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Surat-ul-Faatihah

On the virtues and status of Surat-ul-Faatihah Because the Prophet described this chapter as being the greatest chapter in the Quran, it is worth expounding on some of its fundamental meanings, especially since they recur over and over again throughout Allahs Book. Indeed, Surat-ul-Faatihahs meanings are so essential to the soundness of our lives that we have been ordered to repeat it seventeen times a day in our mandatory Prayers, and emphatically encouraged to read it many more times than that in the prescribed supererogatory Prayers. Without its recitation, Prayers whether mandatory or supererogatory are invalid. It is remarkable to think that this chapter, containing seven verses, is greater than even Surat-ul-Baqarah, which contains 286 verses.

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1. Al-Bukhari, 7

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1. In the Name of Allah, The AllMerciful, The Especially-Merciful 2. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, 3. The All-Merciful, The EspeciallyMerciful, 4. Master of the Day of Reckoning. 5. It is You alone that we worship, and it is You alone that we depend on. 6. Guide us to the Straight Path, 7. The Path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favor, not of those who incur wrath, nor of those who have strayed.

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1. In the Name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The Especially-Merciful


Concerning this opening verse, commonly referred to as The Basmallah, AtTabari writes, Allah disciplines His Prophet by teaching him to precede his actions and affairs with the pronunciation of His (Allahs) Beautiful Names, making this, in turn, a tradition that all of Allahs creation were to hold fast to. It is these words that a Muslim uses to open a speech or a discussion, a book or piece of writing, or even to begin undertaking day-to-day tasks and duties.1 Allahs Beautiful Names are a fundamental means by which Allah describes Himself and His actions to His servants, and by which Allahs glorious attributes of perfection are conveyed. This is why they are referred to by Allah as The Beautiful Names (7:180), for had they not conveyed any meanings at all, there would be no real beauty to them. Likewise, had they communicated attributes that were any less than perfect or attributes that depending on the context - may or may not be praiseworthy, they would still not be considered Beautiful. Each of Allahs names, therefore, carries all the meanings of the attribute derived from it.2 Because names cannot really be translated, clarifying through translation the difference between a name and the attribute derived from it is somewhat difficult. For this reason, translating Allahs names into English often makes them sound more like their respective attributes than actual names, e.g. The All-Knowing, The All-Wise, The All-Seeing, etc. Even to English readers, however, its easy to see (or hear) how the Arabic words, rahmah (mercy), yarham (to have mercy upon - present tense), rahem (to have mercy upon - past tense) etc., are all derived from the name, ArRahmaan (The All-Merciful). The Basmallah contains three of Allahs Beautiful Names: Allah, ArRahmaan, Ar-Raheem. Allah (a contraction of Al-Ilah) literally means, The Worshipped One, or
1. At-Tabari, vol. 1: 121 2. As-Saadi, 0

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He who has been singled out for, and is exclusively deserving of worship, owing to attributes that must necessarily be present in He who deserves this privilege. Such attributes are also referred to as Attributes of Perfection. Ar-Rahmaan, The All-Merciful, illustrates Allahs vast and all-encompassing mercy, a mercy that covers everything and every living being in this life as well as the Believers in the Hereafter, while Ar-Raheem, The EspeciallyMerciful, expresses Allahs mercy towards the Believers on Judgment Day.1 Ar-Rahmaan is often translated as The Most Gracious, and there is much merit to this interpretation. For one thing, it points to Allahs grace and blessings in the way that He gives life, sends forth rain, brings forth plants and all the different foods the earth produces, creates the human body with all of its miraculous systems and facilities, and bestows us with the senses to perceive the world around us, etc. It also refers to His sending the messengers and the revealed books to bring mankind out of the darknesses of unbelief and into the light of faith, so that they may attain happiness both in this life and in the Hereafter. Still, while the bestowment of these blessings may lend itself more to Allahs grace, the ultimate benefit behind such favors, and the fact that they are all forms of Allahs all-encompassing mercy is perhaps better communicated using The All-Merciful. This is especially true when we consider that Allah bestows these blessings upon those who believe in Him as well as those who disbelieve and disobey Him. Nevertheless, keeping the former aspect of the name, Ar-Rahmaan, in mind is important, as the common definition for the word mercy (i.e. compassion or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy or other person in ones power2) is somewhat deficient in highlighting the bestowment of blessings and favors.

2. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds,


The word Rubb, commonly translated as Lord, refers to Allahs creating,
1. Adwaa Al-Bayaan, vol. 1: 7 2. Collins Concise English Dictionary

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developing, sustaining, nurturing and maintaining everything that exists within the heavens and on the Earth. While the term rubb may be used to describe the role a guardian assumes when he nurtures, provides for and raises those under his care, or to describe the power and authority a master has over his slave, when used in reference to Allah, the term takes on these as well as other more comprehensive meanings. Literally, a rubb is someone who takes something (or someone) from one stage to the next or one form to the next along the path of development and growth.1 Aside from these connotations, and aside from Allahs all-encompassing care for His creation, Allah additionally takes His believing servants from one level to the next along the road of spiritual development and growth, gradually increasing them in faith, freeing them from restraints and guiding them to overcome the obstacles they meet along the path to Him. These are some of the exclusive blessings and bestowments that make Allah the only Deity truly worthy of praise and worship. The word hamd, commonly translated as praise, embodies both the extolment and complete gratitude due to Allah as sole Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Aside from extolment, gratitude and glorification, the word also bears connotations of love or adoration for the one being praised.2 Allahs unique and tremendous ability to create, sustain, provide for, cherish and develop His creation is further illustrated by the use of the plural worlds (as opposed to world), which alludes to the variety of different types of worlds in existence. Such worlds include mankind, the world of the jinn, the world of the angels and the worlds of plants and animals etcAllah is the sole Rubb for all of these different worlds, creating, sustaining, providing
1. Ahkaam Al Quran vol. 2: 26 2. Sheikh Uthaymeen, Tafseer Surat-ul-Faatihah, audio tape lecture . Al-Kashaaf, 27-28

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and caring for the thousands upon thousands of different species and creatures He has brought - and continues to bring - into existence.

3. The All-Merciful, The Especially-Merciful,


The meanings of these two names have been explained above, and they are repeated here as additional justification for why all praise is due exclusively to Allah.

4. Master of the Day of Reckoning,


While Allah is the ultimate Owner and Master of everything that exists, He affords temporary and limited ownership to His creatures in this life so that a person is said, for instance, to own a given house or car etc. On Judgment Day, however, when all worldly ownership ceases and there is no longer a difference between kings and paupers or masters and their slaves, Allah will be seen, before all His creation, as the sole Owner and Master of the universe, without the illusion or perception of other owners or masters beside Him. Allah, alone, will judge His servants on this Day, rewarding good with good, and evil with punishment. The Quran mentions several different names for Judgment Day, each providing a different perspective on the events that will occur and the feelings evoked on this grave and burdensome day. Day of Reckoning, for instance, reflects the process of reward and retribution, Day of Regret illustrates the remorse the Unbelievers will have for having disbelieved, as well as the regret the Believers will have for not having done even more good when they see the gracious rewards of their actions. The Approaching Day describes the increasing proximity of Judgment Day, and Day of Resurrection pictures Allahs unique ability to raise people from their graves so that they may be judged for their actions.

5. It is You alone that we worship, and it is You alone that we depend on.
While the English word worship is usually associated with religious rituals and rites such as Prayers, Fasting, Pilgrimage, etc, in Islam, the original word ibaadah is far broader and far more expansive in meaning.

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Ibaadah entails everything Allah loves and approves of, whether in terms of words or actions, and whether these actions are overt and apparent or concealed. Hence, Prayers, charity, Fasting, Pilgrimage, honesty, integrity, kindness to ones parents, maintaining ties of kinship, keeping promises, the enjoinment of good and the prohibition of evil, struggling against and fighting Unbelievers and Hypocrites, kindness to ones neighbors, orphans, the poor, the traveler, and animals; supplications and the invocation and glorification of Allah, the recitation of the Quran and many other actions are all considered ibaadah. Further, the love of Allah and His Prophet, the fear of Allah, as well as repentance and sincerity towards Him, patience throughout any hardship He has ordained, praise for His blessings, the acceptance of what He has decreed, placing ones absolute faith and trust in Him, the hope of His mercy, the fear of His punishment etc, also fall under the term ibaadah.1 With this in mind, it is easy to see how the verse, And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (51:56) refers to all aspects of a persons life, and is not limited to the more obvious acts of worship like Prayers or Pilgrimage. As can be seen from the verse just quoted, worship and servitude to Allah is the one and only supreme objective behind mans creation and existence. All of Allahs books and all His messengers served, ultimately, to call towards the worship of Allah, alone, and away from the worship of any other deity. As pointed out in the introduction on monotheism, worship is only considered worship if it meets two essential requirements: that it be directed solely to Allah, and that it be carried out in accordance with the Prophets teachings. If either of these two conditions is absent, the act of worship is void. Indeed, the first and foremost pillar of Islam - to bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, and that Muhammed is His Messenger - implies both these conditions. Having outlined that our relationship with Allah is that of a servant to his
1. Al-Uboodiyah, pg 6

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master, it is important that we explain that there are two different types of servitude to Allah. The first is a kind that all of mankind and everything in existence falls under, and that no living being has any choice in. Overwhelming and completely overpowering, Allahs mastery over His creatures means that they succumb completely to all that He decrees to happen in His universe, and that they havent the slightest power to prevent what He wills to happen, or to make happen what He has not decreed. The other form of servitude is the result of willingness on the part of an individual to adhere to and to obey Allahs commands and His legislative decrees. Hence, in this form of servitude, a servant has the freedom to disobey Allah and delve into what He has prohibited; in fact, a servant may even decide to disbelieve in Allah outright. Reward and punishment are, therefore, based on ones adherence to this form of servitude. And so while everything in existence succumbs to the first form of servitude, only the obedient among Allahs creation can be said to ascribe to the second category. With this difference in mind, it can be seen that the latter form of servitude is, in fact, worship itself, and that the terms servant and worshipper are, in this context, interchangeable.1 In times of distress and anguish, even Unbelievers are seen to call upon Allah, alone, asking Him to save them from what they fear, or deliver them from danger to safety, but upon having their prayers answered, they are only too quick to sink back into unbelief. Because calling upon Allah is itself a form of worship, an Unbeliever is thus said to occasionally succumb to the higher or voluntary form of servitude, if only for a short period of time. Allah affirms this in more than one verse in the Quran. For instance, Say [O Prophet], Who saves you from the darknesses [and dangers] of the land and sea when you call upon Him quietly and with humility saying, If He saves us from this, we will certainly be among the thankful!? Say, Allah saves you from it and from every hardship, but then you go back to associating partners with Him (6: 6-6)2

1. Majmoo Fataawah, vol. 1:29-0 2. ibid, vol. 1:1

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The word nastaeen, translated here as we depend on, combines between relying on Allah and having trust in Him. Because it is possible to trust someone and not depend on them (due to lack of need), and because it is possible to depend on someone and not trust them (due to necessity and lack of any other option), it is important to understand that both trust and reliance come together in ones dependence upon Allah.1 While to depend on Allah for His support in all that we undertake is, itself, a form of worship, it is mentioned separately and after the acknowledgment of our duty to worship Allah in order to emphasize the priority given to the rights of Allah over those of His servants. Also, because it is not possible to worship Allah without seeking His help or support in doing so, the two are appropriately mentioned together. Clearly, the attainment of Allahs pleasure through worship is a servants ultimate goal, and because this objective cannot be met without depending and calling upon Allah for His support, to ask for such support is the most beneficial of all requests. Likewise, to have this request granted by Allah is the greatest of all blessings. It is for this reason that the Prophet taught Muadh (may Allah be pleased with him) to repeat the following supplication after every prayer: Allah, help me to make dhikr2 of You, and to be grateful to You and to worship You in the best possible manner.

6. Guide us to the Straight Path,


The Straight Path is the clear path that leads to Allah and His Paradise. To be guided to the Straight Path, in a complete sense, is to know what Allah has commanded and what He has prohibited in all instances of ones life, and then to corroborate that knowledge by obeying these commands. While guidance to the Straight Path is fundamentally adherence to Islam and the forsaking of all other religions, guidance within the path is what entails both learning and practicing the different particulars of Islam. In his commentary on this verse, Imam Ibn Taymiyyah explains that a servant
1. Madarij-is-Salikeen, vol. 1: 77 2. See interpretation of verse 2:152 for a more detailed explanation of the word dhikr.

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of Allah is in continual and constant need of being guided to this Path in all his affairs. Neither salvation from Hellfire nor admission to Paradise is possible without this guidance. While it is true that guidance, at a general level, is attained by believing that the Quran is the word of Allah and that Muhammed is His Messenger, and that Islam is the one and only true religion of Allah, such general guidance, alone, will not suffice if we seek to deal successfully with the more specific matters we are faced with in every moment of our lives. In such instances we are all too often confounded and unable to discern right from wrong, or defeated by our fancies and desires so that we follow other than the correct course of conduct, even while knowing the right path.1 This verse is itself, therefore, one of the most all-encompassing and beneficial supplications a Muslim can make - an important reason for why Allah has made it compulsory that it be recited in every rakah of ones Prayers.

7. The Path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favor, not of those who incur wrath, nor of those who have strayed.
Adherence to the Straight Path is a blessing that Allah bestows upon His prophets, the siddeeqeen2, martyrs and the righteous among His servants. These are the individuals upon whom Allah has bestowed His favor, grace and blessings. Those who have earned Allahs wrath are those who came to know the truth and then deliberately deviated away from it, such as the Jews; while those who have strayed are those who have no knowledge of the truth to begin with, and hence only speak and act without knowledge or guidance, such as the Christians.

1. Majmoo Fataawah vol. 1: 7-8 2. The word Siddeeqeen (plural for siddeeq), describes the first and foremost Believers in the prophets, such as Abu Bakr , the closest of the Prophets companions. In a more general sense, the word is used to describe those who consistently speak only the truth, maintain an exceptional degree of honesty and sincerity and act in accordance to their beliefs at all times (Mukhtassar-As-Sihaah, 12).

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The tendency of Jews to not follow what they know to be true, and to suppress the truth: In several instances in the Quran, Allah states that the Jews knew well that Prophet Muhammed was indeed the prophet they had been waiting for, and that they rejected him only out of spite for the fact that he wasnt from the Children of Israel. In Surat-ul-Baqarah, Allah says, Those whom Weve given the scriptures recognize him (the Prophet) just as they recognize their own sons; but, indeed, a faction among them suppresses the truth, in spite of recognizing it. (2:16). In Surat-ul-Anaam, Allah says, Those whom Weve given the scriptures recognize him (the Prophet) just as they recognize their own sons, but they have lost their own selves, for they do not believe. (6:20) In Suratul-Baqarah, Allah says, Miserable is the price they (the People of the Scriptures) have sold their own selves for in rejecting what Allah has sent down - in resentment that Allah should send down of His favor upon whom He chooses of His servants. And so they incurred wrath upon wrath; and prepared for the Unbelievers is a humiliating torment. (2:90) The Sunnah also bears witness to the stifling of truth by the Jews, and one such report is narrated by Salamah bin Salaamah Bin Waqsh , mentioned in the explanation of verses 2:89-90. Another report, collected by Imam Al-Bukhari, is especially telling and involves Abdullah Ibn Salaam , a distinguished companion of the Prophet and a Jew before accepting Islam: Shortly after his arrival to Madinah, Prophet Muhammed was met by Abdullah Ibn Salaam. After asking the Prophet questions that only a prophet would know the answer to, and after receiving correct answers to these questions, Abdullah announced his belief in the Prophet . He then informed the Prophet that his (Abdullahs) people recognized him as the most eminent and the most learned among them, but because he knew that they would fabricate lies about him upon learning that he had accepted Islam, he requested that the Prophet call them and ask them what they thought of

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him before telling them that he had become a Muslim. The Prophet agreed to this, and requested the presence of an assembly of Jews from among Abdullahs people. When they came to him, the Prophet told them to fear Allah and to acknowledge that he was a prophet, for they knew full well that he was the Messenger they had been waiting for. The Jews, however, declined and continued to deny his prophethood. The Prophet then asked them what they thought of Abdullah Ibn Salaam - who at that moment stood hidden from them. They replied by praising Abdullah and by acknowledging that He was the most eminent and the most learned of them, and that he came from a family that was equally noble. The Prophet then asked them what they would say if they learned that Abdullah had accepted Islam. They replied, with much disdain, that it was completely unbefitting for someone of Abdullahs stature to accept Islam, and repeatedly rejected that that could even be possible. The Prophet then told Abdullah to emerge. Abdullah stood before his people, chastised them for their stubborn denial, and told them to acknowledge the Prophet , for they knew that he was the prophet they had been anticipating. The assembly of Jews was only too quick to reject Abdullahs exhortation, and immediately accused him of lying after having admitted to his eminency only a few moments earlier.1 This tendency to suppress truth and even falsify scriptures is mentioned even in the Old Testament. In Jeremiah 8:8-9, Prophet Jeremiah is reported to have addressed the Children of Israel saying: 8. How can you say, We are wise, for we have the Law of the Lord, when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? 9. The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?.. In his monumental work, Izhar-ul-Haq2, Sheikh Rahmatullah Kairanvi
1. Al-Bukhari, 911 2. An incomplete English translation of Izhar-ul-Haq currently exists, but the section on prophecies from the Bible pertaining to Prophet Muhammed doesnt appear to have been

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cites eighteen different places in the Bible where the coming of Prophet Muhammed is referred to or prophesized. The Sheikh also explains why Prophet Muhammed fits these prophecies, and refutes claims that they refer to Jesus or any other prophet. A much smaller book entitled, What Did Jesus Really Say?1 by Mishaal ibn Abdullah Al Kadhi also discusses the mention of Prophet Muhammed in the Bible, and the book Al-Ajweba Al-Fakhera Ala Al-Assela Al-Fajerah2 by Imam Shehab-ud-Deen Abu Al Abbass Al Qurafy, lists and discusses up to fifty verses in the Bible that refer to the coming of Prophet Muhammed . As one such example, consider the following passage from Deuteronomy, where Moses addresses the Children of Israel and describes a prophet that is to come: 17. The Lord said to me: What they say is good. 18. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. 20. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. 21. You may say to yourselves, How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord? 22. If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18: 17-22) In his book, Izhar ul Haqq, Sheikh Rahmatullah mentions 10 reasons for why this passage refers to Prophet Muhammed and not to any other prophet, including Prophet Jesus . In spite of the fact that the passage clearly states that the promised prophet will be like Moses , many Jews take this
completed yet. 1. This book is available online and in English at http://www.scribd.com/doc/780019/WhatDid-Jesus-Really-Say-by-Misha-al-ibn-Abdullah-Al-Kadhi 2. This book has yet to be translated into English. . I say many because Jews appear to hold at least a few different opinions on who is meant

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prophesy to refer to Prophet Joshua , who was certainly not of Moses stature, nor was he like Moses at all. Indeed, Deuteronomy : 10 states, Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses , whom the Lord knew face to face. Moreover, according to the Bible, Joshua was alive during Prophet Moses lifetime and was appointed by Moses to succeed him; and so Moses had to have been talking about another prophet and one who was of greater rank than Joshua . Even if we were to understand that this prophecy referred to Prophet Jesus , from Christians such a claim would make no sense as in Christianity, Jesus is considered God or the son of God. Moses , on the other hand, clearly mentions that God was to raise a prophet and not Himself or His son. Also, the promised prophet was to be from the brothers of the Children of Israel, and not from the Children of Israel themselves. All twelve Tribes of Israel existed at the time, and so Moses could only have been talking about their brothers: the Children of Ismail, of whom Prophet Muhammed , of course, was the only prophet. Whats important here is that Jews reject both the prophethood of Jesus and that of Prophet Muhammed , leaving this and several other Old Testament prophecies unfulfilled (please refer to the books referenced on such prophecies). The idea behind this section is to highlight that Jews have always been inclined to reject truth and to refuse adherence to what they know to be true. This is not the place to discuss the different prophecies that match Prophet Muhammed in the Bible. For a more detailed study of these prophecies in English, it would be best to refer to Dr. Munqidh Bin Mahmoud As-Saqqars book, The Promised Prophet of the Bible. This publication is primarily a translation of Dr. Ahmed Hejazy Al Saqqas work on Biblical prophecies that refer to Prophet Muhammed .1 As already mentioned, the book, What did Jesus Really Say, by Mishaal ibn Abdullah Al Kadhi also discusses this topic quite well.
by this prophecy. Interestingly, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (d. 1105, and better known as Rashi), the foremost commentator on the Torah, has completely neglected to provide any kind of commentary on Deuteronomy 18: 17-19. 1. Available at http://www.islamhouse.com/p/17868 and other websites in PDF format

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The tendency of Christians to act without knowledge: To go about life holding beliefs for which there is no evidence will not be without its consequences at some point or another. If those beliefs happen to be religious or creedal, proof becomes all the more important and the matter becomes all the more dire, as aside from deciding ones wellbeing in this life, such beliefs determine where a person spends eternity. All too often, emotion and the inclination to follow what our fathers followed take the place of rational thought and sometimes even common sense, causing many to be led further and further astray. For this section, while it mightve been sufficient to simply quote references which affirm that there is no Biblical evidence for some of Christianitys central and most important doctrines, it seemed important to quote these references primarily from Christian academics and then to include some of the efforts they have made to explain these doctrines or the attempts made to provide reasonable foundations for them. It is important to bear in mind that the point of this section is not essentially to refute Christianitys doctrines, but to show that these beliefs continue to be adhered to in spite of the lack of evidence for them. The Trinity Under the entry Trinity, The Oxford Companion to the Bible states, Because the Trinity is such an important part of later Christian doctrine, it is striking that the term does not appear in the New Testament. Likewise, the developed concept of three coequal partners in the Godhead found in later creedal formulations cannot be clearly detected within the confines of the canon.1 After mentioning a few references from the Bible that are often used to validate the Trinity (we will elaborate on these shortly), the author says, these passages provide assurance for the presence and power of God both in the ministry of Jesus and in the ongoing life of the community. Beyond this immediate context, however, such references raise the question of how
1. The Oxford Companion to the Bible (online reference)

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Father, Son and Spirit can be distinct and yet the same.1 In rebuttal to far-fetched attempts to draw proof for the Trinity from whence they do not exist, the author advises, it is important to avoid reading the Trinity into places where it does not appear.2 If the very references that are used as proof for the Trinity actually raise the question of how Father, Son and Spirit can be distinct and yet the same, how much more unreasonable is it that such a doctrine lie at the heart of Christianity? The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church starts its section on the Trinity by calling it the central dogma of Christian theology. After again mentioning that the word Trinity is not found in Scripture, it goes on to say that Christian theologians have seen adumbrations of the doctrine in the Biblical narratives; in the OT, for example, the appearance of the three men to Abraham (Gen. 18) was held by the Fathers to foreshadow the revelation of the threefold nature of God. In the NT the most influential text was the reference to the three Persons in the baptismal formula at the end of Mt. (28: 19), but there are other passages held to have Trinitarian overtones, such as the Pauline benediction of 2 Cor. 1-1. While it is not necessary that the word Trinity appear in the Bible, it is certainly necessary that at least the teaching of a doctrine considered the central dogma of Christian theology be clearly present. Passages that offer adumbrations and overtones can hardly be regarded as satisfactory for anyone seeking proof for Christianitys core doctrine. The Encyclopedia Britannica of World Religions states, Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the NEW TESTAMENT, nor did JESUS and his followers intend to contradict the SHEMA in the OLD TESTAMENT: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord (Deuteronomy 6:). The earliest Christians, however, had to cope with the implications
1. ibid 2. ibid . The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 161

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of the coming of Jesus Christ and of the presumed presence and power of God among them i.e., the Holy Spirit, whose coming was connected with the celebration of the PENTECOST. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were associated in such New Testament passages as Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 1:1, and thus it established the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies.1 Again, no evidence for the existence of a trinity; only a hint at why the development of such a doctrine was deemed important. In fact, this excerpt blatantly says that the doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies. How could the central dogma of Christian theology develop over several centuries after Jesus had died, and what of those who lived and died before that dogma was developed? Further, regarding the two passages mentioned and that are supposed to establish the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity, the Oxford Companion to the Bible has the following to say: The earliest New Testament evidence for a tripartite formula comes in 2 Corinthians 1.1, where Paul wishes that the grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with the people of Corinth. It is possible that this three-part formula derives from later liturgical usage and was added to the text of 2 Corinthians as it was copied. In support of the authenticity of the passage, however, it must be said that the phrasing is much closer to Pauls understandings of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit than to a more fully developed concept of the Trinity. Jesus, referred to not as Son but as Lord and Christ, is mentioned first and is connected with the central Pauline theme of grace. God is referred to as a source of love, not as father, and the Spirit promotes sharing within the community. The word holy does not appear before spirit in the earliest manuscript evidence for this passage.2 As for Matthew 28:19, the author states, A more familiar formulation is found in Matthew 28:19, where Jesus commands the disciples to go out and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
1. Encyclopedia Britannica of World religions, 1159. 2. The Oxford Companion to the Bible (online reference)

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The phrasing probably reflects baptismal practice in churches at Matthews time or later if the line is interpolated. Elsewhere Matthew records a special connection between God the Father and Jesus the Son (e.g., 11:27), but he falls short of claiming that Jesus is equal with God.1 The conclusion to this excerpt has already been mentioned at the top of this section (such references raise the question of how Father, Son and Spirit can be distinct and yet the same.), and its clear to see that all such references cannot possibly be taken as even indications of a Trinity, let alone solid evidence upon which this central doctrine might be established. Even if we assumed that these passages are consistent with the doctrine of the Trinity, passages that are completely inconsistent with it are more obvious and far more numerous, as will be shown. Under Trinity the Dictionary of Bible and Religion says, Meaning literally threeness, this term is used especially of the Christian doctrine that God is three persons in one substance, or substance in three persons three in one and one in three. Strictly speaking the word, triunity is preferable to the word, trinity, since triunity emphasizes the unity as much as it does the trinity. But even to say this is to show where the difficulty of the doctrine lies. How does one reconcile the paradox of unity and trinity? Why was it first considered necessary to get into the paradox? Theologians have oscillated between an emphasis on the unity of God, which leads into unitarianism and the virtual abandonment of the Trinity, or else they have so emphasized the distinctness of the three persons that they have moved toward tritheism, a belief in three Gods.2 In 1 Corinthians 1: it says, For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. Where is the peace in the above excerpt? How did so much confusion find its way into Christianitys central doctrine? Again under the entry, Trinity, the New Bible Dictionary explains, The term Trinity is not itself found in the Bible. It was first used by Tertullian at the close of the second century, but received wide currency and formal elucidation only in the th and 5th centuries. Three affirmations are central to the historic doctrine of the Trinity: 1. There is but one God; 2. The Father,
1. Oxford Companion to the Bible

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the Son and the Spirit is each fully and eternally God; . the Father, the Son, and the Spirit is each a distinct person. Nowhere does the Bible explicitly teach this combination of assertions. It may nevertheless be claimed that the doctrine of the Trinity is a profoundly appropriate interpretation of the Biblical witness to God in the light of the ministry, death and resurrection - exaltation of Jesus - the Christ event.1 As an interpretation, is a Christian allowed to reject the Trinity for another more appropriate interpretation? If the Bible does not explicitly teach this combination of assertions, why have they become central to the historic doctrine of the Trinity a doctrine that itself was established only upon adumbrations and overtones? If salvation really does lie in belief in the Trinity, then how could Jesus fail to clarify this belief, let alone even mention it? The Divinity of Jesus: The New Catholic Encyclopedia opens its section on the divinity of Jesus by stating: Christs divinity is in a true sense the basis of the Christian faith: with it stands or falls the religion named after Him2. Four paragraphs later it continues, Reason and history are unable to prove the mystery [of Jesus divinity] as a fact. The eyewitness of Christs life saw the man in Jesus but did not see God; they saw only signs, the miracles, and on the strength of them believed in the divine power He claimed. Historical evidence about Christs life, death, and Resurrection can make his divinity reasonably acceptable or credible; it cannot prove it with logical stringency. To accept the divinity of Christ requires a free assent of faith assisted by the light of grace and justified before reason by guarantees of its truthfulness. Only so can one enter into the mystery of Christs divinity. It goes on to state, In the New Testament, the revelation of Christs divinity was gradual, discreet, and mainly indirect. One never meets a blunt statement: Christ is God. It had to be so if that faith was to find entrance with the Jews.
1. The New Bible Dictionary (rd edition), 1209 2. New Catholic Encyclopedia, 82-825 . ibid

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Christs own testimony about Himself, it continues, was explicit as to His being the Messiah and in continuity with the Old Testament expectation, though He repudiated a temporal messianic kingdom for a higher spiritual one. With regard to His divinity, His testimony was more implicit than explicit, more indirect that forthright. His works and miracles more than His words were to prove to men that He had divine power, even in another way than others had who worked miracles before.1 Again, why would our Creator endow us with the faculty of reason, the faculty of discerning between right and wrong, then command us to accept something that [r]eason and history are unable to prove and then punish us with eternal Hell for not accepting it? How could a belief so crucial to the salvation of mankind require a free assent of faith and only be expressed implicitly? How can an implicit statement count as proof against someone on Judgment Day? Also, if implicit statements were necessary so that that faith was to find entrance with the Jews then what need was there for explicit statements that lead listeners to conclusions directly opposed to the objectives of the implicit statements? For instance, Jesus responds to one who addresses him as O good master and says, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God. (Matthew 19:17). In John 1:28, Jesus is quoted as saying, The Father is greater than I. Jesus is reported to have said, I judge only as I hear, and my Judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. (John 5:0) Such explicit statements could only serve to convince listeners that Jesus was not God, no matter how many implicit statements are taken to suggest the opposite. As for the miracles, neither Jews nor Christians take the miracles of Moses to be evidence for his divinity, no matter how great they were and they were indeed magnificent. Furthermore, if Jesus miracles were an indication of his divinity, what sense is there in Jesus saying, By myself I can do nothing? (John 5:0) The New Catholic Encyclopedia mentions that Christology is a study motivated by a solidly practical interest [,] for the worship of Christ is the life of the Church. It then immediately goes on to say, Consequently, the Church has ever been under the necessity of explaining, both to its own faithful
1. ibid

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and to those without, how the worship of Jesus, a man, can be combined with monotheism.1 The authors hence affirm that Christology is a field of study developed in order to validate or endorse the worship of Jesus. This is to put the carriage before the horse in no uncertain manner. To then state that the Church has ever since attempted to explain how monotheism might be reconciled with the worship of a man further reinforces the fact that Reason and history are unable to prove the mystery as a fact and cements the conclusion that to accept the divinity of Christ requires a free assent of faith. The Sonship of Jesus Under the entry, Son of God, The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology states the following, The title, Son of God is not used by Jesus himself to the same extent as Son of Man (though cf., e.g. Mark 12:6)2 The authors then go on to cite instances where this title (Son of God) was given to Jesus. The problem with this statement is that it gives the impression that Jesus actually called himself Son of God but to a lesser extent than Son of Man. This is untrue, and the reference the author provides in parenthesis (Mark 12:6) does not mention the title, Son of God at all. Rather, this entire passage is a parable (as is explicitly stated in Mark 12:1 and 12:12) where Jesus refers to, a man who planted a vineyard and then rented it to farmers. Whenever this man sent a servant to collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from the farmers, they would kill him. Eventually the man sent, a son, whom he loved, and they killed him as well.  The fact is that Jesus does not call himself Son of God anywhere in the Bible. Conversely, he gives himself the title, Son of Man countless times in different instances. No one calls himself Son of Man more than Jesus did. Moreover, God refers to many of his prophets as sons in the Old Testament; both Jews and Christians understood this usage to be metaphoric and that it meant pious man or faithful servant of God and therefore had
1. New Catholic Encyclopedia, 559 2. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology . The parable is documented in Mark 12:1-12



no reservations against it. In fact, the Bible mentions that God calls Prophet Jacob his first born son (Exodus 4:22-23). God also promises to make Prophet David his son in Psalms 89:27, etc.1 In his book, The True Message of Jesus Christ, Dr. Bilal Philips explains that, In the New Testament, there are many references to sons of God other than Jesus. For example, when the author of the Gospel according to Luke listed Jesus ancestors back to Adam, he wrote: The son of Enos, son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. [Luke :8].2 God is recorded to have called Prophet David a begotten son in Psalms 2:7; and, interestingly, Jesus himself rejects the title Son of God : Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, You are the Son of God! But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ. (Luke :1) If we consider that over two thousand years onwards, Christian literature continues to be packed with attempts to resolve such deep contradictions, its difficult not to wonder why so many would continue to hold to these unfounded beliefs to begin with. Again, the point is not merely to draw attention to these contradictions, but to show that belief in falsehood and the adoption of core doctrines and central dogmas for which there isnt any evidence is a tendency characteristic of Christians throughout the ages. The Dictionary of Bible and Religion opens its section on Christology by stating that Any approach to Christology (the teaching of Christs person as both a figure of history and the object of Christian worship) must face the issue of methodology. Specifically, this means that a choice has to be made whether the interpreter will begin with creedal formulations that announce JESUS Christ as true God and true Man and then work backward to the way this teaching arose as a beginning premise (Christology from above). The other approach is to begin with the empirical data of the historical and theological records (in the NT) and trace the way the churchs understanding

1. The True Message of Jesus Christ, 52 2. Ibid . Ibid, 5



developed until the creeds were formulated (Christology from below).1 For one thing, it is worth noticing that both methods trace the way in which the churchs understanding developed or arose and that these creeds were formulated over a period of several centuries (as is acknowledged in practically all books on Christian theology). In other words, the creeds that are at the heart of Christianity find no direct or incontrovertible proofs even in the scriptures that they are said to be derived from. The doctrines are themselves, as has already been cited, interpretations that attempt to reconcile between very contradictory passages and verses. What then of the fate of those who lived and died before these doctrines were finally established, assuming the church finally arrived at the truth? Why is there no conclusive evidence for beliefs that must be adopted by anyone seeking salvation from eternal Hell? Whats more, in both the above methods, the conclusion (partly that Christ is the object of Christian worship) is a given that cannot be substituted for any other outcome, regardless of what the empirical data of the historical and theological records (in the NT) suggests. In other words, it is not permissible that the data lead to any conclusion other than that Christ is the object of Christian worship. In this sense, Christology may as well be defined as the study of how the worship of Jesus might be justified, regardless of whether or not it is correct to worship him to begin with. Allah only ever sent prophets so that they might make clear the difference between right and wrong, or that between truth and falsehood. Without a doubt, Prophet Jesus made the pathway to Allah as clear as possible, for he was only sent so that those who had strayed among the Children of Israel might be led back to guidance. To even indulge in the kind of havocridden interpretations mentioned above, especially with regards to basic tenets of faith, is to accuse Jesus himself of confusing Allahs message and of tainting its purity. All praise is due to Allah for making the true path of guidance clear, time and time again with every prophet He sent, and for making it clear once and for all with the advent of Prophet Muhammed . Will they not then contemplate the Quran? And had it been from anyone other than Allah, theyd have found within it great
1. The Dictionary of Bible and Religion, 195-196

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contradiction. (: 82) Hence, and to conclude the meanings of this verse, while the unbelief of Jews stems from the fact that they do not practice or acknowledge what they know to be true, Christians act and speak without knowledge, and delve into the practice of falsities that lie far from the truth of matters. It is interesting to note that no matter how wide and how varied different forms of wrongdoing may be, they will not fall beyond the scope of the two categories mentioned, i.e.: - Failure to adhere to the truth in spite of knowledge of it - Failure to adhere to the truth due to ignorantly straying from it. A servant of Allah must, therefore, ask Allah to guide him to learning the truth and acting in accordance with it. Likewise, one must ask Allah to preserve him against speaking and acting out of ignorance, and against failing to adhere to the truth after coming to know and understand it. Recap on the meanings of Surat-ul-Faatihah: In the Name of Allah, the One and only Deity worthy of worship, the One whose grace and mercy encompass every living thing in this life, and whose absolute mercy is reserved for the Believers in the Hereafter. All praise and gratitude is due to Allah, the All-Merciful, the EspeciallyMerciful. The sole Master and Owner of the Day when everyone will be called to account for their deeds. It is You, alone, that we direct all forms of worship to, and it is You, alone, that we depend on in all we seek to accomplish. Guide us to the path of discerning right from wrong, and to practicing what is right in all we undertake.The path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your graciousness and blessings, not of those who have incurred wrath by deliberately forsaking the truth after recognizing it, nor of those who strayed from the truth and thus act and speak out of ignorance.

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