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

"Jesus in the Qur'an - Mission"


In this segment, Dr. Badawi will argue that Jesus was sent as a Prophet to the Jews and that Muhammad was sent as a Prophet for the entire world. He will quote several Bible passages out of context and ignore many interesting passages in the Qur'an in his quest to make his point. He will then attempt to clarify what happened to Jesus, however, when we refer to the Qur'an on this subject, we find that the story does not make sense.

Jamal Badawi: Christian sources Dr A.B. Bruce said that in Luke, Jesus is called Lord about 12 times, but in earlier Mark and Matthew he is just Jesus, showing the evolution of his divinity. The Christian Science Monitor in June 7, 1978 says that debate over the divinity of Jesus has erupted sending theologians looking for explanations sent off by a book called the Myth of God Incarnate, Church people called for discarding the creeds of Jesus' divinity and Trinity.

Well Dr. Badawi, please tell Dr. A. B. Bruce that Jesus is called Lord, or calls Himself Lord, 11 times in the Gospel of Mark and 24 times in the Gospel according to Matthew! Perhaps Dr. Badawi should spend a little more time actually reading the Bible instead of, like Muhammad, gathering information from heretical sources. The "Jesus Myth" theory carries very little credence these days, even in agnostic and atheist circles. Incidentally Dr. Badawi, if you believe in the arguments of the authors of the Myth of God Incarnate, then the Jesus of the Bible and the Qur'an are both myths.

Host: What does the Qur'an say about the mission of Jesus? Jamal Badawi: It is in the Bible if we are unbiased. The Qur'an says that the mission of Jesus exclusively for the children of Israel Sura 3:49:

"And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

Sura 61:6:

And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad." But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, "this is evident sorcery!"

Sura 5:49:

And this (He commands): Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. And if they turn away, be assured that for some of their crime it is Allah's purpose to punish them. And truly most men are rebellious.

The New Testament also attests to this fact.

To be "unbiased", we must accept Badawi's position! However, this is not what either the Qur'an or the Bible says. If, according to the Qur'an, Jesus was sent only to the Children of Israel, how do you explain Sura 19:21?

And (it will be) that we may make of him (Jesus) a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained.

Host: Show us.

Jamal Badawi: Matthew 15:24:

He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

Matthew 10:5-6:

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.

He was sent as an Israelite Prophet and this is also in Matthew 19:28. One can say that there is no evidence in the synoptics where Jesus says that his message is universal and that he was sent for all human beings. This is different then what Paul claimed, that they were to preach to all people, this developed later on. This does not mean that his teachings are not relevant to other peoples, ethics are ethics, but his mission was not the final universal messenger, that was Muhammad.

Jesus did, in fact, heal as well as teach Gentiles. The mission of Jesus was first to the Children of Israel and then to the rest of humanity. For example, the Prophet Isaiah tells us:

And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength - he says: "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." (Isaiah 49:5,6)

Dr. Badawi claims "there is no evidence in the synoptics where Jesus says that his message is universal". I would ask him to explain Matthew 28:18-19:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...."

Once again, Dr. Badawi demonstrates his lack of knowledge concerning the Bible. For more on the issue please read this article.

Host: What does the Qur'an say about the essence of Jesus' mission?

Jamal Badawi: Like all other Prophets, his message was to invite people to worship God. Sura 3:50:

"'(I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me.

He was to confirm what was intact of the Torah and make lawful part of what was forbidden, he relieved them of this punishment. Sura 61:6 is peculiar that it says that a Prophet was to come after him. In Mark 12:29 we find something interesting, it is similar to the Qur'an:

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

As I said in an earlier segment, I do not look to the Qur'an to learn about Jesus, I would much rather read the testimonies, in the Bible, of those who followed Him.

Host: What about the miracles of Jesus?

Jamal Badawi: The virgin birth was one. Sura 3:49:

"And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

The question that the Qur'an does not answer is: why did Jesus and the Prophets of God perform miracles? God gave His Prophets this power, and the gift of prophecy (accurately foretelling future events) as proof to us that these people were from God and were delivering His message. These gifts are the means by which we separate the Prophets of God from false Prophets - who cannot show us either gift.

A second point is that the Qur'an passage cited above was borrowed from the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas the Israelite, which says in Chapter 2:

"This child, Jesus, having become five years old, was playing at the crossing of a brook, and He had collected together into pools the running waters and was making them clean forthwith, and with a single word did He command then'. And having made some clay fine, He formed out of it twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath when He did these things. There were, however, many other children also playing with Him. But a certain Jew, having seen what Jesus was doing, that He was playing on the Sabbath day, went away immediately and told His father Joseph, 'Lo! thy child is at the brook, and having taken clay He hath formed twelve little birds out of it, and He hath profaned the Sabbath.' And Joseph, having come to the spot and having seen, cried out to Him, saying, 'Why dost Thou on the Sabbath do these things which it is not lawful to do?' But Jesus, having clapped His hands together, cried out to the sparrows and said to them, 'Go!' And the sparrows, having taken flight, departed twittering. But the Jews, having seen this, were astounded; and having gone away they related to their chief men what they saw that Jesus did."

Christians have always regarded these stories as legends, but Muhammad attempted to pass them off as the Words of God!

Host: Does the Qur'an say anything about Jesus being given a divine book?

Jamal Badawi: The Qur'an talks about specific books, the Psalm, leaves of Abraham, the Torah, and the Injeel or Gospel. When the Qur'an talks about the Injeel, it is on 12 occasions in 6 different chapters in which God gave Jesus the Injeel. When the Qur'an talks about it, it is in the context of other holy books, this is a specific book. Christians regard the Bible as biography, not something that was revealed to Jesus. I have come across some references on the synoptic problem, where they trace sources, some say that there was a Gospel Q which was used as a separate Gospel from which others were written, there is an issue of the canonized Gospels which occurred in the 4th century and the others were burned. Maybe Jesus had a book.

Well, if Jesus had a book, then where is it? If God sent Him with a book, what happened to the message, if we assume that the Bible is not His message? Did Jesus fail in His Prophetic mission or was it impossible for an All Powerful All Knowing God to protect His Words? This argument simply does not make sense!

Host: Is there any evidence in the New Testament to the Prophethood of Jesus?

Jamal Badawi: Plenty. He, and his followers, saw himself as a servant and prophet Luke 13:33-34 :

In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day--for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

John 8:40:

As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.

He admits that he heard from God.

Luke 7:16:

They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people."

Christians believe that Jesus was a Prophet as well as the Incarnate Word of God. There is no conflict between these two titles.

Host: What about the end of his mission in the Qur'an?

Jamal Badawi: There are so many sects which disputed whether Jesus or Judas was nailed to the cross. Sura 4:156-on:

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

The Qur'an is very clear.

How clear is this passage? Why would the Jews "boast" that they killed the Messenger of God? Think about it for a minute. The Jewish followers of Jesus did not kill him. In fact, they were horrified when he was put to death. The Jewish enemies of Jesus were certainly happy to have Him out of their way, but they would never have called him the Messiah or a "Messenger" of God since they viewed such statements as blasphemy! To make matters worse, God's "illusion" convinced Christ's followers, as well as His enemies, that He had been crucified. So, if the Qur'an is true [which I do not believe to be the case], then God's "illusion" actually deprived the followers of Jesus, both then and now, of any chance of salvation. How could God be so dishonest, by tricking the followers of Jesus, and so cruel, since [according to the Qur'an] those who believe in the divinity of Jesus will be punished? Once again, the Qur'an's account makes no sense.

Host: Could you be more specific about raising?

Jamal Badawi: The word says that God raised him unto himself. We stick to the term raising, it appear three ways in the Qur'an. One is in body and soul, the Qur'an also talks about the taking away of the soul and the body is left behind. In one verse muttafikwa can mean causing you to dies or completing your message. The Qur'an says that every soul will taste death. It can also mean lifting of status. The Qur'an does not tell us in a conclusive sense how he was raised. It does not make any difference to the Muslim if he died.

Host: What about Christ's second return?

Jamal Badawi: There is nothing in the Qur'an, but there are some Prophetic traditions that talk about the second coming, he will not come as a judge or God to rule, he will come as a follower of Islam. He will come to break the cross and kill the pig. He will fight the false the anti-Christ with the Muslims.

I find it amazing that the Qur'an, which Dr. Badawi tells us is the final and complete Word of God, omits so much information concerning the fate of Jesus and His Second Coming. Sura 4 only gives insults and threats to those who believe the Biblical account of the crucifixion of Jesus and offers absolutely no proof or counter-argument to strengthen the Qur'an's claims that He did not die on the cross. If the Qur'an is the Word of God, then why did God spend so much space in the Qur'an solving Muhammad's marital problems and cursing Muhammad's uncle, instead of giving evidence to correct the erroneous beliefs [according to the Qur'an] of billions of Christians who believe that Christ died on the cross?

Andrew Vargo

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