Mr. Meherally begins this section by citing several passages from the Qur'an which, on the surface, appear to portray a generous attitude towards Christians and Jews. Most of his quotations come from Sura 5. When this is read in context, with the help of Syed Maududi's commentary, we find that Muhammad was putting the pressure on the Jews and Christians to come over to his religious views.
But, three ayahs latter we find that:
Unbelievers are those that say: "God is the Messiah, the son of Mary." For the Messiah himself said: "Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord." He that worships other gods besides God, God will deny him Paradise, and the fire shall be his home. None shall help the evil-doers. -- Sura 5:72
But the next Sura says:
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost. Sura 3:85
Perhaps Muhammad did this in an attempt to establish his own credibility and to win the converts from the Christian community.
If you read the verses in context, a much different picture emerges:
John 11:25-27 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
Did Elijah make such a claim?
Once again, read on!
Acts 22:23-24 This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Acts 22:36 : "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favor to thee and to thy mother. Behold, I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in old age. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel*. And Behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave. And thou breathest into it, and it becometh a bird by My leave. And thou healest those born blind, and the lepers by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee, when thou didst show them the clear signs. And the unbelievers among them said; 'This is nothing but evident magic." Qur'an 5: 110
Once again, as I Christian I look to the Bible in which those who knew Jesus, recount His works. However, it is interesting that Muhammad believed that Jesus could create life - something that only God can do!
Please do read John 8 in context, especially verses 56-59
Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." "You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!" "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
In other words, Jesus was One with God the Father before Abraham! That is why the Jews wanted to stone Him - for blasphemy.
This is a very interesting passage since it reveals more about the Muslim concept of God (being the best of all planners or schemers) than it does about the life of Jesus.
In this section, Mr. Meherally attempts to convince us that Jesus Christ's resurrection was not a literal resurrection from the dead. Please remember that the Qur'an tells us that was never nailed to the cross. However, Mr. Meherally, like Deedat, is throwing in a bit of heresy to confuse us.
Jesus and his disciples went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them: "... after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." Mark 14 : 28.
The original Greek word used by Mark, which is translated as "raised" in the text above is very crucial. It is an accurate portrayal of what happened. I am reproducing below the translation of the above verse with the corresponding Greek - Strong's Dictionary numbers.
(LIT) Mk 14:28 ... after (3326-GSN) the (3588-GSN) rising (1453-GSN) of me, (3165-GSN) I will go ahead of (4254-GSN) you (5209-GSN) into (1519-GSN) Galilee (1056-GSN).
Mr. Meherally attempts to make an issues out of the word "rising", or egeiro, (1453) by citing Strong's Greek Dictionary:
To make a long and convoluted story short, in the context of the scriptures, this word would indicate that Jesus rose from the dead. If you follow the story from the beginning, Jesus was executed on the cross and sealed in a tomb. Once again, please note the Qur'an denies that these events occurred. The only way that Jesus could "egeiro", in the context of the Bible, is to come back from the dead.
"An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth..." Mt. 12 : 38-40
It is important to know the fact that the prophet Jonah was "saved" by the God from the belly of a sea monster. Jonah kept on praying while his life was ebbing away in the belly. "Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it spewed Jonah out upon the dry land." Jonah 2:10.
During his ordeal, the prophet's life did not come to an end. The one who finally emerged out of the belly of the sea monster was the same old Jonah, who had experienced the agony of death. Jesus had foretold: "For just as Jonah was... in the belly of a sea monster, so... the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth..."
The issues of the sign of Jonah is addressed in another section.
Jesus appeared before them and said. "Peace be with you". They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Jesus said to them why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and at my feet: see that it is I myself. Touch me and see, for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. Luke 24: 36-39
Thereafter, Jesus asked for something to eat and in their presence ate a piece of broiled fish (and an honey comb). Luke 24 : 41-42. This shows, the "awakened" Jesus was really hungry for he had missed several of his meals.
Once again, to reach this point, we must accept that fact that Jesus went to the cross, something the Qur'an denies.
"What sign can you show us for doing this? Jesus answered them: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said: "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days? But he was speaking of the temple of his body. John 2 : 18-21
After Jesus was "awakened", the disciples remembered the above baffling response of Jesus and understood the true interpretation of the term, "this temple".
The truth is that the body of Jesus (the Temple) was destroyed (killed) and raised (brought back to life) in three days.
Deedat and his claims are addressed elsewhere. I have always been amazed at the way in which many Muslims blindly follow Deedat's claims. Ahmed Deedat has convinced millions of Muslims that Jesus went to the cross - an event that the Qur'an denies. Deedat's beliefs are nothing new. They were preached by a man named Mirza Ghulam Ahmad whose followers are now known as Ahmadiyya - a group considered heretical by most Muslims. In fact, it is illegal for an Ahmadi to call himself a Muslim, or call his place of worship a mosque, in Pakistan.
OK, let's study the Qur'an's message. Mr. Meherally refers to Sura 4: 157-159 to put the issue to rest:
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;- 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 will be a witness against them;-
According to this passage, Jesus was not killed on the cross, but was "raised up" to God, and those of us who disagree with this claim "are full of doubts with no certain knowledge" and if we do not believe the Qur'an's account, Jesus will be a witness against us on the Day of Judgment. Does this settle the issue? Not really! Incidentally, there is an interesting problem with this account. Why would the Jews "boast" that they killed the Messiah? 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! Additionally, God is a deceiver according to this passage. He tricked both the friends and enemies of Jesus into believing in the crucifixion and has therefore (according to the Islamic argument) deceived billions of human beings over the past 2000 year denying them any hop of salvation!
Sura 5:75 tells us : "Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!"
But Sura 3:144 says:
Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dieth or is slain, ye will turn back on your heels? He who turneth back on his heels doth no hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful.
Therefore, Sura 5:75 tells us that Jesus was only a messenger and Sura 3:144 says that all messengers have died. Therefore, since Jesus was only a messenger and all messengers have died, Jesus could not have been "raised up" as Sura 4:158 claims, he must be dead and in a grave! Sura 5:110 also confuses the issue of Jesus being "raised up" since the verse says that Jesus taught "when of old age": "When Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! Remember My favor on you and on your mother, when I strengthened you I with the holy Spirit, you spoke to the people in the cradle and I when of old age, and when I taught you the Book and the wisdom and the Taurat and the Injeel; and when you determined out of clay a thing like the form of a bird by My permission, then you breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission, and you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I withheld the children of Israel from you when you came to them with clear arguments, but those who disbelieved among them said: This is nothing but clear enchantment." Incidentally, Yusuf Ali, the great translator and commentator of the Koran believed that the ministry of Jesus ended when he was about 33 years old - hardly an "old age". (See his comment #388 on Sura 3:46).
To make matters even more confusing, Sura 19:33 (which Meherally cites in another section) claims that the baby Jesus spoke in the crib saying : "So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"! This verse not only contradicts the claim of Sura 4:158 (that Jesus did not die), it also says that Jesus, after his death, will be raised up to life again! This incident, which has no parallel in the Bible, can be viewed as a sign and prophecy. If the words of Jesus did not come true (that he would die and be raised to life), then he does not deserve the title of "prophet" which Muslims give him.
Or a disjunctive syllogism!
a) He was "hanged" by his executioners. b) It so appeared to them (the persecutors and executors), that he was "hanged", but in reality he was "not hanged".
c) Jesus was killed by His executioners and came back to life.
Notes: A few questions for those who profess Jesus was God Incarnate but acted as a "Bond Servant of God" (Phillippians 2:7), while living amongst us. If Jesus was indeed God embodied in flesh upon this earth, then upon his return back to Heaven, should he not be sitting on his own seat - "The Throne of God"? Why is he instead, sitting at the right hand of God? Is he still acting as a "Bond Servant"? If so, is the one that is sitting on his left hand, his Master?
These passages have nothing to do with Jesus sharing the same throne with God the Father and show that Christ is the Mediator between God the Father and us sinners and is the Dispenser of all spiritual blessings.
That thou keep the commandment without stain and reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he will show, who is the Blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be the honor and power everlasting. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:14-16
If Jesus is merely a man and servant, how can He be "in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see"?
Jesus voluntarily subordinates Himself to (though co-equal with) the Father. In the mediatorial kingdom, the Son will be, in a functional way, distinct from the Father. Now, His kingdom will merge in the Father's, with whom He is One. There is no derogation from His honor; because the Father Himself wills "that all should honor the Son, as they honor the Father" (John 5:22-23 and Hebrews 1:6).
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