ Is ‘invisible’ because He is over His throne, and over the heavens, and no one can see Him in this life.


▪ Is not physically manifested or incarnated in other forms.


▪ Is eternal; He does not die.


14 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


▪ Begets not, nor is He begotten; He does not need anyone like a mother, a wife, or a son.


▪ Has no partners in His Godhead.


▪ Is self-sufficient; everyone depends upon Him and needs Him, but He neither depends upon anyone nor needs anything (such as food, drink, or help). For example, Allah has said in the Quran:


{…There is nothing like unto Him…} (Quran 42: 11)


{So do not assert similarities to Allah. Indeed, Allah knows, and you do not know.} (Quran 16: 74)


{…and for Allah is the highest attribute. And He is Exalted in Might, the Wise.} (Quran 16: 60)


This basic component of belief (that Allah deserves the best names and attributes) has been emphasized repeatedly in the noble Quran. This is evident to the reader of the Quran, who finds that numerous Quranic verses end with a reference to a divine attribute, such as {the All-Hearing, All-Seeing}, {the Most Forgiving, the All-Compassionate}, and {the Most High, the Most Great}.


3. Revival of the doctrine of monotheism (worship of Allah alone)


As mentioned earlier, the call to believe in Allah alone (monotheism), without any intermediary, was the message of all the prophets; therefore, any acts of worship must be directed to Allah alone. Because of the persisting deviation in this doctrine, it has had to be reaffirmed by all the prophets of Allah throughout the ages. The monotheistic message of Islam simply tells people that they should worship Allah only and that they should not worship anyone or anything other than Allah in any way, shape or form.


Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus 15


However, Christians now call upon (supplicate to) Jesus (and others) besides Allah. Moreover, they direct all types of worship to Jesus. Associating others with Allah is nothing but polytheism. Surprisingly, although the text of the Bible has been altered significantly, it still contains evidence that Jesus called others towards monotheism:


▪ In Luke 4:5-7, the devil asked Jesus to worship him, promising him the authority and glory of all the kingdoms of this world.


And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” (Luke 4:8)


▪ And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to Me and be saved… To Me every knee shall bow. (Isaiah 45:21-23)


▪ Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)


▪ You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve. (Matthew 4:10)


▪ In the Bible, the true God emphatically testifies:


I am the LORD, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness… I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right. (Isaiah 45:18-19)


Thus, the essence of the message of Jesus was that only Allah deserves to be worshipped; thus, worship directed to anyone or anything besides or along with Him is false. It is important to note that worshipping others besides God is a major alteration of Jesus’ message because the Bible never reported that Jesus (pbuh) wanted anyone to worship him, either directly or indirectly through idols such as a statue of him or a cross.


After Jesus departed this world, the call to monotheism became distorted by later followers, beginning with Paul, who turned that pure and simple message into a complicated Trinitarian philosophy which


16 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


justified the worship of Jesus, followed by what some consider to be worship of Jesus’ mother, Mary, the angels, and the saints. Catholics, for example, have a long list of saints to whom they turn in times of need.


Worshipping others besides Allah is irrational and in vain because neither the living nor the dead can answer the prayers (supplications) of humankind. The worship of Allah should not be shared with His creation, because they are people just like us; they are not the creators. They are merely weak creatures like us; they need food, drink, shelter, and help, and after their death (or ascension, in the case of Jesus), they cannot even hear the ones who call them!


Islam revived the doctrine of monotheism. For example, Allah has mentioned in the Quran:


{They have certainly disbelieved who say: Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary, while the Messiah has said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Indeed, he who associates others with Allah—Allah has forbidden him paradise, and his abode is the fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.}


(Quran 5: 72)


{Indeed, those you [polytheists] call upon besides Allah are slaves like you...} (Quran 7: 194)


{…Is there a deity with Allah? High is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.} (Quran 27: 63)


{…Is there a deity with Allah? Say: Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.} (Quran 27: 64)


{And I did not create the jinn and humankind except to worship Me.}


(Quran 51: 56)


All other supposed gods and deities whom people worship and call upon, such as Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Brahma, Shiva, Krishna, or


Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus 17


Buddha are not gods; nor are they manifestations of the one true God (Allah).


Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) said:


«Supplication is an essential act of worship.»


(An authentic hadith narrated by Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood)


Consequently, if a person claims to be a Muslim but prays to a prophet (including Muhammad), saint, statue, or anything else, then he or she has stepped out of the bounds of Islam.


4. Revival of the creed of Jesus’ prophethood


Nine Biblical proofs of Jesus’ prophethood


There are many verses in the New Testament which affirm Jesus’ prophethood and not divinity.


1. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.4 (John 17:3)


2. The people of his time are recorded as referring to Jesus as a prophet. “And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.’” (Matthew 21:11)


3. Jesus referred to himself as a prophet. “And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.’” (Mark 6:4)


4. In the previous verses, Jesus is referred to as having been sent as a messenger. In Matthew 10:40, Jesus was purported to have said, “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”


5. It is narrated that Jesus also said:


4 This verse indicates very clearly the distinction between God, the deity, and Jesus, the prophet. See also John 4:34, 5:30, 7:16, 7:28, 11:42, 13:16 and 14:24.


18 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. (John 5:30)


6. Jesus was also reported to have been referred to as a ‘teacher’, which is the role of all the prophets.


And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16)


7. In Matthew 19:17, Jesus responded to the one who addressed him as “Teacher”, saying, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one [i.e., God] who is good.” Jesus here rejects being called ‘good’ and states that only God is truly good; he clearly implies that he is not God. Also, Jesus here rejects being called ‘perfectly good’ because perfection belongs only to God (Allah).


8. In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus stated:


Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.


9. In Matthew 5:19, Jesus Christ, in accordance with the role of any prophet, was reported to have insisted on strict obedience to the commandments of Allah:


Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


5. Revival of the doctrine of Jesus’ humanness


No evidence in the Bible for the divinity of Jesus (pbuh)


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Nowhere in the Gospels was Jesus reported to have called himself ‘God’ or one of three. If this were the case, then it would have been mentioned very clearly in the Bible at least once because Jesus—like all other prophets—was sent to enlighten his people about the truth and to clear up doubts, not to confuse them further.


Indeed, the Bible in its present form points to Jesus’ humanness in many verses, such as these from the Gospel of John:


but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God... (John 8:40)


So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he...” (John 8:28)5


Even in some of the writings of Paul, which the Church considers sacred, Jesus is referred to as a man, distinct and different from God (Allah). In 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul writes, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”6


Today, many modern scholars of Christianity hold that Jesus Christ was not ‘God’.


In 1977, a group of seven biblical scholars, including leading Anglican theologians and other New Testament scholars, published a book called The Myth of God Incarnate, which caused a great uproar in the General Synod of the Church of England. In the preface, the editor, John Hick, wrote:


The writers of this book are convinced that another major theological development is called for in this last part of the twentieth century. The need arises from growing knowledge of Christian origins, and involves a recognition that Jesus was


5 Jesus (pbuh) is referred to as the ‘Son of Man’ almost 200 times in the Bible. This is an obvious conflict if he is also supposed to be God and the ‘Son of God’.


6 All the messengers are mediators between God and people in the sense that they are His messengers, who deliver His message.


20 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


(as he is presented in Act 2.21) ‘a man approved by God’ for a special role within the divine purpose, and that the later conception of him as God incarnate, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity living a human life, is a mythological or poetic way of expressing his significance for us.7


It should be noted that the concept of Jesus’ humanness is held not only by Muslims but also by Jews and some early sects of Christianity such as the Ebionites (Nazarenes), Cerinthians, Basilidians, and Goths. These sects maintained that Jesus was a beloved prophet of God, and they did not elevate him above his rightful status. Even today, there are churches in Asia and Africa, in addition to the Unitarian church and Jehovah’s Witnesses, who do not worship Jesus as God. It is important to stress, though, that denying the divinity of Jesus is not enough to free them on the Day of Judgement unless they also accept Islam, Prophet Muhammad (bpuh), and the last revelation from Allah.


Both Christianity and Islam teach that Jesus was fully human; he was a man who was born, got hungry and thirsty, got tired and slept, felt pain, was tempted, and had other physical functions. But Christians are asked to believe that while Jesus was fully human, he was somehow – at the same time – fully divine. In other words, He is the Creator (and was not created Himself), yet his human body was created in Mary’s womb. In Islam, God is the Creator, not the created; He is All Powerful and cannot be constrained by human limitations; He is All Knowing, All Seeing, and All Hearing. How can we accept that God Himself, the Creator and the All Powerful, was a human being like us, with our human frailties?


7 Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 61.


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The truth about sonship8


In the Bible, the expression ‘son’ has been used to refer to many of the earlier prophets. Israel, for example, was called the ‘Son of God’ in one of the books of Moses, “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son.” (Exodus 4:22)


The same title was given to David.


I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. (Psalms 2:7)


Likewise, Prophet Solomon was called the Son of God.


He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever. (I Chronicles, 22:10)


Throughout the Bible, the word ‘son’ is used to refer to ‘nearness in love’. This is ascertained when we see Jesus himself saying that every man who did the will of the Father in heaven was a Son of God.


Jesus was reported to have said:


Love your enemies… so that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven. (Matthew 5:44-45)


Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)


Hence, what made a man worthy of being called a ‘Son of God’ was a devout life and kind, merciful behaviour.


The Bible proves that Jesus actually rejected being called ‘Son of God’:


And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. (Luke 4:41)


8 Compiled from Caraballo, My Great Love for Jesus Led Me to Islam.


22 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


In view of the above, there is no justification for regarding Jesus as the Son of God in an exclusive and unique meaning. When Jesus used the phrase ‘Son of God’, it meant exactly the same as it meant when it was used for Adam, Israel, David and Solomon (peace be upon them)―that is, the nearest in love to God.


The humanness and prophethood of Jesus (pbuh) are affirmed in many verses of the Quran to correct the grave mistake of elevating him to the status of God (Allah) or describing him as the Son of God (Allah).


In eleven different passages of the Quran, found in nine different chapters, Allah has denied having a son: 2: 116, 10: 68, 11: 117, 18: 4, 19: 77, 19: 88, 19: 91-92, 21: 26, 25: 2, 39: 4, and 72: 3. For example, He says:


{And they say: The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son. You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation that they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son. There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a slave. He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting. And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone.}


(Quran 19: 88-95)


Allah, the Exalted, has also mentioned:


{The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.}


(Quran 5: 75)


Clearly, the idea that Jesus was God or that he was the son of God is textually weak and logically impossible.


Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus 23


Important notes


1. In none of the Christian or Muslim scriptures did Mary claim that she was a mother of God or that her son was a God. As mentioned in the Quran, she was a pious, virtuous woman who worshipped God. It was never reported in the Bible that Jesus (pbuh) instructed anyone to pray to pictures or statues of her, and he never did this himself.


2. There are many verses in the Quran that also confirm Prophet Muhammad’s human attributes, in order to prevent his followers from elevating him to a divine or semi-divine status as happened with Prophet Jesus (pbuh). For example, Allah instructs Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) to inform all those who hear his message:


{Say: I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord—let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.} (Quran 18: 110)


6. Revival of the doctrine of Jesus’ ascension (negating the crucifixion)


Some of the changes made to Prophet Jesus’ message after his ascension are so fundamental that they strike at the very root of Christianity. For example, the only two references to the ascension of Jesus that were found in the Gospels of Mark and Luke in the King James Version (KJV) were removed from the 1952 Revised Standard Version (RSV). Before the removal of these passages, the relevant verses read as follows:


So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19, KJV)


24 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


And it came to pass; while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up to heaven. (Luke 24:51, KJV)


The relevant verse in the Gospel of Mark was removed, along with a number of other verses that immediately preceded and followed it, sixteen verses in total.


In the 1952 RSV, Luke 24:51 read, “While he blessed them, he parted from them.” The words “carried up to heaven” had been removed.9


Islam revived the creed of Jesus’ ascension. The Quran confirms the earliest scriptures, which inform us that Allah raised him when his enemies attempted to crucify him. Allah replaced Jesus with another person who resembled him, so in reality, it was this other person who was crucified. To this day, Christians believe that Jesus himself was the one who was killed, and to commemorate that, many wear crosses or crucifixes or hang them in their homes, even though Jesus (pbuh) never asked them to do that and never did it himself.


Allah has mentioned in the Quran:


{And [for] their saying: Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah. And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.} (Quran 4: 157-158)


9 The verses numbered Mark 16:9-20, as well as the words “carried up to heaven” in Luke 24:51, were restored in 1971, and they are found in today’s RSV with a footnote explaining that some of these verses were not found in early manuscripts. (Editor)


Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus 25


7. Revival of the prohibition of augury10


Knowledge of what is going to happen in the future is an attribute of Allah alone. No one knows what will happen in the near or distant future except Him. The revealed scriptures prohibited augury and witchcraft because those who engage in these practices try to raise themselves to the level of Allah in terms of assuming one of His divine attributes.


Forecasting the weather is not considered part of augury and witchcraft because weather forecasters depend upon physical measurements and mathematical calculations. This is unlike augury and witchcraft, where a person claims to know what is going to happen in the future, just like Allah knows. In fact, He alone is All-Knowing.


Jesus prohibited augury and witchcraft. Leviticus 19:26 says, “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.”


Islam revived this doctrine that Allah alone knows the future. Allah has mentioned:


{…The unseen is only for Allah [to administer]…} (Quran 10: 20)


{Say: None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected.}


(Quran 27: 65)


Based on this, Islam strictly prohibits consulting fortune-tellers, clairvoyants and the like. Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) said:


10 Augury has many meanings, some of which are: prognostication, prophecy and divination. Of course, prophecy is a gift that Allah gave to the prophets alone, by revealing to them news of future events that human beings could not otherwise have known, so that sceptics could see evidence of their prophethood.


26 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


«If anyone consults a fortune-teller or sooth-sayer and believes in what he (or she) says, then (that person) has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad (bpuh).»


(Recorded by Bukhari and Abu Dawood)


8. Revival of the prohibition of witchcraft


The Old Testament quotation above (Leviticus 19:26) makes it clear that witchcraft is prohibited in the teachings of Moses, Jesus, and all the prophets (peace be upon them all). The reason for this is that sorcerers and practitioners of the occult seek satanic assistance to do their magic, and this is against the teachings of all the prophets.


Islam revived the prohibition of witchcraft.


«Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) said: Avoid the seven great destructive sins.


His Companions asked: O Allah’s Messenger, what are they?


He said: To worship others besides Allah, to practice sorcery...»


(Recorded by Bukhari and Muslim)


Revival of the prohibition of harmful practices


Without doubt, the doctrinal teachings about the nature of Allah and Jesus were revived by the religion of Islam. At the same time, some of the prohibitions (related to practices that are harmful to the individual and/or to society) taught by Jesus and the earlier prophets were revived as well.


9. Revival of the prohibition of taking interest


Upholding the law, Prophet Jesus opposed the giving or taking of interest because the texts of the Old Testament expressly forbid interest.


Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus 27


You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest. (Deuteronomy 23:19)


Islam revived what Jesus taught regarding the prohibition of interest:


{O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.} (Quran 2: 278)


There is great wisdom in the prohibition of interest. Firstly, the one who earns income through interest does so without working for it, whereas Islam strongly encourages working for a living. Secondly, the one who borrows does so due to a lack of financial resources, but the interest creates an even greater debt burden because the borrower must repay the principle coupled with interest charges. Thirdly, a system based on interest can lead to inflation, recession, and even a complete collapse of financial markets, as we have witnessed in our time. Many nations in both the developed and developing worlds have become enslaved by the system of usury and interest.


It is undisputed that the 2008-2009 world economic downturn (and possible collapse of many world economies), which started in the United States and spread to Europe and Asia, was caused directly by excessive lending in amounts several times more than the actual worth of the assets in loans. The interest charges were spread over many resold loans, resulting in an exaggerated and unrealistic inflation of the value of the actual money lent. This false representation of value meant that it would be impossible for most debtors to pay back such loans.


Allah, the Almighty, forbade usury in three places in the Quran (2: 275-278,3: 130, and 4: 161).


{Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say: Trade is [just] like interest. But


28 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah. But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury]—those are the companions of the fire; they will abide eternally therein.} (Quran 2: 275)


In Islam, the distinction between legitimate (allowed) and forbidden practices is very clear. Islam permits loans and the borrowing of money, but without interest charges. In fact, the Quran highly encourages forgiving a debt in order to remove the hardship from the borrower, especially if he or she is in financial difficulties. Allah has promised a great reward for the one who is able to make this sacrifice.


Muslims who abide by these rules consequently never suffer negative repercussions. In contrast, when human beings disobey God Almighty, they are engulfed by disastrous results. These may come in the form of threats to health, financial collapse, break-up of the social fabric, and much more. So it is clear that Islam warns people about many serious ailments afflicting our societies in this day and age; it is equally clear that these problems are recognized by the world community as harmful. This is a powerful sign that Islam is the true religion and that Allah (Hallowed is He) is the true God, the One and only divine Lord and saviour.


10. Revival of the prohibition of consuming pork


Jesus followed the laws of Moses and did not eat pork at all.


And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you. (Leviticus 11:7-8)


Nevertheless, most Christians today eat pork. Islam revived the prohibition of consuming the meat of the pig. Allah has mentioned:


Islam’s revival of the basic teachings of Jesus 29


{He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.}


(Quran 2: 173)


11. Revival of the prohibition of consuming blood


Jesus also did not eat anything containing blood, nor did he consume blood itself. God (Allah) is recorded as having instructed Prophet Moses in the Torah:


Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it upon the earth like water. (Deuteronomy 12:16)


You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. (Leviticus 19:26)


This prohibition has been revived in many verses of the Quran, one of which mentions:


{Say: I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine—for indeed, it is impure…}11


(Quran 6: 145)


12. Revival of the prohibition of adultery


The Bible says about adultery:


You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it


11 Quran 2: 173 (mentioned earlier) prohibits the meat of the pig (pork, ham, etc.) as well as the blood of any animal (even if the animal is lawful to eat). Blood must be drained from the slaughtered animal before preparing the meat for eating.


30 Islam’s revival of Jesus’ teachings


out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matthew 5:27-30)


Islam revived the prohibition of adultery by considering fornication to be amongst the strictly forbidden acts. Allah, the Most High, has mentioned:


{And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty.} (Quran 25: 68)


{And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.} (Quran 17: 32)


As a precaution against adultery and fornication, all acts which might lead to them are also prohibited. Thus, Islam has strictly forbidden men from being alone with non-mahram women,12 mixing with them freely, or even shaking hands with them. At the same time, it encourages men and women to dress modestly and to speak to non-mahrams with a firm, business-like voice that is not enticing.


At this point, one may inquire about the wisdom behind the prohibition of adultery. The answer is that premarital and extra-marital relationships are destructive to the family system that is so precious in Islam. Intimate relationships outside the sacred bond of marriage have numerous harmful effects, including diseases such as HIV/AIDS and children who are looked down upon in society and considered to be without a lineage.


12 mahram: a man with whom marriage is not permitted; for example, a woman’s brother or father. Non-mahram men are those whom a woman is permitted to marry.



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