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Jesus and the Quran

Daniel Abraham

A Muslim may say: Christians believe Jesus is human and di vine, and this is not possible. Interestingly enough the Quran is believed by Muslims to be human and divine. It is divine because it is, according to Islam, the word of God and since it is Gods speech and thoughts, it therefore has a divine nature. On the other hand the Quran is human, since it is comp rehended by the human mind and co mmunicated through a human language. Furthermore, the claimed divine word of God in the Quran is incarnated into paper and ink in what is called Mushaf (the book which contains the Quran). Jesus Christ is described in Islam to be Gods Word (Quran 4:171) something the Gospel agrees upon too (John 1:1). It is not right to compare Jesus Christ to other human prophets since none of them were Gods Word but they were His messengers who carried His word only. Jesus and the Quran have to be compare d as both of them claimed to be Gods Word. If the Qu ran has a human and divine nature and is incarnated in a physical body (paper + ink = book), then we have to assume that Jesus can also be the Word of God since He is human and divine and He is incarna ted in a physical body (flesh + b lood = body).

Son of God

A Muslim may ask: How can Christians call Jesus the Son of God? This is blasphemy. God has no sons! Jesus is referred to in the Bible as The Word of God (John 1:1). Jesus has that same title in Islam (Quran 4:171). Gods word is His div ine ideas given to us in a human understandable form of co mmunication, v ia scripture or inspiration. Now, think of ideas in terms of birth fro m the mind, the idea is the child of the mind. Is there anything wrong in saying: my ideas are the child of my mind? Did you say anything irrational here? It is unfortunate, that some people think when Jesus is referred to as the Son of God that He was born fro m God in a physical or sexual manner. Jesus is not a physical son of God, as you are not a physical child of your country, still you could say: I am the son/daughter/child of my country Nobody will thin k your country went into labor and gave physical birth to you. Similarly, the idea wh ich is born fro m the mind, is the child of the mind, remains in the mind, does not leave the mind, and a mind without ideas or knowledge is an absent mind. We believe that Jesus is Gods Word, His idea which was given to us as a divine commun ication between God and man.

Does God Need Sleep?

A Muslim may ask: Jesus is just a human being and a prophet. Di d not he sleep, be tired, eat and even go to the bathroom like us? Does God need sleep or go to the bathroom?! Let us go back to the computer monitor illustration. For some technical reason, keeping the computer mon itor on all the time might cause problem with it later. That is why we have screen saver or power save mode. Let us say you have a computer or server wh ich has to work 24/ 7, and there is a monitor connected to it. When the screen goes to sleep, or you turn it off, does that mean that the hardware and the software and the electricity are also off or go to sleep? So if Jesus body needed to sleep, eat, rest or even going to the bathroom, that does not mean God (hardware, software, electricity) also Has such needs.

Who Ruled the Universe When Jesus Died?

A Muslim may ask; If God was in Jesus, and Jesus died on the cross, and after three days resurrected. Who was running the uni verse in these three days? Let us return back to the previous illustration of the Trin ity. We spoke about the computer case, which contains the hardware and software and requires an electric spark to wo rk. Now we are going to talk about the computer monitor. As you know, we can not really understand what is going on with the computer unles s we are seeing some kind of visual or audible co mmunication fro m it. In early co mputers, the commun ication happened through printing results on a paper printout. That was not good enough since it did not show in real t ime what was really going on, besides the limitation of this method was that you did not have holistic co mprehension of the computer operation. Monitors help those who are interacting with the computer to have a real time experience with it and a better interaction and understanding of its operation. In a way, the software (the Son) appears on the monitor and through it we have the commun ication. Let us say that for some reason you decided to smash the monitor because you did not like what it showed. So you took the monitor and threw it on the floor and broke it, or took a hammer and kept hitting it until you made it into one hundred pieces. Does that mean you killed the software inside the co mputer case (hardware) which is still p lugged into the electricity? We all know the answer: No, the software is still alive and running and has not been killed o r stopped.

So if we put another monitor, o r if we fix the monitor we just broke are we not going to see the software or the operating system still running? Another example might help you, is the TV. Let us say you did not like what a show presenter is saying on the TV, so you throw a book at your TV and break it. Maybe you even shoot the TV with a pistol. Did you kill the show presenter? No, you did not. He is still alive, and if we fix your TV or brought you another one, we would still see him talking.

Trinity

A Muslim may ask: Trinity is blas phemy. God is one not three. Check your math 1+1+1 =3 not 1. How come you say God is one and the same ti me three? Since you are visit ing our web site, I assume you are using a computer, and I assume you at least know a little about it. Using these assumptions, I will try to explain to you the Trinity in a co mputer illustration. A computer usually consists of: case (hardware), operating system (software), mon it or, keyboard, and mouse. Most importantly, the computer needs electricity to work, without it, the computer is dead. We believe God exist by himself (Father), spoken by His Word (Son), and alive by His Spirit (Ho ly Sp irit). This is the Trin ity you reject. No illustration is perfect, but we are trying to make this concept of Trinity easier for you to understand.

Imagine God (the Father) is the computer case (the hardware), and what we call God Son is the operating system and all other applications (software), and the Holy Sp irit is the electricity which make this computer functioning. We definitely do not need a monitor, keyboard, or a mouse for the co mputer case to work as a stand alone (i.e. a server like the one this web site is hosted on, the server does not have to have a monitor and other peripherals for it to work). We know that a hardware (mother board, processor, hard disk, etc) can not do anything without having a software installed in it. Also we know that the hardware and the software will not int eract and work without the electricity being plugged into the hardware. Still we call all of these three parts of the computer, a co mputer, it is not three computers.

Could the Sea Fill a Cup?

A Muslim may ask: If we think of the finite body of Jesus as a cup and the infinite God as the sea. Coul d you tell me how the sea coul d fill the cup?

First there is a problem with this illustration. The sea is physical element and the cup is also physical element. While God is a spirit and the body of Jesus is a physical element. Let me illustrate to you how the infin ite fills the fin ite by using a TV set (physical element) and the TV broadcast waves (non-physical element). We all know that the TV broadcast waves (i.e. satellite or just analog antenna waves) is a lmost everywhere in our geographical location. When we adjust the TV to receive the channels broadcasted on these waves, something interesting will happen, we see a picture and hear an audio. In a way, we could say that the infinite (waves) filled the fin ite (TV set). I hope that helped.

Is the Bible Corrupted?

A Muslim may say: Christians believe in a corrupted scripture. The Quran is the only preserved scripture and the Bi ble is corrupted. Do you believe that the Torah, Zabur, In jil (all part of the Bib le) and the Quran are all the word of God? If so, it is a confusing state ment to say that Gods previous words (the Bib le) were corrupted, wh ile Gods last word (the Qu ran)-according to Islamic beliefs -were preserved. In a way, you are saying that some of Gods words could be preserved, while others could be corrupted? (read my article Is the Quran Preserved? ) In other words we accuse God of being powerless (unable to protect His previous words) and/or unfair (for not caring to preserve His previous words and letting people be misled wh ile preserving the last word He sent). We need to choose, is God mighty and just or is He powerless and unfair?

We believe God is mighty and just, and whatever message He sends He is able to protect and preserve. Any tampering with this message is an insult to Him. We also have to ask ourselves. When did this alleged corruption happen? Was it before the time o f Muhammad? Well, that is impossible since the Quran refers to Bib le as a true scripture in a lot of verses. For examp le, God says to Muhammad in the Quran regard ing the Jews: But how do they come to you for decision wh ile they have the Torah, in wh ich is the Decision of God ? (Quran 5:43) If the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) were corrupted, then why does the Quran refers to it as an authentic carrier of Gods decision?! Therefore, we cannot say the Bib le was corrupted before the time of Muhammad. Was it corrupted after Muhammad claimed to be a prophet? If the Qu ran accused the people of the book of corrupting their scripture (e.g. Qu ran 4:46; 5:13; 5:41), it might have been an accusation to a local group but not to the entire Jewish and Christian world. The Jewish and Christian world was thousands of times bigger than the village of Medina in the desert of Arabia where this accusation occurred. In order for the Jews and the Christians to corrupt their scripture, they would have had to call a universal conference (bring all the leaders of their relig ion fro m all the known world at that time, Asia, Europe, and Africa) to meet in one place and decide what to remove. Then they would have had to burn thousands or even hundreds of thousands of books of scripture from all around the world; and then produce thousands of modified books of scripture to be re-distributed back to the entire known world. This is logistically impossible, even in our current time. It is also morally difficult, because thousands of religious leaders would have had to choose to tamper with their Gods word knowingly. Is it not conceivable that at least a few of the leaders wou ld have rejected such tampering? Furthermore, would not some of these scriptures have escaped these modifications and we would have found them by now? We are also talking about two adversaries, Jews and Christians. They were not good friends of each other at the time. If the Jews corrupted the Jewish scripture, then the Christians who believed in it wou ld not be silent. On the other hand, the Jews would not keep quiet if the Christians tampered with the Jewish scripture, as it is their

scripture; and they (the Jews) would defiantly find something against the Christians if they (Christians) tampered with the Christian scripture. Again you would have to get these two adversarial groups together and then get them to agree on changing their own scripture. Do you think there were no believers who considered Gods command? You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take fro m it, that you may keep the co mmand ments of the Lord your God that I co mmand you. (Deuteronomy 4:2) God is good, honest, mighty and just. He would not let His word be tampered with and allow people to be led astray, while He d id nothing for 600 years until He sent a new prophet with a new scripture. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away fro m the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19) Nobody can tamper with Gods word without experiencing Gods wrath. I inv ite you to read the word of God (the Bible) for yourself.

God Becoming a Man

A Muslim May Say: You Christians make God a man! God will not take the shape of a human being. First, we do not make God a man. God decided to be a man. Who are we to make God anything. God makes us not the other way around. We believe God is capable of doing anything, there is nothing out of His scope. If He decided to be a man, who are we to tell Him: No, Lo rd you can not be a man.

Why do you think God will not take the shape of a human being? Or why you think God can not take any shape He wants? Those who disagree with this idea say that Islam teaches there is nothing like God (Quran 42:11) and since we have body, then God can not have body. Or that nobody could see God, because no eyes could comprehend or perceive him (Quran 6:103). Still Islam teaches that believers will see God in the hereafter ( Quran 75:22-23). So how could you see God in the hereafter if you can not comprehend or perceive Him?

Did Jesus Really Die?

A Muslim may say: Jesus never died on the cross? Allah took Hi m up to heaven and pu t Jesus likeness on someone else to die instead of Hi m. Islamic tradition does teach something like that (Quran 4:157). The story in this Quranic verse says that the Jews thought that they crucified and killed Jesus but that was not true, because it was only made to appear like that to them. Still Islam does not give us exact answer or narrative of what really happened. So if Jesus was not killed, who was killed? We get different interpretations and stories fro m different Islamic sources. Like: 1. 2. 3. God made Judas who betrayed him look like Him (Jesus) and was crucified instead of Jesus. One of Jesus disciples volunteered to die for Him. It was Simon of Cyrene the one who carried His cross.

4.

It was one of the Ro man soldiers.

Add to that other theories that He was on the cross but did not die and so on. The question is, why it is so hard to accept a simp le fact that Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross? Did not Islam say that He is just a human being and a prophet? So why He does not die like all the other prophets? According to Islam, Jesus has a mystery in his birth (fro m a virgin mother without a father) and at the end of His life on earth (still alive in heaven and did not die). He is unique and the only one who is still alive today fro m among all these other prophets who we visit their graves. So what is so special about that Jesus? Why cant we accept the simple narrative in the Gospel that He died on the cross? According to Islamic tradit ion, the Jews killed a lot of other prophets before . So what is so special about Jesus if He was just another prophet? Why dont we accept His death? It is more simp ler and easier to co mprehend than all these other interpretations of Jesus being substituted with s omeone else. Id like to leave you to this thought, think about it. What is so special about Jesus so He did not die like the rest of us?

Jesus Died for Our Sins

A Muslim may ask: Nobody can die for someone elses sin? Why your faith say that Jesus died for our sins? In Islamic tradit ion, a martyr could intercede for 70 other people and lead them into paradise.

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The intercession of a martyr will be accepted for seventy members of his family. (see Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 14, Nu mber 2516). Also in the same tradition, intercession is accepted by prophets for their followers. The most famous of these intercessions in Islam is the one Prophet Muhammad s aid that he will use at the Day of Judgment to let his followers into paradise. (see Muslim, Book 001, Nu mber 0378). If a martyr could intercede for other people because of his sacrifice for God. Is it not possible for the sinless Jesus Christ who innocently was killed on the cross, could also intercede for those who follow Him and put their trust in Him? Jesus sacrifice on the cross, a death He did not deserve since He did not commit a sin in His entire life or even inherited Adams ability to sin. The death punishment all mankind received because of Adams transgression , was carried on by a perfect man (Jesus) who should not die for His own sins. If you look back in the Jewish tradition, you will find that according to Moses laws, Jews had to bring an animal sacrifice for their sins. (Levit icus 1:2) They put their hands on the head of the animal as a sign of the sin being transferred fro m them to the sacrificial animal. ( Levit icus 1:4) The animal dies instead of them. We all know that this animal (who also should be perfect) did not sin, still the animal d ied instead of the sinner. You might disagree and do not like this sacrifice business. Well, in Islamic t radition it is known that Ibrahim (Abraham) who was going to sacrifice h is son as God co mmanded was given a sacrificial an imal instead of his son. (Quran 37:99-111) Interestingly enough, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca ends with a co mmemo ration of Ibrahim (Abraham) sacrifice on the mountain of Arafat by sacrificing animals so the pilgrims pilgrimage is co mplete. After this event, the pilgrimage ends. It is also interesting to know that the pilgrimage to Mecca if preformed correct ly, the pilgrim former sins were forgiven! The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, Whoever performs Hajj for Allahs pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free fro m all sins) as if he were born anew. (Bu khari, Vo l. 2, Book 26, No. 596) May be you need to think about this pilgrimage ceremony and compare it to the old Jewish ritual of animal sacrifice! These animal sacrifices has to be repeated as it only redeem the former sins. A Jew has to go back to the temple every year to perform this sacrifice. A Muslim could clean his former sins in p ilgrimage, he will need to go back to preform it again to clean up his new sins accumu lated after the pilgrimage.

No w, Gods plan was to give only one sacrifice. A perfect sacrifice which could redeem believers former and future sins. He deiced that the second Adam (Jesus) He sent to earth, will d ie as acceptable sacrifice to God. (Hebrews 10:12,14) Through the blood shed of Jesus Christ, men and wo men who follow Him are redeemed and reconciled with God. (Hebrews 10:19) The Scripture says: We believe that we have an intercessor between us and God, Jesus Christ. ( Ro mans 8:34)

The West = Christians = Sin

A Muslim may say: The Christian West is an i mmoral pl ace. Christians have sex without marriage, they drink Alcohol and use drugs and practice homosexuality. First, this is a wrong imp ression, the West is not Christian. The West has a lot of relig ions and ideologies. Those who are true Christians who lives in the West do not practice such sins. Someone who carries the religious label of Ch ristian is not really Christian unless he/she follows the path of Christ. For examp le, in the Muslim world, there are a lot who are so called Muslims who do not pray or fast, they practice sins like drinking alcohol and sexual immo ralities. Can I say that Muslims drink a lcohol and have sex without marriage; because I have observed some unfaithful Muslims pract icing these sins? Let me show you few verses fro m the Bible wh ich actually co mmand the believers to not practice such sins. And do not get drunk with wine, fo r that is debauchery ( Ephesians 5:18)

You shall not lie with a male as with a wo man; it is an abomination ( Levit icus 18:22) But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) Or do you not know that the unrig hteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor ido laters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice ho mosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdo m of God. (1 Co rinthians 6:9-10)

A License to Sin

A Muslim may ask: Accordi ng to this grace i dea, anyone can sin since God forg ave us. Why not I just go and sin then? You might think that you have a license to sin since forgiveness and restoration to eternal life in paradise is a free gift of Gods grace. Well, that is not right. You can not just sin because there is a free gift o f grace. One of Jesus apostles (Paul) addressed the same issue raised by the misunderstanding of the free gift of salvation. (Ro mans 6) The same question was raised at his time, he addressed it saying: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? ( Romans 6:1) Pauls answer the question he posed:

By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised fro m the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. ( Ro mans 6:2-4) The death of Christ was death because of the sin of human beings, he died for their sins. When we confess faith in Christs work, we also die like him to sin and resurrect to life. For the death he [Christ] died he died to sin, once for all, but the l ife he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Ro mans 6:10-11) Apostle Paul conclude that we have to avoid sin. Let not sin therefore reign in your mo rtal body, to make you obey its passions ( Ro mans 6:12) As you see free gift of salvation does not include a license or permission for sin.

First and Second Adam

A Muslim May Ask: The only way to return back to paradise is through being righteous by doing g ood deeds and avoi d sins. What your faith mean by we are saved by grace? What is grace? First, let me suggest that you read my answer to the previous question (Adams sin ) before you continue reading. Due to the transgression of Adam on Gods co mmand ment, we inherited fro m h im the nature of sin and therefore we inherited the punis hment for that sin which is death.

It is because of Adams sin we are all stuck here on earth with no way back to paradise. God had a plan to restore us back to eternal life in paradise, and that is through a second righteous Adam; Jesus Christ. It is no secret that Islam teaches that Jesus is like Adam, and the only one who is like Adam (see Quran 3:59). Also, Islam teaches that Jesus was sinless (see Muslim, Book 001, Nu mber 0378). May be it makes sense now why Jesus was not born from a father like the rest of us! So he does not inherit Adams ability to sin. His birth fro m a wo man only was predicted to crush the head of the serpent which fooled A dam and Eve (Genesis 3:15). Also, the Bible talks about Jesus Christ to be the second Adam who came to reconcile us with God through his righteousness and obedience. He came to fix what the first Adam failed in. Jesus came to give us life instead of the death reigned upon us because of Adams transgression. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Ch rist shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22) Now, we are in agreement that we were not in parad ise with Adam and Eve when they sinned, yet we saw how their transgression caused their offspring (us) to experience death like them as a result of their sin. Could not we also agree that God will reconcile us to himself and restore us back to paradise through the righteousness of the second Adam who m He sent to redeem us? Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one mans disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one mans obedience the many will be made righteous. (Ro mans 5:18-19) Do we really need to do much to go back to our original place in paradise? Did not the last Adam (Jesus) righteousness already fixed the problem of transgression caused by the first Adam? For if, because of one mans trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Ro mans 5:17) We are already justified through the righteousness of the second Adam, Jesus Christ. But not automatically, you have to believe in him and follow him in o rder to earn this free gift o f grace and restora tion to eternity in paradise after death. as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ( Ro mans 5:21)

I inv ite you to read and listen to John Pipers preaching about this subject. Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 1 Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 2 Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 3 Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 4 Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 5

Adams Sin

A Muslim may ask: What your faith mean where it says that we inherited Adams sin? Every person is responsible for their own sin! The Islamic story of Adam creat ion and his dwelling in the garden of Eden (o r paradise as Muslims believe) and later his ejection fro m it , is similar to the story in the Bible (Genesis 3). God created Adam and Eve, and asked them not to eat fro m a certain tree in the garden. Due to the deception fro m the serpent, they ate from that forbidden tree disobeying Gods command ment. ( Genesis 3:1-7 cf. Quran 7:19-22). Later God conversed with Adam and Eve about their disobedience to the only command ment He gave them. God decided that the first man and wo man are no longer able to remain in the garden and they have been ejected out of it to earth. (Genesis 3:8-24 cf. Qu ran 7:22-24)

Though it might seem to us that Adam and Eves ejection fro m the garden to earth was the only punishment they received, it is not exactly t rue. When God created Adam and Eve, and put them in the garden, He d id not put a certain limitation on their life span. They simp ly could live forever in the garden if God wanted that. Death was not a threat for Adam and Eve in the garden, they did not have to die. On the other hand, earth which they were expelled to, was a different case than the gard en. Actually, the Quran states clearly that Adam and Eve will not enjoy eternity on earth as they have to die. ( Quran 7:25) In conclusion, we could say that Adam and Eve were not only punished for their sin by being expelled to earth, but also they received death as a punishment for their sins. If we thin k God is just, then we have to believe that somehow we inherited at least Adam and Eve nature of sin or their ab ility to sin in order for us to receive the punishment of death they received for their orig inal sin. Do not we die just like Adam and Eve? If they kept their righteousness and did not eat fro m the tree, therefo re they remained in the garden; are not we were going to be born in the garden? Are not we were going to enjoy eternity in it too? sin came into the world through one man, and deat h through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned (Romans 5:12) We can not say that we are not sinners. All of us are, therefore, all of us deserve the punishment of the disobedience of Gods commandment; death.

Is the Quran Preserved?

This article was published on Answering-Islam.org few years ago. The Quran makes this claim: Verily, we have sent down the Reminder, and, verily, we will guard it. Quran 15:9 According to Muslim co mmentators like Tafsir al-Jalalayn, this Reminder is the Quran since just a few verses before that we read in the same chapter: But they say, O thou to whom the Reminder has been sent down! verily, thou art possessed. Quran 15:6 Muslims say that, O thou to whom the reminder has been sent down, refers to Muhammad and th erefore the Reminder spoken about here must be the Quran. Muslims conclude that this is Allahs pro mise that the Quran cannot be corrupted and is accurately preserved to this day. Some Christian apologists make the argument that the Reminder refers to all of A llahs messages including the one revealed in the Bible. Muslims usually reject this claim and say that Allah guards only the Quran. Taking into account everything that the Quran says about the Scriptures of the Jews and the Christians, one can make a solid argument that the Quran presupposes that the Jews and Christians indeed possess Gods authentic and uncorrupted revelation (see these articles). Ho wever, since Muslims often do not accept those arguments, the purpose of this article is to show that their position leads to a set of logical problems. Thus, for argu ments sake I will go along with these Muslim claims, and explore where th is interpretation will lead us when taken together with some other Muslim convictions. In other places, the Quran makes the claim to be impeccable:

falsehood shall not come to it, fro m befo re it , nor fro m behind it a revelation fro m the wise, the praiseworthy One. Quran 41:42 Do they not meditate on the Quran? if it were fro m other than God they would find in it many a discrepancy. Quran 4:82 At the same time, Muslims believe that there are verses in the Quran which say that the previous Revelations have been corrupted: O thou Apostle! let not those grieve thee who vie in misbelieve; or those wh o say with their mouths We believe, but their hearts do not believe; or of those who are Jews, listeners to a lie, listeners to other people, but who come not to thee. They pervert the words from their p laces and say, If this is what ye are given, ta ke it; but if ye are not given it, then beware! but he who m God wishes to mislead, thou canst do nothing with God for him; these are those whose hearts God wishes not to purify, for them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the next is mighty woe, Quran 5:41; check also Quran 3:78, Quran 2:79, Quran 4:46 and Quran 5:13. Still, the Quran co mmands the Muslims to believe in the previous Revelat ions: who believe in what is revealed to thee (Muhammad), and what was revealed before thee, and of the hereafter they are sure. Quran 2:4 The Apostle (Muhammad) believes in what is sent down to him fro m his Lord, and the believers (Muslims ) all believe on God, and His angels, and His Books, and His apostles,- we make no difference between any of His apostles,- they say, We hear and obey, Thy pardon, O Lord! for to Thee our journey tends. Quran 2:285 Say (O Muslims), We believe in God, and what has been revealed to thee, and what was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and what was given to Moses, and Jesus, and the prophets fro m their Lord,- we will make no distinction between any of them, - and we are unto Him resigned. Quran 3:84 These previous Revelations include the following: We did reveal the Torah (Tawrat), wherein is guidance and a light Quran 5:44 And already have we written in the Psal ms (Zabur) after the reminder that the earth shall my righteous servants inherit. Quran 21:105 Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel (In jil), containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous. Quran 5:46 Let us summarize the claims that were presented so far:

1. 2.

The Quran is preserved. Gods Revelations which preceded the Quran include the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel. These Books make up a large portion of the Ho ly Bib le.

3. 4. 5. 6.

The Quran, the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel are all the Word of Allah. Gods Word does not change. The revelations that came before the Qu ran have become corrupted. Although Muslims should believe that these previous Books are the genuine Revelations from God, they have to trust only the Quran as the final revelat ion and the only one that is preserved.

We now have to deal with this logic: 1. 2. 3. The Quran, the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel are all Allahs Word. The current Torah, Psalms and Gospel are corrupted. The final wo rd of Allah, the Quran is preserved.

1st Conclusion: So me o f Allahs Words are corrupted 2nd Conclusion: So me of A llahs Words are preserved. Based on the above generalizat ions we can construct these deductive arguments: M ajor premise: So me of A llahs Words are corrupted. Minor premise: The Quran is Allahs Word. Conclusion: The Quran could be corrupted. Or we could do it another way: Major premise: So me of A llahs Words are preserved. Minor premise: The Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel are Allahs Words. Conclusion: The Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel could be preserved. The Main Problem Since Allah allo wed his previous Revelations to be corrupted by weak hu man people, this leads to one of the following assumptions about Allah: 1. Allah is a weak god; he could not protect his previous Revelations. He also gains more power and might throughout time, because he supposedly is now able to protect his last revelation, the Quran. 2. Allah does not care about people being misled by counterfeit revelations. And yet he will still punish individuals with hell fire because they follo w a corrupted Message even though they may have not come to the realizat ion that Allah had allo wed it to be corrupted. That means Allah is unjust.

In light of the above, how can we trust that the Quran is preserved if these three Revelations are corrupted? How can a person trust that Allah did not fail to protect his so-called final revelation, the Quran, when he was too weak to prevent people fro m tampering with h is previous Messages? Maybe Allah needs to a send a fifth revelation? Perhaps he has already sent down this fifth book, and that is actually the revelation given to Bahau llah the founder of the Bahai faith? More importantly, how do Muslims reconcile t heir position with Allahs claim in the Quran that there is no changing the words of God? Muslims, you have to make a decision and choose one of these alternatives: 1. The Quran is preserved and the earlier Revelations are corrupted . In that case, Allah is either weak or he is unjust. That is the only explanation for his preservation of the Quran and letting people corrupt his previous Revelations. 2. The Quran is corrupted like the other Revelations . Then you should either not read it since you do not read other corrupted Revelations, or maybe you should read these other corrupted Revelations just as you insist on reading the corrupted Quran. 3. The Quran is preserved, and the previous Revelations have also been preserved . That means then you should read these authentic Revelat ions (the Bib le) for yourself. 4. The Quran is corrupted but the earlier Revelations are preserved. Obviously, you should then abandon the Quran and read the Bib le. Just a second, Im not fin ished yet. If you picked option number three, then you will be faced with another problem. The Quran contradicts these previous Revelations in many essential points. That means that the Quran is a false message which cannot be fro m God since God is not the author of confusion. He could not reveal a message th at contradicts his previous Messages. If you do not like these alternatives, then tell me: What exactly do you think is wrong with my above observations and conclusions? If you do not accept my premises and therefore reject my conclusions, then: PROVE TO ME THAT THE QURAN IS PRES ERVED. You have to do that in a rational way without quoting the Quran since that would only be a repetition of the claim, not a proof, or trying to prove that the previous Revelations are corrupted which in no way proves the Quran not to be corrupted, or providing me with (what I consider fake) scientific miracles in the Quran. I want you to resolve the philosophical problem outlined above.

Show me logically and rati onally how the Muslim assertion of a perfectly preserved Quran toge ther wi th an alleged corrupti on of Gods earlier Revelations is not an i nsult to Gods perfect justice and great power. To see examp les of the Muslims answers, please check here.

What Would Muhammad Do About That Video?

This article was published on Answering-Islam.org on October 1, 2012. I received lots of feedback fro m Western Christians to my article What Just Happened? A Former Muslims Thoughts on the Muhammad Video. Most of the messages were asking the same question: Why are Muslims behaving this way about the Muhammad video? To my Arab Muslim background mind it is clear why many Muslims have to act like th is. Let us say that I was programmed like these angry Muslims to certain Islamic standards and an important one of them is this: do not think, and do not do the unthinkable. In this case, the unthinkable is to rid icule Muhammad and mock him in any form especially visual presentation. Sunni Muslims do not allow actors to play the role of Muh ammad in any video or audio production that tells his story from the Islamic perspective. You never could see or hear Muhammad. This also extends to drawing Muhammad you cannot even draw him, nor have a portrait o f him, in Sunni Islam. Now, this insulting video is made with an actor portraying Muhammad in a rid iculous and mocking way. Many Muslims who have never before seen their prophet being portrayed by an actor and then see him fo r the first time in such a shamefu l presentation will be g reatly enraged . This also extends to any funny drawings (caricatures) of h im. So, the issue we have here is a double anathema: first, representing Muhammad by an actor or a drawing; and second, insulting him. It did not occur to me to write this article at first. After several Westerners inquired about why Muslims acted in this way, I fell back on my co mfort zone excuse of cultural differences.

What finally made me write this article was a message from a close friend, who is an Arabic -speaking Middle Eastern Christian who knows a lot about Muslims and Islam. He sent me this: So to sum up; a bad biased clip fu ll of unproven assumptions caused riots and the death of tens of people in several countries. As much as I disagree with the movie the question that remains is: how far is the Islamic mentality willing to go until it can deal with crit ique? Till when do they think we should be dealing with their ultra-sensitive ego issues? What king of sick narcissism, or should I say lack of self-confidence is it that leads them to such acts? Why have other nations found ways to deal with crit ique, but they think we should wear silk gloves if we touch any of their holy (sub)objects? They feel attacked, hu miliated and discriminated, that may be the case. Across history many nations have dealt with worse and were able to overco me it. That woke me up. If he couldnt understand why, even though he speaks the language, has been around Muslims, and has been involved with them for a great part of h is life, then I cannot just say cultural differences anymore. So, how could I exp lain this issue? One thing that came to mind was this: What would Muhammad do about this insulting video if he were around? Interestingly enough, Muhammad himself was hu miliated and ridicu led by several non -believers during his time as a prophet. So, lets examine how Muhammad, according to generally accepted Islamic sources, dealt with people who insulted him. Mecca is the town where Muhammad g rew up, married and worked, and where he first claimed to be a prophet. But he was rejected by its people, they did not accept his claims to be a prophet of God and eventually he left with a s mall group of followers to another place (Medina) where he gained acceptance and a larger following. During that second period Muhammad had several military clashes with the people of Mecca. He definitely had enemies among them and there were several people who mocked h im and insulted him there. But those mockers were out of his reach in a sovereign city. Muhammad was eventually able to conquer Mecca. Most Muslims cite this event as an example of Muhammads tolerance and mercy, since he told most of the people of Mecca: Go, you are free. But that general pardon did not extend to several of Muhammads enemies. Muhammad o rdered a few people to be executed wherever they could be found, even in the sacred space of the Kaaba where nobody should be hurt. It is interesting to see that most of those who he ordered to be killed were people who insulted him. Lets investigate some of these cases (more instances are discussed here):

Examples: 1- Abdullah Ibn Saad Ab Al -Sar Al - Ammer [1] (converted). This man was a trus ted Muslim as he had been Muhammads scribe. He used to write for Muhammad the inspired message of the Quran that Muhammad had received. Ibn Ab Sar was a creative scribe; he used to change what Muhammad dictated to him. For example, if Muhammad dictate d a verse in the Quran ending with the phrase, all hearing, all knowing, Ibn Ab Sar would change it to all knowing, wise.[2] So when Ibn Ab Sar read back to Muhammad what he already wrote, Muhammad agreed on the written version (which had been chan ged) and did not challenge the changes Ibn Ab Sar had made. Over time that made Ibn Ab Sar believe that either he is a prophet like Muhammad receiv ing inspiration fro m Allah or that Muhammad is a liar and he was just making up this Quran. So, Ibn Ab Sar renounced Islam and returned back to Mecca and scandalized Muhammad by telling the story of his experience with him. Muhammad ordered him to be executed when he conquered Mecca, but he had a good relationship growing up with one of Muhammads closest followers, Uth mn (who later became the third Caliph after Muhammads death, and who is also Muhammads son -in-law t wice). Uth mn took Ibn Ab Sar to Muhammad and asked Muhammad to pardon Ibn Sar. Muhammad was silent, while Uth mn kept repeating his request for pardoning Ibn Sar until Muhammad accepted. When Uthmn and Ibn Ab Sar left, Muhammad turned to his followers and said to them: what prevented you fro m standing up and killing this dog (or evildoer)?[3] Here we have the real reason for Muhammad s extended silence. When he was asked to pardon Ibn Ab Sar, he was hoping one of his followers would stand up and kill the man before he publicly had to pardon him. The story continues that one of Muhammads followers responded that he was waiting for a signal fro m Muhammad to kill Ibn Ab Sar. Muhammad responded that prophets do not kill with signals. For further d iscussion check: Contributions by `Abdullah ibn Sa`d Ibn Abi Sarh and How Allah killed h is prophet. 2- Abdullah Ibn Khal [4] and his two women slaves Fartana and Qar bah [5] (killed in the Kaaba, with one of the wo man slaves kille d too, while the second one converted). Ibn Khal was a Muslim and he was sent to collect Zakt (religious tax) with another Muslim and his slave (not clear if the slave belonged to Ibn Kha l or the other Muslim). Ibn Khal killed the slave because he ordered him to cook for him and when he woke up he did not find the food. Al-Waqids narrative is different, he says that Ibn Khal killed the other Muslim freeman who was fro m

Khuzaa tribe. (notice: Al Waqid i doesnt mention a slave). It is strange that Ibn Khal also killed the other freeman though he did not cook for h im. A freeman at that time and culture is not a slave of another. So I thin k that Al-Waqid was trying to exaggerate the crim e, as freemen do not usually get sentenced to death for killing slaves (a property). So accord ing to this story, Ibn Khal was scared to return back to Muhammad because he would kill h im for killing the slave (or the freeman). So he took the Zakt money an d went back to Mecca and denounced Islam.[6] I believe this next portion is what really caused Ibn Khals death. The man started to write insulting poems about Muhammad [7] and make h is two wo men slaves sing them; the poems or recite them to the non -believers of Mecca while they were drinking wine (i.e. partying). 3- S rah (killed) was another wo man slave. The Sirah books (biography of Muhammad ) mention that she used to hurt Muhammad in Mecca.[8] But al-Waqid exp lains this hurt by saying that she used to sing poetry to the people of Mecca which was insulting to Muhammad. He also adds to her crimes that she may have tricked Muhammad into aiding her financially and then went back to Mecca (Qurash) and she is still in her religion[9] (that mean she did not convert to Islam and remained in her Meccan religion). So Muhammad ordered her to be killed, and it was carried out. 4- Al- awrth Ibn Naqi (killed). Though most of the source s say he was one of those who hurt Muhammad in Mecca, they did not explain how. Ibn Hisham mentioned that Ibn Naqi assaulted Muhammad s daughters, Fatima and Um Kulth m, while Muhammads uncle al-Abbas was carrying them (travel with) fro m Mecca to Medina. The story said that the girls fell on the ground. The word used for hurt here is y [10] which means not only physical harm but also could suggest insult as we saw in the case of the woman slave Srah (she also hurt Muhammad). So again there is a sug gestion of insulting Muhammad and maybe bullying him and his fo llo wers. 5- Ikri ma Ibn Ab J ahl (converted). There is no exact mention of his crimes against Muhammad, maybe because the man converted to Islam and died as a martyr in a battle later. So h is old record of crimes was somehow removed. 6- Mi q as Ibn abab (killed). He was a Muslim and his brother was killed by mistake in a battle by another Muslim. Ibn abab received Daah (a co mpensation) but still he killed his brothers killer and went back to Mecca and renounced Islam. Al-Waqid leaves us with a suggestion that the guy was also saying insulting poetry about Muhammad. He says: he escaped (ran away fro m Medina to Mecca) [and became] an apostate, unbeliever and writing poetry[11] But it is not exactly clear, except for th is suggestion.

7- Habr Ibn Al - Asad (converted). His crime was that he bullied Muhammads daughter with other non believers and he hit her (or caused her to fall, in other narratives) so she had miscarriage (other sources say s he became sick and died of it years later). Muhammad gave the order to his armies that when they go in a military campaign they should burn Ibn alAsad alive if they caught him. Later he retracted this order because only Allah, the god of [hell] fire pun ishes with fire[12] and ordered them instead to cut off the mans feet and hands then execute him.[13] So he was on the wanted list when Muhammad conquered Mecca. He escaped and later came and faced Muhammad and submitted to Islam and confessed the Shahada [14] (becoming a Muslim). He said : Muhammad, insult the one who insulted you and hurt the one who hurt (past tense) you.[15] So Muhammad had to let him go as the man became a Muslim and publicly cornered Muhammad with his shame-honor tactic (shame if Muhammad hurt him after he ad mit do ing wrong and came to him in weakness, and honor as he admit that Muhammad won and that he is his subject now). Interestingly enough, I do not see him apologiz ing for bullying Muhammads daughter, her miscarriage, and later death. He was only apologizing for insulting Muhammad. 8- Wash (converted). He killed Muhammads uncle amzah in the battle of Uhud. The man was a slave and simp ly a hit man ordered by a no ble wo man fro m Mecca (Hind the wife o f Abu Sufn ) to kill Muhammad s uncle in the battle as a revenge for amzah killing her uncle in an earlier battle. He escaped and came back announcing that he became a Muslim in order to return back to his commun ity. Conclusion: There is no doubt that insulting Muhammad was a big enough crime to be punished by death. Several people in Muhammads time who insulted him were killed for insulting him as we saw fro m the above examples. Those who have been pardoned were forced to convert to Islam and submit to Muhammad, as there is nothing more humiliating to them than confessing publicly that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Allahs prophet, something they fought against in the past and the thing for which they in sulted and ridiculed Muhammad. It is obvious that these pardoned people who converted to Islam were scared of being killed and had to endure such humiliation in order to avoid such punishment. So, I could co mfortably say they were forced to convert by the terror of the impending death sentence. Though Muhammad wished he hadnt pardoned some of them and they had been killed instead (i.e. Ibn Sar), there were cu ltural tactics used to extract that pardon, as we saw in the case of Ibn al -Asad. As Julian Pitt- Rivers puts it: the de facto achievemen t of honour depends upon the ability to silence anyone who would dispute the title.[16] Muhammads honor was restored by silencing those who disputed his rightful status as the prophet of God. This was done either by executing them or by their public confession that he is a prophet, which takes back everything they said about him in the past.

I believe if Muhammad was alive today, he would order his followers to execute the makers of this insulting video. I even think he may not pardon them, as the crime t hey co mmitted was not just writing insulting poetry and singing it as his opponents at his time d id, but depicting him in rid iculous acts and showing even his wives in degrading and shaming ways. I hope this clarifies why many Muslims will be enraged over such a video. Nevertheless, that does neither justify nor excuse their vio lent reaction to crit icism nor does it mean that they have the right to bully the world into submission or terrorize them to make Islamic symbols untouchables by anyone, Muslims or non-Muslims. It is difficult to give a prescription on how to deal with such a mentality, and it is equally difficult to predict when Muslims will be ab le to take crit ique without resulting into violence. I will try to address these two issues in a separate article later. We have examined Muhammads response to insult and mockery. I reco mmend you also look at how Jesus Christ responded to the same in Mockery & Honor: Muhammad and Jesus and Being Mocked: The Essence of Christs Work, Not Muhammads. If you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. Works Cited: Ibn Sad A l- Ns, An Al -Athar F Funn Al -Maghz Wa Al -Sahmil wa Al -Sar, http://goo.gl/LyScj last accessed 23 Sep. 2012 Ibn Hisham, Srat Ibn Hisham , http://goo.gl/AgDFL and http://goo.gl/To6pD last accessed 23 Sep. 2012 Al-Wqid, Kitb Al -Maghz, http://goo.gl/FV1sI and http://goo.gl/z1o7w and http://goo.gl/6CdAN and http://goo.gl/QQKVT last accessed 23 Sep. 2012 Al-Suhali, Al -Radh Al -Anif, http://goo.gl/EOs8D Ibn Isq, Al-Sara Al -Nabaa , http://goo.gl/7RuSI page 530-534 PDF, last accessed 23 Sep. 2012 Pitt-Rivers, Julian, Honour and Social Status, in HONOUR A ND SHAME: THE VA LUES OF THE MEDITERRANEA N (J.G. Peristiany ed. 1966). A lso online at http://goo.gl/iPHPU Footnotes: [1] Also called, Abdullah Ibn Saad, Abdullah Ibn Sar, and Abdullah Ibn Ab al- Sar. [2] According to al-Wqid .

[3] According to al-Waqid [4] Also called Abdul-Uzza Ibn Katl in Ibn Sad al -Ns account. [5] In al-Waqid called Arnab. [6] It is interesting to see the different ways of identify ing the murdered man. While al-Waqid make him a . Ibn freeman fro m Khuzaah Hisham say that the murdered man was Ibn Khal or the other Muslim freeman slave . Ibn Sad al -Ns say that the man was a slave for both Ibn Khal and the freeman was with him . [7] According to al-Waqid [8] Ibn Hisham, Ibn Sad al- Ns and Ibn Isq. [9] According to al-Wqid . . ][10 ][11 [12] According to Ibn Sad Al -Ns . [13] According to Al-Wqid [14] Shahada is the public testimony or confession of: there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. It is the first pillar of Islam and it is the ceremony anyone who wants to convert to Islam has to do. Something similar to baptism in Ch ristianity. ][15 [16] Julian Pitt-Rivers, Honour and Social Status, http://goo.gl/iPHPU page 4 PDF.