Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi (MENJ) has written a scathing criticism (*) of one Christian bloggers attempt (*) of connecting Sura Al-Fatiha, where Muslims ask God to guide them on the straight path, with Jesus being the only way to the Father. Here is what this Sura says:
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the world; Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. Show us the straight way, The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray. Y. Ali
This request to be guided on the straight path and to receive Gods grace is used by many Christians to point to Jesus as the way of salvation since he is the only One who can bring a person to God. Moreover, Gods grace and favor comes only through Christ Jesus his beloved Son.
This explains why the Holy Scriptures emphatically proclaim the exclusivity of the Gospel message, that individuals can only be saved by believing in the Good News of Jesus Christ:
"He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, This was he of whom I said, "He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me." From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." John 1:10-17
"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. Then they asked him, What must we do to do the works God requires? Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:27-29
"Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day It is written in the Prophets: "They will all be taught by God." Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him COMES TO ME. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father." John 6:35-40, 45-46
"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." John 11:25-27
"Therefore Jesus said again, I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:7-10
"Jesus said, My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place. You are a king, then! said Pilate. Jesus answered, You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth LISTENS TO ME." John 18:36-37
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2
"The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:20-21
"Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is IN JESUS." Ephesians 4:21
With the foregoing in perspective we can now address a few of MENJs points. MENJ starts off his response by slandering some Christian missionaries:
Some Christian missionaries have the inherent fantasy that Sura al-Fatihah (the first Sura of the Quran) somehow supports their false pagan doctrine of the Trinity.
After quoting Ibn Kathirs exegesis of this Sura, specifically Q 1:6, he then says that:
When one reads the commentary, it is obvious that there is hardly any mention of Jesus (P) being God or that he is the Son of God; that all Muslims should just convert en masse to Christianity and be Trinitarian worshippers. Such allusions are simply ridiculous, to put it quite bluntly.
To begin with, MENJ is twisting the facts (something that has become quite common for him to do) since the Christian blogger wasnt attempting to prove that this Sura supports the Trinity. The blogger used this particular Sura to show that a person needs to follow Jesus in order to be on the straight path, a point which even the Quran agrees with:
When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: "Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear God and obey me. For God, He is my Lord and your Lord: so worship ye Him: this is a Straight Way (hatha siratun mustaqeemun)." S. 43:63-64 Y. Ali
Here is another Sura which commands obedience to Jesus:
And (appoint him) an apostle 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 Gods leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Gods 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; (I have come to you), to attest the Law which is between my hands (Wa musaddiqan lima bayna yadayya mina alttawrati). 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 God, and obey me." S. 3:49-50
We will have more to say about this command to obey Jesus shortly.
Nor are we aware of any Christian evangelist, apologist or writer who has used Sura al-Fatihah to prove the doctrine of the Trinity (if they happen to be out there we would like to know since we are not aware of any).
The other problem with MENJs argument is that he assumes that the Quran attacks and denies the historic understanding of the Trinity. Although the Quran opposes Jesus being Gods Son or Divine, it only refutes a heterodox understanding of these beliefs, i.e. that Jesus is not Gods Son in a carnal, biological sense, that he is not another god alongside Allah, or that Allah is not the Messiah, all of which orthodox Trinitarians would agree are gross aberrations of the Holy Bibles teaching. The fact of the matter is that the Quran nowhere attacks the orthodox understanding of these doctrines, and we invite MENJ to quote verses to prove otherwise. See the following articles for more details:
Moreover, although the Quran says Jesus was nothing more than a slave:
He was no more than a servant: We granted Our favour to him, and We made him an example to the Children of Israel. S. 43:59
It contradicts this view by ascribing attributes, titles and functions to Jesus which go beyond that of a mere human messenger. For more on this point please consult the following articles:
Thus, the Quran not only attacks a distorted view of historic Christian beliefs it also presents a very confused and contradictory portrait of the person and work of Christ. How, then, can it be taken as a reliable guide for salvation?
MENJ also uses Ibn Kathirs commentary to prove that Q. 1:7 refers to Jews and Christians as those who have either incurred Gods wrath (Jews) or gone astray (Christians):
Interestingly though, the missionary left out the last verse of the Sura. It refers to people who have earned Gods wrath and people who have gone astray. So who are those people that the Sura is referring to? Here is the answer
It is the Christians! The Christians are denounced as those "who have gone astray". Obviously logic dictates that if the Christians are the ones who are denounced in this verse of the Sura, it does not make any sense for the Quran to be supporting any of the Christian doctrines. Thus we see how obviously fallacious the claims of the missionary are and with this exposure, their arguments fall to the ground.
In conclusion, rather than supporting their beliefs Sura al-Fatihah actually attacks their doctrines and disputes their claim that they are the guided ones. The Christian missionaries should thus stop dreaming that the Quran will ever support their lies. It never had and never will. As far as the Muslims are concerned, Guidance is in Al-Huda (Islam), the Straight Path, and it certainly does not belong to the Christians.
What is obvious from Ibn Kathirs comments is that the Quran is a rather confused book since it contradicts itself on these basic matters. For instance, the Quran teaches that Allah promised that Jesus true followers would have the upper hand and actually prevail until the day of resurrection:
(And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ. S. 3:55 Pickthall
O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of God: As said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, "Who will be my helpers to (the work of) God?" Said the disciples, "We are God's helpers!" then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed. S. 61:14 Y. Ali
Notice that the above texts do not say that Jesus’ followers would be vanquished or that his message would be distorted and that it would take Muhammad to restore it. They expressly state that Allah insured Jesus that his followers would be uppermost from the time of his ascension until the resurrection.
In light of the above how can Christians be the ones who went astray if Allah swore that they would prevail till the day of resurrection?
Additionally, the Quran commands belief in the Gospel of Jesus which was available during Muhammads time:
And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which is between his hands of the Torah (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina alttawrati), and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein IS GUIDANCE and LIGHT (feehi hudan wa noorun), confirming that which is between his hands of the Torah (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina alttawrati) - a guidance (wa hudan) and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil). So let the People of the Gospel judge according to what God has sent down therein. Whoever does not judge according to what God has sent down -- they are the rebellious. S. 5:46-47
The Quran even commands Muslims to tell the People of the Book, i.e. the Jews and Christians, that they believe in the revelations given to them:
Dispute not with the People of the Book save in the fairer manner, except for those of them that do wrong; and say, 'We believe in what has been sent down to us, and what has been sent down to you; our God and your God is One, and to Him we have surrendered.' S. 29:46 Arberry
Are we to really assume (as some Muslims claim) that these verses are merely saying that Muslims believe in the original revelations, before the Jews and Christians corrupted them, and not in the books that were current at the time of Muhammad? Isn't it obvious that these passages presuppose the existence of uncorrupt copies of the Holy Bible during Muhammads time?
If this werent enough to convince Muslims to believe in the authority and authenticity of the Holy Bible, the Quran further commands Muhammad (and any other person that has any doubts for that matter) to consult the previous Scriptures for verification of the message:
And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. S. 10:94 Pickthall
The problem for MENJ and his colleagues is that the only Scriptures, the only Gospels that were in use by Christians at that time are those found in our current New Testament. But it is these Scriptures that testify that Jesus is Gods beloved and Divine Son and mankinds only hope of salvation!
If Jews, Christians, and Muslims were to obey the Qurans command to believe in the Holy Bible then they would have to embrace Jesus as their Lord and Savior for salvation since this is what the Bible books teach. Moreover, these groups would also be forced to reject Muhammad since he contradicted the teachings of the very documents that he claimed were from God, thereby exposing himself as a false prophet.
For more on what the Quran says about the Bible and the fate of true Christians please read the following:
In conclusion, the foregoing shows how utterly fallacious it is for MENJ to think that the Quran is a divinely revealed book which is free from any error. Its basic mistakes and contradictory views regarding the position of Christians and what they believe provides further support that Muslims need to turn to the guidance and salvation of Jesus Christ as found in Gods true Word, the Holy Bible:
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 14:12
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:16-18
"Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
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