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( Lies Rebuttal Series ) the Time Period of Jesus' Earthly Ministry

( Lies Rebuttal Series ) the Time Period of Jesus' Earthly Ministry

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Published by abuali-almaghribi
( Lies Rebuttal Series ) the Time Period of Jesus' Earthly Ministry
( Lies Rebuttal Series ) the Time Period of Jesus' Earthly Ministry

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Published by: abuali-almaghribi on Sep 21, 2008
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The Time Period Of Jesus' Earthly Ministry
M S M Saifullah, Muhammad Ghoniem & `Abdullah David
 © Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.First Composed: 7th March 2006Last Updated: 26th April 2006
 Assalamu-`alaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
 
1. Introduction
 
He will speak to people in his infancy [
al-mahd 
] and in his adulthood [
kahlan
]. He will be one of the righteous. [Qur'an 3:46]Then God will say, "Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour to you and to your mother: how Istrengthened you with the holy spirit, so that you spoke to people in your infancy [
al-mahd 
] andas a grown man [
kahlan
] ... [Qur'an 5:110]
On the basis of the above translated English verse, it has been claimed by theChristian missionaries that the Qur'an says Jesus taught people in his "old age".According tothem:
The ministry of Jesus lasted until he was about 33. This is even admitted by Yusuf Ali in hiscomment no. 388 on Sura 3:46.
 
 
2
 
But Sura 5:110 says he taught the people in (up to his) old age. Can 33 years considered "oldage" by any stretch of imagination?
 The missionaries also add that the ministry of Jesus lasted until he was "about 33".According to them, one strand of evidence for this claim comes from Abdullah Yusuf Ali's (1872 – 1953 CE) commentary in the footnotes of his English translation of theQur'an. In this paper we would like to examine the claim whether the Qur'an reallysays that Jesus preached when he was in his "old age". Is there any agreementamongst Judeo-Christian scholars concerning Jesus' age or other periods of timeassociated with his earthly life? All these issues will be the focus of our investigation,establishing beyond doubt whose "stretch of imagination" is in consonance with thelexical, exegetical and chronological data.
2. Does The Qur'an Say "Old Age"?: A Lexical Enquiry
 It is quite strange that the Christian missionaries used Yusuf Ali's footnote concerningJesus' earthly ministry to be of about 33 years and yet did not follow his translation of Qur'an 3:46. Instead theychoseShakir's translation which says that Jesus will speak to people "when in the cradle and when of old age". Yusuf Ali, on the other hand,correctly translates the verse as Jesus speaking to people "in childhood and inmaturity", as we shall soon see.While discussing the time when Jesus spoke to the people, the Qur'an in 3:46 as wellas 5:110 uses the word
al-mahdi
and
kahlan
. The word
mahd 
refers to a placesmoothed out for a small child to sleep in. It does not refer to a piece of furniture suchas a cradle,
[1]
although Shakir has translated it this way. What about
kahlan
? What agedoes it refer to? Christian missionaries following in the footsteps of the Qur'anictranslator Shakir have claimed that it refers to "old age". On the contrary,
 Lis
ā
n al-‘Arab
 saysconcerning the word
kahl:
 
 Al-Kahl 
refer to one whose hair has gone gray and appears to be old or over 30 years or over 34years up to 51 years. The plural takes various forms:
kahlūn
,
kuhūl 
,
kihāl 
,
kuhlān
and
kuhhal 
.The feminine is
kahlah
.
 Similarstatementscan also be found in
 Al-Q
ā
m
ū
s al-Muh
ī 
. From the discussion inboth
 Lis
ā
n al-‘Arab
and
 Al-Q
ā
m
ū
s al-Muh
ī 
, it is clear that a person who is a
kahl
 can have an age anywhere between 30 to 50 years. This range of ages is commonly
 
 
3
 
associated with peak physical strength and maturity of thought. Al-Raz
 ī 
discusses theissue of 
kahlan
in detail in his
Tafs
ī 
r al-Kab
ī 
. He points out that
kahl
refers to whathas become fully fledged and perfect. In the case of a person, it refers to someonewho has reached the peak of his physical strength. In detail, al-Raz
 ī 
's
tafs
ī 
 explains:

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