ISLAM AND THE BIBLE
In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
We would like at this start to request you not to try to read this work in a hurry. For this is a serious and important religious discussion, that took three years of research. It requires concentration with a clear mind, at a time when you are able to concentrate at best without being interrupted. Take your time; reflect quietly and sincerely on the issues discussed with an open mind. Religion should not be decided because of religious bias, and there should be no compulsion in religion.
We have searched for the truth, the truth of revelation, and the truth of these religious texts. Secondly, if you find us dwelling on certain points and issues a little long—and indeed, we will, please do not get bored. For we will be trying to elucidate in form, and make clear certain points which we find necessary before moving on. If we want to prove a point, we must come up with convincing facts and show evidence, and we will go about that diligently and faithfully. Thirdly, we hope and trust that you do read all this examination and analysis of the Holy Scriptures. You owe it to yourself my dear reader, to read this whole book. This is indeed a sensitive subject, and requires serious attention and concentration. Needless to say that this objective research represents a comprehensive and critical examination of three-world religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. It will analyze among other things, the Christian doctrine namely: the Trinity; the Divinity of Jesus; the Divine Sonship of Christ; Atonement; the Crucifixion; Resurrection; the Four Canonic Gospels; the Torah; the Old and New Testaments; the Quran; Islam; the Prophet of Islam; the Truth of God's Revelations (with emphasis on the true personality of Jesus) and more.
This work is, in fact, an objective research of how these three world religions came down to us. How their religious texts were written, who wrote them, and how authentic are today's texts. We have examined the Holy Scriptures faithfully and at length, as they are written in their respective texts, and pointed out the true facts. We have separated what belongs to revelation, from what is the product of human elements, errors and interpretations. We compared the contents of these religious texts to arrive at the truth—the truth of religion, and the religion of truth. We must say, that the reader will be immensely disturbed to read the comments of respected theologians, scholars, and highly qualified specialists in the field of comparative religion. Pointing out successive distortions, contradictions, improbabilities, exaggerated facts, and descriptions incompatible with reality that is the sole product of the human imagination. Authors were not eyewitnesses to events.
Our purpose in all this, and our sole and primary goal, is to put into focus the truth of these religious texts, and the truth of God's revelations. You owe it to yourself our dear reader, to read this objective research from beginning to end so that you may be guided. If you are concerned about your spiritual life, where you are going, and you are willing to read all of this with an open mind—without bias, then this book will give you guidance.
False are the people who corrupt God's truth, and as God Said, "Let there be no compulsion in religion." We shall tackle this work this way. First, we will dwell at a substantial length on the Quran, and how it came to be written, with emphasis on Islam and the Prophet of Islam. After we have established our bearing on this, we will move to an examination of the gospels and their authors. Then we will go on to the books of the Old Testament, the Hebraic Bible, and how they came down to us with comments of respected theologians, scholars, and highly qualified specialists in the field of comparative religion. In addition, we will reinforce all that with appropriate quotations and readings, wherever applicable, from all the Holy Scriptures to prove the point.
In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Oneness & Universality of God’s Message
The Oneness and Universality of God's Message requires that people accept all the messengers of God. Rejecting one of them amounts to rejecting them all. The Jews reject Jesus' mission and Muhammad's mission. The Christians reject Muhammad's mission, whereas the Muslim's accept them all, and respect Jesus as they love and respect the Prophet Muhammad, but reject incorrect historical interpretations, and human elements in these missions. Islam makes no difference between any of these. Their message in essence was one, and that is the basis of Islam. What then is the truth? The truth of religion, and the religion of truth? The truth of the Torah, the Bible and the Quran, and the truth of the Messengers of God and their missions? Each of these three monotheistic religions possess it's own collection of scriptures. Whether the faithful are the Muslims, Christians or Jews, these documents constitute the foundation of their belief. For them, they are the material transcription of a Divine Revelation.
An Examination of the Scriptures
In this work, we intend to tackle only one single aspect—the examination of the scriptures themselves, as they are written in their respective texts. Before proceeding to this task, we must ask a fundamental question. How authentic are today's texts? It is a question, which contains an examination of the circumstances surrounding their composition, and the way in which they have come down to us.
Judaism has its Holy book, the Hebraic Bible. This differs from the Old Testament of the Christian's in that, the latter have included several books, which did not exist in Hebrew. In practice, this divergence hardly makes any difference to their doctrine. Judaism does not admit any revelation subsequent to its own.
Christianity has taken the Hebraic Bible for itself, and added a few supplements to it. It has not, however, accepted all the published writings destined to make known to men, the mission of Jesus. The Church has made incisive cuts in the profusion of books relating to the life and teachings of Jesus. It has only preserved a limited number of writings in the New Testament; the most important of which are the four Canonic Gospels. Christianity takes no account of any revelation after Jesus and His apostles. Therefore rules out the Quran.
The Quranic Revelation appeared six centuries, that is six hundred years after Jesus. It continues the data found in the Hebraic Bible and the Gospel, since it quotes very frequently from the Torah and the Gospels. The Quran directs all Muslims to believe in the scripture that precedes it. Surah 4:136 of the Holy Quran reads:
“O ye who believe! Believe in God and His Messenger, and the Scripture, which He has sent to His Messenger, and the Scriptures, which He sent to those before him. Any who denieth God, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment has gone far, far astray.”
Quranic Position on the Messengers of God.
The Quran stresses the important position occupied in the Revelation by God's emissaries such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Prophet Jesus to whom they allocate a special position. Jesus’ birth is described in the Quran, and likewise in the Gospels as a supernatural event. Mary is also given a special place as may be seen by the fact that Surah 19 of the Holy Quran bears her name.
We must note here that the facts concerning Islam are not generally known in the West. It is hardly surprising when we consider the way so many generations in the West were instructed in the religious problems facing humanity, and in what ignorance they were kept in about anything related to Islam.
The use of such terms as Muhammadan religion and Muhammadans, has been instrumental even to the present day in maintaining the false notion that Islam was spread by the work of a man, among which God in the Christian sense had no place. People did not speak of Muslims, but Muhammadans to make it quite clear that what was meant, was a religion founded by a man, and which could not therefore have any kind of value in terms of God. They do not understand that the very definition of Islam, is complete submission to the will of God.
If all three religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are claiming to emanate from the one and same Creator, why do they differ? We can answer that by saying, that all prophets from Adam to Muhammad (peace be upon them all) were sent with the same message, that is the total submission of mankind to God. This submission in Arabic is called Islam. Islam also means peace, peace between the Creator and His creatures, unlike the name Judaism and Christianity. This name Islam has been given by God, the Creator Himself, as mentioned in Surah 5:3 in the Holy Quran.
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, and completed My favor on you, and have chosen for you as the way of life, Al-Islam as your religion.”
It must be pointed out here, and clearly stated. that acts of violence undertaken by so-called Muslim extremist groups cannot be attributed, nor have anything to do with Islam, for Islam is a religion of peace—peace between the Creator and His creation.
Basis of the names of Judaism and Christianity
Neither Judaism nor Christianity can be found in the Bible, or in a Biblical Dictionary. No Israelite prophet mentioned the word Judaism. Jesus never claimed to establish Christianity on earth, and never called himself Christian. The word Christian is mentioned only three times in the New Testament, and first by Pagans and Jews in Antioch about 43 AD, long after Jesus had left this earth. Acts 2:26 reads: “and the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch, later by King Agrippa the II to Paul in Acts 26:28 “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” So the name Christian was first given by foes rather than by friends, and finally by Peter in his letter to comfort the faithful in 1 Peter 4:16 “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed;...”
The first Muslim on earth was not Muhammad, but Abraham who submitted totally to God. Abraham was a true man of God. He could not be called a Jew or a Christian, as he lived long before the Law of Moses, or the Gospel of Jesus was revealed. The Holy Quran says in Surah 3:65-68:
“Abraham was not a Jew nor a Christian, but he was true in faith and bowed his will to God, which is Islam, and he joined not gods with God. Ye People of the Book, why dispute ye about Abraham when the Law and the Gospel were not revealed till after him, have ye no understanding? Why dispute ye in matters of which ye have no knowledge? It is God who knows, and ye who know not. Without a doubt among men the nearest of kin to Abraham, are those who follow him as are also this Prophet and those who believe.”
Islam as a way of life, had been revealed to other prophets prior to Abraham, like Adam and Noah. Then Islam follows as the way of life for all humanity. Many cultivated people today, are interested in the philosophical, social, and political aspects of Islam, but they do not pose to inquire about the Islamic revelation itself, as indeed they should. If we take into consideration the objective facts of religious history, we must place the Old Testament, the Gospels, and the Quran, on the same level as being collections of written revelations. Although this attitude is in principle held by Muslims, the faithful in the West under the predominantly Judeo-Christian influence, refuse to ascribe to the Quran—the character of a Book of Revelation.
The Truth About Religion
What then is the truth? The truth of religion, and the religion of truth? On the other hand, let us put it more bluntly and ask who holds the right religion, and the right belief? This is an objective and critical examination of the Old Testament, the Bible, and the Quran, and how they came to be written with emphasis on the true personalities of Jesus, and Muhammad. These are essential facts and differences between three world religions condensed in this work. We believe it is a revelation to those who are searching for the true belief, where their minds may find rest, peace, and satisfaction. We shall first start with the Holy Quran, and will dwell at a substantial length on the circumstances in which it was promulgated. Then we will move to a discussion on Islam, the religion that the Quran brought to the world, and has become the world’s second largest religion, and is the fastest growing religion in the world today.
Muhammad and The Quran.
We must at the outset ask, how could Muhammad (peace be upon him) go from being illiterate to become the most important author in terms of literary merit in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature, which no other human being could possibly have developed at the time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncements on the subject? It is inconceivable for a human being; living in the sixth century to have expressed assertions in the Quran on highly varied scientific subjects that do not belong to his period. And for them to be in keeping with what was to be revealed centuries later. How can an unlettered man, who lived in the sixth century (that is fourteen hundred years ago) at a time when Europe and the whole world was sunk in the Dark Ages, come down blazing with such scientific knowledge and wisdom? For the Quran is high in dignity, full of wisdom.
In view of the state of knowledge in Muhammad's day, it is inconceivable that many of the statements in the Quran could have been the work of man. It is moreover perfectly legitimate, not only to regard the Holy Quran as the expression of a revelation; but also to award it a very special place because of the guarantee of authenticity it provides and the presence in it of scientific statements, which when studied today, appears as a challenge to human explanation. Can the unbelievers produce one like it? This is a standing challenge, and eternal prophecy of mankind's inability to equal, or excel, or to rival successfully any of its chapters. Here is the challenge of God Himself in His own words. This Quran is not such as can be produced by other than God. Surely, God Says the Truth. Thanks to its undisputed authenticity, the Quran holds a unique place among the books of revelation shared neither by the Old nor by the New Testaments.
The Quranic Revelation was made by Archangel Gabriel brought the Quranic Revelation to Muhammad—the Messenger of God. It took place over a period of more than twenty years of the Prophet’s life beginning with the first verses of Surah 96. Then resuming after a three year break for a long period of twenty years up to the death of the Prophet in 632 AD, that's how it began. There was a cave in the side of Mt. Hirah, in the Arabian Peninsula, some three miles north of the City of Mecca in a valley, which turns left from the road to Arafat, which Muhammad used to retire for peaceful contemplation days and nights, with his Lord. One day during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan in the year 610 AD when Muhammad was in deep meditation in that cave, a dazzling vision of beauty and light overpowered his senses, and he heard the word "Iqra” or read. Muhammad was “ummi” or unlettered, and was unable to read. He trembled with awe and said, “Enni lasto be qareh: I cannot read." The Angel embraced him, and the cry came clear, "Iqra: read.” And so it had happened three times. The Angel embraced him and said, "Read in the name of thy Lord, who created man from something which clings—read. Thy Lord is Most Bountiful who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know." These were the first revelations of Surah 96 of the Holy Quran. The exact words of God delivered in the Arabic language by the Archangel to Muhammad were the following:
“Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. Iqra bismi Rabbikallazii khalaq, Khalaqal-‘insaana min alaq, Iqra wa Rabbukal-‘Akram. Allazi Allama Bil Qalam. Allamal Insaana Ma Lam Ya’lam.”
This was the first Divine call revealed to Muhammad. As we have seen the first revelation of God through His Archangel Gabriel to Muhammad, was the word Iqra, which means read, in Surah 96:1-5 of the Holy Quran. As he was illiterate, he replied, "I cannot read." This first revelation was prophesied in the Christian Bible in Isaiah 29:12. The Bible says, “And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” (Isaiah 29:12) These revelations came in installments and inserted in certain order in the Quran as ordained by God. It was also mentioned in Isaiah 28:10, 11. The Bible here it says: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to his people.” (Isaiah 28:10, 11) Another tongue means here, another language, not Hebrew or Aramaic, but Arabic.
Because of their importance, let us recite these verses from the Bible one more time. As we have seen, the first Revelation of God through His archangel Gabriel to Muhammad was the word Iqra which means read. In Surah 96:1-5 of the Holy Quran:
“As he was illiterate, he replied, "I cannot read."”
This first revelation was prophesied in the Christian Bible in Isaiah 29:12. The Bible says, And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (Isaiah 29:12) These revelations came in installments, and inserted in certain order in the Quran as ordained by God. It was also mentioned in Isaiah 28:10, 11. The Bible here says, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to his people." (Isaiah 28:10, 11) Another tongue means here, another language, not Hebrew or Aramaic, but Arabic. This was the first Divine Call revealed to Muhammad.
The appearance of Archangel Gabriel was a strange experience for the Holy Prophet. The first overpowering sensation, and the grasp of the words, made clear the Angel’s mission. It's author—God the Creator. Its subject— man: Gods’ wondrous handy work. And the instrument of that mission, the sanctified pen, and the sanctified book, the gifts of God which men might read, study, and treasure in their souls. The veil was lifted from the chosen one's eyes, and his soul for a moment was filled with Divine Ecstasy. The Mount of Hirah hence forth known as the Mount of Light (Jebalenur), the place where Muhammad received the first revelations.
It seems that the Mount is the sublime word and place of revelation. In the case of Moses, it is typified by Mt. Sinai (Jebalusina). In the case of Jesus, it is the Mount of Olive (Jebaluz-Zaiton) where Jesus made his striking pronouncement about the judgment to come. And in the case of Muhammad it is the mount of light (Jebalenur) where the divine inspiration made him one with the spiritual world. God says, in Surah 97 in the Holy Quran:
“We have indeed revealed this message is the Night of Power and what will explain to thee, what the Night of Power is. The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels as the Spirit, by God's permission on every errand. Peace this until the rise of moon.”
This is Surah the Night of Power, or Honor of the Holy Quran. Blessed indeed is the night of power, when the Mercy of God's revelation breaks through the darkness of the human soul. These messages came as inspiration to Muhammad on different occasions, and in different places. He recited them, and the pen recorded them. They were imprinted on his heart and mind, and on the memory of his loving disciple. As the body of sacred scripture grew, it was arranged for purposes of public prayer and reading. This is the Book, the reader, the Holy Quran.
Behold there was born into the world of sin the unlettered prophet, noble of birth, but nobler still in the grace and wisdom of human love, and human understanding. Muhammad came in the fullest blaze of history. With no learning, he put to shame the wisdom of the learned with pasture folk he lived and worked, and won their love. In hills and valleys, caves and deserts he wondered, but never lost his way to truth and righteousness. Against all odds, he stood forth to preach, to declare the one niversal God, the Gracious, the Merciful and to lead men to the right, and forbid the wrong. He stood up to inform the people of God's Commandments, and save them from the wrong path—an evil way of life.
The Holy Prophet continued preaching the right path, and paid no attention to the frowns and frets of the Qureshi leaders. Many gentle people accepted the new faith, and were put under trials. The wicked adopted every method to tyrannize the Holy Prophet and his few companions. They laid stones and rubbish in his way. Made fun of him, and he offered prayers. They spread rumors about him as a poet, or wizard, or insane. Although he was subjected to all kinds of persecution, he remained firm in his mission like a rock.
When the Holy Prophet did not stop from his mission, the Meccan chiefs decided to approach his uncle to stop him. A group of chief representatives met Abdul-talib, and gave him a grim warning, that either he stops his nephew or be prepared for suffering. Seeing the combined force of Meccan chiefs, Abdul-Talib asked the Holy Prophet not to put him in trouble.
Muhammad had a firm faith in the Almighty, and did not care for any support. He said, "O my beloved uncle, I will not stop preaching the truth and renounce my mission even though they place the Sun in my right hand and Moon in my left. Either God will give me success, or I will be sacrificed for it." The Holy Prophet then wept before Abu-Talib. The weeping of the Holy Prophet and the force of his words, touched the feelings of Abu-Talib and he assured him, "O my nephew don't lose heart, go ahead with your mission and preach what you like, now nobody will harm you anymore."
Seeing the failure of their missions, the Qureshi chalked out another plan. They sent Rudbah Benrabiah, a famous diplomat of Arabia to tackle the Holy Prophet. He said to him, "O Muhammad, don't divide the people of the land, let the Qureshi follow their old way, and accept anything you want in return. If it's money, take any amount you need. If a beautiful wife, select the most beautiful girl from the Arabs. If power, they could make you our King. Take whatever you desire, but for God's sake, give up your mission."
In reply the Holy Prophet recited verses from the Holy Quran, some of which are as follows:
“Say unto them: O Muhammad, I am only mortal like you. It is inspired in me that your God is one God. Therefore take the straight path unto him and seek forgiveness of him, and move unto the idolaters. Thus have we sent by inspiration to thee an Arabic Quran, that thou mayest warn the Mother of Cities, and all around her, and warn them of the Day of Assembly of which there is no doubt. When some will be in the garden, and some in the blazing fire. Have they taken for worship, protectors besides Him? But it is God, He is the Protector, and it is He who gives life to the dead. It is He who has power over all things.”
“The same religion as He established for you, as that which He enjoined on Noah. That which We have sent by inspiration to thee, and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus namely that he should remain steadfast in religion, and make no division therein. It is God who has sent down the Book in truth as the balance by which to weigh conduct. The revelation of the book is from God. They exhort in power full of wisdom. We created not the heavens and the earth, and all between them, but for just ends, and for a term appointed. But those who reject faith, turn away from that whereof they are warned.”
“Do ye see what it is ye invoke besides God? Show me what it is they have created on earth or they have a share in the heavens. Bring me a book revealed before this. He is the one that accepts repentance from His servants and forgives sins, and He knows all that ye do. And He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and gives them increase of his bounty. But for the unbelievers there is a terrible penalty. We destroyed aforetime populations round about you. And We have shown the signs in various ways that they may turn to Us. Why then was no help forthcoming to them from those whom they worshipped as gods beside God, as a means of access to God? Nay, they left them in the lurch, but that was their falsehood, and their invention.”
“O our people harken to the one who invites you to God, and believe in Him, He will forgive you, your souls, and deliver you from a penalty grievous. If any does not harken to the one who invites us to God, he cannot frustrate God's plan on earth, and no protectors can he have besides God. Such men wonder in manifest error.”
“Harken ye to your Lord before there comes a day when there will be no putting back because of the ordainment of God. That day there will be for you no place of refuge, nor will there be for you any room for denial of your sins. Say, I am no bringer of new fangled doctrine among the Messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I follow, but that which is revealed to me by inspiration. I am but a Warner open and clear. If then they turn away, we have not sent thee as a guard over them. Thy duty is to convey The Message. Therefore, do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage men's affairs. But if any turns away and rejects God, God will punish him with a mighty punishment, for to us will be their return, then it will be for Us to call them to account. It is not fitting for a man, that God should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal with God's permission what God wills. For He is Most High—Most Wise, and thus have We by Our Command sent inspiration to thee, thou knewest not before. But We have made the Quran a light wherewith we guide such of our servants as We Will. And verily, thou dost guide men to the straight way, the way of God, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens, and whatever is on earth. Behold of all affairs tend towards God.”
When Otbah Benrabiah, the famous diplomat of Arabia heard the Holy Words of God, he was changed, and he brought it back to the Quresh. "I swear these words are not poetry, this noble language is not the language of man. Leave him on his way. If he succeeds, that would be a honor for you. Otherwise his failure will stop him from his mission."
But the Quresh were not agreeable at all with his proposal. They left no stone unturned in opposing the Holy Prophet. But, to no avail for they saw their own doom and destruction in the rising power of Islam. The Holy Prophet continued to follow the Divine Call with full determination and courage. For three and twenty years in patience, conflict, hope, and final triumph that this Prophet of God receive and teach the Message of the Most High.
The Gathering, Collection and Preservation of the Quran
One of the themes of this first revelation, was the praise of the pen as a means of human knowledge. Who taught man by the pen what he did not know? This would explain the Prophet’s concern for the preservation of the Quran in writing. At the same time however, the Prophet recommended the faithful to learn the Quran by heart. Thus there were hafizun. Hafizun are those who memorize, who knew the whole of the Quran by heart, and spread it abroad. The method of doubly preserving the text, both in writing and by memorization, proved to be extremely precious. We know that the Prophet and the believers, who surrounded him, were accustomed to reciting the revealed text from memory. It is therefore inconceivable for the Quran to refer to facts that did not square with reality, because the latter could so easily be checked with people in the Prophet's following.
The result of all this, is a text containing an order of Surahs that reflects the order followed by the Prophet in his complete recital of the Quran during the month of Ramadan. It is not unusual therefore, to find people in the Arab world today, particularly the Imams of the Mosques who know all the Quran by heart. And then the story tells how every year in the month of Ramadan, the Prophet would recite the whole of the Quran, so far revealed, to Archangel Gabriel, that in the Ramadan preceding the Prophet's death, Gabriel had made him recite it twice.
One might perhaps ponder the motives that lead the first three Caliphs, especially Osman, to commission collections and recensions of the text. The reasons are in fact very simple. Islam's expansion in the very first decades following the Prophets death was very rapid indeed. Absolutely essential steps had to be taken to ensure the spread of a text that retained its original purity. Osman’s recension has this as its objective. He sent copies of the text to the centers of the Islamic Empire. That is why original copies of the Quran still exist today in Tashkent in Russia, in Istanbul Turkey, and a third one in Saudi Arabia. These are the first three copies of the Quran still in existence today, since the past fourteen hundred years.
That's how the Quran was preserved. We know that it contains one hundred and fourteen Surahs, two hundred and thirty-six verses totaling seventy-seven thousand nine hundred and thirty-four words (77,934). There were seventy-seven thousand nine hundred and thirty-four words, fourteen hundred years ago, and there are the same seventy-seven thousand nine hundred and thirty-four words today. There can be no change or alteration in the Holy Quran. This is a Book well kept. This is a Revelation from the Lord of the world.
It is obvious therefore, that the Holy Quran does not give rise to any problems of authenticity. One has to point out that the Quranic revelation has a history which is fundamentally different from the two other world religions. As stated earlier, it spanned a period of some twenty-three years, and as soon as it was transmitted to the Prophet (verse by verse) for those twenty-three years, believers learned it by heart. It must also be pointed out, that not like the other religious texts, it was written down during the Prophet's time. The sixty-six books of the Bible were written over a period of several hundred years, by at least forty different authors. The Quran was revealed to one man written during his lifetime, and it is a continuation of the Old and New Testament.
The Quran is free from human manipulation. It provides a quality all of its own. Indeed Muhammad himself was an unlettered man. He could neither read nor write at that time. It was all by Divine Inspiration. This is the miracle of the Quran. A Holy Book, after fourteen hundred years, stands today as the most important book in the world. There's no book like it. You can appreciate it in any translation, but much, much more in the language it came down from heaven. I can tell you, there's no Arabic in the whole wide world like God's Arabic. It's verses are well coined, compassionate, merciful and sometimes very scary indeed, in fact some verses have until now been impossible to interpret.
Authorship of the Quran
There is a chapter in the Holy Quran called Surat Mariam ‘Mary’, named in honor of Mary the mother of Jesus of Christ. Such an honor is not to be found given to Mary in the Christian Bible. Out of the sixty-six books of the Protestants, and seventy-three of the Roman Catholics, not one is named after Mary or Jesus. You will find books named after Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, and two score more obscure names, but not a single one is that of Jesus or Mary. If Muhammad was the author of the Holy Quran, then he would not have failed to include in it Surahs named after his own mother—Amena, his dear wife—Khadijah, or his beloved daughter Fatimah, with the Surah named after Mary the mother of Jesus. But no, this can never be. The Quran is not his handwork. If Muhammad were the author, why would he choose Mary for such high honor? The answer is simple, he had no choice. He had no right to speak of his own desire. It is no less than an inspiration sent down to him.
It seems that God in His own knowing and infinite wisdom chose an illiterate man to reveal His Holy Book. Here we can clearly see God's supreme wisdom, and the kinds of people He chooses to convey His revelations. He chose Moses to go to Pharaoh. In Surah 20:24-32 of the Holy Quran, God says in addressing Moses:
"Go thou to Pharaoh for he has indeed transgressed all bounds."
"O my Lord, expand me my chest, ease my task for me, and remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say, and give me a minister from my family Haroon, Aaron my brother. Add to my strength through him, and make him share my task."
"Granted is thy prayer O’ Moses."
The Almighty chose a virgin to conceive and bear a son. Surah 19:17-22 of the Holy Quran, which is Surah Mary, says:
"Then We sent to her our Angels, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. Mary said, "I seek refuge from thee to Allah Most Gracious, come not near if thou doest fear Allah." He said, "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord to announce to thee the gifts of the Holy son." She said, "How shall I have a son, see that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He said, "So it will be, thy Lord saith that it's easy for me, and we wish to appoint him as a sign unto men, as a mercy from us, it is a matter so decreed." So she conceived him, and she retired with him to her remote place.”
In Surah 2 of the Holy Quran we read, that those who battle for God as shown by the courage of David who single handedly disposed of the Philistines in the story of David and Goliath. And here, in the case of Muhammad, the Almighty chose an illiterate man to reveal His Holy Book, for Muhammad could neither read nor write at that time. These are the Miracles of God, and this is the Miracle of His Holy Book—the Quran, and the testimony of it's Divine origin.
In addressing Muhammad (peace be upon him), God said in Surah 4:166 of the Holy Quran:
“But God beareth witness that what He has sent unto thee He sent from His own knowledge, and the Angels bear witness, but enough is God for a witness.”
Surely, God says the truth.
The Quran was revealed to Muhammad by inspiration. The proof of his divine authorship is it's own beauty and nature, and the circumstances in which it was promulgated. Can the unbelievers produce one like it? This is a standing challenge, and eternal prophesy of mankind's inability to equal, or excel, or to rival successfully any of its chapters. Here is the challenge of God Himself in His own words. “This Quran is not such as can be produced by other than God. If the whole of mankind and jinn’s were to gather together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support. Or do they say he forged it? Say bring them a Surah like unto it, and call to your aid anyone you can, besides God, if it be ye speak the truth. And if ye are in doubt as to what we have revealed from time-to-time to our servant, then produce a Surah like there unto. But if you cannot, and for a surety ye cannot, then fear the fire, whose fuel is men and stones which is prepared for those who reject faith. Surely, God says the truth.”
Here God is saying, if there is anyone besides God who can inspire spiritual truth in such noble language, then produce evidence. Or is it, that your doubts are mainly argumentative— refractory, against your own Inner Light or conscience. All true revelation is itself a miracle, and stands on its own merit.
It is now fourteen hundred years since the above challenges, but mankind has singularly failed to produce anything similar, or something better. This is the authenticity of the Quran and how it came to be written.
The Spread of Islam, Arabic Language and Islamic Culture
Islam was to prevail. Within decades the above promise became true; Islam prevailed. The two super powers of the day, the Persian and the Roman Empires crumbled at the hands of the Muslims. In the sacred City of pagan Arabia, shone the light that spread in all directions. It was the central place for the bounds of the world. It made the Arabs a leading nation of culture and science of organized enterprise, law and arts, with a feel for the conquest of nature and its mysteries. After the fall of Rome there came the birth of Islam, and the rapid expansion of Islam, North, South, East and West. In time the Arabs spread Islam halfway around the globe, from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. And at a time when Europe was sunk in the Dark Ages, Arab scholars were swapping ideas of a more advanced sort. They woke Europe from its slumber, and ushered Europe to its renaissance.
As George Sartan the great historian in Harvard University, in his outstanding introduction to his book Momentual Self, from the half of the eighth century to the end of the eleventh century, the Arabic language was the language of science, and the language of progress for humanity. And when the western world became sufficiently mature to feel the need for deep knowledge, it directed its attention first, not to great references but to competent Arabic works and authorities, and turned in the twelfth century to translate the various scientific works and history of the Muslim Arabs.
The development and indeed the very creation of European medicine, is unthinkable without the Arab's contribution. Al Razi, by Medieval Europe, was universally considered one of the outstanding authorities in medical history, who authored more than two hundred medical books and encyclopedias used by doctors and students throughout Europe well into the fifteenth century. Perhaps the most renowned of all Islamic philosopher-scientists was Ibn-Sina (Aviecnna), renowned in philosophy, natural sciences, and mathematics. He produced sixteen books on medicine, including the Qanoon or Cannon, a work of one million words. This encyclopedia dealing with every then known disease, treatment, medication and food was the medical curricula at European Universities throughout the fifteenth century.
Ibne Khaldun developed an unprecedented science of civilization to explain the rise and fall of societies. Said the twentieth century historian Arnold Toynbee. “Ibne Khaldun conceived and formulated a philosophy of history, which is undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever yet been created by any mind at any time.” Ibne al Haisam the great Arab scientist-physicist, preceded Newton the seventeenth century English physicist in introducing the theory of relativity, and has written more than two hundred books dealing in physics. So did Al Farabi the famous Islamic philosopher, and several others.
Islamic Contributions to Modern Society
The West will also have to acknowledge and accept Muslim Arab contributions to modern society. We have given a deaf ear to the term Arabic numbers, which forms the basis of our entire technological and computerized advances. The Arabic numbers, which we are using today together with the great concepts of the zero, and the dozen have substantially reduced the Roman numerals. Do you realize that you need eleven Roman numerals to write nineteen ninety-four. Scientific progress in the West would have been impossible if scientists remained dependent on the Roman numerals deprived of the flexibility, and ease of the decimal Arabic numerals.
There's no room here to enumerate the various Muslim Arab contributions to western world and modern society. Had it not been for the tremendous contributions made by the Muslim Arabs in the field of learning, European Renaissance would have been doubtful. All this was realized with the advent of Islam, and within only one hundred years after the death of the Prophet of Islam. For eight hundred years the power of Islam predominated, and brought with it enlightenment and knowledge to the world in the sciences, medicine, physics, astronomy, geometry, algebra, mathematics, philosophy, architecture, etc., etc. Indeed Islam brought light and knowledge to the world when it needed it most.
Alas, the Muslims are in the doldrums today, but the world of Islam is arising. The voice of the Muslims will soon be heard loud and clear, not only in the call for prayer. Even a non-Muslim visionary in the West has predicted its destiny to be in the skies. H.G. Wells writes under The Shape of Things to Come: Africa is a field for all religions, but the religion which the African will accept, is a religion which best suits his needs, and that religion everyone who has a right to speak on the subject says is Islam. George Bernard Shaw writes: If any religion has a chance of conquering England, nay Europe, within the next hundred years, that religion is Islam. Without any real effort on the part of the Muslims we are told by the Westerners themselves, that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today.
The world population has increased 136% from 1934 through 1984. Christianity with 47%, and Islam with 235%, that is five times as much, and has gone much higher in recent years according to the World Almanac, and The Book Of Facts 1935, and Readers Digest Almanac and Year book 1983. No other religion in history spreads as rapidly as Islam. Islam is not spreading by the sword, but simply by propagation by individuals, or groups of Muslims. Muslims don't have special missions organized such as Christian missions. The Muslims believe that soon a quarter of the people of the world will be Muslims. That Islam will eventually dominate the world.
The Truth of Islam
The Quran has opened our eyes to the truth. The truth of Islam, and the truth of the other religions. This great revelation has been emphasized three things. In Surah 18:1-4 we read:
“Praise be to God who hath sent to His Servant the Book, and hath allowed therein no Crookedness. First, He hath made it Straight and clear, in order that He may warn the godless of a terrible punishment from Him. Second, that He may give glad tidings to the believers who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a good reward Wherein they shall remain forever. Third, that He may warn those who say, God has begotten a Son. No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is a grievous thing that issues from their mouths as a saying. What they say is nothing but falsehood.
In Surah 6:101, 102 we read further:
“How can He have a son when He hath no consort? He created all things, and He has full knowledge of all things. That is God, your Lord. There is no God but He, the Creator of all things. Then worship ye Him, and He has power to dispose of all affairs.”
Surely, God Saith The Truth. The Quran is above all things straight, clear, and descriptive. Its directions are clear for everyone to understand. God's purpose is to give clear warning of spiritual dangers, and lead up to the highest bliss. The warning here is not only needed for those who deny God or deny His message, but also for those whose false ideas of God degrade religion in supposing that God begot a Son. For God is one, and is high above any ideas of physical reproduction.
Divine Sonship of Jesus
The attribution of a son begotten to God has no basis, in fact or in reason. It is only a word or saying that issues out of their mouths. It cannot be explained in any way that is consistent with the sublime attributes of God. In the first few verses of Surah The Criterion (Al Furqan), which is Surah 25, the Holy Quran says:
“Blessed is He who sent down The Criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures. He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, no son has He begotten, nor has He a partner in His dominion. It is He who created all things, and ordered them in due proportions. Yet have they taken beside Him gods that can create nothing but are themselves created, that have no control of hurt or good to themselves, nor can they control Death, nor Life, nor Resurrection. The Quran was sent down by Him who knows the mystery that is in the heavens and the earth. Verily He is oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Surely, God says the truth. This is the Quran—the word of God, his true revelation. It is The Criterion by which we may judge between right and wrong. Between false and true worship. Between the message that comes from God Almighty, and the forgeries of men. Between the real in our eternal future, and the fancies by which we are mislead. God says, in Surah 16:51, as in many other Surahs in the Holy Quran:
“Take not for worship two gods, for He is just one God. Then fear Me, and Me alone.”
Likewise the Prophet of Islam said, "I am but a man like yourselves, but the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God." This is the first distinction taught in The Criterion to know the attribute of the true God as against the false fancies of men.
The Bible, The Trinity and The Quran
Jesus called himself Son of Man, and refused to be called son of God. We read in Luke 4:41 in the Holy Bible; “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuked them. Suffered them not to speak;...” It is clear here that He refused to be called son of God. He refused again in Luke 9:20, 21 and charged them too. “He (Jesus) said unto them, (the disciples) but whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straight by charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;” Jesus is also called Prophet in John 7:40; Matthew 21:11; Luke 7:16 and 24:19. God tells us in the Holy Quran over and over and over again, that no son did he beget, nor is there any god or partner along with Him. The Jews said that Jesus (peace be upon him) was the illegitimate son of Mary, because he could not point a finger to a father. The Christians for the same reason made him into a god, and the begotten son of God. The Holy Quran says, in Surah 4:171:
“O people of the Book, do not go into extremes in your religion, nor say of God anything but truth. Verily Christ Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger of God, and His Word which He bestowed upon Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. Say not trinity; desist it will be better for you. For your God is one God. Glory be to Him, for exalted is He, above having a son. To Him belongs all things in the heavens and the earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. Just as his foolish servant may go wrong by excess of zeal for his master, so in religion people's excesses, may lead them to blasphemy, or a spirit the very opposite of religion. The Jewish excesses with direction of formalism, radicalism, exclusiveness, and rejection of Christ Jesus, have been denounced in many places in the Holy Quran. Here the Christian's attitude is condemned, which raises Jesus to an equality with God, in some cases venerating Mary almost to idolatry, attributes a physical son to God, and invents the doctrine of the Trinity opposed to all reason, which according to the Athenasian Creed, unless a man believes he is doomed to hell forever.
Note that God never called Jesus My son in the Holy Quran. But He always called him the son of man. The men, whom God's truth has been committed for promulgation to mankind, will be asked in the hereafter how the truth faired in the world. How it was received, and who opposed it. Like all trustees they will have to give a full account of their trust. God knows all, and it will not add to His information, but it will be evidenced for and against those to whom it was preached. As God says, in Surahs 33, 35 and 39 of the Holy Quran in addressing the Prophet Muhammad:
“Thou art no other than a Warner. Verily We have sent thee in truth as a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and as a Warner. There never was a people without a Warner having lived among them in the past. And if they reject thee, so did their predecessors to whom came their messengers with clear signs, scriptures and the book of enlightenment. In the end, did I punish those who rejected faith, and how terrible was My rejection of them. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. At the end to your Lord is your return, when He will tell you the truth of all that He didn't in this life. For He knoweth well all that is in men's hearts.”
“Have ye seen these partners of yours whom ye call upon besides God? Show me what it is they have created in the wide earth, or have they a share in the heavens. Have We given them a book from which they can derive clear evidence? Nay, the wrongdoers promise each other nothing but delusions. It is God who sustains the heavens and the earth, lest they cease to function. And if they should fail there is none, not one who can sustain them thereafter. Verily He is Most Forbearing, oft Forgiving.”
“And remember We took from the prophets their covenant as we did from thee. From Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary, We took from them a solemn covenant, that God may question the custodians of truth concerning the truth they were charged with. And He has prepared for the unbelievers a grievous penalty. We have not sent thee but as a universal messenger to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them against sin. But most men understand not. They say; "When will this promise come to pass, if we are telling the truth?" Say: ‘The appointment to you is for a day which ye cannot put back for an hour, nor put forth.’”
These were God's words fourteen hundred years ago. They were proven, and they are true now. God's revelation through the Holy Prophet was not meant for one faith or tribe, one race or set of people. It was meant for all mankind to whom if they turn to God, it is a message of the glad tidings of His mercy. And if they do not turn to Him, it is a warning against sin, and the inevitable punishment. And that punishment does not come immediately as far as they perceive, it's no reason for doubting it, it has been declared in clear and unequivocal terms, and nothing can be more certain.
When that day actually arrives, your period of probation will have passed. It will be too late! Now is the time for action and spiritual profit. Each person is individually and personally responsible for his or her soul. If there is any intercession, it can only be by God's gracious permission. For the Day of Judgment will be a terrible day—a day of wrath. If you put your trust in God and in God alone, you'll belong to one brotherhood, and we all shall see the perfect truth finally when the time comes.
The Jews were the first people to develop a lasting religion based on monotheism. Probably the most famous words setting forth this idea, are contained in a single sentence from the book of Deuteronomy quoting the last words of Moses (the Prophet and great leader of the Jews) as he called on his people to remember God's teaching. “Hear O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Many Christians learned in this translation of the words of the first of the Ten Commandments. “I am the Lord Thy God, Thou shall have no other gods before Me.” The Holy Quran, Surah 2:163, as in many other Surahs says:
“And your God is one God, there is no God but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.”
The highest wrongdoing is to associate other partners with God. This is further illustrated in verse 116 of Surah 4 in the Holy Quran. It says:
“God forgiveth not the sin of joining other god's with Him, but He forgiveth whom He pleases other sins than this. One who joins other God's with God has, strayed far, far away from the right.”
The concept of the trinity, is not of course, available even in the present Bible. There are statements which negated, such as: The Lord our God is one Lord (Matthew 12:29) and several others. The rejection of the idea of God having a Son, is reported with even stronger words in Surah 19:88-93 in the Holy Quran:
“And they say: “The Almighty has taken into Himself a son! You have indeed advanced something hideous. The heavens are rent of it, and the earth split asunder, and the mountains fall down crashing, for that they have attributed to the Merciful a son. And it behooves not the All Merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and the earth, but comes to the All Merciful as a servant.”
Surely, God says the truth. Long before Jesus was born, God said to David, Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, David Thou are my Son; this day have I begotten thee. So David is also God's begotten Son. The meaning of Son of God, is not literal but metaphorical. It can be anyone who is beloved by God. Jesus also said, that God is not only His Father, but also your Father. Matthew 5:45,48, That ye may be sons of your Father...in heaven:...therefore you should be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect. So, in many passages in the Bible, Son of God, which signifies love and affection, nearness to God, is not applied to Jesus alone. You will see sons and daughters of God. 2 Corinthians 6:18 And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. In view of these and other messages in the Bible, there is no reason whatsoever why Jesus should be regarded as Son of God in a literal or unique sense.
The Quran recognizes the fact that Jesus had no human Father. But this does not make him the Son of God. By this criterian Adam would have been more entitled to be the Son of God, because he had neither a Father nor a Mother. So the Quran draws attention to the miraculous creation of both, in the following verse from the Quran. Surah 3:59:
Truly the likeness of Jesus in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness. He created him of dust, then said He unto him, "Be," and he was.
Christ's attributes are mentioned that He was the son of a woman—Mary, and therefore a man. But a messenger, a man with a mission from God, and therefore entitled to honor. A word bestowed on Mary, for He was created by God's Word to be, and he was. A Spirit proceeding from God, but not God. His life and his mission were more limited than in the case of some other messengers, though we must pay equal honor to him as a Prophet of God.
The doctrine of the trinity, equality with God and sonship, are repudiated as blasphemies. God is independent of all needs, and has no need of a Son to manage His affairs. Why is Jesus called in the Holy Quran the son of Mary? What are his clear signs? What is the Holy Spirit by which he was strengthened? Jesus is no more than a man. It is against reason and revelation to call him God, or the Son of God. He is called the son of Mary to emphasize this. He had no human father, as his birth was miraculous. But it was not this which raised him to his high spiritual position as the Prophet, but because God called him to this office, the praise is due to God, who by His Word, gave him Spiritual strength, strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. The miracles which surrounded His story relate not only to his birth and his life and death, but also to his Mother Mary. These were clear signs which he brought. It was those who misunderstood Him, who obscured his clear signs and surrounded him with mysteries of their own invention.
It is worth noting that Jesus never claimed the divinity, even in the present text of the Bible. The expression Son of God, cannot be said to have come from Jesus himself. Hastings in the dictionary of the Bible says: “Whether Jesus used it of himself is doubtful.” It is common knowledge that the divinity of Jesus was introduced by the Apostle Paul and his followers, and was established on the dead bodies of millions of Christians through history, which evoked the Castillo well known remark: "To burn a man is not to prove a doctrine."
The Unitarian concept and the humanness of Jesus, is not only held by the Muslims alone, but also by the Jews, and by some early groups of Christianity, such as the Ibunites, the Corinthians, the Bethelegians, the Copucrazians, and the Hypistitherians to name several early sets. The Aryans, Polikians, and Gothers also accepted Jesus as the Prophet of God. Even in the modern age there are churches in Asia, in Africa, the Unitarian Church, and the Jehovah Witnesses who do not worship Jesus.
Many readers of the Gospels are embarrassed, and even abashed when they stop to think about the meaning of certain descriptions. The same is true when they make comparisons between different versions of the same event found in several gospels. Father Roger makes this observation in his book Initiation To The Gospels. With the wide experience he has gained in his many years of answering perturbed reader’s letters in a Catholic Weekly, he has been able to access just how greatly they have been worried by what they have read. His questions come from widely varying social and cultural backgrounds. He noted that the requests for explanations concern texts that are considered abstruse, incomprehensible, if not contradictory, absurd and scandalous.
An Examination of the Bible Based on Modern Christian Research
“There can be no doubt,” says, Father Roger, “that a complete reading of the Gospels is likely to disturb Christians profoundly.” This observation is relatively recent. Father Roger's book was published in 1973. Not so very long ago, the majority of Christians knew only selected sections of the Gospel that were read during services or commented upon during sermons. Aside from the Protestants, it was not customary to read the Gospels in their entirety. Books of religious instruction only contained extracts. The entire text hardly circulated at all. Father Roger continues: “at the Roman Catholic School, I had copies of the works of Virgil and Plato, but did not have the New Testament. The Greek text of this would nevertheless have been very instructive. It was only much later on that I realized why they had not set us translations of the holy writings of Christianity. The latter would have lead us to ask our teachers questions, they would have found it difficult to answer.”
Father Roger goes on to say: “The additions of the Bible that were produced for widespread publications, set out a collection of ideas that would tend to persuade the reader that the Gospels hardly raised any problems. Concerning the personalities of the authors of the various books, the authenticity of the texts, and the truth of the descriptions. In spite of the fact that there are so many unknowns concerning authors of whose identity we are not at all sure, we find a wealth of precise information in this kind of introductory note. Often they present as a certainty, what are pure hypotheses. Or they state that such and such an evangelist, was an eyewitness of the events where specialists’ works claim the opposite. The time that elapsed between the end of Jesus' ministry and the appearance of the texts is exaggeratedly reduced. They would have one believe that these were written by one man taken from an oral tradition, when in fact specialists have pointed out adaptations to the texts. This state of affairs, which shows up the misleading nature of such commentaries, is very disturbing.
Father Roger goes onto say: “Neither Matthew nor John speaks of Jesus' ascension. Luke in his Gospel situates it on the Day of the Resurrection, and 40 days later in the Acts of the Apostles of which he is said to be the author. Mark mentions it without giving a date, in a conclusion thought today, not to be authentic. The ascension therefore, has no solid spiritual basis. Commentators nevertheless approached this important question with incredible lightness.”
Another interesting aspect of Father Roger's commentary, is his admission that there are many similar cases (similar that is, to the ascension in the Gospels). He says: “The problem therefore has to be approached as a whole objectively, and in depth. It would seem reasonable to look for an explanation by studying the condition attendant upon the writing of the Gospels, and the religious atmosphere prevailing at the time. When adaptations of the original writings taken from oral traditions are pointed out, and we see the way texts handed down to us have been corrupted, the presence of obscure, incomprehensible, contradictory, improbable, and even absurd passages comes as much less of a surprise. Observations such as these denote the element of human participation in the writing and mortification of the texts.”
Admittedly in the last few decades an interest has been taken in the scriptures in a spirit of objective research. In a recent book Faith in The Resurrection, Resurrection Of Faith Father Kenny Geiser, a professor of the Catholic Institute of Paris outlines this profound change in the following terms. “The faithful are hardly aware that the revolution has taken place in methods of biblical exegesis since the time of Pious the 12th who was Pope from 1939 through 1959. Father Kenny Geiser warningly points out, that one should not take literally facts reported about Jesus by the Gospels. They are writing suited to an occasion or to combat whose authors are writing down the traditions of their own community about Jesus concerning the resurrection of Jesus, which is the subject of his book. He stresses that none of the authors of the Gospels can claim to have been an eyewitness. He intimates that, as far as the rest of Jesus' public life is concerned, the same must be true, because according to the gospels, none of the Apostles, apart from Judas Iscariot, left Jesus from the moment he first followed him, until his last earthly manifestation.”
The facts recorded here, and the commentary quoted from several extremely eminent Christian experts in exegesis, have refuted affirmations of orthodoxy supported by the line adopted by the last Vatican Council, on the absolute historical authenticity of the Gospels. These are said to have faithfully transmitted what Jesus actually did and taught. Several different kinds of arguments have been given. Firstly, quotations from the Gospel themselves show flat contradictions. It is impossible to believe two facts that contradict each other. Neither can one accept certain improbabilities, and affirmation that go against the cast iron data provided by modern knowledge.
According to Father Kenny Geiser, works of modern textual criticism have revealed data which constitute a revolution, in method of biblical exegesis so that the facts relating to Jesus recorded in the Gospels are no longer to be taken literally. Modern knowledge has brought to light the history of Judeo Christianity, and the rivalry between communities, which accounts for the existence of facts that today's readers find disconcerting. The concept of eyewitness evangelists is no longer defensible, although numerous Christians still retain it today.
The work done at the Biblical School of Jerusalem, Fathers Benoit and Wamard shows very clearly that the Gospels were written, revised, and corrected several times. They also warn the reader that he is obliged in more than one case, to give up the notion of hearing Jesus' voice directly. The historical nature of the gospels is beyond question. Through descriptions referring to Jesus, however, these documents provide us above all with information about the character of their authors, the spokesmen for the tradition of the early Christian communities to which they belong, and in particular about the struggle between the Judeo- Christians and Paul.
Why be surprised by the fact that some Evangelists distort certain events in Jesus' life? With the object of defending a personal point of view, why be surprised by the omission of certain events? Why be surprised by the fictitious nature of other events described? As far as the decades following Jesus' mission are concerned, it must be understood that events did not at all happen in the way they have been said to take place. On the contrary, from the time Jesus left earth, to the second half of the second century, there was a struggle between two factions. One was what one might call Pauline Christianity, and the other Judeo Christianity. It was only very slowly that the first supplanted the second, and Pauline Christianity triumphed over Judeo-Christianity.
From 70 AD to a period situated sometime between 110 AD, the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John were produced. They do not constitute the first written Christian documents. The letter of Paul date from well before them. According to O. Coleman in his book The New Testament, Paul created Christianity at the expense of those whom Jesus had gathered around him to spread his teachings. He had not known Jesus during his lifetime, and he proved the legitimacy of his mission, by declaring that Jesus raised from the dead had appeared to him on the road to Damascus. It is quite reasonable to ask, what Christianity might have been without Paul, and one could no doubt construct all sorts of hypotheses on the subject.
Out of the total 27 books of the New Testament, Paul authors more than half. As opposed to Paul, the master has not written a single word of the 27 books. If you can lay your hands on what is called a red lettered Bible, you will find every word alleged to have been authored by Jesus in red ink, and the rest in normal black ink. In the Bible the Gospel of Jesus, over 90% of the 27 books of the New Testament are printed in black ink. Christian missionaries quote 100% from Paul. If you prod a Christian controversialist with what his Lord and Master hath said he will confront you with something from, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, etc. If you ask who are they? You will hear Paul, Paul, Paul. No learned Christian will ever dispute the fact that the real founder of Christianity is Paul, and the honor of founding Christianity is to be shared between Jesus and Paul.
As far as the gospels are concerned however, it is almost certain that if this atmosphere of struggle between communities had not existed, we would not have had the writings we possess today. They appeared at the time of fierce struggle between the two communities. These combat writings as Father Kenny Geiser calls them: “emerged from the multitude of writings on Jesus. These occurred at the time when Paul's style of Christianity won through, and created it's own collection of official texts. These texts constituted the cannon, which condemned and excluded as unorthodox any other documents that were not suited to the line adopted by the Church.”
The first writings to circulate were Paul's letters as they occupied a prevalent position long before the gospels. They were after all written several decades earlier. It has already been shown that contrary to what certain commentators are still writing today, before 140 AD there is no witness to the knowledge that a collection of Gospels existed. It was not until circa 170 AD that the four gospels acquired the status of Canonic literature. The flat contradictions between Gospels, the improbabilities, the successive distortions of the texts, all these things add up to the fact that the Gospels contain chapters and passages that are the sole product of the human imagination.
These flaws do not, however, cast out of existence Jesus' mission. The doubt is solely confined to the course it took. Most serious studies of the Bible have shown that it contains a large portion of additions which neither Jesus, nor the writers of the Gospels said. The Church, as Heinz Zahn said, "put words into the mouth of Jesus which he never spoke, and attributed actions to him which he never performed." Some members of the Church arrived at those conclusions. However, they are kept secret or available only to the specialists. One of those who has shown that most of what the Church says about Jesus is baseless, is Rudolph Augustan in his book Jesus Son Of Man, published in Germany in 1972 and translated into English in 1977.
The problem with present Christianity, is the personality of Jesus, which is completely misunderstood. Jesus' nature, mission, and claimed death and resurrection are all challenged by studies in the field. One of those is a book entitled, The Myth of God Incarnate. Incarnate means, having human form and substance. This book appeared in 1977, edited by John Hick, and written by seven theologian scholars in England. Their conclusion is that, Jesus was a man approved by God for special role within the Divine Purpose, and the later conception of him, as God incarnate is a mythological or poetic way of expressing his significance for us.
The best George Terry could say in his attempt to refute the finding of those theologians is that, unless one takes Jesus as God incarnate, that is as God personified, one won't be able to understand Jesus' mission, or explain its impact on people. This definitely is a weak argument, because all great Prophets such as Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad have had tremendous impact on people, and none of them claimed that he was God, or a son of God. The title 'Son Of Man' which is self-designation of Jesus, and occurs 81 times in the Gospels, is the clearest description and emphasis by Jesus on his humanity. The classical interpretation given to this title is that, it is used to emphasize the human side of Jesus.
Jesus' closeness to God was evident from the strength that he drew from prayers, and the power he was given by God to perform miracles. Yet in all his power, and in the performance of God's wonders, never does he proclaim himself—son of God. In Jesus' sense of the word son, we are all children of God, His sons and daughters here on earth, and as such Jesus taught the people to pray to our Father who art in heaven. Dr. H.M. Bagel, a Muslim theologian, who had dialogues in depth with Christian clergy and laity’s, said in one of his books on the subject at hand: "not only that Christians differ in their basic belief, trinity, divinity of Jesus, etc., but do not know that church doctrine contradict the Bible numerous times, and that the Bible even contradicts itself." He goes onto say, that in the Bible Jesus (peace be upon him), never claimed to be God. That Jesus did not die on the cross, that the miracles performed by Jesus were also performed by many other prophets.
The question obviously must be raised after witnessing such clear contradictions: Is the Bible God's Word? The effort here by Dr. Bagel is not intended to deride Christian people, and certainly not to mock Jesus or his teachings. The intent is obviously to point out those false charges, misrepresentations against God and His prophets are in themselves, a most odious thing. Dr. Bagel's book on this subject makes clear, “the Islamic point of view in these matters. And shows how the Quran revealed to the Prophet Muhammad some 600 years after the life of Jesus (peace be upon both of them), correct the errors that crept knowingly or unknowingly into the message that Jesus brought.”
The end of the life of Jesus on earth is as much involved in mystery as his birth, and indeed the greater part of his private life, except the three main years of his ministry. The Orthodox Christian churches make it a cardinal point of their doctrine that his life was taken on the cross that he died, and was buried. That on the third day he rose in the body, with his wounds intact, and walked about, and conversed and ate with his disciples, and was afterwards taken up bodily to heaven. This is necessary for the theological doctrine of blood sacrifice, and vicarious atonement for sins, which is rejected by Islam and Judaism.
But some of the early Christian sects also did not believe that Christ was killed on the cross. The Bethelegians believed that someone else was substituted for him. They do also believe, that his crucifixion was only apparent not real. The Gospel of St. Barnabas supported the theory of substitution on the cross. The Quranic teaching is that, Christ was not crucified nor killed by the Jews. Notwithstanding under certain apparent circumstances this produced that illusion in the minds of some of his enemies. That disputation, doubt and conjectures on such matters are vain, and that he was taken up to God. This aspect of Jesus' life and mission cannot be strongly emphasized by other than the one who sent him to the world. God Almighty said, in Surah 4:157, 158 in the Holy Quran:
“That they said (in boast), we killed Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of God. But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them. And those who differ therein, are full of doubts with no certain knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not God raised him up unto Him, and God is exalted in power, wise.”
Surely, God says the truth. The denial of Jesus' divinity, and for that matter Mary's divinity, is presented in the Quran as a topic of dialogue at the Day of Judgment between God Almighty and Jesus. All the Messengers and the nations will be gathered in front of God, and He will ask the Messengers, how they were received by their peoples, and what they said to them. Among those who are going, to be questioned is Jesus. Surah 5:116 of the Holy Quran says:
“And when God said, "O Jesus son of Mary, did you say unto men take me and my mother as god's apart from God?" He said, "To you be glory, it is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, You knew it, knowing what is within my soul, and I do not know what is within Your soul. You know the things unseen, I only said to them what You did Command me: Serve God my Lord, and your Lord."
The Real Mission of Jesus According to the Quran.
Now one might ask: If the Quran denies the trinity and the sonship of Jesus, what was the real mission of Jesus? According to the Quran, Jesus was a link in the long chain of Prophets, and Messengers sent by God to various societies and nations whenever they needed guidance, or deviated from the teachings of God. Jesus was especially prepared by God to be sent to the Jews who had deviated from the teachings of Moses, and other Messengers. As he was miraculously supported by God, in conception, birth and childhood, he was also supported by numerous miracles to prove that he was a Messenger from God. However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry.
The Quran tells us about Jesus' mission in the following verses, which are a continuation of the verses quoted earlier in which the glad tiding was brought to Mary. The Quran Surah 3:48-51 reads:
“And He will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospels. And make him a Messenger to the Children of Israel saying: "I have come to you with a sign of your Lord, I will heal the blind, and the leper, and bring to life the dead by the power of God. Likewise, I will confirm the truth of the Torah that is before me. And to make lawful to you certain things, that before were forbidden unto you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me. Surely, God is my Lord, and your Lord, so serve Him, this is a straight Path."
Muhammad’s Coming Prophesied by Moses and Jesus
In another verse of the Quran, Jesus confirmed the validity of the Torah, which was revealed to Moses. He also brought the glad tidings of the coming of a final messenger after him. This is clearly indicated in verse 6 of Surah 61 in the Holy Quran. In addition, remember Jesus the son of Mary said:
"Oh children of Israel, I am the Messenger of God sent to you confirming the law which came before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a messenger to come after me whose name shall be Ahmed."
Ahmed is Prophet Muhammad's name. Literally, it means the one who praises God more than others. The Messenger of whom Jesus gave glad tidings, is referred to in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We read early on that this revelation was prophesied in the Bible in Isaiah 29:12, and in Isaiah 28:10, 11. The Old Testament contains several prophecies that apply only to Prophet Muhammad. I quote only one of those, which applies to none except Prophet Muhammad. This prophecy, which was addressed to Moses, said:
"That God will send among the brethren of the Israelites a Prophet like Moses who will be a founder, a leader, and an exemplar of a community of believers."
We read this in the following verses of Deuteronomy 18 in the Old Testament. "I will raise up from them a Prophet like you from among their brethren. And I will put My words in his mouth. And he shall speak to them all that I Command him. And whoever will not give heed to My words which he shall speak in My Name, I Myself will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:18-20) Anyone who is familiar with Prophet Muhammad's life can easily see that no one fits the above description better than Prophet Muhammad does. It was Prophet Muhammad, not Jesus, who like Moses was born from ordinary parents, got married, founded a faithful community, established a great law, and died a natural death. Careful study of The New Testament shows that this same Prophet is referred to by Jesus in John 14:16, 17. "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Counselor to be with you for ever; Even the Spirit of Truth." Later in John specific description of Spirit of Truth and his role is given as we read in John 16:13, 14. "...When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me." The terms of the prophecy do not warrant the conclusion usually attributed to this prophecy. Namely, that it refers to the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost explanation is excluded by a previous verse in John, which reads. “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away, the counselor will not come to you.”
It is clear from the Bible that the Holy Ghost used to visit men before and during the lifetime of Jesus. John was filled with the Holy Ghost before he was born, and Jesus himself received the Holy Ghost during his lifetime. The characteristics of this counselor, as can be derived from the prophecy are the following:
1. He will not come until Jesus leaves;
2. He will stay forever with the believers;
3. He will glorify Jesus; and
4. He will speak what he hears from God.
These characteristics are applicable only to Prophet Muhammad as the following remarks show. Prophet Muhammad was the only Messenger that came after Jesus. There was a period of six centuries between them. The Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad during a period of twenty years. Muhammad used to convey verbatim to his companions what was revealed to him without adding, changing or forgetting anything. The Quran also describes Prophet Muhammad in Surah 53:3, 4 saying:
“He does not speak out of his own fancy. He utters what is revealed to him.”
If we compare this with, 'he will not speak on his own authority,' we see the striking similarity between the characteristics of the counselors, and those of Prophet Muhammad. These and other prophecies in The Old and New Testaments predict in unequivocal terms, the advent of Prophet Muhammad, who is rejected by the Jews and Christians, based on misunderstanding and bias, rather than on the basis of careful study of the Bible, the Quran, and modern findings in the field of comparative religion. Religion should not be decided based on religious bias, but by a fair reading of the text of both Books. Historically, morally and prophetically, Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last and final Messenger of God, the Spirit of Truth is the only one to guide mankind into the Truth. He is preeminently the natural successor of Christ.
The Universality of God’s Message
The oneness and universality of God's Message require that people accept all the Messengers of God. Rejecting one of them amounts to rejecting them all. The Jews reject Jesus' mission, and Muhammad's mission. The Christians reject Muhammad's mission, whereas the Muslims accept them all, and respect Jesus as they love, and respect the Prophet Muhammad, but reject incorrect historical interpretations, and human elements in these missions.
There are unfortunate reasons holding people from Islam. They include first, the time-honored bias against Islam, which was partly the product of the Crusades, and partly the product of the Arab-Israelite conflict in the Middle East. Second, confusion. Many people although do not accept Christianity—do not know where the truth is. Thirdly, social pressure and academic reputation. Many people were afraid to accept Islam, because they felt they would be mocked, alienated from their relatives and peers if they openly reject Christianity, and accept Islam. At the academic level, especially among Orientalists, if one writes favorably about Islam and the Quran, nobody will review his work, quote from it, or even consider it a scholarly work. He could be even destroyed professionally.
The Washington Post, January 5, 1978 reported that a University of Richmond Professor, Dr. Robert Alley, lost the Chairmanship of the Department of Religion there, because he holds the view that Jesus never claimed to be the son of God. After considerable research into newly found ancient documents, Dr. Alley concluded that such a claim of deity for himself, would not have been consistent with his entire lifestyle as we can reconstruct. Dr. Robert Alley goes on to say: "For the first three decades after Jesus' death, Christianity continued as a sect within Judaism. The three decades of its existence were within the synagogue, that would have been beyond belief if they—the followers, had boldly proclaimed the deity of Jesus."
To sum it up, Islam does not abolish Jesus. It rather puts him in the right position, in the long line of men who brought real salvation to humanity. Islam considers Jesus as one of God's great prophets, his mission was to preach the oneness of God, and to lead man to His Lord. He never claimed to be other than a servant, and a Messenger of God. Overwhelming evidence supports the Quranic account of his life and mission. The Muslims do believe in, and are awaiting the Second Coming of Jesus. He will come back, not as a God to judge the non-Christians, but as Jesus—God's servant. His coming is to correct the misconception which people have developed about his personality and his missions. At that time, everybody will believe in him as the Messenger, not the son of God. It appears that God wants to set the truth straight about Jesus. He will send him over again, this time to guide mankind to the truth about Jesus. Surah 43 of the Holy Quran verses 61 and 63 refer to the Second Coming of Jesus in the last days before the Resurrection. That Jesus shall be assigned for the Coming of the Hour of Judgment. That He will come with wisdom to destroy the false Doctrines that pass under his name, and prepare the way for the universal acceptance of the Oneness of God.
The destiny is there. The promise of God is true. Islam does consider itself the final link in the long chain of revelation. It promises the followers of previous faith great rewards, if they add belief in Islam to their belief in their previous faiths. Prophet Muhammad said. "He who has believed in his religion, then believed in what is revealed to me, will be rewarded twice by God. That is once for believing in his faith, and the other for recognizing truth and believing in Islam."
The Authors of the Old Testament
At this point, one has to ask the question, who is the author or authors of the Old Testament? and, how did it come down to us? The Old Testament is a collection of works of great differing lengths, and many different varies. They were written in several languages over a period of more than 900 years based on oral tradition. Many of these works were corrected and completed in accordance with events, or special requirements, often at periods that were very distant from one another. This copious literature probably flowered at the beginning of the 11th Century BC. The first incomplete writings may date from this period. There was a special reason for writing these works down.
There were a certain number of songs, the prophetic oracles of Jacob and Moses. The Ten Commandments, and on a more general level the legislative texts which established a religious tradition before the formation of The Law. All these texts constitute fragments scattered here and there throughout the various collections of the Old Testament. It was not until a little later, possibly during the 10th Century BC that the so-called Yahvist text of the Pentateuch was written. God is named Yahweh in this text. This text was to form the backbone of the first five books ascribed to Moses. Later the so-called Elohist text was to be added, because God is named Eloha in this text, and also the so-called sacredotal version. This is from the preachers in the Temple at Jerusalem. The initial Yahvist text deals with the origins of the world up to the death of Jacob.
Thus, the Old Testament appears as a literary monument to the Jewish people, from its origins to the coming of Christianity. The books that compose it were written, completed, and revised between the 10th and the 1st Centuries BC Before it became a collection of books, it was of folk tradition that relied entirely upon human memory, originally the only means of passing on ideas. Tradition was sung, multilingual collections have been produced, which juxtaposed the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Aramaic, and even Arabic versions. This is the case of the famous Walton Bible, London 1657.
For the sake of completeness, let us mention the diverging biblical conceptions. They are responsible for the fact that the various Christian churches do not all accept the exact same books. The ecumenical translation of the Old Testament is a work of unification written by numerous Catholic and Protestant experts. Thus, the human element in the Old Testament is seen to be quite considerable. It is not difficult to understand why from version to version, and translation to translation with all the corrections inevitably resulting, it was possible for the original text to have been transformed during the course of more than 2000 years.
This is in no way a personal point of view on the history of its composition. The essential data for this historical survey were taken from the Torah, the Bible, and the Encyclopedia Universalize by J.P. Sandroz, a Professor at the Dominican Faculties Soichoi. To understand what the Old Testament represents, it is important to retain this information correctly established today, by highly qualified specialists. A revelation is mingled in all these writings, but all we possess today is what men have seen fit to leave us. These men manipulated the texts to please themselves, according to the circumstances they were in, and the necessities they had to meet. The multiplicity of sources brings with it numerous disagreements and repetitions.
Father Devoe, Head of the Biblical School of Jerusalem, gives different descriptions of important events. He says: “As far as textual criticism is concerned, the Pentateuch provides what is probably the most obvious example of adaptations made by the hand of man. These were made at different times in the history of the Jewish people taken from oral traditions, and texts handed down from preceeding generations. It was begun in the 10th or 9th Century BC with the Yahvist tradition, which took the story from its very beginnings. The later sketches Israel's own particular destiny, to fit it back into God's grand design for humanity. Father Devoe goes onto say, "in the space of little more than 100 lines of English text, the text changes 17 times." It is from this that the improbabilities and contradictions arise when we read the present day text.
"We are obliged to admit therefore," says Father Devoe: "That objectively speaking, the texts which have come down to us, do not represent the expression of reality. We may ask ourselves whether it is possible for God to have revealed anything other than the truth? It is difficult to entertain the idea that God inculcated to man, ideas that were not only fictitious, but contradictory. We naturally arrive therefore at the hypotheses that distortions occurred that were made by man, or that arose from traditions passed down from one generation to another by word of mouth, or from the texts of these traditions once they were written down."
Father Devoe concludes by saying: "When one knows that a work such as Genesis was adapted at least twice over a period of not less than three centuries, it is hardly surprising to find improbabilities, or descriptions that are incompatible with reality. This is because the progress made in human knowledge, has enabled us to know, if not everything, enough at least about certain events to be able to judge the degree of compatibility between our knowledge, and the ancient descriptions of them. There is nothing more logical than to maintain this interpretation of biblical errors which only implicates man himself. It is a great pity that the majority of commentators, both Jewish and Christian, do not hold with it. The arguments they use nevertheless, deserve careful attention."
Dr. Maurice Buccaille in his celebrated book, The Bible, the Quran, and Science says: “In modern times scientific progress has enabled us to acquire definitively established, experimentally very viable ideas or natural phenomena, thereby excluding theories, which by their very nature are liable to change. It has since been possible, to study some aspects of them as presented in the Bible, and compare these ideas with modern knowledge. The results arrived at are very clear cut indeed, in the case of subjects such as: The Formation Of The Universe; The Description Of The Creation; The Date Of Man's Appearance On Earth; The Flood And It's Location In Time.
It is patently obvious that the Biblical writers, among them Evangelists, Luke in particular, when he gives the genealogies of Jesus, have expressed ideas of their time, which are incompatible with modern knowledge. Today it is impossible not to admit the existence of scientific errors in the Bible. In view of all that the Biblical exegesis have taught us concerning the way in which the Judeo-Christian books were composed, how is it possible for these not to contain errors? We may therefore agree with Gene Gatoe when he says: "the scientific errors in the Bible are the errors of mankind, for long ago man was like a child, as yet ignorant of science. The concepts held by some Christians exegesis on the Biblical texts appear to be in complete agreement with what the various sciences today tell us about the lack of conformity between them, and certain aspects of the Biblical texts.
Dr. Maurice Buccaille goes on to say: "Can the same be said of Muslims exegesis affirmations concerning the Quranic revelation, as opposed to the Biblical inspiration? Are we likely to find in the Quran statements reflecting ideas prevalent at the time, which later contradict modern knowledge? As has already been stated, in the Quran, there is a multitude of reflections on natural phenomena. Numerous scientific errors concerning them would have been possible a priory, on account of the nature of the subjects dealt with during that period of scientific obscurantism. For we should not forget that the Quranic revelation took place at roughly the same time as King Dauberts reign in France 629 to 639 AD"
Dr. Maurice Buccaille continues. "Once a comparison had been made between scientific data and statements contained in the scriptures, conclusions were presented by me, in the first French Edition in 1976. For me they initially constituted a source of great surprise. The Quran most definitely did not contain a single preposition, at variance with the most firmly established modern knowledge, nor did it contain any of the ideas current at the time on the subject it describes. Furthermore, however, a large number of facts are mentioned in the Quran, which were not discovered until modern times. So many in fact, that on November 9, 1976 I was able to read before the French Academy of Medicine, a paper on the physiological and embryological data in the Quran. The data like many others, on different subjects, constituted a veritable challenge to human explanation, in view of what we know about the history of the various sciences through the ages. Modern man's findings concerning the absence of scientific errors, are therefore in complete agreement with Muslim exegesis conception of the Quran as a book of revelation. It is a consideration which implies that God could not express an erroneous idea."
Dr. Maurice Buccaille concludes: "The above reflections on the Holy Scriptures and science, are not my personal ideas. There is nothing new about the existence of scientific errors in the Bible. What is perhaps new, is the fact that they have been comprehensively described, and explained, according to ideas taken from the works of Christian Biblical exegesis. As far as the Quran is concerned, scripture and modern knowledge are in harmony not disagreement, and this agreement may not be explained in human terms."
Authenticity of Modern Biblical Texts
On the authenticity of today's texts we can say therefore that in the case of the Old Testament, the sheer number of authors who tell the same story, plus all the revisions carried out on the text of certain books, from the pre-Christian era, constitute as many reasons for inaccuracy and contradiction. As for the Gospels, nobody can claim that they invariably contain faithful accounts of Jesus' words, or a description of his actions strictly in keeping with reality. We have seen how successive versions of the texts, showed a lack of definite authenticity, and moreover, their authors were not eye witnesses. Not a single Gospel was written down at the time of Jesus. They were all written long after his earthly mission had come to an end. History has shown that the Bible suffered changes throughout the ages. The Revised Standard Version 1952 and 1971, the New American Standard Bible and the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, have expunged certain verses compared with the King James Version. Readers Digest has reduced the Old Testament by 50%, and the New Testament condensed by about 25%.
Christianity unlike Islam was not founded by a single person, but by two people—Jesus and Paul, and the principle credit for its development must therefore be apportioned between these two figures. Christian theology however, was shaped principally by the work of Paul. Jesus presented a spiritual message; Paul added to that the worship of Christ. His influence on Christian theology has been incalculable, his ideas include that Jesus was not mainly an inspired human Prophet, but was actually divine; that Christ died for our sins, and His suffering can redeem us. Paul was the author of a considerable portion of the New Testament, and was the main moving force for Christianity. Of the 27 Books of the New Testament, no fewer than 14 are attributed to him. He is the most important single author of the New Testament. Indeed, Paul's immense influence on the development of Christianity has been so great, that some scholars have claimed that he rather than Jesus should be regarded as the principle founder of the Christian religion.
The situation is very different for the Quran. As the revelation progressed, the Prophet and the believers following him, recited, and memorized the text by heart, and it was also written down by the scribes in his following. He therefore starts off with two elements of authenticity, which the Gospels do not possess. This continued after the Prophet's death, at the time when not everybody could write, but everyone was able to recite. Recitation afforded a considerable advantage, because of the double checking when the definitive text was compiled. The Quranic revelation was made by Archangel Gabriel to Muhammad. It took place over a period of more than 20 years of the Prophet's life. The sources all agree in stating that whenever a fragment of the Quran was revealed, the Prophet called one of his literate companions and dictated it to him indicating at the same time the exact position of the new fragment in the fabric of what had already been received. The Scriptures note, that Muhammad asked the scribe to re-read to him what had been dictated, so that he could correct any deficiencies. The Quran is the last Revealed Book, which has never been corrupted or adulterated. Its content has been guaranteed by God. In Surah 2:2 in the Holy Quran, it reads:
“This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt.”
And also in Surah 15:9:
“No doubt we have sent down the Quran, and surely we will guard it from corruption.”
It is a clear fact, that more than 1400 years have passed, and not a single word of the Holy Quran has been changed. We know that it contains 114 Surahs, 236 verses, totaling 77,934 words. There were 77,934 words 1400 years ago, and there are still the same 77,934 words today. There can be no change or alteration in the Holy Quran. Moreover, the first 3 copies of the Holy Quran are still in existence today, since the past 1400 years. One in the Tashkent Russia, a second copy in Istanbul Turkey, and the third in Saudi Arabia. This is a book well kept. This is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
It is obvious therefore, that the Holy Quran does not give rise to any problems of authenticity. The Quranic revelation has a history which is fundamentally different from the two other world religions. On the contrary, all the other holy books, the Torah, Psalms, Gospels, etc., have been adulterated in the form of additions, deletions, or alterations from the original. The 66 Books of the Bible were written by at least 40 different authors. The Quran was revealed to one man, written during his lifetime, and it is a continuation of the Old and New Testaments.
One has to ask the question here again, could any person of the sixth century utter such scientific truths as contained in the Quran? Could he describe at that time the evolution of the embryo inside the uterus so successfully and accurately as we find it today in modern science? Is it logical to believe that an unlettered man as Muhammad began all of a sudden the authorship of a book that is matchless in literary merit, the equivalent of which the whole legions of Arab poets, orators, and scholars of the highest caliber could not produce? And apart from the Holy Message it brought to the world, to rank without question among the greatest masterpieces of mankind. Surely, any sincere and unbiased searcher of truth will come to believe that the Quran is the revealed book of God. As God said, in the Holy Quran:
“If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support. And if ye are in doubt as to what we have revealed from time to time to our servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto. But if you cannot, and for a surety ye cannot, then fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones which is prepared for those who reject faith.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. It is now 1400 years since the above challenges, but mankind has singularly failed to produce anything similar, or something better. The Muslims' position has always been, that the Jewish and Christian Scriptures as they stand, cannot be traced directly to Moses or Jesus, but are later compilations. Modern scholarship and higher criticism have left no doubt on the subject. The Quranic revelation has step-by-step confirmed the Law of Moses and the Gospels of Jesus. It is the guide from God, and appeals to reason, and understanding.
West’s Erroneous Views of the Quran
The totally erroneous statements made about the Quran and Islam in the West, are sometimes the result of ignorance, and sometimes of systematic denigration. The most serious of all the untruths told about it are, however, those dealing with facts. For a while mistaken opinions are excusable. The presentation of facts running contrary to the reality is not. It is disturbing to read blatant untruths, in eminently respectable works written by highly qualified authors. The fact that these people write such untruths helps to give a false impression of the Quran and Islam. They are trying but in vain to undermine the Holy Quran, Islam, and the Prophet of Islam. Why this notorious campaign? Why this falsification of the Truth? Is it because they see Islam the fastest growing religion in the world today?
Unfortunately for them, they cannot stop it like one author went so low as to say that Muhammad sought the help of his girlfriend in writing the Quran. This is not only laughable, but contemptible. It is obvious that by posing as so called scholars of Islam, of which they know nothing, they are trying to sell their cheap books, that are full of lies and falsification of the Truth. They cannot succeed, neither in selling their cheap books, nor in stopping Islam from growing. Islam is not growing by the sword, but simply by propagation by individuals, or groups of Muslims.
The Muslims do not have special missions organized as Christian missions are. They propagate their religion with dignity, and with due respect to all God's revelations. They do not stoop to such low level of sordid and degraded behavior. It is distressing to see such inaccurate information, and may I say falsification, and sheer lies about the Holy Quran, Islam, and the Prophet of Islam. Those who falsify God's Word, we can only say that God is not unmindful of what they do. To Him do all questions go back for decisions. His justice is sure, and when it comes, it will be strict and unshakable. In addressing the Prophet Muhammad, God says in the Holy Quran:
“Here is a book, which we have sent down unto thee full of blessings that they mediate on its time, and that men of understanding may receive admonition. Rehearse the Quran, and if any accept guidance, they do it for the good of their soul, and if they stray say, ‘I am only a Warner and thy Lord is not unmindful of all that ye do’. Think not that God does not heed the deeds of those who do wrong. He but givest them respite against a day when the eyes will fixedly stare in horror. That is the their reward—hell, because they rejected faith, and took My signs and My Messengers by way of jest, and thy Lord knoweth best those who are out for mischief.”
“Therefore, proclaim thou the praises of thy Lord, for by the Grace of thy Lord, thou art no vulgar sooth-sayers, nor art thou one possessed. Is it that their faculties of understanding urge them to this? Or are they but a people transgressing beyond bounds? Or do they say: ‘he fabricated the message?’ Nay, they have no faith. Let them then produce a recital like unto it, if it be they speak the Truth. So leave them alone until they encounter that day of theirs wherein they shall perforce swoon with terror. The day when the plotting will avail them nothing, and no help shall be given them, and verily for those who do wrong, there is another punishment besides this. But most of them understand not.”
“Now await in patience the Command of thy Lord, We know best what they say, and thou art not one to over awe by force. So admonish with the Quran such as fear My warning. Vain will be their works, nor shall We on the Day of Judgment give them any weight. That is their reward—hell, because they rejected faith, and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest. One day We will ask hell, ‘Art thou filled to the full?’ It will say: ‘Are there any more to come?’”
Surely, God Says the Truth. All nature sings to the glory of God, and men of fraud and hypocrisy are but rebels in the Kingdom of God.
Allah and God
Another important view of this kind, is the attitude, which leads people to repeatedly use the term Allah, to mean the God of the Muslims. As if the Muslims believed in a God who is different from the God of the Christians. For the Muslims, Allah is none other than the God of Moses and Jesus. It would seem pointless to maintain that Allah is not really God, as do certain people in the West believe. Allah is the personal name of the one true God, nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word God which can be made plural gods, or feminine goddess.
It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, and a sister language of Arabic. And Eloha in the Old Testament, which is so close to Allah. The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God, is a reflection of Islam's emphasis on the purity of the belief in God, which is the essence of the message of all God's Messengers. Because of this, the Quran considers associating any deity or personality with God as a deadly sin, which God will never forgive, despite the fact that He may forgive all other sins as He said, in the Holy Quran. There is no better way of illustrating the Islamic faith in God, than by quoting the following extracts from Lumen Genturiam. Lumen Genturiam is the title of a document produced by the Second Vatican Council. It states:
“The Muslims profess the faith of Abraham, and worship with us the sole Merciful God who is the future Judge of men on the Day of Reckoning.”
The Vatican’s document points out the following:
“Allah is the only word that Christian Arabs have for God.”
This defense of Islam by the Vatican will surprise many believers today, be they Muslims, Jews, or Christians. It is a demonstration of sincerity, and open-mindedness that is singularly in contrast with the attitudes inherited from the past. The dialogue between the Christians and Islamic worlds that has taken place in recent history, represents a turning point in relations between the monotheistic religions. Christian and Muslim groups have taken steps to get to know and understand each other better. Centuries of ignorance and widespread but false ideas concerning Islam, have indeed prevailed in the West, thus poisoning the atmosphere. The time has come for a change. The newly opened dialogue has made this possible by airing many problems. Those raised by the Holy Scriptures—figure prominently, for all the others are directly affected by them. It is therefore of vital importance to know and understand the idea both Christians and Muslims have of the scriptures since they are the foundations of their respective beliefs.
There is hope today, however, because religions are no longer as inward looking as they were, and many of them are seeking for mutual understanding. Let us understand them rightly in reverence and truth, unswayed by those who reject faith, and seeking ever the rewards of the pleasure of God through firmness, patience, discipline, and the charity, and offering others the light, which we have ourselves received. It is for the Muslims now to assert their faith, and for Christians and Jews to be made aware of the meaning of Islam.
For the Quran tells us of a plurality of the heavens and earths. It contains surprising statements on astronomy, none of which is mentioned in the biblical description. Apart from the verses that specifically describe the creation, there are roughly another 40 verses in the Quran, which provide information on astronomy, complimenting what has already been given. Some verses to be quoted here are simply to draw attention to God's omni-potence. It must be mentioned, however, to give a realistic idea, of the way the Quran describes the organization of the universe fourteen centuries ago. We read in verse 12 Surah 65 the following:
“God is the one who created seven heavens, and of earth a similar number. The Command descends among them so that you know that God has power over all things, and comprehends all things in His knowledge.”
And Surah 71:15, 16 in the Holy Quran read:
“Did you see how God created seven heavens, one above another, and made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp?”
Since seven indicates an indefinite plurality, the Quran clearly indicates the existence of more than one single earth. There are others like it in the universe. The mention of seven heavens is indicated in several other Surahs in the Holy Quran. Space Scientists tell us today, that they discovered other planets in our solar system in which as they say, the possibility of life may exist. This affirms what was written in the Holy Quran as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad fourteen hundred years ago. For the Quran is full of reflections on the heavens. But the Quran also says:
“God Knoweth what appeareth to His creatures as before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass out of His knowledge, except as He wills.”
These references constitute a new fact of divine revelation. The organization of the world is treated in neither the Gospels, nor the Old Testament, except for a few notions, with general inaccuracy, in the biblical description of the creation. These Quranic references are not much more than reflections on the glory of the Creator—the organizer of all the stellar and planetary systems. These we know to be arranged according to balancing positions or stability Newton explained in his law of the mutual attraction of bodies. Other groups of the Quranic verses may be singled out, which deal with more specific subjects, as the water cycle and the seas, the earth's relief, the earth's atmosphere, and the great geographical detail. It is difficult not to be impressed, when comparing the text of the Quran to the data of modern science by statements that simply cannot be ascribed to the thought of a man who lived more than 14 centuries ago. The question comes up here again. How can an unlettered man as Muhammad (peace be upon him), deal in depth in such scientific subjects and celestial bodies? With such an authority and accurate description in a primitive age like that of the sixth century, back in those dark ages of the history of man? How can an unlettered man come down blazing with such scientific knowledge and wisdom?
In his ascension to heaven as stated in the Night Journey Surah 17, Surah al-Isra of the Holy Quran, The Holy Prophet was first transported to the seat of the earlier elevation in Jerusalem. Then taken through the Seven Heavens even to the Sublime Throne, and initiated into the spiritual mysteries of the human soul struggling in space and time. The details of this Night Journey are also described in the Al-Hadith literature. Al-Hadith is a report of the sayings and deeds of the Holy Prophet. It is the privilege of the man of God, to see the sublime mysteries of the spiritual world, and instruct men in righteousness. We read this in Surah al-Isra the Night Journey which is in Surah 17:1 of the Holy Quran:
“In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Glory to God who did take His servant for a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque. Whose precincts We did bless in order that we might show him some of our signs, for He is the One who heareth and seeth all things.”
In describing his journey to the seven Heavens, Prophet Muhammad said, in the first Heaven he saw Adam, and he addressed him: ‘Father’. In the second Heaven, he saw Jesus. In the third Heaven, he saw Haroon/Aaron. In the fourth Heaven, he saw Edris, his Biblical name is Enoch. In the fifth Heaven, he saw Joseph. In the sixth Heaven, he saw Moses, in the seventh Heaven, he saw Ibrahim, Abraham, and he addressed him Father. The Holy Prophet summoned them all for prayer before returning to earth. This was the Night Journey of the Holy Prophet. It seems that number seven and number nineteen are significant in the Quran. We have already seen that there are seven heavens and seven earths. The number of the gates of hell according to the Quran is also seven. God Says in Surah 15:44 of the Holy Quran in describing Hell:
“To it are seven gates, for each of those gates is a special class of sinners assigned. Obviously the ways of sin are numerous, and if they are classified into seven, each of them points to a gate that leads to hell.”
I would like at this time to recite to you from the Holy Quran, Surah 74, Surah al-Mudathther, which means The One Wrapped Up. Its subject matter is prayer, praying, and the need for patience in a period of great spiritual stress. The unjust who cause sorrow and suffering now will themselves experience agony in the hereafter. In these mystic verses, there is a thread of thought, and a spiritual lesson to be taught:
“In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Finally when the trumpet is sounded, that will be that day, a day of distress. Far from easy for those without faith. Leave me alone to deal with the creature whom I created bare and alone. To whom I granted resources in abundance, and sons to be by his side. To whom I made life smooth and comfortable, yet is he greedy that I should add yet more? By no means, for to our signs he has been refractory. Soon will I visit him with a mount of calamities, for he thought and he plotted, and woe to him how he plotted. Yes woe to him how he plotted. Soon will I cast him into hell fire, and what will explain to thee what hell fire is. Nor does it permit to endure, and nor does it leave alone Darkening and changing the color of man. Over it are 19. And we have set none but Angels as guardians of the Fire. And we have fixed their number only as a trial for Unbelievers in order that the People of the Book may arrive at certainty. And the believers may increase in faith, and that no doubts may be left for the People of the Book, and the believers. And that those in whose hearts is a disease, and the Unbelievers may say: ‘What symbol doth God intend by this?’ Thus, does God lead to stray whom He pleases, and guides whom he pleases, and none can know the forces of thy Lord except He. And this is no other than a Warning to mankind. Nay verily by the moon, and by the night as it retreateth, and by the dawn as it shineth forth, this is but one of the Mighty Portents, a Warning to mankind. To any of you that chooses to press forward or to follow behind. Every soul will be held in pledge for its deeds. Except the Companions of the Right Hand. They will be in Gardens of the Light. They will question each other. And ask of the sinners, "What lead you into Hell Fire?" They will say, "We were not of those who prayed, nor were we of those who fed the indigent. But we used to talk vanities with vain talkers, and we used to deny the Day of Judgment, until there came to us The Hour that is certain." Then will no intercession of any intercessors profit them. Then what is the matter with them that they turn away from admonition as if they were frightened asses fleeing from the Lions. Forsooth, each one of them wants to be given scrolls of revelation spread out! By no means. They fear not the hereafter. Nay this surely is an admonition. Let any who will keep it in remembrance! But none will keep it in remembrance except as God wills. He is the Lord of Righteousness, and the Lord of Forgiveness.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. As we have seen, the figure 19 refers to Angels appointed to guard Hell. The sinners course is now shown in contrast to the seekers. The sinner maybe self-complacent now, but what will be his position be when the reckoning comes? Not easy, indeed a day of disaster. The question of justice and punishment to men is for God alone. For man at his best, can see only one side of truth, and only God is All-knowing. He alone can judge the limits of justice and mercy.
Man's advantages, wealth, power, position, talents, are not due to his own merits. They are Gifts from God who created him. And himself he came bare and alone. The great ones of the earth they have wealth, a large following, sons by their side to defend them and do their bidding, and manpower to help them in their battles. Life maybe smooth and comfortable to them, but their responsibility is to God. A sinner takes God's Gifts as if they were his right. The more he gets, the more greedt he is. Yet to God’s Signs and revelations, he is willfully deaf or openly rebellious, but he is only preparing the way for his own undoing.
The sinners perversity can only end in the fire of punishment; it enters his very being. He is in a state, in which he neither lives nor dies. Looking at it in another way, the things that are in a good man are meant to last and grow, are for the sinners destroyed, and no part of his nature is left untouched. The brightness of his very manhood is darkened and extinguished by sin.
There was a great volume of Angelology in the religious literature of the People of the Book namely, the Jews and Christians, to whom among others an appeal was made in this Quranic recitation. The essence, a Jewish brotherhood with highly spiritual ideas to which Jesus himself belonged, had an extensive literature of Angelology. The eastern Christian sects, contemporary with the birth of Islam, had borrowed and developed many of these ideas. In the New Testament, the relation of the Angels with fire is referred to more than once. We have the Angel of the Bottomless Pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abadon, but in the Greek tongue has his name Aponion. There is an Angel, which has power over fire. An angel has power given unto him to scourge men with fire. In the Old Testament, the essence of all Angels is fire.
In this Quranic recitation, we noticed there are four classes of people mentioned. First, the Muslims will have their faith increased because they believe that all revelation is from God, Most Merciful, and all His forces will work in their favor. Second, the People of the Book, those who had received previous revelations of a similar character, the Jews and Christians had numerous sects disputing with each other on minute points of doctrine. But they will now, if they will believe, find rest from controversies in a broad understanding of scripture. Third, those in whose hearts is a disease, the insincere ones, the hypocrites, will only be mystified because they believed nothing, and have rejected the Grace and Mercy of God. And fourth, the Unbelievers have frankly done the same, and must suffer similar consequences.
It is a necessary consequence of moral responsibility, and freedom of choice in man that he should be left free to stray if he chooses to do so, in spite of all the warning and the instructions he receives. God's channels of warning and instructions, His Spiritual Forces are infinite as are His Powers. No man can know them. But this warning, or reminder, is addressed to all mankind. All things are referred to God, but we must not attribute evil to Him. We are expressly told that the good comes from God, and the evil from ourselves. As God said in the Holy Quran:
“Whatever good O’ man happens to thee is from God, but whatever evil happens to thee is from thy own soul.”
In some of the Quranic verses recited earlier, we are asked to contemplate three wonderful phenomena. First the moon, which next after the sun is the most striking luminary to our sight. Its reflected light has for us even a greater mystery than the direct light of the sun, which looks to us like pure fire. The moon was worshipped as a deity in times of darkness, but in reality though, the moon rules the night and these are only reflections, and are one thing in warmth and vitality. So every soul which looks up to a near creature of God for a sort of vicarious salvation, is in spiritual darkness of error. The true source of spiritual light and life is God, and God alone. Second, the night, when it is illuminated by the moon, is light in a sense, but it is really dark and must give place to the dawn. Third, the dawn, when it comes it is the harbinger to the sun. So in spiritual matters when every soul realizes its own responsibility, it will look less and less to reflected lights. And through the beauty of a dawn-like awakening will be prepared more and more, for the splendor of the Light of God Himself, the goal of the heaven of our dreams.
Man cannot shift his responsibility to vicarious saviors and saints. His redemption depends upon the Grace of God, for which he should constantly and whole-heartedly strive by means of right conduct. If he does so, he will be redeemed, and he will join the Companion of the Right Hand. The Companions of the Right Hand will be the righteous, or the blessed in the hereafter. The grounds of merit will be prayers, charity, earnestness, and faith in God's just judgment. All are within the reach of the humblest seeker. They are not separate acts of virtue, but are all interconnected. At Judgment the pledge of their soul will be redeemed by God's Grace, at the taking of the account. The hour that is certain is usually taken to be death. In the Day of Judgment, it is inevitable, it is strange that men should not heed a plain warning, but go on as if they were thoughtless and obstinate asses stampeding from a Lion.
Instead of heeding the warning, they tried to avoid it. They are frightened at God's Word. Until thou send down to us a book that we could not read. The unbelievers pretend in ridicule that they would believe if a special message written on open scrolls, addressed to them severally, was brought to them by a miracle. There is a disease in their hearts. The teachers’ warning is plain and enough for any reasonable man who has the will to seek God. The Quran itself is the admonition, the latest among the Revealed Books of God. If man has the will to learn, he will keep the Message always before him, and God's Grace will help him to carry out in his conduct. Righteousness as well as forgiveness have their source in God's Will. He alone is worthy to be feared, and He alone is entitled to grant forgiveness.
Some men do not believe in the Day of Resurrection; questioning: When is the Day of Resurrection? The question of whether there is life after death does not fall under the jurisdiction of science. Science is concerned only with classification and analysis of sensed data. Man has been busy with scientific inquiries and research only for the last few centuries. While he has been familiar with the concept of life and death since time in memorial. All the Prophets of God, called their people to worship God, and to believe in life after death. The very fact that all the Prophets of God have dealt with this meta-physical question of life after death so confidently, and so uniformly, the gap between their ages being thousands of years, yes indeed, the gaps between their ages of thousands of years, goes to prove that the source of their knowledge of life after death, as proclaimed by them all was the same, and that is Divine Revelation.
Purpose of Creating Man
God created man for a noble purpose, to worship Him and lead a virtuous life based on His teachings of guidance. The Quran states, that this worldly life is a preparation for the eternal life after death. The Quran states very emphatically, that the Day of Judgment must come, and God will decide about the fate of every soul, according to its record of deeds. The Day of Resurrection will be the day when God's Attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full manifestation. I am reminded of certain verses of Surah, The Resurrection, which is Surah 75, and some verses of Surah, The Cave, which is Surah 18, and some verses of Surah, The Pilgrimage, which is Surah 22, all dealing with the Day of Resurrection in the Holy Quran. Here God Almighty says:
“I do call to witness the Resurrection Day, and I do call to witness the self-reproaching spirit. Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones; nay we are able to put together in perfect order, the very tips of his finger. But man wishes to do wrong, even in the time in front of him. He questions, when is the Day of Resurrection? At length, when the sight is dazed, and the moon is buried in darkness, and the sun and moon are joined together, that day will man say: "where is the refuge?" By no means, no place of safety. Before thy Lord alone, that day will be the place of rest. That day will man be told all that he put forward, and all that he put back. Nay, man will be evidence against himself, even though he were to put his excuses.”
O mankind, fear your Lord, for the convulsion of the Hour of Judgment will be a thing terrible. The day ye shall see it, every mother giving suck shall forget her suckling babe, and every pregnant female shall drop her load unformed. Thou shall see mankind in a drunken riot, yet not drunk. Dreadful will be the Wrath of God. O’ mankind, if ye have a doubt about The Resurrection, consider that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leach-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh partly formed, and partly unformed in order that We may manifest Our Power to you. And We call whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then foster you that ye may reach your age of full strength. And some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age so that they know nothing after having known much. This is so, because God is the Reality. It is He who gives life to the dead, and it is He who has power over all things. And verily, the hour will come, there can be no doubt about it, or about the fact that God will raise up all who are in the graves. Yet, there is among men such a one as disputes about God without knowledge, without guidance, and without a book of enlightenment. Disdainfully bending his side in order to lead men astray from the Path of God. For him there is disgrace in this life, and on the Day of Judgment We shall make him taste the penalty of burning fire. It will be said, this is because of the deeds, which thy hands sent forth. For verily God is not unjust to His servants.”
“That day we shall remove the mountains, and thou will see the earth as a leveled stretch, and We shall gather them altogether, nor shall We leave out any one of them. And they will be marshaled before thy Lord in ranks with the announcement, 'Now Have Ye Come To Us Bare As We Created You.' Ye thought We shall not fulfill the appointment made for you to meet Us, And the Book of Deeds will be placed before you, and thou will see the sinful in great terror because of what is recorded therein. They will say: "woe to us what a book is this?" It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof. They will find all that they did, placed before them, and not one will thy Lord treat with injustice. We have explained in detail in this Quran for the benefit of mankind every kind of similitude. But man is in most things contentious.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. It is obvious that man was not created without purpose or without responsibility. The Day of Account will come, and his own conscience bears witness that he must walk straight, or he must face that day's realities. And with patience, await the fulfillment of God's promise. The faces of the blessed will beam with brightness and beauty, for the others, death will be a terror for duties neglected and sins committed. Woe unto man, that he thinks not now of God's purpose and, the noble destiny for which God gave him life and it's gifts. The unbelievers usual cry is, "what?" When we are reduced to bones and dust, how can our personality be called to account? The answer is: "God has said so!" Does man think that we cannot assemble his bones, nay we are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers. And God will do it. For death here is not the end of all things. This illustrates God's Power over life and death.
Contrasted with man's vain boasts or imaginings, time is immaterial to God's workings. The laws of life and death are under God's complete control. However, man may be misled by appearances. It is bad enough not to repent of past sins. However, the evildoer who rejects a Day of Reckoning, and has no conscience, wants to go on in his career of sin, and jeopardize his future. At the Hour of Judgment, the full light and glory of the Lord will shine, and the effulgence will daze man's eyes. For the world as we knew it, will go to pieces, and a New World will come into being. Not only will man's sight be dazed, but the great luminaries themselves will lose their light. The moon with its present reflected light will then cease to shine. All reflected or relative truth or goodness, will sink into nothingness before the true and eternal reality. To the moon, the sun is the original light. But the sun itself is a created light, and it will sink into nothingness along with the moon. Both will be like empty shells, whose lights have fled, whose glories—dead, because the prototype of all light now shines in full splendor in a New World. That day when man be told all that he put forward, and all that he put back. All good and bad deeds, positive and negative. All sins of commission and omission. All the goods that a man did, and all the evil that he omitted. All the influence that he radiated before him, and all that he left behind him. God said:
“Nay man will be evidence against himself, even though he were to put up his excuses. On the day when their tongues, their heads, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. It is not what a man says about himself, or what others say of him that determines judgment about him. It is what he is in himself: his own personality betrays him, or commends him. God reminds us in the Holy Quran, once again:
“Then guard yourself against a day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from her, nor shall intercession profit her, nor shall anyone be helped from outside.”
Personal responsibility is, again and again insisted on, as the keynote of Islam. In this are implied faith, and right conduct. Faith is not an external thing, it begins with an act of will, but is true and sincere. It affects the whole being, and leads to right conduct. In this it is distinguished from the kind of faith which promises salvation, because someone else in whom you are asked to believe, has borne away the sins of the world. God Almighty said in the Holy Quran, Surah 4:123:
“Whoever works evil will be requited accordingly, nor will he find besides God any protector or helper.”
Redemption of Sin Via Crucifixion of Jesus
It is appropriate at this point, to move to the discussion of the question of redemption of sin through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We will start with the question of crucifixion, and ask, "Was Jesus crucified?" As we heard earlier, the Holy Quran states in Surah 4:157, that Jesus was not crucified. The Quran says:
“And they, meaning the Jews boasting, ‘we killed Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary ,the Apostle of God!’ But they killed Him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, for of assurety they killed him not, nay, God raised him up unto him, and God is exalted in Power, Wise.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. We all agree that nobody saw the moment Jesus was resurrected. They found the sepulcher where Jesus was laid down empty, and made the conclusion that he was resurrected, because the disciples and other witnesses saw him alive after the alleged crucifixion. Could it not be possible, as the Quran said, that he did not die on the cross?
Where is the proof then? Let us examine passages in the Bible supporting this evidence. Do we give more weight to what Jesus said, or to hearsay of the disciples, apostles, and other witnesses. Of course, more to Jesus himself, that is in accordance with what Jesus said. Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above the master nor the servant above the lord. But Jesus himself said, that he will rise from the dead, Luke 24:46 And said unto them, that it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. Suffering is often exaggerated in the Bible, and termed death as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ, I die daily, namely I suffer daily.
Here are some of the proofs. On the cross Jesus besieged God for help, Matthew 27:46 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And in Luke 22:42 Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. This cup, is the cup of death. Jesus' prayer not to die on the cross was accepted by God according to Luke, Hebrews, and James. Then how could he still die on the cross? Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
It means that an angel assured Jesus that God would not leave him helpless. Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he (Jesus) had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Jesus' prayers where he heard, which means answered in a positive way by God. James 5:16 ...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Jesus himself said, Matthew 7:7-10 Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish will he him give a serpent?
If all Jesus' prayers were accepted by God, including not to die on the cross, how could he still die on the cross? When the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign of his true mission, he answered in Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Disregard now the time factor which was also not three days and three nights, but one day—Saturday, daytime only, and two nights—Friday night and Saturday night. Was Jonah alive in the belly of the whale? Yes he was. Was Jonah still alive when he was vomited out of the belly of the whale? Yes he was. Then Jesus was still alive as he prophesied. If Jesus died on the cross then he was a false prophet, and accursed of God. To believe in his death on the cross, is to discredit his Prophethood. The Jews maintained to have killed Jesus on the cross, and consequently portrayed him to be false in his claim to Prophethood.
The Christians believe in the crucifixion because it is necessary for their redemption of sin, and consequently have to accept the accursedness of Jesus too. This Christian belief opposes the Bible teaching in Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. It also opposes Jesus' own teaching, Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice... Again Jesus said, in Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. Here we have to ask the question, why do people believe in the resurrection. It was Paul who taught the resurrection. Acts 17:18 ...And some (Jews) said, What will this babbler say? He (Paul) seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection.
Paul, who never saw Jesus alive, also admitted that the resurrection was his gospel. Second Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: He was also the first who declared Jesus as son of God, Acts 9:20: And straightway he (Paul) preached Christ in the synagogues, that he (Jesus) is the son of God. So, Christianity is not a teaching of Jesus, but of Paul. If we still believe that Jesus is divine because he was raised up to heaven, why don't we accept other prophets as divine who were also raised up to heaven? Elijah, 2 Kings 2:11, 12: ...and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elijah saw it, and he cried, ....And he saw him no more;... Also Enoch was taken by God to heaven. Genesis 5:24: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. This was also repeated in Hebrews 11:5: By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God.. Translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Translated means to convey or lift to heaven without death.
So redemption of sin through the crucifixion is not the teaching of Jesus. This is the doctrine accepted by the Church three to four centuries after Jesus left the earth. It contradicts the Bible itself as the following passages show. Deuteronomy 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. Jeremiah 31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity:... Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. So Adam and Eve were responsible for their own sin, which had also been forgiven by God, according to the Islamic version. These are in the Old Testament, let us see what Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:1, 2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And in 1 Corinthians 3:8 we read: Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.
A final question must be asked here. Why do we have to believe in the resurrection? If Paul himself, who never saw Jesus alive, admitted that this was his gospel. Where is this written? Read Second Timothy 2:8: Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: So why have we to believe that Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead? God Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
“But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appears to them for of a surety they killed him not, nay God raised him up unto him, and God is exalted in Power, Wise.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. The Christians believe in the crucifixion necessary for their redemption of sin. So redemption of sin through the crucifixion is not Jesus' teaching. This is the doctrine accepted by the Church three- to four centuries after Jesus left the earth. It contradicts the Bible itself, as we have seen. God said, in the Holy Quran verse 123 of Surah 2:
“Then guard yourself against a day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from her, nor shall intercession profit her, nor shall anyone be helped from outside.”
Forgiveness According to Islamic Belief
Further, in verse 112 of the same Surah we read:
“Nay, whoever submits his whole self to God, and is a doer of good, he will get his reward with his Lord. On such shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. For God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Accordingly, the doctrine of personal responsibility is a cardinal feature of Islam. That is, on the Day of Judgment, each soul will have to answer for its own deeds. It cannot claim merit from others, because there were righteous men in the past, it cannot help us, unless we ourselves are righteous. But if one turns to God Almighty in forgiveness and to God alone, God is Oft Returning, Most Merciful. For repentance according to the Quran, three things are necessary:
1. The sinner must acknowledge his wrong;
2. He must give it up; and
3. He must resolve to eschew it for the future.
Man's nature is weak, and he may have to return repeatedly for mercy. So long as he does it sincerely, God is Oft-returning Most Merciful. For His Grace helps the sinners’ shortcoming. However, we also read further in verse 39 of Surah 2 in the Holy Quran:.
“But those who reject faith, and belie our signs they shall be companions of the fire, they shall abide therein.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. If the rejection of faith was deliberate and definite so the consequences must be of an abiding character. It is clear therefore, that forgiveness has its source in God's will. He alone is worthy to be feared, and He alone is entitled to grant forgiveness.
Islamic Viewpoint of Jesus
The Islamic account of Jesus' life and mission is quite reasonable, and puts Jesus in his right place among the great Messengers of God to humanity. Those who come to Islam with an open mind, and free from bias will submit to the logic and believability of the Islamic account of Jesus. The Islamic position is especially appreciated by those who have struggled with the various Christian dogmas that are centered on the personality of Jesus Christ.
In view of all this, the controversy about the personality of Jesus Christ is the major difference between Islam and Christianity. The difference keeps the followers of the two religions apart. The Muslims look at Jesus as a great Prophet of God, and love and respect him, as much as they love and respect Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad. The Christians on the other hand, consider Jesus as God, or Son of God, a concept that both the Muslims and the Jews cannot accept. Islam teaches that Jesus never made such a claim for himself. As a matter of fact, all the cardinal doctrines of Christianity that are rejected by Islam, center around the personality of Jesus. Specifically these are: the Trinity; the Divinity of Jesus; the Divine Sonship of Christ; Original Sins and Atonement. Atonement means the reconciliation of God and man through the death of Jesus Christ.
It is clear that all these dogmas are the result of over exalting Jesus Christ above what God wants him to be. These differences focusing on the personality of Jesus have over-shadowed the many similarities between Christianity and Islam. All these are doctrines made by men. Jesus had prophesied in Matthew 15:9 that people will worship him uselessly, and believing in doctrines made by men. He said, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt. 15:9) All doctrines of modern Christianity are made by men: The Trinity, Divine Sonship of Christ, Divinity of Jesus; Original Sins and Atonement. From Jesus' own sayings recorded in the New Testament, it is clear that he never claimed divinity or identity to God. “...I do nothing of myself;...” (John 8:28) “...my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28) ...The Lord our God is one Lord:” (Mark 12:29) and others. Jesus was called prophet, teacher from God, His Servant, Messiah, and later was escalated to son of God, and then God Himself.
Let us now use our reason. How can God Almighty be born by a mortal as any other mortal. Jesus slept. Why God never sleeps? Psalms 1:214
“Behold he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
God is Powerful, as indeed He is. But how could people spit on him? Crucify him as alleged? How could Jesus be God if he worshipped God as any other mortal? Luke 5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days as stated in Luke 4:1-13. But in James 113 it is said: for God cannot be tempted with evil. How can Jesus be God then? I am reminded here of the verse of The Throne, verse 255 of Surah 2, of the Holy Quran:
“God, there is no God but He. The living, the self-subsisting eternal. No slumber can seize Him—nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there that can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth. He knoweth what appeareth to His creatures as before, or after, or behind them. Nor shall they compass out of His knowledge, except as He willeth. His Throne does extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. For He is the Most High, the Supreme in Glory.
This is the Verse of the Throne in the Holy Quran. Who can translate its glorious meaning, and reproduce the rhythm of its well-chosen and comprehensive words? Even in the original Arabic, the meaning seems to be greater than can be expressed in words. The attributes of God Almighty are different from anything we know in our present world. He lives, but His life is self-subsisting and eternal. He does not depend upon other beings, and is not limited to time and space. His life being the source and constant support of all derived forms of life. God has no need for rest or sleep. His activity like His life is perfect, and self-subsisting. Contrast this with, the expression used in the Bible Psalms 28:65:
“Then the Lord awakened as one out of sleep.”
And, contrast with this what we read earlier about Jesus. I am reminded of the days of Moses, the great Prophet of God, who shows the mountain fall down crashing as the Lord manifested His glory. God is Powerful as indeed He is. But how can He, as they say, be ridiculed, lashed, spat on, and humiliated? How can the Almighty stand in humility as a defendant and criminal before Pontius Pilate, that Roman Governor of Jerusalem and be condemned to death. God does not need us, nor needs He any to protect Him from harm or humiliation. He is to be magnified for His Greatness and Glory. God Says in verses 15-17 of Surah 35 in the Holy Quran:
“O ye men, it is ye that have need of God. But God is the one free of all wants, worthy of all praise. If He so please, He could blot you out and bring a new creation, nor is that at all difficult for God.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. What is man that God should care for him, instruct him, and send him special messengers to warn him of danger and harm? It is man that depends on God, and has need of Him every moment of His life. God has no need of him, but God bestows His Grace on him, as on all his creatures out of His unbounded mercy and loving kindness. If it were God's will, He could blot out man for his rebellion altogether, and create an entirely new world. God's Might and Majesty, and God's Goodness and Wisdom having been shown by a few examples, it follows that it is folly to seek, worship, or even consider any other power but God. It only throws off man into false passage, and takes him farther away from the truth, reason, and reality. Who can argue with God Almighty? Who can argue with the fountain of Grace? And who can prevent His course of justice?
God is full of strength, exalted in might, free of want, and is able to enforce His Will. Let us clear our minds from superstition. Let us rid ourselves of this kind of blasphemy against the Almighty, and ask for His Forgiveness. We must realize that God is the one and peerless, He has no equal, He is the One and only, the Eternal, Absolute, and there is none like unto Him. His Greatness and Glory are above anything we can conceive. By using our highest spiritual ideas, we must declare forth His Greatness and Glory. All nature sings to His Glory, and His Beautiful Names. Praise be to God Almighty who begets no son, nor is He begotten, and has no partner in His dominion, nor needs He any to protect Him from harm and humiliation. We are the one who need Him, for to Him is our final goal, and then will our life be appraised at its true value.
We can rationalize further and further, and go on and on, and read and read in all the Holy Scriptures, and will revert to square one, to the same conclusion and only reality. That there is no deity but God Almighty, the Most High, the One and Only God. For Jesus never claimed to be God or Son of God, as he said in Matthew 15:9: But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men. Jesus did feed his disciples by miracles, but he claimed not divinity; he was a true Servant of God.
Personal responsibility is the keynote of Islam. In this are implied faith, and right conduct. In this it is distinguished from the kind of faith which promises salvation, because someone else has borne away the sins of the world. When you ask a Christian controversialist, do you keep the laws and the commandments? He would say, "no." And when you ask why don't you? He would say: "the Lord is nailed to the cross," which means the law is done away with, we are now living under Grace. God's attributes of Mercy has full manifestation in His Attribute of justice. Do you suppose that people who suffered throughout their life for the sake of God, to get the same treatment as those who exploit other people and go on sinning all their life? That will amount to negating, the very belief in the accountability of man in the hereafter, and thereby negating all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. Let us stop dreaming and wake up to reality. God says in the Holy Quran, Surah 68:34-36
“Shall we then treat the people of faith like the people of sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you?”
These are the words of God, and surely He Says the Truth. The redemption of sin through the crucifixion is not the teaching of Jesus. This is the doctrine accepted by the church, three- to four centuries after Jesus left the earth. It contradicts the Bible itself which says: Everyone shall die for his own inequity. The soul that sinneth it shall die. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him. And the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. The Holy Quran affirms this in God's own words:
“Whoever works evil will be requited accordingly, nor will he find besides God any protector or helper.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. Each soul must bear its own responsibility. It must strive its utmost, and attain it's end. The final goal of all is God. In His Hands are laughter and tears. Life and death. The mystery of birth and creation and the hereafter. God says in verses 35-62 of Surah 53, The Star in the Holy Quran:
“Has man the knowledge of the unseen so that he can see? Is he not acquainted with what is in the books of Moses and of Abraham who fulfilled his engagements, namely that no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. That man can have nothing but what he strives for. That the fruit of his striving will soon come in sight. Then will he be rewarded with a reward complete. That to thy Lord, is the final goal, that it is He who granteth laughter and tears, that it is He who granteth death and life. That He did create in pairs, male and female, from a seed when lodged in its place. That He has promised a second creation, raising of the dead. That it is He who giveth wealth and satisfaction. That He is the Lord of Cirrus the mighty star, and that it is He who destroyed the powerful ancient Aad people, and the Thamood, nor gave them a lease of perpetual life, and before them the people of Noah. For that they were all most unjust, and most insolent transgressors. And He destroyed the overflowing cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, so that ruins alone have covered them up. Then which of the gifts of thy Lord or man wilt thou dispute about? This is a Warner of the series of Warner’s of all. The judgment ever approaching grows nigh. No soul but God can lay it bare. Do ye then wonder at this recital, and when ye laugh and not weep, wasting your time in vanities, fall ye down in prostration to God and adore Him.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. The higher issues of life and the hereafter are serious. And therefore, all that we do in this life is serious and important. And so, we are invited to prostrate ourselves, and adore Him. For this is the true end of revelation, and the true attitude when we understand the world, nature, history, and the working of God's Plan.
God's Attributes of Mercy and Forgiveness are unlimited, such being His Attributes of Goodness and Power. How foolish it is to worship anybody or anything else but Him. Who can approach His Glory and Goodness. Glory to God, high is He above the partners and sons they attribute to Him. He is God the Creator. Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, but comes to the All Merciful as a servant. Let us not be devoid of wisdom. Let us face reality before it is too late, before the day comes when no bargaining will avail, nor friendship, nor intercession. The day of account will surely come before the Almighty who says warningly. “That day will man be told all that he put forward, and all that he put back, nay, man will be evidence against himself, even though he were to put his excuses.”
People don't realize that man is on probation in this world. We are all perceived by God. Some philosophers don't know what the purpose of this life is. It is obvious that man was not created without purpose, or without responsibility. The day of account will come, and his own conscience bears witness that he must walk straight, for he must face that day's realities. The faces of the blessed will beam with brightness and beauty, for the others death will be a terror. Woe unto man that he thinks not now of God's purpose. Even Abraham the true, had need to be told, before he could realize the purpose of God. Clear signs were sent for warning as of old to Pharaoh, the Aad, the Thamood, and the people of Noah. And the warning inevitably came to pass. God's signs are clear for your instruction, heed them and learn by them. Those who believe find profit in their lives. Those who reject or deny, alas they learn not from the past, the loss is their own. The Holy Quran says:
“Verily judgment and justice must indeed come to pass.”
If anyone rejects God's Message or Law, the loss is his own. It is not God who needs him, or his worship, or his sacrifice, or his promise. God is independent of all wants, and His attributes are inherently deserving of all praise. He Commands all Power, therefore any power we seek must be from Him, and His Power is steadfast, the same today as yesterday and forever. Therefore, His Help is always sure.
Prophet Muhammad's mission was and is two-fold. First, to show us the urgent need for repentance. And second, to wean us from the precipice of false worship. The one convinces us of sin, and opens the door to the Mercy of God. The other views us of the madness of paying court to worthless worship. For in the worship of God, the One true God, is included the best service to ourselves, and our fellow creatures. If fully understood, this sums up the whole duty of man, for it leads us by the right path to the love of God, and the love of man and of all creatures.
Among the highest and greatest of the Gifts of God is His revelation which is the Criterion, the Holy Quran, by which we may judge between right and wrong, between false and true worship, between the message that comes from God, and the forgeries of men, between the real in our eternal future, and the fancies by which we are mislead. All the Prophets of God come as men to live among men and guide them. God says in verse 20 of Surah 25 in the Holy Quran in addressing the Prophet Muhammad:
“And the Messengers whom We sent before thee were all men, who ate food and walked through the streets. We have made some of you as a trial for others; will ye have patience. For God is one Who sees all things.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. Whose words can be truer than God? He holds the keys of life and death, and He will remain when all else passes away. To Him shall we all return at the end of all things. How can we then depart from truth, and forge lies against Him? The only real guidance, is the Guidance of God. If we do not seek His Grace, we will be lost, for besides Him there is no true friend or protector. To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and to Him is the final goal of all. It is He who giveth life and who takes it, and to Him shall ye all be brought back. Truly life of this world, as God says, in the Holy Quran:
“Is but goods and chattels of deception, and verily the hereafter will be better for thee than the present. But those will prosper who purify themselves, and glorify the name of their Guardian Lord, and lift their hearts in prayer. Nay, behold, ye prefer the life of this world, but the hereafter is better and more enduring, and this is in the Books of the earliest revelation, the books of Abraham and Moses.
Indeed this life is short, and the hereafter eternal. This doesn't mean that there is no reward in this life. Indeed there is. For God says in Surah 4:134 in the Holy Quran:
“If anyone desires an award in this life, in God's Gift is the reward. Both in this life and in the hereafter, for God is He that Heareth and Seeth all things.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. Man in this life can only see up to the horizon of this life. The highest rewards which his wishes or ambitions can conceive of, are conceived in the terms of this life. But God can give him not only these, but something infinitely higher, the rewards of the hereafter, which it did not even enter his heart to ask for, or his imagination to conceive. Indeed all this world is but a fleeting show. For the only reality will be when we have attained our final goal. On this God Says in the Holy Quran:
“But verily the reward of the hereafter is the best for those who believe, and are constant in righteousness. God has promised to believers, men and women, gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the good Pleasure of God, that is the supreme felicity.”
And in Surah 16:30-32 God Says in the Holy Quran:
“To those who do good, there is good in this world and the home of the hereafter is even better, and excellent indeed is the home of the righteous. Gardens are of eternity which they will enter. Beneath them flow pleasant rivers. They will have therein all that they wish. Thus doth God reward the righteous. Those whose lives the angels take in a state of purity, saying to them, ‘peace be on you, enter ye the garden because of the good which ye did in the world.’"
And in Surah 18:31 God says to the righteous:
“They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade. They will recline therein on raised thrones; how good the recompense.”
And in Surah 52 of the Holy Quran, God Says to the Righteous:
“As to the Righteous, they will be in gardens and in happiness enjoying the bliss which their Lord hath bestowed on them. And the Lord shall deliver them from the penalty of the fire. To them will be said, ‘eat and drink ye with profit and health, because of your good deeds.’ They will recline with ease on thrones of dignity arranged in ranks. And we shall join them to companions with beautiful big and lustrous eyes, and those who believe, and whose families follow them in faith, to them shall we join their families. Nor shall we deprive them of the fruit out of their works, yet is each individual in pledge for his deeds. And we shall bestow on them of fruit and meat, anything they shall desire. They shall there exchange one with another, a loving cup free of frivolity, free of all taint of ill. Round about them will serve devoted to them, youths handsome as pearls, well guarded. They will advance to other, engaging in mutual inquiry. They will say: ‘aforetime, we were not without fear for the sake of our people. But God has been good to us, and has delivered us from the penalty of the scorching wind. Truly, we did call unto Him, from afar. Truly, it is He the Beneficent, the Merciful.’”
Surely, God Says the Truth.
In this age of gross materialism, the modern man is much absorbed in material pursuits, that he finds no time to respond effectively to the yearning of his soul. But in the midst of this turmoil, he sometimes finds himself in the grip of a terrible void. And his soul sets out itself practically in search of spiritual peace, and it is on this occasion that one finds solace and comforts in prayer.
If we can pray aright, it means that we have some knowledge of God and His Attributes. Of His relations to us, and His creation which includes ourselves. That we glimpse the source from which we come and that final goal which is our spiritual destiny under God's true judgment. Then we offer ourselves to God, and seek His light.
Prayer is the heart of religion and faith. But how shall we pray? What words shall convey the yearning of our miserable, ignorant hearts to the Knower of All? Is it worthy of Him, or of our spiritual nature to ask for vanities, or even for such physical needs as our daily bread? Prayer should sum up our faith, our hope, and our aspiration in things that matter. We think in devotion of God's Name and His Nature, we praise Him for His creation, and His cherishing care. We call to mind the realities seen and unseen. We offer Him worship and ask His guidance, and we know the straight from the crooked path by the light of His Grace.
So, let us pray more often, once on Sunday is not enough. That's why the Muslims pray five times a day starting at 5:00 in the early morning before sunrise, and ending at 10:00 in the evening. Some of these daily five prayers last half an hour or longer. And each time the Muslims stand in prayer before God, they must first perform ablution: ‘wudu’, which is cleaning with water some parts of their bodies as a ceremonial purification of body.
When you ask the Muslims how do you pray? They say: We say Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest), we remind ourselves that no one is worthy of worship and devotion but Him, and bow down deep, because we honor Him above all and praise His Power and Glory. Thereafter, we prostrate ourselves on our forehead, because we feel that we are but dust and nothingness before Him, and that He is our creator, and sustainer. And we pray that He bless the Prophet Muhammad who brought His Message to us, just as He blessed the earlier prophets. And that He Bless us as well, and all those who follow the right guidance. And we ask Him to give us the good of this world, and the good of the world to come. In the end, we turn our heads to the right and to the left saying: "Peace and the Grace of God be upon you," and thus greet all who are righteous wherever they may be. This is the nature, significance, and sum and substance of prayer in Islam. God says in the Holy Quran:
“Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.”
Charity is the third pillar of commandments of Islam. You should sacrifice part of God's wealth, which He has blessed you, in the way of charity to help those who are less fortunate. Jesus said: "It's more blessed to give than to receive." On charity, God says in Surah 57 in the Holy Quran:
“Believe in God and spend in charity out of the substance whereof He has made you heirs. For those of you who believe and spend in charity, for them is a great reward. For those who give in charity men and women, and loan to God a beautiful loan, it shall be increased manifold to their credit, and they shall have besides a liberal reward.”
How can you be charitable? Three questions arise in charity. What shall we give? To whom shall we give? And, how shall we give? Give anything that is good, useful, helpful, valuable. It may be property or money. It may be a helping hand. It may be advice. It may be a kind word. Whatever you do that is good is charity. On the other hand, if you throw away what is useless, there is no charity in it. Or if you give something with a harmful intent, for example, a sword to a mad man, or a drug, or sweets, or even money to someone whom you want to entrap or corrupt, this is not charity, but a gift of damnation. Are you meeting the needs of those who have the first claim on you? If you are not, you are like a person who defrauds the creditors, this is not charity. Every gift is judged by its unselfish character. The degree of need or claim is a factor, which you should consider. To fight in the cause of truth is one of the highest forms of charity. What can you offer that is more precious than your own life?
God will give light according to his wisdom. This adds further meaning to the command, that there be no compulsion in religion. For compulsion may not only be by force, but by economic necessity. In matters of religion we must not even compel by a bribe of charity. God does not need us. He is free of all wants, but we need Him, for to Him is our final goal. We are all here in this world on probation. If we don't understand that, we have gone astray. A soul does not die, but when it separates from the body, at the death of the body, the soul gets a taste of death, and our life of probation in this earth. Our virtue and faith are tested by many things. Some are tested by calamities, and some by the good things of this life. If we prove our true metal, we pass our probation with success. In any case, all must return to God, and then will our life be appraised at its true value.
Our honesty and upright conduct are not mere matters of policy or convenience. All our life in this world must be lived as in the presence of God. The finest example of faith that we have is in the Prophet's life, full of faith. In addressing the Prophet Muhammad, God said in Surah 2:272 in the Holy Quran:
“It is not required of thee O’ Messenger to set them on the Right Path, but God sets on the Right Path whom He Pleases.”
And likewise in Surah 10:100 God says:
“No soul can believe except by the Will of God, and He will place doubt or obscurity on those who will not understand.”
And in Surah 35:23-26 of the Holy Quran. God says in addressing the Prophet Muhammad:
“Thou art no other than a Warner. Verily we have sent thee in truth as a bearer of glad tidings and as Warner. And there never was a people without a Warner having lived among them in the past. And if they reject thee, so did their predecessors to whom came their messengers with clear signs, scriptures, and the Book of Enlightenment. In the end, did I punish those who rejected faith, and how terrible was my rejection of them.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. There is no question about the certainty of the Day of Judgment, and it's adjustment of true values. When we see God's Power manifest with His Goodness and Glory, and the Truth of Revelation. When that day comes, the world as we know it, will be shaken to its foundations, and men shall be sorted out into three sorts. First, those nearest to God in exhalted bliss. Second, the Companions of the Right Hand in bliss. Third the Companions of the Left Hand in misery. That day the world as we know it will be shaken to its depths, and its place will be taken by a world made new where good will be sorted out from evil. In dignity and bliss, will the good find fulfillment. Both those nearest to the Throne of God, and those who earned by faith and good life the title Companions of the Right Hand. Who can tell of the misery in which the Companions of the Left Hand will live? They will be as it were in a fierce blast of fire. Their drink but boiling water. Their shade that of black smoke that chokes their lungs, ever burning; burning with hunger and thirst, and never satisfied. Fit emblems of the life in death to which evil leads. I must recall here the 7th and last Surah of the series devoted to revelation and the Hereafter. Surah 56 of the Holy Quran, The Inevitable, which I found truly appropriate to recite at this time:
“In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. When the Event Inevitable cometh to pass, then will no soul entertain falsehood concerning its coming. Many will it bring low; many will it exalt. When the earth shall be shaken to its depths. And the mountains shall be crumbled to atoms, becoming dust scattered abroad. And ye shall be sorted out into three classes. Then there will be the Companions of the Right Hand: What will be the Companions of the Right Hand? And the Companions of the Left Hand, what will be the Companions of the Left Hand? And those Foremost in faith, will be Foremost in the Hereafter. These will be those nearest to God. In gardens of bliss. A number of people from those of old, and a few from those of later times. They will be on thrones encrusted with gold, and precious stones, reclining on them facing each other. Round about them will serve youths of perpetual freshness. With goblets, shining beakers, and cups filled out of clear-flowing fountains. No after ache will they receive therefrom, nor will they suffer intoxication. And with fruits any that they may select. And the flesh of fowls, any that they may desire. And there will be Companions with beautiful big and lustrous eyes. Like unto pearls well guarded. A reward for the deeds of their past life. No frivolity will they hear therein, nor any taint of ill. Only the saying Peace, Peace. The Companions of the Right Hand: What will be the Companions of the Right Hand. They will be among Lote-trees without thorns. Among Talh-trees with flowers piled one above another. In shade long extended. By water flowing constantly. And fruit in abundance. Whose season is not limited, nor supply forbidden. And on thrones of dignity raised high. We have created their companions of special creation. And made them virgin-pure and undefiled. Beloved by nature equal in age. For the Companions of the Right Hand.
A goodly number from those of old, and a goodly number from those of later times. The Companions of the Left Hand: What will be the Companions of the Left Hand? They will be in the midst of the fierce blast of fire, and in boiling water, and in the shades of black smoke. Nothing will there be to refresh nor to please. For that they were wont to be indulged before that in wealth and luxury. And persisted obstinately in wickedness supreme. And they used to say: "What, when we die and become dust and bones, shall we then indeed be raised up again? We and our Fathers of old?" Say ‘Yea, those of old and those of later times.’ All will certainly be gathered together for the meeting appointed for a Day well known. Then will ye truly, O ye that go wrong, and treat truth as the falsehood. Ye will surely taste of the tree of Zaqqum. Then will ye fill your insides there with. And drink boiling water on top of it. Indeed ye shall drink like diseased camels raging with thirst. Such will be their entertainment on the Day of Requital! It is We who created you. Why will ye not witness the truth? Do ye then see the human seed that ye throw out. Is it ye who created it, or are We the Creator. We have decreed death to be your common lot, and We are not to be frustrated from changing your forms. And creating new again in forms the ye know no not. And ye certainly know already the first form of creation. Why then do ye not celebrate His praises? See ye the seed that ye sow in the ground? Is it ye that causeth to grow, or are We the cause? Were it Our will, We could crumble it to dry powder, and ye would be left in wonderment saying: ‘We are indeed left with debts for nothing. Indeed are we shut out of the fruits of our labor.’ See ye the water which ye drink? Do ye bringeth down in rain from the clouds? Or do We? Were it our will. We could make it salt and unpalatable. Then why do ye not give thanks? See ye the fire which ye kindle. Is it ye who grow the tree which feeds the fire? Or do We grow it? We have made it a memorial of Our Handiwork, and an article of comfort and convenience. Then celebrate with praises the Name of thy Lord—the Supreme.
Furthermore, I call to witness the setting of the Stars, that is indeed a mighty adoration if ye but knew, that this is indeed a Quran most honorable, in a Book well guarded. Which none shall touch but those who are clean. A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. Is it such a message that ye would hold in light esteem? And have ye made it your livelihood that ye should declare it false? Then why do ye not intervene, when the soul of the dying man reaches the throat? And ye the while sit looking on. But We are nearer to Him than ye, and yet see not. Then why do ye not if you are exempt from future account, call back the soul, if ye are true in your claim of independence? Thus, then if he be of those nearest to God. There is for him rest and satisfaction, and a Garden of Delights. And if he be of the Companions of the Right Hand. For him is the salutation, peace be unto thee from the Companions of the Right Hand. And if he be of those who treat truth as falsehood, who go wrong, for him is Entertainment with Boiling Water. And burning in Hell-Fire. Verily this is the very Truth and Certainty. So celebrate with praises the Name of thy Lord—The Supreme.
Surely, God says the truth. Indeed these words are not poetry, this noble language is not the language of man.
The Event Inevitable is the Hour of Judgment. People may doubt now whether it will come, but when it comes, it will come suddenly upon them. It will come with such tremendous reality, that it will be burned deep into the experience of every soul. No one can then be deceived, or entertain false notions about it. There will be a sorting of good and evil, or rather there will be three main classes. Among the good, there will be the specially exalted class, those nearest to God. And, the Righteous people generally called the Companions of the Right Hand. And there will be those in agony, the Companions of the Left Hand. Many who were high and mighty in this life, will be brought low for their sins. Many who are low but Righteous, will be exalted to various ranks and degrees.
The old landmarks will be lost in the inner world as they will be in the outer world. The old physical world will disappear in the new creation. Those who have reached the highest degree in spiritual understanding, such as the great Prophets and Teachers of mankind, will also take precedence in the hereafter. Those who are the first in time, the quickest and readiest to accept God's Message, will have the first place in the Kingdom of Heaven as it is mentioned in this Surah of the Holy Quran. This category, foremost in faith, is nearest to God. Nearness to God is the test of the highest bliss.
There will be Companions with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes. The companionship of beauty and grace is one of the highest pleasures of life. In this bodily life, it takes bodily form. In the higher life, it takes a higher form. The pronoun in Arabic is in the feminine gender, but less grosser ideas of sex should intrude. It is made clear that these companions for heavenly society will be of special creation, of virginal purity, grace and beauty, inspiring, and inspired by love, with the question of time and age eliminated. Thus every person among the Righteous will have the bliss of Heaven, and the Peace of God. This class—the Righteous, will be a large company in Heaven belonging to all the ages of the world. Such is the unbounded Bounty of God. Man should not forget that he is a created being, the seed of his body out of which his physical life starts, is not created by man, but by God in the process of the unfolding of the world.
Why will not man recognize and bear witness of this fact by a life of obedience to God's law? Just as God has created this life that we see, so He has decreed that death should be the common lot of all. Surely, if He can thus give life and death as we see it, why should we refuse to believe, that He can give us other forms when this life is over. The future life though indicated by what we know now, is to be on a wholly different plane.
Your attention is drawn to the momentous issues of the future by the Quran. It is a revelation described by four characteristics. First, it is most honorable, Kareem which implies besides the fact, that it is worthy of receiving honor, that it confers great favors on those who receive it. Second, it is well guarded, (Maknoon), precious in itself and well-preserved in its purity. Third, none but the clean shall touch it. Clean in body, mind, thought, intention and soul. Only such can achieve real contact with its full meaning. Fourth, it is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds and therefore universal for all. Such being the characteristics of the Holy Quran, how can anyone ignore it? Or refuse to allow it to improve his life? If you disbelieve in the revelation and a future judgment, and claim to do what you like, and be independent of God, how is it that you cannot call back a dying man's soul to his body, when all of you congregate around him at his death bed? But you are not independent of judgment, there is a day of account, when you will have to be judged by your deeds in this life before the Almighty. The assurance of the hereafter is one of the strongest features of faith, for without it, the apparent inequities and injustices of this life cannot be satisfactorily explained. Surely, the Power and Goodness of God, of which revelation is a sign, should lead man to accept the message and Glorify Him.
Righteousness does not consist in formalities. Righteousness lies in faith, kindness, prayer, charity, patience under sufferings, earnestness and faith in Gods’ Just Judgment. And as God says, in the Holy Quran, verse 177 of Surah 2:
“But it is Righteousness to believe in God, and in the Last Day, His angels, His Books and His Messengers; to spend of your substance out of love for Him. For your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask. To be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity, to fulfill the contracts which Ye have made to be firm and patience in pain, suffering, adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth—the God-fearing.”
And in verse 183 of the same Surah God says:
“O’ ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint.”
God is emphasizing here again, a warning against deadening formalism. He is giving a description of the Righteous and God-fearing man, who should fix his gaze on the love of God, and the love of his fellow man. Faith is not merely a matter of words, we must realize the Presence and Goodness of God. When we do so, all the falsities and fleeting nature of the present cease to inslave us, for we see the Last Day as if it were today. We also see Gods’ working in His World and in us. His Angels, His Messengers, and His Message are no longer remote from us, but come within our experience.
The Muslims' fast is not meant for self-torture. The instincts for food, drink, and sex are strong in the animal nature, and temporary restraint from all these, enables our attention to be directed to higher things. This is necessary through prayer, contemplation, and acts of charity. This is the spiritual significance of the fast which brings us closer to God. Therefore, the Muslims look upon Ramadan (the month of fasting) not as a burden, but as a blessing. This is God's description of the righteous person. How lovely and how satisfying it is to be among the ranks of those righteous people—the Companions of the Right Hand. To those God says again in Surah 2 and Surah 15 in the Holy Quran as in other Surahs:
“But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is gardens beneath which rivers flow. And they have there in Companions pure and holy and they abide therein forever. The Righteous will be amid gardens and fountains of clear-flowing water. Their greeting will be: enter ye here in peace and security. And we shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury; they will be brothers, joyfully facing each other on Thrones of Dignity. There, no sense of fatigue shall touch them; nor shall they ever be asked to leave. Tell My Servants that I am indeed the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. We must realize both sides of God's Attributes. His Mercy, Grace, and Forgiveness are unbounded. If we reject all this, His Justice and Punishment will also be beyond all that we can conceive. His Penalty will be indeed the most grievous penalty to those who buy the life of this world, at the price of the Hereafter. God said, their penalty shall not be lightened, nor shall they be helped,and God is not unmindful of what they do.
God's command must inevitably come to past. All His Creation proclaims His Glory and leads to His Truth. In all things He furnished man with favors, innumerable to lead and guide him, and bring him to Himself. Why then does man refuse the truth? Why does he run after false Gods? Thus acting against his own light and misleading others, less blessed in knowledge. Man's origin was from dust. Lowly, but his rank was raised above that of other creatures. God breathed into him His Spirit. Jealousy and arrogance caused the fall of Iblis, the power of evil. But no power has evil over those sincere souls who worship God and seek His Way. Many are the gates of evil.
But peace and dignified joy will be the goal of those whom the Grace of God has made His own. God's Truth makes all things clear, and He will guard it. But His signs are not for those who fail to see the majesty, beauty, order, and harmony blazing in His creation. With Him are the sources of all things. He holds the keys of life and death, and He will remain, when all else passes away. For to Him is our final goal.
So let us render willing obedience to God's Will. When our faith and conduct are sincere, we realize how far from perfection we are, and we humbly pay to God for the forgiveness of our sins. We feel that our Merciful God imposes no burden on us that we cannot bear, and with this realization in our hearts, and in the confession of our lips, we go to Him and ask for His help and guidance. Let us surrender completely to God's will. And let us be with those righteous people, The Companions of the Right Hand.
Critical Examination of the Holy Scriptures
Let me carry on this critical examination of the Holy Scriptures with this reading from the Holy Quran. Surah 3:18-20 which in effect sums it all up. God Almighty says:
“There is no God but He. That is the Witness of God. His Angels are those embued with knowledge standing firm on justice. There is no God but He, the Exalted in Power, Wise. The religion before God is Islam, submission to His Will. Nor did the People of the Book defend therefrom, except through envy of each other after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the Signs of God, God is swift in calling to account. So if they dispute with thee, say I have submitted my whole self to God, and so have those who follow me. And say to the People of the Book, and those who are unlearned: ‘O’ ye also submit yourselves?’ If they do, they are in right guidance, but if they turn back, thy duty is to convey the Message and in God's Sight are all His Servants.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. God Himself speaks to us through His Revelations, through Angels, and through His Creation. For all nature glorifies God. No thinking mind, if it only judges the matter fairly, can fail to find the same witness in His own heart and conscience. All this points to the unity of God, His Exalted Nature, and His Wisdom. The People of the Book may be supposed to know something about the previous religious, history of mankind. To them the appeal should be easy and intelligible as all Religion is one, and it is only being renewed in Islam. Note the literary skills in the argument as it proceeds. The mystery of birth faintly suggests that we are coming to the story of Jesus. The exposition of the book suggests that Islam is the same religion as that of the People of the Book. Next, we are told that the People of the Book made their religion one-sided, and through the priesthood of the family of Jesus, we are brought to the story of Jesus, who was rejected by a body of the Jews, as Muhammad was rejected by a body of both Jews and Christians. The Holy Quran says, in Surah 2:139, 140:
“Say, will ye dispute with us about God, seeing that He is our Lord and your Lord. That we are responsible for our doings and ye for yours, and that we are sincere in our faith in Him. Or do ye say, that Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: ‘Do ye know better than God?’ Who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from God? But God is not unmindful of what ye do.”
The alternative is with the question in the last verse. Do you dispute with us although we worship the same God as you, and claim that ours is the same religion as that of your ancestors? Or do you really assert that Abraham and his son, and his son's son who founded the tribes long before Moses, followed your Jewish religion as you know it? History of course proves that claim absurd. If the Christians claimed that these patriarchs knew of, and followed the teaching of Jesus, the claim is still more absurd, except in the sense of Islam that God's teaching is one in all ages. We read further in Surah 2:111, 112 in the Holy Quran:
“And they say none shall enter Paradise until he be a Jew or a Christian. Those are their vain desires. Say: ‘Produce your proof if ye are truthful.’ Nay, whoever submits his whole self to God, and is a doer of good, he will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. It is wrong to claim a monopoly on God's Message. Many scholars and thinkers who are still within the fold of Christianity, are gradually coming to agree with the Islamic points of view in many cases without realizing it. This corresponds to our conviction, that the more scientific and biblical studies advance, the more they will agree with Islam. In other words, the Islamic truth is more evident with the passage of time. God hints to this in Surah 41:53 in the Holy Quran:
“We shall show them Our Signs in the horizons and in themselves, and it is clear to them that it is The Truth.”
The people of Moses and the people of Jesus were given revelations, but they played false with their own lights, and in their own selfishness made narrow God's Universal Message. To them it seemed incredible that His Light should illuminate Arabia, and reform the world. But His ways are wondrous and they are clear to those who have faith. In Surah 2:87-91 of the Holy Quran, God says:
“We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of Messengers. We gave Jesus the Son of Mary clear signs, and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. Is it, that whenever there comes to you a Messenger with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride? Some ye called imposters, and others ye slay! They say: ‘Our hearts are the wrappings, which preserve God's Word, we need no more.’ Nay, God's curse is on them for their blasphemy; little is it they believe. And when there comes to them a Book from God confirming what is with them, although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without Faith, when there comes to them that which they should have recognized, they refuse to believe in it, but the curse of God is on those without Faith. Miserable is the price for which they have sold their souls, in that they deny the Revelation which God has sent down, in insolent envy, that God of His Grace should send it to any of His Servants He pleases. Thus have they drawn on themselves wrath upon wrath, and humiliation is the punishment of those who reject Faith. When it is said to them: ‘Believe in what God has sent down.’ They say: ‘We believe in what was sent down to us.’ Yet they reject all besides even if it be Truth confirming what is with them. Say: ‘Why then have ye slain the Prophets of God, in time gone by, if ye did indeed believe?’”
Surely, God Says The Truth. Reviewing the long course of Jewish history, we have come to the time of Jesus. They have often given the lie to God's Prophets, and even now they are trying to slay Jesus. Secondly, extending the review of that history to the time of Muhammad, they are even now trying to take the life of that Holy Prophet. This would be literally true at the time the words were promulgated to the people. Even when Moses and the Law of Sinai are referred to, those traditions are common to both Jews and Christians. The argument is about the people who ought to have learned from previous revelations and welcomed Muhammad's teaching. And yet they both took up an attitude of arrogant rejection, as they rejected Prophets of their own race who told them unpleasant truths. The people of Moses often rebelled against him, vexed his spirit and insulted him. The Holy Quran says, in verse 5 Surah 61:
“And remember Moses, said to his people, ‘O my people! Why do ye vex and insult me though ye know that I am the Messenger of God sent to you?’ Then when they went wrong God let their hearts go wrong. For God guides not those who are rebellious transgressors.”
So, says the Holy Quran. They did it not through ignorance but from a selfish, perverse and rebellious spirit for which they received punishment. The Holy Prophet was foretold in many ways, and when he came he showed forth many clear signs. For his whole life from beginning to end was one vast miracle. He fought and won against odds. Without learning from men, he taught the highest wisdom. He melted hearts that were hard, and he strengthened hearts that were tender and required support. In all his sayings and doings, men of discernment would see the working of God's Hand. Yet the ignorant unbelievers called it all sorcery, called that unreal which became the most solid fact of human history. It is wrong to uphold falsehoods, and debasing superstitions. But it is doubly wrong, when these are put forward in rivalry or opposition to the light of eternal unity and harmony which is Islam.
The Holy Quran says, in Surah 61:6:
“And remember Jesus the son of Mary said. ‘O children of Israel, I am the Messenger of God sent to you, confirming the Law which came before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me whose name shall be Ahmad.’ But when he came to them with clear signs they said: This is evident sorcery.’”
Ahmad or Muhammad—the Praised One, is almost a translation of the Greek word Parakletos. In the present Gospel of John 16:26, 27 the word Comforter in the English version is for the Greek word Parakletos, which is a corrupt reading of Paricletos. And that in their original saying of Jesus, there was a prophecy of the Holy Prophet Ahmad by name. Even if we read Parakleet, it would apply only to the Holy Prophet.
And in verse 9 Surah 61 of the Holy Quran we read:
“It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance, and the Religion of Truth that He may proclaim it over all religion. Even though the pagans may detest it.”
Notice “over all religion” is in the singular, not over all other religions in the plural. There is really only one true religion: the Message of God, submission to the Will of God. This is called Islam. It was the religion preached by Moses and Jesus, it was the religion of Abraham, Noah, and all the prophets by whatever name it may be called. If people corrupt that pure light and call their religions by different names, we must bear with them, and we may allow the names for convenience, but truth, truth must prevail over all.
Muhammad’s Prophethood and The West
The West has still to go a step forward to discover the greatest reality about Muhammad, and that is his being the true and the last Prophet of God for all humanity. In spite of all its objectivity and enlightenment, there has been no sincere and objective attempt by the West to understand the Prophethood of Muhammad. It is so strange that very glowing tributes are paid to him for his integrity and achievement. But his claim of being the Prophet of God has been rejected, explicity or implicitly. It is here that a searching of the heart is required, and a review of the so-called objectivity is needed.
The following glaring facts from the life of this Holy Prophet show that his people (the Qureysh), offered to accept him as their king, and to lay the all riches of the land at his feet if only he would give up his mission. Although they offered him everything under the sun, he chose to refuse their tempting offers saying: "I will not stop preaching the Truth, and renounce my mission, even though they place the sun in my right hand, and the moon in my left. Either God will give me success, or I will be sacrificed for it.” And in spite of all kinds of insults, social boycotts and even physical assault, he continued single-handedly to follow the Divine Call with full determination and courage. He made belief in the Old and New Testaments, and belief in Jesus and Moses, and other Prophets of God a basic requirement of Faith without which no one could be a Muslim. In spite of being unlettered, all of Arabia stood in awe and wonder, bewitched by his eloquence, scientific knowledge and wisdom. He taught what God is, and what God is not. It is not the propagation, but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder. He was Ceasar and Pope in one, but he was Pope without Pope's pretensions; Ceasar without the legions of Ceasar. If ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by Divine Right, it was Muhammad. He was unable to read and write, but the Angel commanded: ‘Read,’ and began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize the world.
At Muhammad's own death, an attempt was made to deify him, that is to exalt him to rank of deity. But the man who was to become his administrative successor, killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history. "If there are any among you who worshipped Muhammad, he is dead, but if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever."
How many people at all times, and among all nations, close their hearts to any extension of knowledge or spiritual influence, because of some little fragment which they have got, and which they think, is the whole of God's Truth. Such an attitude shows really want of Faith, and is a blasphemous limitation of God's unlimited spiritual gifts to his creatures. The Jews who pretended to be so superior to the people without Faith (the Gentiles), should have been the first to recognize the new Truth, or the Truth renewed which it was Muhammad's mission to bring. Because it was so similar in form and language to what they had already received. But they had more arrogance than faith. It is this want of faith that brings on the curse, it deprives us if we adopt such an attitude of the Blessing of God. The lesson applies to a much wider circle of people. Do not other nations do likewise? The real trouble is selfishness, narrowness, a mean dislike of anything, which runs counter to habits, customs or inclinations. We are all apt in our perverseness to reject an appeal from our brother even more summarily than one from an outsider. If we have a glimmering of the Truth, we are apt to make ourselves impervious to further Truth, and thus lose the benefit of God's Grace. Racial arrogance makes people adverse to the reception of truth when it came through a Servant of God not of their own race. Is that adverseness unknown in our own times, and among other races? Yet how can a race or a people set bounds to God's choice? God is the Creator and Cherisher of all races and all words, and He is the God of all people. On this, God says again in Surah 4:150-152 in the Holy Quran:
“Those who deny God and His Messengers, and those who wish to separate God from His Messengers saying: ‘We believe in some, and reject others.’ And those who wish to take a course midway; they are in truth equally unbelievers, and we have prepared for Unbelievers a humilating punishment. To those who believe in God and His Messengers, and make no distinction between any of the messengers, we shall soon give their due rewards."
Surely, God Says the Truth. The People of the Book went wrong. The Jews in breaking their covenant, and slandering Mary and Jesus, and the Christians in raising Jesus the Messenger of God to equality with God. To those God says, in Surah, the Romans in the Holy Quran:
“It is God who created you. Further, He has provided for your sustenance, then He will cause you to die, and again He will give you life. Are there any of your false partners who can do any single one of these things? Glory to Him, and high is He above the partners they attribute to Him. We have propounded for men in this Quran, every kind of parable, but if thou bring to them any signs, the Unbelievers are sure to say, ye do nothing but talk vanities. Thus, does God seal up the hearts of those who understand not. So patiently perservere, for verily the promise of God is true, nor let those shake thy firmness, who have themselves no certainty of faith.”
Surely, God Says the Truth.
The Historical Clash of Falsehood with Truth
God's revelation is continued in the Quran, which comes with manifest proof, and a clear light to those who understand. The Quran is above all things straight, clear and perspicuous. Its directions are plain for everyone to understand. It deals with the highest mysteries of spiritual life. There is nowhere any mystification, any desire to wrap up things in dark sayings repugnant to human reasoning—for it is the Word of God. His purpose is to give clear warnings of spiritual dangers, and lead up to the highest bliss.
The conflict of unbelief with truth is vain. So was the conflict of Pharoah with Moses. Pharaoh’s magicians bowed to the truth; and Pharoah and his hosts were drowned. Nor did Abraham's people gain anything by their resisting of the truth he preached. Abraham patiently argued with his people about God's Truth; prayed for wisdom and righteousness for himself, his father, and future generations, and taught truth about the Hereafter. And Noah's people perished by their unbelief. Noah preached to a world of unfaith, and would not reject the humble and lowly. His arrogant rejectors were brought low. In him and his following were vindicated God's Righteous Purpose and Mercy. Hud warned his people against reliance on their material strength. The Aad were addicted to arrogance. They exalted in material strength and posession, and had no faith, but in force they were brought low. As were they Thamood who gave way to extravagance, and were guilty of sacrilege in destroying a symbol of justice and fair dealing. Their repentance was too late, they were plucked out of earth for the mischief they had made. Lot had to deal with abominable crimes; his task was a hard one. His mission was to help people addicted to crimes, his reasoning with them was in vain; it only excited their wrath. They threatened to cast him out, but were themselves overwhelmed in the disaster.
Thus the Truth of God must win against folly and falsehood. So when the spirit of prophecy came to Mecca, it was resisted by the forces of evil. If obstinet rebels do resist the message, their day is brief. Had it been God's will and plan to force people's will, He could quite easily have forced the Meccans, but His will and plan work differently. His revelation is meant to train man's own will so that it conforms to God's beneficent purpose. God's plan works unceasingly. His light shines nonetheless brightly despite those who reject it or mock at it.
Men but wrong their own souls in shutting out the Truth of God. To Him will be their return. They have been warned at all times by chosen Prophets of God whom they have flouted. The day will come when they will see the Majesty, the Glory, the Goodness, and Justice of God. But they invent fancies and falsehoods, let not their blasphamies and falsehoods grieve the men of God. For falsehoods and false ones never prospered.
I would like at this point to recite some verses of Surah 43, of the Holy Quran. The Gold Adornments. This Surah deals with the contrasts between the real Glory of Truth and Revelation, and the false glitter of what people like to believe and worship. It cites the examples of Moses and Jesus as exposing the false and holding up the Truth.
“In the Name of God Most Gracious, Most Merciful. By the Book that makes things clear. We have made it a Quran in Arabic that ye may be able to understand and learn wisdom. And verily it is in the Mother of the Book, in Our presence, high in dignity, full of wisdom. Shall We then take away the message from you and repel you? For that ye are a people transgressing beyond bounds.
How many were the Prophets we sent amongst the people of old? And never came there a Prophet to them, but they mocked him. So we destroyed them stronger in power than these. And thus has passed on the parable of the people of old. If thou were to question them: ‘Who created the Heavens and the earth?’ They would be sure to reply: ‘They were created by Him, the Exalted in Power, full of Knowledge.’ Yet, they attribute to some of His Servants a share with Him in His Godhead. Truly is man blasphmeous, ungrateful. What has He taken, daughters out of what He Himself creates, and grant it to you sons for choice? So hold thou fast to the revelation sent down to thee. Verily thou art on a straight way.
The Quran is indeed the message for thee and for thy people, and soon shall ye all be brought to account. And question thou our Messengers whom We sent before thee?
Did We appoint any deities other than God Most Gracious to be worshipped? We did send Moses aforetime with Our Signs to Pharoah, and his chiefs. He said: "I am a Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds." But when he came to them with Our Signs, behold they ridiculed them. When at length they provoked Us, We exacted retribution from them, and we drowned them all, and we made them a people of the past, and an example to later ages.
When Jesus, the son of Mary is held up as an example, behold thy people raise a clamor thereat in ridicule. And they say: ‘Are our god's blessed, or He?’ This they set forth to thee only by way of disputation. They are a contentious people. He was no more than a servant, We granted our favor to him, and We made him an example to the Children of Israel. And if it were Our Will, We could make Angels from amongst you succeeding each other on the earth. And Jesus shall be a sign for the coming of the Hour of Judgment. Therefore have no doubt about the Hour, but follow ye Me, this is a straight way.
When Jesus came with Clear Signs he said: ‘Now have I come to you with wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the points on which ye dispute, therefore fear God and obey me.’ For God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship ye Him, this is a Straight Way. Do they only wait for the Hour- that it should come on them all of a sudden while they perceive not? My devotees, no fear shall be on you that Day, nor shall ye grieve. The sinners will be in the Punishment of Hell to dwell therein forever. Nowise will the punishment be lightened for them, and in despair will they be there overwhelmed. Nowise shall We be unjust to them, but it is they who have been unjust themselves. They will cry: ‘Oh Malik will that thy Lord put an end to us?’ He will say: ‘Nay, but ye shall abide.’ Verily We have brought The Truth to you, but most of you have a hatred for truth. Do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsels. Indeed We do, and Our Messengers are by them to record. Say: ‘If God Most Gracious had a son, I would be the first to worship.’
Glory to the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. The Lord of the Throne of Authority, He is free from the things they attribute to Him. So leave them to babble, and play with vanities, until they meet that day of theirs which they have been promised. It is He who is God in the Heavens and God on Earth; and He is full of wisdom and knowledge. And blessed is He to whom belongs the dominion of the Heavens and the Earth, and all between them. Within Him is the knowledge of the Hour of Judgment, and to Him shall ye be brought back. And those whom they envoke besides God, have no power of intercession; only He who bears witness to the truth and they know Him. If thou ask them who created them, they will certainly say, God. How then are they deluded away from the truth. God has knowledge of the Prophets cry: ‘O’ my Lord, truly these are a people who will not believe,’ but turn away from them and say: ‘Peace!’ But soon shall they know.”
Surely, God Says the Truth.
Intercession in Christianity and Islam
If Christians go back to Jesus, he was but a man, and a Servant of God. He came to still the jarring sects, not to create a new one. He preached the one True God (his Lord). So give up disputing, and join in devotion to God. That is the way to the garden of bliss, and God is the Lord of Power and Mercy. Men should not rely upon any power or person other than God to help them or intercede for them. Prophets or saints have no power to intercede, except as God Wills and Permits. For God says, in Surah 5 in the Holy Quran:
“They do blaspheme who say God is Christ, the son of Mary. But said Christ, ‘O Children of Israel worship God my Lord and your Lord. Whoever joins other gods with God, God will forbid him the Garden, and the fire will be his abode. There will for the wrongdoers be no one to help’. They do blaspheme who say, ‘God is one of three in a trinity.’ There is no God except one God. If they desist not from their word of blasphemy, verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. Why turn they not to God, and seek His forgiveness. For God is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
Christ the Son of Mary was no more than a messenger. Many were the messengers that past away before Him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their daily food. See how God does make His Signs clear to them? And see in what ways they are deluded away from The Truth. Say: ‘O People of the Book, exceed not in your religion the bounds of what is proper, trespassing beyond the truth. Nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by, who mislead many, and strayed themselves from the Even Way.’ One day God will gather the Messengers together, and ask: ‘What was the response ye received from men to your teaching?’ They will say: ‘We have no knowledge, it is thou who knoweth in full all that is hidden.’ Then will God say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary, recount My favor on thee and to thy mother. Behold, I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, so that thou did speak to the people in childhood, and in maturity. Behold, I taught thee the Book in wisdom, the Law and the Gospel, and behold thou maketh out of clay the figure of a bird by My Leave. And thou breadeth into it and becometh a bird by My leave. And thou healeth those born blind, and the lepers by My Leave. Behold, thou bringeth forth the dead by My Leave. And behold, I did restrain the Children of Israel from violence to thee, when thou didst show them the Clear Signs.’ And the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’ Behold, the disciples said: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary, can thy Lord send down to us a Table set with viands from heaven?’ Said Jesus: ‘Fear God if ye have Faith.’ They said, ‘We only wish to eat thereof, and satisfy our hearts, and to know that thou has indeed taught us the truth, and that we ourselves maybe witnesses to the miracle.’ Said Jesus the son of Mary: ‘O God our Lord, send us from Heaven a Table set with viands, that there maybe for us for the first and the last of us a solemn festival, and a Sign from Thee, and provide for our sustenance. For Thou art the best sustainer of our needs.’ God said: ‘I will send it down unto you. But if any of you after that resisteth Faith, I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on anyone among all the people."
Surely, God says the truth. The unity of God will reconcile different views. The unity of the One Judge, will do perfect justice to each one's conduct. How different in form it may have appeared in this world. In a solemn scene before the Court of Judgment, Jesus is asked to recount all the mercies and favors shown to him. So that his followers should become ashamed of their ingratitude in corrupting that Message when they could have done so much in profiting by its purity and spiritual truth. In verses 116 through 118 of Surah 5 in the Holy Quran we read:
“And behold God will say: ‘O’ Jesus the son of Mary, didst thou say unto men worship me and my mother as two gods beside God?’ He will say, ‘Glory to thee. Never could I say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing, thou would indeed have known it. Thou knoweth what is in my heart, though I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden. Never said 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 on them once I dwelt amongst them. When Thou didst take me up, Thou was the Watcher over them, and Thou art a Witness to all things. If thou dost punish them, they are Thy servants; and if thou dost forgive them, Thou art the the exalted in Power the wise.’ God will say: ‘This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth. Theirs are Gardens with rivers flowing beneath their eternal home. God well pleased with them, and they with God. That is the great salvation, the fulfillment of all desires. To God doth belong the Dominion of the Heavens and the earth and all that is therein. And it is He who has Power over all things."
Surely, God says the truth. Jesus here acknowledges that he is mortal, and that his knowledge was limited like that of the immortal. Let us ask God's forgiveness. Let us bow to His will, and accept His true guidance. Let us praise Him, and trust Him, now and forever. God's Grace and favor is beyond anyone's own merit. It is bestowed by God according to His Will and Plan which is just, merciful, and righteous. God says, in Surah 25 in the Holy Quran:
"That Day, the day of Dominion as of right and truth shall be wholly for Allah Most Merciful. It will be a day for dire difficulty for the misbelievers. The Day God will gather them together as well as those whom they worship besides Him. He will ask; ‘Was it ye who lead these My servants astray, or did they stray from the path themselves.’ They will say, "Glory to Thee, not meet was it for us that we should take for protectors others besides Thee."
The Day of Judgement
No one knows when the Day of Judgment will come, and how will it come. The following verses in the Holy Quran, describe the tremendous convulsion and upheaval which will take place, when the present order of the world is dissolved, and the new spiritual world of justice and truth takes it's place. These mystic words, describe the tremendous earthquake which will shake our present material and phenomenal world to its very foundation. The description is remarkable for both power and graphic aptness. With that shaking, all hidden mysteries will be brought to light. We shall see before God's Judgment Seat the full inwardness of all our deeds on this earth. The Veil of Illusion and Delusions will be torn off. All our secret motives, will be laid bare. The results of all our little plots and plans and their reactions on our spiritual and eternal welfare will be clearly visible to us, and all make-believe will disappear. The earth will give up her secrets and tell her tale of all men's doings. The smallest living weight an ordinary man can think of. The subtlest form of good and evil will then be brought to account and he shall see it. Men will marshall in companies, and clearly see the inwardness of all their deeds. Then shall each soul know what it has put forth. The Day of Judgment will truly come. There is no doubt about it. For God Said, in the Holy Quran:
"He will gather you together against the Day of Judgment about which there is no doubt. And verily it is We who give life, and who give death. Verily this is no less than a message for all the worlds, with profits to whoever among you wills to go straight."
That's how God puts it in the final verses of the Holy Quran:
In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. When the sun with it's spacious light is folded up. When the stars fall losing their luster. When the mountains vanish like a mirage. When the oceans boil over with a swell. When the souls are sorted out being joined like with like. When the scrolls are laid open. When the world on high is unveiled. When the blazing fire is kindled to fierce heat. When the earth is shaken to its utmost convulsion, and the earth throws up its burdens from within, and man cries distressed: what is the matter with it. On that day will it declare its tidings, for that thy Lord will have given it inspiration. On that day will men proceed in companies sorted out to be shown the deeds that they had done. It is a day whereon men will be like moths, scattered about, and the mountains will be like carded wool. Then he whose balance of good deeds will be found heavy, will be in a life of good pleasure and satisfaction. But he whose balance of good deeds will be found light, will have his home in a bottomless pit. And what will explain to thee what this is? It is a fire blazing fiercely. Then shall anyone who has done an atoms weight of good shall see it, and anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it. Then shall each soul know what it has put forth.”
Surely, God Says The Truth.
Gods’ Oneness and the Final Truth
Now that this critical examination of the Holy Scriptures is approaching an end, I would like to recite to you some verses from Surah 21, The Prophets from the Holy Quran. This Surah sums up God's message and Truth throughout the ages, and is the climax of the subject at hand:
In the Name of God Most Gracious, Most Merciful. If there were in the Heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! But Glory to God, the Lord of the Throne, High is He above what they attribute to Him. He cannot be questioned for His Acts, but they will be questioned for theirs. Or have they taken for worship other gods besides Him? Say: ‘Bring your convincing proof, not a Messenger did We send before thee without this inspiration sent by Us to him, that there is no God but I, therefore worship and serve Me.’
And they say, ‘God Most Gracious has begotten an offspring,’ Glory to Him, they are but servants raised to honor. They speak not before He speaks, and they act in all things by His Command. He knows what is before them, and what is behind them, and they offer no intercession except for those who are acceptable, and they stand in awe and reverence of His glory. If any of them should say: ‘I am a god besides Him,’ such a one We should Reward with Hell. Thus do we reward those who do wrong.
Do not the Unbelievers see that the Heavens and the earth were joined together as one unit of creation before We Clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing, will they not then believe? And We have set on the earth mountains standing firm lest it should shake with them; and We have made therein broad highways between mountains for them to pass through, that they may receive guidance. And We have made the heavens as a canopy, well guarded, yet do they turn around from the Signs which these things point to!
It is He who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, and the celestial body swim along, each in its rounded course. We granted not to any man before the permanent life; if then thou shouldst die would they live permanently? Every soul shall have a taste of death, and We test you by evil and by good, by way of trial to Us must ye return. If only the Unbelievers knew the time when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor yet from their backs, and when no help can reach them. Nay, it may come to them all of a sudden, and confound them. No power will they have then to avert it nor will they then get respite.
Mocked were many Messengers before thee. But the scoffers were hemmed in by the thing that they mocked. Say: ‘I do but warn you according to revelation.’ But the deaf will not hear the call, even when they are warned. We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be no more than the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it to account, and enough are We to take account.
In the past We granted to Moses and Aaron the Criterion for Judgment, and a Light, and a Message for those who would do right. Those who fear their Lord in their most secret thoughts, and who hold the Hour of Judgment in awe. And this is a Blessed Message which We have sent down, will they then reject it? We bestowed aforetime on Abraham his rectitude of conduct, and well were We acquainted with him? And to Lut too, We gave Judgment and Knowledge, and We saved him from the town which practiced abominations, truly they were a people given to evil, a rebellious people. And We admitted them to Our Mercy, for he was one of the Righteous. Remember Noah, when he cried to Us aforetime, We listened to his prayer, and delivered him and his family from great distress. We helped him against people who rejected Our Signs: Truly they were a people given to evil, so We drowned them in the flood, all together.
And remember Job, when he cried to his Lord: ‘Truly distress has seized me, but Thou art the Most Merciful of those that are merciful.’ So We listened to him. We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his people to him and doubled their number as a Grace from Ourselves, and a thing for commemoration for all who serve Us. And remember her who guarded her chastity. We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and We made her and her son, a Sign for all Peoples. Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord, and your Cherisher, therefore serve Me and no other. Whoever works any act of Righteousness and has Faith, his endeavor will not be rejected: We shall record it in his favor.
The Day that We will roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books (completed), even as We produced the First Creation, so shall We produce a new one; a promise We have undertaken. Truly shall We fulfill it. Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message given to Moses; ‘My Servants the righteous shall inherit the earth.’ Verily in this Quran is a message for people who would truly worship God. We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures. Say: ‘What has come to me by inspiration, is that your God is One God. Will ye therefore, bow to His will in Islam?’ But if they turn back say: "I have proclaimed the Message to you all alike, and in Truth, but I know not whether that which ye are promised is near or far." It is He who knows what is open in speech, and what ye hide in your hearts. Say: "O my Lord! Judge Thou in Truth! Our Lord Most Gracious is the One Whose assistance should be sought against the blasphemies ye uttered."”
Surely, God Says The Truth. This was God's Message of old, and the same is God's Message renewed. For God is One, and so is His Message proclaimed for all freely, and in loving Truth.
The Authenticity of The Quran
This is the Holy Quran. God said about it in verse 21 Surah 59:
“Had we sent down this Quran on a mountain, verily thou wouldst have seen it humble itself and leave asunder for fear of God. Such are the similitude which we propound to make that they may reflect.”
The Revelation of God is so sublime that even the highest mountains humble themselves before it. The revelation is so powerful and convincing, that even the hard rock splits asunder under it. Will man then be so arrogant as to consider himself superior to it? Or hard headed as not to be affected by its powerful message? Remember the story of Moses and the Mount? When the Mount became dust as the Lord manifested His glory. The Holy Quran is the word of God—His True Revelation. It is the criterion by which we may judge between right and wrong. Between false and true worship. Between the Message that comes from God Almighty and the forgeries of men. Between the real in our eternal future, and the fancies by which we are misled.
The Quran and Muhammad were prophesied in the Christian Bible in Isaiah 29:12, as you have heard early on. The Bible here says: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith; I am not learned. These revelations came in installments, and inserted in certain order in the Quran, as ordained by God. It was also mentioned in Isaiah 28:10, 11, the Bible here says, For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to his people. Another tongue means here, another language, not Hebrew or Aramaic, but Arabic. This is further Biblical testimony of the authencity of the Holy Quran, and the authenticity of its Divine Revelation. God says, in Surah 26 The Poet’s, in addressing the Prophet Muhammad:
“Verily this is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. With it came down the Spirit of Faith and Truth to thy heart and mind. That thou mayest admonish in the perspicuous Arabic tongue. Without doubt it is announced in the Revealed Books of former people. Is it not a Sign to them that the Learned of the Children of Israel knew it as true? Had we revealed it to any of the non-Arabs? And had he recited it to them, they would not have believed in it. Thus have we caused it to enter the hearts of the Sinners. They will not believe in it until they see the grevious Penalty. But the Penalty will come to them of a sudden, while they perceive it not. So call not on any other god with God, or thou wilt be among those under the penalty. And admonish thy nearest kinsmen, and lower thy wing to the believers who follow thee. Then if they disobey thee say: ‘I am free of responsibility for what ye do. And put thy trust on the Exalted in Might, The Merciful who seeth thee standing forth in prayer. And thy movements among those who prostrate themselves.’ For it is He Who heareth and knoweth all things.”
Surely, God Says The Truth. Thus the Truth of God must win against folly and falsehood. The Spirit of Inspiration and Faith brought down the Quran to the mind of the Holy Prophet, that he might teach in noble Arabic speech, and so it reached the world. With humble, gentle, kindness, it must make its way to all, nearest and farthest. It is not the vain words of poets false wandering without goal. It is truth that fills the heart which trusts in God. Let this be an admonition to men.
Righteousness as well as forgiveness have their source in God's Will. He alone is worthy to be feared, and He alone is entitled to grant forgiveness. It is clearly against logic and justice, that men of righteousness should have the same end as men of sin. How can one go on sinning in this wide world, and expect the same justice as that of a righteous man who was so careful to steer away from the world of sin? Even in this life man cannot command whatever he chooses. How can he expect that under a reign of perfect justice and truth? God's attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. Do you expect people suffering all their life for the sake of God to get the same treatment as people oppressing and exploiting other people, and indulging in the world of sin all their life? That would amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter, and thereby negating all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. God says, in the Holy Quran, Surah 68:35, 36:
“Shall We then treat the people of Faith, like the people of sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you?”
These are the words of God, and truly He Says the Truth. The assurance of the hereafter is one of the strongest features of faith. For without it, the inequities and injustices of this life cannot be satisfactorily explained.
The Muslims believe in Resurrection, Accountability, and the Day of Judgment. That the reconciliation of the sinful human with God, is contingent on three elements. The most important is the Grace, Mercy, and Generosity of God. Then there are good deeds and correct belief. Correct belief and good deeds are prerequisites for God's Grace and Forgiveness. How can sins be washed away. The Quran says, in Surah 4:110:
“If anyone does evil or wrong his own soul, but afterwards seeks God's Forgiveness, he will find God Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
And therefore, the Muslims do not believe in the necessity of the shedding of blood, much less innocent blood to wash away sins. For God is not interested in blood or sacrifice, but in sincere repentance. The Quran puts it clearly in Surah 7:156:
“But My Mercy extends to all things.”
The Quran talks about God as personal, a God who is close, easily approachable, loving, forgiving, and merciful. Indeed the very first passage in the Holy Quran which is repeated dozens of times throughout this Holy Book, and is the beginning of every Surah in it, is: In The Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. The Quran tells us in Surah 32:9:
“That when God created the first human, He Breathed into him something of His Spirit, and there God is closer to the human than his jugular veins.”
In another beautiful and moving passage, God says:
“When My Servants ask you O Muhammad concerning Me, then surely I am near to them. I listen to every supplicant who calls on Me. Let them respond to My command that they may be lead Right..”
Surely, God Almighty Says the Truth.
The Christians believe in the crucifixion necessary for their redemption of sin. Redemption of sin through the crucifixion is not the teaching of Jesus. This is the doctrine accepted by the Church, three- to four centuries after Jesus left the earth. It contradicts the Bible itself, as we have seen.
It appears that God wants to set the truth straight about Jesus. He will send him over again, this time to guide mankind to the truth about Jesus. Surah 43 of the Holy Quran, verses 61, 63 refer to the Second Coming of Jesus in the last days before the Resurrection. That Jesus shall be assigned for the coming of the Hour of Judgment, that he will come with wisdom to destroy the false doctrine that pass under his name, and prepare the way for the universal acceptance of the Oneness of God. The Islamic account of Jesus' life and mission is quite reasonable, and puts Jesus in his right place among the great Messengers of God to humanity.
Jesus According to Islam
Those who come to Islam with an open mind, and free from bias, will submit to the logic and believability of the Islamic account of Jesus. Islam does consider itself the final link in the long chain of revelation. It promises the followers of previous faith great rewards if they add belief in Islam, to their belief in their previous faith. Prophet Muhammad said: "He who has believed in his religion, then believe in what is revealed to me will be rewarded twice by God. That is, one for believing in his faith, and the other for recognizing truth and believing in Islam."
The highest wrong doing is to associate other partners with God. This is further illustrated in verse 116 of Surah 4 in the Holy Quran. It says:
“God Forgiveth not the sin of joining other gods with Him. But He Forgiveth whom He pleases other sins than this. One who joins other gods with God has strayed far, far away from the Right.”
The rejection of the idea of God having a son is reported with even stronger words in Surah 19:88-93 in the Holy Quran:
“And they say the Almighty has taken into Himself a son; you have indeed advanced something hideous. The Heavens are rent of it, and the earth split asunder, and the mountains fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All Merciful a son! And it behooves not the All Merciful to take a son. None is there in the Heavens and earth, but comes to the All Merciful as a servant.”
Surely, God Says The Truth. The attribution of a son begotten to God has no basis, in fact or in reason. It is only a word or saying that issues out of their mouth. It cannot be explained in any way that is consistent with the supplying attribute of God. For God Said, in Surah 5 in the Holy Quran as in many other Surahs:
“They do blaspheme who say God is Christ the son of Mary. They do blaspheme who say God is one of three in a trinity. There is no God except One God. If they desist not from their word of blasphemy, verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.”
Surely, God Says The Truth.
Jesus According To Himself and The New Testament
If Christians go back to Jesus, he was but a man, and a servant of God. He preached the One True God His Lord. So give up disputing, and join in devotion to God. That is the way to the garden of bliss, and God is the Lord of Power and Mercy.
It is worth noting that Jesus never claimed divinity, even in the present text of the Bible. The expression son of God cannot be said to have come from Jesus himself. Hastings in the Dictionary of the Bible says: "Whether Jesus used it of himself is doubtful." From Jesus' own saying recorded in the New Testament, it is clear that he never claimed divinity, or identity to God. “...I do nothing of myself;... (John 8:28) ...The Lord our God is one Lord: (Mark 12:29) But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9) and others.
Jesus called himself, son of man and refused to be called son of God. We read in Luke 4:41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying: Thou art Christ the son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak;... It is clear here that he refused to be called Son of God. He refused again in Luke 9:20, 21, and charged them too, he (Jesus said) unto them, (the disciples) But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straightly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing. The title Son of Man which is self-designation of Jesus, and occurs 81 times in the gospels, is the clearest description and emphasis by Jesus on his humanity. The classical interpretation given to this title is that it is used to emphasize the human side of Jesus. Jesus is also called Prophet in John 7:40, Matthew 21:11, Luke 7:16 and 24:19.
Most serious studies of the Bible have shown, that it contains a large portion of addition which neither Jesus nor the writers of the Gospels said. The church as Heinz Zahut said: "put words into the mouth of Jesus which he never spoke, and attributed actions to him which he never performed." The flat contradictions between gospels, the improbabilities, the successive distortions of the text, all these things add up to the fact that the Gospels contained chapters and passages that are the sole product of the human imagination. These flaws do not, however, cast out on the existence of Jesus' mission. The doubt is solely confined to the course it took. According to Father Kenny Geiser, works of modern textual criticism have revealed data which constitute a revolution in methods of Biblical exegesis, so that the facts relating to Jesus recorded in the Gospels are no longer to be taken literally.
Modern knowledge has brought to light, the history of Judeo-Christianity and the rivalry between communities which accounts for the existence of facts that today's readers find disconcerting. The concept of eye-witness evangelist is no longer defensible. The work done at the Biblical School of Jerusalem, Fathers Benoit, and Gwamade, shows very clearly that the Gospels were written revised, and corrected several times. They also warn the reader that he is obliged in more than one case to give up the notion of hearing Jesus' voice directly. According to Au Common in his book The New Testament: "Paul created Christianity at the expense of those whom Jesus had gathered around him to spread his teaching. He had not known Jesus during his lifetime, and he proved the legitimacy of his mission, by declaring that Jesus raised from the dead had appeared to him on the road to Damascus." Out of a total of 27 books of the New Testament, more than half is authored by Paul.
As opposed to Paul, the Master has not written a single word of the 27 books. If you can lay your hands on what is called a red lettered Bible, you will find every word alleged to have been authored by Jesus in red ink, and the rest in normal black ink. In the Bible the Gospel of Jesus, over 90% of the 27 books of the New Testament is printed in black ink. Christian missionaries quote 100% from Paul. If you brought a Christian controversialist with what his Lord and Master had said, he will quote with something from Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, etc. If you ask who are they, you will hear Paul, Paul, Paul. No learned Christian will ever dispute the fact that the real founder of Christianity is Paul, and the honor of founding Christianity is to be shared between Jesus and Paul.
Paul, who never saw Jesus alive, admitted that the resurrection was his gospel, 2 Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my Gospel. He was also the first who declared Jesus as son of God, Acts 9:20 And straightway he (Paul) preached Christ in the synagogues, that he (Jesus) is the son of God. It is quite reasonable to ask, what Christianity might have been without Paul? And one could no doubt construct all sorts of hypotheses on the subject. Why do we have to believe in the crucifixion?
Why do we have to believe in the resurrection? Why do we have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Why be surprised by the fact that some evangelists distort certain events in Jesus' life with the object of defending a personal point of view? Why be surprised of the omission of certain events? Why be surprised by the fictitious nature of other events described? Let us not be devoid of wisdom. Let us rid ourselves of this kind of blasphemy against the Almighty, and ask for His Forgiveness. Let us face reality before it is too late, before the day comes when no bargaining will avail, nor friendship, nor intercession. For the Bible itself says, everyone shall die for his own iniquity. The soul that sinneth it shall die, the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. The Holy Quran affirms this in God's Own Words:
“Whoever works evil will be requited accordingly, nor will he find besides God any protector or helper.”
Surely, God Says the truth.
The Doctrine of Intercession and Divine Grace
The doctrine of intercession is rejected as you have heard in both the Bible and the Quran. It has no basis in reason or in fact. Why don't we pause to reflect about it? Rather than trivialize and undermine the Word of God in both the Bible and the Quran. Therefore, the doctrine of personal responsibility is the cardinal feature, and the keynote of Islam. The Christians believe in the crucifixion necessary for their redemption of sin. Redemption of sin through the crucifixion is not the teaching of Jesus. It is a doctrine that was accepted by the Church three- to four centuries after Jesus left the earth. It contradicts the Bible itself, as we have seen. And it contradicts the Quran as well that says:
“Who is more astray than one who invokes besides God such as will not answer him to the Day of Judgment and who are unconscious of their call to them. And when mankind are gathered together at The Resurrection, they will be hostile to them, and reject their worship altogether.”
The Quranic teaching is that Christ was not crucified nor killed by the Jews, notwithstanding certain apparent circumstances which produced that illusion in the minds of some of his enemies. The disputations, doubts and conjectures on such matters are vain and that he was taken up to God. For God said, in Surah 4:157, 158 in the Holy Quran:
“But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them. And those who differ therein, are full of doubts with no certain knowledge but only conjecture to follow; for of a surety they killed him not. Nay God raised him up unto Him, and God is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
We all stand in the same footing before the Almighty. And to Him is our final goal, for He is the God of all people. No one is better than the other in the eyes of God, except in Righteousness. Wearing the clothes of Righteousness is the highest bliss, and that is within the reach of the humblest seeker. It is clear that Christians in total disregard to the Book of God, attached all importance to Christ, and thus not only elevated him to divinity, but also lost the very essence of monotheism contained in the Bible. In addressing the People of the Book, God says, in verse 29 Surah 57 in the Holy Quran:
“That the People of the Book may know, that they have no power whatever over the Grace of God. That His Grace is entirely in His Hand to bestow it on whomsoever He Wills, For God is the Lord of Grace abounding.”
Surely, God says the truth. No one can prevent God's course of Justice. For besides Him there is no true friend or protector. Therefore, let not any race, or people, or community, or group, believe that they have exclusive possession of God's Grace, or that they can influence its grant or its withholding. God's Grace is free, and entirely controlled by Him independently of any priests and privilege people. He dispenses it according to His own Wise and Holy Will and Plan, and to His Grace there is no limit.
Duality vs. The Oneness of God
Can there be two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment’s thought shows that this is not feasible. If there were gods other than God, heaven and earth would surely go to ruin. The Quran reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods. It says:
“Do you worship what you have carved yourselves? Or have you taken unto you others besides Him to be your protectors? Even such as have no power to protect themselves! If there were in the Heavens and the earth other gods besides God, there would have been confusion in both. But Glory to God—the Lord of the Throne, High is He above what they attribute to Him. Do the Unbelievers think that they can take My Servants as protectors besides Me? Verily we have prepared hell for the Unbelievers, for their entertainment.”
Surely, God Says The Truth. Glory to God, high is He above the partners and sons they attribute to Him. He is God the Creator. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth, whatever comes to the All Merciful as a servant. The man who falls from the worship of the One True God, is like a man who falls from heaven. His being taken up with false objects of worship is like the falling man being picked up in the air by birds of prey. But the false objects of worship, cannot hold him permanently in their grip. A fierce blast of wind, the wrath of God, comes and snatches him away, and throws him into a place far, far away from any place, he would have imagined, into the hell of those who defied God. As God says, in Surah 22 in the Holy Quran:
“But shun the abomination of idols, and shun the word that is false. Being true in Faith to God and never assigning partners to Him. If anyone assigns partners to God, he is as if he had fallen from Heaven and been snatched up by birds; or the winds had swooped like a bird on its prey and thrown him into a far distant place. O’ men, here is a parable set forth. Listen to it. Those on whom besides God ye call cannot create even a fly, if they all met together for the purpose. And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition, and those whom they petition. God chooses Messengers from Angels and from men. For God is He who hears and sees all things. And those on whom knowledge has been bestowed, may learn that the Quran is The Truth from thy Lord. And that they may believe therein, and their hearts may be made humbly open to it, for verily God is the Guide of those who believe to the Straight Way.”
Surely, God Says The Truth. In addressing the Prophet Muhammad, God Says, in the last verse of Surah 18:
“Say: ‘I am but a man like yourselves, but the inspiration has come to Me that your God is One God.’ Whoever expects to meet His Lord, let him work righteousness, and in the worship of His Lord, admit no one as partner.”
Islam: Total Submission to the Will of God
The day of account will surely come before the Almighty, who says warningly in verse 123 of Surah 2 in the Holy Quran:
“Then guard yourself against a day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from her, nor shall intercession profit her, nor shall anyone be helped from outside.”
Further in verse 112 of the same Surah we read:
“Nay, whoever submits his whole self to God and is a doer of good, he will get his reward with his lord; on such shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. For God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. Islam is total submission to the Will of God. Islam has been the religion of every Messenger, from Adam to Muhammad the Seal of all Prophets. When God told Abraham: "Submit your will to me," Abraham replied: "I submit to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe." Surah 2:131 in the Holy Quran. Muslims, Christians and Jews all believe in Abraham, and it was he who made the following prayer asking God to make him and all his progeny Muslims: “Our Lord make of us Muslims bowing to your will.” Surah 22:78 in the Holy Quran. Abraham enjoined this faith upon his sons. Jacob did the same afterwards in the following words:
“O my sons, God has chosen the faith for you, then die not; accept in a state of submission to God.”
And when Jacob was on his death bed, he called all his sons to him and asked: "What will you serve after me?" They answered: "We will serve your God, and the God of your Father, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac—the One God, and we are submissive to Him.” Surah 2:132, 133 in the Holy Quran.
Islam is not a new religion that Muhammad taught. He taught the same religion that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac had taught before. One may ask then, why Muhammad, and why the Quran? This is because the followers of previous prophets had changed items in the Scriptures that had been given to them. They manipulated the texts, and obscured the meaning of the Revelations. Is there anyone who will pay heed to the words of Jacob? Die not, except in a state of submission!
There is really only one true religion. The Message of God, submission to the will of God and no other. This is called Islam. It was the religion preached by Moses and Jesus. It was the religion of Abraham, Noah, and all the Prophets by whatever name it may be called. If people corrupt that pure light, and call their religions by different names, we must bear with them, and we may allow the name for convenience, but Truth real Truth, must prevail over all.
God’s Messengers & Revealed Books
God Sends Messengers with revelations so that they can explain to the people what God's Will is, and what He Wants from His Creatures. There are only two sources for knowing the Will of God. The Revealed Books, and the teachings of the Prophets. Since previous revelations had been manipulated and the meanings obscured, the window by which one could know the Will of God was closed, so God sent His last Messenger Muhammad, and revealed the last book—the Quran. Prophet Muhammad is gone, but his greatest miracle, the Quran, remains. It is now as it was revealed 1400 years ago, and no human effort can change it. It is the only way to know with confidence what the Will of God is. Islam is not a new religion, but it is the Message of God renewed. It is the same Message and guidance which God Revealed to all Prophets. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, David, Moses, and Jesus. As all religion is one, and it is only being renewed in Islam.
Universality of God’s Message
The Oneness and Universality of God's Message, requires that people accept all the Messengers of God. Rejecting one of them, amounts to rejecting them all. The Jews reject Jesus' mission and Muhammad's mission. The Christians' reject Muhammad's mission. Whereas the Muslims accept them all, and respect Jesus as they love and respect the Prophet Muhammad, but reject incorrect historical interpretations, and human elements in these missions. Islam makes no difference between any of these. Their Message in essentials was one, and that is the basis of Islam. On this, God Said in the Holy Quran, Surah 4:150-152:
“Those who wish to separate God from His Messengers saying: ‘We believe in some and reject others.’ And those who wish to take a course midway, they are in truth equally Unbelievers. And we have prepared for Unbelievers a humiliating punishment. To those who believe in God and His Messengers, and make no distinction between any of the Messengers, We shall soon give their due rewards.”
Surely, God Says the Truth. Righteousness and true respect for God, which excludes the worship of anything else, whether idols or defied men, or forces of nature, or faculties of man, or self; these are the criteria of true worship. In worship of God, the One True God is included the best service to ourselves and our fellow creatures. If fully understood, this sums up the whole duty of man. For it leads us by the right path to the love of God, and the love of man, and of all creatures.
God's Signs are clear for your instruction—heed them, and learn by them. Those who believe find profit in their lives. Those who reject or deny, alas they learn not from the past; their loss is their own. God's Revelation through the Holy Prophet was not meant for one faith, one race or set of people. It was meant for all mankind, to whom, if they turn to God, it is a Message of the glad tidings of His Mercy. And if they do not turn to Him, it is a warning against sins and the inevitable punishment. That the punishment does not come immediately as far as they perceive, is no reason for doubting it. It has been declared in clear and unequivocal terms, and nothing can be more certain.
The Second Coming of Jesus
The Muslims do believe in, and are awaiting the Second Coming of Jesus. He will come back not as a God to judge the non-Christians, but as Jesus, God's Servant. His coming is to correct the misconception which people have developed about his personality and his mission. At that time everybody will believe in him as a Messenger, not the son of God. It appears that God wants to set the truth straight about Jesus. He will send him over again, this time to guide mankind to the truth about Jesus. Surah 43 in the Holy Quran, verses 61 and 63 referred to the second coming of Jesus in the last days before the Resurrection. That Jesus shall be assigned for the coming of the Hour of Judgement. That he will come with wisdom to destroy the false doctrines that pass under his name, and prepare the way for the universal acceptance of the Oneness of God. If you put your trust in God, and in God alone and surrender your will to Him, and to Him alone, you'll belong to one brotherhood, and we all shall see the perfect truth finally when the time comes. As God Says in the Holy Quran:
“When comes the Help of God and Victory, and thou doth see the people enter God's religion in crowds, celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness, for He is Oft-returning in Grace and Mercy.”
Helping the Cause of God
The destiny is there, the promise of God is true. Islam thus invites all people to the Truth. There is no cause for dissembling or disputing. False are the people who corrupt God's truth or hinder men from coming to God. Let us bow our will to God, the Cherisher of the Universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth. The One True God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. If we seek God's help, we must first help God's cause, that is to dedicate ourselves to Him entirely without reserve. This was also the teaching of Jesus. If the people who received earlier revelations confine themselves to partial truths, and their pride shuts their eyes to the whole of the Book of God, their day is done. Let the Muslims hold together in unity and discipline, knowing that they have a mission of Righteousness for humanity. Let the Muslims trust in God who knows all, and holds every soul responsible for its own deeds.
Based on all this our dear brothers and sisters, we can say with confidence. There is no God but God Almighty, the Most High, the One and Only God, God the Eternal, Absolute, He begeteth not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him. No one else is worthy of worship and adoration. And to Him alone belongs sovereignty, and to Him alone belongs praise, and He alone has power over all things. That Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad are all the Holy Prophets and Messengers of the One God. That we make no distinction between one and another, and that Muhammad is His last Servant and Messenger and the Seal of all Prophets.
This our friends is the conclusion of this critical analysis of the Holy Scriptures. We examined them at length faithfully as they are written in their respective books, and pointed out the true facts. We must now clear away any preconceived ideas in these religious texts. We must separate what belongs to Revelation from what is the product of human elements, errors and interpretations. We must compare the content of religions to arrive at the truth. We must try to convince people, that they are not enemies of each other in religion, but truly creatures and followers of the One God, as religious brethren. We must honor all God's Messengers and must honor them all equally as though we know that God in His wisdom sends them with different kinds of missions.
Let us ask Almighty God to spiritually unite us all; Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and all other beliefs. Let us ask Him to guide us to The Truth, for one cannot quarrel with The Truth. To those whom we have touched their hearts, and influenced their thinking, we can only say: get the Holy Quran and read it, and read the other religious texts as well that you may be guided. It is incumbent upon you, our dear reader, to seek The Truth, and the sooner you do it the better for you. Ask God to help you. If you go Him sincerely with a sound heart and mind, He will guide you, and will open your eyes to the Truth of His Revelation.
Don't allow yourself to be compelled to believe, for God said: Let there be no compulsion in religion. Use your reasoning, read, compare, and convince yourself. Religion should not be decided on the basis of religious bias, but by a fair reading of the text of both books. And, as God Said, in the Holy Quran in Surah 2:272 in addressing the Holy Prophet:
“It is not required of thee O Messenger, to set them on The Right Path, but God sets on The Right Path whom He Pleases.”
And in Surah 10:100 God says:
“No soul can believe except by the Will of God, and He will place doubt or obscurity on those who will not understand.”
Let us end this examination of the Holy Scriptures with a prayer for God's help. Not in our own self-ends, but in our resolve to uphold God's Truth against all unbelief. It is now for you the reader to think and contemplate for yourself, that you may follow the right guidance. Before ending, let us pray:
“In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to God The Cherisher and Sustainer of the World. Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement. Thee do we worship and Thine Aid we seek. Show us the Right Way, the way of those on whom Thou has bestowed Thy Grace. Those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray. O God we seek Thy Help, and ask Thy Forgiveness. We believe in Thee, depend upon Thee wholly and solely. We praise Thee with the best possible words. We thank Thee, and are not ungrateful unto Thee. We forsake and reject anyone who disobeys Thee. Oh God we worship nothing but Thee, and we perform prayer and do obeisance only for the sake of Thy Pleasure. We run only towards Thee, and we hope for Thy Mercy, and fear Thy Punishment, for undoubtedly Thy Punishment overtakes the Unbelievers. O God, let Truth prevail and Falsehood perish. For Falsehood is by its nature bound to perish. Amen.”
Finally, I would like to say this. As you all know and feel, the Signs of God are everywhere in creation. The sun and the shadow. The day and the night. The wind and the rain. All things in nature are symbols, and point to the Divine Law, and the destiny, good or ill, of man. God Speaks to us through His Revelations, through Angels, through His Creation, and His Miracles. For all nature glorifies God.