In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
NO VIRGIN BIRTH
In all his arguments with the Jews, there is not a single place in the Bible where Jesus claims to be of miraculous birth as proof of his mission. Neither did his mother, Mary, ever made such a claim on his behalf –not even to save her son from “crucifixion.”
Probably the most contentious issues among Muslims are the birth, ascension and return of Jesus. Even to the point that Muslims are labeling other Muslims as kafirs–unbelievers.1
But whether Jesus had a father or not, whether he is dead or is alive in heaven and would return are not articles of faith–and no reason for division. Allah will make clear to us wherein we differ–(Qur’an 16:92; 39: 46; 42:10. As Allāh will show us the truth of the matter in which we differ, why are we battling one another? The Prophet Mohammad is reported as saying that diff-erence of opinion among Muslims is a blessing; but we have shamelessly denigrated this blessing into curse. We have disregarded the injunction of Allāh and the precept of His noble Messenger; and we expect to attain Jannah). Our common factors as Muslims are Faith in Allah and Messengership of Mohammad; Prayer, Charity, Fasting and Hajj.
What is significant is that we keep Jesus within the Islamic perspective –he is not God, not one in a Trinity, not Son of God not vicarious atoner for inherited sin. He is only a messenger of Allāh, God, sent to preach to the Children of Israel and to announce to them the Good News of the coming of the Prophet Mohammad.
(In fact, upon the advent of Mohammad as Prophet, the Bible is rendered obsolete and Jesus redundant See Bible corrupt & obsolete; Jesus-redundant no ransom).
This presentation is not to question the power of Allāh to create Jesus without a father, to raise him literally into the heavens and to return him to earth. This presentation is to investigate the correctness of the interpretations of materials on virgin birth, literal ascension and return of Jesus.
1. Jesus in the Bible
2. Jesus in the Qur’an
3. Jesus like Adam.
4. God breathing of His Spirit into Mary
5. Jesus and Mary as signs of Allāh
6. Jesus living to an old age
7. Jesus’ Crucifixion
8. Jesus’ death
9. Jesus’ ascension
10. Jesus’ return
Appendix I: Was Jesus married?
Appendix II: Was John the Baptist the father of Jesus?
Appendix III: Dajjal–antiChrist
1. Jesus-in the Bible
After two thousand years since Jesus’ arrival and departure, Christians are still groping in the field of darkness as to who God is and as to who Jesus is. In fact, Christians do not know what Jesus’ mission was.
Whereas some Christians hold that Jesus is God, Jehovah’s Witnesses say he is only son of God. Whose belief is right?
Whereas some say Christ died for inherited sin, Mormons say he died for committed sin. Whose belief is true?
Whereas some believe Jesus was killed, buried, and raised, “some of the early Christian sects did not believe that Christ was killed on the cross. The Basilidans believed that some one else was substituted for him. The Docetae held that Christ never had a real physical or natural body, but only an apparent or phantom body, and that his Crucifixion was only apparent, not real. The Marcionite Gospel (about A.D. 138) denied that Jesus was born, and merely said that he appeared in human form.”5
Christians do not know whether Jesus is God, son of God or prophet of God–claiming that Jesus was the prophet like Moses–(Deut. 18:15, 18-19).
Christians are also divided as to whether Jesus’ birth was “virginal” or “mechanical.”
(It is expected that one who is given direction to a destination that such direction is clear and precise so that when he comes to a branch in the road he is not left to guess which route to take). As they delineate between heaven and hell, the cardinal doctrines of a religion are to be clearly expressed, and not left to the function of interpretation.
Whereas the cardinal doctrines of Islam –Unity of God and Messengership of Mohammad, Prayer, Charity, Fasting and Hajj–are clearly expressed in the Qur’an and explained by the Prophet Mohammad; the cardinal doctrines of Christianity –divinity of Jesus: God, son of God; Trinity; inherited sin; and vicarious atonement– are not clearly expressed in the Bible, nor explained by Jesus.
There is no place in the Bible where Jesus says“I am God,” “I am one in a Trinity with God,” “I am the literal son of God” (as begetting requires the union of ovum and sperm), “man inherited sin from Adam,” “I came to die for the sins of the world.” These doctrines have no Divine foundation; no prophetic foundation, no logical foundation; and are repugnant to reason. Such beliefs are assumed and propagated as Divine truths.
No man of dignity would appreciate a child being wrongly ascribed to him.
No father would appreciate that his child give paternal dues to another.
To beget –fatherhood– requires the joining of the male sperm with the female ovum; and as Mary was NOT the consort of God, Jesus is not the “begotten son” of God.
Apart from Mary not being the consort of God, “God is a Spirit”–(John 4:24). Spirit cannot bear parental relations with Man, who is flesh and blood.
That Jesus was the product of sexual intercourse and not virgin birth is clearly stated in the Bible:
- “I am the root and the offspring of David”-(Jesus: Rev; 22:16).
- Jesus was of the “house of David”-(Luke 1:27; 2:4).
- “Jesus Christ …was made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (and according to the flesh is sex)–(Romans 1:3).
- Jesus is “of the fruit of the loins of David, according to the flesh” (through sex)-(Acts 2:30).
Mary Virgin or Young woman?
(Using Hebrew, Pagan, Christian and Qur’anic sources Khwaja Nazir Ahmad has dealt at length with the birth, mission, crucifixion, burial, and ascension of Jesus in his revealing book Jesus in Heaven on Earth. Sixth Edition Printed in India 1988. Published by Dar-ul-Isha’at-Kutub-E-Islamia; Fatmabai Court, 4th floor above Bank of Maharashtra, 17, Maulana Azad Road, Jacob Circle Bombay 400 011. Tel: 893 438-398330. Through special arrangement with the Woking Muslim Mission & Litera-ry Trust, Lahore. Printed by: Ashok Printing Press, 201, Khetwadi Main Road, Bombay 400 004.
The following material is taken from his book. To make it an ease to reference, footnotes are moved into the text. Materials in “color” are added. R.V. refers to “Revised Version” of the Bible).
Khwaja Nazir Ahmad:
“The Apocryphal and canonical Gospels give different versions of the conception and birth of Jesus, They describe the various stages from a simple and natural occurrence to a minute and miraculously embellished story in which the events are traced back to the very earliest date. Mark and John content themselves with the mention of Mary as the mother and of Joseph as the father of Jesus–(Mark 6:3; John 1:45; 6:42). Matthew and Luke, however, give details of the circumstances attending the conception and birth of Jesus, as the Messiah, and are at pains to fulfil, as far as possible, all the prophecies of the Old Testament in the person of Jesus. Matthew is out to meet all the objections as may, or could, have been raised against the virgin birth theory, at the time this Gospel was written or revised–(Matt. 1:18-25). Both of them, however, pre-suppose Mary to be the espoused wife of Joseph. The Apocryphal Gospel –the Gospel according to the Hebrews, the Gospel of the Ebionites, and some others, with most of which the early Christian Fathers agreed, narrate the origin of Jesus as the result of a lawful marriage between Joseph and Mary.”
“Corinthus, one of the very early Christians, arguing against the virgin birth, urged that
it is impossible, because by the concurrence of two sexes is a new human being generated, and that the contrary would be most remarkable departure from all natural laws. (Hom, Lucan, XIII).
Forced with the strength of his reasoning the Christian apologists, opposing Corinthus, did not hesitate to reduce Jesus to a worm,” “they alleged that the birth of Jesus was in a manner like that of a worm and asserted that the following passages applied to Jesus:
I am a worm, not a man–(Psalm XXII: 6-8)
The son of man, which is a worm–(Job XXV: 6),
The Christian apologists of a period a little later, however, had to take another line of argument. They maintained that Jesus had come for the redemption of mankind and, therefore, had to be severed from all original sin from his birth”–(Olshausen, Bibl; comm.; S. 49).”
If God had created Jesus through “virgin-birth” and made it a cardinal law of religion, it is doubtful that there would be any doubt in the minds of Christians.
“Virgin birth” could not have freed Jesus from “original sin.” Since woman is the ‘transgressor’* and thus the actual vehicle of the transmission of sin, Jesus would have received sin through his mother. Therefore to sever the father element from Jesus in order to keep him free from sin is an exercise in futility. (*1 Timothy 2:14; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Genesis 3:6, 12).
“In any case, nowhere is such a conception ascribed to Mary. The expression the Holy Ghost is specially characteristic of the New Testament and occurs in it eighty-one times. The Jews did not regard the Spirit as personal and, therefore, Mary must have understood the words: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee as identical with the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. But not so with the evangelists to whom, about a century afterwards, the term “Holy Ghost” had become practically a proper name.
….The virgin birth, though definitely asserted in Matt. and Luke–(Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:5-80), finds no echo in any other part of the New Testament. Mark is totally silent. If such an event had in fact happened, and he had believed in it, would he have remained silent? The answer is obvious; but against this, a reference is made to the description of Jesus in Mark as “son of God”–(Mark 1:1), and it has been argued that Mark would not have styled Jesus as such if he did not believe in the virgin birth. I admit the force of this argument and one might have conceded the virgin birth theory on this argument alone if there had been any basis for attributing the alleged words to Mark. These very words were also used by Luke–(1:35). But both the verses are the result of pious forgeries by early Christians. In Mark the words were merely added–(See marginal note in the Revised Version p. 1098). The Sinaitic Syriac, which is of great autho-rity, and the early patristic traditions represented by Irenaeus and Origen, followed by Basil and Jerome, omit the words. In Luke the phrase, the Son of God, was substituted for he word Holy–(See Revised Version, p. 1126). These facts demolish the case; but, in any case, the words, Son of God, are to be interpreted in a metaphorical sense and not in a physical sense.”
“Mark, I repeat, ought to have known of this virgin birth, and since he does not mention it, it stands to reason that either he was ignorant of it or he did not accept it. There are still some traces which show that in the Urmarcus it was at the time of baptism of Jesus, and not at the moment of his conception, that the Holy Spirit entered his humanity. Mark, therefore, could not have believed in the virgin birth of Jesus.
John is equally silent, and his silence is all the more significant since it was he, as is supposed, to whom Jesus, while on the cross, entrusted the case of Mary–(John 19:27). He, therefore, would have been all the more likely person to know all the facts about the occurrence. It is argued that John believed that Jesus was the incarnation of God, of the Logos,* and was co-eternal with God. Christian apologists refer to:
Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God–(John 1:13. Jesus could not be “were”–plural).
and argue that John was not depending on any earthly father. To this I reply: he was equally not depending on any earthly mother. To cite this passage in favour of the virgin birth theory is grossly to misconstrue it. It refers in fact to the sons of God mentioned in the preceding verse –which reads: “But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God….Which were born, not of blood…..”In any case, the incarnation of the Logos in Jesus does not imply that the man Jesus was exempt from the laws of human generation, for it was at his baptism that, according to John also, the Logos descended onto him. John merely elevates the idea of Mark and preserves it in its external form. Accordingly, he never misses an opportunity of stating that Jesus is the son of Joseph. He records of one of Jesus’ disciples saying:
Philip findeth Nathaniel and saith unto him: we have found him of whom Moses in the Law and prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph–(John 1:45).
And they said, is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know….?–(John 6:42).
John could never have recorded these incidents if they had, to his mind, conflicted with his theory.
(There is a legion of Sons of God in the Bible. If God had willed Mary to conceive without male intervention, it was not necessary for her to marry Joseph (or any other) to protect her good name against any scandal. Mary was a righteous person and if she had told her people that God had willed her to have a child through immaculate conception there was no reason her people should doubt her.
The Israelite were no strangers to miracles. Not only did they accept the births of Isaac and John the Baptist to be of Divine intervention–even Hannah seemed to have had “virgin births”: “And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters”(1 Samuel 2:21)–but the landscape of the Israelites’ religious history is colored with “signs” from heaven: from Balaam’s ass speaking to Balaam–(Num. 22:28, 30); to Moses transforming a stick into a serpent–(Ex. 7:10); to Elijah ascending to heaven by a whirlwind –(2 Kings 2:11). As Jesus says: “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe”–(John 4:48). The Jews, seemingly, believed more in miracles than in Jesus. Thus, it was not necessary for Mary to marry Joseph to preserve her character.
*Logos. As to Jesus being the Logos –the incarnation of God: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” is not original to the Bible. It was absorbed from the ink of Philo. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din explains in his revealing book The Sources of Christianity: “The term word, used in St. John, which stands for the Greek word Logos, is an inadequate rendering. In all his writings Philo speaks of Logos, –a philosophic conception of later growth and a development of the “Idea of Plato,” in his theory of Emanation. It does not mean Word; it conveys “Thought as well as expression.” Plato, when dealing with the subject, spoke of something– as the first thing in creation that may be styled “Reason or Wisdom”–the first product of Herbert Spencer’s “First Intelligent Cause.”Notably, Philo “lived and wrote all this one hundred years before the writers, whosoever they may be, of that Gospel.”(pp. 76-77).
Turning to the Apostles, we do not find the slightest reference to virgin birth in any of their Epistles. Paul speaks of the descent of Jesus according to the flesh–(Rom. 1:3) and he says:
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law–(Gal. 4:4. I have used the word born instead of made, as it is so given in the Revised Version, p. 1288).
Now if this verse is read without forcing its meaning it will appear to indicate the normal birth of a Jewish child. Paul makes two definite statements. He says that Jesus was born of a woman. He does not say that Jesus was born of a virgin; because he knew of Jesus’ human generation, and asserted
Jesus Christ, our Lord, was born of the seed of David, according to the flesh–(Rom; 1:3. I have used the word born instead of made. See R.V; p. 1241).
The expression born of a woman is not peculiar to Paul. In the biblical sense, it has a significance of its own; and Paul must be held to have used the phrase in that sense only. In the Old Testament, when anyone’s normal human birth had to be described, he was referred to as having been born of a woman. Jesus used this phrase in this very sense regarding John the Baptist, and the rest of the people of his time, when he said:
Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist (including Jesus, as he also was born of a woman)–(Matt. 11:11; Luke 7:28).
In the Old Testament we read:
Man, that is born of a woman, is of a few days and full of trouble–(Isaiah 7:14).
When Paul, therefore, described Jesus as born of a woman he meant nothing more than that Jesus was born in accordance with human nature with all its conditions.
A passage in Isaiah–(7:14) has been referred to to indicate that a virgin was meant by Paul. It is merely a play upon the Greek word Parthenos (virgin), which does not appear in the Hebrew text, and thus a deliberately dishonest translation of an Hebrew word Haalmah (woman) has led to confusion where none existed”–(Revised Version, p. 760). Dummelow admits that “the Hebrew word is not the distinctive one for virginity.”(“The nearest Hebrew equivalent of “Virgin” is Bethulah”).2
The Rev. Prof. Donaldson in his discussion of the meaning of the Hebrew word Haalmah says:
Everyone who is acquainted with the Hebrew word will be obliged to admit that the designation in question cannot mean anything more than a young or newly married woman.”3
It may also be mentioned that the same word, Haalmah, was used for Rebeccah and she was not a virgin at that time–(Gen 24: 43).
But Paul makes the matter absolutely clear, for he asserts that Jesus was born under the law. What was this law? I will let Jesus give the answer”
But from the beginning of the creation God made them males and females, for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and the twain shall be one flesh. So then they are no more twain, but one flesh–(Mark 10:6-8; cf. Gen; 1:27; 2:24; 5:2; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph; 5:31).
By this saying of Jesus not only is the law explained whereby the generation of human beings is made clear, but the other phrase which Paul used about Jesus being “born of the seed of David according to the flesh” becomes abundantly clear if we read it with the assertion that the Messiah had to be “the fruit of the loins of David”–(Acts 2:30; cf. Psalm 132:11).
Finally, in the prologue of the Epistle to the Roman it is clearly stated that:
Jesus….which was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead–(Rom. 1:3-4).
The words of Paul, therefore, leave no room for any doubt at all, for no one can identify the antithesis of flesh and spirit with maternal human participation in the conception of Jesus. Jesus, in the words of Paul born according to the flesh in the natural manner, became the son of God according to the spirit at his resurrection and not at his birth. In other words, according to Paul, though Jesus was a man in flesh, yet he was the son of God in spirit only. The latter statement of course, is a mere Chris-tological assertion, and is also found in the Acts, in which the Messianic exultation of Jesus still dates from the resurrection.
“Neither Paul nor Mark,” say the compilers of the Encyclopaedia Britannica “betray any knowledge of the tradition (of virgin birth). It was unknown to the Apostles, and did not appear to have formed part of the Apostolic preachings.”4 Had such an event taken place, Paul would certainly have known of it and would have been the first to broadcast it to the world.
The other Apostles were also ignorant of the virgin birth and are equally silent. James the Just, brother of Jesus, was the head of the Church at Jerusalem. He belonged to the Ebionite sect. He with them believed that:
Jesus is the Messiah, yet a mere man, born by natural generation to Joseph and Mary.5
In the Gospel according to the Hebrews it is narrated that Mary had been married to Joseph and had given birth to Jesus in a natural manner–(Gospel of Heb; II: 3). Jerome has preserved a verse from this Gospel which says:
The mother and father of Jesus were present at his baptism–(Ibid; III: 2)
Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Gibson recovered an old Syrian manuscript of the Gospel in a monastery on Mount Sinai. In this was found an explicit statement:
Jesus’ father was Joseph and his mother Mary–(Lewis, The Old Syriac Gospel, 2).
The History of Joseph the carpenter tells us that Jesus at the death of Joseph, uttered the following lamentations:
Not a single limb of it shall be broken, nor shall any hair of thy head be changed. Nothing of thy body shall perish, O! my father Joseph, but it will remain entire and uncorrupted even until the banquet of the Thousand years–(Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible, 434).
The object of writing this History is revealed in the book in the words of the Apostles’ address to Jesus:
Thou hast ordered us to go into all the world and to preach thy holy Gospel, and thou hast said: “Relate to them the death of my father, Joseph, and celebrate to him with annual solemnity a festival and a sacred Day–(Ibid.)
Thus get the origin of the festival of St. Joseph’s Day.
In one of the books of the Samaritan Chronicles there occurs the following passage:
In the time of Jehonathan, there was….Jesus, the son of Mary, son of Joseph, the Carpenter….at Jerusalem, in the reign of Tiberius….–(Journale Asiatique, 1869; II: 439).
Jesus was a Jew, and to the Jews amongst whom he lived and preached, he was under the Law. The Jews of his time, and of Galilee in particular, who knew him and his parents, did not believe in his Divine Mission or his virgin birth. They had two alternatives before them. They could either believe him to be a legitimate offspring of Joseph and Mary or treat him, I hate to use the word but for special reasons have no option, as a bastard.
Jesus, we are told, entered the synagogues and preached there –(Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 12:9; 21:12; Mark 1:21, 39; 6:2; Luke 4:33, 44; John 6:59, etc). Had the Jews looked upon Jesus as a bastard, they would not have allowed him to attend, much less preach in, the synagogues for it was ordained that:
A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord–(Deut; 23:2).
In the face of this clear injunction, and what we are told of Jesus’ behaviour in the Temple at Jerusalem, can anyone seriously urge that the Jews of his time did not look upon him as a legitimate offspring of Israel?
In the writing of an ancient Rabbi, who wrote just when virgin birth was first attributed to Jesus, we read:
Jesus was as legitimate as any other Jewish child in Galilee. His father was an artisan, a carpenter. The son learned the trade of his father and made goads and yokes ….–(Ab Zar, 3b).
A happy chance has preserved the following Talmudic expression which from the Jewish point of view lends support to the Rabbinical writings referred to above:
Jesus was a carpenter, a son of a carpenter. (J. Yeban III: 2).
After taking into consideration the contemporary writings and other Rabbinical literature the compilers of the Jewish Encyclopaedia express themselves in the following terms:
The Jews, who are represented as inimical to Jesus in the Canonical Gospels, took him to be legitimate and born in the ordinary natural way–(Jewish Ency; Vol. VII, 170).
Whiston in his Dissertation I to the works of Josephus remarks:
All the believing Jews and all the rest of the Nazarene Jews esteemed Jesus with one consent, as a mere man, the son of Joseph and Mary–(Ibid; Vol. III, 276).
Hastings also says that:
It is quite clear that Jesus was popularly looked upon by his contemporaries as Joseph’s son by natural generation.”6
“So long as the early Christians did not assert the virgin birth of Jesus, none of his contemporaries challenged his legitimacy. But the moment Jesus was raised to the pedestal of Godhead, the imaginations of the hagiographers had full scope to indulge in the most affecting or foolish fabrications accorded to their literary skill. In the second century they attributed supernatural birth to Jesus. The Pagans retorted with the charge of illegitimacy. The Christian legendary cult has to thank itself for this calumny against Jesus and Mary. Josephus had provided the Pagans with a parallel–(Josephus, Antiq; XVIII: 3-4) for he records that Mundus, a Roman knight, won Paulina, the chaste knight of a Roman noble, to his wishes by causing her to be invited by a priest of Isis into the temple of the goddess under a pretext that the god Anubis desired to embrace her. In the innocence of faith Paulina resigned herself and would perhaps have afterwards believed that she gave birth to the son of this god had not the intriguer, with bitter scorn, soon after disclosed to her the true state of affairs.
The Pagans substituted Mary for Paulina and Joseph (for) Pandera, a soldier, for the Roman knight mentioned by Josephus
This calumny was taken up by the Jews of the second century, and found a place in the Talmud. Jesus was then styled as ben Pandera. (i.e. son of Pandera). It is this calumny of which Celsus accuses Jews and which is referred to by Origen–(Orig; C: Celsus, I:32) but of which the Jews of the time of Jesus were ignorant and innocent.”
“It is very peculiar that there is no retrospective reference to the virgin birth of Jesus in the New Testament. Not one of the incidents contained in the New Testament allude even indirectly to this outstanding miracle.
Let us first listen to Jesus himself. According to the Gospels, he never made any reference, nor appealed, to the manner of his birth in support of his claim. On the other hand, however, we find expressions used by him which excludes the idea of virgin birth. In Matthew he declared that he cast out devils by “the spirit of God”–(Matt. 12:28). This assertion rested on the basis that the Spirit of God filled his body, but not upon the idea that it was by the Divine Spirit that he had been begotten. This saying of Jesus clearly proves that he was absolutely ignorant about his supernatural birth, and he never realized that God had in any manner connected his mission on earth with the peculiar manner of his birth. Surely such a saying of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, would have been an improbability if Jesus had possessed the consciousness that his mother had been deemed by God to be worthy of a position so exalted, so singular, as the hagiographers have ascribed to her. I will presently show that he actually thought otherwise. In any case it can hardly be suggested that his parents could have concealed the happy event. It is recorded that when Mary and Joseph took the child Jesus to the Temple for purification. Simon took the child and prayed that, as he had then seen the Christ, he might be permitted to die.
And his father Joseph and his mother marveled at the things spoken of him–(Luke 2:33).
And we are further told that they took him to the feast of the Passover at Jerusalem when he was twelve years of age. After a day’s journey on their return, they found Jesus missing, and had to go back to Jerusalem in search of him. They found him after a search of three days, sitting in the Temple, in the midst of the scribes, both hearing them and asking them questions. The narrative goes on:
And when they saw him they were amazed, and his mother said unto him: Son, why hast thou dealt with us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them: How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spoke unto them. (Luke 2:48-50).
Naturally, Joseph and Mary, knowing that Jesus was their offspring in the natural physical sense, failed to understand a child of twelve speaking of someone else as his father. This incident of all strikes at the very foot of the virgin birth theory, and establishes beyond the least shade or shadow of doubt that at least his parents had no knowledge of it. Of course, they could not have even dreamt of it, as they knew otherwise. Their lack of understanding Jesus thus becomes intelligible; while, on the other hand, it is rendered absolutely incomprehensible if supernatural birth, to the knowledge of his parents, is ascribed to Jesus. And would they not talk of this miraculous event between themselves and to others? In anticipation of such an objection the redactor gives us an answer, impossible to believe. He says:
But his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. (Luke 2:51). (How then could they know if his mother kept all these sayings in her heart? And there is no record of her telling anyone).
Anyhow, we are not told that Joseph also behaved in this manner.
The terms in which Jesus referred to his mother are also incompatible with the virgin birth theory. I will narrate but two incidents. Jesus had gone with his disciples, we are told, to a marriage party and had asked for wine. Mary, who was also present, informed him that there was none. He at once turned on her, and:
Jesus saith unto her, Woman: what have I to do with thee?–(John 2:4).
On another occasion, it is recorded that the Jews, alluding to the Holy Ghost having descended on Jesus at his baptism, alleged that Jesus was possessed of an unclean spirit. Jesus was discussing the question thus raised when:
There came then his brethren and his mother and, standing without, sent onto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them saying, Who is my mother or my brethren? And he looked round about on them, which sat about him, and said: Behold, my mother and brethren! For whomsoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother–(Mark 3:31-35; cf. Matt. 12:48-50).
These harsh sayings of Jesus conclusively prove that Jesus was disassociating himself from his mother, brothers and sisters because they, according to the Gospels, would not believe in him. This fact is further made clear by John:
Neither did his brethren believe in him–(John 7:5).
The context makes it quite clear that John was speaking of the blood-brothers of Jesus. It is not surprising, if the virgin birth theory did not exist at the time, that they did not believe in him. We know that James the Just did not accept him till after the crucifixion. The last passage stands connected with a circumstance which Matthew tries to disguise and Luke omits altogether and which is preserved only by Mark. He narrates:
And when his kinsmen heard of it, they went out to lay hold of him; for they said he is mad–(Mark 3:21).
Before proceeding further I must point out the manner in which, for obvious reasons, an effort has been made to dilute the force of this incident. The word kinsmen has been replaced by the word friends and the words He is beside himself have been substituted for He is mad.
(More Christian jugglery. And trying to lure the world into following them into the Fire. What devotee of God will mutilate God’s Book and lead others astray?)
Who these kinsmen, or friends, were we learn from Matthew– (12:46) and Mark–(3:31): they were his mother and brethren. They had set out from Nazareth and arrived at a time when he was having a controversy with the Scribes. Even if we regard it as possible that Mary chose to keep her secret, she, knowing of his supernatural origin, would never have thought of him as mad or beside himself. Jesus’ saying on another occasion is also germane to the present subject. Jesus was preaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath day and many were astonished and said:
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, Jose, and of Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them: A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house–(Mark 6:3-4).
The words among his own kin have been singularly omitted by Matthew–(13:57) and Luke–(4:24). Why? The answer is too obvious to be mentioned. Jesus never boasted of his Divine origin, but rather claimed inspiration from God–(John 7:28. (Considering that Jesus boasted of being given “all power,” can lay down his life and take it up again, and is greater than the Church, if Jesus was of “Divine” origin it is doubtful that he would not have boasted about it). The view that Jesus first received the Holy Spirit at his baptism and that up to that time Jesus had not yet been glorified–(John 7:39) could never have arisen if the theory of virgin birth had been in existence from the first. He himself claimed to be like unto Moses, and asserted that he was a son of Abraham–(Luke 19:9). He was styled as a mere man, and he spoke of himself as such–(Matt. 8:27; Mark 2:7, 6:2; John 1:30, 7:27-28. 46; Acts 6:37, 2:22. And Mark 13:34; John 3:13, 8:40, respectively). He was spoken of by others as the son of Man, and he also described himself as such–thirty-four times in Matthew, fourteen times in Mark, twenty-four times in Luke and twelve times in John. He is described as such in the Acts and the Revelation. Never did he speak of himself as the son of God except in two passages, which I have already discussed.
As to the meaning or significance of the phrase, the Son of Man, we must turn to the Old Testament. In the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel we find that the term Son of Man, Ben Adam, is the standing phrase by which the Prophet describes himself –(Ezekiel 2:1,3; 3:1, 3, 4 etc). This was in no doubt Hebrew, but Aramaic was only one of its dialects. Again every descendant of Adam is spoken of as son of man–(Job 25:6; Psalm 144:3, 146:3; Isaiah 51:12, 56:2). It is impossible to imagine that the Jews, who were extremely devoted to the Old Testament, would have forgotten so frequent a use of this phrase. Whatever degradation the phrase may have suffered in common speech, the Biblical use must at any time have been capable of being revived as a mode of address of a man. Rev. William Sanday says that “to the Jews and to Jesus, who was a Jew, this phrase as a whole meant no more than a simple man”–(Sandy, The Life of Christ, 213).
I have discussed this phrase to show that Jesus would not have referred to himself as son of Man if he did not mean to convey that he was just a man himself, a man with all the implications of a human being, including male participation in his conception.
I will now go into further details to show how the New Testament teems with references against the virgin birth theory. Mary is described as the espoused wife of Joseph–(Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:27, 2:25), and again by the simple description of wife–(Matt. 1:20, 24). Joseph is referred to as the husband of Mary–(Matt. 1:16, 19). Not only does Mary herself describe Joseph as the father of Jesus–(Luke 2:48), but Joseph is referred to as the father of Jesus in many places–(Luke 2:33, 48; 4:22; John 1:45; 6:42) and, further, both Mary and Joseph are mentioned as the parents of Jesus–(Luke 2:27, 41, 43), a description which could not have been used in any other sense but to convey the natural conception of Jesus. The naïve efforts of the redactors to disguise the paternity of Jesus by forgeries have no limit. To mention a few: In Matthew the words “the carpenter’s son” were substituted for Joseph–(See R.V; p. 1074). In Luke the words His father preceding Joseph were omitted–(Luke 2:33; R.V; p. 1128) and in another place the words Joseph and Mary were omitted and the words his parents were substituted–(Luke 2:27), while the words his parents appearing before Joseph and Mary were also omitted–(Luke 2:43). The oldest six codices have, in Vs. 41 of Ch. II, the words Joseph et Maria after his parents, and these also were omitted–(Luke 2:41).
It is for Christian apologists to explain why these forgeries were made.
The fact that Jesus was acknowledged as the son of Joseph, in the physical sense, cannot be denied. This fact was not infrequently alluded to contemptuously and by way of reproach in his presence. I am, of course, referring to descriptions of Jesus as the son of a carpenter–(Matt. 13:55; Luke 4:22; Mark 6:3). Not once did Jesus repudiate it or assert his immaculate conception. I have already quoted two passages from John–(1:45; 6:42) in which reference was made to Joseph as the father of Jesus. It is obvious that these statements were made, in the presence of Jesus, manifestly in the real sense of paternity and nowhere is this represented to be erroneous. The entire narrative exhibited the Apostles as having a right belief on the point.
Throughout the New Testament the claim of Jesus to be the Messiah is based on his descent from David–(Matt. 12:23; 15:22; 20:30-31; 21:7, 15; Mark 10:47-48; 11:10; Luke 1:69; 18:38-39; John 7:42; Acts 2:29-30; 13:23; 2 Tim. 2:8; Heb. 7:14; Rev; 5:5; 22:16). This descent can only be attributed to Jesus if he was born according to natural law, for he is styled to be of the seed of David and had to be the fruit of the loins of David according to the flesh –(Acts 2:30). And we find that Luke, appreciating the importance of this fact, says that Joseph was “of the house and lineage of David”–(Luke 2:4). Dummelow also realizes this difficulty and says:
The accuracy or inaccuracy of the genealogies does not affect the main point at issue, our Lord’s descent, through his legal father Joseph, from David. Joseph’s family certainly claimed descent of David. (Dummelow, Comm. on the Holy Bible, 622. [Italics are mine]).
In these circumstances, the term seed of David requires some explanation. It has been furnished by Trypho, the Jew of Justin Martyr. He says:
For we all await the Christ, who will be a man among men….the Messiah will be descended from the seed of David, he will not be born of a virgin, for it was God’s promise to the ancient King that he who is to come, would issue from his seed. Are we to think that God was merely mocking him–(Paulus, Comm. on Matt; 56).
Typho, of course, was using the term in the literal sense and was adopting it as an argument against the virgin birth theory.”
Whereas Matthew records the angel as appearing to Joseph–(Matt. 1:20):“Joseph, according to the Gospels, never came in contact with any of the disciples of Jesus. He plays no part in the ministry of Jesus. How is it that his apparition is known at all and is recorded in the Gospel?”
“From the narrative of Matthew–(1:18) and Luke–(1:34) it is clear that the conception of Jesus was to be by the Holy Ghost. But it is somewhat surprising to find that the very two Gospels which relate the miracle of the virgin birth, are the ones which claim the descent of Jesus as given in their genealogies. These genealogies, in spite of their defects and discrepancies, would never have been prepared if the relationship between Joseph and Jesus had not existed and been admitted at the time of their compilation. The authors or the copyists or the redactors must have become somewhat disturbed by the very obvious contradictions in the conclusions of these genealogies on the one hand and the theory of the virgin birth on the other, which was definitely to annul the paternity of Joseph. Notwithstanding their own convictions as portrayed in the genealogies, they, therefore, made abortive attempts to establish the Divine origin of Jesus. In Matthew the word begat appeared thirty-eight times and in Luke the word son appeared seventy-six times. It must have been realized that not one of the ancestors mentioned in the two genealogies was born of a virgin, and, therefore, the words begat and son would have to have the same significance and meaning, a natural birth, with regard to Jesus, unless of course some addition or alteration was made to import the virgin birth. In Matthew the phrase originally was:
And Jacob begat Joseph, and Joseph begat Jesus of Mary.
If we read this verse in the light of verses 1–6, where the children of four women, viz; Thamar, Rachab, Ruth, and the wife of Urias, are mentioned, we find that in each case the description is identical. Thus we are told:
Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar.1….Salmon begat Booz of Rachab, and Booz begat Obed of Ruth.2 ….and David the King begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias.3….and Jacob begat Joseph and Joseph begat Jesus of Mary.4
Thus the same phraseology is used and the same meaning must be given. In none of these cases did the author, in the first instance, imply an immaculate conception.
Our certainty on this is confirmed by a text of Epiphanius which informs us that the early Christians, such as Corinthus and Carpocrates, used a Gospel of Matthew in which the genealogy was made the basis of the claim that Jesus was in reality the son of Joseph and Mary–(Haer; XXX: 14). Eusebius attributes the same opinion, and the same defence of it, to the Ebionite Syma-nachus–(Eusebius, H.E. VII: 17). Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, two of the most ancient ecclesiastical writers, agree that the Ebionites, the early Jewish Christians, held this belief at the earliest period known to Christian history–(Justin, Dial cum Trypho, 48). Clement condemned them for recognising Jesus only as the son of Joseph, through whom he is traced genealo-gically to David, and not as the son of God–(Clement, Homil, XVIII: 13).
But the simple phrase: and Jacob begat Joseph and Joseph begat Jesus of Mary was soon changed into:
And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Discussing this change in this verse Rev. C. J. Scofield in his Reference to the New Testament had to admit:
The changed expression was introduced to convey that Jesus was not begotten of natural conception–(Scofield, The New testament and Psalms, 2).
(And Christians want the world to swallow that the Bible is “all” word of God; and they expect to sit with Jesus “at the right hand of God”).
One of the copyists made another alteration. He changed the phrase to:
And Jacob begat Joseph, and Joseph, to whom was married the virgin Mary, begat Jesus–(Conybear, Dialogue of Timothy and Aquila, 16. See also Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, 701).
This introduction of the word virgin clearly, but rather awkwardly, exhibited the object for which the alteration was made; and the Church was compelled to disown it.
In the case of Luke we are less fortunate as the manuscripts do not permit us to trace the matter which has been altered. But that it has been changed is self-evident and sufficiently proved by the reading of the relevant verse:
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph…. –(Luke III: 23).
The words as was supposed are in brackets, and betray an addition, as Loisy justly observes: “to abrogate the idea of natural sonship which the text of this passage originally suggested.”
(If God revealed the Gospels why make ‘supposition’ in His statement? It is for certain that God knows if Joseph was Jesus’ father or not for Him to reveal that Jesus was the “supposed” son of Joseph).
Both Matthew (1:18) and Luke (2:5) speak of Mary as the espoused wife of Joseph. I do not wish to enter into a controversy but will only mention that modern critics have proved that this translation of the Greek text is incorrect and that it should be wedded wife–(Rev. Dr. Leighton, A Faith to Affirm, 312). The Syriac Sinaiticus uses the word his wife–(Peake, Commentary on the Bible, 726). “The word espousage according to the Oxford English Dictionary means the condition of “being married, wedlock,” and espousal means “the celebration of marriage nuptials or wedding.” The compilers of this Dictionary make a significant observation and say:
It seems probable that the sense “marriage” was the original one in English, and the sense betrothal arose at a later stage through the influence of the Canonical law.
The translators of the Authorised Version (of the Bible) must have used the word espoused wife to indicate wedded wife, as opposed to a concubine, for there is no such thing as “betrothed wife.” Webster in his Dictionary makes the interpretation still more clear. He explains betroth as: promise to take (as a future espouse) in marriage; and espouse as uniting in marriage, to wed. The same meanings are given in Skeat’s Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. In this connection I would like to quote a passage from Hastings’ Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels.
That the virgin is still spoken of as espoused in Luke II, 5 is not to be taken necessarily an indication that the marriage had not taken place. Had she not been Joseph’s wife, the Jewish custom would have forbidden her making the journey along with him–(Hastings’Dict. of Christ and the Gospels, 141).
And to this, may I add, as mentioned by Matthew, living in the house of Joseph–(Matt. 1:24). This certainly would have been an impossibility if Mary had been only betrothed to Joseph.
In Matthew the theory of virgin birth is based on the following passage, wherein we are told that after rising from his sleep Joseph took unto him his wife.
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus–(Matt. 1:25).
The Syriac Sinaiticus makes the position perfectly clear for in place of this lengthy statement it has a simple one:
And she bore to him a son and called his name Jesus–(See Ency.Biblica, Col. 2961).
Thus the birth of the son connects itself directly with the words of the preceding verse. To make the sense absolutely clear, I will quote the two verses together:
Then Joseph arose from his sleep….and took unto him his wife, and she bore to him a son and he called his name Jesus–(Matt. 1:24-25).
No comments are necessary. The text speaks for itself and exposes the clever forgery of the early Christians.
In the case of Luke, I am able to advance the matter still further. The first two chapters of Luke bear definite testimony against the virgin birth theory. Were virgin birth to be pre-supposed, it would indeed be a very singular thing.”
“We are told that Jesus was born after Mary’s “days were accomplished” just like John the Baptist was born after the “full time” of Elizabeth–(Luke 2:6; 1:57). How is it in the case of a supernatural birth all the laws relating to a natural birth had to be complied with?
But this is not all. We are further told:
And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Temple–(Luke 2:22).
The redactors have substituted the word her in place of their and it so appears in the Authorised Version–(Revised Version, p. 1127), no doubt to remove the original error, because it was only the mother who was supposed to be unclean–(Lev. 12:4). But the error, if an error it be, serves to show that at least the evangelist regard Joseph as the real father of Jesus; they would not thought of him as unclean, if Jesus had been born of a virgin. To meet this objection, it has been suggested that the word their related to Mary and Jesus. But Jesus was “the Holy of the Holies,” and in any case under the law as laid down in the Third Book of Moses, Leviticus, a newly-born child never became unclean. Further, if the birth had been brought about by supernatural means, no occasion to stress any uncleanness on Mary’s part could have arisen. This incident shows that the progress of the child in his mother’s womb must have been in accordance with the laws of nature: the very idea of purification suggests it.
The whole of Luke, therefore, not only knows nothing of the virgin birth but rests upon natural birth. As in Matthew, the entire story is based on two verses in Luke which, as I will now show, are also forgeries. They read:
Then said Mary unto the Angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the Angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore, also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God–(Luke 1:34-35. Note, as underlined, Jesus is only “called” son of God: he is not the son of God. And as already stated the Bible has a legion of sons of God. See Jesus-Son of God).
In verse 34, know is in the present tense and Mary does not speak of the future, while the angel is using the future tense all the while. It may also be stated, and Dummelow agrees–(Dummelow, Commentary on the Holy Bible, 739), that Mary takes the words of the angel as fulfilment in the ordinary way of nature. The reply of the angel (verse 35) is only to express in great clearness what he has already said in verses 30-33, which admit without any difficulty of being understood–as Mary in fact so understood them–as referring to the birth of the Messiah from a human marriage. Peake, while commenting on these verses, says:
Many scholars regard these verses as an interpolation…. The idea of verse 35 and its terminology are not Hebraic; “Spirit” in Hebrew is feminine. But it is possible to take “overshadow” in the primary Greek sense of hide and conceal. Pregnant women were regarded as peculiarly liable to the assault of evil spirits (cf. Rev; XII: 1-6). We may thus have here the idea of Satan lying in wait for the future Messiah (cf. Rev; XII: 1-5); to avoid any molestation the Power of the Highest will conceal the mother till the danger is past. Or it may be that the child, while conceived in the usual way, was to receive a special pre-natal sanctity….like John–(Peake, Comm. on the Bible, 726. Italics are mine).
Again, if we proceed further, the narrative makes the Holy Ghost descend only twice. The first time the object was:
And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost–(Luke 1:41).
For the second visit of the Holy Ghost, we have to skip over to the third chapter:
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved son, in thee I am well pleased –(Luke 3:21-22).
The birth of Jesus took place betwixt these two visits. On these facts alone Luke can be said to give a direct lie to the virgin birth theory.
But, as already stated, the virgin birth theory is based on verses 34-35. And Weiss says they are forgeries,7 a conclusion with which many authorities agree. The revised Version shows the alteration8 and Hastings says:
Removal of verses 34-35, which contain the only reference to virgin birth, as interpolations, is justified. (Hasting’s Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, 806).
Realizing the position that the relevant verses regarding the virgin birth in both Matthew and Luke are forgeries, the compilers of the Encyclopaedia Biblica were compelled to come to the only possible conclusion that:
The virgin birth disappears from the source altogether. (Ency. Biblica, Col. 2957.)”9
As shown, Jesus’ Messiahship is based on his descent from David. This descent can only be attributed to Jesus if he was born according to natural law (mating). If Jesus was born through immaculate conception he could not have been of the house of David because his mother, though an Israelite, was not of the lineage of David but of the lineage of Levi.10 Thus:
If Jesus is the Messiah he could not be of immaculate conception.
If Jesus was of immaculate conception he could not be the Messiah.
Jesus himself stated in unambiguous terms: “I am the root and the offspring of David”–(Rev; 22:16). When the angels brought the news of Jesus’ birth to Mary, the angel told her that God will give Jesus the throne of “his father David”–(Luke 1:32).
(For Jesus’ alleged crucifixion, resurrection and ascension see Jesus-inherited sin to ascension).
2. Jesus–in the Qur’an
If Allāh created Jesus without a father to prove His powers, could not the scientists who clone (be it animals or people) without the agency of the male, also lay claim to being able to produce without a father?
“Islam made reason the judge in everything, whether in religion or in conviction and faith itself.”
“The Qur’an constantly warns its readers not to adopt uncritically and blindly the ideas and principles of the forefathers, but to have faith in man’s personal capacity to reach the truth.”–(Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, pp. 522, 524).
Allah tells us there are no discrepancies in the Qur’an, only a lack of meditating on its verses:
“Will they not then meditate on the Qur’an?
And if it were from any other than Allah,
they would have found in it many a discrepancy.”
If Christians had not attributed virgin birth to Jesus, it is doubtful that Muslims would have interpreted the Qur’anic verses on Jesus’ birth to be of immaculate conception; considering that Allah tells us in the Qur’an that He created us from “a male and a female”–(49:13); and of “mingled sperm” (i.e. sperm mixed with ovum)–(76:2) and from a “sperm-drop”–(86:6); and from a “clot” (i.e. a combination of two different elements–(96:2).
Though Allah says He created man from a male and a female, this is not the only way that He can create man. He created us when we were nothing. He created the first pair (Adam and Eve) without parents. He created what we do not know.
It is doubtful that a Muslim would doubt that Allah could create Jesus without a father, when Allah could create out of nothing. To reason that Jesus had a father is not putting a limit on the power of Allāh, God. Neither does it make a Muslim a disbeliever.
Did Allāh create Jesus without a father?
Announcement to Mary: The birth of Jesus is mentioned in three places in the Qur’an:
- in 3:41-46–angels made the announcement to Mary
- in 3:58–the likeness of Jesus is likened to that of Adam
- in 19:16-34–the roohanaa “appeared to her (Mary) as a man in all respects” (or “a well-made man”).
It may be asked, why would Allah send angels to Mary if Jesus was to be born with a father? But Allah also sent angels to Abraham and Zaccharias; but Isaac and John the Baptist were not born without fathers. In each case they had prayed for heirs and Allah sent angels to inform them that their request would be granted. And in the case of Mary, the angels must have been sent to inform Mary that she would be given a son, which was what her mother, Hannah/Anna, was expecting for herself–(Qur’an 3:34-35). Also, it may be because of this son being the Messiah.
Allāh also sent an angel to Hagar–(Genesis 16:7-12); and Ishmael was not of virgin birth
In 3:41-48 Allah recounts to the Prophet Mohammad the Angels delivering the news of Jesus’ birth to Mary. Mary was obviously troubled by this information. She probably thought that she was already with child, hence her protest: “How can I have a son when no man has touched me?” To which the angel said, “Even so; Allah creates what He pleases. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is (it will become)”–(vs. 46).
Note that the verse says Allah creates “WHAT”–son or daughter–it did not say Allah creates “HOW”–which would then show that He would create through a method other than male-female interaction.
Allah’s decree is that it was His plan to send Jesus, not that he would be fatherless. Nor could “WHAT” be taken to mean that Jesus was conceived miraculously to be given special skills–prophets perform miracles through the power of God, not through skills or through the manner of their births. Moses and other prophets performed several miracles, they were not of virgin births. In fact, even things performed miracles (See Miracles).
Jesus is word of God because it was a decree (or promise) from Allah that He would send Jesus into the world. As the Bible foretold his coming, from the house of David.
“Be, and it is” does not mean that the thing that Allah decrees will manifest instantaneously; it only means that when Allah decrees a thing no one or nothing can prevent it from coming into being.
Thus, in these words: “Even so; Allah creates what He pleases,” Allah is assuring Mary, as information only, that even if man has not touched her, that He is powerful to have her bear a son without a husband. And not that He was going to give her a son without a husband.
In chapter 19:17-21. Allah reveals that “We sent to her (Mary) Our spirit/inspired one and it appeared to her as a well-made man.” Of whom Mary was afraid. “He said: I am only a bearer of a message of thy Lord: That I will give thee a pure boy.”
Some have translated these verses as: “We sent to her (Mary) Our inspired one in likeness to her as a mortal made complete.” “He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord: to give thee a pure boy.”
As in 3:46, so also in 19:20 Mary protested to this declaration. She asked “How can I have a son and no mortal has touched me, nor have I been unchaste?” Mary is saying that she has not been with a man, nor is she a person to commit such a sin, (which the words I am not unchaste imply).
To which the spirit replied: “So. Thy Lord says: It is easy to Me; and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter decreed”–(vvs. 20-21). (According to this verse Jesus will be a sign; not that his birth will be a sign). (If Allāh created Jesus without a father to prove His powers, could not the scientists who clone without the agency of the male, also lay claim to being able to produce without a father?)
Firstly, “So. Thy Lord says: It is easy to Me”.
What is “easy to Me”? Does this mean that Mary would have a son even though “no mortal has touched” her? Or that: So. Man will touch you, and it is easy for Allah to arrange for man to touch you?
This statement: “So. Thy Lord says: It is easy to Me”, must be taken in the context of the message brought to Mary–that she would have a son–not in the context of Mary’s protest of how could she have a son when she did not have carnal relation.
If this verse 19:21(and that of 3:46) is taken to mean virgin birth, Jesus could not be the Messiah–for, as already shown, he would not have a father and would not have been of the house of David.
But Allah says that Jesus is the Messiah and will be a messenger to the Children of Israel–(Qur’an 3:44, 48). And the Messiah (as noted above) would come from the house of David.
Though the Qur’an does not say that Jesus would be from the house of David, this teaching of the Bible is to be accepted. Muslims are required to believe in the Revelations given to prophets before the Qur’an–(Qur’an 3:83, and considering that this injunction was given some six hundred years after the birth of Jesus). Allah has revealed to us what not to believe, such as divinity of Jesus, inherited sin, vicarious atonement, “chosen people” to the exclusion of others, karma and reincarnation.
The latter view –So (it will be unto you). Man will touch you, and it is easy for Allah to arrange for man to touch you, in marriage– is reasonable. If not, it would have been a contradiction of Allah’s statement that Jesus is the Messiah–(Qur’an 3:44). And Allah says that there is no discrepancy in the Qur’an–(Qur’an 4:82). So, in order for this verse to be not in contradiction with the statement of Allah this verse could only be taken to mean that Jesus was conceived through the agency of a father.
The verses of 3:46 and 19:20 which say that it is easy for Allah to give Mary a son, does not mean that He will give her a son without her having a husband. It could only mean that Allāh would give her a son (as opposed to giving her a daughter)–a special son, the Messiah.
That Allah creates what He “pleases” (in “Allah creates what He pleases”–3:46), lend support to this view that He creates male or female as He pleases or as He decrees. Since Mary could not choose the sex of her child and since only Allah could decide whether she is to have a son or daughter, then this is what is “easy for Allah” as stated in these verses. For one to be told in advance that she would be the mother of a special child –the Messiah– is unique. (As stated, if Mary had given birth out of wedlock she would have been stoned–(John 8:4-5; Deut. 22:22-24) and Jesus would have been barred from entering the synagogue–Deut; 23:2).
In this announcement to Mary, Allah informs Mary that her son would be named “the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary”–(Qur’an 3:44). Allah named Jesus “son of Mary.”
The question that arises is why did Allāh named Jesus “son of Mary” if he was not of virgin birth?
(While the proper answer would be only Allāh knows; and anything else is speculation). Perhaps Jesus was named “son of Mary because righteous people are referred to by their righteous lineage, as in the case of Mary’s mother, Anna/Hanna, being referred to as “woman of Imran”–(Qur’an 3:34), and Jesus being referred to as “son of Mary” is only an address of honor through his righteous mother; or, as Jews had taken the prophet Ezra as son of God–(Qur’an 9:30)–Allāh naming Jesus “son of Mary” was to put a check on Jews taking Jesus as “son of God.”
But why “son of Mary” and not “son” of his father, i.e. “son of Joseph” (or “son of John the Baptist,” as there are some Muslims who are of the view that the Baptist is Jesus’ father)?
Jesus was named “son of Mary” and not “son (of Joseph) seemingly because in Judaism children are joined by their mothers. Or, as noted above because people are referred to through their righteous lineage.
(Interestingly, in His Qur’an 6:84-87 Allah lists eighteen prophets, including Jesus that He has chosen along with “some of their fathers and their descendants and their brethren. And we chose them and guided them to the right way”–(Qur’an 6:88). Here Jesus is mentioned among those having fathers).
It may be submitted that if Jesus was of virgin birth there would have been no need for Allāh to name him “son of Mary;” it would already be understood that since he was conceived without male association he could not have been given a father’s name.
Also, Allāh not naming Jesus’ father or naming Jesus after his father is no indication that Jesus was without a father. The names of the Prophet Mohammad’s father and mother are not given in the Qur’an, are we to assume that he had no father or mother?
After this communication with the spirit about the birth of Jesus, Mary “conceived him; and withdrew with him to a remote place”–(19:22).
Notably, there are two ‘hims’ in this statement of 19:22: Mary conceived ‘him’ and withdrew with ‘him.’ It is not likely that both ‘hims’ refer to Jesus. Since Jesus was in his mother’s womb and could not go elsewhere but wherever she went, it would have been sufficient to say that Mary ‘conceived him and withdrew to a remote place’ instead of she ‘conceived him and withdrew with him to a remote place.’
Who then is the second ‘him’ that Mary withdrew with? Could he have been the “him” through whom she ‘conceived’–her husband? That Mary conceived in the very next verse after being spoken to by the spirit is not to be assumed that conception took place immediately after this visit by the spirit, and that there was no process involved. The Qur’an does not relate every incident.
It is reasonable to expect that a decree from Allah will be accomplished according to His law(s). And in this case with Mary, it is the law of procreation–intermingling of the male and female.
Why did Mary retire to a remote place? This seemingly insignificant statement is an important detail to Mary’s life –the Qur’an does not give information without purpose– it sheds light on Mary’s marital status.
Jesus had secret disciples–(Matt 27:57; John 19:38-39). Jesus’ true helpers were the hawaryyoon of the Qur’an–(Qur’an 3:51), who were, perhaps, the Essenes, a religious sect of which Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and “Jesus and John the Baptist belonged.” They “were members of a strict secret Order, who would not contact non-members…. (and) had their monastic lodges in uninhabited places and central houses in villages and towns,” as Khwaja Nazir Ahmad wrote in his Jesus in Heaven on Earth, pp. 218-219).
Perhaps Mary was married to one of these members of the Essenes –according to some Muslims John the Baptist is the father of Jesus– or to a member of her temple who later joined the Essenes, or perhaps to someone who lived in another village, and after conceiving Jesus she went away to this remote place with her husband. As her time for delivery approached, she was returning to be with her own people, perhaps her parents, when she was beset by pains of childbirth.
As stated, that the Qur’an does not detail Mary’s marriage does not mean it did not take place. The Qur’an “does not relate stories in all their details, and often omits a number of incidents which are not needed for its purpose,” wrote Muhammad Ali–(Comm. 1540). Mary had other children besides Jesus–(Mark. 6:3. Gal. 1:19).
The following is the sequence of Mary’s dedication to the Temple to the birth of Jesus:
- Mary’s mother praying for Mary and her offspring–(Qur’an 3:34-35).
- Mary was put in Zaccharias’ care–(Qur’an 3:36).
- Zaccharias prayed for and was given news about the birth of John the Baptist; to make true the word of Allah–(Qur’an 3:38).
- Mary was informed about the birth of Jesus–(Qur’an 3:41-42).
- Roohana was sent to Mary–(Qur’an 19:17).
- Allah’s decree was fulfilled: Mary conceived; and withdrew to a remote place–(Qur’an 19: 22).
Mary conceived and withdrew to a remote place. The next detail is that she was having pains of childbirth, at a palm tree. (There are no details about the nine months between her conception to delivery). At this point, “a voice came to her from beneath her” telling her to “grieve not,” that Allah has “provided a stream beneath” her, and instructing her to shake the tree for dates and to drink and eat fresh dates and “Then if thou seest any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent, so I will not speak to any man today”–(Qur’an 19:23-26).
The “voice” came from “beneath” Mary. “Beneath” here may signify status rather than position/place. As humans are higher than angels, “beneath” may signify an angel. “Voice” may be either literal, or spiritual –as in inspiration or revelation. That the angel is not identified as such is of no significance; there are others who are not identified by name or by relationship–Mary is mentioned as “she who guarded her chastity” (Qur’an 21:91); Mary’s mother is mentioned as “woman of Imran” (Qur’an 3:34); and Lot’s wife is mentioned as “an old woman” (Qur’an 37:135).
This “voice” that spoke to Mary could only be that of a messenger of Allah (an angel perhaps). No one else could have given her such comfort as to Allah providing her with water and dates and to instruct her that “if thou seest any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent, so I will not speak to any man today.”
Significantly, Mary was “in the throes of childbirth” and was lamenting, “Oh would that I had died before this (giving birth) and had been a thing quite forgotten”–(vs, 23) when she was instructed to shake the palm tree in order to have fresh dates. A date-palm is tall and rigid. It is doubtful a vigorous man could shake a date-palm and cause it to shed dates; much less a pregnant woman in the pangs of childbirth. This “voice,” then, instructing Mary this impossible task was, perhaps, to remind her in her moment of tribulation that God was with her: all she had to do was make the effort and God would take care of her affairs.
In verse 27, after birth pains, Mary returns to her people: “she came to her people with him, carrying him.” There are two ‘him.’ Both ‘him’ could not refer to Jesus.
It could not be correctly said that Mary came “with” Jesus; if anything, Jesus being the babe was the one who came “with” Mary. But a person capable of going about by himself can come “with” another. So in effect, the explanation of the verse would, more correctly, be: Mary “came to her people with him (her husband), carrying him (Jesus)–i.e., Mary came with her husband, with Mary carrying Jesus. (Or, Mary came with her husband, with her husband carrying Jesus).
The remark of Mary’s people in 19:27-28, about Mary bringing a strange thing and that her father “was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother an unchaste woman” though implying that Mary had a child out of wedlock, it is not an actual charge of sexual misconduct. Charge of sexual misconduct against Mary was made a hundred years later, in the “second century.”
If this was a charge of unchasteness, it is strange that Mary and/or the one with her did not relate to their people the visit by the angels announcing the birth of Jesus –miracles were not a novelty to the Jews– but instead the reply was given: “He said: I am indeed a servant of Allāh. He has given me the Book and made me a prophet”–(19:30): agreeably, not an appropriate response to a charge of adultery or unchasteness. Mary’s people knew that Mary was dedicated to the Temple. Naturally, when they saw Mary pregnant (or carrying a child) they, not knowing about Mary’s marriage, were surprised. However, their remarks about Mary was not the “grievous calumny” against Mary mentioned in Qur’an 4:156. A remark made by people while they are ignorant of a situation could hardly be taken as a serious charge.
Thus, this statement by Mary’s people was tantamount to an inquiry rather than an accusation or charge.
That Mary’s people did not charge her with adultery is evidenced by the Gospels themselves which regarded Jesus to be of legitimate birth: “Is not this the carpenter’s son?”–(Matt. 13:55); “Is not this Joseph’s son?”–(Luke 4:22). This also shows that they considered Jesus’ birth to be of natural conception and not supernatural/ miraculous.
Charge of adultery against Mary was made a century later. During Jesus’ lifetime there was no suspicion as to the nature of his birth. The Jews, as Khwaja Nazir Ahmad notes in his Jesus in Heaven on Earth, held that Mary had intimate relations with one Pandera, a Roman soldier. However, as noted, this charge against Mary was made, not during the time of Jesus’ birth, or lifetime, but a century later. Jesus was given Divine status a hundred years after his birth. At which time the Pagans responded with the charge of illegitimate birth. Khwaja Nazir Ahmad notes:
“So long as the early Christians did not assert the virgin birth of Jesus, none of his contemporaries challenged his legitimacy…. In the second century they attributed supernatural birth to Jesus. The Pagans retorted with the charge of illegitimacy.….This calumny was taken up by the Jews of the second century, and found a place in the Talmud.”11
During Jesus’ lifetime there was no question as to the nature of his birth. Therefore this incident of Mary returning with Jesus, and her people charging her to have brought a “strange thing,” could not be about adultery. The calumny against Mary as stated in Qur’an 4:156 is not related to this event of her people saying her father was not wicked, nor her mother unchaste–(19:28).
This calumny of 4:156 against Mary is referring to the charge of the second century when Jesus was given Divine status and the Jews responded with the charge of “illegitimacy” against Mary. Thus, Qur’an 4:156 refers to the charge of the second century. Whereas Mary’s people’s apprehension was during the time of Mary and Jesus, and not in the second century; and therefore could not be about adultery. If Mary’s people had viewed her as being guilty of sexual misconduct, they would have stoned her, as the Jewish law required.
Allah said that He would clear Jesus of those who disbelieve–(Qur’an 3:54). What was it that Allah would “clear” Jesus of? It was not about Jesus being of illegitimate birth. Jesus was charged with sedition. This is the charge that the Jews had “sought false witness against Jesus”–(Matt. 26:59-65; Luke 22:70-71). They ‘disbelieved’ in him–(charging that “he made himself the “Son of God”–John 19:7).
If Jesus was born out of wedlock it would not have been his fault. A person does not have any say in how he/she was conceived. In such a case it would not be Jesus who would need to be ‘cleared,’ but the parents would need clearing.
As already pointed out, during Jesus’ time there was no question about the manner of his birth; because, as noted above, he was not given Divine status till in the “second century.”
Regarding the false charge against Jesus, Allah cleared Jesus of this false charge by having Pilate, perhaps through his wife, find “no fault” in Jesus, and “no cause” to put him to death–(Matt. 27:19; Luke 23:14, 22). (And saved him from crucifixion, also).
To restate, Mary’s people remarked that Mary had “brought a strange thing” and that her father “was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother an unchaste woman.” Mary responded by pointing to “him”–(Qur’an 19:29). Who was this “him” that Mary pointed to and why did Mary point instead of speak?
There are two views regarding the reason for Mary pointing instead of speaking. Some Muslims are of the view that Mary, on her return to her people had not yet given birth; that this was the reason for her pointing, because she was still under the vow of silence of not speaking to any man this day–(Qur’an 19:26).
However, if Mary had not yet given birth and was carrying him (Jesus) in pregnancy, there would be no need to say that she came with him (Jesus) carrying him, because wherever Mary went Jesus would be with her –just as in 19:22 where Mary “conceived him and withdrew with him to a remote place”: as Jesus was in his mother’s womb and could not go elsewhere but wherever she went, it would have been sufficient to say that Mary ‘conceived him and withdrew to a remote place’ instead of she ‘conceived him and withdrew with him to a remote place;’ likewise in 19:27 it would have been sufficient to say that Mary came to her people, carrying him; there would be no need to say she “came with him (Jesus).” In view of this two ‘him’, it seems that Jesus was already born.
The other view is that this verse refers to Jesus at the age of twelve, in discussion with the elders of Israel–(Luke 2:42-48). It was considered rude for a young person to converse with his elders; and that this is what Mary’s people were referring to by their saying that Mary’s mother and father were not “wicked” nor “unchaste” (perhaps implying that as a chaste person –and thus being upright– her son should have been raised to not argue with his elders); Mary, “amazed” at her son, pointed at him –indicating that as he was the one arguing with the elders he would have the best answer or he should answer.
Muhammad Ali says: “The reference in Mary’s bringing a strange thing may be to her having given birth to a son who claimed greater authority than the elders of Israel, with a deeper hint to the calumny against her, for which see (his footnote) 644. But the word fari also signifies a forger of lies. It is remarkable that in his reply Jesus does not make a single reference to the circumstances of his birth. Hence the inference is quite reasonable that the question, whichever significance of the words may be taken, was directed against the mission of Jesus and not against the circumstances of his birth.”
But, unless he was told, it is hardly feasible that a ‘child in the cradle’, if taken literally, or even a youth for that matter, would be aware of the circumstances of his birth–whether he was legitimate or illegitimate. And as far as the Gospel of Luke tells us, Joseph was everpresent with Jesus–even before his birth, through his circumcision and all the way to Jerusalem when he was twelve–(Luke 2:4-43). In fact, Mary even referred to Joseph as Jesus’ “father”: “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold thy father and I….”–(Luke 2:48). Thus, Jesus not making any reference to his birth could not be “remarkable.”
However, if this statement was made by Jesus and not by Mary’s husband, it would seem to corroborate the view that it was made at the time of Jesus’ discussion with the “doctors” –perhaps in saying “I am indeed a servant of Allāh. He has given me the Book and made me a prophet” (Qur’an 19:30) Jesus was responding to the elders question as to how he could have such wisdom and knowledge: “And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers”–(Luke 2: 47).
As the Qur’an recounts only the essentials, this Qur’anic verse (19:30) would seemingly be referring to Jesus’ discussion with the religious “doctors.”
In response to Mary’s people remark that Mary had “brought a strange thing” and that her father “was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother an unchaste woman.” Mary pointed to him–(Qur’an 19:29). Who was this “him” that Mary pointed to and why did Mary point instead of speak?
This person that Mary pointed to is a ‘mahdan sabeeya,’ a youth in a cradle –Jesus at his birth was not a youth but would have been a babe; it is far-fetched that Mary would have expected a newly born to speak. This shows that the “him” Mary pointed to could be her husband, who must have been a much younger person than Mary, for her people to refer to him as “a youth in a cradle,” which is idiomatic for a young man (who some Muslims believe to be John the Baptist), or it could refer to Jesus as a youth, in discussion with the “doctors.”
It would be incredible that since humans do not have the faculty of speech until the age of about two years, Jesus spoke while yet a new-born babe in the cradle. And was given Revelation and made prophet while yet in this cradle.
The “him” –this youth– that Mary pointed to responded: “I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and made me a prophet. …And to be kind to my mother”–(Qur’an 19:30-32).
Whereas the word ‘um’ means ‘mother.’ There are differing views as to the Arabic word waa-lay-da (of the above verse) which is translated “mother”–“to be kind to my mother.” Another meaning of this word is ‘parturient wife’–i.e. a woman soon to be delivered of child –which may be taken to mean a person’s pregnant wife. In which event the verse would be: “I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and made me a prophet…And to be kind to the “woman about to give birth.”
There is nothing strange about Mary being referred to as a “woman about to give birth” –a parturient wife– instead of by her name. Mary’s mother is referred to as woman of Imran–(Qur’an 3:34); Lot’s wife is referred to as “an old woman”–(Qur’an 37:135); Pharaoh’s wife, who is considered as one of the four most honored women in Islam, is not mentioned by name–(Qur’an 66:11); and even Mary herself is referred to as “she who guarded her chastity”–(Qur’an 21:91).
It is not reasonable to accept that Jesus while yet a newborn would have been given the Book, and when his Book, the Gospel, was not yet revealed. (Nor is it reasonable to accept that he was given/taught the Old Testament and the Torah –Qur’an 3:47– while yet a newborn).
The objection may be raised that this person’s response was not refuting the claim that Mary was unchaste, which was what her people’s concern was about. This is because there was no charge against her chastity: Mary’s people’s contention “was directed against the mission of Jesus and not against the circumstances of his birth,” as Muhammad Ali states. (Italics added).
It may be noted, however, that the person spoke of being kind to his “mother” and not to his father, and that Jesus, allegedly born without a father, is speaking here, seeing that he had no father. But this is an incorrect assumption. As shown, the Messiah must come from the house of David. For Jesus to be the Messiah, Jesus had to have a father. Secondly, while both parents are to be honored, a mother is on a higher plane of reverence than a father–(Qur’an 4:1); she has three degrees of excellence over a father –she having conceived, given birth and nursed her child– and is the gateway to paradise. Thus more emphasis is placed on being dutiful to a mother. Therefore, these words could also have been spoken by the alleged husband of Mary.
But as noted, Muhammad Ali has inferred that this statement was in relation to the mission of Jesus and “not against the circumstances of his birth.” In which event, the person speaking here –this mahdan sabeeya (youth in a cradle) would be Jesus and not the alleged youthful husband of Mary.
After stating that he was a servant of Allah, and was given the Book and made a prophet, and to be kind to his mother, the person Mary pointed to continued: “And peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised to life”–(19:33).
While it may be said all prophets are honored with such a status, these are exactly the words in which Allah has dedicated to John the Baptist: “And peace on him the day he was born and the day he died, and the day he is raised to life”–(Qur’an 19:15). (This would lend support to those Muslims who view John the Baptist to be the father of Jesus).
After the person with Mary said, “And peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised to life,” Allah revealed: “Such is Jesus son of Mary–a statement of truth about which they dispute”–(Qur’an 19:34). Who were these disputants and what were they disputing?
As noted, during Mary’s time there was no question about her conception being illegitimate or immaculate. It was Paul who attributed divinity to Jesus; Muhammad Ali explained in his Qur’anic commentary #1051: “when St. Paul saw that the Jews would on no account accept Jesus Christ as a messenger of God, he introduced the pagan doctrine of sonship of God into the Christian religion, so that it might become more acceptable to the pagans.”
These disputants were the Jews, they were disputing Jesus’ claim to be ‘son of God in the Messianic sense of the term, not in the Christian sense of ‘only begotten son.’ Jews understood ‘son of God’ in the sense that: “Though not in any sense divine, the anointed king of Israel would be called the “son of God,” and messianic hopes and functions would be ascribed to him.”12
But the matter does not end there. In this story about Mary, Allah has also dealt with the Christians’ attributing a son to Him; as the next verse shows: “It beseems not Allah that He should take to Himself a son, Glory be to Him! When He decrees a matter He only says to it, Be, and it is”–(Qur’an 19:35).
Thus, Allah has dealt with the Jewish rejection of Jesus and the Christians excess of attributing the act of procreation to Him –as fatherhood or the act of begetting requires the joining of the male sperm with the female ovum.
The next verse lends credibility to the submission that it was Jesus, and not Mary’s husband, who spoke “in a cradle” (as a youth): “And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord so serve Him. This is the right path”–(Qur’an 19:36); which is what Jesus taught his followers: “the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart….”–(Mark 12:29).
While the words “And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord so serve Him. This is the right path” could be attributed to either John the Baptist or Jesus, the teaching of the Gospel of Mark corroborates these similar Qur’anic words being spoken by Jesus: “The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.”
It may be asked why did Allah not give the name of the father of Jesus?
As the Jews and Christians do not accept Mohammad as Prophet of God and the Qur’an as Revelation from God, it would seem pointless for Allah to identify Jesus’ father by name. (They would not believe. Allāh has revealed and research has proven that son of God belief is paganism; yet Christians do not accept this. And Jews and Christians have no argument against Mohammad being Divine Messenger yet they reject him).
However, Allah has given us something more compelling and more definitive than the name of Jesus’ father; He has given us a fact that no Jew or Christian can dispute, not even the atheist. Allah has called us to reason, to self-deliberation (and even to self-incrimination of those who persist against reason):
“How could He have a son
when He has no consort?”
Whoever Jesus’ father is, it certainly could not be God. That is all that is needed to refute the claim of Christians that Jesus is the son of God. Even if Allah had created Jesus without a father, Jesus still could not be His son.
That God can do anything is no argument here –this is not a question about God creating an item it is a matter of God having a relation; whereas God has the power to create an object, He could not have a mother/father as He is ‘un-born’ and is the First and the Creator of all–
God Himself is saying that not even He could have a son without a consort. Because fatherhood (begetting, and Christians believe Jesus is “begotten” son of God) requires the joining of the sperm with the ovum:
And Allāh, God, has no wife or mate!
Since there is no contradiction in the Qur’an and since Allah named Jesus the Messiah, who must come from the House of David, the Annunciation of the birth of Jesus could not be taken to mean ‘immaculate conception’ or ‘virgin birth.’ Because this would then be in contradiction with Qur’an 3:44, where Jesus is named the ‘Messiah.’
The Messiah must come from the House of David. And Jesus could not be from the house of David from his mother’s side because Mary was of the house of Imran–(Qur’an 3:34). Jesus could only be of the house of David if he had a father.
Therefore those verses about the Annunciation could not be taken to mean virgin birth or miraculous conception.
3. Jesus like Adam:
Allah says: “Surely the likeness of Jesus is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said, Be, and he was”–(Qur’an 3:58. It is to be noted that all mortals are created from dust–(Qur’an 22:5; 30:20; 40:68).
Allah’s command “Be” is noted in Qur’an 2:118; 3:58; 6:73; 16:40; 19:35; 36:82; 40:68. Allah’s command “Be, and it is”, and that creation is like the twinkling of an eye–(Qur’an 54:50), does not mean that a thing materializes without a process.
“Be, and it is” only means that when Allah decrees a thing nothing can prevent it from manifesting. And a thing manifesting in the twinkling of an eye only means that in Allah’s sight it is instantaneous, whereas to us mortals it takes time.
For example, Allah tells us that a day of His is like a thousand of our years–(Qur’an 22:47). A day of His would be 365,000 days for us. Since it took Jesus (and all mortals, generally) nine months or approximately 270 days from conception to birth, then in the sight of Allah, the time from our conception to birth occurs in only 0.00074 days, or 0.0178 hour, or 1.07 minute or 64 seconds, or, figuratively, in the twinkling of an eye. A person of 70 years would have lived a mere one hour and forty minutes, in Allah’s estimation.
To restate. Allah says: “Surely the likeness of Jesus is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said, Be, and he was”–(Qur’an 3:58). (Adam taken to be the first man).
If Jesus’ likeness with Adam is taken literally then it would not be applicable. For Adam had neither father nor mother; whereas Jesus had a mother (at least); and Adam was created out of literal dust whereas Jesus was created out of his mother’s ovum (at least), and had to go through the process of fetal development and childbirth, (whereas Adam did not go through the process of fetal development).
If this verse is taken to mean that Jesus was created through a miracle then Jesus could not be the Messiah; because then he would not have a father; and could not have come through the house of David. And the Messiah was to come from the house of David. If Jesus was born through a miracle, it would be a contradiction of the statement that he was the Messiah. And there is no discrepancy in the Qur’an.
(Taking Adam to mean the first man). It is significant to note that Allah says that Jesus/Adam was first created THEN He said “Be, and he was.”
Creation, in the form of the sperm, takes place in the man, and conception, which is the combining of the sperm with the ovum, takes place in the woman. So a person is first created before he is conceived.
This creation of Adam/Jesus does not refer to the creation of the soul (of Adam/Jesus); because Allah says that the likeness between them is that he created them from “dust”, and the soul is not created from “dust.”
Allah’s word is not dust either, to those who hold that Jesus was created literally through the word of Allāh. Allāh breathing into Mary of His spirit, as translated by Yusuf Ali–Qur’an 66:11–is no argument for virgin birth, the “spirit” of God is not “dust,” nor is such breathing restricted to Mary: the Spirit of God is breathed into all mortals–Qur’an 32:9.
However, the correct translation, as noted by Muhammad Ali, is that God breathed into him, Jesus, not Mary, of His Spirit, or His Inspiration; which is what the Qur’an tells us, i.e. that God strengthened Jesus with the Holy Spirit–(Qur’an 2:87. also Luke 22:42-43).
Jesus being like Adam, could only mean that Allah created them out of dust (Adam out of dust in the primary sense, and in the case of Jesus, dust in the secondary sense, as all things are created from dust) and then they were transformed into humans–Adam, by God breathing of His spirit into him; and Jesus, through the process of fetal development, through which process he received the spirit of God, as all beings receive the spirit of God–(Qur’an 32:9).
As noted, Allah’s command “Be, and it is” only means that when He intends for a thing to happen, no one can prevent it from manifesting.
In the case of Adam this “Be, and it is” refers to His intention to put a ruler on earth, as He informed the angels –(Qur’an 2:30).
And in the case of Jesus, this “Be, and it is” refers to His intention to send Jesus as messenger to the Jews; which was evident, not only at the annunciation to Mary, but seemingly even at the time Mary’s mother was expecting a son, instead of a daughter–(Qur’an 3:34-35).
It may be advanced that Allah created Jesus from his mother’s ovum, which is also dust in the secondary sense. While this is a viable point it is tempered by the force that Jesus could not then be the Messiah; because the Messiah came from the house of David; and his mother was not of the house of David but of the house of Imran–(Qur’an 3:34).
That Jesus had a father, is how the Prophet explained the birth of Jesus to the Christians of Najran, as noted by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad in his Jesus in Heaven on Earth, (pp. 174-176, the occasion being the discussion between the Prophet and the Christians of Najran, the topic being the divinity of Jesus).
Says the noble Messenger of Allah:
“Don’t you know that Jesus was conceived by a woman just as any other woman conceives a child, then she gave birth to him like every other woman gives birth to a child, he was then reared up like other children, then he used to eat and drink and answer the calls of nature like other human beings?” (See Christians of Najran & Prophet Mohammad).
Clearly, as the Prophet Mohammad is said to have pointed out, Jesus was conceived by a woman “just as any other woman conceives a child.” And a woman conceives a child through the mixture of sperm and ovum –mating.
And as Jesus was conceived “as any other woman conceives a child,” Jesus could not be of “virgin” birth, but had a father.
And for Jesus to be the Messiah, Jesus had to have a father!
As miracles were the precursor to belief–(John 4:48), if Jesus was of Virgin birth it is doubtful that the Jews would have rejected him.
4. God breathing of His Spirit into Mary:
God breathing into Mary of His spirit, as translated by Yusuf Ali, (Qur’an 66:11) is not restricted to Mary. The Spirit of God is breathed into all mortals–(Qur’an 32:9). However, the correct translation is that God breathed into him (Jesus) of His Spirit (or His Inspiration). Which is what the Qur’an tells us i.e. that God strengthened Jesus with the Holy Spirit–(Qur’an 2:87; see also Luke 22:42-43, Jesus praying to be spared death, “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him“), and that He taught Jesus the Book and wisdom–(Qur’an 3:47).
5. Jesus and Mary as signs of Allah:
That the Qur’an refers to Jesus and his mother as a sign is no indication of virgin birth–(Qur’an 23:50). If this is taken to mean ‘virgin birth’ then this would be a contradiction of Qur’an 3:44 where Jesus is named ‘Messiah’. But there is no contradiction in the Qur’an–(4:82).
The Messiah must come from the house of David, who was a Jew –being from the house of Judah; but his mother, Mary (as noted elsewhere was a Levite) of the house of Amran–(Qur’an 3:34). Therefore Jesus and Mary being “a sign” could not be taken to mean ‘virgin birth’.
Jesus and his mother are referred to together as one sign–“a sign.” They are not each a “sign.” How are they both one sign?
Miraculous conception and birth would, admittedly, seem to be “one” sign. But so is conception and birth within the ordinary.
There are several which are referred to as Signs, for instance: all creation are Signs–(Qur’an 42:29); Joseph and his brethren are Signs–(Qur’an 12:7); Noah’s Ark is a Sign–(Qur’an 29:15); man and his mate is a Sign–(Qur’an 30:20-21).
In Qur’an 19:21 Jesus by himself is referred as “a” sign. His mother is not included with him. This verse reads (after Mary inquires how she could have a son when man has not touched her): “He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord says: It is easy for me; and that We may make him a sign to men…..”
Allah did not make “them” a sign. If Jesus and Mary were “a sign” (one sign) through miraculous conception, then it is reasonable to expect that Allah would have referred to them as such when He sent His messenger to give Mary here (in the above verse) the news of the birth of Jesus.
As noted above Jesus will be a sign; not his birth will be a sign.
Jesus is a sign in that he was a prophet–(Qur’an 3:48); the last of the Israelite prophets and the fore-runner of the Prophet Mohammad.
Mary was a sign in that she was chosen above all women to be given Divine revelation and to make manifest the Divine decree/word (of the birth of Jesus). Thus, it seems reasonable to conclude that Mary being given the news of bearing a pure son and this pure son issuing forth from that Divine decree together forms one sign –“a sign.”
6. Jesus living to an old age:
Allah tells us that Jesus “will speak to the people when in the cradle and when of old age”–(Qur’an3:45). Meaning that Jesus will begin his mission as a youth, as the Gospel shows–(Luke 2: 42-47); and until late in life.
According to the Gospel Jesus’ mission ended when he was only about 33 years old. These 33 years cannot be taken to be “an old age.” If this “old age” is taken to be at the time of Jesus’ supposed return, when he would be over 2,000 thousand years old, this would be a tremendous “old age”–whether he has aged physically or not.
But what became of Jesus after he was saved from death on the cross? Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and We gave them refuge on a lofty ground having meadows and springs” –(Qur’an 23:50).
(Jesus and his mother being made a sign have been dealt with above). But where is this “lofty ground having meadows and springs”, as Allah says?
“Jerusalem, Egypt, Palestine or Damascus, which are the names suggested (for this “lofty ground having meadows and springs”), do not answer the description, which applies exactly to the valley of Kashmir”, states Muhammad Ali, who went on to note that:
“Part of the lost ten tribes of Israel is also traced to Kashmir, where a large number of towns and villages bear the names of the towns and villages of Palestine. The presence of a tomb known as the tomb of Nabi (i.e., the prophet), or ‘Isa (i.e., Jesus), or Yuz Asaf, in the Khan Yar street in the capital of Kashmir, lends additional support to this theory.”
And, this verse, where Allah gave Jesus and Mary “refuge on a lofty ground having meadows and springs”–(Qur’an 23:50), “tells us that, being delivered from the hands of his enemies, he was given shelter at some other place, and the description of that place, as indicated in this verse, along with the fact that Kashmir has a tomb, which every available evidence shows to be the tomb of Jesus himself, leads us to the conclusion that Kashmir is the land referred to in this verse.”
Muhammad Ali also notes from Ibn Kathir that: “According to a saying of the Holy Prophet (Mohammad), Jesus lived 120 years” (IK, vol. ii, p. 246)”–(Qur’anic comm. 1723).
It is reasonable that Jesus living to 120 years is the “old age” to which Jesus lived, as mentioned in the Qur’an 3:45. And his speaking at this “old age” was to this “Part of the lost ten tribes of Israel” which “is also traced to Kashmir.”
As noted from Khwaja Nazir Ahmad, Jesus in Heaven on Earth:
“The Gospels record Jesus age twelve in the temple. Then about age thirty at the river Jordan. That leaves approximately seventeen years unaccounted for. (In fact, it was some thirty years that was unaccounted for: his birth to twelve plus from twelve to thirty).
During those so-called lost years, the child “increased in wisdom and stature,” as Luke wrote. But was it in the carpenter shop at Nazareth?
According to ancient Tibetan manuscripts, Jesus secretly withdrew from the home of Mary and Joseph at age thirteen. Young “Issa” joined a merchant caravan. Destination: India and the Himalayas.
At Juggernaut, “the white priests of Brahma made him a joyous welcome. They taught him to read and understand the Vedas, to cure by aid of prayer, to teach, to explain the holy scriptures to the people, and to drive out evil spirits from the bodies of men.”
- Buddhist scholars documented “The Life of Saint Issa” two thousand years ago.
- Nicholas Notovitch discovered the long-lost document in 1887 at the Himis monastery in Ladakh.
- Swami Abhedananda published a Bengali translation of the Himis manuscript in 1929.
- Nicholas Roerich quoted the same verses in a 1929 travel diary of his Asian expedition.
- And in 1939, a beaming lama at Himis presented a set of parchments to Elizabeth Caspari with the words: “These books say your Jesus was here!” (p. 404). (See Jesus-18 missing years).
(Khwaja Nazir Ahmad has dealt with all aspects of Jesus, and in minute detail, in his book Jesus in Heaven on Earth. Khwaja has many photographs, including those of the tombs of Moses, Jesus and his mother, Mary. This book may be obtained/viewed at www.muslim.org). (Was Jesus married, see Appendix I).
7. Jesus’ Crucifixion:
Qur’an 4:157 speaks about the Jews boasting of having killed Jesus. But Allah says “they killed him not, nor crucified him, But so it was made to appear to them. ….”–(Yusuf Ali).
The Qur’an emphatically states that Jesus did not die on the cross, “but he was made to appear to them as such”–(M. Ali).
“but he was made to appear to them like one crucified”–(Ghulam Farid).
Instead of the words but he was made to appear to them as such, one translator of the Qur’an says, “but the resemblance of Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man).” This is an incorrect if not dishonest translation. Jesus’ name is not mentioned in the Qur’anic text! Yusuf Ali, Muhammad Ali, Malik Ghulam Farid, and Marmaduke Pickthal translated the Arabic text in words to mean but so it was made to appear to them.
The translation that “the resemblance of Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man)” seems to imply that Allāh is unjust, having another, and maybe even innocent, man killed.
It is significant to note that the verse says that it appear to the Jews that they “killed/crucify” Jesus (i.e. Jesus seemed to be dead) not that it appear to them that the ‘person on the cross’ was Jesus.
One source says that at the time of the arrest, “a tumult ensued;” and the “foreign Roman soldiers” who did not know Jesus, took Judas captive instead; thus we have the Qur’an saying “yet they did not slay him, nor crucified him only a likeness of that was shown to them.” Allah is said to have “transformed” Judas to such perfection that even his mother and his closest followers accepted him to be Jesus. Other conjectures ranged from Pilate taking a “bribe,” to, one of Jesus’ followers who “very closely resembled” Jesus being crucified.
It is rather befuddling that Judas and this one who were arrested in place of Jesus did not scream out their true identity –not even in the court (unless they were struck dumb by Allāh)– and that no one recognized their voices (unless Allāh changed their voices also) but preferred to be killed on the cross. However, according to the Bible, Judas was not the one put on the cross –though there are conflicting accounts of how he died: Matthew says Judas “went and hanged himself,” whereas in the Acts he fell and “burst asunder in the midst” (must have been quite a fall)–(Matt. 27:5; Acts 1:18).
Regarding the suggestion that Pilate may have knowingly condemned Judas, allowing Jesus to go free, because Pilate and his wife are noted as “saints” by the Coptic Church in both Egypt and Ethiopia.
If the Coptic Church knows that Pilate had knowingly condemned Judas (or another) and allowed Jesus to escape, then, the Coptic Church, in honoring this fabled Crucifixion of Jesus and is deliberately honoring falsehood; and these leaders, instead of hoping to sit with Jesus “on the right hand of God,” are shrouding themselves for the Hell Fire.
It is doubtful that the Coptic Church would confer sainthood on a man who takes a ‘bribe;’ even if he did save their Lord from the cross. And if Pilate received sainthood for saving Jesus, why did his wife receive this high honor of sainthood?
Pilate and his wife could have been taken as “saints” because of Pilate wife’s “dream” for him to not have anything to do with Jesus, and Pilate having found Jesus to be a “just person” (which could have been a Divine intervention to save Jesus from death on the cross)–(Matt. 27:19, 24).
(Perhaps the Coptic Church can be queried as to why it honors Pilate and his wife as “saints”).
Regarding the parade that Allāh put the features of Jesus onto the man who was sent to arrest him. Not only was Jesus invariably accompanied by his twelve disciples. Considering that Roman soldiers were short-haired and clean-shaven, Allāh must have also made this soldier bearded and long-haired (and attired him in robe) as Jesus.
And considering that more than one Roman soldiers went to arrest Jesus, the others as well as the disciples (unless Allāh had struck them blind at the moment of change) would have been eye-witnesses to the alleged substitution wrought by Allāh and alarmed the authorities. Not forgetting to mention to their masters that Jesus went through the solid roof of the house, and without even raising a shingle. In which event one would expect them (especially the Jewish leaders whose religious landscape is colored in miracles so much so that Balaam’s ass spoke to him) to accept Jesus as “God” or “son of God” or even prophet of God, –considering that Jews at one time took Ezra to be son of God: Qur’an 9:30, instead of labeling him/Jesus “bastard” and his mother as “adulteress.”
Paramountly. As Allāh was going to raise Jesus up from his enemies, what need then was there for Him to put Jesus’ face on another man?
8. Jesus’ death:
1. Allah tells us: “Therein (the earth) shall you live, and therein shall you die, and therefrom shall you be raised”–(Qur’an 7:25). (If Jesus went back to Allāh before being “raised” from the earth then he is an exception to this law of Allāh).
2. Allah says “Every soul must taste of death; THEN to Us you will be returned”–(Qur’an 29:57. Also 21:35). (We have to die first, THEN we are returned to Allah. And if Jesus returned to Allah without first having died, then he is an exception to this law of Allah–him having returned to Allah without having died).
3. Allah tells us that those whom they call upon besides Allah: “Dead (are they). And they know not when they will be raised”–(Qur’an 16:20-21). (And Jesus is one of those called upon besides Allah. And if he is not dead, then he is an exception to this statement of Allah, and knew when he was raised to Allah).
4. Allah revealed to the Prophet Mohammad that all the prophets before him were men, “Nor did We give them bodies that ate no food, nor were they exempt from death”–(Qur’an 21:7-8). (Since Jesus was before the Prophet Mohammad, and if he went up to heaven being “exempt from death,” and has a body not eating food, then he is an exception to this statement of Allah).
In the above, Jesus is the only mortal (from some Muslims perspective) who is an exception to the words of Allāh –him having returned to Allah without having died.
The Prophet Mohammad in his discussion with the Christians of Najran (noted above) said to the Christians: “Don’t you know that our God is alive and will never die and Jesus had to die?”
It is to be noted that the Prophet did not say Jesus ‘will have to die’; he said that Jesus “had” to die –meaning that Jesus died.
And, as already noted, “According to a saying of the Holy Prophet, Jesus lived 120 years–(Ibn Kathir, Vol. ii, p. 246).”
The Prophet’s Ascension (Mi’raj) is not to be taken to be the same as Jesus returning to Allah. The Prophet Mohammad did not return to Allah. Unlike Jesus who is believed to have been taken by Allah to “Himself”, the Prophet Mohammad was on a journey to see the signs of Allah. That this Ascension of the Prophet was not a bodily occurrence, but a spiritual one seems evident from the following observations:
(1) Qur’an 17:60 speaks of Allāh showing the Prophet “the vision,” not an actual sighting.
(2) The Prophet said he was in a state between sleep and wakefulness when this event, Miraj, occurred–(Bokhari Vol. 4, # 429). And Bokhari Vol. 9, #608 reports that three angels came to the Prophet while he was “SLEEPING” in the Ka’ba, and that when the Prophet saw them “HIS EYES WERE ASLEEP BUT HIS HEART WAS NOT –AND SO IS THE CASE WITH THE PROPHETS: THEIR EYES SLEEP WHILE THEIR HEARTS DO NOT SLEEP”; and at the end of the journey the Prophet then “WOKE” in the Ka’ba. This supports the view that the Mi’raj was a spiritual experience of the Prophet.
This narration also says that the angels carried the Prophet to the Zam-Zam well, where Gabriel “cut open” the Prophet’s chest area and removed “all the material out of his chest and abdomen” and then washed the inside of his body with Zam-Zam water and then stuffed the Prophet’s “chest and throat blood vessels” with “belief and wisdom” and then closed the chest–(Bokhari Vol. 9, # 608).
It may be advanced that since Mohammad was a Prophet and believed in Allāh why was it necessary to fill his body with belief? Also, wisdom and belief are not physical factors so as to require a physical insertion of them into the body. This seems to be another proof that the Mi’raj was a spiritual experience.
9. Jesus’ ascension:
If Christians had not asserted the bodily ascension of Jesus and his physical return, it is doubtful that Muslims would interpret the Qur’an to mean that Jesus had ascended bodily, and would return.
To emphasize, Allah says that we first have to die before returning to Him: “Every soul must taste of death; then to Us you will be returned.” And that the dead are not returned: “And before them is a barrier, until the day they are raised”–(Qur’an 29:57; 23:100).
Allah reveals that He said to Jesus: “O Jesus, I will cause thee to die and exalt thee in My presence ….”–(Qur’an 3:54).
Muhammad Ali notes regarding Qur’an 3:54, that “Pickthal’s translation is, O Jesus, I am gathering thee, and this is the Biblical idiom for causing to die. Yusuf ‘Ali, in his first edition, translated the words as meaning I will cause thee to die, but in the second edition he changed it to I will take thee”–(Qur’anic comm. 436).
Yusuf Ali notes: “The same word rafa’a is used in association with honour in connection with (Mohammad) Mustafa in xciv 4 (94:4).” (Comm. 664).
Muhammad Ali explains this Qur’an 3:54:
“Raf ‘signifies raising or elevating, and also exalting or making honourable (T, LL). But where the raf’ of a man to Allah is spoken of in the Holy Qur’an, or in the religious literature of Islam, it is always in the latter sense, for raising a man in his body to Himself implies that the Divine Being is limited to a place. This is made plain by the prayer which every Muslim repeats several times daily in his prayers in the sitting position between the two prostrations: wa-rfa’-ni, meaning and exalt me. Of course no one supposes this prayer to be for the raising of the body to the heavens. Hence even those commentators who are predisposed, having, no doubt, been misled by Christian tradition, to accept Jesus Christ as having been raised alive to heaven, have been compelled to admit that the word raf’ is here used not for raising aloft but for exalting and honouring. And commenting on the words which follow this statement, Rz says: This shows that raf’ here is the exalting in degree and in praise, not in place and direction. The exaltation of Jesus is mentioned here as a reply to the Jews, whose object was to make him die an accursed and ignominious death on the cross.”
“Being exalted in the Divine presence was opposed to being killed on the cross. Deut. 21:23 explains this, for there we have, he that is hanged is cursed of God. If Jesus had died on the cross he would have been accursed; hence the statement made here (Q. 4:157-158)–he was not killed on the cross and accursed, but he was exalted in the Divine presence.” (Comm. #’s 437, 649).
According to the Bible Elijah and Enoch also ascended to heaven. And according to some Muslims the Prophet Mohammad also ascended bodily –the Mi’raj. Buddha is also believed to have ascended and would return.
Those who believe that Jesus was raised bodily must consider if flesh and blood can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
10. Jesus’ return:
Who is greater, Allāh or the Jews?
Since Allah is greater, and since He sent Jesus to minister onto the Jews, no one can prevent Jesus from fulfilling this mission. And since Jesus completed his mission: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do”–(John 17:4); why must Jesus return to earth?
Regarding Jesus’ second coming, there are three verses of the Qur’an that seem to give rise to this belief–Qur’an 4:158 and 159; and 43:61. And in which there are differences in translation between translators; these differences are shown in bold type; and those in agreement, in italics:
First, Qur’an 43:61
(Yusuf Ali) “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”
(Muhammad Ali): And this (revelation) is surely knowledge of the Hour, so have no doubt about it and follow me. This is the right path.”
(Malik Ghulam Farid): “But, verily, he was a sign of the Hour. So entertain no it doubt about it, but follow me. This is the right path.
Which is the correct translation? Ghulam Farid states that “the pronoun “hu” in “inna hu” (of the Arabic text) may refer either to Jesus or to the Qur’an.” But how to know which one the Qur’an is referring to? To know what the verse is referring to, we have to investigate the subject matter of this section (section 6).
Section 6 of chapter 43 begins with the verse: “When (Jesus) the son of Mary is held up as an example, behold, thy people raise a clamour thereat (in ridicule)!” (Qur’an 43:57)
(Yusuf Ali. Ghulam Farid and Muhammad Ali are in agreement; except that the verse begins with “And” –“And when Jesus….is held up”).
While Jesus seems to be the subject of this section he is not the subject. He is only used as an example, as noted in the verse.
For, as the people opposed Jesus, similarly the Prophet Mohammad is opposed. And that the prophecies that Jesus made regarding the coming of another Comforter/Ahmad–(John 14:16; Qur’an 61:6) and that the kingdom of God shall be taken from the Jews and given to another nation–(Matt. 21:43) were now being manifested with the advent of the Prophet Mohammad and the Qur’an; (that this was the Hour marking the end of prophethood to the Jews, so “follow me,(Mohammad), this is a straight way”–43:61).
The topic of this section is about the Qur’anic revelation as noted by the italicized words in the above verse (43:61) in which the Prophet is commissioned to tell the disbelievers, “follow ye me; this is a straight way.”
(a) In Yusuf Ali’s translation there is no correlation between ‘Jesus shall be a Sign of the coming of the Hour’ and “follow ye me; this is a straight way’. That “Jesus SHALL BE a Sign” is speaking about the future, whereas “follow ye me; THIS IS a straight way” is speaking about the present. People cannot be expected to follow me (Mohammad) using a future event (the return of Jesus) as proof of his mission.
(b) But in Muhammad Ali’s translation there is agreement between the statements that “THIS REVELATION is surely knowledge of the Hour” (when prophethood to the Jews would end, and which is now ended) so “follow me. THIS IS the right path.”
(c) And also in Ghulam Farid’s translation there is agreement between the statements that “he (Jesus) WAS a sign” (ending prophethood to the Jews) and “follow me THIS IS the right path.”
Second. Qur’an 4:157-158
Qur’an 4:157 speaks about the Jews boasting of having killed Jesus. But Allah says “they killed him not, nor crucified him, But so it was made to appear to them. ….”.
Malik Ghulam Farid states: “Two different views prevailed among the Jews regarding Jesus’ alleged death by Crucifixion. Some of them held that he was first killed and then his dead body was hung on the cross, while others are of the view that he was put to death by being fixed to the cross. The former view is reflected in The Acts 5:30…The Qur’an refutes both these views by saying, they slew him not, nor did they bring about his death on the cross. The Qur’an rejects the slaying of Jesus in any form, and then proceeds to deny the particular way of killing by hanging on the cross. It does not deny that Jesus was hung on the cross; it only denies his death on it.”–(Comm. 699).
And Muhammad Ali notes: “The words ma salabu-hu (of the Arabic text) do not negative Jesus’ being nailed to the cross; they negative his having expired on the cross as a result of being nailed to it. Salb is a well-known way of killing (T, LA). Salabu-hu means he put him to death in a certain well-known manner (LL).”–(Comm. 645).
To restate, Qur’an 4:157 speaks about the Jews boasting of having killed Jesus. But Allah says “they killed him not, nor crucified him, But so it was made to appear to them. ….”.
And verse 158 says: “God RAISED him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise”–(Yusuf Ali translation).
Yusuf Ali translated the verse as: “God RAISED him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
Ghulam Farid translated the verse as: “Allah EXALTED him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
Muhammad Ali translated it as: “Allah EXALTED him in His presence. And Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.”
Does Allah being “Mighty, Wise” in reference to Him raising up Jesus bodily to Himself, or is it in reference to Him frustrating the plan of the Jews to kill/crucify Jesus? And is Allah raising up Jesus a physical elevation or a spiritual elevation?
Malik Ghulam Farid in his commentary on this verse states:
“The Jews exultingly claimed to have killed Jesus on the cross and thus to have proved that his claim to be a Divine Prophet was not true. The verse along with the preceding one contains a strong refutation of the charge and clears him of the insinuated blemish and speaks of his spiritual elevation and of his having been honoured in the presence of God. There is absolutely no reference in the verse to his physical ascension to heaven. It only says God exalted him towards Himself which clearly signifies a spiritual exaltation, because no fixed abode can be assigned to God.” (Comm. 700. Emphasis added).
That Allah exalted Jesus in “His presence” does not mean that Allah made Jesus equal with Him in power or in position, but that instead of him being made into a “curse” Allah conferred honor onto him.
If Allah raised Jesus physically to “Himself” then Allah must be on a heaven lower than Abraham; for, the Prophet Mohammad, on his Mi’raj, is said to have met Jesus on a lower heaven than Abraham, who was said to be “on the sixth heaven”–(Bokhari Vol. 1, # 345).
And Bokhari Vol. 4, # 640 notes that Jesus was on the third heaven. This would seem to mean, if Allāh raised Jesus literally to Himself, that Allah is on the third heaven. Unless He sent Jesus lower).
Third. Qur’an 4:159
Qur’an 4:159 states: “And there is none of the People of the Book but MUST believe in HIM before HIS death; and on the day of Judgment he (Jesus) WILL be a witness AGAINST them (the People of the Book)” (Yusuf Ali translation)
Muhammad Ali translated the verse as: “And there is none of the People of the Book but will believe in THIS (that Jesus was crucified/accursed was divine/of illegitimate birth) before HIS death; and on the day of Resurrection HE (Jesus) Will be a witness AGAINST them [the People of the Book].”
(a) The first question is, who is the “HIS” referring to in the statement “before HIS death”– is it referring to Jesus’ death or the death of the People of the Book?
(b) The second question is, which is the correct translation, is it that they “must believe in HIM (Jesus)”, or that they “will believe in THIS (that Jesus was either crucified for inherited sin or died the death of an accursed, or that he was divine as Christians believe or of illegitimate birth as Jews believe)?
Regarding the first question, (a). If the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) MUST believe in Jesus (as him being only a messenger of God) before HIS death, whether it be Jesus’ death or their own, Jesus could not be a “WITNESS AGAINST THEM” seeing that they would have believed in him. Jesus cannot be a witness AGAINST those who believe in him. If anything Jesus has to be a witness “FOR” them.
And if the “emphatic form “must believe”” (in Jesus) “denotes more a question of duty than of fact,” it cannot be said that “AND” Jesus will be a witness “AGAINST” them; it should say “OR” Jesus will be a witness against –meaning that they must believe in Jesus OR he will be a witness against them.
In Qur’an 5:116-117 Allah says that when He will ask Jesus if he taught people to take him and his mother as gods, Jesus will answer that he had no right to teach what he was not instructed to; “and I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die Thou wast the Watcher over them.”
This statement by Jesus could not refer to Jesus’ death after his alleged Second coming. If the Jews and Christians would have to accept him as only a messenger of Allāh after this alleged second coming there would be no question of Allah being a Watcher over the Jews and Christians after Jesus’ death–they would already be believers. Moreover, if this statement refers to Jesus’ second coming it would imply that the Jews and the Christians would have reverted to their false beliefs a second time, even after Jesus returned to them and taught them the truth about himself, as being only a messenger.
Regarding the second question (b) as to which is the correct translation. It would seem that Muhammad Ali’s translation is the correct one. For, both the Christians and the Jews believe in “THIS” –that Jesus was either crucified, or “is an accursed of God” because he died from hanging–(Deut 21:23); or that he is divine or of illegitimate birth.
And as Allāh tells us that both these views are false beliefs, then and only then can Jesus be “WITNESS AGAINST THEM” (the Jews and the Christians for their false beliefs: the former going to one extreme of making him divine and the latter going the opposite extreme and making him illegitimate).
According to the Bible Elias also returned to earth in the form of John the Baptist–John the Baptist was “in the power and spirit” of Elias (Luke 1:17; Matt. 11:11-14; 17:10-13). (Is John the father of Jesus, see App. II).
Jesus’ alleged second return is believed to be tied in with the letting loose of Gog and Magog–(Qur’an 18:94 -100; 21:96). But as Muhammad Ali explained, this prophecy of the Gog and Magog has already been fulfilled–(Qur’anic comm. 1523, 1524a, 1525, 1525a). (See Armageddon, Gog & Magog).
That Jesus would return to “break the cross, kill the pig and abolish the Jizya tax”–(Bokhari Vol. 3, # 656. And then what –all will become believers and there would be no more evil? See Jesus and the Dajjal, Appendix III).
So Allāh will send His prophet to be a pig-killer (?). The pig is a scavenger; and if Jesus kill the pigs then the earth would have one less “cleaner.” Would Jesus be able to kill all the pigs in every place? If killing the pig is a metaphor then “cross” and “jizya” in the hadith would also be metaphorical. What is metaphorical “jizya” and how is it abolished?
If killing the pig and breaking the cross are metaphors (meaning to expose uncleanness and falsehood in religion), the Prophet Mohammad did this 1400 years ago.
Regarding Jesus abolishing the “Jizya,” the explanatory note to this saying of the Prophet–(Bokhari Vol. 3, # 656)–says: “The Jizya (which) is a tax imposed on non-Muslims who would keep their own religion rather than embrace Islam, will not be accepted by Jesus (peace be on him), but all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative.”
If “all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative,” this would be compulsion. But Allah says that there is no compulsion in religion–(Qur’an 2:256; 6:107; 9:6; 10:99-100; 17:7; 18: 6, 29; 42:15; 50:45; 76:3; 109:1-6); and in 10:99 He says: “And if thy Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed. Wilt thou then force men till they are believers?”
Jesus can not abolish the jizya, which is a law of Allah, when there might be those among the Jews and Christians in a Muslim state who would not believe him to be Jesus. The Qur’anic law is for all time.
Malik Ghulam Farid notes in his Qur’anic comm. 424: “The fact cannot be denied that Jesus is dead. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said, “Had Moses and Jesus now been alive, they would have found themselves forced to follow me” (Kathir). He even fixed the age of Jesus at 120 years (‘Ummal). The Qur’an, in as many as 30 verses, has completely demolished the absurd belief of the physical ascension of Jesus to, and his supposed life in, heaven.”
Equally significant, the Prophet is reported to have said in his Sermon on the Mount that after him NO prophet will come.
I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, the Glorious and the High, and I bear witness that the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah God be upon him) is the Messenger of Allāh, God!
Was Jesus married?
As shown in the preceding, Jesus had a father. The next question is: did Jesus have a wife –was Jesus married?
The Gospels could hardly be a reliable source of information on the life of Jesus; considering the Bible is the King James “Version,” and that the Gospels were shapened to fit Jesus into the mould of “vicarious atoner.” Reason, though, might be able to bridge a few chasms in the Gospels.
In His Qur’an, Allāh mentions Jesus among eighteen prophets who had fathers and children–(Qur’an 6:84-88). To have children, Jesus must have a wife, but according to the Gospels Jesus had no wife and children. If Jesus was married why is there no mention of it in the Gospels?
The answer would seem simple. If Jesus had a wife and children, and as Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God, it would mean that God has a daughter-in-law and grandchildren, and even great grandchildren and even other greats as we move down the trail of descendants; and it would also mean that since all these descendants would be of “Divinity,” as their father, they also would have the powers to perform miracles through the ages and also among us today –if Jesus’ followers, being mortals, could perform such miracles as Jesus gave them power–(Matt. 10:7-8)– consider how much more potent his own “divine” offspring would be.
These ‘multi-great’ grandchildren would be able to feed multitudes on a few loaves and fish –which would take care of any famine or starvation, and food-banks. These “Divine” descendants would also be able to save the cash flow of the world’s ‘drinkers’ by turning mega loads of water into wine –though this might upset and put the ‘spirit’ czars out of business; they may have to catch fish or fork potato banks for a living. These “heavenly” children would also heal the blind and the sick and raise the dead –man would have found his utopia– though all this would put an end to doctors and hospitals and undertakers and grave-diggers, and to stem-cell research and cloning, as well as an end to all the millions in money collected for cancer and other researches.
The scenario would pretty much be the same regarding the belief that Jesus is God –God would have a mortal wife, children, grand’s, etc). Thus, the builders of the Church probably having foreseen this expanse of insanity ruled it necessary to wall Jesus in the room of celibacy. Or, since Jesus’ purpose was to be scapegoat for sinners, there was no need for him to have wife and children.
Is John the Baptist The Father of Jesus?
According to the Bible, at Jesus’ baptism God’s Spirit in the form of a dove came and alighted on Jesus and a voice from heaven said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”–(Matt. 3:17; also 17:5).
Whereas this “voice” from heaven is assumed to be that of God, interestingly Jesus said: “Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape”–(John 5:37).
Since the “voice” of God has never been heard at any time, to whom then does this “voice” that came from heaven belong? Is it the “voice” of Satan claiming Jesus as his “beloved Son”?
As noted above, Allāh lists Jesus among eighteen prophets who had wives and children. And the Prophet Mohammad said to the Christians of Najran: “Don’t you know that no child is born but has a likeness to its father in form and appearance? and, “Don’t you know that Jesus was conceived by a woman just as any other woman conceives a child”
Since every woman conceives through the joining of sperm with ovum, this, according to the Prophet’s statement, clearly shows that Jesus had a father. And since every child has a likeness to its father, Jesus also must have a father. But who is Jesus’ father?
There are some Muslims who are of the belief that John the Baptist is the father of Jesus. Basing their proofs on materials from the Bible and the Qur’an.
The point may be raised that Mary was some fifteen years older than John the Baptist –her supposed age when Zaccharias prayed for an heir plus another year for the birth of John. But there is nothing extraordinary about an older woman marrying a man her junior –we have the son(s) of Judah marry(ing) the elder brother’s wife, Tamar, in order to raise offspring on behalf of the deceased elder brother–(Genesis 38:7-14).
Neither is there anything strange that Mary would have to wait at least fourteen years after the Annunciation and her subsequent marriage to John to give birth to Jesus (assuming that John would be at least fourteen when he married Mary, who would then be about twenty -eight years old) –the Prophet Mohammad had to wait eight years– between his exile and Allah’s promise to return him to Makkah–(Qur’an 17:76; 28:85); also regarding Allah’s word that the Romans would become victorious over the Persians after their defeat, this fact did not materialize until nine years after–(Qur’an 30:2-3. For details on these two prophecies see Muhammad Ali comm. 1455 & 1930). Once Allah has made His decree, the machinations come into effect and the process is completed in due course.
Seemingly, John the Baptist was older than Jesus by more than six months, as suggested by Luke 1:36-42. John Dominic Crossan in his book The Essential Jesus–Original Sayings and Earliest Images shows a reproduction of a “baptizing scene” with a “bearded John the Baptist” and a child-Jesus. (p. 34).13
Without John as his father, Jesus could not have inherited the throne of his forefather, David, and also he could not have been the Messiah, who had to come from the house of David. For Jesus to inherit the house of David –to be “root and offspring of David”– he had to come through a human father, be he Joseph or John the Baptist.
Commenting on chapter 18 of the Qur’an, Muhammad Ali notes: “The Holy Prophet is reported to have said: He who remembers the first ten verses of the chapter entitled the “Cave” is protected from the tribulation of Dajjal (Antichrist) (Muslim 6:42). Shi’bah mentions the last ten verses of The Cave instead of the first ten (Abu Dawud, 36:12).
Now in the first and last sections of this chapter the Christian doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is condemned. In the first section a warning is given to those who say Allah has taken to Himself a son (v.4), in the last two to those who take My servants for Protecting Friends (v. 102), and this doctrine, the doctrine of sonship and of the Divinity of a servant of God, is the basic doctrine of the Christian religion. Moreover in the concluding ten verses, a true description of the occupation of the Christian nations is given in the words whose labour is lost in this world’s life (v. 104). The Holy Qur’an does not speak of the appearance of Dajjal, or Antichrist, anywhere, but the Prophet’s saying quoted above plainly shows that the Dajjal of the Hadith is the same as the upholders of the erroneous Christian doctrine of the sonship and divinity of Jesus Christ. Christianity, in its present form, being opposed to the true teachings of Christ, is thus the only Antichrist known to the Qur’an. It may be added that Dajjal signifies one who conceals the truth with falsehood, or a liar or a great deceiver (LL–Arabic English Lexicon by Edward William Lane)”–(M. Ali, Qur’anic comm. 1478).
Regarding the narrations which speak of Jesus’ return to kill the Dajjal at ‘Lud’, Kaukab Siddique in his booklet Dajjal says: “I suspect these narratives are fabrications owing to a number of reasons.” He lists seven (7) reasons (pp. 28-30).
Briefly, they are:
1. “the sections on iman (faith) in the books of hadith do not mention belief in the return of Jesus in any way. Two verses in the Qur’an have been interpreted to mean that Jesus will return but these are farfetched interpretations. Faith has to be clearly stated because it makes the difference between heaven and hell: it is not a function of interpretations.”
2. That Jesus’ return “to affirm the teachings of Muhammad” compromises Mohammad as being the “seal of the prophets.” (As religion was perfected through Mohammad no prophet, old or new, is needed to affirm the Qur’an. Only Reformers, as the Prophet says, will come).
3. “Imam Bukhari does not accept the hadith about Jesus returning to kill Dajjal.”
4. Abu Huraira’s narration in Bukhari about the return of Jesus “does not refer to Jesus killing Dajjal. A hadith from only one companion on a matter of faith is open to question in any case. Abu Huraira made some mistakes in hadith narration which were criticized by Hazrat ‘Ayesha.”
(Ency. Britannica, Vol. 9, p. 949, notes that, “the Jewish convert, Ka’b al-Ahbar brought much of the Isra’iliyat [things Jewish] into Islamic tradition.” Thus it is possible that Christian reverts to Islam had infused Christian teachings into Islam).
5. Muslim (another compiler of Traditions of the Prophet Mohammad) and other compilers have hadith about Jesus “returning to slay Dajjal;” the descriptions of Jesus “are taken verbatim from a hadith in Bukhari’s sahih in which Prophet Muhammad saw Jesus in a dream and then saw Dajjal. Bukhari narrated only the dream, which does not include Jesus going on to kill Dajjal. The other collectors seem to have interpolated the dream sequence into the story of Jesus killing Dajjal.
6. “Where the narrative in Muslim and others begins about Jesus killing Dajjal, it is in a longer narrative about dajjal. By the time the narrative reaches the story of Jesus, it is no longer clear that those are the words of Prophet Muhammad and not of some other (unnamed) narrator. The words: “the Prophet then said” do not appear anywhere near Muslim’s narrative about the return of Jesus.
7. “In a way Imam Muslim’s own narrations about Jesus, (peace be on him) contradict his other narrations, which I have quoted above, on how to deal with Dajjal. Muslims are told to “contend” with him and to remember (verses 1-10 of) sura al-Kahf. Here waiting for Jesus is simply left out. When we turn to sura al-Kahf, Jesus’ sonship is rejected. This is where God the most eloquent could have told us to wait for Jesus’ return, but there is no such hint.”
According to the Traditions of the Prophet Dajjal would be “one-eyed;” “will have two flowing streams with him, one seemingly white and the other seemingly bursting with flames;” between his eyes will be written the word “kafir” (disbeliever); he will travel over the land “like the rain shower which is being swept forth by a blowing gale behind it;” and most important, Dajjal cannot be “killed,” in the literal sense of the word.
Dajjal or “the great Deceiver” is not a person–a being cannot have two streams with him. Dajjal is an unjust (one-eyed) system, unGodly (disbeliever), having the power to dominate, and to control (travel through the land like the rain), its allies are rewarded with “riches and prosperity” (the white stream) and its “opponents” are visited with death and destruction (the stream of flames).
Since Dajjal is a system and not an individual, he cannot be killed by physical methods. But he can be killed. A system can only be killed by another system. Allāh, God, through the Prophet Mohammad, has given us this system–Islam.
We combat Dajjal with abstinence from intoxicants; immorality; injustice; deception; and by following and propagating Islam, developing self-sufficiency in agriculture; industry; and military, as Allah says, speaking about the idolaters and the future ene-mies of Islam, “make ready for them whatever force you can;” not for offense, but for defense–(Qur’an 8:59-60). Muslims are to equip against aggression.14
But what about the saying of the Prophet that Jesus would return as a “just ruler”?–(Bokhari Vol. 3, # 425, 656). Is this return physical, or metaphorical as in the case of Elias who returned as John the Baptist–(Luke 1:17; Matt. 11:11-14; 17:10-13)?
It would seem that this return of Jesus is metaphorical. The Prophet Mohammad is reported as describing Jesus to be of “redcomplexion, curly hair and a broad chest”–(Bokhari Vol. 4 #648). Whereas in a dream he is reported to have seen a “brown” Jesus having “lank” hair “circumambulating the Ka’ba”–(Bokhari Vol. 4, #649).
Perhaps this “brown” Jesus that the Prophet Mohammad saw would be a Muslim of colored descent, who will have the disposition of the Israelite Jesus; one who would reform the Muslims that have lapsed from the practice of Islam.
1. Who is a Muslim? A Muslim is one who believes in the Holy Kalima: There is no god but Allah, Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah. Zahid Aziz notes:
“Husain Ahmad Madani, This well-known Deobandi theologian of this century has written in his autobiography Naqsh-i Hayat: “All great scholars are unanimous in holding that if, out of hundred ingredients of the belief of some Muslim, ninety-nine are those of unbelief, and merely one of true Islamic faith, it is not allowed to call him kafir.…In fact, Hazrat Gangohi [a founder of Deo-band religious school] clearly states in his Anwar al-Qulub that the saying of the jurists about ninety-nine grounds does not set a limit, and that if 999 out of a thousand points in the belief of a Muslim are unbelief (kufr) and only one is true belief, even then he cannot be called kafir.” (Naqsh-i-Hayat, vol. i. p. 126)” (The Ahmadiyya Case, p. 85).
Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi, says: “In these hadith, the Holy Prophet has explained the constitutional law of Islam. And that is that when a person professes the unity of God and the apostleship of the Holy Prophet, he enters the fold of Islam and becomes a citizen of the Islamic state. As to whether he is a true believer or not, only God can judge that. We are not permitted to judge it because of the [Holy Prophet’s] words: ‘I have not been commanded to cut open people’s hearts and search their inner selves.’ Security of life and property is established by the mere confession of unity and apostleship.” (Tafhimat, Pathankot, India, 1942, p. 164)” (Ibid. p.75).
Since acceptance of the Kalimah makes one a Muslim, only renouncing it can remove one from Islam. There are varying degrees in being a Muslim; acceptance of the Kalimah is the first degree. Maudoodi also said:
“You become Muslims by reciting a few words called the Kalimah: La ilaha illa ‘llah Muhammadu’r-rasulu ‘llaah: There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” And that “there should be as much caution in calling a Muslim kafir as there is in pronouncing a death sentence against someone. …Should there even be an iota of Islamic belief in that man’s heart, the slander of kufr shall reflect back upon the accuser.” (Ibid. pp. 315, 85).
Difference of opinion and in interpretation of the Qur’an does not remove one from Islam, nor does it constitute disbelief. The judgment thereof is with Allah, He will make clear to us wherein we differed–(Qur’an 16: 92; 39:46; 42:10). Our common factors as Muslims are Faith in Allah and the Messengership of Mohammad; Prayer, Charity, Fasting and Hajj.
Allah, the Glorious and the High, says not to say to any person who offers you salaam that he is not a believer until you have investigated him–(Qur’an 4:94). Obviously, this does not mean that a person who is known to be of another religion and offers the salaam, that he should be accepted as a believer in Allah. This verse refers to the individual whose religion is unknown to the Muslim. The person who claims to be a Muslim must believe in the Kalima, pray as Muslims do etc.
Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said, “Three things are the basis of faith: to withhold from one who confesses faith in la ilaha ill-Allah, you should not call him kafir for any sin, nor expel him from Islam for any deed…” (Abu Dawud 15:33)”. And ‘Umar is reported to have said, “Whoever calls the people of la ilaha ill-Allah unbeliever (kafir) is himself nearer to unbelief (kufr).” (Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam, p.125).
Further, Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said that, Whoever prays like us and faces our Qibla and eats our slaughtered animals is a Muslim and is under Allah’s and His Apostle’s protection. So do not betray Allah by betraying those who are in His protection. And that: If somebody accuses another of Fusuq (by calling him Fasiq, i.e. a wicked person) or accuses him of Kufr, such an accusation will revert to him (i.e. the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent. Also, “cursing a believer is like murdering him; and whoever accuses a believer of disbelief, then it is as if he had killed him” (Bokhari Vol. 1 # 386. Vol. 8 # 71–See also chapter 73. And #’s 125 (A), 125 (B), 126).
Also, The Prophet is reported as saying that on the Day of Resurrection he will ask Allah to admit into Paradise those whose faith is equal to a mustard seed and even less–(Bokhari Vol. 9, #600; also 601).
Since the Prophet will intercede for those with minimum faith, how can one who believe in the Holy Kalima be called a kafir (disbeliever)?
It is clear that a person who believes in the ‘Kalimah‘ cannot be properly called a kafir; he remains a Believer/ Muslim even though he may be guilty of an act of unbelief. Believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, and who doubts not and struggle in the way of Allah–(Qur’an 49:15).
Regardless of how shallow he may be in intelligence, or how wrong in his interpretation of the Qur’an, he cannot be called a kafir. Our common factors as Muslims are Faith in Allah and the Messengership of Mohammad; Prayer, Charity, Fasting and Hajj.
Every person who accepts the kalima–There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah– is a Muslim. Only his/her renouncing this formula of belief can remove him/her from Islam.
Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Religion of Islam, that as explained by Ibn Kathir in his dictionary of tradition, the Nihaya, that: “Kufr (unbelief) is of two kinds: one is denial of the faith itself, and that is the opposite of faith; and the other is a denial of a far‘ (branch) of the furu‘ (branches) of Islam, and on account of it a man does not get out of the faith itself.” (p. 123)
Regardless of the depth of his error, a Muslim who advances his arguments from the Qur’an cannot be a called a kafir (disbeliever).
Finality of prophethood: Finality of prophethood with Prophet Mohammad does not close the door to Allah communicating with His servants–(Bokhari. Vol. 9, #’s 119, 116, 112, 123).
Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said, “Nothing remains of prophethood except mubashshirat [same as bushra]. People said: What are mubashshirat? He said, True dreams”–(Bokhari, Vol. 9, # 119).
And these “true dreams” are related to prophethood, as the Holy Prophet is reported to have said, “The good dream of a righteous believer is one of the forty-six parts of prophethood”–(Bokhari, Vol. 9, # 123).
Zahid Aziz notes in The Ahmadiyya Case:
Shah Wali-ullah of Delhi (d. 1763.) writes: “Remember that the Saying of the Holy Prophet which mentions a large number of prophets includes muhaddases in its count.” (p.127).
Maulana Sana-ullah of Panipat, a classical commentator of the Qur’an, writes in his commentary: “Rasul has a broad significance, applying both to men and angels…Some scholars say that, as a general metaphor, the word rasul is applied to saints as well.” (p. 127).
Maulana Mufti Kifayat-ullah, a theologian of this century who was head of the Jami’at al-‘Ulama, India, defined a muhaddas as follows: “A muhaddas is he who receives the word of God by special revelation. Some scholars consider such a one to be a prophet of a low rank, and others consider him to be a saint of a high order.”(p.127).
Mulla Ali Qari wrote in his famous classical work: “To be a metaphorical prophet does not constitute kufr nor an innovation.” (p. 128).
Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani (d.1166 C.E.) “Sainthood is the zill [reflection or image] of prophethood, and prophethood is the zill of Divinity.” (p. 135). (This does not mean that the prophet shares a part in Divinity; only that he is a representative of the Divine being).
Imam Hajar Asqalani wrote in his commentary of Bukhari: “When revelation was cut off with the Holy Prophet’s death, ilham [revelation to saints] came to those whom God chose.” (p .111).
Imam Abdul Wahhab Shi’rani says, “The door of prophethood is closed after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and shall not be opened for anyone till the Day of Judgment. However, revelation [wahy, ilham] remains for the saints, which does not contain Shari’ah in it.”(p. 111).
Ghazali (d. 1111 C.E.) This great philosopher, writer and mujaddid, wrote in his best-known work: “Know that the men of the heart are shown the secrets of the worlds through inspiration [into the mind], or through true dreams, or through visions while awake. This is one of the highest grades of the degrees of prophethood, as a true dream is one of the forty-six parts of prophethood. So beware of denying this knowledge through lack of understanding.”(pp. 108-109).
There were several who claimed to be Jesus: Zahid Aziz in The Ahmadiyya Case:
Mu’in-ud-Din Chisti (d. 1236 C.E.) This saint and missionary of India, whose shrine in Ajmer is visited by thousands of Muslims every year, wrote the verse: “Every moment the Holy Spirit breathes into Mu’in, So it is not I who says this, but in fact I am the second Jesus.” (pp. 113/192).
Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (d. 1273 C.E.): “I am Jesus…” (p. 191).
Sayyid Farid-ud-Din ‘Sipa Salar’: “I am that Jesus of the sky who went even beyond the moon, “I am the Moses of Mount Sinai where God revealed himself.” (p. 193).
Abu Yazid Bustami (d. 874 C.E.) It is recorded about him in the classical work Tazkirat al-Auliya, a compilation of the lives of early Muslim saints: “It was said, God has servants like Abraham, Moses and Jesus. He said: I am all of them.” (p. 193).
Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938). In praise of the perfect believer, he writes in a poem: “He is Kalim [Moses], he is Masih [Messiah], he is Khalil [Abraham]. “He is Muhammad, he is Qur’an, he is Gabriel.”(p. 151).
Regarding Mirza’s claim to be the Messiah/Mahdi, Maulana Abul Jamal Ahmad says: “If Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claims to be the Mahdi and the like of the Messiah, this does not militate against the Shari’ah. Nor do we have any reason to deny it because the services he has rendered to the religion of Islam can undoubtedly prove him true in the claim to be Mahdi.”(p. 207).
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad says: “…..What has the question of whether a certain individual was or was not the Mahdi to do with the beliefs in Islam? It is not the basis of sin or goodness, nor the criterion of faith and unbelief. If a person accepts as Mahdi a man who calls to the law of Islam, enjoins good and forbids evil, it does not corrupt his Islamic beliefs.” (pp. 207, 208).
Khwaja Ghulam Farid of Chachran (d. 1904). This famous Sufi saint was a contemporary of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Commenting upon the latter’s claim to be the Mahdi, he said: “Mirza sahib has given many signs in support of his claim to be Mahdi. Two of these signs which he has explained in his book provide a high quality of evidence about his being the Mahdi…” (Isha-rat-i Faridi, Persian edition, p. 70).
When someone put to him the objection: If we do not find the characteristics of the Messiah and Mahdi in Mirza sahib, how can we accept him as such? The Khwaja replied:
“The characteristics of the Mahdi are secret, and not those which people have in mind. Why is it surprising that this very Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib could be the Mahdi? One hadith says that Messiah and Mahdi is the same person. It is not necessary that all the signs of the Mahdi should appear as people have them in mind in accordance with their views and comprehension. If it had happened as people expected, everyone would recognize the Mahdi and believed in him. In fact, when we look at the prophets we find that only a few people in a prophet’s nation would recognize the signs and believe in him. Others would remain doubtful, and some would not recognize him at all. These people would deny and be known as unbelievers. If the entire nation of every prophet could recognize him, they would all become believers. Look at the history of the Holy Prophet. His qualities and signs were prophesied in the scriptures. When he appeared, people did not find some of the signs to be as they had thought them to be. Those to whom these things became clear, they became believers. Those to whom these things did not become clear, they denied. The same applies to the Mahdi. So if Mirza sahib is the Mahdi, what is the thing which prevents it?” (ibid.; pp. 123-124).”(pp. 208-209).
And finally, Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi (d. 1979). He is the best known Sunni religious and political leader of this age in Pakistan, and well-known all over the Muslim world. He wrote:
“Whatever may be said about the Mahdi, everyone can see that his position in Islam is not such that being a Muslim and receiving salvation depends upon recognising and accepting him. If that had been his position, he would have been explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an, and the Holy Prophet would not have rested content with explaining this to a couple of individuals, but would have conveyed it to the whole nation in the way in which we find that Unity of God and the Last day have been preached. Anyone having even a little understanding of religious matters cannot see for an instant why a question which is so crucial to the faith could be left to a few isolated reports. And these reports are of such a low order that compilers like Malik, Bukhari and Muslim did not like to include them in their collections.” (p. 209).
Again, the Bountiful Messenger of Allah instructs us, “imbue yourselves with Divine attributes.” Meaning that we are to emulate the Divine attributes of grace, mercy, forgiveness, love etc. Thus, as prophets are the closest to God and as they live these attributes of God are they not in a sense the reflection of God? The Prophet himself is referred to as a “walking Qur’an,” meaning that he lived the Qur’an.
And if a Muslim should emulate his prophet, is he not in a sense a reflection of his prophet, or a metaphorical prophet?
If we are not to become a reflection of Mohammad or a metaphorical Mohammad, what is the need for us to emulate ourselves with Divine attributes?
2. Dummelow, Commentary on the Holy Bible, 148.
3. Donaldson, The Christian Orthodoxy, 476.
4. Ency. Brit., 14th Edn, Vol. 13, 20. (Words in brackets added)
5. Hastings, History of the Apostolic Church, 318-32. See also Mosheim Ecclesiastical History, Vol. I, 214.”
6. Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, 808.”
7. Weiss, Die Predigt Jesu Von Reiche Gottes, 342.
8. Revised Version, p.1125.
9. Jesus in Heaven on Earth, pp. 108-128.
10. The prophet Jacob was given the name Israel by God–(Gen. 32:27-28). Jacob had twelve sons –Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zabulon, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher– who each* became a founder of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Though all the descendants of these twelve tribes are collectively known as Children of Israel, the members of each tribe is distinctively known by the founder of their respective tribe, e.g. the descendants of the tribe founded by Judah are known as Jews, and from which tribe David was descended–(Matt. 1:1-16; Heb. 7:14; Rev; 5:5); the tribe founded by Levi, his descendants are the Levites, and from whose tribe Mary, the mother Jesus, was a descendant–(Ex. 4:14; Luke 1:5, 36; Qur’an 3:34; 19:28). Joseph, Mary’s husband, was of the house of David/ Judah–(Luke 1:27; 2:4). Thus, while all “Jews” (descendants of Judah) are Children of Israel, all Children of Israel are not “Jews” (as they are not all from the tribe of Judah; some are Levites; Benjaminites; etc. For a listing of these twelve Tribes of Israel see 1 Chronicles 2:1; Revelation 7:5-8). *Dan was not a founder of a tribe. Joseph’s son, Manasseh, was founder of a tribe, making up the total twelve tribes. There is differing view as to whether Joseph was a founder or his other son, Ephraim.
11. Jesus in Heaven on Earth, pp. 114-115.
12. Ency; Brit; 15th Edn; Vol. 11. Art; Judaism, p. 1018. (Emphasis added).
13. Pub. Harper San Fran-cisco, A Division of Harper Collins Publishers.
14. Some materials taken from Kaukab Siddique, Dajjal.