Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"

"Jesus in the Qur'an - Humanity"


In this segment, Dr. Badawi begins by attempting to minimized the significance of the virgin birth of Jesus. He then proceeds to dispel the supposed arguments of Christians who claim that the Qur'an supports Christian doctrines. As a Christian, I do not look to the Qur'an, a book given to us by a man who lived centuries after Jesus, I look to the Bible which was written by the actual followers of Jesus, and based on eyewitness testimony. Dr. Badawi leaves us with some rather shallow arguments against the divinity of Jesus, which he borrowed from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Host: Since the Qur'an refers to the virgin birth of Jesus, is this not unique?

Jamal Badawi: It is unique and every Prophet's miracles are unique. The are stories in the Qur'an, Abraham had a miracle when he came out of the fire unhurt, this did not happen to any other Prophet. Muhammad's brought the Qur'an which is a miracle, that does not make him divine. Each Prophet was given a miracle for his own time. In the time of Moses, the Pharaohs were skilled in magic so Moses threw his cane which became a snake, something the magicians could not do. Muhammad's miracle is in our hands. In the time of Jesus, people forgot the spirit of the law and were too much in ritualism, some denied the spirit and were influenced by the Greek philosophy of cause and effect, God had to show that He was beyond this view. The people needed to be reminded of the spirit of the law and the word of the spirit. Miracles are not self generated.

I would say that the virgin birth of Jesus was unique, after all, who else in history was born in this way? Also, Dr. Badawi shows his lack of knowledge concerning the Bible when he claims "In the time of Moses, the Pharaohs were skilled in magic so Moses threw his cane which became a snake, something the magicians could not do."

Exodus 7:10-11:

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts:

Perhaps Dr. Badawi should avoid the mistakes made by Muhammad by actually reading the Bible, or least he could rent the movie The Ten Commandments!

Host: The Qur'an calls Jesus the Word, just as the Bible, how is this different?

Jamal Badawi: The problem is the meaning of the term Word. There is a difference, the Christians believe that the Word is the absolute of God, John. This was the influence of Platonic philosophy. The Qur'an has nothing to do with the Logos, the Word means a command or sign from God. Sura 16:40:

For to anything which We have willed, We but say the word, "Be", and it is.

We are all words of God because we are all created by God's command. There are 12 places in the Qur'an where words of God are used, so it is not unique to Jesus.

Once again, I do not look to the Qur'an to understand Jesus. John 1:1 says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Host: The term Holy Spirit causes confusion in the Qur'an when it refers to Jesus.

Jamal Badawi: This is the influence of Greek philosophy on the writer of John. This is referenced to divinity in Greek philosophy. The Qur'an has tow expressions for spirit. The Arabic is rooh, Jesus was a spirit proceeding from God. The Holy Ghost is also used. The spirit proceeding from God is not limited to Jesus. In Sura 42:52 it refers to revelation, Sura 58:22 it is support from God, Sura 4:170 it is a source. In a general sense it refers to all humans in Sura 32:9. The other term refers to Archangel Gabriel , Suras 2:87, 5:113, 9:16.

This is another case where Christians and Muslims use a similar term which has a completely different meaning. The fact of the matter is that God has revealed Himself throughout history as God, the God's Word, and God's Spirit. A more detailed discussion of this can be found in the section "Jesus : Beloved Messenger of Allah".

Host: What if someone says that you are negating the divine nature of Jesus while the Qur'an only denies the divine Fatherhood of Jesus?

Jamal Badawi: The Qur'an negates all forms of deification whether mainstream Christians or heretics. In Sura 5:116-120:

And behold! Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah'?" He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden. "Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say, to wit, 'worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord'; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up Thou wast the Watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things. "If Thou dost punish them, they are Thy servant: If Thou dost forgive them, Thou art the Exalted in power, the Wise." Allah will say: "This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,- their eternal Home: Allah well-pleased with them, and they with Allah: That is the great salvation, (the fulfilment of all desires). To Allah doth belong the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, and it is He Who hath power over all things.

Sura 5:72-73:

They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.

So God was aware of the Trinity concept. Sura 112 says that he is Allah the one and only.

Once again, the Qur'an is wrong. Christians NEVER claimed that God is Jesus. Second, Muhammad and the Qur'an clearly misrepresent orthodox Christian beliefs when they imply that Mary was considered equal to God. These inaccuracies in the Qur'an along with Muhammad's ignorance of orthodox Christian teachings, is overwhelming evidence that the Qur'an is not from an all-knowing God, but is the product of humans with imperfect information and deficient knowledge. The possibility that heretical groups existed, and had influence on Muhammad's thinking, is further evidence of the Qur'an's human origins and does not excuse the Qur'an from this grossly inaccurate statement.

Host: But someone may say that why does when God says that we created, why not I?

Jamal Badawi: Some falsely claim that this proves Trinity, it does not. In many languages, we is used as a majestical term. Some scholars studies how many times the word Lord is in the Bible, it appears in many places, this takes care of the Qur'an use of we. There are no persons in the Godhead.

There is no "royal we" in Hebrew, the fact that Arabic or English have this term is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

Host: Is there any way that a Muslim can reconcile himself with the term Son of God as it is in the Bible?

Jamal Badawi: In fairness to Christians, I have to look at what the Bible uses. The word Lord does not necessarily mean divine, and this is what they meant when they addresses Jesus. The term Son of God, remember Jesus was also called the Son of Man. The Old Testament uses the term for someone who is close to God but not divine. Exodus 4:22-23, Israel was the son of God, Psalms 2:7 David is the son of God, 1 Chronicles 22:10 Solomon was the son of God, Ezra was regarded as the son of God because he recovered the Torah. In Matthew 5:9:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

In the Old Testament, sons of God are used in the plural. When Jesus used these terms, he used it in the metaphorical sense.

The term son of God must be read in the context in which it is written. Jesus, is the Son of God because He is the fulfillment of the prophecies and is the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus calls God His Father and speaks "the glory I had with You before the world began" (John 17:5; cf. Colossians 1:13-20). Jesus was not the Son of God because He was born of a virgin, He was born of a virgin because He was the Son of God.

Host: Did Jesus deny divinity?

Jamal Badawi: The Qur'an is clear that he rebuked those who believe this. Matthew 4:1-11, how can Satan tempt God, only a human can be tempted and Jesus spoke of himself as a human being. What does it mean when Jesus prayed, it is to someone greater, this does not fit the Trinity because they are all equal. Matthew 24:36 Jesus denied the knowledge of the hour, this is a divine attribute, he was only a human being. In Mark 10:18 Jesus asked why he is called good, only God is good, he meant that absolute goodness is God and he is human. John 14:28 Jesus admits that God is greater, this is clear evidence that Jesus never said that he was divine and clarified that he is only a human.

1. Matthew 4:1-11:

Jesus was fully God and fully man. His human body felt the hunger, thirst, and loneliness of 40 days of fasting and prayer.

Jesus also said in verse 7:

7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'

In case Dr. Badawi wants to argue the meaning of the term Lord, Jesus, in this passage is referring to Deuteronomy 6:16:

Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah.

2. Matthew 24:36 The knowledge of the hour

Perhaps Jesus did not know the hour because he assumed our human nature and, like all of us, needed to live by faith and obedience. Jesus could have been unaware of the hour simply because He did not want to know. I believe that Jesus was trying to tell us that it is presumptuous, for humans to attempt to determine ( by mathematical calculation and over-analyzing prophecy) what the Son of God did not know, or did not want to know.

3. Mark 10:18

Once again, in his haste to distort the Bible in order to extract the meaning the that he desires, Dr. Badawi completely misses the point of the passage. Jesus does not deny that he is divine or that He is good. Jesus is simply asking this man, who praised Jesus: "Why do YOU call me good?" Jesus wants to know this man's motivation for praising Him. Is Jesus claiming the He is not good? No, he is simply telling this man not to attribute to Him any quality which he [the man] is ultimately not willing to accept and act upon in obedience. Jesus did not reject the attribute of goodness, which is appropriate for him. Jesus does not want "any praise", Jesus demands that the praise that is given to Him is genuine.

4. John 14:28

The term greater refers to position, not nature, while the term better refers to nature. . If Jesus wanted to say He was inferior to God in nature, He would have said, "The Father is better than I." For more on this, and other Jehovah's Witness arguments, plase read Jehovah's Witnesses and the Trinity .

The fact that Dr. Badawi needs to borrow these arguments from the Jehovah's Witnesses (a heretical group) is very clear proof that Dr. Badawi, and perhaps Islam itself, has no intelligent arguments against Christianity.

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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