The alleged superiority of Islam over Christianity
Analyzing Jalal Abualrub’s Response to an Arab Christian

[Part 1]

Sam Shamoun

Jalal Abualrub has posted an article where he tries to address a series of questions or remarks made by an unnamed Arab Christian. Abualrub is presenting his Muslim beliefs in comparison to the Christian faith, as he perceives it, seeking to elevate the one over the other.

Initially I had planned on refuting his "response" (here) to one of the points I raised in my debate with Osama Abdallah (here) regarding Muhammad wearing woman’s clothing. I have decided to defer that for the time being in order to address his response to this Arab Christian. Lord Jesus willing, I will be finishing that particular rebuttal to Abualrub’s denial that that Muhammad wore woman’s clothing in the near future.

He begins:

First: All thanks to Allah, I am well versed in the Bible, in Arabic and English, and have read and studied it since I was young. I am also well acquainted with the major Christian sects, including the Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Coptics, Maronites, etc. I lived in Egypt and used to hear Coptic leaders speak in their religious ceremonies, including the church’s leader Shunoda, and frequently listened to and witnessed Coptic religious gatherings and prayers. I also translated two books on Christian dogmas and major Christian sects detailing their history and the major differences between them.

RESPONSE:

Here we will see that Abualrub has apparently not benefited much from his studying since he shows that he is far from being acquainted with what the Holy Bible teaches regarding key, essential doctrines. It may even be that Abualrub does indeed know what the major Christian sects believe on the basis of the Holy Bible, i.e. the Trinity, the Hypostatic Union of Christ (that he is fully God and fully man simultaneously, having two distinct natures), the Divine Personhood of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s vicarious sacrifice for sins, the authority of the Holy Scriptures etc., but has chosen to distort and misrepresent these beliefs.

Second: I read numerous articles and books discussing the claimed divinity of Jesus (Prophet Esa), peace be upon him. Yet, I still have a major problem regarding this topic. If you ask me what the core of my faith is, plain and simple and without interpretation, I will describe each major aspect of it with just one Ayah. Examples:

1. Who is Allah? {Allh, your Lord! L ilha illa Huwa, the Creator of all things}; [6:102].

RESPONSE:

Not everything is as simple as Abualrub makes it seem. For instance, what does it exactly mean that Allah is one? Does this mean that he is a mere monad which precludes him from having any kind of plurality whatsoever, i.e. that he is a singularity which excludes his having a plurality of attributes, characteristics etc.? Or does Allah exist as a composite unity, as a plurality-within-unity Being? Is he one Person, one Spirit, one community, etc.? To say that that Allah is one says absolutely nothing since he can be one in a number of different ways.

To illustrate our point note that the passage cited by Abualrub says there is no god except Allah and that he is the lord and creator. The problem with this assertion is that the Quran claims that Allah is not the sole creator but is one of many creators:

Then We made the seed a clot, then We made the clot a lump of flesh, then We made (in) the lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, then We caused it to grow into another creation, so blessed be Allah, the best of the creators. S. 23:14 Shakir

Will ye call upon Baal and forsake the Best of Creators, - S. 37:125 Y. Ali

In fact, Allah is said to have a spirit who appears as a man and can create life:

And mention in the Book Mary when she withdrew from her people to an eastern place, and she took a veil apart from them; then We sent unto her Our Spirit that presented himself to her a man without fault. She said, ‘I take refuge in the All-merciful from thee! If thou fearest God ... He said, ‘I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, TO GIVE THEE A BOY MOST PURE.’ She said, ‘How shall I have a son whom no mortal has touched, neither have I been unchaste?’ He said, ‘Even so thy Lord has said: "Easy is that for Me; and that We may appoint him a sign unto men and a mercy from Us; it is a thing decreed."’ S. 19:16-21 Arberry

And she who guarded her virginity, so We breathed into her of Our spirit and appointed her and her son to be a sign unto all beings. S. 21:91 Arberry

And Mary, Imran's daughter, who guarded her virginity, so We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and she confirmed the Words of her Lord and His Books, and became one of the obedient. S. 66:12 Arberry

Combining these references together it becomes clear that the purpose behind Allah’s spirit coming to Mary was to prepare her for the moment that Allah would breathe him into her so as to cause her to conceive.

The Quran, at the same time, denies that there is a creator besides Allah:

O men! Remember the grace of Allah unto you! Is there a Creator, other than Allah, to give you sustenance from heaven or earth? There is no god but He: how then are ye perverted? S. 35:3

The foregoing leaves us with several options to choose from:

  1. There is a contradiction in the teachings of the Quran since Allah is not the only creator. The spirit also creates and gives life in the same way that Allah does.
  2. Since the spirit can create, which makes him a creator, than this means that either:
    1. There is another God besides Allah, thereby contradicting the claim that there is only God.
    2. Or that Allah must be a multi-Personal Being, i.e. that there is more than one Divine entity that exists as Allah.

Fore more on the Quranic teaching on the spirit and creators we recommend the following articles:

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/gabriel.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/gabriel_spirit.html
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/spirit1.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/spirit2.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/death_angels.html
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zaatri_angels.htm

Abualrub continues:

2. Who is Muhammad, peace be upon him, and what is his nature? {Muhammad is the Messenger of Allh}; [48:29], whom Allah ordered to say, {"I am only a human being like you"}; [41:6].

RESPONSE:

This, too, is not as simple as Abualrub makes it to be. For instance, is Muhammad the last prophet and messenger? Or is he the last prophet but not the final messenger? Is Muhammad merely mortal or has he been given supernatural qualities such as omnipresence etc.?

3. Who is Esa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) and what is his nature? Allah said that Prophet Esa said, {"Verily, I am a slave of Allh, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet"…It befits not Allh that He should beget a son. Glorified be He}; [19:30 & 35].

He also says regarding Jesus:

Thus, the fact that the Quran praises Prophet Esa as he should be praised, peace be upon him, and mentions the unique miracles he performed, by Allah’s permission, do not support the Christian claim that Jesus was divine. For the Quran’s praise of Jesus to justify the Christian faith in his divinity, the Quran must clearly state that Jesus is divine, that Allah is one in trinity, that Jesus is Allah’s begotten son. The Quran rejects this false dogma in the clearest of terms and declares it as utter disbelief in Allah.

And again:

Third: Surely, the Quran contains praise of Prophet Esa, alaihi as-salam. However, the Quran clearly describes Prophet Esa to be a human prophet, not divine, rejects trinity and refutes the worship of Jesus in the most-clear terms and denies that Allah has a son or a partner to Him in the lordship or the worship. The Quran also praises several prophets more than it praises Prophet Esa and mentions miracles they performed that are as unique and, in some instances, greater than the miracles that Prophet Esa (Jesus) performed, by Allah’s permission. The Quran praises Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and Musa (Moses), peace be upon them, more than it praises Prophet Esa (Jesus), peace be upon him.

RESPONSE:

To begin with, it is not at all true that the Quran praises prophets like Abraham and Moses more than Jesus. This is simply a distortion of what the Quran teaches. Here is a list of just some of the characteristics, titles etc. which the Quran ascribes to Jesus that are not given to anyone else, thereby exalting Christ above all the rest of the prophets, especially Muhammad:

  1. Jesus is born of a virgin.
  2. Jesus is called the Word of God which Allah conferred upon Mary and a Spirit proceeding from him.
  3. Jesus raises the dead and gives life to inanimate objects by breathing into them, indicating that he is the source of life.
  4. Jesus did other miracles that the others did not do such as cleansing lepers, giving sight and hearing to the blind and deaf
  5. Jesus’ mother is preferred above all women and is the only woman mentioned by name and even has a chapter named in her honor.
  6. Jesus and his mother were protected from Satan, with Jesus being called a faultless boy. This is unlike Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad whom the Quran says all had committed sin.
  7. Jesus is honored in the next life and is called blessed, something which is never explicitly said of the others.
  8. God raised Jesus to himself, whereas Abraham, Moses and Muhammad all died.

Second, Abualrub demands of Christians what he doesn’t demand of himself. For instance, he insists that the Holy Bible and the Quran both read a certain way, in the manner which he proposes, in order for him to accept that they are teaching certain beliefs such as Christ’s Divinity etc. Otherwise he will not accept that these sources teach these doctrines.

In order to expose just how inconsistent Abularub is by failing to apply this same standard to his own beliefs, the Quran fails to "clearly describe" or "clearly teach" the following which Abularub accepts:

  1. The belief that Allah is absolutely singular which precludes there being a plurality of divine persons.
  2. The three classifications of Tauhid, the Islamic term used to denote the unity of Allah,
    (a) tauhid al-rububiyyah, (b) tauhid al-uluhiyya/ibaadah, (c) tauhid al-asma wa sifat.
  3. The belief that the Holy Spirit is angel Gabriel.
  4. That Muhammad is the last messenger.
  5. Praying five times a day is obligatory.
  6. The exact amount of zakat money or almsgiving every Muslim is required to give.

We could easily multiply these examples but these sufficiently demonstrate our point.

Third, the Quran teaches contradictory things about Jesus since even though it denies that he is God and the Son of God, nonetheless it ascribes to him certain titles and characteristics which clearly show that he is more than simply human. For instance, we mentioned above that the Quran states that Jesus is God’s Word which he cast upon Mary and a Spirit proceeding from him:

O ye who have received the scriptures, exceed not the just bounds in your religion, neither say of God [any other] than the truth. Verily Christ Jesus the son of Mary [is] the apostle of God, and his word, which he conveyed into Mary, and a spirit [proceeding] from him. Believe therefore in God, and his apostles, and say not, [there are] three [Gods]; forbear [this]; it will be better for you. God is but one God. Far be it from him that he should have a son! Unto him [belongeth] whatsoever [is] in heaven and on earth; and God is a sufficient protector. S. 4:171 Sale

The above text presupposes the prehuman existence of Jesus, that Christ existed as God’s Word and his Spirit even before he became a man from the virgin Mary. In fact, Christians started to use these verses against Muhammad to prove that Jesus is more than a mere human being. This prompted Muhammad to classify such references as unclear, vague, or allegorical in nature, and insisted that they shouldn’t be the basis to determine the nature and person of Christ. Hence, when Christians started using Muhammad’s own statements about Jesus to refute him he conveniently came up with the explanation that these sayings are allegorical and shouldn’t be used to contradict the other statements of the Quran which deny that Jesus is Divine! For more details please read the following:

http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/jesus_creator.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/sura3_7.htm

Abualrub again:

4. Is trinity a valid creed? Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad, salla-llahu alaihi wa-sallam, to say this: {"He is Allh, One. Allh-us-Samad (Who sustains everything and stands in need of no one). He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him"}; [112:1-4]. Or, you may refer to this Ayah where Allah said this about trinity, {Disbelievers are those who said: "Allh is the third of the three." But there is no Ilh but One Ilh. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them}; [5:73].

RESPONSE:

Abualrub, by citing these Quranic texts, has managed to discredit the Quran as a revealed book. By quoting these verses, Abualrub has demonstrated that the author of the Quran was either ignorant of what orthodox Christians believed or deliberately distorted their beliefs in order to attack straw man. For instance, historic Christianity does not teach that God is the third of three, but that he is one eternal Being who exists as three distinct Persons simultaneously. Moreover, the Quran assumes that the only way God can beget a son is by sexual union with a woman:

And they make the jinn associates with Allah, while He created them, and they falsely attribute to Him sons and daughters without knowledge; glory be to Him, and highly exalted is He above what they ascribe (to Him). Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth! How could He have a son when He has no consort, and He (Himself) created everything, and He is the Knower of all things. S. 6:100-101 Shakir

Again, this is a gross distortion of what conservative Christians have always taught regarding Jesus’ relationship to the Father and it is just as blasphemous to a Christian to say that God acquired a son by having sex with a woman as it is to a Muslim. Christians believe that Jesus’ Sonship is purely spiritual in nature, that he is God’s Son in a spiritual sense.

Thus, Muslims can easily explain their Islamic Faith using clear, plain, unequivocal and un-interpreted evidence, one Ayah per each aspect. If you ask Jesus about his faith, the same faith described in the Old Testament, his answer is plain and clear, "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord"; [Mark 12:29-30].

RESPONSE:

Let us see what Jesus also said in this very same chapter, both before and after reciting this creedal confession from Deuteronomy 6:4:

"He had still one other, A BELOVED SON; finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect MY SON.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is THE HEIR; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard." Mark 12:6-8

"And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, ‘How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, declared, "THE LORD said to MY LORD, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet." David himself calls him LORD; so how is he his son?’ And the great throng heard him gladly." Mark 12:35-37

Jesus affirms that he is God’s beloved Son and Heir, a position which belongs to God according to the Quran:

But as for those who are niggardly with the bounty God has given them, let them not suppose it is better for them; nay, it is worse for them; that they were niggardly with they shall have hung about their necks on the Resurrection Day; and to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and earth; and God is aware of the things you do. S. 3:180 Arberry

And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death and We are the Inheritors. S. 15:23 Hilali-Khan

Verily! We will inherit the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned, S. 19:40 Hilali-Khan

Christ also states that he is the very Lord whom David wrote about under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Sovereign One who sits at God’s right hand. Jesus reaffirms these truths elsewhere in the Gospel of Mark:

"But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I AM; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’" Mark 14:61-62

Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man, the One who rides the clouds of heaven and sits on God’s right side. More on Jesus being the Son of Man shortly.

If one asks any Christian about the core of the faith that makes one Christian, one will not find a single biblical text quoting any prophet before Jesus, especially Nu`h (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), or Musa (Moses), or Prophet Esa (Jesus) himself that, without interpretation, affirms any part of the Christian dogma, such as: Jesus is divine; Jesus created the world; trinity is a valid creed;

He also says a little later that:

… Prophet Moses never heard of the Christian faith and has never preached it; Prophet Abraham never heard of the Christian faith and has never preached it; Prophet Jesus never heard of the Christian faith and has never preached it; Adam never heard of the Christian faith and has never preached it; the Torah never heard of the Christian faith and has never preached it. All what I hear from the Christians whom I debate on this core issue of their faith, is that they refer me to this article or that book that, they claim, prove Jesus’ divinity. And when I read this article and that book I find no clear, unequivocal evidence. Nothing! Just references to numerous biblical verses that are interpreted in a certain way to mean this or that, added to other biblical verses that are also interpreted to mean this or that, where the author concludes by proving Jesus’ divinity using this utterly vague evidence…

RESPONSE:

Here are just a few OT references regarding the nature and the person of the Messiah:

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." Isaiah 9:6-7

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’" Jeremiah 23:5-6

"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity." Micah 5:2

The Messiah is the Mighty God, The LORD is our righteousness, and the eternal King that comes forth from eternity itself.

god has begotten or will beget a son;

RESPONSE:

The Hebrew prophets and NT Apostles taught by inspiration that God has begotten children, albeit not in a physical, sexual manner as the Quran erroneously assumes. The Holy Bible quite clearly teaches that God is a spiritual Father who has spiritual children:

"You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth." Deuteronomy 32:18

"I will tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you.’" Psalm 2:7

"I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!" Proverbs 30:3-4

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13

"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments." 1 John 5:1-2

This in itself sufficiently demonstrates that the Quran doesn’t originate from the same Divine Source that produced the Holy Bible.

the Holy Ghost is the lord;

RESPONSE:

The following references demonstrate that the Bible writers believed that the Holy Spirit is God, Lord, Creator, Redeemer etc.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters." Genesis 1:1-2

The Spirit was there with God during the creation of the cosmos.

"The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4

The Spirit made man.

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Psalm 139:7-12

The Spirit is omnipresent.

"The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me, his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God," 2 Samuel 23:2-3

David expressly states that the Spirit speaking is none other than God speaking!

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Paul calls the Holy Spirit Lord, which in this context means Yahweh. Hence, both David and Paul identify the Spirit as the Lord God!

There are plenty of more citations that we could have cited here, yet these verses will have to suffice for now.

Jesus demanded his worship;

RESPONSE:

Both the Old and New Testaments affirm that the Messiah, because he is a Divine Being, is to be worshiped:

"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13-14

Daniel explicitly sees the figure of a man who rides on the clouds of heaven, indicating that this is actually a theophany, a visible appearance of God, since it is Yahweh who rides the clouds:

"Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty, who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent, who hast laid the beams of thy chambers on the waters, who makest the clouds thy chariot, who ridest on the wings of the wind," Psalm 104:1-3

"An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them." Isaiah 19:1

Furthermore, the very verb used here in reference to the Son of Man being served or worshiped is also used in Daniel for the service which is to be given to God alone!

"Nebuchadnez'zar said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set at nought the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.’" Daniel 3:28

Therefore, we have a specific Son of Man who is a Divine figure that reigns over all creation forever. According to the NT, Jesus is that Son of Man:

"And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven." Mark 13:26-27

"But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.’" Acts 7:55-56

Moreover, notice what Jesus himself says about being worshiped in this next section of Holy Scripture:

"For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear HIS VOICE and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:22-29

Here, the immortal Lord states that he is the Son who has life within himself, grants life to whomever he chooses, will resurrect individuals both spiritually and physically by his sovereign voice, and executes judgment. He also says that all must honor him EVEN AS they honor the Father. Christ didn’t say to honor him as a prophet, angel, parent, friend etc. Rather, he expressly demands the same honor that the Father receives, which means that all must worship Christ as they worship God. After all, individuals honor the Father by worshiping him, praying to him, praising him, living and dying for him etc. Hence, for Jesus to be honored in this same way means that he too must be worshiped, prayed to, praised, lived and died for etc.

Jesus was sent to atone for the sins of mankind by his dying on the cross;

RESPONSE:

Again, here is what the Holy Bible teaches regarding this subject:

"See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness— so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 52:13-15, 53:1-12

The prophet Isaiah, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, foretold the sufferings of God’s Servant for the sins of the people and the Servant’s subsequent exaltation. Jesus in the NT identifies himself as that Servant who comes to atone for the transgressions of his people:

"But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’" Matthew 1:20-21

"Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’" Matthew 26:26-28

"And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. AND HE SAID THIS PLAINLY. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him." Mark 8:31

"They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise.’" Mark 9:30-31

"For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

"‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is MY FLESH.’ The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.’" John 6:47-58

Adam’s sin is inherited by every one among his offspring.

RESPONSE:

The Holy Bible expressly teaches that Adam’s sin, as well as Eve’s, affected all future generations. For instance, God told Adam that he would die if he chose to disobey God by eating of the forbidden fruit:

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’" Genesis 2:16-17

Death in this context refers to spiritual banishment, being banished from God’s presence in the Garden, and to physical death:

"Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not eat from it"; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’ Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’-- therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life." Genesis 3:17-24

Thus, all human beings are born in a state of banishment since they are born outside of the perfect conditions of the Garden of Eden. This also accounts for why all human beings experience physical death since this was part of the judgment which fell upon Adam and Eve:

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." Romans 5:12-14

Moreover, since humans bear the image of their father Adam:

"When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth." Genesis 5:3

They inherit from him a fallen, corruptible sinful nature at the moment of their conception just as the Holy Bible teaches:

"And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.’" Genesis 8:21

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Psalm 51:5

"The wicked go astray from the womb, they err from their birth, speaking lies." Psalm 58:3

What makes this rather intriguing is that Abualrub’s own religious texts teach that the sin of Adam and Eve affected their descendants after them:

But the Satan made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that (state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of YOU being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time. Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. We said: Go down, ALL OF YOU, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. S. 2:36-38

The above citation affirms that Adam’s sin clearly impacted all future generations of mankind since in Arabic the YOU in 2:36 and 38 is plural and means that the author is addressing more than two parties. If the author were addressing only two individuals he would have used the dual form. And even though the text does mention three persons, namely Adam, Eve and Satan, we know that at least in the case of verse 38 the plural cannot be referring to Satan since he stands condemned to hell and will not follow the guidance which will come from Allah. It is therefore quite obvious that the plural is addressed to all of mankind, that humanity suffered expulsion due to their federal head, Adam, a point reiterated elsewhere in the Quran:

God said, ‘Go forth, SOME OF YOU will be enemies of OTHERS. And for you there is an abode on the earth and a provision for a time.’ S. 7:24

Ibn Kathir stated regarding 2:38-39:

Allah informs of His warning to Adam, his wife and Satan, THEIR OFFSPRING, when he ordered THEM to descend from Paradise. He says he will send messengers with Scriptures, signs and proofs… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Part 1, Surah Al-Fatiah Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 1 to 141, Abridged by Sheikh Nasib Ar-Rafa‘i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London: Second Edition 1998], pp. 109-110; capital emphasis ours)

Here also are the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s comments on Sura 2:36, taken from his English translation of the Quran with commentary:

… Note the transition in Arabic from the singular number in ii. 33, to the dual in ii. 35, and the plural here [2:36], which I have indicated in English by "All ye people." Evidently Adam is the type of all mankind, and the sexes go together in all spiritual matters. Moreover, the expulsion applied to Adam, Eve, and Satan, and the Arabic plural is appropriate for any number greater than two. (Bold and underline emphasis ours)

The Quran is essentially agreeing with the Holy Bible that Adam caused all his offspring to be expelled from the Garden, a point that is further confirmed by the following so-called sound narrations:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. ‘O Adam! You are our father WHO DISAPPOINTED US AND TURNED US OUT OF PARADISE.’ Then Adam said to him, ‘O Moses! Allah favored you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action which Allah had written in my fate forty years before my creation?’ So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses," the Prophet added, repeating the Statement three times. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 77, Number 611)

Abu Huraira reported that God’s messenger told of Adam and Moses holding a disputation in their Lord’s presence and of Adam getting the better of Moses in argument. Moses said, "You are Adam whom God created with His hand, into whom He breathed of His spirit, to whom He made the angels do obeisance, and whom He caused to dwell in his garden; then BECAUSE OF YOUR SIN caused MANKIND to come down to the earth." Adam replied, "And you are Moses whom God chose to deliver His messages and to address, to whom He gave the tablets on which everything was explained, and whom He brought near as a confidant. How long before I was created did you find that God has written the Torah? Moses said, "Forty years." Adam asked, "Did you find in it, ‘And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred’?" On being told that he did, he said, "Do you then blame me for doing a deed which God had decreed that I should do forty years before He created me?" God’s messenger said, "So Adam got the better of Moses n the argument." Muslim transmitted it. (Mishkat Al-Masabih English Translation With Explanatory Notes by Dr. James Robson, Volume I [Sh. Muhammad Ahsraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters, Lahore-Pakistan, Reprint 1990], p. 23; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z-Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Adam and Musa argued and Adam got the better of Musa. Musa rebuked Adam, ‘You are Adam WHO LED PEOPLE ASTRAY and brought them out of the Garden.’ Adam said to him, ‘You are Musa to whom Allah gave knowledge of everything and whom he chose above people with His message.’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Do you then censure me for a matter which was decreed for me before I was created?’" (Malik's Muwatta, Book 46, Number 46.1.1)

This Ayah mentions the great honor that Allah granted Adam, and Allah reminded Adam's offspring of this fact. Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, as this Ayah and many Hadiths testify, such as the Hadith about the intercession that we discussed. There is a Hadith about the supplication of Musa, "O my Lord! Show me Adam who caused us and himself to be thrown out of Paradise." When Musa met Adam, he said to him, "Are you Adam whom Allah created with His Own Hands, blew life into and commanded the angels to prostrate before?" Iblis was among those ordered to prostrate before Adam, although He was not an Angel. (Ibn Kathir on surah 2:34; online edition; bold and italic emphasis ours)

These narrations further complicate matters. They expressly blame Adam’s sin and subsequent expulsion on Allah’s predetermined decree, that Allah had already predestined Adam’s expulsion. Here is Ibn Kathir’s commentary regarding 2:37:

… Narrated Sufyan At-Thawri quoting ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Ibn Rafi‘ that someone heard Mujahid quoting ‘Ubayd Ibn ‘Umayr as saying that Adam said: "My Lord, is the sin I committed one that was destined for me before You created me or is it something I brought upon myself?" Allah replied: "I preordained it upon you before I created you." Adam said: "Lord forgive me it as You have preordained it upon me." The narrator said, hence the verse <Then Adam received words from his Lord, and his Lord relented towards him.>. Narrated al-‘Awfi, Sa’id Ibn Jubayr, Sa’id Ibn Ma‘bad and al-Hakim quoting Ibn ‘Abbas: Adam said to Allah: "Have You not created me with Your own hands?" The answer was yes. Then he asked: "And You have breathed into me of Your spirit?" The answer again was yes. He added: "And You decreed for me to do this?" Yes was the answer he received. He said: "If I repent, will You send me back to Paradise?" Allah said: "Yes." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa’i, p. 106; underline emphasis ours)

Moreover, the narrations also implicate Eve:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "But for the Israelis, meat would not decay and but FOR EVE, wives would never betray their husbands." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 547)

Hammam b. Munabbih said: These are some of the ahadith which Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrated to us from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and one of these (this one): Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Had it not been for Bani Isra'il, food would not have become stale, and meal would not have gone bad; and had it not been FOR Eve, a woman would never have acted unfaithfully toward her husband. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3472)

Thus, if Abualrub has a problem with the Holy Bible’s teaching on Original Sin then he must surely have problems with the Quran and the hadiths of his false prophet since they teach something similar!

Abualrub also made the following statements regarding Original Sin:

The Quran also rejects the Christian idea of the ‘Original Sin’, {No burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another}; [53:38].

Instead of proving his position, Abualrub’s quote only compounds the matter since it shows that the Quran is contradicting itself. Not only did we just prove that both the Quran and Islamic narrations affirm Original Sin, that the sins of Adam and Eve did impact their descendants, the Quran also says that a person will share the burden of another’s sins:

That they may bear their burdens entirely on the day of resurrection and also of the burdens of those whom they lead astray without knowledge; now surely evil is what they bear. S. 16:25 Shakir

And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: Follow our path and we will bear your wrongs. And never shall they be the bearers of any of their wrongs; most surely they are liars. And most certainly they shall carry their own burdens, AND OTHER BURDENS WITH THEIR OWN BURDENS, and most certainly they shall be questioned on the resurrection day as to what they forged. S. 29:12-13 Shakir

For more on this issue please consult the following articles:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/suffer_for_sin.html
http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Menj/consequences_of_sin.htm

Abualrub knows quite well that this is what his own sources teach since we had already brought this to his attention in an earlier rebuttal. Abualrub is therefore deliberately trying to deceive this Arab Christian by failing to inform him that even his very Islamic sources confirm the doctrine of Original Sin, at least to some extent.

No Christian can prove that Jesus ever said these words, "People! I created you; worship me; I am divine; god is one-in-three and three-in-one; you all inherited Adam’s sin; I came to die on the cross to atone for your sins; I am your lord and savior."

RESPONSE:

No Christian needs to produce verses where Jesus said these things in order to prove that these beliefs originate from Christ. After all, Jesus could affirm these same truths by stating them in other ways and in a different manner from the one proposed by Abualrub.

Abularub will later say:

If the Christian creed is the creed to follow, why did not Jesus say so in the clearest of terms –and then safeguarded his statement from corruption- so that all of mankind be able to read and understand it without needing any interpretation? If Christians have even one statement from al-Maseeh (the Messiah) wherein he calls to his worship or affirms trinity, they would have made this statement apparent for all of mankind to read and see. This is the core of the Christian faith. Christians should not need articles or books to prove it; only one verse is enough to prove each edict, just one clear verse.

RESPONSE:

The only problem with Abualrub’s arguments is that even if Christians were to produce such evidence he would still refuse to accept it on the grounds that Jesus never really made such claims. Abualrub would argue that these words were made up by the NT writers and placed on the lips of Jesus. To illustrate what we mean note the following statements from Jesus where he affirms that he is God:

"And I heard a loud voice saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God (tou theou - the God) is with men, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people and God (ho theos - the God) himself will dwell with them and be their God.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be HIS GOD and he will be my son.’" Revelation 21:3-7

The evidence strongly supports the view that Jesus is speaking in these references. For instance, Christ is said to be the God who comes to dwell with us:

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’- which means, ‘God (ho theos - the God) with us.’" Matthew 1:22-23

Furthermore, Jesus in Revelation identifies himself as the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End:

"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I WAS DEAD, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’" Revelation 1:17-18

"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again." Revelation 2:8

The First and the Last is just another way of saying that Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Interestingly, both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Quran agree that the First and the Last is a title of God:

"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.’" Isaiah 44:6

"Hearken to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am He, I am the first, and I am the last." Isaiah 48:12

He is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward; He has knowledge of everything. S. 57:3 Arberry

This in itself sufficiently proves that Jesus claimed to be God since only God can call himself by this title.

Moving on:

"And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent HIS ANGEL to show his servants what must soon take place. And behold, I AM COMING SOON.’ Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book… Behold, I AM COMING SOON! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the EndI, Jesus, have sent MY ANGEL to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star’… He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. COME, LORD JESUS." Revelation 22:6-7, 12-13, 16, 20

It is Jesus who is the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets that sent his angel and is coming soon, who expressly identifies himself as the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End!

And here is the final line of evidence connecting Jesus with the Divine Speaker of Revelation 21:6-7:

"For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Revelation 7:17

Jesus the Lamb does what God in 21:7 says he will do, give believers to drink from the spring of living water. This isn’t the only place where Jesus is said to do this:

"Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living waters’ … Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’" John 4:10, 13-14

"On the last day, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to ME and drink. Whoever believes in ME, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’" John 7:37-38

Thus, the foregoing presents a very strong case that Jesus is the One who identifies himself as the God of all believers in Revelation 21:6-7. At the very least, the above texts show that Jesus claims and ascribes to himself the very functions and titles of God Almighty.

Now watch Abualrub try to discount the testimony of Revelation in order to avoid dealing with what Jesus said in reference to his own Divine identity.

This concludes the first section of our rebuttal. We now move to the second part of our critique.


Responses to Jalal Abualrub
Articles by Sam Shamoun
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